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Old 11-06-2012, 07:28   #16
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Re: Which small outboard is most reliable

Lin- Depends on the trailer sailor - I've got a nimble 20 with a Honda 9.9 4stroke 2001 vintage and it runs like a sewing machine and always has and it has LOTS of miles - electric start w/batterie charger - a must if you have any electronics.
I could probably get by with a 6hp but if you want hull speed you need some HP.
Last year I bought a new Tahatsu 6hp for the skiff on the 48'er - I'm dissapointed
too heavy, too much vibration but the price was right. So, I put it on the back of my 16' fishing boat as a kicker motor and put the old Tahatsu 3 hp back on the skiff which is old but still runs good, starts all the time, doesn't weigh anything - just lacks power to get up on plane in the skiff but I'm in no hurry anyway.
I think that Tahatsu is the best buy in small 4 stroke outboards - they make Mercury, and a few others - same machine - different decals - more expensive.
I think Honda is still the best but you pay for it.
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:41   #17
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Re: Which small outboard is most reliable

A vote for Honda here.

My 25 year old 2HP has always run great, despite neglect and abuse. In that time, aside from an oil change every other season, I had to replace the carburettor twice (once recently, once 12 years ago) due to exterior corrosion.

I blogged about it here

From a Bare Hull: Building A Westsail 42, Hull #60: Small Boat Diversion: It Keeps Going... and going.. and going...
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Old 11-06-2012, 16:59   #18
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Re: Which small outboard is most reliable

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I've searched the Annapolis sailboat show website and your blog, but can't find any info as to where and how to attend one of your seminars. Help?
I will be putting more info on my website soon, but - will be sharing a booth at Annapolis with TheSailingchannel.tv. Will be doing seminars with Cruising World at Annapolis - their schedule will be up in about a month. Also will be presenting a talk on - Creating the Unstoppable Cruising Boat for the SSCA Gam a week before the Annapolis Show in Annapolis. Also at Punta Gorda SSCA gam. Hope one of those works for you.
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Old 11-06-2012, 17:48   #19
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Re: Which small outboard is most reliable

I would buy a 2-stroke Yamaha or Tohatsu if I needed a new motor BUT I would research and check warranty on the new e-tech (ecotech?) motors. (don't know how small they make them)

Have had Yam 9.9, (2) Evinrude 9 (2), Evinrude 3.5 (2), Mercury 6 (4), Johnson 4 (2), Yamaha 200 (4)
Have now Honda 15 (4)
Have used many others.
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Old 11-06-2012, 18:01   #20
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I had really lousy service(about an hour since new) from a 3 hp 4 stroke Mercury, junk imo, unable to get serviced, the ignition went out, and low compression and nobody wanted to work on it.
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Old 11-06-2012, 18:24   #21
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Re: Which small outboard is most reliable

LOL, I guess outboards are like ground tackle. Everyone has an opinion and no two opinions are the same.
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Old 11-06-2012, 18:37   #22
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Re: Which small outboard is most reliable

Experiences and normal rules dont seem to apply to 2-3 hp newer models. Go figure. Seems like I've seen abnormally large amount of complaints about 2 - 3 hp small newer outboards. Especially Honda and yamaha. Strange... as the Yamaha in other sizes are soo good. If you want basic, simplicity, the old Evinrude 2-4 hp are so simple anyone can fix them. The 2 has no gears: "start and go"! Rotate 180 degrees for reverse. The 4 has forward and neutral I believe. Parts readily available, start like a champ, no extra garbage.
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Old 11-06-2012, 19:18   #23
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Re: Which small outboard is most reliable

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LOL, I guess outboards are like ground tackle. Everyone has an opinion and no two opinions are the same.
Very true! My vote for a reliable outboard would be a very minimum of a 55 # thrust electric with a portable battery and a high thrust prop. That will reliably take you to the dock. If I wanted to quietly observe wildlife, I would put my Honda 2000 gen set in the dinghy and go for 24 hours on 2 gallons of ethanol free gas. Just weld a 5/8" male copper flare fitting on the Honda exhaust and trail a 5/8" soft copper tube aft. Mine does not get hot enough to gingerly touch. I have an inline temp gauge on the exhaust and once in very hot conditions it went to 200 deg. F. Capt.Fred, (See my 3 photo albums). The Pardey’s were an inspiration to me in the mid 70’s, when I built my “Daedalus”.
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Old 11-06-2012, 19:41   #24
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Re: Which small outboard is most reliable

I have no complaints whatsoever about my little 2 hp Honda. Love it.
If youi want a noisy 2 stroke with no frills, get a refurbished Seagull.

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Old 12-06-2012, 09:33   #25
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Re: Which small outboard is most reliable

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I have no complaints whatsoever about my little 2 hp Honda. Love it.
If youi want a noisy 2 stroke with no frills, get a refurbished Seagull.

I think they want one that runs!
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:04   #26
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Re: Which small outboard is most reliable

Oh the British Seagulls run just fine. That's the problem. They smoke like hell and make an infernal racket.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:24   #27
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Re: Which small outboard is most reliable

I had a Tohatsu 3.5 and now a Suzuki 2.5. They will both get cranky, to the extent the carburettor has to be cleaned, if you don't keep the gasoline fresh and run the carb dry every time you run the engine. I believe that most of the problems with these small 4 strokes is due to the fact that the carbs are very small with tiny passages in the jets. So you need to do all you can to keep those passages clean.

The best thing to do is, once the gasoline gets to 2 months old, put it in your car and buy some fresh. That goes for whats in the o/b's little tank, and any stored gas in larger tanks.

Also always use Stabil or similar.

Since I began these habits both o/b's have been well behaved.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:56   #28
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Re: Which small outboard is most reliable

Aint all the improvements grand! Ran my Yamaha 3 years in the caribe every day, no fuel issues at all... err... except remembering to open the vent cap!
"Oh the British Seagulls run just fine. That's the problem. They smoke like hell and make an infernal racket. "
I think you are the first person in 35 years I've heard say that! Lucky you!
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:25   #29
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I vote no on Honda 9.9. I've had nothing but trouble with mine and it's very heavy.

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Old 12-06-2012, 11:30   #30
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Re: Which small outboard is most reliable

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Aint all the improvements grand! Ran my Yamaha 3 years in the caribe every day, no fuel issues at all... err... except remembering to open the vent cap!
[
I forgot to mention, that's the best way to keep the fuel fresh, running it every day. Mine tend to sit for months between uses.
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