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Old 29-07-2020, 08:02   #1
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Easiest outboard to get serviced in the Carribean?

I'm looking to buy a small 4 cycle outboard for a RIB to be used on the East Coast and Caribbean (probably not the Bahamas).

Sooner or later it will needs to be serviced. Which brand is most prevalent and easiest to get parts for - Honda, Yamaha, Tohatsu, Mercury, Nissan?
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Old 29-07-2020, 08:05   #2
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Re: Easiest outboard to get serviced in the Carribean?

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I'm looking to buy a small 4 cycle outboard for a RIB to be used on the East Coast and Caribbean (probably not the Bahamas).

Sooner or later it will needs to be serviced. Which brand is most prevalent and easiest to get parts for - Honda, Yamaha, Tohatsu, Mercury, Nissan?
4-cycles harder to service than 2-cycle which is in regular use in most of the Caribbean. For small outboards, Yamaha, Tohatsu and Mercury should be equally easy. Yamaha probably the best bet.
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Old 29-07-2020, 08:37   #3
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Re: Easiest outboard to get serviced in the Carribean?

Yamaho enduro 15. But is also the most likely to be stolen.
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Old 29-07-2020, 09:06   #4
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Re: Easiest outboard to get serviced in the Carribean?

The 2-cycle is rapidly being replaced by 4 stroke throughout the Caribbean. The Yamaha Enduro seems to be the #1 choice of the locals so I assume service and parts are available and perhaps lower starting cost. Chandleries carry all 4 stroke now. I haven’t seen a new 2stroke in a long time. Budget marine is the West Marine of the eastern Caribbean. Check their site. Prices vary widely by island. 15 HP and above are highly desirable relative to theft. Mostly, small engines are not of theft interest. The whole parts available issue is overblown. Most places stock nothing and you will wait for parts. Figure what is most likely and keep it on hand. A failed dinghy engine is serious if you live aboard and anchor out. We have service kits and selected spares for our two 15 HP, old 2 stroke Mercury outboards. Yes, we have a spare OB.
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Old 29-07-2020, 09:45   #5
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Re: Easiest outboard to get serviced in the Carribean?

I agree that Yamaha is likely the best, certainly the most common. Tohatsu makes the small Mercurys and Nissans. We ended up with used Tohatsu 2-strokes because that is what we could find in the US. The Tohatsu 9.8 2-stroke is quite common and our 10-foot dinghy planes with two people.

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Old 29-07-2020, 10:02   #6
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Re: Easiest outboard to get serviced in the Carribean?

Yamaha and Suzuki seem popular in the Caribe and third world.
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Old 29-07-2020, 10:05   #7
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Re: Easiest outboard to get serviced in the Carribean?

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Yamaho enduro 15. But is also the most likely to be stolen.
Yes on both counts. Most widely used motor in all the Carib...the entire basin. Great motor too.

Good parts availabiltity too, which is a problem for many other brands.
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Old 30-07-2020, 08:54   #8
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Re: Easiest outboard to get serviced in the Carribean?

If you're going to be a cruiser, you need to be able to service you own outboard.

If you can read, you can learn. Buy the service manual for your outboard, the necessary tools, the spare parts, and LEARN IT it.

Being self-sufficient is extremely cost effective and efficient. It will make cruising much more enjoyable.
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Old 30-07-2020, 09:12   #9
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Re: Easiest outboard to get serviced in the Carribean?

If you can find a 5hp 2 stroke Mercury get it -- it is simple easy to fix - put some fins on and it goes well - and almost any backyard mechanic can fix it. It will take a beating and keeps on ticking



But finding one will be a challenge
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Old 30-07-2020, 09:30   #10
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Re: Easiest outboard to get serviced in the Carribean?

I don’t think it matters, unless your near a major area, parts don’t exist as was said.
Just stay away from the off brand knock offs, the Chinese ones, but they seem to be rare anyway.
I believe among the smaller four strokes, there are only four, Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda and Tohatsu.
Of those I wouldn't want a Yamaha or a Honda. it seems they haven’t updated for a long time and they are HEAVY.
In the 9.9 to 20 HP range, Tohatsu has the newest, and it’s the lightest too, I have a Suzuki which used to be the lightest.

Theft wise, lock it up, and I took my 20 HP sticker off and out on a 6 HP sticker. It has surprisingly fooled everyone, they all think it’s a 6, even after seeing it run, I have heard a couple of comments about how strong it is for a 6.

For a two stoke, I would not want the Enduro, it’s heavy, I’d want the leisure model I guess it’s called, and it’s what I see for sale mostly in the Bahamas, not the Enduro.
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Old 30-07-2020, 09:32   #11
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Re: Easiest outboard to get serviced in the Carribean?

As Sailor647 says, learn to service it, it is not hard!

Cleaning a carburetor on an outboard is the most common chore for a cruising yachty, because we buy crappy fuel everywhere, and leave the fuel breather open in rain, or we forgot to run the carb dry before storage!
Take a morning, and learn to service your donk and your dink. It is easier than you think.
The Caribbean can service pretty much anything, yachties seem to prefer Yamaha, I always have too. But nowadays, they are pretty much commodities...any known brand is fine.
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Old 30-07-2020, 09:45   #12
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Re: Easiest outboard to get serviced in the Carribean?

Carry a spare spark plug and an impeller and when you fill the tank run the fuel through a ladies stocking.
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Old 30-07-2020, 09:47   #13
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Re: Easiest outboard to get serviced in the Carribean?

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Theft wise, lock it up, and I took my 20 HP sticker off and out on a 6 HP sticker. It has surprisingly fooled everyone, they all think itís a 6, even after seeing it run, I have heard a couple of comments about how strong it is for a 6.
Always wondered about the crappy looking cover and torn up fake stickers if they'd help at all.
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Old 30-07-2020, 09:51   #14
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Re: Easiest outboard to get serviced in the Carribean?

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Always wondered about the crappy looking cover and torn up fake stickers if they'd help at all.
I donít know about that, but feel pretty sure that a big, heavy looking 6, you couldnít give away
Most that are stolen, are done so to resale I believe and new pretty looking motors would bring more. I donít think in most cases the thief puts it on their own boat, not unless the thief is a cruiser and leaves the next day.
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Old 30-07-2020, 09:55   #15
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Re: Easiest outboard to get serviced in the Carribean?

We purchased a two-cycle 15hp Suzuki and were surprised to note that the Suzuki has the same just above idle unevenness as a friend's two-cycle Yamaha 15hp. It leads us to believe the brand manufacturers are purchasing the engine block from a common manufacturer and then adding different covers, handles, and such to make the brand (Yamaha, Suzuki). Just saying because, for example, the head gasket for a Yamaha might be the same for the Suzuki.

This common part phenomena is even more blatant with Northern Lights generators. In many cases the NL part number is the same number for a Kubota and the same number for other lawn mowers. Only the Northern Lights sourced parts are more expensive than the Kubota sourced parts. Kubota has the larger market. The basic engine manufacturer is the same. Kubota paints the engine grey, NL paints it white.

A brand may do better quality control of an assembled motor. The brand may have a better service network. The brand may have intellectual property that is added on and gives the product an edge. The brand may have a greater quantity of sales and therefore lower pricies. The brand may have a better "feel good" than others. But most of the parts are probably common among the brands.
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