Outboards?

  • mirror11726
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31 May 2005 02:46 #18396 by mirror11726
Outboards? was created by mirror11726
Hi,

I've got an old 4hp Johnson outboard that I was thinking of strapping on to one of my mirrors to cruise around the local river and outlets with my young kids. Has anyone done this and found it worth while? The motor is not steerable, so I'll need to use the tiller for control. Therefore I'd have to mount it as far off the centre line as possible to maximise tiller movement.

Does the mirror handle ok with an outboard, or am I dreaming! I haven't worked out how to modify the transom to protect it, but I guess I'd use sacrificial ply plates.

Unfortunately you need to register mirrors here with motors, so before I go ahead and waste money with registering, boat coding and putting ugly numbers on the hull, I was after some experienced feedback.

Cheers,

Peter.
Port Adelaide, South Australia.

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  • GeoffTheed
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04 Jun 2005 21:01 #9041 by GeoffTheed
Replied by GeoffTheed on topic Outboards?
Hi,

I use an outboard on my Mirror which is ideal for going up estuaries etc with young children.
I used a 2.5hp Suzuki and used a couple of bits of ply to protect the transom and enable the motor to be clamped on. As the Mirror is small you may find a 4hp motor rather heavy on the stern - trial and error will tell you!
I made up a mini centerboard to cover the centreboard slot to prevent water coming up the slot- which it will do at anything more than crawling speed!

Good luck

Geoff

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  • mirror11726
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05 Jun 2005 08:02 #9042 by mirror11726
Replied by mirror11726 on topic Outboards?
Thanks Geoff, great idea about the centre board cover.

Ta

Peter.

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  • ecover
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07 Jun 2005 19:29 #9067 by ecover
Replied by ecover on topic Outboards?
with our boat we made a centre board but it was just the handles and a little bit extra.
ED

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  • Kevin Shields
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03 Jul 2005 17:01 #9328 by Kevin Shields
Replied by Kevin Shields on topic Outboards?
Hi, Peter
Just seen your query and recently tweaked my boat to take an outboard too. It was worthwhile as its restored the lost versatility of the mirror.I talked to a lot of owners who'd fitted outboards and learn't the mistakes they'd made and problems they'd had which were mainly:

1- the mirror transom is only solid as far down as just below the top of the stern bouyancy chamber. After that its only 5mm ply all the way down to the bottom(there's more ply than solid). The torque of the outboard twisting the solid top of the transom piece usually cracks the transom joints open and the water gets in.
2 - More than 3-4 hp motors are too heavy and with too much power the boat becomes out of balance and hard to control.
3- fixed motors must be well clear of the arc of the rudder blade (common sense i know but more than one i talked to had chewed off the rudder with the prop and could'nt steer home!)
4-the boat motors better with the weight in the middle
5-when capsized the motor falls off
6- water comes up the centreboard slot like a jet when under power

what i did that's worked well for me -
1- solution was to fit a external wood mounting plate that is the full height of the external transom.
if you've not one already, cut and fit an inspection/access hatch in the rear bouyancy tank and inside where the bottom hull meets the bottom of the ply transom section, epoxy in a reinforcing strut along the joint (left to right - not top to bottom, remember its out of sight and does'nt have to be pretty just effective to spread out and transfer the engine loading)Screw the full height external plate through the ply skin into this reinforcing strut at the bottom and at th top into the solid top section of the transom to spread the load.
2 - Geoff Theed's right - your 4 hp is about the max power the mirror will take: bear in mind physical weight too! Two stroke outboards are lighter than 4 stroke so if you've not one already, grab one quick before they are outlawed by the environmentalists - the little suzuki dt2.2 is what i use and its quick enough with 2 adults and 2 kids and loads of fun when the wind does'nt blow.
3 - was'nt a problen for me as the motor hinges around its mounting so i don't bother fitting the rudder as i can steer with the engine. It is off centre though but is easily accomodated by counter steering - you could fit some sort of restrictor to stop the rudder going far enough over to catch the prop.
4 - solution: make the crew sit as far forward as possible or carry a sandbag if you're in by yourself if you're going fishing.
5- to stop the engine falling off, fit a engine clamping plate to the top inner transom with a good lip around its edge or screw a batten along the inner top edge of the transom. If the engine vibration shuffles the engine around a bit this'll stop it shuffling off the transom and overboard. Also fit a a security rope between the engine and some where on the hull - mine goes to the fitting where the rear end of footstraps are shackled. If it'll hold my fat wriggling weight in the straps it'll hold the engine's dead weight if the engine falls off if the hull's upside down.
6- yep, we got wet first time out too and now too have short bit of ply that fits into the slot - you could stuff a sponge in but the kids always want to pull it out!.

other bits of useless expereince:
Always carry a paddle - croc's are'nt a problem here in the uk but soft muddy river bottoms are. We grounded once and i stepped out expecting to be in knee deep water to find it was waist deep mud.
Carry a spare can of fuel- you'll always be out for longer than you expected.
Always carry a decent legnth of rope: if all else fails you can get a tow with it or moor the boat to the shore if exploring (or abandoning or mooring outside a pub )remember to leave enough slack to cover the tide fall and rise height. You can even use it to throw to rescue a man overboard!

We too in some places have to register a boat if its got a motor on it some places demand different numbers (2 different lakes i go to do this so there's 2 sets of numbers) - so i did'nt have numbers permananltly disfiuguring our hull i got 2x old plastic cutting boards,stuck the numbers to them and when using the engine tie them on to the fairlead fittings and hang them out over each side.

hope this is all of help - motoring still does'nt beat sailing the mirror in a blow but it sure does make it a versatile boat!

best of luck
Kevin

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  • mirror11726
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06 Jul 2005 12:04 #9366 by mirror11726
Replied by mirror11726 on topic Outboards?
What a response! I had to get comfortable when I saw the size of the post. The content was great and truly appreciated.

Thanks Kevin,

Peter.

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  • pault
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16 Aug 2005 20:57 #9705 by pault
Replied by pault on topic Outboards?
I am considering either a Suzuki 2.2 (currently on offer at £259) or potentially a Tohatsu 3.5 (£355). I was almost convinced on the 2.2 having read the above posts and have check to see if the dealer has one in stock. However, I am still a bit concerned it may be under-powered. I want to use the boat around the Solent area normally with either 1 adult and a child or 2 adults and a child. I like the idea of the neutral on the Tohatsu too and the kill cord. However, was concerned on reading an earlier thread saying that 4hp was a bit uncontrollable. Also conflicting posts (in other threads) about the max capacity of a Mirror (either 4hp or 3hp). The other reason to look at a bigger engine is I might purchase an inflatable for taking on holiday and they seem to need larger engines. But I don't want to end up with something unusable in the Mirror. Does anyone have any experience with a 3.5 on the Mirror. Also, Kevin what speed are you getting out of the Suzuki? Is it sufficient for coastal work with tides etc?

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  • oly
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25 Aug 2005 16:35 #9758 by oly
Replied by oly on topic Outboards?
hey, my grandad had one of the first mirrors built and had a 4.4 chrysler engine on it. of course this enghiine is very old and very heavy. But he got it on the plane one day and sunk the stern. so 4 hp may be a bit heavy. but if it a grp boat it will be fine as we r using a 5 hp yamaha on ours at the mo.

Oliver McKinney

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  • chillifrog
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26 Aug 2005 20:03 #9768 by chillifrog
Replied by chillifrog on topic Outboards?
i have used a mirror with a small british seagull motor on
it was not very powerful but performed very well
i would go for the suzuki because they are a good well made reliable engine

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