For the record
, I have never mentioned environmental concerns when discussing this issue - it isn't on my list of comparable features for cruising. I dump far more gas into the environment trying to fill a portable gas tank on a beach from a cracked handle-less 10gal pail of fuel provided by the vendor.
I think the continual political bent of comparing 4-stroke owners with electric cars, buses, rowing sculls, high efficiency homes, solar
, etc gives us much more insight about your personal demons than it does to the choices of an outboard.
Like I mentioned, if weight is a concern, then you should not be looking at a 15hp of any type. The weight difference at 15hp+ is simply inconsequential. In fact, above 15hp, it begins to favor 4-strokes. I stated that for smaller engines (3-8hp) that needed to be lifted and carried regularly, a 2-stroke was the better choice.
If you keep water out of the engine by using a good external fuel filter/water separator, you will not have much need for "fixing" anything on either type of engine. Just what do people think goes wrong with these things that need constant "fixing"? Carb rebuilds are the same for each, so are props, plugs, water pumps, pull cords - even magnetos and charging
How many of you find yourselves regularly completely stripping and rebuilding your outboards? Those that do will be better off with a 2-stroke - but best off with a set of oars.
If you polled serious offshore
cruisers (if you could even objectively define that term), they would give answers that are decades out of date - with opinions formed decades ago on gear
that no longer exists now - just as they do with anchors and sails
and other gear
. For example, the most popular anchor
listed in these polls is the CQR
. It took decades before roller furling
gear were accepted in these polls.
And people who are mostly doing long passage
making aren't the best judges of an outboard. Polling recreational fisherman would probably be a better idea.
Local fishermen in many parts
of the Carib have Yamaha 15hp Enduros because they are made inexpensively in that part of the world and their governments heavily subsidize their purchase
. Do those facts alone make them the best choice? It seems that many put a lot of emphasis on "what the locals use", and conflate their choice with some "secret knowledge".
I don't understand the point about a 2-stroke being good for short trips. All outboards are mostly used for short trips. Both types are fine for this, and both are designed for this. A 4-stroke is much better at trolling or low-speed work.
We just got a new outboard. Our previous one was a 4-stroke. We debated long and hard about going to a 2-stroke and actually ordered one. That order/delivery got screwed up and we didn't accept the engine and went back to square one. A year later, we took ownership
of a new 4-stroke. What the decision came down to for us was the weights were almost equal, we got 5 more HP in the 4-stroke, we can have a conversation while planing at high throttle, and most of the areas we cruise
in have very little to no availability of gasoline.
That last part is very important because we spend months in areas with no gasoline at all, and years in parts
of the world with difficult access to gasoline. When in these areas, we carry less than half the gasoline on board than friends with 2-strokes - a couple of jugs in a sealed, vented locker versus an entire side deck
lined with jugs (which are sometimes stolen).