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Old 12-12-2010, 12:56   #1
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Best ( Affordable ) Dinghy Motor . . . Used or New ?

Hello,

I need a replacement motor for my 8' Walker Bay hard shelled dinghy. Last year I bought a used 1966 3hp LightTwin Evinrude on ebay for about $200. It served me well under extensive use last summer, but it is not doing so hot now. The (folding) driveshaft broke a pin, the lower unit seals are leaking, it won't start at the moment and it is pretty rusted up all of a sudden. I'm guessing it never saw much salt in its long lifetime until I got it.

I don't think it's worth fixing this one up but my budget is limited for a new one. It seems like there are a lot of old outboards for cheap, but obviously that strategy didn't work out so well the first time around. I really can't afford to drop $1000 on a new dinghy motor. I would rather pay half that if I could find something, otherwise I'll be sticking with the oars. It seems like there are some cheap brands out there to buy new but I am not sure if they will hold up any better.

Any tips or experiences?

Thanks!
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Old 12-12-2010, 13:32   #2
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I would personally go for a Johnson/Evinrude, just get a little newer one. There are plenty of parts available for the 70's, 80's and 90 models. I have a 1977 Johnson that runs perfect and has seen a lot of hours. In my experience with 2 strokes and four strokes, I have had waaayyy less trouble out of my two stroke vs. my four stroke. There is a good reason you see so many old Johnsons out there...they still work.
Also, try to use real gasoline if you can find it. That ethanol stuff has caused a lot of problems for folks.
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Old 12-12-2010, 15:12   #3
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Make a pair of oars. One good 2X6, but it should be virtually clear. Rip into 3 equal parts, cut one into 4 equal lengths, glue up as oars, shape and off you go. Cheap solution, and it keeps you healthy.
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Old 12-12-2010, 15:49   #4
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The 3.5 hp Tohatsu 4 stroke is a good simple engine. 2 strokes are lighter, Ditto on the non ethonal gas.
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Old 13-12-2010, 08:49   #5
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Besides weight and ease of repair, I would like to stick to a 2-stroke for the simple reason of fuel storage. I can pump gas right out of my boat's 28 gallon internal fuel tank into the small outboard tank. Since it is already mixed 50:1 at that point, I can add a little more oil to get the right ratio for the smaller outboard. If it were a 4-cycle engine I would have to keep a separate supply of unmixed gas on deck somewhere, which I would rather not do.

I share your concerns about ethanol, but how is it ever possible to find ethanol free gas in this country? I have long since resigned myself to adding stabilizer to every tank and being done with it.

Thanks for the tips so far... I'll keep looking!
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Old 13-12-2010, 08:53   #6
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Old 13-12-2010, 08:59   #7
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OC, I really like the johnson 2 strokes from a few yearsago. The carb is simple and can be taken apart many times with no need for a pricey kit. Just clean them up and go. A lot of marinas are now selling Valve tec fuel whas has no ethanol. The stabilizer helps but the hydroscopic nature of the ethanol will not go away. Just having the vent open to ambient air introduces water. Good for the Lobyist and corn states, Bad for everyone else.
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Old 13-12-2010, 10:22   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeCrush View Post
Hello,

I need a replacement motor for my 8' Walker Bay hard shelled dinghy. Last year I bought a used 1966 3hp LightTwin Evinrude on ebay for about $200. It served me well under extensive use last summer, but it is not doing so hot now. The (folding) driveshaft broke a pin, the lower unit seals are leaking, it won't start at the moment and it is pretty rusted up all of a sudden. I'm guessing it never saw much salt in its long lifetime until I got it.

I don't think it's worth fixing this one up but my budget is limited for a new one. It seems like there are a lot of old outboards for cheap, but obviously that strategy didn't work out so well the first time around. I really can't afford to drop $1000 on a new dinghy motor. I would rather pay half that if I could find something, otherwise I'll be sticking with the oars. It seems like there are some cheap brands out there to buy new but I am not sure if they will hold up any better.

Any tips or experiences?

Thanks!
Don't trash that old Lightwin. There are people out there that love these old things and will probably pay you a few bucks for it even it is just for a parts engine.
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Old 14-12-2010, 11:31   #9
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running 50:1 in a 4 cycle will not cause any problems!
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Old 14-12-2010, 12:10   #10
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Good to know, George. Thanks for the info and I'll keep that option too. Any more specific models or years to look out for? Thanks!
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Old 14-12-2010, 12:29   #11
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Anyone got any experience with the Sears Gamefisher air cooled motors that were made in Japan by Tanaka? For those that dont know, they were sold also under the Tanaka and Aquabug brands and maybe Tas. I just bought a mid 90s 1.2hp Gamefisher off craigslist that weighs just 12lbs but have not used it yet, it looks brand new and i paid $250. The 2.7 hp model weighs just 17lbs, thats 12lbs lighter than my 2hp Evinrude. 30 yrs ago i had a brand new 1.2 hp Tas which i used on an 8ft 6" lapstrake fiberglass dinghy which i thought was plenty of power at the time.
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:53   #12
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Re: Best ( Affordable ) Dinghy Motor . . . Used or New ?

The 15hp Gamefisher weighs just 58 lbs Wow , A new 4 stroke 15hp weighs over a 100 !! Try putting that up on the stern rail !!

Regards
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:20   #13
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Re: Best ( Affordable ) Dinghy Motor . . . Used or New ?

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Originally Posted by clockwork orange View Post
Anyone got any experience with the Sears Gamefisher air cooled motors that were made in Japan by Tanaka? For those that dont know, they were sold also under the Tanaka and Aquabug brands and maybe Tas. I just bought a mid 90s 1.2hp Gamefisher off craigslist that weighs just 12lbs but have not used it yet, it looks brand new and i paid $250. The 2.7 hp model weighs just 17lbs, thats 12lbs lighter than my 2hp Evinrude. 30 yrs ago i had a brand new 1.2 hp Tas which i used on an 8ft 6" lapstrake fiberglass dinghy which i thought was plenty of power at the time.
Steve.
As I remember they were nothing buit trouble. Tended to overheat and you had to stop and wait for them to cool down. Might be OK just idling...
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:40   #14
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Re: Best ( Affordable ) Dinghy Motor . . . Used or New ?

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The 3.5 hp Tohatsu 4 stroke is a good simple engine. 2 strokes are lighter, Ditto on the non ethonal gas.
I had one myself on my daysailer - it was a good engine. Seemed built to last to me. I now have a Suzuki 2.5 which I don't like nearly as much.

The Tohatsu 3.5 is the same as a Nissan and Mercury 3.5, so worth looking out for good used examples of any of those.
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:58   #15
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Re: Best ( Affordable ) Dinghy Motor . . . Used or New ?

In an older engine, a 4hp Evinrude or Johnson has a gear shift which is nicer than the 2 hp without. Simple to fix and cheap to buy...
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