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Old 11-07-2013, 04:22   #76
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Perth west australia, Indian Ocean
Boat: Samson C-Falcon 41'9" composite ketch (designed by Cece Norris)
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Re: Which Small Outboard is Most Reliable

In Oz we have Parsun which are another name for Nissan - supposedly really good.

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Old 11-07-2013, 05:18   #77
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Location: Portland, Maine
Boat: Caliber 40LRC
Posts: 604
Re: Which Small Outboard is Most Reliable

Our '98 Nissan-Tohatsu 8hp 2 stroke is the most reliable engine I have ever owned and I have owned quite a few over the past 40 years. I never treat the gasoline, leave the fuel tank half full over the winter on the dock and the engine still runs great in the spring. I think this engine runs on water. I have also have a 2002 Mercury 7.5 that wont start if it is even mildly humid out. Luckily that engine does not get used a lot and I do not need to deal with it often.

BTW, anyone recommending an engine should also note the model year.

Tim R.
Our Carina is sold
1997 Caliber 40LRC
TKR on a Boat Website
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:27   #78
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Location: Hampton Roads
Boat: 1974 Bristol 27
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Re: Which small outboard is most reliable

Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
I'll also put in a plug for the Nissan/Tohatsu 6hp. I liked my little Honda 2hp, but it didn't have much power. No reverse either. My old Avon rollup died, and I wanted something that I could lift easily but which would also put my new Walker Bay air floor up on a plane. The Tohatsu, which weighs a tad more than 50lbs, does that, and after sitting in my basement all Winter it started on the second pull. Plus it was the least expensive 6hp out there.

My only minor complaint is that it idles a little high. No big deal.

I could have bought a used 2-stroke, but mixing gas and oil is a pita.
I have a 2011/12 Mercury 5 hp, 4 stroke, extra long 25" Shaft Outboard that I use to push my 6600lb Full Keel Bristol 27 around the Chesapeake Bay with. It's the same engine as the Nissan/Tohatsu.

So far so good for 2 years now. I thought I'd only use it to get the boat out of the slip thinking I would do all my sailing without engine assistance afterward. And that's true for the most part but after long nights with lack of sleep near Kiptopeke and Fisherman's Island I have motored back across the entire lower bay to Little Creek probably 4X now. The wind is many times on the nose so sailing would take 6 plus hours or more whereas I can motor with my " Big 5HP " in 3 hours on autopilot. It's probably around 15-17 miles.

Now I'm usually doing this between the day winds and the afternoon/evening winds when it had laid down a little, but if the wind is up I'll motor sail it with the main like 25-30 degrees off the wind until it lays down a little then drop sail and go direct route.

My boat on it's own could never sail that close to the wind. I can usually do the crossing on maybe 3/4 of a gallon of gas.
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:17   #79
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Location: Tromsų, Norway
Boat: One off steel sloop 38 ft
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Re: Which Small Outboard is Most Reliable

I have a 2.5 hp Suzuki. Short shaft, though. Don't know if there is a long shaft version. It's now in its 8. year and has never let me down (unless you count the one time when I worked the thing for halv an hour with no luck - until I noticed that I forgot to open the fuel line
My father in law has his second Suzuki 5 hp two stroke. Also swears by it. I don't think you can go much wrong with Suzuki.
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:56   #80
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Location: In Mexico, working on the boat
Boat: Hallberg Rassy 35. and 14ft.Whitehall pulling skiff.
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Re: Which Small Outboard is Most Reliable

Another plug for Tohatsu/Nissan 6hp. I've had mine for 5 years on a Livingston 7.5'. It starts first or second pull and planes the boat to scare you. The only problem I had was a few time the water exit hole plugs up with salt. I drilled it out a little lager and keep a piece of wire to clean it out when I first start it up. At 50lbs., it works for me. I definitely would not want anything heavier.
In regards to propane set ups...I think it's a great. With anything new, it will get better with time. Hopefully a non-Chinese company will bring one out or develop a conversion kit for other engines, much like forklift truck had (gas to propane). I would definitely like to stop carrying a 5 gallon gas can onboard.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"
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Old 26-03-2017, 12:29   #81
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Location: Northern CA - for now..
Boat: Saba 50 planned but not bought yet
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Re: Which Small Outboard is Most Reliable

It seems clear, looking at real world user statistics, that the main issue with reliability is the failure of their carbs. Other systems also fail, but statistically, carburetor failure is the number #1 problem cause. Especially when running with ethanol gas or 'old' gas. (Petrol that has absorbed a small amount of water). Carb's injectors will clog up in time. They are inherently unreliable because of their small 'LOW PRESSURE' injectors. The root of the issue is that their fuel systems are based upon low pressure fuel supply.
So., it makes this issue fairly simple. For Cruisers we either tend to use with VERY small light weight outboards that can be lifted by and onto a transom, ie. a 2HP model or, if we want to plain our 10ft RIB and use a dingy for more than putting around a 5mph wake zone: AND have a mini hoist rigged up for lifting off our 100lb outboards: then a 15/20hp Outboard is ideal.
There seems to be ONLY ONE outboard in this size that includes Electronic Fuel Injection. ie. No Unreliable Carburetors! And that is Suzuki. e.g., a DF15A
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Old 26-03-2017, 20:40   #82
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Re: Which Small Outboard is Most Reliable

Just for kicks, I'll tell y'all exactly which small outboard NOT to buy. My boat partner was thrilled to find a brand new 3.5 HP outboard on Amazon for only $240, and couldn't resist buying it. I believe it was called an Ancheer, but I think it's gone by other names as well. Worse piece of garbage I've ever seen. After just a couple outings and countless fiddling around to get it running, watching every metal part rust before our eyes, I left it by the marina dumpster with a note warning passerbys to run and run fast. Of course, some poor sap grabbed it, I feel for the guy.

But ... the instruction manual was practically worth the purchase price. Here's a little snippet:

1. Start preparations
1.1 Press to move the carburetor to ascend of note the button, until the oil arrive transparent pipeline coping.
1.2 Let the choke hand handle place in the close position. If hot machine, can the choke hand handle place in all open the position
2. Start
2.1 Pull to start
The slowly pulls to start the hand handle four to six times, again slow-moving pull to begin the handle until pull the rope to stretch tight, then makes an effort to quickly pull to move, start to launch the machine.
While starting, if the inhalation gasoline is excessive to result in starting difficulty, and can dismantle the spark plug. All open the choke door to pull the hand handle five to six times, then pack the spark plug, and press above method to afresh start.
2.2 After the outboard motor starting, low speed to resolove to prepare the heat three to five minutes, turn according to what need, adjust to the acceleraator homologous position.
3. Shut down the machine
Let the engine turn to the lowest rotating speed, revolve 30 seconds is above, then shut down.
Please not to close the choke to shut down, otherwise result the first and the engine damage.

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