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Do single versus dual outboards rule of thumb still apply??

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View Poll Results: Single Yamaha F300 or dual Yamaha 150's?
Yamaha F300
42.06%
Dual Yamaha 150's
57.94%
Voters: 126. You may not vote on this poll

Do single versus dual outboards rule of thumb still apply??

Old 10-22-2012, 03:23 AM
  #41  
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FWIW, when I searched for my boat a few years ago I stopped by one of the towing companies to talk with them about the need for a single or twins; I advised I planned to go out as far as 40 miles but normally no further than 30. I did the same with a new boat salesman that I had become friends with and still am to this day. Both said they did not think twins were necessary for what I planned to do and where I use the boat. Now if I had said 50 miles? Maybe they would have suggested twins? I didn't ask so don't know.

The tow company, who takes calls daily, said pretty much all the newer engines were very dependable from their observations. And that most of the time they were able to talk stranded boaters through to a fix so they could come in on their own. Of the times they couldn't, a small percentage of the time a 2nd engine would have got them in. But the lions share of the time the problem was electrical, steering or fuel related which would take out all engines without additional plans in place, i.e. separate tanks, etc..

So if twins are used without separate tanks, separate steering and separate electrical I'm not so sure I understand the point. And if separate tanks are used, getting fuel from the same source would negate that element of protection. One of the 1st times I headed offshore in my boat, I saw a big CC with twins being towed in; according to VHF chatter, it was a steering problem. My suggestion is to talk with your local tow company(ies) for opinions. They're the ones taking distress calls every day, listening to the radio and learning through the faults of others what not-to-do.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:57 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by kidshelleen View Post
That's interesting, but it looks like there're added variables that confound this comparison.

The dry weight of one 30" F300 is 571 lbs. The dry weight of two 25" F150s is 982 lbs. All other things being equal, that's 411 lbs more hanging off the 2xF150 transom; however, the perf sheet lists the package weight of the 2xF150 as 7,153 lbs, _with a hardtop_, and the weight of the F300 as 6,912 _without_ a hardtop.

Given that the hardtop comes standard "w/radio box, radar flat, dome light, storage net, spreader light, rod holders (4) & outrigger plates". I'd guess this probably pushes 200lbs, so with the addition of 20-30 lbs of rigging hardware on the 2xF150 this means that the F300 package, as tested, probably was carrying about 400 lbs of extra mystery weight compared to the 2xF150 - not a fair comparison.

Prop and trim are also a bit suspect. It looks like the hull planed at lower speed with the F300 ( ~15.3 mph) than with the 2XF150 (~16.6 mph); however this was at significantly higher rpm with the F300 (~3500) than the 2xF150 (~3000). In addition, the F300 chart tops out at 6100 rpm, while the 2XF150 tops out at 6000 (the recommended top end).

The F300 was swinging 15 1/4 x 19 SWSII SDS, and the 2xF150 was swinging 13 3/4 x 17 M. I know next to nothing about prop selection, but with "optimum cruise" rpm for the F300 listed as 4300 vs. 4000 for the 2XF150 even I'd venture that the F300 is under-propped.

So get rid of 400 lbs in the F300 package, give it a proper prop, and make sure both are trimmed properly to correct for the 400 lb difference in transom weight, and I bet the F300 gets significantly better mpg and top-end speed.

Wow... I just looked at the performance sheet for the F350 package. It's carrying about 780 lbs of extra "mystery weight" compared to the 2XF150, _and_ it also looks like it's under-propped. With equal gear/people load (i.e., remove the 780 lbs of mystery weight from the F300 package) and the right prop, I bet the F350 also gets way better mpg than the 2xF150 and that it tops out at least 55 mph at 6000rpm.

Remember that there's more profit in the 2XF150 package, and these performance reports weren't done by an unbiased third party.
The comparative Grady reports are just one of many examples that cut against the myth that twin engines are less efficient.

The RPM difference is because you have 5.2L of displacement working for you with the twin F150 outboards versus 4.2L of displacement in the case of the single F300. In order to get the same volume of air/fuel passing through the engine block(s) to do the same amount of work, the single 4.2L has to spin faster. This is hardly different than putting a 3.3L F250 or a 4.2L F250 on the same boat. The 3.3L will have to spin faster in the middle RPM to get the same amount of air/fuel through the engine block to do the same work.

I don't think there is any significantly higher profit in twin F150s versus a single F350 yet the F150s provide much better efficiency in a broader range than the F350. It's about getting the power to the water and when you get to about the 25 foot boat size (depends on hull), I think that single 15to 16 inch diameter prop is getting too small to do the job well and that's why you see the I/Os going to the dual prop type drives.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:41 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Whaler27 View Post
The comparative Grady reports are just one of many examples that cut against the myth that twin engines are less efficient.
You obviously didn't read them carefully and with a critical eye (or read my post carefully). These reports are heavily skewed by not using the same load base weight (the testing weight minus the dry weight of the motors and whatever the hardtop option weighs - the F300 package didn't have a hardtop). The important thing to consider is the load the motor is pushing around (hull, gear, and crew). For the three boats this is:

2XF150: 5,951 lbs
7,153 lbs "as tested" - 2XF150s (982 lbs dry weight) - hardtop package (I'm estimating 200 lbs) - extra weight from second engine rigging (I'm estimating 20 lbs).

F300: 6,341 lbs (400 lbs more than the 2XF150)
6,912 lbs as tested - F300 (571 lbs) - no hardtop...

F350: 6,759 lbs (400 lbs more than the F300)
7,781 lbs as tested - F350 (822 lbs) - hardtop package (200 lbs)

If you don't read the reports carefully, and just look at mpg and "most efficient cruising speed", it looks like the 2XF150 is slightly more efficient than the F300, and the F300 is slightly more efficient than the F350; however, the F350 has over 800 lbs more weight in the hull than the FX150. Given that the capacity is only 2,800 lbs (persons, motor, and gear, per the capacity plate as listed in the Freedom 255 owners manual), 800 lbs seems like a lot of variance for the testing conditions, and likely skewed the results significantly. Of course, there's a fair bit of slush in what constitutes the hull weight before adding the 2800 lbs user load (generally the idea is that 2800 lbs can be added to the dry hull weight after most or all factory options are installed).

To be fair in the 2XF150 vs. F300 comparison, the 2XF150 testing weight is 240 lbs more than the F300 testing weight (though I'd rather have the extra 400 lbs of gear in place of the extra weight of the FX150s), but there're still the pesky issues of prop and trim...

Originally Posted by Whaler27 View Post
The RPM difference is because you have 5.2L of displacement working for you with the twin F150 outboards versus 4.2L of displacement in the case of the single F300. In order to get the same volume of air/fuel passing through the engine block(s) to do the same amount of work, the single 4.2L has to spin faster. This is hardly different than putting a 3.3L F250 or a 4.2L F250 on the same boat. The 3.3L will have to spin faster in the middle RPM to get the same amount of air/fuel through the engine block to do the same work.
This is mostly wrong... (where to start?...) So I actually know very little of the physics and engineering of internal combustion engines and combustive flows, but I do have just enough knowledge to appreciate the broad extent of my ignorance. I'll try to bring you up to speed...

So in a perfect world, if one burns a unit of fuel at perfect efficiency, it produces an amount of energy in heat corresponding with the property of the fuel called "heat of combustion". The engine's combustion management system uses O2 sensors and the like to optimize the mix, so if all you care about is holding the total heat of combustion constant between higher and lower displacement engines (of the same #cyls/general type and having the same combustion efficiency), then yes, the higher displacement engine will have a lower stroke rate.

The problem with your logic is that the F150 has 4 667cc cylinders, while the F300 has 6 700cc cylinders; thus, to burn the same amount of fuel at the same efficiency (and at the same compression ratio), the 2 F150s actually have to run at a higher stroke rate (aka rpms) than the F300. Of course, this neglects the issue of compression ratio (higher provides more burn at same volume), but since the F300 has a 10.3:1 compression ratio, and the F150 is ~10% lower at 9.0:1, the F300 looks even better (lower and lower rpms for the F300 using your logic).

Of course, the only result of the work that we care about is the speed of the hull through the water, but before we get there it's worth considering some of the potentials for inefficiency in converting that heat energy into mechanical force; e.g., thermal losses (cooling the engine, losses in exhaust gas), slow burn/detonation-timing inefficiency, mechanical losses in the power head, mechanical losses at the lower unit transfer, mechanical losses at the prop, mechanical losses at the hull (trim).

Now to be fair, the whole motor package (power head and lower unit) are designed to deliver the rated horsepower and torque at the prop shaft. The F150, the F300, and the F350 are all specified as reaching their rated HP at 5500rpm (different gear ratios, another ingredient in the performance mix), but in addition, all three engines are rated for a full throttle range of 5000-6000 rpm. The GW F300 and F350 test reports list full throttle as 6100 rpm, and this is a red flag for prop issues, plain and simple. They both should be using a prop with ~2 more inches of pitch (150 rpm lower, +/- 50, for each additional inch) with those weight loads. Full throttle should be in the range of 5700-6000 rpm, and definitely not over 6000. Personally, I'd want to target 5850 with a moderately full boat.

Originally Posted by Whaler27 View Post
I don't think there is any significantly higher profit in twin F150s versus a single F350 yet the F150s provide much better efficiency in a broader range than the F350. It's about getting the power to the water and when you get to about the 25 foot boat size (depends on hull), I think that single 15to 16 inch diameter prop is getting too small to do the job well and that's why you see the I/Os going to the dual prop type drives.
Higher price usually means more profit. I think MSRP on the F350 is ~$30k, and a counter-rotating pair of F150s is ~$32k, but the bigger sales price differential is in rigging, 2X for the F150s.

Dual-props do two things particularly well, they keep the thrust better directed/aligned, and they will will run partially out of the water. The latter is why Yamaha makes a dual prop 150HP motor for flats and bass boats. Efficiency is more of a mixed bag.

Here's the Yamaha rigging catalog section on prop selection: http://www.yamahaoutboards.com/Marin...Catalog/#/4-9/

Last edited by kidshelleen; 10-22-2012 at 08:47 AM. Reason: add the rigging catalog link....
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:01 AM
  #44  
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I didn't vote (or look at the results) because it doesn't matter what others think. You have to make that decision yourself. I go 25 miles all the time but will start going to the stream (45 to 70mi.) depending on inlet used. I will not go without a suitable kicker (minimum). I've got a 15hp Honda right now (that is bolted on for every trip) but have never tested it while offshore. I plan on seeing how well it pushes next time I'm out. If it will push me along at 5mph (minimum) then I will keep it. If it doesn't do well enough then I will look into a 25hp-30hp. My boat does great (performance and economy) with the single I/O but I'm just not comfortable going offshore without a backup. I don't care if it takes 10+ hrs to get in as long as I'm moving. My thought process (concerning the kicker) is that I am in the same boat (pun intended) as the guy with twins that can't plane on 1 engine. If he has 1 go down he will be coming in at hull speed. True, he has a full sized prop which I'm sure will push him in at 7mph or so. If my kicker will do the same, then good. If not, I'm sure a slightly larger one will and out there I will be.

I have SeaTow but don't like relying completely on someone else.

my .02
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by kidshelleen View Post
You obviously didn't read them carefully and with a critical eye (or read my post carefully). These reports are heavily skewed by not using the same load base weight (the testing weight minus the dry weight of the motors and whatever the hardtop option weighs - the F300 package didn't have a hardtop). The important thing to consider is the load the motor is pushing around (hull, gear, and crew). For the three boats this is:

2XF150: 5,951 lbs
7,153 lbs "as tested" - 2XF150s (982 lbs dry weight) - hardtop package (I'm estimating 200 lbs) - extra weight from second engine rigging (I'm estimating 20 lbs).

F300: 6,341 lbs (400 lbs more than the 2XF150)
6,912 lbs as tested - F300 (571 lbs) - no hardtop...

F350: 6,759 lbs (400 lbs more than the F300)
7,781 lbs as tested - F350 (822 lbs) - hardtop package (200 lbs)

If you don't read the reports carefully, and just look at mpg and "most efficient cruising speed", it looks like the 2XF150 is slightly more efficient than the F300, and the F300 is slightly more efficient than the F350; however, the F350 has over 800 lbs more weight in the hull than the FX150. Given that the capacity is only 2,800 lbs (persons, motor, and gear, per the capacity plate as listed in the Freedom 255 owners manual), 800 lbs seems like a lot of variance for the testing conditions, and likely skewed the results significantly. Of course, there's a fair bit of slush in what constitutes the hull weight before adding the 2800 lbs user load (generally the idea is that 2800 lbs can be added to the dry hull weight after most or all factory options are installed).

To be fair in the 2XF150 vs. F300 comparison, the 2XF150 testing weight is 240 lbs more than the F300 testing weight (though I'd rather have the extra 400 lbs of gear in place of the extra weight of the FX150s), but there're still the pesky issues of prop and trim...



This is mostly wrong... (where to start?...) So I actually know very little of the physics and engineering of internal combustion engines and combustive flows, but I do have just enough knowledge to appreciate the broad extent of my ignorance. I'll try to bring you up to speed...

So in a perfect world, if one burns a unit of fuel at perfect efficiency, it produces an amount of energy in heat corresponding with the property of the fuel called "heat of combustion". The engine's combustion management system uses O2 sensors and the like to optimize the mix, so if all you care about is holding the total heat of combustion constant between higher and lower displacement engines (of the same #cyls/general type and having the same combustion efficiency), then yes, the higher displacement engine will have a lower stroke rate.

The problem with your logic is that the F150 has 4 667cc cylinders, while the F300 has 6 700cc cylinders; thus, to burn the same amount of fuel at the same efficiency (and at the same compression ratio), the 2 F150s actually have to run at a higher stroke rate (aka rpms) than the F300. Of course, this neglects the issue of compression ratio (higher provides more burn at same volume), but since the F300 has a 10.3:1 compression ratio, and the F150 is ~10% lower at 9.0:1, the F300 looks even better (lower and lower rpms for the F300 using your logic).

Of course, the only result of the work that we care about is the speed of the hull through the water, but before we get there it's worth considering some of the potentials for inefficiency in converting that heat energy into mechanical force; e.g., thermal losses (cooling the engine, losses in exhaust gas), slow burn/detonation-timing inefficiency, mechanical losses in the power head, mechanical losses at the lower unit transfer, mechanical losses at the prop, mechanical losses at the hull (trim).

Now to be fair, the whole motor package (power head and lower unit) are designed to deliver the rated horsepower and torque at the prop shaft. The F150, the F300, and the F350 are all specified as reaching their rated HP at 5500rpm (different gear ratios, another ingredient in the performance mix), but in addition, all three engines are rated for a full throttle range of 5000-6000 rpm. The GW F300 and F350 test reports list full throttle as 6100 rpm, and this is a red flag for prop issues, plain and simple. They both should be using a prop with ~2 more inches of pitch (150 rpm lower, +/- 50, for each additional inch) with those weight loads. Full throttle should be in the range of 5700-6000 rpm, and definitely not over 6000. Personally, I'd want to target 5850 with a moderately full boat.



Higher price usually means more profit. I think MSRP on the F350 is ~$30k, and a counter-rotating pair of F150s is ~$32k, but the bigger sales price differential is in rigging, 2X for the F150s.

Dual-props do two things particularly well, they keep the thrust better directed/aligned, and they will will run partially out of the water. The latter is why Yamaha makes a dual prop 150HP motor for flats and bass boats. Efficiency is more of a mixed bag.

Here's the Yamaha rigging catalog section on prop selection: http://www.yamahaoutboards.com/Marin...Catalog/#/4-9/
I think you are getting too far down into the weeds. I wasn't looking at the peak efficiency numbers, but rather the broader range of efficient cruise speeds that the 2 x F150 boat produces particularly with heavier weight. The 2 x F150 boat gets better than 2 MPG from 16 MPH all the way to 38 MPH. The F350, not so.

Under your propeller theory, all of the motors are really under pitched.

I can show you test reports from other makers that show the same thing, twins getting the same efficiency as a single of the same HP. The gap that used to exist with old 2-stroke outboards is gone.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:04 AM
  #46  
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Does anyone with dual outboards carry a different sized prop to reduce lugging the surviving outboard?
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:07 AM
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Had twin F200's on my old 26' Mako, 2mpg on average at 30mph cruise. Have a single F300 on my new Pioneer 222SF, 3.85mpg at 3200rpms and 30mph.

Sea Tow, epirb and other safety systems make for an easy decision for a weekend warrior like me. Throw in a 60mph capability and I'm sold or a comfortable 4200rpm and 40mph cruise when conditions allow while still getting 3.2mpg or so and its gravy.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:11 AM
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Charles Lindberg had a single engine on his airplanes. He reckoned there was twice the chance of something going wrong with one of two engines, and he'd be equally screwed if one of them went down vs. both of them.

The numbers you see for dual 150s is optimally propped as dual engines, as far as I can tell, not propped to be usable with one single engine if something happened to go wrong, so... without going for a dip, you might *still* be screwed if you lost one of your two engines.

Give me the single 300, unless I was terrible concerned about the better maneuvering around the dock and had a system that made it possible to and knew how to use it to best advantage (I don't).
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by saltydog235 View Post
Had twin F200's on my old 26' Mako, 2mpg on average at 30mph cruise. Have a single F300 on my new Pioneer 222SF, 3.85mpg at 3200rpms and 30mph.

Sea Tow, epirb and other safety systems make for an easy decision for a weekend warrior like me. Throw in a 60mph capability and I'm sold or a comfortable 4200rpm and 40mph cruise when conditions allow while still getting 3.2mpg or so and its gravy.
So you are comparing a 26' boat with twins to a 22' boat with single
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by adamg41 View Post
What's your take?
Adam,

Given your boating range, a single with a kicker would meet your redundancy needs. People have crossed the Atlantic and traveled all over the Caribbean with this setup.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Whaler27 View Post
I think you are getting too far down into the weeds. I wasn't looking at the peak efficiency numbers, but rather the broader range of efficient cruise speeds that the 2 x F150 boat produces particularly with heavier weight. The 2 x F150 boat gets better than 2 MPG from 16 MPH all the way to 38 MPH. The F350, not so.
I'm not too far down in the weeds, but at least I can see them.

The test weight of the F350 boat was 630 lbs more than the 2XF150 boat. It's going to get up on plane later, _and_ it'll take more gas to move it. There's a huge jump in speed (18.1 to 29.2 mph) between 3500 and 4000 rpm. Somewhere in there it got (popped) up on plane. The 2XF150 was probably up on plane around 16mph and did it slower (prop and trim again, as well as weight distribution). A 500 rpm interval is just too coarse of a sample to be sure about where the transitions occur.

Originally Posted by Whaler27 View Post
Under your propeller theory, all of the motors are really under pitched.
Not my theory - the Yamaha frigging manual and the engine specs and owners manuals say that the F300 and F350 in those tests was under-pitched. The 2XF150 is at the lower limit for pitch (upper limit for full throttle rpm). What I said was that I'd personally tune for 5850. That's just my preference, and I'd recommend it. It'll let the rpms stay under 6000 with a lighter payload.

So tell us, why is Yamaha wrong about prop selection, but you're right?

I did add a link in the earlier post that'll take you to the page in the Yamaha prop selection guide where it describes all this. I guess you didn't read it.

Originally Posted by Whaler27 View Post
I can show you test reports from other makers that show the same thing, twins getting the same efficiency as a single of the same HP. The gap that used to exist with old 2-stroke outboards is gone.
I've spent way to much time explaining to the forum why these particular test reports, and manufacturers test reports in general, should be taken with a grain of salt when making comparisons between them. I don't need to go through the exercise again with another set.

A good rule of thumb is that you should expect that the performance will be no worse than given in the test reports, for the same conditions, and so long as you're running the boat optimally (and that's a mighty big caveat).

Last edited by kidshelleen; 10-22-2012 at 11:56 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:48 PM
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You guys are making me jealous of the speeds that you can attain over the long distances travelled offshore. Most of our light boats are restricted to relatively inshore waters under normal conditions, which are : 7ft seas on a 7ft swell with 15 knot winds.( average only)
Our wide grounds - 20 miles to the shelf - and beyond, often has a ( Gulf Stream like) current running which lifts the seas higher and can be nasty with wind against current.
All our wide ranging boats are heavy (solid glass hulls) - they have to be heavy ,to get a comfortable ride
The point I am trying to make is that the engine specs alone may not be enough to decide between one motor or two with differing weather conditions, or the total weight of the boat, both of which may restrict speed options.
Still it's all we have, I guess, and hopefully the boat shop will give you a good trade in price if its the wrong choice

Last edited by Capt Clive; 10-22-2012 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:23 AM
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Originally Posted by firetigertim View Post
Does anyone with dual outboards carry a different sized prop to reduce lugging the surviving outboard?

Seems like a good idea. If you are running 19" props under normal conditions I suspect most boats will not get on plane when 1/2 the power is removed. However, if you had 2 spares (one counter) in 11" or 13" pitch I bet you could get in at maybe 18-20mph without lugging.
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by baypro21 View Post
Seems like a good idea. If you are running 19" props under normal conditions I suspect most boats will not get on plane when 1/2 the power is removed. However, if you had 2 spares (one counter) in 11" or 13" pitch I bet you could get in at maybe 18-20mph without lugging.
I would just limp in at steerage speed, probably just as fast as a tow
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:23 AM
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My vote would be for twin's. BUT
Just be safe, know how to do basic troubleshooting on your motor, have EPIRB if needed, make sure VHF, or cell works where your going etc....
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:41 AM
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Based on my experience going from a GW Marlin with twins to my GW 255 Freedom with the single F300, I was pleasantly surprised how well the single handled. The big 300 with its torque backs very well, of course, best when backing to port. I actually have an easier time getting into my slip than I did with the Marlin due to its lower profile to wind and current.

I think for most 24-25 foot boats, twins have to be mounted so close together, they don't offer as much maneuverability as they might on wider width boats like the Marlin. Again, of course, docking skill is mostly influenced by the captain's ability and experience regardless of the type boat.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by richinct View Post
So you are comparing a 26' boat with twins to a 22' boat with single

No, I'm comparing a twin engine boat that got bad mileage and a relatively inefficient hull but was an absolute tank to a single engine boat with gobs of power, decent mileage and one engine to worry about, that rides like a 26 and hauls ass. As far as the twins versus single argument, I use to be in the not doing it with only one on the back. Then again, I started out with a pair of Merc/Mariners on the Mako so chances were good we'd be coming in on one engine whenever we left the dock. After running the Yamaha four strokes for some time now and never having an issue, I feel a lot more confident in my equipment. Sure breakdown can happen but there is a lot more reliability than where I started from. Also, since I live a mile from the ocean, its no big deal to call it off because of conditions, I have a SPOT, EPIRB, Sea Tow, Sirius Weather, VHF's and a bunch of buddies out there when I'm fishing.
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:45 AM
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While I haven't had the opportunity yet to do so, I want to go offshore fishing. I'm adverse to doing so without a spare motor, i.e., one to get out with, one to get back with. I guess it all comes down to how much risk one is willing to accept.
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:43 PM
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Fuel burn can be relatively close on big single and two smaller twins.using two motors gives you reliability if one should shut down,especially if the engines feed from separate tanks. One of the best combos was the twin 150s in the 25 Grady .
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