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Old 10-05-2015, 18:21   #1
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E-Tec, Optimal, or 4 cycle outboards

Looking at center console boats. Most of the boat I am looking at have outboards hanging off the back. It seems a mix of various 4 cycle motors and E-Tec and Optimax 2 cycle.

Are there engines to stay away from? Don't want a brand war but I have had old Merc carb. engines and Johnson engines. I prefer an old Johnson over a Merc. That was 20 years ago.

The newer outboards actually start when you turn the key. I don't want to rely on YouTube hype but real experience.

Thanks

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Old 10-05-2015, 19:11   #2
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Re: E-Tec, Optimal, or 4 cycle outboards

Your question is way too broad. What size outboards? What geographical area are you going to be in? What is your budget? Frequency of use and how far offshore are you going? New, used or ancient? Yamahas are esteemed the most in large outboards but are much more expensive.
You might as well ask, what automobile should you buy.


Why can't things remain where i carelessly left them?
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Old 10-05-2015, 19:31   #3
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Re: E-Tec, Optimal, or 4 cycle outboards

The center console boat would be used off the east coast of Florida. Probably would go out 50 miles max.

I will be buying a used boat 2000 - 2007
25' to 30'. The engine sizes I am seeing are 125HP to 250HP.

I would like to know if I see E-Tec is that good or bad. Same for Optimax or 4 cycle. I am familiar with a junky 1989 Mercury 100HP, and a much better (easy starting, easy on gas) Suzuki EFI 60HP 4 cycle engines.

The last time I bought a boat it was a small runabout in 2001.





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Old 13-05-2015, 13:15   #4
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Re: E-Tec, Optimal, or 4 cycle outboards

i love my etec planes effortlessly sips oil and fuel
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Old 13-05-2015, 13:29   #5
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Re: E-Tec, Optimal, or 4 cycle outboards

From internet reading, the Evinrude E-TEC 2-strokes have a decent rep, Merc Optimax don't, and the other major 4-strokes (Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki) have a good rep. Aside from E-Tec technology, the EFI 4-strokes are probably about as advanced as you can get these days. Probably depends on specific engines within specific horsepower classes, though.


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Old 13-05-2015, 16:27   #6
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Re: E-Tec, Optimal, or 4 cycle outboards

Having a 1989 100HP carb. Merc that runs strong but cold starts like a really crappy engine that is difficult to even tolerate I am amazed at the newer outboards.

I would say I see more E-Tec than Optimax but a real mix of 4 cycle.

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Old 17-06-2015, 09:49   #7
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Re: E-Tec, Optimal, or 4 cycle outboards

I asked a commercial operator why he chose to run Yamaha's, he said having a really good mechanic he trusted was the deciding factor not so much the brand of motor. Makes sense since he runs his boat 6 days a week.
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Old 17-06-2015, 11:54   #8
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Re: E-Tec, Optimal, or 4 cycle outboards

Ive thought of converting my skiff to an ETec from my good old Yamaha Enduro, but the total dependency on electronics puts me off. ETecs are clever technology, but have no backup to that fancy tech (IMHO anything "smart" should have a "dumb" mode). My old Yamaha Enduro slurps fuel, but I can fix almost anything on it with basic hand tools. And good mechanics who can fix them abound...E-Tec is limited to official distributor shop with proprietary diagnostics equipment and $$$ for their services. Here in Guatemala, many commercial operators have stuck with Enduros for these reasons. Of course, you can't buy Enduros in the USA and most engines sold there are heavily dependent on electronics so less of a deciding factor.

My skiff is single engine. I would feel better about going to a more high tech engine if I had two.
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Old 27-06-2015, 23:24   #9
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Re: E-Tec, Optimal, or 4 cycle outboards

BOATINGLAB TESTS: OUTBOARD OWNERSHIP COSTS
BoatingLAB Tests: Outboard Ownership Costs | Boating Magazine
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