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Old 03-08-2021, 16:30   #1
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Which dinghy outboard to get?

Kinda cheesed right now. A couple months ago I bought a used west marine outboard and inflatable. Made sure it fired up before using it and all was well. It sat in my garage for a while as I waited for my boat to be built. Was going to take it to my new marina and wanted to get it in tip top shape, however, what was sold to me as a 2014 Honda 5HP with 100 hours was really a 1997. Tried taking out the fuel jet but that is very corroded in there.

That said, while Iím sure I can get it to work eventually, I rather just buy something new that I can trust. Any recommendations for either a 2-3HP or a 5-6HP outboard to use? Mothership is a Jeanneau 349. Not sure if I will upgrade to a RIB down the road so may be leaning towards the smaller size engine. Mainly debating either a Yamaha or Honda in the 2HP range. Heard the Honda is very loud and lots of vibrations but air cooled versus the Yamaha being water cooled. Any preferences?
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Old 03-08-2021, 16:38   #2
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Re: Which dinghy outboard to get?

Replacement carbs can usually be had cheap.

If you’re hell bent on another engine, can’t go wrong with Yamaha. I’d argue they’re the gold standard. I’m a big fan of water cooled two strokes, but that’s just me.
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Old 03-08-2021, 16:42   #3
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Re: Which dinghy outboard to get?

2.5 hp air cooled Honda seems to be loved by the charter companies , noisy little thing.

I think the Yamaha is actually a Tohatsu anyway
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Old 03-08-2021, 16:47   #4
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Re: Which dinghy outboard to get?

For that size have you considered electric?
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Old 03-08-2021, 17:00   #5
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Re: Which dinghy outboard to get?

I have always bought something big enough for the dinghy and outboard to maneuver the boat and get me out of the anchorage which puts you at a 5hp. Charter people get nervous when you short tack through an anchorage!
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Old 03-08-2021, 17:12   #6
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Re: Which dinghy outboard to get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
2.5 hp air cooled Honda seems to be loved by the charter companies , noisy little thing.

I think the Yamaha is actually a Tohatsu anyway
Small Evinrudes are Tohatsu motors, not Yamaha.
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Old 03-08-2021, 17:35   #7
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Re: Which dinghy outboard to get?

I just grabbed a 6HP Suzuki to replace my 4 HP Mercury...lots more speed but same weight.


I don't trust 2 HP to actually get me anywhere.
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Old 03-08-2021, 17:41   #8
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Re: Which dinghy outboard to get?

Well my other concern is that I’ll have this on an outboard bracket and will need to put on the dingy from the bathing platform so less weight is better. Could go with the 3.5HP Mercury for the same weight. That’s a Tohatsu right? I’d just rather have something new at this point that I know all the hours and service intervals.
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Old 03-08-2021, 18:41   #9
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Re: Which dinghy outboard to get?

Letterkenny, all of the small outboards suffer from the same problem of clogged carburetor jets, particularly the low idle jet, due to ethanol fuel. Only way to avoid it is to buy expensive aviation non ethanol fuel if you can find it, or buy a propane fueled motor. I have a Tohatsu 3.5 and after having the carb cleaned each year for several years I just replaced the whole carb. Cheaper than buying a new engine. I use a crane or outboard motor hoist to lower it onto my dinghy and to lift it off again. Easier than manhandling even a small motor.
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Old 03-08-2021, 19:05   #10
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Re: Which dinghy outboard to get?

I have a 3.5hp Tohatsu. It's been sunk once, set on fire once, generally abused, is now 15 years old and still going strong. Yes i believe the Mercury 3.3hp is pretty much the same thing. Can't comment on the ethanol issue as we don't have it here.
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Old 03-08-2021, 19:07   #11
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Re: Which dinghy outboard to get?

I got a Honda 2hp sometime late 90's (it was $600, which seemed outrageous) because it was the ONLY small OB available in California at the time. It's a noisy little beast with no reverse and the centrifugal clutch takes some practice. On the other hand it still starts easy every time, no impellors, spark plug and oil is all it's ever had. Shortly after a friend got a little Suzuki that was quiet and pretty nice, but don't know that it still survives. One thing of importance is to run the carb dry every time it's going to not be used more than a day or 2.
Quieter and doesn't smoke like a Seagull but it's similar. Used it to hip tow a 27' boat across the harbor middle of the night in the rain and my dockmate was awake and waiting. Said he heard me coming from across the harbor, knew it was me.
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Old 03-08-2021, 19:32   #12
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Re: Which dinghy outboard to get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
Letterkenny, all of the small outboards suffer from the same problem of clogged carburetor jets, particularly the low idle jet, due to ethanol fuel. Only way to avoid it is to buy expensive aviation non ethanol fuel if you can find it, or buy a propane fueled motor. I have a Tohatsu 3.5 and after having the carb cleaned each year for several years I just replaced the whole carb. Cheaper than buying a new engine. I use a crane or outboard motor hoist to lower it onto my dinghy and to lift it off again. Easier than manhandling even a small motor.
I understand this to be the issue with small outboards. However, Iím thinking mine will need a major rebuild and Honda doesnít even list parts pre 2004. At this point, Iíd rather have something where I fully know itís history than finding out itís 17 years older than what I was told and where I can get parts easier. I am interested in the 2.5/3.5 vs 5/6 HP debate. Iím in Southern California so less reliant on the dinghy than a world traveler. 40 pounds definitely sounds easier than 60 pounds to carry and mount but more HP sounds better.
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Old 03-08-2021, 20:08   #13
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Re: Which dinghy outboard to get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
2.5 hp air cooled Honda seems to be loved by the charter companies , noisy little thing.

I think the Yamaha is actually a Tohatsu anyway
The Yamaha is not a Tohatsu. Yamaha makes their own motors. The factory which makes the Tohasu's was an cooperative between Tohatsu, Mercury and Nissan. I think Nissan is out.

Mercury's larger than 30 HP are manufactured by Mercury in a number of factories around the world, notably China. The largest, Mercury Verados, are basically manufactured in the the US and assembled in various mercury plants.

If I need to buy another outboard (if my 2-stroke Merc made in Wisconsin ever dies) it will be a Merc made by Tohatsu.
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Old 03-08-2021, 20:31   #14
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Re: Which dinghy outboard to get?

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For that size have you considered electric?
I would march right down to West Marine and buy a Torqeedo if I was looking for 2HP and preserving my sanity…
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Old 03-08-2021, 20:41   #15
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Re: Which dinghy outboard to get?

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I would march right down to West Marine and buy a Torqeedo if I was looking for 2HP and preserving my sanityÖ
Thought that but itís significantly more.
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