Honda BF2.3 Kicker

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Starscream
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Montreal, Quebec. 2002 26X - Etec90

Honda BF2.3 Kicker

Post by Starscream » Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:34 am

I pulled the trigger on a Honda BF2.3 Long-Shaft kicker motor at the Montreal Boat Show a couple of weeks ago. I've had too many "adventures" with a dead motor for my liking.

From memory, I've had at least five motor failures with the E-tec:
1) During service, the shop poorly reinstalled the master fuse and the motor died mid-lake, had to sail home.
2) Ran out of fuel after forgetting that I had switched tanks some days ago and thinking I had a full one in reserve. Collected enough fuel out of the two dead tanks to get the motor re-started and limped to a gas dock holding the tank in my lap at 45 degrees and holding the fuel pickup in my hand to suck out the last drops from the corner-angle.
3) Installed primer pump backwards. I know, I know, it has arrows on it and what an idiot I am. I even knew it had arrows, and I was careful but somehow got it mixed up. Had to whip out the tools mid-lake and re-install.
4) After a raft-up with the Jill Kristy, another fuel problem after a rainstorm. Sailed home in some nasty weather, and almost was carried downstream of the dock after misjudging the speed of the current, under sail. With only light wind I had to two-tack back upcurrent and upwind, and I was sooo surprised when Bear Hunt made the tacks and fought her way back to the dock.
5) Damaged the starter motor during the fuel problem #4, and it only worked a few more times before giving up the ghost. Had to beg a tow from my slip to the haul-out ramp. Evinrude replaced the starter under warranty.

Anyway, I don't need that stress any more. I know the sound of a pending motor stoppage too well...RRRRRRRR...RRRRRR....RRR....RR....R...dead.

So the kicker is going on the back, mounted on one of these: https://www.boatstoreusa.com/engine-par ... t-ss-10hp/

I chose the Honda after seeing it on the Jill Kristy. They use it as a dinghy motor, not as a kicker, so no info on how it will push the boat. I expect it to be veeeerrrry slow, and do nothing more than take over from the sails on the final few hundred feet of an emergency dead-motor approach.

The BF2.3 doesn't get much love on Amazon reviews, but I bought it anyway. If it can do a great-loop on the Jill-Kristy, it will work for me. Plus it came with a 7-year parts and labor warranty from the boat show (and a carrying bag that I don't need). Air cooled, four-stroke, centrifugal clutch, throttle friction knob, reverse by rotating the whole motor 180 degrees. Has all the features I need and costs less than a boat-buck. Plus, only 31.5lbs dry weight.

I'll post photos of the install this spring.

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Highlander
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Re: Honda BF2.3 Kicker

Post by Highlander » Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:31 pm

I have a 6HP Merc 4 stroke weighs 60# originally was going to buy a 3.5HP for my 10ft walkerbay then decided I might as well buy the 6HP instead then it can double as a back-up & also bought an eng brkt simullar to ur,s but specified for a 4 stroke eng as they have more torq than a 2 stroke thus require a stronger brkt .
I don,t think it,s gonna do much for u if u had to go against a wind & current or entering a harbour or marina with an outgoing tide or outgoing river source with a narrow entrance , but it,s still better than nothing & I also have Seatow membership , one of my neighbours had to get his 28ft cruiser towed in last yr from upisland cost him about $600. Can , I told that woulda got him a 6yr seatow membership :wink:
I still have not got around to mounting that kicker brkt ! :(
let us know how it all work,s out
I know some guy,s on here have done the same mod with small kickers like u have
J 8)

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mallardjusted
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Re: Honda BF2.3 Kicker

Post by mallardjusted » Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:31 pm

"highlander ... I don't think it's gonna do much for u if u had to go against a wind & current or entering a harbour or marina with an outgoing tide or outgoing river source with a narrow entrance .."

From experience I know that is true. I had a 6hp Tohatsu 4-stroke as my backup. I had to use it a few years back ..... with a 4-5 knot headwind and maybe 2-3 knot current, it took me over an hour to go 1 1/2 miles (the last quarter mile was downwind into the harbor). As soon as I could, I had the O/B bracket replaced with a heavy duty one, and bought a brand new Merc 9.9hp. Now I don't have to worry! :D

Starscream
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Re: Honda BF2.3 Kicker

Post by Starscream » Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:51 pm

Yeah, I don't have any expectations on the motor doing anything more than giving a push to the sails and making the last few hundred feet to the dock in an emergency.

Where I sail there are currents and prevailing winds, but nothing crazy and there is always a marina downwind of wherever our motor happens to fail again. I don't mind taking hours to get where I am going in an emergency. Last time when I misjudged my approach to the dock I allowed the current to carry me just a tiny bit too far down-river and I was sure I'd have to head for the next downstream marina. Did I say how impressed I was that the boat tacked back upriver in light winds and got me to the dock? Cuz I was IMpressed. Didn't expect it to make it. With a 2.3 kicker running, the tack would be that much easier to make, or even entirely unnecessary.

It's totally for emergency only. Plus, if I ever get a real dinghy, the I can use the motor for that too.

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Bobglas
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Re: Honda BF2.3 Kicker

Post by Bobglas » Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:03 am

I've had the little honda for 4 years. Dinghy motor. Only problem I had was w/ the fuel cap not breathing. Replaced it and everything is fine, starts up on first or second pull every time.

Starscream
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Re: Honda BF2.3 Kicker

Post by Starscream » Fri May 22, 2020 12:15 pm

I finally picked up the kicker today.. I received the Panther 55-0010 mounting bracket from Amazon a few months ago.

The panther bracket from Amazon showed up in a damaged, open box (inside the beautiful Amazon box) with no manual and missing nuts for the mounting bolts. I sent a complaint on Amazon; no expectations of any answer but we'll see how that goes.

I unwrapped everything and dry-fit the motor to the rear starboard side. It looks like a perfect fit, but only the finished product will determine if that's true.

I ordered a 4" deck-plate and a 12"x12"x 1/2" UHMW polyethelyne sheet on Amazon.
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B000IL ... UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B084T4 ... UTF8&psc=1

I am planning to cut two squares of UHMW PE and use them as backing plates both inside and outside of the hull. We'll see how feasible that is when I open up the fiberglass just above the motor cable entry. Cross my fingers that there are no surprises in there and it's just empty space.

I'm going to try to document the process and measure where the holes go to make the process easier for anyone else who wants to so something similar.

Starscream
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Re: Honda BF2.3 Kicker

Post by Starscream » Fri May 22, 2020 12:28 pm

The four little pencil-circles are where the bracket mounting bolts will be. The 12x12 UHMW P.E. will be cut into two 6"x8" rectangles and mounted both inside and outside to distribute the incredible amount of force that the 2.3 motor will produce. :D

Image

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Chinook
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Re: Honda BF2.3 Kicker

Post by Chinook » Fri May 22, 2020 4:39 pm

Hi Starscream,

I remember fondly you and your boat BEAR HUNT, while on our loop trip. You are definitely the welcome committee for loop cruisers in your part of the world. We have a 2.5 hp Suzuki 4 stroke, and for reference, it pushes the Mac fairly well in flat, smooth water with minimal to no headwind. Probably can do up to 4 knots in such conditions. I figure we could probably make a couple knots to the good in 5 to 10 knots of headwind, with chop of a foot or less. Anything more than that would tend to overpower the little motor. It's easy to steer the boat with the kicker in operation too. I just lock the rudders down, lock the kicker in go straight ahead position, tip the big outboard up, and use the steering wheel to steer with the rudders. Works fine unless wind from the side gets a bit strong, in which case I have to reach over the stern and turn the kicker with its little tiller. Awkward and hard to see where you're going if you have to steer that way. Takes a lot of water to make a turn. With stronger wind, sailing should be a good option, until you get close to the dock or protected anchorage. Good luck with the kicker. It just feels good having it along, giving you one more option.

Starscream
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Re: Honda BF2.3 Kicker

Post by Starscream » Sat May 23, 2020 8:43 am

Thanks for that info Mike, that's exactly what I was hoping to get out of the little 2.3. Emergency if require, and sometimes convenience. Plus a dinghy motor and a place to carry it.

It IS fun to play host to loopers. Especially ones like you and Richard, who are so easy to connect with. Richard texted me a bunch of photos of his kicker install yesterday and they were exactly what I needed. So nice to have this network.

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