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Old 13-08-2012, 12:13   #1
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In Search of Simple Lightweight Outboard

I'm on a hunt for an outboard for the dingy. I have gotten very specific when it comes to what features I'm looking for, just hoping to get some strong suggestions on what specific engine will best fit the bill. What's important to me:

-Light weight
-2 stroke
-Internal fuel tank with the option of plugging in a satelite tank if desired.
-Simple Simple Simple! I wan't to be able to maximize my ability to troubleshoot on the fly if the situation should arise (murphy's law).
-Reliability (as opposed to those that would prefer unreliable equipment)

It's usually me and one other in the 9' inflatable. On occasion I'll have up to four. I'm in the PNW so currents can be an issue. All that said, I don't care about planing or being able to go fast. Just want to be able to have an efficent package that gets me from A to B. I would anticipate I'll probably have to ahve atleast 3 or 4 hp and likely won't be able to get the ligthweight simple package if I creep over 5 hp.

What say you?
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Old 13-08-2012, 12:21   #2
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Re: In search of simple lightweight outboard

I assume you are shopping the used market since the benevolent powers that guard the universe against evil have decreed that north America sacrifice access to them so the rest of the world can have all of them...

I like the little Yamaha 3. It was also in 2-4hp versions and near bullet proof.

The little Belgian made Johnson / Evenrudes are really nice to. The really small ones being not only 2 stroke but 2 cyl make them very smoth and easy to start.
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Old 13-08-2012, 12:56   #3
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Re: In search of simple lightweight outboard

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Originally Posted by s/v 'Faith' View Post
I assume you are shopping the used market since the benevolent powers that guard the universe against evil have decreed that north America sacrifice access to them so the rest of the world can have all of them...

I like the little Yamaha 3. It was also in 2-4hp versions and near bullet proof.

The little Belgian made Johnson / Evenrudes are really nice to. The really small ones being not only 2 stroke but 2 cyl make them very smoth and easy to start.
You're assumption is correct . Being the evil doer I am, my hand has been forced to shop the used market for 2 cycle sin machine

Ten-four on the yamaha 3.... I'll keep an eye out. As for the belgian Johnson/Evinrude, how do I know they are Belgian and thus the one you are refering to? Do others have only 1 cyl?
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Old 13-08-2012, 13:37   #4
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Re: In search of simple lightweight outboard

I've had a few of the 2.5 hp, 2 stroke, 2 cylinder Evinrudes over the years and I think that they are excellent outboards. I've never done more than put fuel in them and run them though I'm considering inspecting the impeller on my current one since I know that I should.

They have a tank that is removable but that fits below the power head nicely. They can be spun 360 degrees while mounted if needed and have a set screw that will add resistance so that the outboard stays in the direction that it is pointed for easier hands-free operation if desired. The air/fuel ratio mixture knob is on the front of the engine so that it can be adjusted during operation. This makes it easy to overcome slight carb fouling or fuel issues that might prevent a static tuning from running/idling well in all cases.

One of the features that I might change is the engine-top throttle. It works well and isn't a problem but it would be nice to have a twist throttle on the tiller that could be used with a pvc pipe extension.

I'm not sure where my Evinrudes were made but they were both made in the late 80s I'm pretty sure.

Here's an example (I don't know the seller/outboard personally):

87 evinrude 2.5 hp
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Old 13-08-2012, 13:53   #5
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Re: In search of simple lightweight outboard

Thanks for the info on the evenrude. Seems like a slick little mortor. How does the 2.5 hp do? Can it move a dingy with a few folks?
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Old 13-08-2012, 14:15   #6
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Re: In search of simple lightweight outboard

Used to have a little 2hp Suzuki. Must have been 50 years old, but still ran just fine. Dead simple and lightweight. Gave it away to the locals here, its still pushing a small cayuco around.

Nothing in this HP range will move you along very fast so only realistic for short hops from boat to shore.
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Old 13-08-2012, 14:49   #7
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Re: In search of simple lightweight outboard

I think that it's hard to describe how the 2.5 does in a way that will be meaningful since it is certainly slow and weak compared to the average ob in use today. To me it does well and has plenty of grunt for a small ob. Most of the runtime that I've done with one of the 2.5 Evinrude obs was as the kicker on my 20 foot sailboat. It did great moving that boat around in a variety of conditions. I would never describe it as fast but it seems to be propped pretty well so that it holds its speed decently even at the odd time that I asked a lot of it. Even when I towed 6 canoes loaded with people and camping gear behind the little sailboat we did a decent rate and the ob hummed (loudly) along.
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Old 13-08-2012, 20:08   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanSail
I think that it's hard to describe how the 2.5 does in a way that will be meaningful ............Even when I towed 6 canoes loaded with people and camping gear behind the little sailboat ..
I think your description paints a ear picture. Bottom line; I won't shy away from a 2.5 if the right one comes along! Thanks!
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Old 13-08-2012, 20:22   #9
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Re: In search of simple lightweight outboard

Your comment reminded me that I have a picture of the towing in action! We did this a number of times and the tows were always a few miles minimum. The canoes glide well so this may be a bit misleading of the ob's power. I recall that when folks jumped in to cool off that the whole show slowed to a crawl.. The best was when the wind was right and I could tow everyone under sail..
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Old 13-08-2012, 20:22   #10
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Re: In search of simple lightweight outboard

I just bought a little merc 4 hp. they have a fwd/rev gear which is nice. runs like a top and looks new $375. Starts first pull and has a tank on engine. Unfortunately no aditional tank receptacle. I saw a new it was as big as my old 2 stroke Yam 15. Yamaha athe store the other day, started to look at it for gigle s cause I thought it was at least a 10hp...It was 4hp and HUGE.. arghhh....
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Old 13-08-2012, 20:31   #11
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Re: In search of simple lightweight outboard

You might consider a gamefisher (tanaka motor) 3hp, or a Tohatsu 3.5.

Both of them small, lightweight, air cooled (no impellers), reliable, integrated fuel tank... they are incredible simple motors.

The gamefishers are much easier to find than the Tohatsu. But they're very similar motors. Parts for either can be easily found online.

I have a gamefisher 1.2HP for sale if you're interested
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Old 13-08-2012, 20:44   #12
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You might consider a gamefisher (tanaka motor) 3hp, or a Tohatsu 3.5.

Both of them small, lightweight, air cooled (no impellers), reliable, integrated fuel tank... they are incredible simple motors.

The gamefishers are much easier to find than the Tohatsu. But they're very similar motors. Parts for either can be easily found online.

I have a gamefisher 1.2HP for sale if you're interested
Funny you should mention the Tanaka. I actually have one that came with my Nacra 5.2 beach cat. Even more ironic is the fact that I disassembled the carb, removed the tank, plug, etc and cleaned it up last night. Started right up and ran well in my backyard after sitting for 2 years. This is actually what prompted the thread.

Even though I am impressed with the simplicity and light weight of the Tanaka, The reliability factor remains untested for me. Should be fine for scooting the beach cat out of the canal to the main sailing area, but don't know of I want one on the tender for cruising.

Anyone have any arguments for or against air cooled engines? Why mess with the added variables of a water cooled system if your just looking to shuttle to shore from anchor?
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Old 13-08-2012, 20:47   #13
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[QUOTE=
I have a gamefisher 1.2HP for sale if you're interested [/QUOTE]

Btw: thanks for the offer, but 1.2 seems a bit underpowered even for my simplistic aspirations.
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Old 13-08-2012, 20:49   #14
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Re: In search of simple lightweight outboard

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Btw: thanks for the offer, but 1.2 seems a bit underpowered even for my simplistic aspirations.
Yeah, I learned that the hard way
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Old 13-08-2012, 21:28   #15
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Re: In search of simple lightweight outboard

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Funny you should mention the Tanaka. I actually have one that came with my Nacra 5.2 beach cat. Even more ironic is the fact that I disassembled the carb, removed the tank, plug, etc and cleaned it up last night. Started right up and ran well in my backyard after sitting for 2 years. This is actually what prompted the thread.

Even though I am impressed with the simplicity and light weight of the Tanaka, The reliability factor remains untested for me. Should be fine for scooting the beach cat out of the canal to the main sailing area, but don't know of I want one on the tender for cruising.

Anyone have any arguments for or against air cooled engines? Why mess with the added variables of a water cooled system if your just looking to shuttle to shore from anchor?
Well, I would put the tanaka's up against any other motor in terms of reliability. And your experience only helps the case

I did landscaping for a number of years using a Tanaka powered weedeater (probably the same motor as my 1.2hp gamefisher!). We occasionally had ethanol related issues, which require cleaning the carb etc... but I don't think you'll find any 2 stroke without those same issues. We ran the crap out of this motor more than 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, for no less than 2 years. Starting on the third pull about 12 times a day.... The tanaka was still running fine but the bossman wanted a new toy so he got 4 stroke honda right about the time I quit... I know that's different than the marine environment, but as far as the motor goes, as long as its clean and maintained, it runs and it runs and it runs
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