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Old 08-06-2014, 10:59   #16
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Tohatsu makes the small outboards for Mercury, Nissan and Evinrude.

They do not make the small outboards for Yamaha, Honda or Suzuki.

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Old 08-06-2014, 12:52   #17
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

I have a 6hp 4 stroke nissan (read rebadged over priced tohatsu) it is a 2003 and runs like a top. The only down side is once a year i have to change the oil (but I dont have to mix the gas). The only thing I do to it is put stabil in every tank. No matter how long it sits it starts in one or two pulls. Very reliable and very easy to maintain.
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Old 08-06-2014, 19:18   #18
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

The "best" 6 HP outboard is not a simple question. First, there is the two stroke vs 4 stroke decision. Two strokes are lighter (my 1986 8LJ weighs 62 pounds, a similar new 4 stroke weighs 85,) simpler, and have better acceleration. That 23 pounds will make a big difference in performance when placed on the back of a small dinghy. Four strokes are quieter, smoke less, and have better torque. Fuel economy is better with a four stroke, but a 6HP outboard only burns half a gallon an hour at wide open throttle so economy is less of a concern in small outboards. Smaller four strokes lose a lot of their advantages as the injectors are so small to maximize economy that they are easily clogged by bad fuel, and again who cares if you burn 0.3 gallons per hour or 0.4? Four strokes idle better and at idle their fuel economy is more pronounced over a two stroke, which is even more inefficient at idle. If you idle a lot and especially if you run too much oil in your gas a two stroke will need to have new plugs more often. Mixing gas and oil needs to be done correctly, but having oil in the gas means you are getting great lubrication.

Then there is the issue of cost. Four strokes are always more expensive than two strokes, and there aren't many old four strokes to purchase inexpensively on the used market. If you are in an area where theft is a problem, an old 2 stroke with a crappy paint job is less likely to be stolen.

Ease of starting is more dependent on maintenance than type or brand IMO. A well maintained older two stroke can be extremely reliable and easy to start- see the video below of my new to me a few days ago 1986 8LJ which was not maintained well but has perfect compression 120/120 and starts first pull after putting in new plugs. It sat for several years in someone's garage and had significant signs of neglect.

Recently I needed to add a small kicker to my 19 foot boat. I've been using a 1980's Honda 5 HP I picked up for $200. It runs well and is reliable but is fairly noisy and vibrates a lot due to being only a one cylinder engine. I like Yamahas, and I've been looking for an 8 HP, but a new high thrust, electric start model is $1200 used. A few days ago I found a 1986 Yamaha 8LJ (long shaft, manual start) for $300 on Craigslist. I didn't have my tools with me so I couldn't evaluate it but took a chance on it.

This is how to evaluate a used outboard:
-look at the prop and check for dings and excessive wear, spin it and see if the shaft is straight (it will have a wobble if there was a bad prop strike.)
-ask about the maintenance history, see if they have a shop manual.
-loosen the lower gear oil drain screw, let a little gear oil out and make sure the gear oil isn't milky (which means the seals will need to be replaced.)
-take the cowling off and look for excessive corrosion, or discolored paint (bronzed/lighter) around the cylinder area by the spark plugs which implies it overheated at some point.
-take the spark plugs out (13/16 socket or big adjustable wrench,) disconnect the kill switch and check the compression with a $35 guage from Autozone. You screw the guage in the spark plug hole and pull the starter a few times until the guage maxes out. 120 is typical and each cylinder should be within 10 psi of the other.
-get an $8 inline spark tester in case the engine won't start. If the compression is good and there is good spark, it is probably a fuel supply problem. In mine, just changing the fuel hose and primer bulb fixed an engine that wouldn't start. Compression plus spark plus fuel equals tiny explosion.
-bring "ear muffs" to hook to a water supply to run the engine, check to see if the impeller is pumping water out from under the cowling. The one I just bought had a clog from sand in the outlet that I fixed by poking it with a small drill bit. I'm still going to change the impeller.
-look at the spark plugs and make sure there is no metal bits on the plugs, metal would mean the bearings are tearing apart.
-make sure the fuel line primer bulb will get nice and hard when you pump it. Pump it with the flow area pointing skyward so the check valve will work. Put the fuel tank at a reasonable height. Have the motor down in operating position so the carburetor bowls will fill more easily.
-see if it will idle nice and slow. If it coughs and dies, the carbs need cleaning. There are YouTube videos on how to clean a Yamaha carb, which prevents poor performance and running lean which is bad for the engine. Or you can pay 1.5 hours of mechanic time at $85 per hour for the first carburetor and 0.5 hours for each successive carb.
-put it in gear after it is warm (prop warning applies) and run the throttle up to check for hesitation in the high speed jets. Best to water test it on a boat if possible, this problem may only show up when under a load.

Parts are easy to get for old Yamaha outboards. Check out Simyamaha.com. Get a shop manual for your specific outboard and learn how to take care of it, change the impeller etc. $75 well spent (proprietary Yamaha literature, don't get a cheap knock off like Seloc.)

Old two strokes hard to start? A myth based on poor maintenance, although they can sometimes be a little cold natured. Google "Yamaha 4 stroke hard to start" and you will find examples of brand new little four stroke outboard engines that are cantankerous.

1986 Yamaha 8LJ Pictures, 1986 Yamaha 8LJ Images, 1986 Yamaha 8LJ Photos, 1986 Yamaha 8LJ Videos - User Media - TinyPic - Free Image Hosting, Photo Sharing & Video Hosting
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Old 09-06-2014, 06:15   #19
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azul View Post
Two strokes are lighter

.
Smaller four strokes lose a lot of their advantages as the injectors are so small to maximize economy that they are easily clogged by bad fuel

..
Four strokes are always more expensive than two strokes
Just for accuracy, the Yamaha 6hp 2-stroke weighs 59lbs, while the 6hp 4-stroke weighs 60lbs. The Tohatsu 6hp 2-stroke weighs 57lbs, while the 6hp 4-stroke is actually lighter at 55lbs.

I have never seen an outboard below 15hp with injectors.

I don't know prices for 6hp outboards, but when we were recently shopping for a new 15/20hp outboard, there was no real difference in price between equivalent 2-strokes and 4-strokes.

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Old 09-06-2014, 13:01   #20
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Just for accuracy, the Yamaha 6hp 2-stroke weighs 59lbs, while the 6hp 4-stroke weighs 60lbs. The Tohatsu 6hp 2-stroke weighs 57lbs, while the 6hp 4-stroke is actually lighter at 55lbs.

I have never seen an outboard below 15hp with injectors.

I don't know prices for 6hp outboards, but when we were recently shopping for a new 15/20hp outboard, there was no real difference in price between equivalent 2-strokes and 4-strokes.

Mark
Just for accuracy (sounds kinda snobbish and snarky IMO,) Yamaha doesn't make a 2 stroke 6 HP anymore, the smallest 2 stroke on their website is 25 HP. And their current four stroke 6HP is a one cylinder(bleh weedwhacker, oranges and apples). As I stated before, a 1986 8LJ (long shaft 8 HP 2 stroke) weighs 62 pounds and a 2012 8HP four stroke long shaft weighs 85 pounds per NADA. Older Yamaha 6 HP four strokes were 2 cylinders and much smoother, and they weighed about the same as the 8 HP models.

NADA values for a comparable year Yamaha 2 stroke vs 4 stroke same HP will be more expensive for the 4 stroke. For example 2003 8HP: 2 stroke 60 pounds, $950. 4 stroke 83 pounds, $1125. Not everyone on this site just goes out and buys a brand new piece of equipment when they need something, which is the larger point of my post and not just answering the OP's question.

People with small boats where weight on the transom is a big consideration actively seek out older Yamaha two strokes for their weight to HP ratio and longevity. A NEW 2 stroke is for a special application (since the government is actively trying to extinguish them forever which tends to drive up the cost) such as a bass fisherman that values acceleration over torque and weight.

Yes the smaller ones are carbureted and the thingy that gets clogged is a jet in the carburetor. They are a PITA in the tiny four strokes and difficult to DIY if you screw them up by letting them sit idle for a short time. Four strokes are getting lighter over time but over 8 HP they have the electronic wizardry that tends to fail and be expensive to fix.

I would rather be stuck out in the middle of nowhere with a two stroke than a four stroke, I'm pretty confident I could get the two stroke running again just by taking it apart and cleaning it.
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Old 09-06-2014, 13:30   #21
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

Not trying to be snobby or snarkish. The OP asked specifically about a 6hp outboard. You changed that to an 8hp to make a point about weight. I provided data on currently manufactured 6hp outboards to give the OP correct information on weights of engines he may be interested in.

8hp engines moves one into apples and oranges comparisons because they start sharing different block sizes between 2- and 4-strokes. I could turn the tables and compare 20hp 2- and 4-strokes, for example, where the 2-strokes are 25lbs heavier.

Much of the world outside the US and Canada would be very surprised to find out that Yamaha no longer makes 6hp 2-strokes, let alone any 2-stroke smaller than 25hp. It would certainly go against what their eyes are telling them when they walk into a showroom (I was in one yesterday in Colombia and can assure you they are still being made). They are not for sale in the US and Canada - have a look at a more global view of Yamaha's website: 15-2ps Two Strokes - Consumer Products | YAMAHA MOTOR CO., LTD.. If you want to limit choices to what is available new there, then 2-strokes are out completely regardless of weight.

The OP didn't mention he wanted to buy used. If so, then he has a plethora of choices and you provide some good info for evaluating used engines.

Since he plans to also use this outboard as the main propulsion on his boat, I disagree with you on the importance of fuel economy.

Put an external fuel filter/water separator inline and kiss carburetor problems goodbye. Trust me, we spend a lot of time in the middle of nowhere and there is absolutely no difference between 2- and 4-stroke engines when it comes to carburetor problems. Anyone without an external fuel filter/water separator has problems and anyone with one does not - regardless of the combustion cycle of the engine.

As for fixing them in the middle of nowhere - that is all about one's skill and comfort level with engines. Anyone growing up with 4-stroke automobiles, motorcycles, etc would not have any problems with an outboard. Parts and service for both in the middle of nowhere are the same.

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Old 09-06-2014, 13:38   #22
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

I bought a Yamaha 6SF 2-stroke, and converted it to an 8hp. The differences are the carburettor, and the exhaust manifold. I also changed a bunch of other parts while I was in there... gaskets, cylinder block, thermostat, piston rings, crank bearings, and so on. Cost me nearly $1000 in the end but I've got an essentially brand new, 8hp, Yamaha 2 stroke which is one of the best engines ever built.

boats.net sells all the spares, and the prices are quite reasonable.
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Old 09-06-2014, 14:01   #23
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azul View Post
Just for accuracy (sounds kinda snobbish and snarky IMO,) Yamaha doesn't make a 2 stroke 6 HP anymore, the smallest 2 stroke on their website is 25 HP.
.

For accuracy, wrong, wrong, wrong!! They make 2 strokes smaller than 25hp. They just don't sell them in the US.
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Old 09-06-2014, 14:20   #24
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

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Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
I bought a Yamaha 6SF 2-stroke, and converted it to an 8hp. The differences are the carburettor, and the exhaust manifold. I also changed a bunch of other parts while I was in there... gaskets, cylinder block, thermostat, piston rings, crank bearings, and so on. Cost me nearly $1000 in the end but I've got an essentially brand new, 8hp, Yamaha 2 stroke which is one of the best engines ever built.

boats.net sells all the spares, and the prices are quite reasonable.
And this was my point about needing to compare apples/apples with weights. Your 6hp 2-stroke shared the same engine with the 8hp. On the 4-stroke line, it is the 4/6hp and 8/10hp that share basic engines.

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Old 12-06-2014, 09:27   #25
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

Brian,
I just repowered my Cross 26 with a new Tohatsu 6hp SailPro and couldn't be happier. I had an old 93 Johnson 2 stroke that wasn't being as reliable as it had been in the past. The Tohatsu I got is the extra long shaft because i hang it off the rear crossarm. But it's the same weight as the Johnson 2 stroke long shaft, both around 65 lbs. The Tohatsu is only one cylinder so it does vibrate a bit more. But all and all, a 6hp with a xtra long shaft at 65 lbs, 5 year warrenty, I'm pumped!
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Old 27-10-2014, 00:00   #26
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

BTW, I ended up going with the Yamaha, mainly due to the ability to lay it down on either side during storage, and also due to the availability of service in remote locations. Much else seemed about the same among the brands...

As always, thanks for all the input!


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Old 25-09-2015, 14:59   #27
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

It is reported that Tohatsu will be making Suzuki's small engines also very soon.
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Old 25-09-2015, 15:27   #28
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

Yamaha. Four stroke if you must, but if you can find a two stroke yammie 6 you will love it. I did.
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Old 26-09-2015, 00:53   #29
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

All Mercs up to forty are made by tohatsu for merc. So if merc is on your list you may find the same engine in tohatsu at less money. Nothing wrong w/a Yamaha either but for the money as a kicker..I'd probably check into tohatsu at that hp level.
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Old 26-09-2015, 03:50   #30
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

I don't yet have enough experience yet to recommend it, but I recently acquired a Selva Black Bass 8hp four-stroke which weighs only 27 kg. Unlike most other motors of this size, it's a one-lunger, so not very smooth, and sounds like a lawnmower, but it's torquey and responsive and seems to use about 1/10 of the fuel of the 25hp two stroke it replaced. It can be set down any way except with the prop down. Maybe worth a look.

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