Outboards

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Outboards

Postby charles » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:23 pm

Can anyone give a good comparison of small (less than 4hp) 2 stroke outboards? I'm finding that my 5hp 4 stroke is too heavy and am looking for an alternative. thnx

Charles
sv Seagate 38T
Chula Vista, CA
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Postby markfnovak » Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:05 pm

Charles,
I understand new two-stroke outboards can't be sold in the U.S. anymore, so you'll have to get a used one if you insist on that. Practical Sailor did a review of outboards fairly recently and the Honda 2HP came out on top. It's air cooled so it doesn't foul up with salt water. On the other hand, it's very noisy and expensive (~$900). I bought one and am happy with it, so far, but haven't tested it extensively.

I recommend you buy one the review article from www.practical-sailor.com. They reviewed Dinghy Engines, 2-2.5HP, in the December 2006 issue. Four-Stroke, 9.9-hp Outboard motors are tested in the March 2009 issue. Four 8-hp outboards reviewed in the January, 2004 issue.

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Postby Bill » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:46 am

Charles,

I can't give a comparison but I will recommend a Nissan 3.5 if you are looking at 2 strokes. We have had ours for 10+ years of salt water abuse. Surprisingly it still starts by the second pull. We have soaked this thing in salt water (literally), gave it a quick flush and she keeps ticking. Rarely have we flushed the engine do to the inconvienence (with the exception of the above soaking where the engine went to the bottom and had to be retrieved.

It is easy enough to 1 hand off the transom of our 43, and powers nicely ( I can get the 8' dink on plane when I am by myself (190 lbs). We have upgraded to a different dink recently and have a spare 20 hp for it, but I still hold on to the 3.5.

Best of luck finding one.
Bill and Lisa
Beyond Reason
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Postby SV_Pegasus » Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:27 am

I have a Nissan 8hp 2-stroke and wouldn't recommend anything smaller. Sure, weight is an issue, but it will get you out through breaking seas if you're dragging anchor; whereas a3-5hp will just frustrate you.
Sam Thayer
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Postby Bill » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:04 am

Sam,

That is the reason behind the 20 hp which is the primary for the dink. I imagine you could look at it two ways. If the seas were a bit rolly after you anchored but the dog still needs to "relax" on the beach or off the town jetty, the 3.5 is in play. Working the 6, 8 or 20 off the pushpit in a 2 ft swell would not even enter the equation for me. On the other side of the coin, getting to town when you are anchored 5 or so miles away definately is not a big portion of the playbook for the 3.5 hp.

We had a 6 hp, but like you may have found it just doesn't have the power to plane with any sort of load in the dink. Friends had 10 hp's which seemed to work better, but still were work to get up on a plane in all weather. For the weight difference our choice was the 20. Up on plane with HP's to spare, and still weighs in at 115 lbs, which since you most likely have to have a hoist for the 80 + pound 8 HP seemed insignificant. If you can't easily lift it with the boat rocking, our choice is to go as big a practical for the dink. Besides it's a Hans, if you don't have room for 2 outboards your treating her like a Catalina. :P
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Postby SV_Pegasus » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:27 am

I missed the 20hp . . . my bad.
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Postby sv_bruadair » Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:18 pm

When we left Texas in 2004 we started out with an 8hp outboard. A year later in Guatemala we replaced it with a 15hp. The 8 was great for putting around but as we spend most of our time at anchor we felt that the 8 was too small/slow. We love to explore nearby islands and rivers, sometimes use it to travel those five miles to town. And when we're loaded with gear for fishing, snorkeling, beach picnics or whatever it's nice to have the power to still get on a plane.

For my own personal needs and requirements I wouldn't go smaller than a 15hp. A few years ago we decided to buy a new outboard and the Tohatsu dealer here in Panama had 15hp's in stock, but he also had 18hp outboard for the same price. So we bought the 18. Great to have the extra power, and very happy with the Tohatsu (all 2-strokes by the way).

I think having a smaller 3hp or so outboard is a great idea for those times when you need to get the outboard on and off quickly for short trips. If we didn't have the davits (which then we would remove the outboard more often) then I would consider a small kicker.
Damon and David
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