"The EPA really doesn't allow 2 strokes to be manufactured"
The EPA defines the emissions specifications that new engines must meet - that's all they do. They have no preference for 2 stroke, 4 stroke
, or 10 stroke, as long as they meet the specs.
The manufacturers decided that the most economical way to meet the current
specs for small outboards is with 4 strokes. With larger outboards, it becomes economic to make 2 strokes with more sophisticated control over oil
injection, which meet the current
None of this applies to used 2 strokes which are perfectly legal
to buy and sell, even though they don't meet the latest emissions standards.
"Our 15 year old 8hp Merc died mid summer and we were forced to buy a new one that's 4 stroke"
You weren't forced to. You could have bought a used 2 stroke.