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Old 30-08-2017, 10:16   #1
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EFI vs Carburated 9.9 Tohatsu

Tohatsu just rolled out EFIs. We had purchased the carburated 9.8 to go with our RIB for our upcoming trip to the Bahamas but since we haven't picked it up yet, we now have the option of getting the EFI. Curious to hear what the pros and cons are, other than fuel efficiency with EFIs as I learned online. Specifically, we intend to go to the Bahamas this year for a couple of months....is one better with handling ethanol? Should we need to do minor maintenance, is one generally easier than the other? Performance / ability to plane a 9 ft RIB?
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Old 30-08-2017, 11:28   #2
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Re: EFI vs Carburated 9.9 Tohatsu

Had a 25hp EFI Merc on our prior boat for about 10yrs and loved it. Quiet and fast starting. No messing with a choke on cold mornings.
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Old 30-08-2017, 11:39   #3
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Re: EFI vs Carburated 9.9 Tohatsu

Is there a price difference? If so I would stick with carb model. On a dingy that gets used often carbs are great. On a 9.9 the fuel consumption difference won't be noticed. Also, on new models often they have kinks to work out.
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Old 30-08-2017, 12:30   #4
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Re: EFI vs Carburated 9.9 Tohatsu

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Originally Posted by bearkeley View Post
Curious to hear what the pros and cons are, other than fuel efficiency with EFIs as I learned online.
Was looking at Rib outboards last fall, stopped in to the local dealer that carries Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, the guy said go for the suzuki EFI, they "never come in for service". Of course that is the suzuki, but as many issues w/ outboards are carb related, EFI can be a good thing.
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Old 30-08-2017, 16:32   #5
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Re: EFI vs Carburated 9.9 Tohatsu

We are on our fourth outboard in 4 years. I will never buy another carbuerated outboard after owning two with EFI. The Suzuki was a great motor, but not great on vibration, and parts were hard to come by in the Eastern carribbean. Make sure you can get parts where you cruise. I've found Tohatsu parts are almost as ubiquitous as Yamaha. We have a luke warm relationship with our 2 cycle Tohatsu 9.9. It is more reliable than confidence inspiring. It doesn't have the build quality of the Honda or even Yamaha, but it is light and it works.
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Old 31-08-2017, 04:50   #6
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Re: EFI vs Carburated 9.9 Tohatsu

Can't speak to Tohatsu, but we have a Suzuki EFI outboard and haven't had any ethanol issues since switching from our previous 2-stroke.

FWIW, some of our previous ethanol issues were self-inflicted... since we usually don't use the dink often enough to cycle through gas supplies quickly.

Is the Tohatsu 9.9 built on the same platform as their 15 or 20? (As is Suzuki's?) If so, you might want to examine whether 9.9 or 15 is best for planing with your RIB (and depending on the RIB's capacity/hp rating). Our electric-start 15 planes our 10' (3.10m) RIB with 3x aboard plus fuel and battery like a scalded cat .

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Old 31-08-2017, 05:18   #7
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Re: EFI vs Carburated 9.9 Tohatsu

I think the EFI dink engines will soon be the norm. And considered the best choice.

I use a hard rowing dink but this change is not a good thing. Because it will eliminate a reliable source of earning money for rum from fixin' cruiser's little outboards as I travel from anchorage to anchorage.
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Old 31-08-2017, 05:48   #8
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Re: EFI vs Carburated 9.9 Tohatsu

“... The Mariner and Tohatsu are both excellent value but for us the Mariner’s quality build, better acceleration and easier gearshift pushes it ahead of the Tohatsu ...”

Read more at The ultimate 10hp outboard engine group test - Page 4 of 7 - Motor Boat & Yachting

“Tohatsu produces more 10hp outboard engines than anyone else, even though some of them have a rival’s branding on the cowling.
That’s why this engine shares the same block as the Mariner, although oddly it’s capacity is quoted as 209cc rather than 208CC. It’s also rated at 7.2kW (9.39hp) instead of the Mariner’s 7.28kW (9.76hp) ...”

Read more at The ultimate 10hp outboard engine group test - Page 6 of 7 - Motor Boat & Yachting
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Old 31-08-2017, 06:59   #9
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Re: EFI vs Carburated 9.9 Tohatsu

we have a 20HP Suzuki EFI behind our dink , love it !
trouble free start and whats more, no more gumming up the carb , that alone is worth something
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Old 31-08-2017, 14:17   #10
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Re: EFI vs Carburated 9.9 Tohatsu

I bought my last outboard in Marsh Harbour. It was cheaper.
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Old 31-08-2017, 15:42   #11
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Re: EFI vs Carburated 9.9 Tohatsu

Has anyone with an EFI outboard flipped their dinghy or dropped the engine in saltwater?? How did that go for you??
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Old 31-08-2017, 16:17   #12
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Re: EFI vs Carburated 9.9 Tohatsu

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Has anyone with an EFI outboard flipped their dinghy or dropped the engine in saltwater?? How did that go for you??
Good question, Don... I wanna know too! Seem s like it could be a serious and expensive issue. "Course, I will never have an upside down dink, will I?

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Old 31-08-2017, 16:56   #13
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Re: EFI vs Carburated 9.9 Tohatsu

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Has anyone with an EFI outboard flipped their dinghy or dropped the engine in saltwater?? How did that go for you??


Last year in Key West I was passed by a Center Console fishing boat when I was wide open, right beside the mooring field, my dinghy with the 20 HP Zuki will run right at 30 kts.
I didn't see him coming from behind me and as he passed my dinghy started chine walking in his wake, threw me out and the motor came off and went under still running slowly.
Was under water hanging by the fuel line for several minutes by the time I found my wallet and climbed back aboard and got it back on the transom.
Took better part of an hour to row back to the big boat, dinghy rows up wind horribly, never thought it would be that hard.
Got back to big boat, hoisted the motor onto the railing, pulled plugs, cylinders were full of water of course. Washed them out with lots of fresh water, squirted some kind of oil in the cylinders, maybe WD40.
Pulled the intake off, it was full of water too. Washed plugs with alcohol, put back together, started pretty easy, ran really really bad, drained oil, refilled, repeat a couple of times. Bad running was plugs, ran much better with new plugs. Getting them wet must have ruined them?
Sailed to Naval Air Station Key West where I did a couple more runs and oil changes until oil was clear and no water.
I did not disconnect all plugs and spray with corrosion-X and or contact cleaner, meant to but never did.
Engine runs like a top now probably have 30 or 40 hours on it since then.

Obviously the electronics are very well sealed.
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Old 31-08-2017, 20:10   #14
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Re: EFI vs Carburated 9.9 Tohatsu

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Is there a price difference? If so I would stick with carb model. On a dingy that gets used often carbs are great. On a 9.9 the fuel consumption difference won't be noticed. Also, on new models often they have kinks to work out.
Yes, there is a price difference, but only $230. Given how much we spent on the RIB, why not!? The dingy will be used often for the next 6 months, but may sit after we get back. The possible kinks do concern me a bit, especially in the carribean....
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Old 31-08-2017, 20:53   #15
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Re: EFI vs Carburated 9.9 Tohatsu

I can't comment on the EFI... However I have owned and ran a Tohatsu 9.8 for 2 years in the Caribbean. I have never had an issue with ANY fuel.. and I mean ANY fuel. We often fill our cans at automobile service stations (even in Florida) and our Tohatsu has eaten it all without complaint. The only time I have ever had an issue is when the marine in St. Lucia sold us 50% gas and %50 water.

The only thing that would bother me is the EFI is new and parts availability will be somewhat limited for a little while. If you do need a warranty claim, you may have to wait a bit for parts to be available.
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