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Old 08-01-2008, 12:04 PM
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Default Should I buy twins or single outboard?

I'm considering buying a 25' GW or Pursuit and really don't know much about twin outboards other than they look cool. The boats come equipped with either a 250 single or a 150 twin. I know the fuel burn differences and the safety/redundancy differences. What I want to find out about are handling characteristics, hole shot, reliability, or any other pluses or minuses on the twin vs. single debate.

I forgot to mention, this will be a Great Lakes boat.
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:24 PM
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Default Re: Should I buy twins or single outboard?

I went through the same decision making process on buying my boat. Twin Suzuki DF150's or a single DF300. Twins offer some rudundancy, but will require twice the routine service expense, twice the drag, probably more gas and weight. In my case, with the single DF300, I burn about 40% less fuel, saved about 300+ pounds in weight, less maintenance and less drag. After 160 hours, I would do it all over again!
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:36 PM
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Default Re: Should I buy twins or single outboard?

I recently bought a boat with older twins, and have had far more issues with them than the single engine boat I sold. That said, it is easier to maneuver around the dock with twins. I Think, and I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong, that you would get a better hole shot with twins. If I had it to do over, I'd probably go with a single, due to maintenence, fuel economy, and weight.
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:39 PM
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Default RE: Should I buy twins or single outboard?

My experience would say go with a single engine. However, I would suggest a 300hp rather than a 250. I have a Yam 250 on a 22' McKee Craft and it is perfect for this size but I suspect your 25' would need more horses!! Good Luck!!
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: Should I buy twins or single outboard?

Depends on how far out you are planning to go....how fast weather comes up....whether or not you have Sea Tow...and a few other things.

Twin engines allow you to keep going if one has an issue. The ability to manuever twins using just the binnacle is amazing.

Obviously it's a personal choice...but I passed over a LOT of boats that were good deals because I refuse to go out far with only one engine. My peace of mind, and the safety of my passengers is well worth the cost in fuel.
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: Should I buy twins or single outboard?

I wouldn't dream of having twins on a boat that I could do a single on.... That maneuverability with twin outbards is BS as far as I am concerned. Unless it is a catamaran, 99.9% of the time outboard engines are too close together to help. All the new motors are reliable enough to depend on just one offshore.
That's my opinion, and I have had both.
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:56 PM
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Default RE: Should I buy twins or single outboard?

Get twin Yammie 150 four strokes, if you can afford 'em initially and to maintain.

I went from a single Yammie 225hp on a 22' Boston Whaler to twin Yammie 150 four strokes on a Regulator 24'. The twins are sweet, quiet, powerful, and fuel efficient. Yes, you do have more maneuverability around docks with twins.
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:58 PM
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Default Re: Should I buy twins or single outboard?

If your stuck with yammies however you may want to consider twins, the yammy 300 is way too heavy, twin 150's may weigh about the same.
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:59 PM
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Default Re: Should I buy twins or single outboard?

It depends on how you plan to use the boat. Long offshore trips well out of reach of fast, economical assistance - absolutely go twins.

If you plan on spending your time near shore then save the money both initially and in the long haul and go with a single. As far as the handling goes, outboards are outboards. You basically handle most of them (in close quarters) like a single screw boat anyhow. Some twin installations will spin around, back down hard, or walk sideways when you want them to, like a true twin screw inboard, but some just cavitate when you try more demanding maneuvers.

When running a single, you don't have any sychronization or trim matching issues to futz with and you will have a solo instead of a duet singing from the transom. Also, one less battery, one less fuel filter, one less prop and skeg to booger up if you are into skinny water, a whole lot less weight hanging off of the transom, etc.

However, with the caliber of boats you are considering, you may want to consider it from a resale value perspective. Those are canyon capable boats, you may hurt your resale by not hanging twins on the one you purchase. Best of luck with your new boat!
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Old 08-01-2008, 01:09 PM
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Default Re: Should I buy twins or single outboard?

The maneuverability with twin outbards makes all the difference in the world. With my 26'/200's, I can do 360's in the marina without touching the wheel if i wanted to. Also depends on how far out you want to go. Yes it is twice the cost to service and like elwopo put it my peace of mind, and the safety of my passengers is well worth the cost in fuel. Also the boats you are looking at are pretty heavy, and IMO it's better to have a liitle to much power than not enough.
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Old 08-01-2008, 01:30 PM
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Default RE: Should I buy twins or single outboard?

Big four stroke single and a paid up Sea Tow card. Simplicity over a mostly false sense of security. Today's outboards are incredibly reliable, imo.
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Old 08-01-2008, 01:50 PM
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Default Re: Should I buy twins or single outboard?

I have a Pursuit that had older twins and this season I singled up.....It was the best choice I made other than buying the boat...I love it! the ride is great, its just at the right crusing speed for the hull I have (ie stable ride that goes through the waves, not on top of the chop and bounces around) and maneuverablity is not a problem.....If you know how to drive, (ie backing and filling) its great. Get a trick wheel and hydraulic steering and you can move on a dime. Like someone mentioned before, twin outboard most of the time, dont have that much advantage for several reasons. 1. all the wieght of the boat is aft and causes the bow to fall off in any sort of wind, reguardless of sail area. 2. unless the engines are mounted very, very far apart, they wont give you the leverage you need to spin and maneuver that greatly, like what you find in an inboard boat.
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Old 08-01-2008, 02:25 PM
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Default Re: Should I buy twins or single outboard?

Quote:
petrel - 8/1/2008 12:59 PM

It depends on how you plan to use the boat. Long offshore trips well out of reach of fast, economical assistance - absolutely go twins.

If you plan on spending your time near shore then save the money both initially and in the long haul and go with a single.
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Old 08-01-2008, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: Should I buy twins or single outboard?

Unless I missed reading it, one more thing to consider:
Twins could mean twin fuel tanks - not necessarily more capacity but if one gets bad gas/water in it you've at least got one working engine. Looks like both of those boats (GW & Pursuit) have single 150 gal tanks.

I'm big fan of "the more the better" and also believe that it's best to hang as much HP on the transom as the rating allows. I'd rather suffer a $5-$10/hour premium then to not have it and needed it. No matter how well maintained/over maintained your engines are you can never PM you way out of a manufacturers defect like a bad rod or piston casting which will leave you completely stranded with a perfect maintenance record.

But like has been mentioned here before you can always invest in a satellite phone and the $15/yr for a $1k towing policy on your insurance. Bring enough beer for the wait

Again JMO.
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Old 08-01-2008, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: Should I buy twins or single outboard?

Do listen to these clowns.... Get the twins you will never regret it..
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Old 08-01-2008, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Should I buy twins or single outboard?

I'm a complete sissy - I hate risk. I say go with the twins if you plan on going offshore at all. SeaTow or the like is great - but if they can't get to you before a storm rolls in, you could be in for a ... ahem ... "interesting experience". At least with twins you can get closer to shore (and help) if you have an engine failure.
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Old 08-01-2008, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: Should I buy twins or single outboard?

You guys need to read the OP. He said it will be used on the Great Lakes where you will never be more than 30 miles from shore in atleast one direction.

How do you plan on using the boat on the Great Lakes. If for fishing, then I would go with the single because you will need a smaller trolling motor. I have a Yamaha 250 hpdi with a Yamaha t8 on a 24' Cobia CC for trolling on Lake Erie. The boat will run just under 50 mph on the big motor and the little T8 will sip gas while trolling. In case of emergency the T8 will push the boat at slightly over 5 mph according to the gps. Granted that's not very fast but it will get you to shore. I hate to think how much fuel a 150 would drink while trolling all day.
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Old 08-01-2008, 04:26 PM
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Default RE: Should I buy twins or single outboard?

When considering twins for reliability, consider what extra help you are actually buying for the weight, drag, and cost.

Bad or no fuel, twins don't help unless you also have dual fuel tanks.

Electrical failure, twins don't help.

If a single from the twins won't plane the boat you will have a long ride and huge fuel consumption, so much that if you are really far offshore you will not make it back. If one twin will plane the boat, you are not well tuned for running most of the time.

For me I use part of the money I saved buying a single to keep my maintenance current or better, and buy tow insurance. Boats are all compromise, decide what you need, nothing is perfect.
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Old 08-01-2008, 04:33 PM
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Default Re: Should I buy twins or single outboard?

Get the twins.I use them in close quarters for maneuverability. (Yes, it is better!)

Besides, the CHICKS DIG'EM
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Old 08-01-2008, 04:48 PM
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Default Re: Should I buy twins or single outboard?

I didn't read the "Great Lakes" part. To me it really doesn't matter if I'm on the Lake Superior or lake po-dunk. When I need to get to shore I don't care how much it costs me or if I have to row the last 100 ft - especially if I have my family on board. Again, we have become too complacent in modern manufacturing that we honestly believe that if we follow the maintenance manual, even perform the maintenance at lower intervals, we are practically immune from problems. Anything can go wrong. There are hundreds of tiny moving parts that if any one of them has a manufacturing defect it will cripple the engine all the way down to a belt, a valve spring, impeller, etc. Tiny parts made by the lowest bidder. This has happened to me (on and off the water). I remember every boat having a pretty well stocked tool box and several spare parts on board - now we carry insurance and satellite phones.

Storms are no joke on the Grate Lakes - I'll try to post some pics if I can figure it out.

This is just my opinion but one I feel worth a 2nd run.

These photographs were taken in November 2006
aboard Misener Steamships MV Selkirk Settler
as she crossed Lake Superior in typical November weather
The first picture is in calm water..






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