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Old 06-12-2011, 01:29   #16
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Re: Recommend a Small Outboard for Our Tender

A 8hp 2 stroke would be the lightest/ easiest to handle and would plane with 2 normal sized people on board,smaller than this and you wont plane with 2 on board.

A 4 stroke will require a cradle to mount/unmount or huge muscles. You will plane with one on board with 4hp but will require fiddling about to get the nose down (probably a tiller extension)

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Old 06-12-2011, 01:39   #17
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Re: Recommend a Small Outboard for Our Tender

You need to look at comparative engine sizes. The small engines tend to use exactly the same size/weight for different HP / for example the Tohatsu 9.8 2 stroke is the same engine as much lower HP, whilst there is a 9.9hp which is the same engine as the 15HP.

Makes more sense to have the highest HP per weight.

Personally, I have a heavy tender (3m Honwave with aluminium floor) and heavy 6HP 4stroke Honda. I intend to change to an aluminium rib and a 9.8 2st Tohatsu and will save enough weight to add another battery (plus reducing weight on the stern)

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Old 06-12-2011, 04:11   #18
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Re: Recommend a Small Outboard for Our Tender

Motor Boat magazine did a test of 7 5hp motors in the Nov 2010 issue. The article is available by using the search button and paying GBP6.

Here is a teaser.

The ultimate 5hp outboard test | General | MBM

I recently bought a Parsun 5hp 4 stroke (included in that test BTW). The Parsun is a Chinese engine, has a crap reputation but I read a lot about how they reorganized under new expatriate foreign management so the enginese are now better - Big Whoop...

It was half the price of a Yamaha. If it lasts half the life I am even. And actually cost was my number 1 criteria. My inboard diesel failed and I had no propulsion to get out of the marina. If I only get a few seasons out of it I am not happy but not surprised. I know the risk of what I am buying.

The engine is supposed to be a direct knockoff of the Yamaha 5hp 4-stroke.

- It was half the price of a Yamaha about USD$1,200 including the transom bracket.
- It has been on the boat since ~August and has about 20 hours of running on it
- So far so good, no complaints, starts like a champ. I have flooded it a couple of times when warm. Cold start has always been one pull with choke on.
- It pushes my 2500kg boat at 5 knots in calm water as low as 2.5 in chop.
- It is very thirsty about 1 liter per hour - This is largely because I have it pushing my 2500kg sailboat at WOT all the time. With a 1.3 liter tank this was a problem. I bought an 18 liter external tank and now have 18 hours range. 90 miles is acceptable.
- It seems a bit heavy at 60 pounds

One quality defect. The throttle handle is held on with a set screw. The screw fell out on the second or third use. The engine distributor gave me a new one and I installed it and plugged its hole with with silicone. No problems on anything else since.
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Old 06-12-2011, 05:34   #19
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Re: Recommend a Small Outboard for Our Tender

Yammie, either 8hp two stroke or 6 hp four stroke, no drama no hassles lasts forever.

I like the 6 hp 4 stroke, as it has inbuilt and external fuel tanks.
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Old 06-12-2011, 05:46   #20
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Re: Recommend a Small Outboard for Our Tender

Yamaha 2 stroke.

Buy 2 hp, get two ;-).

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Old 10-12-2011, 09:36   #21
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Re: Recommend a Small Outboard for Our Tender

Something that has not been mentioned is the "Green Issue." 4 strokes are far more envoiromentaly friendly then 2 strokes . This should be a major consideration when purchasing ANYTHING! . 4 stroke suzukis get a very good rap.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:50   #22
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:55   #23
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Re: Recommend a Small Outboard for Our Tender

Since the OP asked about motors less then 5hp, I will recommend a less then 5hp motor...

Small motors are best sourced in 2 stroke, the weight and simplicity outweigh the slight increase in efficiency... (a small outboard does not burn that much fuel).

It is difficult to buy a new 2 stroke in the US, but there are many good used values. The Honda 4stroke 2hp is widely considered to be junk by those who have suffered with one (do a search on this forum).

I have owned a few. The hands down best weight/thrust value is the 'canoe motors' made by Johnson/evenrude. They are 2hp, but lack the reverse gear you are looking for. I had 2 of them, and could easily pluck them off of the rail with 1 hand.

I have a Yamaha 3hp, great little motor but it also lacks the reverse... great motor otherwise.

The best small 2 stroke (IMHO) is the 2 cyl Johnsons that were made up till 99 or 2000. I have a 3.5hp that has 2 cyl and runs very smooth. Mine does not have the reverse gear, but I know the 4hp did (which looks to be the same motor).

If you can find one, they are smooth and run forever. Yes, the alcohol fuels are a problem, but they mess up any small motor... mix your fuel in small quantities and avoid alcohol whenever you can.
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:14   #24
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Re: Recommend a Small Outboard for Our Tender

We have the Johnson 3.5hp on a 2.7m inflatable. I can carry it with one hand and that includes climbing on board from the dinghy. It's made by Tohatu just badged Johnson in this case. Never been serviced just starts and runs. Even Viv can carry it bcaue it only weighs 12.5 kgs. The lack of reverse isn't a problem in general use.

Our other outboard is a seagull which is older than me but that is tucked up in the garage for my retirement

The only problem is you can't buy new ones in Europe now for recreation use. Banned for being too polluting but the 4 stroke equivalents need care or they dump there oil if not laid down correctly.

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Old 10-12-2011, 12:35   #25
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Re: Recommend a Small Outboard for Our Tender

For the size of tender you have, dont go above a Tohatsu 3.5 2 stroke. But make it a 2 stroke. About 8 years ago our current 2.5 tohatsu was recovered from the sea bottom at a mooring, after being lost overboard. It was on the bottom for about a month and after cleaning out the wildlife that had moved into the casing, flushing it with fresh water and WD40, it started up and is still working fine. Apart from checking the impeller regularly we leave it alone. The new small 4 Stroke it replaced was a different story. Tempremental little bugger. now consigned to the bottom of the lazarette.
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Old 10-12-2011, 14:53   #26
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Re: Recommend a Small Outboard for Our Tender

I purchased a 2 stroke Suzuki 5hp from a friend last year and have been very happy with it other than the weight. It is PLENTY powerful for our heavy 10ft dinghy. I would have preferred a 3.5 for the lighter weight but we just couldn't pass up the good deal we got on the 5. I am pleased with the reliability as was the previous owner. He purchased a new smaller Suzuki to replace it as he often sails alone and needed something lighter.

It is a much better motor than my POS Mercury 9.8 that we spent over $2,000 for.

A small used Johnson 2 stroke in good shape would have been my first choice, but not too many folks want to let those go. They made the best small outboards in my opinion. I have a 35 year old Johnson 15hp that still starts on the second pull, every time, so long as I keep it maintained.

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