Tohatsu 3.5 hp: too much motor?

Thread starter #1
Hi folks,

Back on the motor issue. I've been looking at this for my Capri. I've read the promos for the Honda 2hp, but in my neck of the woods its pretty expensive. For under $900 I can get this one shipped to my door. It's a bit heavier (42 lbs), but I'm still considering it. Would this work on the 14.2? or would it be too much? Opinions? Thanks!

Too much power!

Good morning, Jason,

I found that a 25-35 hp engine on the back of a 14.2 gets it to plane nicely at around 35-40 mph, the only downside being you normally don't want to raise your sails, secure the boom, and remove the tiller/rudder and center the motor on the transom. The tiller steering on the motor works pretty well and compensates for the lack of the rudder.

In all seriousness, however, I have seen quite a few folks post that they simply use an electric trolling motor to get to and from the dock. For a gasoline motor option, I would think that a 2 hp motor is more than enough. It also depends on how far and often you have to motor and how strong the wind and currents are in your area. The entire rig only weighs 340 lbs (unless you have the C-14 w/keel and then you're still only around 560 lbs). Most 22's only use a 5 hp motor and do just fine and they are much larger and heavier. All that being said, I'm a firm believer that you can not have too much power in that you can simply run a 3.5 at half throttle rather than having to run a 2 at full throttle, but in this case the added weight of the larger motor offset on the transom of such a small boat just doesn't seem worth the extra power. I'd personally go with a 2 or see if you can find an air-cooled 3 hp. I have an older 3 hp Aquabug/Tohatsu/Sears (mine is the Aquabug model) 3 hp 2-stroke air cooled motor with and internal 1/3 gallon tank that runs close to 1.5 hours wide open on my inflatable yet weighs only 24 pounds. It is much easier than having to carry 42 pounds. I do not use it on my 14.2 as I simply sail it to and from the dock. Hope this helps address a few of your questions.
Thread starter #3
Too much power

Thanks for the feedback. You confirmed what I was thinking. I really don't want to go with a trolling motor due to the hassle, the weight, etc. Also, I'm having trouble finding an affordable small motor with a long shaft. Nevertheless, I think this motor would be too much. Thanks again.

fallspiper said:
I really don't want to go with a trolling motor due to the hassle, the weight, etc.
Hi Jason,
Even though you seem set against a trolling motor, I'd like to relate my experience on the matter for others who might still be on the fence.

I have a Minn Kota Riptide 40 with a 36" long shaft. It's mounted to a fixed bracket evidently supplied by Catalina which positions the motor about 6" rearward of the transom. This seems about perfect for keeping the whole thing from getting tangled in the traveler. It weighs about 22 pounds and can be had at WalMart or Cabela's for around $220. This motor is particularly nice in that it will survive complete immersion in salt water while it isn't running, for example during capsizing or turtling.

The battery can be found HERE. It weighs less than 23 pounds and will power the motor for around 45 minutes at full speed. Since it only takes about three minutes to get around all the moored boats and exit our marina, this is plenty for me.

The battery is kept in a plastic battery box that is bolted to the rear of the transom opposite the trolling motor. Although that puts all the weight hanging off the stern, I really haven't noticed the additional 45 pounds and there are no wires running through the cockpit. Since I remove the motor after every day of sailing, it's no extra work to grab the battery at the same time for re-charging. Attaching the battery to the charger at home takes about fifteen seconds. There is no other maintenance.

From my perspective, the only real advantage a gasoline powered motor has might be in the area of thrust. The Riptide is more than adequate for nearly all applications except when facing a 20+ MPH wind. Even with all sails dropped, there is very little headway. That appears to be it's only weakness.

If you do decide on a gasoline motor, I think the Honda 2HP is definitely the preferred choice. Four stroke engines are more reliable and require less maintenance compared to two stroke engines, and Honda has an excellent reputation for quality. We have all tried to start a recalcitrant lawn mower. Having that happen at the end of a long day of sailing is no fun. The only time I have ever been stranded on the water in a sailboat was due to a gasoline motor which wouldn't start. :(

Hope this helps,