Tender Help

Jun 14, 2010
1,725
TBD Looking for my next boat CT
Well folks I ended up buying a brand new 2021 Zodiac Cadet 270AL from Defender. It’s 8’ 10” with aluminum floor and 17” tubes. They were having a sale so I got it for $1385 which I thought was a good price for that model. It was one of the three original models I was considering.
Which now brings up another issue. The max rating for the engine for that model is 8hp but Zodiac recommends 6hp. I would like to get the 8hp and max it out because I always hear people say they wish they had gotten a bigger engine for their tender. There is about a 30 pound difference between those engines which can be an issue with taking off & putting on the engine solo. Also I believe the new 6hp engines include the internal gas tank whereas the new 8hp engines do not. It’s not a huge deal but certainly worth considering those little factors. Curious what y’all think
The extra 30 pounds comes from having at extra cylinder (2 cylinders vs. 1) and a bigger head. Most manufacturers use the same engine block for an 8 and 9.9, so IMHO if you're going to get an 8 you might as well go for the 9.9 at the same weight (no need to crank it wide open, and you have an engine that could be even better if you up-size your dinghy in the future).
OTOH ~100# is a LOT of weight to heft on and off a dinghy. Unless you live in a gym, you're going to need a crane or a strong friend to mount and dismount it. (A crane if you do it from the mother boat). It's certainly not one-hander. That's also going to overpower a 270 cm dinghy and add too much weight in the back.
I'd get a slower, lighter motor, 30-35 pounds and call it a day. You'll envy people who plane their dinghies, but they're envy you when they see you one-hand on and off the stern rail, using a lifting harness. I downsized from a 9.8 to a Torqeedo. The 2.x HP Honda and Suzuki are also about 30 pounds.
PS - read other threads about ethanol and outboards.
 
  • Like
Likes: RoyS
Aug 24, 2020
41
Beneteau Oceanis 321 321 Little River, SC
Thanks Roy, that’s good advice. I am certainly not a hefty guy who can easily handle a larger engine. My thinking is that the 6hp may be plenty to do the job I need and is a bit easier for me to handle. It’s also less expensive by about $500 to get the 6hp vs the 8hp for the engines I am looking at (Mercury). The manufacturer also recommends the 6hp. I used to have a heavy 13’ Grumman aluminum boat when I was a kid and used a 6hp Johnson 50th Anniversary Edition to power it - I was actually able to plane that boat if I had someone sit in the front. So I’ll be curious to see how a 6hp does on a 8’ 10” Zodiac.
 

DArcy

.
Feb 11, 2017
1,249
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
If you really want the bigger outboard you could add a lifting crane on your transom. I have a Garhauer similar to this one which makes lifting much easier and safer. I only have a fairly light 4 HP which I can easily lift one handed but I really like having the crane. I find it much easier especially if there are any waves. I never worry about dropping it :)
 
Jan 19, 2010
949
Catalina 34 Casco Bay
A quick search shows that Bris inflatables are a product of CHINA.... Zodiacs are from N. Carolina
 
Aug 24, 2020
41
Beneteau Oceanis 321 321 Little River, SC
I am looking at the engine crane option. I found one that also allows you to put a solar panel on the top of it so it doubles as a crane & solar panel holder. It was also quite reasonable price wise. It’s going to be a tough choice between the 6hp & 8hp but I need to see what deals are out there.
I looked at the Bris boats. While some folks have gotten lucky with them, I’ve seen many complaints that they fall apart when left out in the sun. I know Zodiac is a reputable company and has a 5 year warranty (versus 1 year for Bris). For the price difference I felt it was a no-brainer to go with the Zodiac. I’m very pleased with my choice and the deal I got on it.
 
Aug 22, 2017
1,608
Hunter 26.5 West Palm Beach
Well folks I ended up buying a brand new 2021 Zodiac Cadet 270AL from Defender. It’s 8’ 10” with aluminum floor and 17” tubes. They were having a sale so I got it for $1385 which I thought was a good price for that model. It was one of the three original models I was considering.
Which now brings up another issue. The max rating for the engine for that model is 8hp but Zodiac recommends 6hp. I would like to get the 8hp and max it out because I always hear people say they wish they had gotten a bigger engine for their tender. There is about a 30 pound difference between those engines which can be an issue with taking off & putting on the engine solo. Also I believe the new 6hp engines include the internal gas tank whereas the new 8hp engines do not. It’s not a huge deal but certainly worth considering those little factors. Curious what y’all think
That boat should be able to plane with 6HP, one person & a modest amount of equipment. Most 4,5,6hp have the ability to use an internal gas tank or external gas tank. I like having that option. I have used a 5hp with 6hp carb on both a 10' & 11' dink. It was a good match for 1 person on the 10'. It was just enough to plane with a single 230# person on the 11'. I would get the 6, unless planing with 2 people is important to you.

Going to max HP, often makes a rhib a little squirrely to handle.

The 6hp Merc is actually a Tohatsu, just like the 6hp Evenrude. If you overfill the oil or set the motor down on the wrong side, the spark plug will oil foul & it will not want to run. The other thing to watch is water or crud in the gas. I carry a spare spark plug, a plug wrench & a screw driver that fits the float bowl drain screw in the boat that uses that motor. If you want to go one step further, also carry a 10mm deep socket, a philips head screw driver & a piece of #5 fishing wire for cleaning out the pilot jet when that eventually clogs.

You did great on the price. I would have bought that boat at that price as well.
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
So I’ll be curious to see how a 6hp does on a 8’ 10” Zodiac.
You might look into a hydrofoil for small outboards. I put one on a 4hp 2 stroke Merc and it made a world of difference. I replaced my old Zodiac with a larger aluminum hulled RIB (much heavier boat rated at 10hp) and if I’m patient enough it will still plane :).

Basically a two part plastic fin that bolts over the little cavitation plate. The added benefit is that it helps the motor from tipping over on it’s side :)
 

DArcy

.
Feb 11, 2017
1,249
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
@Hunter216 where did you get the small engine hydrofoil? I have a 2 stroke Johnson 4HP but cannot get on a plane. The foil may make the difference.
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
@Hunter216 where did you get the small engine hydrofoil? I have a 2 stroke Johnson 4HP but cannot get on a plane. The foil may make the difference.
If memory serves ;) Terry Alford from Alfords Sports in Kingston sourced it for me. They are long closed so let me look at the motor tomorrow to see if there is a model number etc on it.

The Zodiac I bought the Merc for would not plane unless I cracked the throttle wide open and then sat on the front (NOT SAFE! ;) ). I bolted the dolphin fin on and I could sit in the rear corner and the boat would pop out and go.
 

DArcy

.
Feb 11, 2017
1,249
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
The last time I was in Alfords Sports store would have been around 1988. I didn't know they closed but that was a while ago so not a big surprise.
I found some on Amazon.ca but it would be nice to get an idea of size since this is for a small engine.
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
The last time I was in Alfords Sports store would have been around 1988. I didn't know they closed but that was a while ago so not a big surprise.
I found some on Amazon.ca but it would be nice to get an idea of size since this is for a small engine.
I should be able to send info tomorrow. Motor is stored next to snowblower that I plan on working on (yes it’s that time again :huh:)
 
Aug 24, 2020
41
Beneteau Oceanis 321 321 Little River, SC
I found a new 6hp Yamaha that I might go ahead and get as it’s local. I think the advantages of the 6hp outweigh the 8hp and saving some money is always nice. I like the hydrofoil idea. That’s pretty cool. Will have to check that out.
I keep a full socket set on my sailboat. Also spare parts of all kinds. It’s a good idea as you need to be self sufficient when you’re out there on the water.
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
@Hunter216 where did you get the small engine hydrofoil? I have a 2 stroke Johnson 4HP but cannot get on a plane. The foil may make the difference.
D197DE67-62C7-426F-9F75-E65342EC92E9.jpeg


This is the foil. Made by Davis, no actual model number but it also says DOEL-FIN

Mounted on a 2003 Merc model 4M. 4HP 2 stroke short shaft.
 
  • Like
Likes: DArcy
Jul 27, 2011
4,530
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Also spare parts of all kinds. It’s a good idea as you need to be self sufficient when you’re out there on the water.
Do you have a spare starter for the diesel? I’ve replaced mine twice in 16 yr:doh:, and, of course, the correct wrenches. Sounding line?
 
Last edited:
Apr 5, 2009
1,617
Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs Oak Harbor, WA
If you want an inflatable rather than a rib, I would recommend an Air-matt floor over any type of solid floor. Having lived with both, we loved our air floor with its ease of setup and hate the solid.
 
Aug 22, 2017
1,608
Hunter 26.5 West Palm Beach
These are a little pricey, but they also help to keep your prop from getting beaten up in the shallows - Hydro-Shield Skeg Mounted Hydrofoil

Less expensive options -

Be sure to get one that fits your size of motor.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Likes: Hunter216

DArcy

.
Feb 11, 2017
1,249
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
The Davis Doel Fin currently available says for 5HP and up but looks a lot like the one you have. Probably worth looking in to. I see in your picture it hangs over the back quite a bit more than in the product photos but it sounds like it still performs quite well.
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,869
Hunter 216 Kingston
The Davis Doel Fin currently available says for 5HP and up but looks a lot like the one you have. Probably worth looking in to. I see in your picture it hangs over the back quite a bit more than in the product photos but it sounds like it still performs quite well.
Quite thick plastic so not much flex in the overhanging part. Small motor so top end speed doesn’t make your eyes water anyway :)
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Likes: DArcy
Aug 24, 2020
41
Beneteau Oceanis 321 321 Little River, SC
Do you have a spare starter for the diesel? I’ve replaced mine twice in 16 yr:doh:, and, of course, the correct wrenches. Sounding line?
Actually I just replaced the starter on my Yanmar diesel so I don’t currently have a spare one. Wrenches and sounding line, yes