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Old 22-01-2018, 17:33   #1
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Thoughts on Current 25~30HP Outboard Options

I'm researching dinghies and outboards for our new Saba due 9/2018. I believe I've narrowed the dinghy down to the Highfield CL 380 with the FTC console. The outboard is tougher. The contenders are,
  • Yamaha F25 - No power trim or tilt available on the short shaft, no manual start, heaviest (223#) 3 year warranty but with presumably better support options in the Caribbean.

  • Honda BF30 - no EFI, no manual start, heavy (174#), 5 year warranty and seemingly good support access.

  • Suzuki DF30A - Lightest at 157#, power trim and tilt, both manual and electric start, 3 year warranty but I'm unsure of the dealer network in the Caribbean.
I really wish the new 50HP Yanmar Turbo Diesel was available in a smaller version as it's still too heavy at 376# - I'd love not to have to carry gasoline.

Note - The boat will be in crewed charter in the BVIs for a couple years and the upgraded hydraulic davits are fine with the weight (~700# limit). I've included only 4 stokes and intentionally omitted the prices as they are not relevant to the decision.

Am I missing anything important? What would you purchase and why? At this point, I'm leaning toward the Suzuki.

Thanks much for your comments!
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Old 22-01-2018, 18:09   #2
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Re: Thoughts on Current 25~30HP Outboard Options

Tohatsu also has an outboard that meets all your specifications with the same weight as the Suzuki. Perhaps it's the same motor, but even then, the dealer network might be better, not sure.

Be sure you're comparing apples to apples on weight. Most manufacturers quote weight without electric start or power trim/tilt, if they sell the motor in that configuration.

I have an 8 HP Yamaha and it has a hidden manual start capability for emergency use. You may want to check and see if the 25 HP does as well.
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Old 22-01-2018, 18:31   #3
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Re: Thoughts on Current 25~30HP Outboard Options

I don't know about parts and service around the globe, but you might look at Evinrude ETEC.

I have a 25 and am quite pleased with it. Lighter than a 4 stroke, but just as clean.
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Old 22-01-2018, 18:40   #4
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Re: Thoughts on Current 25~30HP Outboard Options

I stand corrected, somewhat. It's lighter for the 30hp.
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Old 22-01-2018, 20:02   #5
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Re: Thoughts on Current 25~30HP Outboard Options

I recommend the Suzuki. I've had a DF30A for 2 years in the E and W Caribbean. I've seen a few dealers, but have never needed anything from them.

Something else to think about is the prop. The prop any motor comes with is unlikely to be ideal unless someone has matched it to the boat. The standard prop wasn't great for me and I had a hard time getting on a plane with a heavy load. I got a spare with a smaller pitch and it turned out better for carrying lots of people or pulling toys. Unfortunately, I think it is trial and error to figure out what will work best.
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Old 23-01-2018, 01:51   #6
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Re: Thoughts on Current 25~30HP Outboard Options

I like the fresh water flush port on the Suzuki - that's a handy thing if you'll be flushing as you should be on occasions depending on usage. I didn't see if the others had this.

Don't be concerned about the Suzuki being 30hp versus the others 25, you would likely not be able to tell the difference, however it would be well worth while checking with the dealer to see if you can get the Yammy or Honda upgraded to 30hp. They are usually the exact same engine, you'll just need to have the ECU changed by them. Older models with a carby come with a flow restricter which is easily removed. The 25 and 30 are the same due to vessel manufacturers HP recommendations. You might find that the 30 is the same price anyway or perhaps within $50-$100.

The Suzuki definitely looks good though with its electric start and trim and the manual start is good if things go bad... good if you're out on a 2 week charter and the battery died.

I note that the Suzuki says that it has a battery-less fuel injection system, however it specifically doesn't say that it is electronic.. so I wonder how it works.

I'm guessing in the Caribbean that there would be more experience working on carburetors at any old mechanics, however with your EFI you'll have to find the authorised dealer.

2 year charter? Not likely to die on you in that amount of time, but it will need a few oil changes in that time. A 2-stroke doesn't need oil changes like a 4-stroke, but the gearbox needs the oil changing anyway, so no benefit in the 2 stroke in that regard.

So many things to think about... In terms of brand name, Yamaha or Honda, over the Suzuki, but Suzuki is definitely offering good value and features.

Good luck with your decision!
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Old 23-01-2018, 05:57   #7
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Re: Thoughts on Current 25~30HP Outboard Options

I have a 30hp Evenrude Etec with electric start and trim. It's an awesome motor but I do think it's quite heavy. I've also owned a 15hp Honda pull start for many many years and found it to be totally trouble free. 30hp Yamaha outboards seem to be oversized for no reason. They don't look right.
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Old 23-01-2018, 06:54   #8
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Re: Thoughts on Current 25~30HP Outboard Options

Thanks all for the comments - lots of great suggestions. It's looking like the Suzuki is still the leading candidate. We'll do some more research at the Miami show and watch see if anything new pops up before September.

I also noted that as the boat will initially be in crewed charter (commercial use), it looks like they restrict the warranty to 1 year.

Now to figure out how to source the outboard and dinghy (and a million other bits of kit) in France hopefully avoiding VAT.
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Old 23-01-2018, 09:20   #9
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Re: Thoughts on Current 25~30HP Outboard Options

+1 for Suzuki.
I bought one and I have 5 friends that bought suzuki in the last two years, all
have been and still are running perfectly with O troubles'. I tend to abuse outboards, my Suzuki takes it and keeps going!
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Old 23-01-2018, 09:45   #10
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Re: Thoughts on Current 25~30HP Outboard Options

I would also go with the zuke.
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Old 23-01-2018, 10:12   #11
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Re: Thoughts on Current 25~30HP Outboard Options

I d go with yamaha or honda, both have been making outboards for a while, many parts available esp. yamaha, a lot of commerical fishermen use yamaha.
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Old 23-01-2018, 10:59   #12
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Re: Thoughts on Current 25~30HP Outboard Options

I've had repeated carb problems with my Honda 20. Many others I've talked to have as well. Often takes multiple tries to start. My old Yamaha 15 never ever had a carb problem and started 1st pull every time.
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Old 23-01-2018, 14:24   #13
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Re: Thoughts on Current 25~30HP Outboard Options

The new Yamaha F25, weighs 126 lbs.!
https://yamahaoutboards.com/en-us/ho.../f25-specialty


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Old 23-01-2018, 14:39   #14
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Re: Thoughts on Current 25~30HP Outboard Options

Quote:
Originally Posted by smj View Post
The new Yamaha F25, weighs 126 lbs.!
https://yamahaoutboards.com/en-us/ho.../f25-specialty

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Yes, but NO. That's the tiller model - NOT the remote version with electric trim and tilt (which I need) AND...neither of which is available on the short shaft.

I really wanted the F25, but once I dove into the specs, it appears the Suzuki is a much better fit for my usage.
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Old 23-01-2018, 15:57   #15
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Re: Thoughts on Current 25~30HP Outboard Options

Starting outboards can be a black art.

My new Mercury 25 with carby was giving me a heap of trouble. Sometimes 20 pulls and she still wouldn't fire.

Then I found a video on YouTube where a guy posted how best to start it.

Now, without fail, it starts on the second pull every time. It's the second pull it starts because the first pull is with the ignition turned off.


- turn off ignition
- pump fuel
- pull out choke
- line up markers on throttle
- pull once
- turn on ignition
- pull start
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