Author Topic: Length of outboard motor shaft for a Pearson 26  (Read 5524 times)


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Length of outboard motor shaft for a Pearson 26
« on: November 01, 2018, 01:36:25 PM »
I am new to this forum.  The original motor on this boat was a Johnson 9.9.  I had it removed by a gentleman whom was supposed to part out and trade apples to apples.  Upon our maiden voyage, we discovered the shaft length was not long enough to pull the boat in reverse.  I am no longer going to buy used so I am looking for recommendations on the proper motor to purchase.  We will be sailing on a large choppy lake that is capable of white caps.  What type of motor and shaft length does this community recommend?  Thank you in advance for your advice!



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Re: Length of outboard motor shaft for a Pearson 26
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2018, 10:35:10 AM »
I have no specific knowledge on the P26 as far as shaft lengths, but apparently it is not a simple answer. I have taken the liberty of re-printing comments from a Sailnet Pearson forum for your reference. Read the whole thing to get pro vs con - and hopefully other owners will add to the discussion.   


Outboard shaft length for Pearson 26?
I have a '79 Pearson One Design ("Drala") and am in the market for a new outboard--probably an 8 hp 4-stroke. Drala was not in the water in '10 and in fall '09 I junked the old 7.5 Mercury without confirming the shaft length! Duh. I just assumed it was long shaft. But, was it?! I was looking at a 9.9 Yamaha the other day--used, '96 I think--and it looked huge and the issue of shaft length came up again. The seller said that too long a shaft (lordy, I'm tired of writing that!) could push the bow down. I was worried that the weight of a 9.9 would be its own problem. I'm seeing from other posts and sites that lots of sailors have 9.9s and even larger hp on their Pearson 26s. I am on Lake Champlain and don't fight current particularly, or waves that much. And I use the outboard as little as possible. Advice?! Thank you.
The shaft length would normally be a 25" shaft to keep the prop in the water more. If your current mount is set up for a twenty and you don't have to deal with waves then a 20" should be ok. If you don't need to power against currents or high winds then a 6 hp would be fine. If you need to motor home against 30 knots you will want the 9.9. JMO
Regardless of the hp you choose, you want the longest shaft available. Trust me on this. "Long shaft" means a 20" shaft (measured from the attachment point to the anti-vent plate below); standard shaft length is 15". At least one manufacturer (I forget which one) makes an extra long shaft of 25". You NEED at least a long shaft, but you WANT the extra long shaft if at all possible. The slightest chop or sharp turn could bring the prop out of water, even with a long shaft (happens all the time with my boat). Maybe the freeboard at the transom of your boat is low enough so that you can get the prop of a long shaft far enough below the surface and still have access to the throttle from the cockpit. If so, then you don't have to spend the extra money for the extra long shaft. Good luck.
Be very careful of the sweep of the P26 rudder, it's a lot closer to the bottom of the outboard than you might realize.
I used to have a P26 and if I didn't adjust my standard shaft Honda 9.9 just right, the prop would hit the top of the rudder. I don't think that you can go with a long shaft.
I had forgotten that the standard outboard mount on the P26 was a center transom cut out. My main experience on the P26 was a long time ago, in two different boats: one was an inboard-powered model, and one had an off-set mounted outboard bracket. I never questioned why the outboard was on a bracket when there was that built in cut out available; now I know. Thanks for the info.
There's another possibility for the motor bracket on that P26. I know of some that the owner thought 'bigger is always better' so they put 15HP or bigger on. You just can't get a P26 up on a plane so all that power just went into rolling the transom out of the back of the boat. Check 'em out, you'll see lots of weak P26 transoms for this reason. 10HP is plenty. 

Captain Bri