Dismasted Capri 14.2 outboard size


New Member
I've got an old 1985 Capri 14.2 that my dad dismasted about 15 years ago, and it's been sitting in a lot ever since. This past easter, I went up to where it was and got all the lichens and live oak dust off of it with a power washer. It cleaned up really nice. I am planning to turn her into a Shallow water runabout type thing that I can fish out of. I still need to take the centerboard out and glass in that hole, sand and paint it, fix the cuddy hatch and lots of other things. I'm looking for the highest HP I can get on the back without breaking anything. My dad has a 6 horse Tohatsu that he uses with his Spindrift 22 and it gets him up to about 5 knots and I don't know if 6 horses is enough. I'm wanting to be able to outrun a storm that may happen to form in the bay, but as I said I don't want to break the transom off. What HP should I go with?
I've since sold my 14.2 and now have a West Wight Potter 15. The Potter weighs more than the 14.2 and I use a 2.5 hp Suzuki on it. I would expect 6 hp would move it fairly well...
Sounds like an interesting project. I'd think about keeping the centerboard (CB) even if you never intend on sailing the boat again. The smooth, strake-less hull design relies on the CB to keep the boat running straight. I can tell you that on my Capri, if I'm using the motor alone, and the CB is not at least partially down, it's like driving a dump truck on solid ice. Very slow to respond to turning from the motor or tiller. But when the CB is deployed, steering is much more responsive. You can always retract the CB if you're in shallow or stumpy waters for fishing, but still have it there if you need to outrun a storm. I'm certain you'll be thankful for having a CB if you're caught in an approaching storm front's heavy winds, because without a CB that wind will easily push your boat in the wrong direction.
So you have a Mod 1 like mine which has the hollow transom. I reinforced the heck out of it to receive the Catalina sourced motor mount and my tiny Minkota 30 electric trolling motor. If you're thinking about running a 6 HP gas you will have far greater issues with thrust force, vibration, and weight. Just be sure to give due consideration to that reinforcement matter! And Caprintx is right, without the center board down the boat becomes almost unsteerable. It also offers additional stability from tipping. If you're fishing there are times you need to scoot around in the boat to do the sport. This is not a jon boat with a flat bottom, it was meant for sailing, which means it rolls easily!
Just saw this thread for the first time... young OP, I hope you haven't messed with the centerboard and trunk yet, best to leave them in place. With the board slightly lowered you won't sacrifice much boat speed under power, and that "fin" will help make the boat more handy and maneuverable. Besides, one day you may decide to slap a rig on that Capri and sail her, and you'll definitely need the centerboard and trunk for that purpose. It'd be a shame to remove board & trunk, only to decide in a year or two that you want to sail after all. At your age, when chasing the girls, it's easier to talk under sail than shout back & forth over a noisy outboard, LOL. :confused:

The transom can be beefed up with aluminum straps 1/4" thick, you can bend the straps and mount them inboard where the hull meets the transom. My friend & I did this with a C-15 (Coronado 15) and it worked well... he wanted to have the option of sailing, or leaving the rig at home and simply tooling around with an outboard motor to go fishing (as you plan to do). Figure out exactly where the straps will do the most good, it's not rocket science. Round the strap ends with a bench grinder to reduce the potential for "meathook" injuries, and always use stainless steel hardware no matter what you're modifying or installing aboard your boat. :rolleyes:

My friend picked up a 4.5hp Johnson for the C-15, mainly because he got a really good deal on the motor, but it only pushed the boat so fast, he could've easily run a 10hp motor or greater after we modified the transom. Here's another tip: if you have the kind of motor that clamps directly onto the transom, spread the load a bit by inserting two smallish rectangles of marine ply under the clamps, that way the clamps aren't digging directly into gelcoat or glass. We used ply pieces roughly 4" by 8" or so, once properly clamped they distributed the load more widely, with no ill effects upon performance. We rigged short lanyards to keep the pieces together, made it easy to drape the ply pieces over the transom. The ply was about 1/2" thick and we varnished the pieces for added protection. This simple trick will keep the motor clamps from tearing up the gelcoat and glass, aye? :cool:

You can buy a decent gas can for refueling on slightly longer excursions, I can't remember the brand or maker, but my friend had a nice little plastic can with some sort of spill-guard on the nozzle... thing worked like gangbusters, never spilled a drop while refueling at sea, and of course a plastic can will never produce sparks and ignite the fuel. Just a small safety tip, I never liked those old metal gas cans or fuel tanks... I used to refill all those tanks for an entire fleet, and they were a PITA. Technology has moved forward: if your outboard has an internal tank, get yourself one of those plastic cans with the right safety features, avoid the troublesome cans with poorly-designed nozzles which slop fuel all over your boat. Another good reason not to take up smoking, you'll blow yourself and your crew to smithereens, LOL. :eek:

I guess you already know about PFDs, spare paddle(s) for emergencies (telescopic handles okay), a whistle or even some flares, etc., etc. A good sharp knife is invaluable, and extra line doesn't hurt. Protection from solar abuse (including some sort of hat or cap, you always want a brim or bill to shield your eyes), decent polarized glasses on a goon cord, good nautical footgear, gloves for sailing, cooler full of food and drinks, and you're well on your way. Good luck with your project, sounds like heaps of fun for you & your friends... I can't remember all the good times I had with friends when I was your age, we spent a lot of time on the water just to enjoy the freedom. Oh, yeah, be sure to learn the "Rules of the Road" so you'll be a good skipper and not some clueless wank... jeez, I'm starting to sound like an old man, LOL. ;)

Last edited: