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Old 06-06-2014, 08:43   #1
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Best 6hp outboard?

Hi all,
Any thoughts on what is currently the best outboard in the 6 hp range? I'm gonna use it for inflatable tender, as well as auxiliary motor on the 34' cat... Any thoughts about which brand is best and why? (Weight is one of the main criteria I can think of, but they seem to be similar). Availability of servicing in remote places? (Planning on sailing further as time goes on) Thanks for your thoughts!

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Old 06-06-2014, 08:50   #2
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

If you are going cruising, a Yamaha 2 stroke.

If you are using casually, I'd look into the Lehr propane engines. Allegedly, they now have them working on butane as well. Putting up with keeping gas fresh is a pain in the butt - even when we have a place to get ethanol free gasoline.
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Old 06-06-2014, 09:37   #3
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

I am not sure I agree with the 2 Stroke. I traded my 6 hp Yamaha 2 stroke for a Honda 7.5 years ago and never looked back.

For what you are talking about using it for, I would look into the 7+ HP range with two cylinders. We have a 6HP Evinrude 2011 model and it is fine for the dink, but I would rather have 2 cylinders to push a 34 Cat around.

Just dink use, I agree the ethanol issues can be a pain, but using for both aux and dink, less issues the more you use it. And I still swear by Seafoam.
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:06   #4
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

Yeah I live aboard, and with a dog, so we use it every day. And cruise full time, and without a slip after the next couple months... Thinking I'm not willing to deal with the propane/ethanol fuels ;(

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Old 06-06-2014, 10:07   #5
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

...why 2 stroke over 4?
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:23   #6
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

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...why 2 stroke over 4?
weight, less complexity, easier to maintain (this from the guy that has a four stroke)

But if your staying in the US and or having to buy in the US, that sort of limits you.
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:25   #7
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

There is a lot of debate over 2 vs 4 stroke. The 4 being heavier in what is available. (avoiding the HP at the prop discussion) The 2 Stroke Yamaha is a great engine. Finding a good one may be hard though. a new 4 stroke will not need fuel mixing and will outlast most 2 strokes. It's just the nature of the beast. One of the new Hi Thrust big prop engines would be great for your mother ship... but maybe not great for your dink as the shaft is long... is that going to be an issue for any motor for you? Short shaft vs long shaft..?
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:56   #8
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

I have found the Yamaha Enduro 6/8hp 2-stroke to be a real dog of an engine. It does not have the same reliability as their 15hp, although it sucks off of that engine's reputation.

If you are going 2-stroke, I would stay away from the Yamaha 6/8.

I am not seeing how you are going to be using one engine for both the mothership and the dinghy. Just the logistics of it are not good - let alone the sizing compromise that will be needed for one of the boats.

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Old 06-06-2014, 11:22   #9
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

Back when I Road Raced motorcycles, two stroke formula bikes were the King, only four stroke were the production bikes that were inherently heavy and underpowered, we called them Diesels

Go to the track now and the only two strokes I bet you'll see are in Vintage class racing.
Even in weed eaters four stroke are overcoming two strokes, although I have yet to see a four stroke chainsaw.
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Old 06-06-2014, 13:11   #10
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

Well yes, short vs long shaft is going to be a compromise no matter what... But I'm thinking that I'm willing to deal with the extra drag on the dink (with long shaft) in order to be able to utilize on mother ship.
And it should work for both as I have a hard bottom inflatable (pretty sturdy) and the mother ship is a lightweight, shallow daft cat (18") that doesn't take much to move along... My old short shaft 5hp pushed it but couldn't be used past half throttle due to cavitation. I'm hoping a 6 hp with long shaft should work great then.
I'm thinking a new 4stroke Yamaha... It seems to have the most serviceability when I get to more remote locations, and it seems to be the only one that can lie flat on any side (other than the back, where a rounded handle makes it impossible there anyways). Any thoughts against that?

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Old 06-06-2014, 17:32   #11
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

After my relatively new 5 hp Yamaha conked out, I bought a new 5.8 hp 2 stroke single cyl Parsun cheap. So far runs well but the linkage which operates the lock to prevent starting the engine in gear was faulty and was faulty in other units at the distributer. So cheap, I'll buy a new one every three years when the warranty runs out.
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:15   #12
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
weight, less complexity, easier to maintain (this from the guy that has a four stroke)

But if your staying in the US and or having to buy in the US, that sort of limits you.
Then there is the other argument. Hard starts, mixing oil with fuel, louder, smelly, and not great on the environment. Did I mention hard starts.
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:20   #13
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

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Then there is the other argument. Hard starts, mixing oil with fuel, louder, smelly, and not great on the environment. Did I mention hard starts.

Hey, I did say I have a four stroke didn't I?
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:57   #14
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

I have a 6hp 4 stroke for my RIB that excells for me in all respects. I was shopping around, but I soon found out that Tohatsu makes all of them and the other companies just wrap their own design package around the engine. Because of this, I just bought the Tohatsu!
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:30   #15
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Re: Best 6hp outboard?

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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