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Outboard Motors - Honda Size?
The 1980's 8hp 4 stroke Honda has died and I've narrowed the options down to either a Honda 8hp or Honda 5hp. Honda only make 4 strokes.

I'm fairly sure the Honda 5 hp will fit into my RL24 Mk 2 modified engine well but I'm unsure whether the Honda 8hp will fit. Whilst the old Honda did fit and could be tilted, the current Honda 8hp has a different shape. I will have to check the measurements. Perhaps someone can confirm that the current Honda 8hp will fit.

I am uncertain whether the Honda 8hp or 5hp best suits my needs. The obvious benefit of the 5hp is that it is about $1000 cheaper than the 8hp and is much lighter being a single cylinder. In the final analysis my decision will be based on performance. There seem to be two schools of thought: 'bigger is better and reserve power is reassuring in rough conditions' versus 'the small option handles the same conditions easily and achieves hull speed without being run flat out.'

Advice on the merits of a Honda 8hp versus Honda 5hp in a RL24 would be appreciated. I would also like advice from RL24 sailors who use other brands of 5hp outboard in the well.

AWOL RL24 No 64

Terry12-Aug-2006    Edit    Delete 
Re: Outboard Motors - Honda Size?
Hi again Terry, Just a note that the Honda 8 has a 9 inch propellor which may not fit through the existing cutout on the RL and will mean the leg is at least 2 inches longer than the 5hp.

The elctric start on the 8 hp would be an advantage worth considering.


Greg12-Aug-2006    Edit    Delete 
Re: Outboard Motors - Honda Size?
Thanks for the info Greg.

I measured the engine well slot at the point where the prop actually lifts through; it is 8 1/2". The Honda 8hp prop is 9 1/4" whilst the Honda 5hp is 7 7/8". so the 8hp prop will not fit unless I make significant modifications such as widening the space between the port & starboard well walls ie repositioning them. Having just had a flat fuel tank floor installed in the port side well compartment I would have to modify that as well. Too much trouble and more expense.

So it looks like it is the 5hp after all. There are a number of advantages with that. It is an easy fit. It is $1000 cheaper. It weighs 27 kg (which I can easily lift) against 42kg. It is within the dinghy's outboard range -I currently use a Mariner 2hp which is underpowered.

I read in a 1994 Cruising Helmsman where Alan Lucas gave a rule of thumb measurement for diesel power requirements for displacement yachts - 4 to 5hp per ton. Assuming this applies to my situation and given that AWOL laden weighs in at under a ton then 5hp should be sufficient.

I think at this point I should stop fighting the problem and buy the 5hp. Already, having checked 5 Honda dealers I have prices ranging from $1875 to $1725. I have yet to start negotiation and still have the Brisbane Boat Show to attend at the end of the month.

Incidentally, Honda do not make or fit a high thrust prop. One dealer recommended I approach Solas Props. Their web site indicates that a small prop would have to be especially made and that it would be cost prohibitive.

Before I fully commit myself I'll check the tilt length and transom height measurements. However, as I have a tilting engine mount I have more room to tilt without using the motor's tilt mechanism.

Thanks very much for your advice Greg. You have made my journey so much easier.

Best wishes
Terry12-Aug-2006    Edit    Delete 
Re: Outboard Motors - Honda Size?
I have a Honda 5 HP 4 stroke working in an outboard well on my heavy 26 foot IF folkboat. I find it powerful enough to drive the boat at 5 knots (max) and she also works well when manoeuvring alongside or coming into the pen.

I am really impressed with the way my Honda engine cops a really soaking in the well when racing in heavy weather and yet it has never let me down with a fail to start. I was surprised mind you that the Honda 5HP does not give us the option of the different props with a different blade pitch for heavy or light boats. I do notice the 8hp gives you that choice!

It is the environmental organisations that are shutting down the use of two stroke engines in new motor bikes, lawnmowers and outboards. The exhaust emissions from the two stroke engine are apparently over the score as far as they are concerned.

Alastair Russell14-Aug-2006    Edit    Delete 
Re: Outboard Motors - Honda Size?
Thanks very much for the informative response Alastair. Your recommendation makes my decision easy. You find the Honda 5hp suitable in your Folkboat therefore it should be very suitable in the much lighter RL24.

If I was to stay with Honda then there was little option. I doubted whether the Honda 8hp would fit into the engine well and in any case the 8hp cowling would project about 7cm higher than the tiller thus requiring a major tiller modification.

I was sure that the current Honda 8hp is bigger than my old 1980's Honda 8hp which just fits into the well. Today I visited a dealer and discovered that the 8hp is much bigger in size. In fact the Honda 8hp is simply a detuned Honda 10hp. Displacement, bore & stroke, dimensions and weight are identical.

So I will be buying the Honda 5hp. Thanks again for helping me reach this decision.
Best wishes

Terry15-Aug-2006    Edit    Delete 
Re: Outboard Motors - Honda Size?

Are you sure your RL 24 is a mark 2? Your sail number No 64 makes me think that it might be a mark 1.
Alastair15-Aug-2006    Edit    Delete 
Re: Outboard Motors - Honda Size?
Hi Alastair,

I'm glad you asked that question as I've never been 100% sure. Two factors lead me to think it is a Mark 2. First, I looked at an old RL24 which the owner said was a Mark 1. It's internal layout differed radically to mine, included a lift up wooden floor whereas mine is a sealed fibreglass floor. I forget the other differences. Second, Keith Merkley wrote 30 Oct 2000 'The sail number is directly related to the age of the boat (RL28) as they were all built at the Gold Coast factory. This does not apply to RL24s which were built in several places, each with their own sail numbers.'

Elsewhere on this site the Mark 1 was described as having no mast post in the cabin, no self draining cockpit. As mine has mast post and self drainer I concluded that it was not a Mark 1 and, as its cabin layout differed to the Mark 3 it could only be a Mark 2. In the absence of drawings or specs it seemed the only conclusion to be reached.

There are other peculiarities. My RL24 has a moulded sink on the port side and a two burner Maxie stove in a moulded wood trim galley on the starboard side. Additionally an esky is located in the cockpit on the port side. I've found no mention of any of these features anywhere on the site.

So I think that AWOL is a Mark 2. (Mind you I've never seen one and don't know what they look like). However the sail number factor remains a bit of a mystery despite Keith's advice that it is no indicator of RL24 age as they were built in several places. Why a mystery? Because all of the previous owners have lived in SE Qld hence the probability that it was built at the Gold Coast factory with the sail number being an age indicator.

Can you or anyone else clarify the question Mark 1 or Mark 2?

Best wishes

Terry17-Aug-2006    Edit    Delete 
Re: Outboard Motors - Honda Size?
about Mk 1 or 2.
I have just bought an RL24 that sounds like the fitout is the same as your. I havent picked it up yet...will investigate and post when I know the sail no.
Alicia19-Jan-2007    Edit    Delete 

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