Latest News: Forums General Outboards for Wayfarers

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • #3503

    Hi All
    can anyone help and advise me, i have just bought my first wayfarer and was hoping to be able to fit an outboard to enable me to use it when needed. can anyone advise me as to what type, what power, how to fit it and to what side of the transom to fit it etc and any other advice i might need. Your help to a novice would be greatly appreciated.




    Welcome to the Forum.

    Power wise, something between 2hp and 3.5hp will be sufficient.
    The more powerful are normally heavier, so something to bear in mind whilst carrying or if fitting at sea.
    Standard or short shafted engines are normally suitable.

    New outboards are now four stroke engines as 2 stroke have been discontinued due to environmental considerations. 2 stoke may still be purchased second hand.
    The disadvantage with 4 stroke is that they can only be laid down in a certain way or oil will get into the engine and immersing totally in water is a no no.

    As to fitting, most GRP boats will have a re-enforcing piece of ply glassed into the transom with some extra exterior ply fitted to protect the dinghy from the screw clamps.
    Check the rear storage/buoyancy compartment and the re-enforcing panel should be fairly obvious if fitted.
    There is no hard and fast rule on which side to fit the engine. Most will choose the side that gives easier access to the throttle/steering arm.

    Some disadvantages to fitting on the transom is that the main sheet may get caught on the outboard if using the traveller.
    If you do not remove the rudder whilst using the outboard, then the prop and rudder may come into contact.
    This does not seem to bother the prop too much but makes a mess of the rudder.

    To overcome this, quite a few use an extension bracket for fitting the outboard and can stay there whilst sailing.
    Not great for the balance of the dinghy when sailing but it is convenient.
    Extension arms are also available for throttle control/steering or make your own from plastic waste pipe.

    Some further reading here.



    Best to fit a securing cable or rope to the outboard. Accidents happen and you don’t want the outboard left at the bottom of the sea.


    My mate uses a 2.5hp 4 stroke Yamaha and finds it pretty good. On his MkII GRP boat it lives on the transom- he hasn’t bothered to put any kind of pad in place. His boat is set up with a bridle rather than a traveller and it is very rare for the sheet to catch on the engine- but it has happened a couple of times.


    I have an old Seagull 40plus for mine, it wont break any speed records but has enough power to take three adults out on a fishing trip 😉


    I used a 2009 Tohatsu 3.5, a 4 stroke. The weight is about 43 lbs. You don’t save any weight by going down to the 2.5, they are the same engine with different carburettors. The only new engine that is much lighter seems to be the Honda 2.5.

    This link includes some pictures which show the mounting on the boat.

    The rudder clears the prop when the outboard is straight ahead. This makes for very nice cruising as I set the engine dead ahead, set the throttle, and then steer with the main tiller. Being able to use the Wayfarer’s rudder gives much better directional stability than the alternative of having to remove it. Dropping the centreboard a little or completely also helps. With board down the boat steers like a keelboat, very stable. I tried seeing if the centreboard slows the boat down, the gps showed only by 0.1 knots.

    I think we”ll start to see more restrictions on 2 strokes – we already have a couple of lakes here that don’t allow them, only 4 strokes.

    Fuel economy is a plus, 45 mins on a litre at full throttle. Half throttle still gives 5 knots and 1.5 hours per litre. Full throttle gives 5.7 knots with the bow up by 6 inches – a little planing going on!



    when talking about the size of your engine, please remember where you are taking it.

    mine is parked in plymouth right by the sutton channel, a 2.5 will not cut it if the tide is going, either way.

    i have an old seagul 5hp after watching most boats of all sizes power out to the sound, potter or race sail, then power back.

    depends where you are, tides, wind, current.


    Dave Barker

    We find that our 2.5hp 4-stroke is powerful enough and moves the boat through the water fast enough for a wide variety of conditions. (It’s a Yamaha, about 5 years old.) I expect there may come a time when both wind and tide are against us to the extent that progress is limited/impossible, but it hasn’t happened yet.

    At least for a 4-stroke engine, anything much larger would bring with it too much extra weight to be viable for most Wayfarerers, I suspect.


    Here is that old myth again.

    Assuming an engine that would push a Wayfarer over its hull speed would be too heavy to carry on the transom, you can’t push a Wayfarer over its hull speed. The tide is then a navigational issue and has nothing to do with engine power. An engine is a sailing aid, not a navigation aid. Sailing is what you do relative to wind and water, navigation is getting somewhere. So, if you can’t beat the tide once you are at hull speed its just bad luck or bad planning. You have to change your destination or wait until the tide turns. Increasing the engine power does not help.

    Hull speed is speed through the water, not speed over ground. Suppose you are sailing at 5 knots against a 5 knot tide. For someone ashore it seems as if you are at anchor, The truth is you hard at work, sailing at 5 knots but your navigation gets you nowhere.

    The other day I was sailing on engine power (2.2 Honda) along with another Wayfarer who had his 4 HP running. He was only slightly faster pushing his stern deep in to the water, creating a big wake. His engine weighs 24 kg against my Honda weighing only 11 kg. And it sits on a spot where you least want it, at the stern. 24 kg on the stern is like having an extra crew member sitting just aft of the thwart.

    Dave Barker

    Into the wind I’m sure a 4hp engine will, on average, outperform a 2.5hp (for example). It’s easy for a motor to get a Wayfarer moving through the water at or near to hull speed in light or no wind, but full power and the full concentration on the helm are required into a F5 or F6 breeze. These are the conditions in which the extra power starts to count. However, few of us are able to choose our outboard to suit the conditions on any given day, but must find something acceptable over a range of conditions. It’s a compromise between power, weight, convenience, fuel economy, reliability, acoustics, capital outlay etc. Most keen cruisers seem to use outboards around 2.2 to 2.5 hp.


    Until this year I had a restored 2hp Seagull forty plus ( probably in reality more like 1 hp ) mounted on a proper transom clamp. Worked fine, looked beautiful all polished up, cost very little, weighed even less and moved the boat along though not very swiftly and I’m sure would have struggled against even a modest tide but as I only used it on the Broads that wasnt much of an issue. It was a bit smokey as all these are and always dripped and made rainbow pools on water which I didnt think was very environmentally friendly but the biggest problem was that there was no way of preventing the rudder getting spiked by the prop and it took chunks out on several occassions; I was always a bit wary of all those whirring bits from a safety perspective and the possibility of dropping the starting cord over the side too.

    I looked at getting a Honda 4 stroke to be quieter but they are physically enormous and ther thrust per pound weight and cost were not attractive either. I also considered the electric motors but didnt like the idea of fitting a battery and solar cell etc and the thrust from them is incredibly low.

    Since we have aspirations of more coastal exploration Ive ended up buying a secondhand 4hp 2-stroke 2 cylinder Johnson seahorse (exactly the same as the evinrude equivalent.) It weighs a fraction more than the Seagull but is massively more poweful and much quieter ( although obviously not as quiet as a Honda ) will still run on one cylinder at reduced power output in an emergency and the short shaft version puts the prop far enough back that theres no possibility of dinging the rudder and the self-contained starter cord is fab. At 50:1 fuel/oil mix its not too smokey and the smooth outer casing is much less likely to tangle up the main sheet than the Seagull. Overall for just over £100 including a full service I reckon its a good little motor and suits me.



    i think the crunch for size of engine, is where you are at.

    i am parked on a tidal stretch and by a narrow inlet. the tide, sutton channel and lots of craft moving to and fro

    i need the power to push thru that lot.

    i have a video on facebook under my name Gordon Collins showing it pushing very well, not even under full throttle

    when you have to get out of the way of the odd tanker, you need the power

    when you have a brother who wants to use it for fishing !!!

    main reason i got the seagul, was cost and ease of use, impressed by the price you paid for yours !

    enjoy !


Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.