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Old 16-04-2010, 08:18   #1
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Who Makes the Best / Worst Outboards ?

Who is the best outboard manufacturer, who is the worst?
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Old 16-04-2010, 08:20   #2
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Most of them are quite good... its not "new" technology. I've heard excellent things about Tohatsu/Nissan from several owners, same with Yamaha, Johnson/Evinrude. I don't know much about the other brands.
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Old 16-04-2010, 08:24   #3
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Well, back in the good ole days it was easy. Johnson-Evinrude were the good ones, Mercury bad.

Now the Japanese are here, J-E have had problems and Mercury has gotten better. Also, depends to some degree on whether you're looking at 3-5-10 HP or 200-300 HP.

Overall Yamaha may be the best. Worst I would still think Mercury still trying for that prize.
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Old 16-04-2010, 08:30   #4
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I just bought a new Tohatsu (same as Nissan/ some Mercury) 6HP 4cycle based on reputation, local support, and of course the availability online at low prices with free shipping ( Discount Tohatsu Outboards and Nissan Outboard Motors ). So far seems great. Previously had an 8HP Evinrude 2 stroke, another good engine, which at 18 years was getting rather temperamental, besides spitting oil into the ocean. And Yamaha still is widely used and has a great reputation, if a bit pricey. How big an engine are you looking for? And "best" depends a bit also on your planned use.
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Old 16-04-2010, 08:32   #5
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I am looking for a smaller engine probably 6hp-ish
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Old 16-04-2010, 08:36   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Well, back in the good ole days it was easy. Johnson-Evinrude were the good ones, Mercury bad.

Now the Japanese are here, J-E have had problems and Mercury has gotten better. Also, depends to some degree on whether you're looking at 3-5-10 HP or 200-300 HP.

Overall Yamaha may be the best. Worst I would still think Mercury still trying for that prize.
I think Mercury continues to retain its position. Ours has spent more time in the shop since it was new than it has come close to on the transom of our dinghy. If it weren't for the pollution, I'd make an anchor out of the thing. It is so bad that when I was looking at Outboard Locks while waiting for the dealer to ring up the latest repair charge he laughed and said "You don't need to bother with that, no one's going to steal that engine--even if you wanted them too."
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Old 16-04-2010, 08:46   #7
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It is so bad that when I was looking at Outboard Locks while waiting for the dealer to ring up the latest repair charge he laughed and said "You don't need to bother with that, no one's going to steal that engine--even if you wanted them too."
Oh man, that is bad.
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Old 16-04-2010, 08:47   #8
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Thread hijack but wonderful anecdote.

Years ago At St. Augustine Municipal Marina -
Elegant old Trumpy (or similar) tied up at face dock. Yachtie at dinghy dock with beat up old Evinrude torn apart. Older gentleman walks by and asks yachtie if he's having engine trouble. Yachtie replys that outboard has been great for years but it looks like he's going to have to buy a new one. Gentleman nods his head and walks on.
A little while later a man in crew uniform comes down to the dinghy dock with a crate on a dolly and says, "Mr. Evinrude hopes you enjoy your new engine".

Somebody had good karma.
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Old 16-04-2010, 09:11   #9
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Outboard Mania

We've had several small outboards for the dinghy in the past 10 years:

3hp and 5hp Nissan 2 strokes - These were both good engines and they ran well, but my wife couldn't get them started.

5hp Honda 4 stroke - Worked great like all thing Honda. Easy to start. Wife loved it. RIB would plane at full throttle with both of us in it under ideal conditions.

15hp Yamaha 2stroke - The best one so far. Easy to start, runs great, wife loves it. And it makes our little 10 foot RIB into a thrill machine. Planes easily at half throttle, scary fast at 3/4 throttle. Wife drives with maniacal grin on her face while I hang on for dear life.
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Old 16-04-2010, 09:19   #10
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I would stay from any of the discount motors found on ebay and sold at pepboys most are air cooled lawn mower engines Force motors, not so good All of the late model major brands are good and some of the small motors are idenical from several brands the warrenty differs however
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Old 16-04-2010, 09:25   #11
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I've never owned one, but the worst has got to be British Seagull.
Typical owner has one apart, or is unsuccessfully trying to start it.
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Old 16-04-2010, 09:42   #12
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There is a whole list of old obs that were less then great to name a few ted williams, anything by sears, For some reason none of the small air cooled motors were very good
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Old 16-04-2010, 10:11   #13
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The best favor a stranger ever did for me was to steal my Merc. But I've had worse engines in the form of a Chrysler and a Suzuki.

I don't think there's such a thing as a good outboard. Some are less vile than others. But whenever an outboard has me down I recall what Steinbeck wrote about his outboard in The Log From the Sea of Cortez: "Our Hansen Sea-Cow was not only a living thing but a mean, irritable, contemptible, vengeful, mischievous, hateful living thing. In the six weeks of our association we observed it, at first mechanically and then, as its living reactions became more and more apparent, psychologically. And we determined one thing to our satisfaction. When and if these ghoulish little motors learn to reproduce themselves the human species is doomed."
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Old 16-04-2010, 10:16   #14
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Of all the outboards I've had the best have been the Nissan/Tohatsu and an older Honda. They just seem bulletproof. Everyone I've talked to says the same. With the exception of the Honda they have all been 2-strokes. I bought a new 4hp 4 stroke Yamaha last year and I'm not happy with it at all, fussy to start when hot, noisy and a lot of vibration until the rpm's are well up.
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Old 16-04-2010, 10:32   #15
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I had an old (early 70s )4 hp johnson in my shop, if you were to turn it up to the top of the compression stroke and kick then the rack it sat on even an hour later it would start by itself
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