Outboards for J/80

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Postby Guest » Sat Jun 15, 2002 9:32 am

We loved our Yamaha 4hp 2stroke but it was stolen and they do not make it anymore. So we bought a Yamaha 4hp 4 stroke, but find it is too big to leave on the transon when casually sailing. We are thinking about a Nissan/Tohatsu 3.5 but are not thrilled by that choice. Does anyone have any other good ideas for engines that work well on the J/80?

Thanks.................John Farmelo

Postby Guest » Sat Jun 15, 2002 12:46 pm

Ive been happy with my Nissan 5hp 4 stroke, but it is heavy at 57 lbs plus external tank. I stow it below when racing. I need the ponies because I have to get through a couple of bridges with heavy tidal flow.

Postby Guest » Sat Jun 15, 2002 5:29 pm

generally I love my 3.5 Nissan. It is a bit underpowered if you need to deal with tide/current/waves, or need to go a long distance. It also vibrates like mad. All of the above are good incentives to keep it stowed where it belongs and use the sails. Which is easy, because its light.

When on long Island sound and had to travel distances, I borrowed a 6-hp from a friend and hung it on the back. We called it the "delivery motor"

Ghost Dancing

Postby Guest » Sat Jun 15, 2002 9:00 pm

Dear John,
What you want the motor for is the key issue. I used 9.9Mariner which would have enough grunt for waves tides ect but hopless too heavy at 75lbs.
Delivery motor only. Most of the time I had in in the garage and only used the sails. Works very well.
Now I go to regattas in light winds in our winter and I need a light motor to get to the start line and back.
I using a 3.5 Thoatsu wich is ideal and very light. However for a "delivery job" I would just borrow a big motor as I would not be confident enough to punch trhough a good swell headwind a tide.
So to analyse what you need you motor most of the time will guide you in the right direction. The J/80 is a lovely light boat and can be sailed most of the time, provided you have at least light air. Of course some regatta insist that you carry a small motor.

Postby Guest » Sat Jun 15, 2002 11:00 pm

I just purchased a Johnson 4 HP 2 stroke and it weighs in at 36 pounds. I have only used it for a month but I like it so far. It can really push my boat well (fast enough to satisfy my wife).

If you want a new 2 stroke, you had better get one soon. Just about all of the manufacturers have already discontinued their lower HP 2 strokes because of environmental issues. As an example, my Johnson was discontinued after 2001. I got my hands on a new 2000 with warranty and I know that there are still new 2001's out there.

Postby Guest » Sun Jun 16, 2002 7:53 am

Interesting. I have a Yamaha 4HP,4-stroke long shaft (which I think is ideal for the J/80) and I leave it on the transom all the time unless I'm doing a serious race. When my wife and I take the boat out daysailing, we leave it on the transom all the time. It's only about 10 pound heavier than comparable 2-strokes, hard to imagine it makes that much difference.

Postby Guest » Sun Jun 16, 2002 11:57 am

I got rid of the Nissan 3.5 that came with my J-80 1999 "package" and replaced it with the Nissan 5hp 4stroke. The 3.5 was not adequate for long hauls up and down the intercoastal waterway where the wind is always on the nose and current can be a problem getting out into the Gulf of Mexico.... sure don't miss the vibration which must loosen every screw in the boat!

BUT - I did move the new motor to the starboard side of the transom to get it further outboard of the rudder so the rudder can't ever nick it and give a little more room for the tiller .... when the motor is left on the transom and tipped out of the water the tiller movement is slightly restricted. The move also puts the motor handle in the middle of the boat where it's easier to reach from either side.

Postby Guest » Sun Jun 16, 2002 4:40 pm

I just replaced a Johnson 4 hp 2 stroke, ext tank with a Nissan 5 hp 2 stroke, int tank and love it. Plenty of power and not that much heavier. Most of the extra weight comes from having reverse which is a pleasure. The Johnson had f-n and with the external tank, reverse was always a challenge. The Nissan is also quieter than the johnson was and has alot more thrust. Which might be from a different style prop. I did not check to see if they matched.

Good Luck!!
Greg Locke

Postby Guest » Sun Jun 16, 2002 11:26 pm

Got a 5 hp 2 stroke Mercury (made by Tohatsu I believe). Lot's of thrust, doesn't weigh much, internal tank or external tank, F-N-R. Weighing all the options it seems like the best bet. Weighs the same as the 4 hp by the way.

Put it on a Hall Spars outboard bracket (made for the J24). Can't hit the prop, reduces much of the vibration

Tim Wolf
USA 538

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 17, 2002 6:33 am

My 4 "Mercury" 2stroke is a special version called "sailpower" specifically suited for low non planing hulls with modified propeller for max thrust at low speed. Dont know whether also available in the US. It has plenty of thrust but unfortunately also plenty of vibrations. Maybe not mounting it directly on the transom but on a bracket is the best solution.


Massimo Polo
#478 "She Lovely"

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 24, 2002 6:08 am

Here is my take on the engine. I have had every size and color.

1) Where you sail and what type of wind and waves is the most important thing to consider. A 3.5hp (any make) in waves won't work. Flat water lake sailing is no problem.

2) Will you use the engine? If you sail out and back of your YC to the races then the choice is obvious. A 3.5 and save the $300 (from a 4-5hp).

3) If your boat weight is light (hull # 1- 200) and you plan on getting an official measurement a 4-5 hp (with a internal tank) is the way to go. .....Fill the tank up prior to weighing.

4) 4 stroke is great but heavy so lugging it around becomes a pain. But, keep and eye out for upcoming lighter weight 4 strokes....

Jay Lutz

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 24, 2002 6:39 am


I would like to hear more about the weight difference in hull #'s 1 - 200 vs. newer hull #'s. Does this relate to "Scrimp process"? Although, I thought all J-80's were built using the Scrimp process. Thank you for entertaining my change of subject.

Gene Cloutier

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 25, 2002 10:03 pm

I have hull #486 and it just weighed in 70 pounds light with the Tahatsu 3.5. Hull numbers 488 and 490 weighed in at least 20 pounds over the limit. Same production run. Go figure. John

Postby Guest » Tue Jul 09, 2002 10:52 pm

Follow-up Question on Outboards

I have a 20in shaft Mercury. A noisy, vibrating 2-stroke, but it the price was right and it gets job done. Probably will eventually upgrade to a nice 4-stroke.

Besides risk of hitting rudder--(on and off again)--This motor sits high, and every time I run into powerboat wake it bobs out of water. This causes motor to sound and act as if great torture is being done. This is a common happening in Chicago. Any advice? Motor mount? What are pros and cons of a mount. John Dischner USA #253 "Raven"

Postby Guest » Wed Jul 10, 2002 10:47 am

Prop guards! This has been covered in the forum previously, but in case you missed it.

One of the early J80 owners at our club learned this lesson the hard way. His unguarded prop hit the rudder and chewed it up. To prevent this several of the owners have purchased the black "dorsal fin" attachment and cut it down to fit our small motors. This is the black plastic V shaped thing that people attache to the lower part of the outdrive (lower unit) for efficiency helps the b oat get on plane faster. For this application thats probably not applicable but the cut down fins prevent the prop from contacting the rudder. Other methods that I have heard that work are to use a motor mount that extends the outboard past the rudder and to move the motor as far to the side as possible providing clearance.

I recommend the dorsal fin over all of these. I use a Nissan 3.5 hp and yes the vibration is annoying but the motor works great.

Hope this helps and prevents someone from having a bad rudder day.

USA 334


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