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Old 05-10-2016, 09:36   #16
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Re: 2 strokes illegal in US????

The 2 stroke market is alive and well everywhere but North America. The real advantage to a 2 stroke is weight, simplicity and the ability to recover from a long dunking with little to no damage, pump the water out and it will run. It loses on fuel economy.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:06   #17
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Re: 2 strokes illegal in US????

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
No. Using them is not an issue, buying them is. Only thing I could think of is if on entry you were inspected and some nit picker discovered you are importing a 2 stroke. But that's doubtful.
Be very careful about this. Importing engines is covered by the Clean Air Act. Generally, to import an engine, it had to be compliant (with EPA regs) when it was manufactured. So a 15 year-old 2 stroke is probably OK. But a 2 year-old 2 stroke might need a Certificate of Conformity (with the EPA Tier requirements in effect at the time the engine was manfactured. Few 2 year-old 2 strokes will have that.). Without that, import might be illegal. The engine could be seized and the fines are huge. I don't know if coming for 3 months constitutes "importing." I would not count on "sneaking by." EPA and Customs are paying attention. Whether the boat is US documented might matter. Others may have experience.

And to be clear, I don't know the answer, just enough to know to be careful.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:12   #18
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Re: 2 strokes illegal in US????

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Originally Posted by fstbttms View Post
I don't know why anybody would prefer a 2-stroke outboard over a 4-stroke for a small boat. Mixing oil alone is enough of a reason to not buy a 2-stroke. I recently put a new 4-stroke Yamaha 25 on my 13' inflatable workboat, replacing the 2-stroke Johnson 15 that I'd been using for years. Not only is it quieter than the much smaller engine, but it has better fuel consumption as well.
Because the two-stroke operating cycle is inherently superior, giving double the power strokes per revolution. Two stroke engines are simpler and lighter, cheaper, easier to repair and maintain, torquier.

Two strokes will be back, and I predict will replace four stroke engines completely, eventually. Direct injection solves ALL of the inherent disadvantages of two stroke engines. Fuel economy and emissions issues come from difficulties in controlling the intake charge, and unburned mixture going out the exhaust, but this goes away with direct injection.


I miss my two-stroke 25 horsepower Mariner, which I sold earlier this year. This was an awesome motor which even at 16 years of age would start with half a pull on the starting cord (the electric start was completely superfluous).

As RWidman said, power to weight ratio is the overwhelming consideration for many cruisers, and four stroke engines can't really compete with two strokes in this.

My new dinghy has an 8 hp, single cylinder Selva (Yamaha's El Cheapo made in Italy brand) outboard. It's a four stroke. The fuel economy is incredible compared to the old Mariner, but it's hard to start (two crank revolutions to get only a single power stroke) and, obviously, 1/3 the power. This particular motor is phenomenally light for a four stroke (27kg), but it's still a beast to get on and off the dingy without a crane.

To see where gasoline/petrol engines are going, take my snowmobile. It has a 600cc direct injected two stroke. It only revs to about 9000 RPM and has a very wide power band (starting from 2000 RPM). It makes 120 horsepower (!!!), has better specific fuel consumption than comparable four strokes, and weighs only like 40 kg (!).

I love Diesel-cycle engines most of all, and Otto-cycle engines least. I like two stroke spark ignition engines much more. Four stroke spark ignition engines start to get more interesting with Atkins cycle, though, but these are heavy for a given power output so nothing good for our dinghies. So I'm waiting for small direct injected two strokes!
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:33   #19
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Re: 2 strokes illegal in US????

The real shift is that at least in the 2-50 HP range, four strokes are on the market that are in the same price and weight ranges as their two stroke counterparts. Take a look at the specs on Tohatsu, which is also making Nissan and Mercury, and note the five year warranty. It was only a few years ago that only Honda did four strokes, and they were both heavy and expensive.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:41   #20
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Re: 2 strokes illegal in US????

In some places in California they are illegal. Lake Tahoe off the top of my head. Obviously a special circumstance, but illegal nonetheless. I still remember looking over the transom at my dad's old 50hp Johnson spewing out an iridescent rainbow sheen on the water, thinking, "Cool colors…." Why would anyone want that again. I agree, mixing oil and fuel is a PITA. I'll take the weight for the silent purr and efficiency of a 4 stroke.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:49   #21
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Re: 2 strokes illegal in US????

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Originally Posted by fstbttms View Post
Small 4-stroke outboards weigh in the 40-50 pound range. If that's not manageable, then hit the gym. As far as the storing an outboard in any orientation other than laying down or upright, I don't know that you can do that with any engine.
I use a 15 HP outboard on my dink.

Yamaha 15 HP 2-stroke 85 lbs
Yamaha 4 stroke 111 lbs
4 stroke with electric start and power tilt if I recall 135 lbs.

When you're lifting an outboard on and off the dink anchored out with a bit of chop going through that extra 26 lbs makes a LOT of difference.

Someone mentioned in another thread a 15 HP 4-stroke that weights under 90 lbs, maybe a Tohatsu but I've already got the Yamaha.

I do like the better mileage you get with a 4-stroke. Could be very nice if you're cruising remote locations with limited access to gasoline.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:50   #22
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Re: 2 strokes illegal in US????

"In some places in California they are illegal."

I putter around San Diego Bay, in my 10-foot Portebote, on a regular basis with my 25-year old 2-stroke 2HP Suzuki and no one says anything to me. The Bay is heavily policed by both the USCG and San Diego Harbor police. I frequently pass close by each type of enforcement boat and dock and they just smile and wave.

Occasionally I put the 18-year old 9.9 HP Nissan 2-stroke on the Portebote and FLY around the bay at 20-knots. Again, the law enforcement officials just smile and wave.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:54   #23
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Re: 2 strokes illegal in US????

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
I use a 15 HP outboard on my dink.

Yamaha 15 HP 2-stroke 85 lbs
Yamaha 4 stroke 111 lbs
4 stroke with electric start and power tilt if I recall 135 lbs.

When you're lifting an outboard on and off the dink anchored out with a bit of chop going through that extra 26 lbs makes a LOT of difference.

Someone mentioned in another thread a 15 HP 4-stroke that weights under 90 lbs, maybe a Tohatsu but I've already got the Yamaha.

I do like the better mileage you get with a 4-stroke. Could be very nice if you're cruising remote locations with limited access to gasoline.
The 5 hp 4 stroke Mercury weighs around 55 lbs.......that should be enough to push a dinghy since I use one with an extra long shaft to push my 6600lb Bristol 27 when the wind is light
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:55   #24
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Re: 2 strokes illegal in US????

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Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
"In some places in California they are illegal."

I putter around San Diego Bay, in my 10-foot Portebote, on a regular basis with my 25-year old 2-stroke 2HP Suzuki and no one says anything to me. The Bay is heavily policed by both the USCG and San Diego Harbor police. I frequently pass close by each type of enforcement boat and dock and they just smile and wave.

Occasionally I put the 18-year old 9.9 HP Nissan 2-stroke on the Portebote and FLY around the bay at 20-knots. Again, the law enforcement officials just smile and wave.
Umm... they aren't illegal in San Diego.

Explanation of Two-Stroke Vessel Engine Regulations and Restrictions
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:12   #25
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Re: 2 strokes illegal in US????

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Originally Posted by fstbttms View Post
Small 4-stroke outboards weigh in the 40-50 pound range. If that's not manageable, then hit the gym. As far as the storing an outboard in any orientation other than laying down or upright, I don't know that you can do that with any engine.
I have an 8 hp Yamaha 2 stroke that I can get back and forth between my dinghy and my stern rail with moderate effort. If it were 20-30 lbs. heavier, it would be a different story and I would likely need a crane arm. Also, I can service and repair virtually everything on my 2 stroke because it's dead-simple. From my perspective, mixing oil is a trivial issue. Throw in a pint of oil, add gas, done. Would I love a quieter, cleaner running outboard? Of course, but right now a 2 stroke meets my specific needs best.
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:23   #26
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Re: 2 strokes illegal in US????

Quote:
Originally Posted by fstbttms View Post
I don't know why anybody would prefer a 2-stroke outboard over a 4-stroke for a small boat. Mixing oil alone is enough of a reason to not buy a 2-stroke. I recently put a new 4-stroke Yamaha 25 on my 13' inflatable workboat, replacing the 2-stroke Johnson 15 that I'd been using for years. Not only is it quieter than the much smaller engine, but it has better fuel consumption as well.
For me it was a simple decision a new 8 HP 4 stroke wouldn't fit in my lazarette well. All of the two strokes I tried did fit quite easily
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:24   #27
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Re: 2 strokes illegal in US????

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I have an 8 hp Yamaha 2 stroke that I can get back and forth between my dinghy and my stern rail with moderate effort. If it were 20-30 lbs. heavier, it would be a different story and I would likely need a crane arm. Also, I can service and repair virtually everything on my 2 stroke because it's dead-simple. From my perspective, mixing oil is a trivial issue. Throw in a pint of oil, add gas, done. Would I love a quieter, cleaner running outboard? Of course, but right now a 2 stroke meets my specific needs best.
If you can work on a lawn mower, you shouldn't have a problem repairing/maintaining a 4 stroke outboard.

But if you think it might be hard, buy a mercury 4, 5, or 6 hp 4 stroke because the 260 page shop manual is available online to assist you.

Btw, I changed the oil in mine last year and haven't yet touched it this year...other than two oil changes since 2011, I've replaced the lower unit oil 2X, and the impeller once.

Boatinfo - Mercury Service Manual for 4-5-6 hp
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:36   #28
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Re: 2 strokes illegal in US????

I think the outright bans on certain 2-strokes are more in freshwater lakes.

No old 2-stroke PWCs on lake Meadfor instance

https://www.nps.gov/lake/learn/management/twostroke.htm
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:55   #29
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Re: 2 strokes illegal in US????

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I think the outright bans on certain 2-strokes are more in freshwater lakes.

No old 2-stroke PWCs on lake Meadfor instance

https://www.nps.gov/lake/learn/management/twostroke.htm
Again, that is not the regulation. If you read it, the regulation is that outboards should meet post-2006 regulations. That means a compliant 2 stroke is OK, but a pre-2006 4-stroke would not be.

Please people : try to understand the distinction between banning 2 strokes, and requiring certain emissions levels.
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:55   #30
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Re: 2 strokes illegal in US????

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Originally Posted by fstbttms View Post
Small 4-stroke outboards weigh in the 40-50 pound range. If that's not manageable, then hit the gym. As far as the storing an outboard in any orientation other than laying down or upright, I don't know that you can do that with any engine.
I think having to carry a 50lb outboard down from the flybridge and mounting it on a bobbing dinghy in rough seas from the swim platform and reverse the procedure would eventually tend to limit your use of the dinghy. Also, we are not all built like Hulk Hogan and some of us are a little too old to be doing this on a regular basis.

A small four stroke outboard has a side that it can be stored on and a side that allows the cylinder to fill with crankcase oil. I suspect that would be the case with any four stroke.
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