Single Or Duals?????

Motor discussion
User avatar
Donator '11 '12 '13 '14 '15
Posts: 648
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:57 am
Location: New Hampshire

Single Or Duals?????


Post by Sabs28 »

If you were to buy a new boat or re-power your current boat would you go with a big single outboard or small twins of equal power. And why would you choose to go this way, Pro's & Cons. I am looking at 26 footers & 300HP.

Here is what I hear so far about the subject.

1. A big single outboard will:

Give you better fuel efficiency

Have a higher top end speed

Costs less $$ to purchase than duals

Less maintenance costs

2. Dual outboards will

Cost more $$ to purchase

Give you more power out of "The Hole"

Has less top end speed than a single

If 1 blows up, you still have the other, A 10hp kicker will not do much good in a river with a 20mph tide. Sea-tow is not always prompt on getting there.

They "Look Cool"

2 motors weigh more & give a better ride

Uses more fuel

Double the maintenance costs

Lets here it boys. :popcorn:

Posts: 551
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:53 pm
Location: MA

Re: Single Or Duals?????


Post by MacCTD »

In my opinion, single, I have had twins on my Northcoast, twice the headache, twice the cost. If you can get away with a single that is the way to go. Get Seatow and don't worry, plus the majority of engine issues are fuel related so unless you have separate tanks on twins you chances of duel failure are no better than a single.
'05 Pacific 1925
Mercury 150

Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:08 pm

Re: Single Or Duals?????


Post by steve-r »

My vote is for the 300 single instead of twin 150's.
I just sea trialed a Kingfisher 2825 w. twin 150's.
The extra transom weight was a bigger factor than I expected..... the aft sat lower in the water and this caused 2 issues
a) the scuppers were at water level, so 2 guys standing on one side allowed a bit of water to re-enter until the ball valve stopped the flow ; and b) backtrolling into a following sea buried the engine bracket more than it should have .... the engine bracket should have been at least 3 inches more above the water than it was , and that would have made a huge difference.

Also, hull speed is hull speed..... I shut down one of the 150's, tilted it up, and tried to get up on plane on one barely got up and then fell off again, no matter what i did to the trim tabs, it wouldn't stay on plane.... so one engine isnt' going to help you buck a 20mph current either. ....granted it will give you more than a 9.9 kicker. You could run a 25hp high thrust kicker instead if you needed more than the 9.9, at a lot less cost than a 2nd 150.

The point on reliability and fuel caused failure is valid, and since most of the 24-30 foot alloys come with only 1 fuel tank...all you'll do is have 2 engines to repair instead of one, even with separate fuel filters.....there's only one common source.
It will cost a lot of $$ if you want complete redundancy and risk mitigation.

Since these newer motors all have 100 hour recommended service intervals, then you have 2 x the oil filters, fuel filters, engine oil, lower unit oil, and labour ( or your time ) to buy each time. You need 2 spare props instead of one.... the list goes on.....your maintenance/operating costs almost double.

I spent some time talking to the Yamaha District mgr for Western Canada at the Vancouver Boat Show, and he was making all the arguments you noted above for the single. He argued that the new 300 V6 offshores are proving very reliable, so much so that he couldn't see the justification for twin 150's for a recreational boat. ...( lol as soon as I say that there will no doubt be others with different experiences!!) Sorry, this isn't intended to be a Yammi commercial...but he also noted that the Digital Electronic Shift Controls are far superior to the cable mechanical shifting, and it is only available on the bigger motors so far....I think this is true for most of the manufacturers w if that is important to you then you'll want the big single.

My .02 :-)
Steve Ronson
18' Kellahan CC

User avatar
Contributor/donator/Location Nazi
Posts: 6074
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 9:11 pm
Location: Tree-hugger, USA...they call it FLA.

Re: Single Or Duals?????



If you're going further out than your local SEATOW is willing to come get yer azz, get twoand make them really big!
Not 150's to make 300 with two, but rather 225's x 2 :!: :!:

(Boat should plane and move out nicely with just one, if the other craps. THINK WORST CASE SENERIO. You're not in Appletons Pond, but rather Lake Atlantic!! And you're North Atlantic.

If not, get one. Less headaches, costs and maintenance issues. If you're concerned with economy keep your hand out the throttle or get a lil' kicker for trolling and puttin' around.

Fuel is NOT gonna get any cheaper. Parts, Mechanics, Trailers, Trucks, nothing 5 years from now will be the same. Keep that in mind.

But if you're asking me, go small and economy. Like a dawg, a little one can have a Napolean complex and be mean as all get out.

BUT, eats less and poops smaller :idea: :idea:

It's all about how tough you are. And if you can catch BIG fish, close in. (which is my kinda thing, as you can see)

Remember Elephants eat peanuts too. Travel light, but carry a BIG STIK. Thats my motto :!:

Posts: 43
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 3:25 pm

Re: Single Or Duals?????


Post by paddler »

Big single, without doubt. I've been looking at a new boat, and want everything FBW, with trolling speed control, etc. I would go with the Suzuki 300, which weighs 600#. Twin 150s would be 475# each, so almost 400# more, cost ~50% more, double the rigging, etc.

I have been running singles on my last two boats, the first a Mercury 50HP tiller on a 16'5" boat, which I never went more than 20 miles out in, and my current boat, a 20' Hewes w/ a Mercury 115HP EFI. Never a problem in 13 years off the coast of Washington. I have been a proponent of the single engine, no kicker approach for the 13 years I've been fishing the salt, and have been criticized as being less than safety conscious. It may be that the pendulum is starting to swing.

Doator '08, '09, '10, '11, '12, '13, '14, '15, '16, '17
Posts: 177
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:12 pm

Re: Single Or Duals?????


Post by 3f8 »

I run a single but what about maneuverability . Will duels give better docking when the wind is blowing on the cabin. Some one made the comment, yea it's like a beer can in the wind. Sometimes I think so to.
Last edited by 3f8 on Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline.
Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top."
Hunter S. Thompson

Posts: 204
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:24 pm

Re: Single Or Duals?????


Post by Fisherman »

If you're never venturing very far, go with the single. I am planning to set up my boat with twin etecs, separate fuel systems and separate electrical systems. Yes, many will argue it is overkill, but I also want the peace of mind to go out farther than most and feel comfortable doing so. Yes, it will cost me more cash, but this isn't a cheap sport to be in any way you look at it.

I've adopted the motto "if you're going to do it, do it right. And do it right the first time."

Of course, what is right for one person may be different than the next. I agree with Jetty, how you plan to use your boat will determine the setup.

Posts: 119
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 3:06 pm
Location: Anchorage,Ak

Re: Single Or Duals?????


Post by akcat »

"The extra transom weight was a bigger factor than I expected..... the aft sat lower in the water and this caused 2 issues
a) the scuppers were at water level, so 2 guys standing on one side allowed a bit of water to re-enter until the ball valve stopped the flow ; and b) backtrolling into a following sea buried the engine bracket more than it should have .... the engine bracket should have been at least 3 inches more above the water than it was , and that would have made a huge difference."

that hull just sounds like a bad design. There were two of the larger king fishers ( 33' I think) up here in ak that I know about that had a bunch of design issues. One kept cracking stringers in the hull and one sat so bow heavy that the water would build up at the door. on the second boat the answer was to put 800 lbs of concrete in the stern ( this is not a joke) and put a bilge on deck on the portside of the door. Those boats aren't cheap and for a little more $ you can get a custome build done the way you want it.

User avatar
Donator 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Posts: 1959
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:53 pm
Location: Stanwood WA

Re: Single Or Duals?????


Post by goatram »

I am planning on two F250's. I have two tanks that will feed two filters. Kinda what everyone else out here runs going offshore. Cost might be double but piece of mind. Three Batteries with switches to allow any battery to start or operate anything on the Boat. Have I had a twin Engine Boat yet? No. I have been worried about being 50 miles out in the Tin Lizzy? Not really. I always had someone else in close as a buddy boat. ... ol-system/
Cost of this is for the truly rich but the technology of operating your motors independently would be sweet. Look Ma My boat is going sideways! No bow thrusters. :mrgreen:

I am starting to really understand what B.O.A.T. Stands for in this build.:banghead:
John Risser aka goatram
33' RBW with twin 250 Hondas (Aliens)
2015 Ford F350 Dually
Master of R&D aka Ripoff and Duplicate

User avatar
Posts: 905
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:10 pm
Location: Vancouver Island(The Rock), British Columbia

Re: Single Or Duals?????


Post by Sculpin »

I think for most use's a single is fine and make the most sense economically. I would agree with Dave on the seatow comment for sure. I'm not sure how far they will come out on WCVI but I would say if your fishing offshore say further than 20-25 miles than twins would be the way to go. I am like goatram as well in that I have been 60 miles offshore with a single 225 Honda and felt just fine. A nice big weather window comforts one as well when fishing that far offshore.

So that being said I guess it depends on what you want to do and how often you are doing it. Personally I want to build a larger floatation pod on my boat and eventually put twin 115 Yammies on the back. I would then get rid of the kicker and just troll on one engine.

My buddy out of Tofino used to run twin 135 opti's on a 25' Hourston hull and a couple of years ago blew one up while tuna fishing 45 miles offshore. He was still able to do 17-18 mph on the way in with the one engine. Another fellow I know runs a single 225 opti on a 22' weldcraft hull and blew his main and had to come in on the 9.9 kicker. He averaged 4-5 mph bucking some tide and current. Bottom line is for offshore fishing twins are nice. If your going out there for this kind of fishing the extra cost of the twins is just SOP.
23' Edwing

"Trying to go for tuna on the cheap you are asking for trouble. The ocean is a mean LITTLE GIRL that wants to kill you". - Shawn Hillier

Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:07 pm

Re: Single Or Duals?????


Post by paulh »

My current boat has a single 140 suzuki with an 8 horse kicker, 22' cruiser. The upside of a single has already been mentioned, and I'd be in deep doo doo if I had to get back on the kicker. I'll cover upwards of 100 nm a day when the weather is nice, or maybe 40 miles with a safe anchorage for a multi day trip.

My plan for my next boat is a 28' aluminum hull with twins. I'll be looking at taking longer trips from port and hopefully earlier and later in the season which increases the odds of getting in serious weather. In Alaskan waters we don't have a tow a phone call away and our mindset is generally along the lines of being prepared to get yourself out of trouble if you get yourself in trouble. Hence the next boat will not only have twins, but independent fuel and electrical systems.

I'll probably be out upwards of an extra $10k and burn maybe an extra $40 of gas each trip, and more oil and filters for annuals. Is it worth it? To me for the waters and conditions I want to run, absolutely :clap:

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic