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  1. #1
    Seaman Apprentice nhblock's Avatar
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    Question What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?

    Hi all,

    I just bought an old fiberglass v-hull for playing around on the Chicago River. It's 14' with a 4 ft beam, rated for 4 pax and 475 lbs. I would like to get an outboard that is strong enough for me to venture out on Lake Michigan on calm days. What is the highest-rated outboard I could get, taking into account the weight of the outboard?

    The previous owner said he had a 20hp short-shaft at one point, but used a 2.5hp for daily use. I have a line on a 1968 Sears/McCullogh 45hp, but it's around 190 lbs and I'm thinking that might be stern-heavy. Are there any flotation concerns with a boat this size and a motor that heavy? Is 25hp enough? 45hp too much? Thanks all.

    Pics enclosed. Like I said, it's old -- last registered in IL in 1968.
    LyBj1.jpg
    LP8l4.jpg
    qmpN1.jpg
    WyiXo.jpg
    yo9WQ.jpg

  2. #2
    Seaman Apprentice nhblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?


  3. #3
    Moderator ezmobee's Avatar
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    Default Re: What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?

    The boat clearly state a max HP of 10. That's all I'd put on it. Transom looks dicey for that even.
    1976 18' Starcraft SuperSport 90HP Evinrude
    Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/boat-restoration-building-hull-repair/18-starcraft-supersport-restoration-357767.html
    1966 16' Starcraft Jupiter 85HP Johnson
    Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/starcraft-boats/ezmobees-1966-jupiter-338633.html sold

  4. #4
    Seaman Apprentice nhblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?

    Understood -- I know it has a max rating of 10hp, but if I'm shuttling 2-3 people (or just me, the dog, and gear) will that cut it? I'm not looking to go fast, or go WOT, but I at least want to be able to maneuver in traffic.

    I also made an assumption that a 10hp motor in 1962 (when the boat was manufactured) is a lot heavier than a modern 20-30hp motor, so that's why they gave it that rating, which is why I'm asking the power/weight question.

  5. #5
    Moderator ezmobee's Avatar
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    Default Re: What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?

    Actually newer motors are typically much heavier than the old ones. Especially 4 strokes. That boat looks like it needs some thorough checking in the transom to make sure it can even handle a 10. Definitely don't put more than that on there. For what it's worth, my uncle has a 9.9HP on a really stout aluminum hull and it moves out really nice. My dad and I run a lighter 14' aluminum with only a 4HP. It doesn't plane but it pushes even 3 adults and a toddler around quite well.
    1976 18' Starcraft SuperSport 90HP Evinrude
    Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=357767
    1966 16' Starcraft Jupiter 85HP Johnson
    Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=338633 sold

  6. #6
    Lieutenant Junior Grade idonthaveaname's Avatar
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    Default Re: What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?

    That's a scary looking boat considering the transom view. Weight? ezmobee is correct. On the other side of the a Merc 9.9 is the same as the Merc 15 with different carbs...5 hp more than your boat is rated. So really it comes down to the weight of the motor. Bottom line is that a 9.9 is perfect for that little boat. I had a 9.9 on a 12' glass open boat like this one and the darn thing would fly with 2 people in it.

    And...me being me...I would fill under those bench seat with foam.
    Yes I am a pirate, 200 years too late.

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  7. #7
    Seaman Apprentice nhblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?

    Thanks for all the information and the anecdotal evidence. I'll take your guys' advice and stick with a <10hp motor; it sounds like there should be plenty of power to motor around.

    I'll have the transom checked out by a professional to see if it's worth repairing (the boat itself was pretty darn cheap!). To the last point, I'm going to use 2# marine foam to fill those bench seats for sure -- one of the previous owners knocked out those "holes" for drainage, but it could definitely use some more flotation/rigidity.

  8. #8
    Moderator ezmobee's Avatar
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    Default Re: What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?

    The holes aren't a bad idea and neither is foaming it. I'd put a piece of PVC pipe in there when I foamed them to keep the drainage. If your transom is shot, we can help you tear it out and glass a new one in down in the restoration section. People have fixed up lesser boats.
    1976 18' Starcraft SuperSport 90HP Evinrude
    Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=357767
    1966 16' Starcraft Jupiter 85HP Johnson
    Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=338633 sold

  9. #9
    Admiral kfa4303's Avatar
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    Default Re: What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?

    You may also want to consider the closed-cell pink/blue construction foam available at Lowes,HD. It's waterproof, doesn't involve nasty chemicals, and may be cheaper and easier to get than 2 part foam. You can easily cut it to any shape you like and simply glue the layers together. Pool noodles are also a great source of flotation and can usually be had at your local dollar store for cheap (especially if you buy in bulk). I would also try to keep/allow for drainage too. Try as ye might, water can and will get into everything in a boat in time, so you may as well give it a way back out. Good luck. Keep us posted. We love pics.

  10. #10
    Vice Admiral 5150abf's Avatar
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    Default Re: What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?

    Looking at pic 5 you can clearly see the transom is bent and is starting to fail so before you put any engine on it you need to address that, and 10 is 10 the weight of the engine doesn't matter and has no bearing on the transom rating, a 45 on that woud be a very very short trip and a refresing swim.
    GO IRISH!!!!

  11. #11
    Seaman Apprentice nhblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?

    Thanks for the additional input -- I'm definitely going to stick with 10 or less per the boat's rating. I have yet to pick her up from the previous owner, so once I do in a couple of weeks I'll take some more pictures and do some transom assessment. Hopefully it just needs to be bent back into place, or just shoring up, rather than replacement.

    Per ezmobee's suggestion, I checked out transom repair/rebuild/restoration discussions for fiberglass boats and it's definitely something I can accomplish if necessary. Looking forward to everyone's input.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?

    if the max motor (10) isn't enough for your load, you need a bigger boat or smaller load. You can't fix weight with horsepower over the limits.
    a 14' boat is generally too small for 3 adults and a toddler (the latter ups the ante toward stupidity). And regardless of what the plate says, 4 in that boat is asking for trouble.
    Your rating is not 475 AND 4 passengers; its 475 OR 4 passengers. Your motor is part of the 475. So a 75# motor leaves room for 4 people who weigh 100# each, naked and no gear. I don't see many of them around any more.
    A man of constant boat tinkering.

  13. #13
    Moderator ezmobee's Avatar
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    Default Re: What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?

    Quote Originally Posted by Home Cookin' View Post
    a 14' boat is generally too small for 3 adults and a toddler (the latter ups the ante toward stupidity). And regardless of what the plate says, 4 in that boat is asking for trouble.
    My example wasn't to indicate that he could carry that load in his boat, just showing what we pushed around fine with a small motor. FYI we were on a dead calm 10HP limit small lake with that load.
    1976 18' Starcraft SuperSport 90HP Evinrude
    Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=357767
    1966 16' Starcraft Jupiter 85HP Johnson
    Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=338633 sold

  14. #14
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    Default Re: What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?

    you're right, ez, I jumped too fast and was thinking about the OP and his boat. I've put good sized loads in my 14' jon but it's a square bow wide body and very stable. I know you are experienced and would choose wisely. Sorry.
    A man of constant boat tinkering.

  15. #15
    Commander BonairII's Avatar
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    Default Re: What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?

    Quote Originally Posted by nhblock View Post
    Understood -- I know it has a max rating of 10hp, but if I'm shuttling 2-3 people (or just me, the dog, and gear) will that cut it? I'm not looking to go fast, or go WOT, but I at least want to be able to maneuver in traffic.

    2-3 people, the motor, fuel, gear....and you're hoping to stay UNDER the 425lb weight limit? Get yourself a bigger/better boat.
    1975 Starcraft SS-16' / 1977 Evinrude 75hp now w/ CMC power trim and tilt
    17p prop- 36 mph @ 5900 rpm ( 2 people, 12 gals fuel, 2 batteries)

    1975 Starcraft Super Sport- Resto currently "in progress"
    http://forums.iboats.com/starcraft-boats/1975-super-sport-16-boat-requesting-admission-starmada-2nd-splash-complete-547770.html

  16. #16
    Supreme Mariner Frank Acampora's Avatar
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    Default Re: What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?

    I didn't see four persons listed on the plate BUT--the rating is always so many people OR a max weight of --- including motor, persons, and gear. NOT 4 people plus (in your case) 425 pounds.

    Figure 60 pounds for the engine and 150 per person---with two people that leaves almost nothing for gear--65 pounds. And we all know that most people are well over 150 pounds so two people will be at or over the limit.

    And, that boat needs heavy-duty repairing.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?

    "this boat is built to accommodate a maximum weight of 425 lbs and an outboard motor of no more than 10 OBC certified HP under normal operating conditions"
    Not quite sure how to interpret this. "And" seems to imply 425 lbs plus a 10hp motor.
    Still a 2 person boat to me, either way.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?

    true there are some older "and" plates. Some give a total weight/HP and then another weight/passenger limit that takes into account the typical motor--much more useful for consumer use.

    Still a 2 person boat to me, too!
    A man of constant boat tinkering.

  19. #19
    Seaman Apprentice nhblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?

    Everyone's warnings on weight and capacity are duly noted. This boat is simply a starter exercise for me to get used to boat ownership. I'll be using it primarily to commute to work (I live and work on the river, so a short ride to and from the office), which will be one person (me).

    Ideally with an outboard I would load myself and the dog up with some sandwiches for "pleasure cruising" on the weekends. I'm not planning on any people- or gear-heavy excursions, and certainly won't test the weight limits on the boat considering its current condition.

  20. #20
    Seaman Apprentice nhblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?

    I have a line on a 1958 Merc Mark 10. Weighs 66 lbs. Question is, did this motor ever come in a long shaft? These are the only pictures I have and it looks like it might be a long shaft, which I don't think would work on my boat. Any insight from those with knowledge of these outboards? Thanks all.

    5I65F15J13G73I43Jbc3e282082fd07a1179d.jpg
    5If5Y15G43K33I13N1c3e466bcd6792cf18f9.jpg
    5L45V05R03G23K43H8c3ed3e12c8d163b1695.jpg
    5Nd5O65K53Gd3I73Hcc3ed5f4fa0b27fd1519.jpg

  21. #21
    Seaman Apprentice nhblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?

    Okay, I spoke with the seller and he said it would mount fine on my 15" transom.

    Anyone have any additional insight/warnings before I go and buy this thing? Meeting the seller on Sunday for a tryout.

  22. #22
    Lieutenant Junior Grade idonthaveaname's Avatar
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    Default Re: What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?

    Take PFDs.
    Yes I am a pirate, 200 years too late.

    Remember, if you are going boating -- take your boat. Don't ask me how I know this.



    Some men fish all their lives without knowing it is not the fish they are after
    Henry David Thoreau



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  23. #23
    Seaman Apprentice nhblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?

    Just bought three today; glad we're on the same page

  24. #24
    Lieutenant Junior Grade idonthaveaname's Avatar
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    Default Re: What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?

    "Okay, I spoke with the seller and he said it would mount fine on my 15" transom."

    One more thing. If someone asked me if a long shaft would work on X boat I would say yes as well. There is a caveat however; a long shaft is typically a kicker motor in that it mounts on a bracket. The short shaft, which is more commonly used, mounts to the transom which is usually built to accommodate the size. So, while a long shaft will work, it is not designed for optimum performance.

    Here is a link you might find interesting and informative.
    Yes I am a pirate, 200 years too late.

    Remember, if you are going boating -- take your boat. Don't ask me how I know this.



    Some men fish all their lives without knowing it is not the fish they are after
    Henry David Thoreau



    BUILDING A CENTER CONSOLE - LITTLE EAGLE RESTORE


    Little Eagle progress blog

  25. #25
    Seaman Apprentice nhblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: What size outboard for my 14' fiberglass V-hull?

    True, so I guess my question is: is this Merc a long or short shaft? I can't really tell from the pictures and the seller didn't have dims for the shaft on hand, so I was hoping to get an answer on that.

    Thanks for the link; that is really informative.

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