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Old 26-08-2007, 02:12   #1
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4-Stroke vs. 2-Stroke Outboards

I know that in USA you can't purchase 2-Stroke Outboards, but the rest of the world, fortunately or unfortunately, isn't that "selective".

While I am aware of all the technical oriented pros and cons of both, I'm interested in hearing from "the voices of blue-water cruising expereience". If you had the choice and could purchase a new motor today for a new 3.1 meter RIB, would you select a 2 or 4 stroke and why? What brand would you pick and why?
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Old 26-08-2007, 05:18   #2
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To me it is all about weight.

Would love to run a 2 cylinder 4 stroke engine on my 3.1M dink, but with limited space on the boat for a crane we need a lightweight motor.
So we have a 35 lbs (16 Kgs) 2 cylinder, 2 stroke Evinrude 4 HP. It kicks pretty good and it is light enough to lift and lower with one arm.

That being said I have eyballed the Tohatsu 6HP, 4 stroke. It weighs in at 53 lbs (24Kgs) and despite a single cylinder the dealer says it does not vibrate much. Also failry inexpensive at $1,220.00 (US) The excact same motor is sold under the brand name Mercury for $1,650.00 (US)

Anybody out there running a 6 HP Tohatsu, Nissan, or Mercury? (They are all made by Tohatsu with the only difference being the label.)
How much vibration? Amy other issues...?

As for not being able to buy 2 strokes in the US..?
I belive there are still 2 strokes for sale, even big ones.
New technology have made them cleaner and more fuel efficient.
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Old 26-08-2007, 06:02   #3
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I most from a 2 stroke 50+ pound 6hp to a 90 pound 4 stroke 8hp. ICK. I was forced to get a motor lift/crane. I got the demountable Garhauser one which solved the lifting problem. Getting the 6hp on the rail was a real pain in the ass, but with the lift it is a snap to get the 8hp stowed.

It's like anchoring with an electric windlass as opposed to without a windlass. Makes all the the difference. I like the performance of the 4 stroke and love that I don't have to be adding oil to the fuel. I probably would not have gotten the fabulous and well recommended Garhaurer lift/cane for a smaller motor, but I am really glad we did and it can be used for lifting other heavy things like a mother in law... just kidding. The demountable aspect of the lift is reallya plus because it is not attractive and can get in the way when we are settled down in a harbor and commuting to the boat by dink. Off it comes in 2 minutes and into a lazarette.

And the 4 stroke is a one pull quiet puppy too with lots of punch by Honda.

Try it. You'll like it.

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Old 26-08-2007, 07:45   #4
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I probably would not have gotten the fabulous and well recommended Garhaurer lift/cane for a smaller motor, but I am really glad we did and it can be used for lifting other heavy things like a mother in law
Where did ya mount the crane?
Got a pic?
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Old 31-08-2007, 07:23   #5
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You are mistaken when you said that we can not buy 2-stroke outboard motors in the USA. We in the States can buy them on both the new and used market. I prefer a 2-stroke for my dinghy because of its significantly lighter weight and less bulk than a similar HP 4-stoke. My motor for my 10 foot Zodiac is a small 2-stroke Yamaha.
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Old 31-08-2007, 07:41   #6
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In my view 2 stroke is the only way to go when cruising. Lighter, easier to maintain and simple to service. The only advantage to a 4 stroke is better gas mileage but the cons outweighs this. Go with a Yamaha 15 hp 2 stroke.
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Old 31-08-2007, 08:52   #7
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"I know that in USA you can't purchase 2-Stroke Outboards,"
What was it Mark Twain said? About the reports of his death being somewhat premature? < g > As long as it meets EPA emissions, you can buy new 2-strokes in the US, and the used ones are unregulated.

Generally the 2-strokes are lighter (and dirtier) while the 4-strokes are heavier, more expensive, and more fuel efficient. The new cleaner 2-strokes are more similar to 4-strokes in every way though.
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Old 31-08-2007, 15:11   #8
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Don't think that anyone would describe my cruising experience as 'bluewater' but I agree on the weight issue. And, no matter what kind of outboard you choose, I believe that one of the most valuable cruising mods is dingy davits sufficiently strong to easily raise and secure your dingy/motor combo.
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Old 31-08-2007, 15:23   #9
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two strokes are lighter,noiser and use more fuel and are cheaper.
Four strokes are heavier,quieter use less fuel particularly at lower rev's and cost more.
I have four strokes as my main power source and a two stroke for my dingy.
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Old 01-09-2007, 05:18   #10
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4 stroke vs 2 stroke....here is the info you need

This is an interesting subject that we can shed some light on. Most, actually a great percentage of new boats are not designed for the heavier 4 strokes, especially inflatables. We had a 10' Avon RIB with a Yamaha 15 4 stroke when we left canada August 2006, by November we traded it for a Yamaha 15 2 stroke. The RIB sat 2" higher in the water, planned faster, cruised faster and had much better performance. As well Wicked Wendy was able to pull start the 2 stroke and not the 4 stroke. Yes it used a little more fuel but the operating difference was so great i would never consider a 4 stroke again. And here is the big note...... there are no repair facilities for 4 strokes in the Caribbean other than PR or USVI. 4 strokes were developed for the North American and European markets, not Caribbean or Central America. You may find it interesting that the US coast guard and armed forces are phasing out their Honda 4 strokes and going back to Evinrude and Johnson 2 strokes as the new vtec (over 60 hp) are getting better mileage than 4 strokes with 22 moving parts vs over 200 in the 4 strokes.
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Old 01-09-2007, 09:50   #11
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Pirate - 2-strokes are also easier to fix/less parts, hence lighter. Usually you only see the little Honda four-stokes out there on small dinks, which I think is a pretty good idea if you're not in a hurry or have a really lightweight dink. Even loading up a 6 to 10hp 2-stk while bobbing around at anchor is a minor chore if alone and ya don't have a crane. I'd suggest getting the smallest motor you can to plane with howevr many people you'd transport on a regular basis.

CSYMan - We had a Nissan 8hp...close to what you're looking at. Loved it! Vibration not an issue, seemed smooth to me. Ran fine. Paid $500usd for a near-new used one. It always started, the only thing that broke was the kill switch...rubber boot ripped and corroded the contacts. A cheapo two way switch re-wired in solved that.

Anyone - for a great tiller extension handle that's dirt cheap look for a flared PVC pipe at the hardware store that you can push onto the throttle. Just cut it to the length you need....if you cut it a little long you can stand up in the dinghy cowboy-style and keep your ass dry...and it's fun. Push/pull on/off in a jiffy.
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Old 01-09-2007, 11:29   #12
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CSYMan - We had a Nissan 8hp...close to what you're looking at. Loved it! Vibration not an issue, seemed smooth to me.
Yeah, but that would have been a 2 cylinder model right...?
I am afraid the 1 cylinder models will vibrate too much.

I just came back from the Yamaha dealer.
They will sell me a 2 stroke, 2 cylinder, 8HP for $1,650.00 brand new, 2 in stock.
The Yamaha web page lists them as being in production still.

Anybody out there have experience with the Yamaha 8 HP, 2 stroke..?

The Tohatsu 8 HP, 4 stroke is cheaper, BUT about 24 lbs heavier...

60 lbs vs. 84 lbs.
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Old 01-09-2007, 11:54   #13
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Yeah, but that would have been a 2 cylinder model right...?
I am afraid the 1 cylinder models will vibrate too much.

I just came back from the Yamaha dealer.
They will sell me a 2 stroke, 2 cylinder, 8HP for $1,650.00 brand new, 2 in stock.
The Yamaha web page lists them as being in production still.

Anybody out there have experience with the Yamaha 8 HP, 2 stroke..?

The Tohatsu 8 HP, 4 stroke is cheaper, BUT about 24 lbs heavier...

60 lbs vs. 84 lbs.
I have the 6HP Mecrury 4 stroke and I am a bit disappointed in the amount of vibration, though it seems to smooth out at higher RPMs. If want to just putter along it rattles everything in the boat.

This isn't for my dink, it is my main auxillary.
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Old 02-10-2007, 18:43   #14
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I have one for my sail boat. Just bought it a few months ago and have around 40 hours on it now. frankly I bitterly regret buying it. It has less power than the 4hp 2 stroke johnson i replaced. It makes the back of my 23 ft sailboat feel like a vibrator.

I would now make sure I got a 2 cylinder engine for smoothness and noise. Anyways I am very disappointed in it.
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Old 02-10-2007, 18:57   #15
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We have a Tohatsu 3.5 4 stroke for the dink. Seems fine to me. Maybe the air in the dinghy tubes cushions the vibrations, but it really seems as smooth as any other 1 lunger outboard I've ever run.
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