I suppose the title of this should by choices choices. Now Riff Raff will need an engine. We don’t want to be drifting about at the mercy of wind and tide too much – do we?
The cunning SNA* in charge of the team of designers at Swallow Yachts has planned for this eventuality by leaving a well in the back of the boat. This well is open to the waves but- don’t worry – the boat won’t sink because the well is entirely surrounded by bits of the boat that are above the (normal) waterline. A large plank sits across the front end of the well – just the place for an outboard engine. Once clamped in place, the whole engine can be swung down so that the propeller sits in the waterm making the boat go when the engine is running. Once you have got where the skipper wants to go (or when he (it usually is a he) deems there is enough wind to make sailing possible, the engine can be stopped and swung out of the way, leaving a large whole in which the water can slop about.
This causes drag . Drag is something no one wants, so the hole has to be stopped up with something. The SNA’s solution is a set of flexible flaps, which are pushed out of the way when the outboard is lowered into position and “spring back” into place once it has been lifted.
At least, that’s the theory.
Where was I? Decisions on engines. Clearly, from the above it has to be of the outboard type., otherwise what be the point of the well and the transverse plank (don’t forget the flaps). The SNA recommends I should choose one that produces 6HP and of course it has to be a four stroke.**
There are a whole gaggle of manufacturers, Some seem to make the same engine as other with just a different logo on the front. Vagabond had one carrying a badge labelled “Mercury”. It seemed to work alright, ran most of the time when it was wanted and only sulked once or twice but (fortunately) not in “pretty dicey” situation. **** So I think I” stick with the brand and I’ll call it Freddie 2.
I suppose I could go electric …..
* TLAs explained
ONA Ordinary Naval Archtest (See SNA, below)
SNA : Senior Naval architect – Swallow Yachts only has one ONA, so he (it mostly is a he) has to be SNA
TLA Three letter abbreviation
** Two stroke engines are light, easy (ish) to start), and mostly reliable but leave messy trails of oil behind them at all times. This is now considered a BAD thing and new ones are no longer available in Europe.*** In comparison 4 stroke engines are heavy and can be bxggxxs to start. But the oil within them is self contained so, apart emissions of CO2 and (no doubt) oxides of nitrogen and various particulates , are environmentally cool.
*** At the time of writing the UK is sort of semi detached but still part of Europe (I think).
****British code for being in real trouble.