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Suggestion on a Outboard Skiff for Big Water...

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Hi Norm,

Your question on a small safe outboard skiff brings up many possibilities… After a bit of thought (and the fact that you may want to get the boat in hand in a short period of time) leads us to look at ‘off the shelf’ availability. We suggest looking at various Aluminum Small Outboard Boats. Travelling along the BC Coast precludes a flat bottom boat like a Jon boat - but not a Dory style - say a Pacific City Outboard Dory. These boats are some of the best for Coastal Cruising but are not found in small sizes and most are custom built. One model that might work is the Duroboat. We would look at the 14’ model with a 25 HP 2 Cycle Yamaha tiller operated outboard. You will need to choose either the 14S or the 14SW Duroboat model as the Yamaha only comes with a 15” skeg.

Yes, the newest 2-Cycle Yamaha’s are the better way to go as they are light weight 106 Lbs. (you can pull up the motor for beaching by hand – 25 HP 4 Cycle engine weights begin at 150 Lbs.+ and you had better have the electric motor ‘lifter’ option which adds more weight and not to mention the need for a battery adding even more weight). Yamaha has figured out how to keep these engines environ clean while getting better economy i.e. mileage.

Couple of other things: We have traveled the Desolation Sound in BC, the San Juan Is., etc. in our 15’ Pacific City Outboard Dory and after loading in the camping gear, the 6 gal gas tank, with the 2.5 gallon reserve, the fishing gear, food stuffs with cooler and clothing for a week, plus two people - the weights add up. We tried a 15 HP outboard and we could not get on a plane. With our tiller steering 25 HP Tohatsu (2 Cycle engine) we can cruise at 17 to 20 MPH depending on wind and current (as reported by our hand held GPS) with plenty of reserve power getting decent mileage – about 11 miles to the gallon.

The other thing we found is the addition of a Bimini Top with a removable ‘windshield’ is most helpful (see above photo). BC waters are cold waters. Traveling at mid - planning speeds, with the wind in your face for a few hours and with the ride being a bit bumpy (ALL small boats at planning speeds have a bumpy ride!) can be quite fatiguing. With the addition of the Bimini Top we found ourselves in much better spirits and far less tired after reaching our destination. The comfort factor improved many fold.

Inflatible boats have their place. However, they cannot be rowed or paddled in any kind of a seaway if your engine fails, and they are not very durable for the money. Beaching eats them up... Even the hard bottom ones.

Well Norm, hope the above helps and good luck in your quest! Let us know what small outboard skiff you end up with, and, if the mood strikes your welcome to submit a Beach Cruising Story.




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  • Suggestion on a Outboard Skiff for Big Water... - Thom V 11:38:23 09/02/03 (0)


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