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Old 17-06-2011, 17:04   #1
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Which Tohatsu Should I Buy ?

We're getting ready to cruise Mexico and maybe farther. Family of 3 plus a dog.
Defender has a pretty good sale on Tohatsu outboards right now and I'm trying to decide what to buy. I have a Zodiac Zoom 310s, wood floor, and it's 10.5 feet long. Zodiac recommends a 10 horse motor and the max is 15hp.
Defender has their Toahatsu 9.8 at 81# for $1699.00 and their 6.0 at 55# for $1179.00 I can't afford a 15hp, weight or dollars, so that's out. I know that you can't beat a Honda outboard but even used Hondas are more than new Tohatsus.
Or would you just dog the whole idea and find the best deal possible on a used Tohatsu or Nissan 9.8 4 stroke? Probably $800-$1000 on Craigslist.
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Old 17-06-2011, 17:36   #2
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Re: Which Tohatsu should I buy?

The only thing I would caution you on is using a 4 stroke and getting it serviced outside the US. We found no one on the Atlantic side of Mexico that could or would service them and many owners ran into warranty issues trying to get them repaired there. The Pacific side may be different but you might want to do some research first. Our 9 foot Caribe would begrudgingly get up on plane with just two of us, but any additional weight and it would not. Your 10.5 may not plane and that is important to most cruisers. Chuck
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Old 19-06-2011, 08:58   #3
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Re: Which Tohatsu should I buy?

Which engine did you have?
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Old 19-06-2011, 09:06   #4
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Re: Which Tohatsu should I buy?

I have a 9.9 2 stroke Tohatsu on a 9' Caribe RIB. It would barely plane two people until I changed the prop to a flatter pitch one and added a Doel-Fin. Now it will plane three. The prop and the Doel-Fin each added about the same towards planing.

A four stroke generally has less torque at low rpm than a two stroke, so you definitely want the flatter pitch prop to let it rev up if you want to plane with three. Your longer dinghy should help planing, but your wooden floor should hurt relative to an RIB.

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Old 19-06-2011, 09:39   #5
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Re: Which Tohatsu should I buy?

I would say if you need to lift the motor by hand the two stroke look much better the 9.9 should be about perfect
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Old 19-06-2011, 10:23   #6
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Re: Which Tohatsu should I buy?

If you're even kind of concerned about weight and/or power, I would find a 2-stroke. Good used 15HP 2-strokes are a dime a dozen, and should weigh around 75 pounds. (9.9hp 2-strokes almost always weigh the same as the comparable 15.) New is also available if you're willing to look for it. I just heard rumors of a friend buying a brand new (2008 model) 2-stroke 25HP, with warranty, shipped to me - er, them - for $1000 (and almost 100 pounds!) less than the comparable, locally-available 4-stroke.
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Old 19-06-2011, 10:25   #7
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Re: Which Tohatsu should I buy?

I think you won't be able to plane up 3 people and a dog with a 9.8. Maybe, but it will be iffy. I have had a 9.8 Nissan 4 stroke and a 9.8 Nissan 2 stroke on a 9 foot Zoom and it planes up just fine with two people. I have not tried 3. I had a 13 foot Zoom with an 8 hp and it would plane up 2 people and a dog (Jack Russell). That same boat with a 2-stroke 15 would plane up 3 people. I had a 130 pound aluminum bottom 11 foot inflatable with a 2-stroke 15hp and it would JUST barely plane up 3 people and a dog. Now I have an 11.5 aluminum inflatable with a 2-stroke 25hp and it planes up 4 people and 4 whippets (35 pound dogs) no problem, although deck space and windage becomes an issue at that point, (also dog slobber).

I know it sounds risky to buy a used motor, but I think for less than $1500 if you shop carefully, you should find a well cared for 15 hp 2 stroke. They are light, and easy to service. Yamahas are KING in the Caribbean.

Either way. DO NOT SCRIMP ON A DINGHY MOTOR. The few extra bucks it costs initially to buy a bigger motor will pay for itself 100 times over in your ability to do some great long range exploring.
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Old 19-06-2011, 10:33   #8
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Re: Which Tohatsu should I buy?

Nissan and Tohatsu are the same engine made by Tohatsu but you pay for the Nissan sticker. The 4 strokes are heavy and parts are very hard to get in the Caribbean and have to be shipped from Texas.

Buy a second hand Yamaha 2 stroke.
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Old 19-06-2011, 11:08   #9
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Re: Which Tohatsu should I buy?

Since you are going to out the back of beyond, I would bite the bullet and buy the 9.8 Tohatsu, if its a 2 stroke. Little to go wrong and will last you 10 years easy.

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Old 19-06-2011, 12:55   #10
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Re: Which Tohatsu should I buy?

10 hp should get you up on a plane..but might be a little dicey at times. many 2 stroke engines are the same weight at 15hp as at 10. You boat is not a RIB, so the 10 will likely work, unless the people are big and heavy. I bought a used 9.9 Johnson last year...but really, it was a new engine... sat in a garage and had no apparant use at all. $700 included the manual and spares. If you can find a Yamaha 2 stroke that's not too over used...that is the best thing out there.
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:43   #11
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Re: Which Tohatsu should I buy?

Update...
I ended up finding a used Nissan 9.9 2 stroke on craigslist for $700.00. It had 1 hour's use. I'm still breaking it in but it's scary fast. I'm glad I didn't go with anything bigger, the max for this boat is 15 but I wouldn't want to drive that.
It gets up and planes fast with 3 people and a dog.
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