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Old 05-11-2014, 10:01   #1
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Yamaha 2.5 VS Suzuki 2.5 VS Tohatsu 3.5.

Hello,

I know these outboards have been discussed in other threads, but please help me choose.. Tomorrow the UPS truck should be dropping off an Achilles LEX-77 inflatable at my door. It's 7'7". I will next need to get an outboard... Max HP is 4, which is also the recommended power.

Intended use is as a tender and occasional exploratory vehicle :-)

Which of the three would be best?

The Suzuki is cheap and light.
The Yamaha, quite a bit heavier, more expensive.
The Tohatsu is heavier still but 3.5hp.

I weigh 200lbs so not sure if planing would be possible with the 3.5hp. Not with a 2.5hp I am sure. The dinghy will mostly be used solo. If I can't plane with a 3.5, I might as well get a lighter 2.5 and save gas...

Reliability is important of course, and I wonder if the Yamaha would be better? The extra weight has to be there for a good reason, right?

I might also encounter conditions where I wish I had one more HP... Is that worth the extra weight?

Hard choice... Opinions? Thanks!

Gil.
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:08   #2
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Re: Yamaha 2.5 VS Suzuki 2.5 VS Tohatsu 3.5.

I doubt you'll get a 7'7" with an inflatable keel to plane with a either a 2.5hp or a 3.5hp. I would seriously doubt it will get on plane with a 5hp. Certainly not with 2 people it won't.
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:10   #3
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Re: Yamaha 2.5 VS Suzuki 2.5 VS Tohatsu 3.5.

I have a 8.5 west marine slat-floor (roll up) inflatable with a Lehr 2.5 motor.

I would MUCH rather have more power. It's never gonna plane, but a 3.5-4 hp motor would have been a much better experience. It's just dang slow.
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:16   #4
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Re: Yamaha 2.5 VS Suzuki 2.5 VS Tohatsu 3.5.

Since you aren't gonna plane with that rig, get the lightest, or the one with the best reviews.
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:18   #5
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Re: Yamaha 2.5 VS Suzuki 2.5 VS Tohatsu 3.5.

I doubt you'll be planing with that small of an inflatable nor am I sure you'd really want to. I've been able to get my 8.5' Achilles to plane with a 4hp Yamaha but it was tough (had to get well forward with tiller extension) and not too stable. A smaller inflatable would be more difficult still.

I'd go for the lightest outboard. I'm planning to replace my 4hp Yamaha with a 2hp air-cooled Honda (< 30 lbs).
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:25   #6
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Yamaha 2.5 VS Suzuki 2.5 VS Tohatsu 3.5.

I have a Tohatsu 3.5 on an 8'6" air floor dinghy. With me alone (160) under just the right conditions it can plane. Takes a long time to get up. With anyone or groceries it will not. I'm happy with the motor. It's quiet, light, starts easily. All of these small outboards have issues with the carb jets due to ethanol. If I had davits I'd want a 10" RIB with 9.9 hp.


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Old 05-11-2014, 23:16   #7
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Re: Yamaha 2.5 VS Suzuki 2.5 VS Tohatsu 3.5.

Thanks guys, very good points. I am slightly leaning towards the Suzuki for the lower weight and price... Still listening to any opinion... The Yamaha is $300 more and heavier, any argument as to getting one instead of a Suzuki?

Max motor weight for the LEX-77 is 55lbs. My max would probably be around 40lbs, since I don't have davits.

I did think about the Honda but the noise, lower power and price would make it my fourth choice...

Then there is the possibility of getting a two stroke in the Bahamas, but mixing oil is a bit of a pain. Though if there was a light 4hp around...

Gil.
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Old 06-11-2014, 06:06   #8
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Re: Yamaha 2.5 VS Suzuki 2.5 VS Tohatsu 3.5.

A Bollard pull test showed that the:
Mercury 3.5hp and Tohatsu 3.5hp were the most remarkable at 90lbs of thrust (These two engines along with the Mariner are virtually identical).
The least efficient was the Honda 2.3hp at 66lbs of thrust.
In between were the Suzuki 2.5hp at 83lbs of thrust,
the Yamaha 2.5hp at 78lbs of thrust
and the Parsun 2.6hp at 70 lbs of thrust.
choosing an Outboard Motor For Your Dinghy | Yamaha Outboards
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:06   #9
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Re: Yamaha 2.5 VS Suzuki 2.5 VS Tohatsu 3.5.

Very interesting, thanks!


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Old 06-11-2014, 07:15   #10
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Re: Yamaha 2.5 VS Suzuki 2.5 VS Tohatsu 3.5.

Silly question, but is there much difference in speed between these little motors? I was thinking even a small motor would push you at hull speed, double the HP and you go 1/2 mph faster? Unless you can plane does it make much difference?
The air cooled and especially the centrifugal clutch would make me not want the Honda.
Static thrust is well just static and is highly driven by prop diameter and pitch, once moving not sure how valid the comparison is?
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:19   #11
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Yamaha 2.5 VS Suzuki 2.5 VS Tohatsu 3.5.

From what I see around me at anchorages there doesn't seem to be much performance difference. The air cooled ones are of course louder. To me the best thing would be a solution to the tiny carb jets that get gunked up from ethanol or from infrequent use. The little propane outboard looks attractive in that regard.


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Old 06-11-2014, 08:35   #12
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Re: Yamaha 2.5 VS Suzuki 2.5 VS Tohatsu 3.5.

We have a number of outboards at work that are used to power small trailer boats for research. I have been dealing with outboards professionally for over 23 years now. I would never get another Suzuki again. They have had numerous problems over the years. The Yamaha's have always worked almost flawlessly. In my own experience Yamaha's and Honda's are the most reliable outboards.

What good is a lighter outboard if it does not work? I suspect that Suzuki cuts corners in order to make their engines lighter and less expensive.

The solution to prevent your carburetor from getting gummed up is when you are done with the engine, disconnect the fuel line and let the engine burn all of the remaining fuel out of the carburetor. This helps to prevent the jets from getting clogged. I have never found any fuel additive to be effective.

The downside to propane is that it takes a greater volume for the equivalent amount of stored energy. Quite often dinks don't have a whole lot of spare room, the cans are an odd shape and can corrode leaving rust stains if they are steel.
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:40   #13
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Re: Yamaha 2.5 VS Suzuki 2.5 VS Tohatsu 3.5.

I've owned the Suzuki and the Tohatsu. In my opinion, the Tohatsu is the better engine. It just felt better engineered, ran better, and was more dependable. Very dependable, in fact. And of course, you've got a bit more power.

Problems with jets blocking can be avoided by good practice (run the carb dry, use stabiliser, keep the gas fairly new) and have nothing to do with ethanol. It's a function of very small orifices in small 4 strokes, and the fundamental properties of gasoline.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:38   #14
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Re: Yamaha 2.5 VS Suzuki 2.5 VS Tohatsu 3.5.

Reliability is one thing easy maintenance is another. Had a Yamaha 2.5 ran nice up to a point. They had the fuel filter in the gas tank, just a little thing, but with the new gas it would shut the engine down with no warning. To get it out you had to drain the gas and remove the tank. The carburetor was just as tempera mental and as hard to get at all this is only a problem when you are hanging onto someone's rhode waiting for them to come back.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:45   #15
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Re: Yamaha 2.5 VS Suzuki 2.5 VS Tohatsu 3.5.

Thanks guys. I guess you get what you pay for... The Suzuki certainly looks good on paper. The Yamaha costs about the same as the Tohatsu, which is 4lbs heavier. Darn, this is not going to be an easy choice.

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