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Largest Safe Outboard

clifgray

New Member
Hey all,

I've read all the outboard posts here and was hesitant to add to the stack, but finally needed to. I've had a wonderful year and a half of sailing in my Capri so far. I've been using a 40# thrust Mina Kota in the waters of North Carolina's Outer Banks to get out from my boat ramp, through some crowded channels, and out to the open waters of the sound. After many battles with the wind, tides, and other boaters I finally had a point where the wind and tide were pushing me backwards in a busy channel and nearly pushed me up into a broken dock (left over from Hurricane Dorian) and into a nearby Fish and Wildlife boat, all despite full throttle on the Mina Kota. I only escaped by raising and main and the jib and tacking straight into the wind for 20 minutes while dodging the considerable boat traffic in the channel.

Trying to avoid all that excitement in the future, I'm in the market for a more powerful outboard and am curious just how many HP is feasible on the Capri. I'm also interested in occasionally going out with 3-4 folks and no sailing gear to see the sunset or to have a bite and a beer on some of the ephemeral shoals that come up during low tides. So I'm curious how many HP I can have and how many HP are even useful to reach hull speed. I've seen 3.5, anyone go up to 5HP? If so with what result? What kind of reinforcement did the transom require for that additional strain?

Thanks for any thoughts!
 

DeereJ18

New Member
Im in michigan, own a 1998 capri 14.2 mod3. I have a brand new yamaha 4hp motor (I believe its called the F4). Gets me going on the water fairly well. I'm here to say that yamaha is known to deliver good horse power in a light package. So if you are looking to save weight like I was, get a nice yamaha motor.

I have seen other 14.2's in Michigan with what appeared to be 6-8hp motors (I think older evinrude?). I would not touch that much power because of the added weight that comes with it. With that much weight added to one side you might experience some strange sailing characteristics. I would contact catalina and ask what they suggest.
 

aquaman

Active Member
Im in michigan, own a 1998 capri 14.2 mod3. I have a brand new yamaha 4hp motor (I believe its called the F4). Gets me going on the water fairly well. I'm here to say that yamaha is known to deliver good horse power in a light package. So if you are looking to save weight like I was, get a nice yamaha motor.

I have seen other 14.2's in Michigan with what appeared to be 6-8hp motors (I think older evinrude?). I would not touch that much power because of the added weight that comes with it. With that much weight added to one side you might experience some strange sailing characteristics. I would contact catalina and ask what they suggest.
I opted for a small Minkota electric trolling motor. Cost about $100 at Cabelas.
Advantages over gas model:
Super light weight (easier to handle and doesn't affect weight distribution). When under sail I raise the unit straight up and pivot sideways so everything is totally clear of sailing functions, Very easy to do! No vibration (not good for transom), noise, or fumes. No maintenance. No smelly and polluting gas or oil to mix and transport. Can't use gas unit on many desirable lakes. Much easier to transport because there's no gas tank to worry about.
Disadvantages:
Not as much power as gas unit but I don't care about that. I'm too old to water ski anymore! Possibly shorter range using a lightweight battery. But I viewed the motor as an aid to manuvering around docks and other boats, hoisting the sails when out in clear water. So the shorter range is the debit to having a small, easy to handle battery. Then I realized I could simply add a second similar battery in series and double my range! So I can use either setup depending on my needs for the day.
In the near future I'll post some pics showing my setup, it's pretty slick!.
Cheers!
 

caprintx

Member
I think any 2.5-3 HP outboard would be well beyond enough for this size boat.

I'm a huge fan of electric propulsion, but must admit I learned the hard way that if you get caught fighting unexpected heavy winds or currents, a basic 30-35 lb thrust trolling motor may not get you back to the dock. I once ended up calling the lake patrol to tow me in when a surprise storm front came across the lake. Way too much wind to use the sails, and the trolling motor was useless when the boat pointed into the wind.

I now have a 55 lb thrust motor i can fit on my boat, but haven't had to use it in such a challenging situation yet.
 

Kerrcat14.2K

New Member
I have a 2015 model 14.2K, fixed keel, with a factory mounted outboard motor bracket. I use a Honda 2.3 long shaft outboard, air cooled, centrifugal clutch forward and neutral with 360 degree rotation. The boat is used on a large inland fresh water lake which can experience significant wind at times. The Honda has given me more than enough power/thrust to move the boat in any conditions I have encountered and in "normal" conditions I rarely need to open the throttle much past an idle speed. With an air cooled motor you would not be concerned with salt water corrosion, wear on a water pump from salty and sandy water, etc. The gas tank is integral and holds enough fuel for motoring, cruising, etc. I just carry a small plastic gas container with about two or three quarts for backup, keeping it tied down at the stern beside the hiking straps. The weight of the motor is probably in the 30 pound range and it was the most efficient and reliable unit which I could find when researching what to buy. Minimal maintenance and reasonable weight on the stern.
 

aquaman

Active Member
Agreed that the weakness of electric is if you have to fight strong headwinds to return to dock. Luckily that only happens 90 degrees of the time! My small Minkota pushes pretty good at 100% power but that really sucks up the juice so you don't have more than a few minutes before you're toast. My best tactic is to go at a 45d into the wind (just like a close tack) and fight it that way. At the very worst I have the option of dropping my 8 lb mushroom anchor and waiting it out!
 
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