R 22

Rhodes 22


Choosing an Outboard

My wife and I were having a rather pleasant dinnertime conversation, about sailing of course, and the topic of outboard motors came up. While discussing the pro and cons of four stroke versus two-stroke, 5hp versus 8hp, etc, she asked, "Why not just get a large electric trolling motor?" I'm ashamed to say that I didn't have a good answer for her.

Her logic was that we would only need a motor to move to and from the launching area and since we'll be on a lake, currents would not be a problem. I'm not sure if that kind of motor can actually move a Rhodes 22. Also, the four-stroke 5hp Honda carried a rather hefty price tag. I think sticker shock prompted the question. Any comments?

Thank you,
Bruce Chisholm

Did you happen to find the right size prop for the Honda 8 in your shop manuals? Thanks.


9 x 10light loadMichigan PJ-16
9 x 8medium loadMichigan PJ-21
9.25 x 7heavy loadMichigan SMC-39
9.5 x 8.625 stock

I used the stock and felt a little over-propped (throttle lost half its range). The problem is the stock is the largest but it seems to fall into the medium-light range on the chart (which is not a Rhodes 22). I also used the 9.25 x 7, which slowed things down around the dock and the boat/motor had more "torque" but lost some of the top speed. That made passages longer with more engine noise (but did get the HP into the water, we proved that with 30+ knot head winds).

When I asked Michigan, they said to use the 9.25 x 7, but I would be tempted to try the 9 x 8. It will cost about 60 dollars each to play around. PLEASE double-check with Michigan Wheel, a mistake can cost you the motor. Be sure to save the old one for a spare.

BTW Did anyone have any luck with the Canadian Honda guy? Any more info?

After re-reading your magnificent post on the "motor subject" , I went shopping at the Washington, DC area boat shows this weekend and narrowed my choices to the following:

1) Mercury 8 hp 2-stroke - Great shift and throttle in tiller, 73lbs, but only 20' shaft and the 2006 problem.

2) Honda 8 hp 4-stroke - I now see why this is favored by so many Rhodies. Easy access shift lever on front, 82 lbs, Extra Long Shaft 25.5' and 9-1/2 X 8-5/8 prop.

I have the 6:1 motor bracket and it seems that the extra length is a real advantage. Anyway, I'm sold. The Honda will be on Buygones - 95 this spring


Most people use the long shaft. Roger likes the extra-long shaft very much. On the Honda 8 hp the difference is only 3 inches (double check with www.hondamarine.com). You will have to tilt it out and it might drag on a starboard tack. The prop recommendation comes from the shop manuals, I'll check tonight.


My ignorance is showing again, but I have little practical experience with O/B's. What does a typical O/B burn in fuel? I know this is relevant to engine size and throttle settings, but I am looking for a SWAG. I would assume most use a 6-10 H.P. unit. Some of my plans call for some medium distance cruising, and as we all know the wind doesn't always cooperate.



The rule of thumb is 1 hp /0.1 gal/per hour. I think this is for the four-stoke for two-stokes, double the rate, and this is for the power that the motor is set at, not the rated hp.

As far as the motor, the rule of thumb 2 hp per 1000 pounds or about 6 - 7 hp for a Rhodes22.

Now some experiences from the list (and other sources).

Electric: good for docking (very slow speed), limited battery run time (hour or two on a full charge), recharge problems

2 hp cruise and carry: does not make it.

4-5 hp two-stokes: used by lake sailors, limited need for power through wind and waves, seems as a group to think they are a little under powered.

5 hp Honda (4-stoke): nice motor, has a vibration problem from being one cylinder, will be running at WOT a lot.

8 hp Honda, most common 4-stoke on the boat; will get to hull speed; can handle some waves and the wind that goes with it; has a charging source; change to a "high thrust prop" for better reverse and slow speed docking.

8-9.9 hp two-stokes: used by a lot of people, lighter than the 8hp Honda; some fresh water lakes are banning them.

9.9 (really a de-rated 15hp) Honda: over kill and heavy; needs the "high thrust prop"; available with a remote control kit and electric start; if the motor is in the water it should move the boat.

9.9 Yamaha high thrust: looks like a very nice motor, almost brought it....

15 hp Honda: same as the 9.9 with two different parts; biggest I've seen on the boat; reverse could rip the motor off the boat.

All of the above are LONG SHAFT!!!!!

Plan on two tanks for the boat, the one in use and the next one. Right now I have 3 tanks, 2 six gallons and a spare 3 gallon with its own complete fuel line setup. It is sized for an overnight power run at Wide Open Throttle with some to spare (or used before).

Last issue, depending on the conditions, the boat can be sailed in worse conditions than motored, the motor will be out of the water in about 4-5 foot seas (depending on course, seas conditions etc.).


I am curious how the Rhodes owners handle their fuel storage on board. Gas tank under the seats? In the lazarette? Are remote controls for o/b common? Fuel lines through the transom or over?

Chris Delling

On my boat the gas tank will almost fit under the seat (I can get most of it there). However I saw something last night in EB Marine that I thought was neat. It was a 14-gallon gas tank with a low profile that would easily slide under and out from under our seats. The only problem is that 14 gallons of gas would last me 3 years! I only have a 7.5 hp outboard, which works fine for me, but I don't use that much gas.

Cam Whetstone

My husband and I are outfitting a (new to us) used Rhodes 22 and are looking for recommendations and the experience of owners about horsepower and manufacturers. We want a four-stroke and a long shaft has been recommended.

We'll be sailing mostly on the Chesapeake. We want enough motor to power against occasional high winds and the ever-present powerboat chop and enough to get us through places where the currents are strong BUT we don't want to lug around more than we need. Looking for the voice(s) of experience. Which outboard do you use?

Mary Lou Troy

Our 1976 Rhodes 22 came with a 6 bhp long shaft (20" shaft) Evinrude outboard. We sailed with that engine for 9 years. 6 bhp was always plenty of power, when you could couple it to the water - prop cavitation when motoring into a chop was a problem. In 1996, we bought a 10' inflatable sport dingy, converted the Evinrude back to standard shaft length (15"), transferred the Evinrude to the inflatable, and re-powered the Rhodes 22 with a Honda 4-cycle 8 bhp extra long shaft (25") outboard. We went with the Honda for several reasons:

1. We wanted a 4-cycle engine for the reduced pollution and better fuel economy. Our fuel mileage roughly doubled from 6 to 12 mpg. I don't worry about fouling spark plugs anymore. There is no annoying 2 cycle smoke or oily film in our wake anymore either.

2. We wanted a 25" long shaft to reduce the propeller cavitation sometimes encountered when motoring in any chop greater than 3-4' high. This size wave is very common the Great Lakes. The 25" shaft delays the onset of propeller cavitation until the waves are 4-5' high, a useful improvement. However, keep in mind the Rhodes 22 can be sailed very nicely in sea conditions much rougher than it can be motored in. Take your boat out on windy days and get used to how it handles in big waves. Don't depend on your motor to save you in a squall!

3. Our Evinrude did not have an alternator and it would have been difficult to retrofit one. Our new Honda has the alternator & voltage regulation system.

4. Our old Evinrude was a two-cylinder engine and we wanted to stick with a twin for the increased smoothness of operation.

The Honda 8 bhp outboard was the smallest outboard which offered all of the above in the spring of 1996. We considered the 9.9 bhp outboards from Honda, Evinrude, and Mercury; but their extra weight turned us off.

We had a bit of a problem with the local Honda dealer in figuring out the right pieces/parts to make the cockpit mounted engine controls work properly. My sense is that Evinrude and Mercury do a better job of figuring out the details of remote engine control installations at the factory. Honda leaves it up to their dealerships and the customer.

In 2 years, I've had one catastrophic failure of the single lever remote engine controls. However, that may have been due to a bad installation. The remote engine control assembly was replaced under warranty. We changed the geometry of the installation as well as modified a few other details, and I haven't had any problems since.

The Honda outboard itself has been absolutely reliable and a delightfully engineered piece of machinery. It's about 15 lbs heavier than our old Evinrude outboard. The extra weight is noticeable but not objectionable when you haul up the engine mount. Honda outboards are definitely more expensive & the repair shops & dealerships are nowhere near as common as Evinrude or Mercury. At the time I bought my Honda, Evinrude & Mercury didn't make any comparable engine. I have the Autohelm ST-50 knotlog on Dynamic Equilibrium. I calibrate it every year against a measured mile near my home. The Honda 8 bhp will push our Rhodes 22 at 5.7 knots full throttle on smooth water. Broad reaching in a 20 knot wind with a double reef in the mainsail & the full 150% genoa, I've motor sailed the boat at 6.2 knots (We were trying to make a drawbridge opening). However, the boat starts to climb the bow wave & tends to drown the motor in a following sea! Not recommended!

Roger Pihlaja
S/V Dynamic Equilibrium

I hear a lot of good things about the Honda 8, but am concerned that when it becomes time to replace my almost 15 yr-old Mariner 8, (2- stroke), the additional weight and bulk of any of the new four- strokes hanging off my stern will throw the balance off on my light displacement Rhodes 22.

I've heard that the new four-strokes give more "PUSH" than the traditional two-strokes, which implies that I could drop down on the outboard HP (to save some weight on balance) and still get the same propulsion power I'm used to. Stan commented to me once that he thinks we Rhodes owners tend to over-power our beloved boats, but I disagree. I've had several instances where I've been very thankful that I'd opted for the bigger HP in my outboard. This is probably the one and only instance where I've disagreed with Stan and felt that I'm still right in my opinion! In ALL OTHER CASES (and there have been several), I agree that Stan's advice was right on the mark!

So, my question is: anyone out there with a Rhodes 22 who's using a new four-stroke engine less than an 8 HP and has some comments to contribute about how well it works on our favorite sailing vessel?

S/V Highlander
Annapolis, MD

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