This engine has been dependable and it cranks easy but the one I have and the one I tested two days ago is seriously underpowered. With the stock 8 pitch prop at WOT (wide open throttle) it only gets to about 4300 rpm while on the water. This is 1700 rpm short of max. and 1200 to 1300 short of what the manufacture called nominal 6hp at 5500 rpm.
I went back and forth for months with them trying to find if something was wrong with the engine and it was a mess. The national tohatsu people were friendly and worked with me on it but the local service center left me feeling I knew more about the engine than they did.
Eventually the national tohatsuUSA people gave up and quit.. I now understand why. There is nothing wrong with the engine I got other than it is not manufactured to meet the claimed performance. If they had labeled this engine 4hp I would have beleived it.. but 6.. not even close. I spent several hundred dollars getting the equipment to test thrust and rpm with this thing just to make sure I wasn't crazy.
In the end tohatsu basically said that my boat was two big for the engine and that you can't compare a 4 stroke engine to a 2 stroke engine. They didn't appreciate me saying I wasn't comparing a 2 stroke to 4 stroke but a 4hp to a 6hp engine.
In the end I think the engines run well and get good fuel economy. However I also think they are not made to even meet tohatsu's own performance claims. Also if looking for a quieter engine than a two stroke this isn't it.