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Old 09-10-2010, 07:15   #1
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Outboard Motors

We need to buy an outboard motor for our new dingy. Looking for feedback on the different brands. We need a four stroke 15 hp. Have looked at Honda, Yamaha, and Tohatsu. From all the info I can gather the Tohatsu seems to be the best buy but I have no previous experience with the brand. I don't like the Yamaha as much as they use recycled aluminium in their engine blocks and the water passages rust out over time. The Honda is good motor but they charge a big premium for the brand name. The Tohatsu is very popular in the far east and the company has been making outboards for 50 years but you don't see very many around. Anybody have first hand experience with these motors?
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Old 09-10-2010, 07:29   #2
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Why four stroke?
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Old 09-10-2010, 07:33   #3
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Why do you need a four stroke? I was told by a expat living in the Bahamas the 2 stroke does much better with the fuel quality in the Bahamas/Caribbean much better, due to the larger fuel jets.

I just know that my Yamaha 2-stroke 15 hp has been doing fine, and is much lighter than a 4 stroke. Most folks I talk to consider the Yamaha top of the line, I got a good deal on a used one and have been happy with it so far.

Have not seen any Tohatsu dealer/maintenance places around Marsh Harbour. I see Yamaha, Mercury, Suzuki and Honda. Make sure you can get parts when you decide.
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Old 09-10-2010, 07:33   #4
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We have had great luck with Tohatsu 2 strokes, but no experience with their 4 strokes. There is a good dealer network, and I have been able to get parts all over the world.
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Old 09-10-2010, 07:48   #5
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I've had the Tohatsu 18hp 2/stroke for five years. No problems as of yet. Plenty of power which I really like. My dingy is an older AB 11.6" double floored RIB. Heavy beast that leaks water in between the decks. The 18hp has no problem getting it up on plane with four people, 6gal of fuel and any load in put in the dingy. I use it a lot for more than just getting back and forth to land. Diving, exploring etc. I use a lot more fuel than my 5hp Merc but the 18hp also allows me to anchor a lot further away from areas that are crowded or areas I want to explore but the big boat can't get close too.
Anybody want to buy a 5hp Merc with about 20 hrs on it?
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Old 09-10-2010, 07:54   #6
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I think its worth the extra money to have a reliable outboard. I would get the Honda.
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:06   #7
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Nissan and Tohatsu are the same, both manufactured by Tohatsu. Also, Tohatsu manufactures some of the Honda outboards as well. I have seen a few around our marina and have heard no complaints.

I personally have a 9.9 Mercury four stroke. It has spent as much time in the shop as it has on the water. (I'm not kidding.)

I don't think you'll go wrong with the Tohatsu.
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:11   #8
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I have had very satisfactory experience with two Tohatsu 4 strokes: a 6hp and an 8. The 8 is new to me, with less than 10 hours, so I'll just tell you about the 6, which is also sold as a Nissan or Mercury 4, 5, or 6hp (with different paint and a bell or whistle choice.) It has started on the first pull every season. It starts on the first pull all season long. It is easy to maintain with a well presented owner's manual, and the oil looks as clean at 100 hours as it did new. Parts are cheap and available everywhere. It is so quiet I've forgotten it was running in a moderately noisy harbor. There is very little exhaust smell, and absolutely no trail of oil slick. I have owned a considerable number of dinghy-sized outboards in the last 40 years, from every living manufacturer and a few defunct ones. While I would buy a Honda Motorcycle or car before any other, their outboards don't deserve so much respect. Shy, reliable Tohatsu is your best choice in this market, unless you just have to have a new bell or whistle. You won't find it on a Tohatsu until its proven to be bullet-proof.

Look at the local small boat fleet anywhere you cruise. You will see
Tohatsu's (or their kin) adorning a number of boats in every harbor. You can bet there's a dealer somewhere close, but he might not be in the directory or under a big sign on the wide streets!
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:40   #9
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Thank you all for your input
without getting into the whole debate about 2 stroke/ 4 stroke I settled on purchasing a 4 stroke although my first choice was an Evinrude ETEC they do not make a 15hp motor yet.
I am not that worried about parts and service regardless of what motor we buy as my experiece has been you should carry a good inventory of parts at all times, and no matter what motor you have it will always breakdown in the one place where there is no dealer to sell you the parts you need.
The info from Tohatsu owners seems very positive so far.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:05   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
Why four stroke?
+1

I personally wouldn't have a four stroke dink engine if I had a choice. Two stroke is superior for this application.

The other question, concerning Tohatsu: I believe that my Mariner 25 horsepower is made by Tohatsu. It is an excellent motor in all respects, completely trouble-free, well-made, extremely light. It is a two-stroke.
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Old 09-10-2010, 12:11   #11
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2 Stroke for sure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
+1

I personally wouldn't have a four stroke dink engine if I had a choice. Two stroke is superior for this application.

The other question, concerning Tohatsu: I believe that my Mariner 25 horsepower is made by Tohatsu. It is an excellent motor in all respects, completely trouble-free, well-made, extremely light. It is a two-stroke.
Couldnít agree more and I sell em for a living.
Evinrude, Mercury, Yamaha and Suzuki.
For a dinghy application and if your going to be in remote areas the simpler and lighter the better. Unfortunately in the U.S. the EPA has decided for us that the conventional two stokes are super evil things.
Spare parts, oh boy, ya might want to carry a spare carburetor with you along with multiple carb kits, some really good solvent and a source of compressed air. Those orifices are really small and there are multitudes of passages. Bring an extra timing belt to and be sure ya keep track of it. Most have interference valves. Ya loose a belt and good chance the piston and the valves are going to get up close and personal.
Knowing what I know and was in a country where 2 strokes are available thatís what I would get in a heart beat.
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Old 09-10-2010, 12:21   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rourkeh View Post
Thank you all for your input
without getting into the whole debate about 2 stroke/ 4 stroke I settled on purchasing a 4 stroke although my first choice was an Evinrude ETEC they do not make a 15hp motor yet.
I am not that worried about parts and service regardless of what motor we buy as my experiece has been you should carry a good inventory of parts at all times, and no matter what motor you have it will always breakdown in the one place where there is no dealer to sell you the parts you need.
The info from Tohatsu owners seems very positive so far.
Well, I guess that is it then.

I would get a 2 stroke though, especially if now in the Bahamas. Lots of folks on CF have said the deals are good there.
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