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Old 06-08-2013, 11:12   #1
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Which Would you Choose? Honda or Yamaha 15/20?

I have a 9' hard bottom Caribe dingy that has a 9.9 Honda on it. It came with the boat and runs great except for one thing - when I have more than two people in the dingy it is just about impossible to get on plane - and four people? Forget it.

So I'm looking at upgrading to a 15 or 20. It looks like the weight difference is very small between the two so I assume go up to the 20. The davits on the boat that I have, a Lagoon 440, will handle it just fine.

My future cruising grounds will be from the US Key Largo to the South Pacific and who knows where we are going from there.

Which manufacturer is better supported world wide? Which is a better product? I've heard great things about both. And I'm looking to by new - or should I get one a few years old?

As we all know - our dingy is out car - and I use it A LOT when we are out. With these davits it is so easy to take in and out of the water so heck - we just use it all of the time.

Thanks!
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:18   #2
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Re: Which would you choose? Honda or Yamaha 15/20?

Definitely without a doubt, hands down, YAMAHA. Worldwide support network, most common outboard in the Caribbean and most other remote places around the world that rely on their outboards for transportation and commerce. Just bring a big ass lock, they are the most widely stolen outboard for the same reasons.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:19   #3
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Yamaha for reliability and parts availability. My back up outboard is a Honda.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:20   #4
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Re: Which would you choose? Honda or Yamaha 15/20?

You might check other threads on the topic. My read is that Yamaha has a better service/parts network, but then many respondents eventually admit they're talking 2-stroke motors... and the worldwide "service" part for 4-strokes might or might not be significantly better than any other brand.

FWIW, two points: Suzuki has recently introduced an EFI 4-stroke that doesn't weigh more than a carbureted 4-stroke (if you after a 4-stroke motor), and your dinghy may have a posted rating on the plate that says 15 max, or 20 max or whatever. (Our 10'2" RIB is rated for 15-hp max.)

-Chris
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:21   #5
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Re: Which would you choose? Honda or Yamaha 15/20?

The problem is the four stroke. A 9.9 two stroke would not have that problem. For reliability a two stroke is better-----very simple design and less moving parts.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:31   #6
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Re: Which would you choose? Honda or Yamaha 15/20?

Yeah - I was only thinking 4-Stroke unless I should really open my eyes to a 2?
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:35   #7
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pirate Re: Which would you choose? Honda or Yamaha 15/20?

St Martin last year I could not even find spark plugs for a Honda...
Take a look at the Tohatsu 2X's.... buldi reliable and not as expensive as the other 2...
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:36   #8
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Re: Which would you choose? Honda or Yamaha 15/20?

I have a Yamaha "Enduro" 15 hp 2-stroke on my RIB. These models are not sold in the U.S., but are available in the Bahamas, Caribbean, and elsewhere. I don't believe you can buy a new Yamaha 2-stroke in the U.S. any longer. I agree 2-stroke is the way to go for ease of maintenance and service/parts availability worldwide. Generally speaking they have more torque compared to the same HP 4-stroke with less weight.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:43   #9
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Re: Which would you choose? Honda or Yamaha 15/20?

20 hp on your average 9' RIB is overpowered IMHO. It's tempting to drop on more HP than you need if there is no significant weight penalty, but be extremely careful when you are solo with a light load or carrying a single passenger.

If I were in your shoes I was going to be ranging where you mentioned I would buy a carburated 2 stroke motor somewhere offshore. More reliable, easier to fix, better parts availability, fewer ethanol issues, and generally more tolerant of bad gas.
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Old 06-08-2013, 13:14   #10
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I just purchased the new 20 hp Suzuki EFI. No choke, one easy pull, light for its class, and very affordable. No oil on your feet amazing fuel consumption etc... I agree with all the post about repairs being easer on a 2 stroke, one thing for sure, looking under the cover I would not be able to obtain repairs in the Pacific on this motor. In fact I found the Polynesians to be surprisingly un-adept (is that a word?) at repairing anything. Lots of opportunity to earn goodwill, fruit etc... by repairing their stuff. But back to the outboard choice, I used the same 20 hp Honda on two trips across the pacific with no break downs. If you can buy new these engines are very reliable. You are in key largo so welcome to come by and check out my setup. I installed a small racor filter as I was worried about the EFI being sensitive to water in the fuel.
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Old 06-08-2013, 13:43   #11
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Re: Which would you choose? Honda or Yamaha 15/20?

A sad fact of the cruising life is that dinghy motors sometimes become underwater objects for a short while. When this happens to a typical 2-stroke, one pulls it out, drains the water from carb and crankcase, hose with fresh water, squirt some lube down the spark plug hole(s) and turn it over a few times. Dry it out, replace plugs and start it up! Usually works fine.

Try that with an EFI 4 stroke!

For serious cruising, the Yamaha 2 stroke 15 is a common and reliable motor, with parts availability unmatched by any other in third world areas.

To me this choice is an easy one!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 06-08-2013, 14:11   #12
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Re: Which would you choose? Honda or Yamaha 15/20?

Thanks all! I going to look for the Yamaha 15 2-stroke.

Any recommendations on places to buy it in Marsh Harbour? Or the surrounding area?
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Old 06-08-2013, 15:01   #13
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Re: Which would you choose? Honda or Yamaha 15/20?

I have a new Yamaha 30 hp 2 stroke on my 13' rib. If I had to do it over I'd get a Honda. They really don't break down so the "repair network" doesn't matter. As an FYI, I had a 15hp Honda on a fresh water lake that took a dive for 8 hours. We had no problem restarting it.

The Yamaha viberates too much, uses a lot of gas, and can be difficult to start if it's sat around for a day or two unused. Also, two stroke oil is very expensive to purchase. In the Med it's around 20 euro per quart. The mix ratio is 100 to 1 so there isn't much smoke.

Another motor to consider is the Evinrude. It has a center handle and the shifter is located on the handle. That is a nice design.
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Old 06-08-2013, 15:53   #14
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Re: Which Would you Choose? Honda or Yamaha 15/20?

Most of my experience has been with Evinrude 2 stroke outboards, they were always reliable. I think that both Yamaha and Honda make good outboards, flip a coin. I would be more inclined to run a 4 stroke these days just because of the no mixing gas reason, one less thing to worry about. Although a 6 pack of mix oil would probably last you a year depending on how much you run.
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