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509Re: New member

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  • Oliver
    Dec 2, 2011
      --- In privateer20@..., "chris" <spike@...> wrote:
      > Yes - it might be enough for the Broads - I don't really know anything about conditions there. I think in most circumstances 2.5hp with the right prop would drive the boat along fine, but it wouldn't leave you much of a safety margin for,say, making progress against a strong headwind and tide.
      > My mooring is right at the top of an estuary, and one early problem I found with the Privateer was in motoring home against a strong headwind, in shallow water with the keel up. At times I had to use a lot of throttle just to stop the boat being blown uncontrollably off course. I have cured this problem by making a small balancing sail, which sets between the back of the boom and the topping lift, and has the same effect as a mizzen. I'll put a photo of this in the 'Bluebelle' folder, as it completely solved the problem.
      > I wonder what other people think re: engine power? Oliver?

      You make some very good points, and I have already replied elsewhere about engine power.

      I agree that in the Broads, or in most English Lakes, I would expect 2.5 h.p. to be very adequate in normal conditions. But the time may come when one wishes to take the boat to sea, and for that I think that more power is needed in order to be absolutely sure that one can cope if necessary with big head seas and head winds.

      I note your comment about the boat being blown off course when the keel is up. My own opinion of the boat is that she is virtually uncontrollable under power with the keel up if there is any significant wind blowing. All the lateral grip is at the stern, and there is almost nothing underwater to prevent the bows blowing off. Letting down even a very modest amount of keel sorts out this problem, and even in shallow water I routinely have at least some keel down when motoring.

      This is particularly important when manoeuvring in tight spaces, or amongst closely moored boats, when high speed and plenty of throttle is not an option. As soon as the keel can grip, the boat becomes much more biddable.

      Another dodge that I sometimes use in tight manoeuvring situations is to use the motor to steer. Even though I normally steer with the rudder, and have the outboard steering clamp screw tightened until the motor is locked almost solid, for a really tight turn I will force the motor round in the required direction.

      Unlike a good inboard diesel, the prop wash does not hit the rudder blade, and there is very little thrust if the motor is put astern, so all traditional handling techniques pappropriate to a wing propeller inboard installation are out of the window; they just don't work, and instead one has to handle the boat like a big outboard dinghy.

      Incidentally when on passage I have the outboard angled just slightly, as though to turn the boat very slowly to starboard, which counteracts the natural tendency of the motor to slowly turn her to port. I judge the angle to be right when the helm is nicely balanced.

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