Small engine repair
Well, I''ve had both types and I suppose, on the user end, they both balance out with the pros and cons. One needs oil in the fuel and the other needs oil in the crankcase. While no internal combustion engine is environmentally friendly, the four-stroke generally has less of an impact then the two-stroke and the four-strokes tend to be quieter running. There''s more moving parts in the four-stroke, hence more problems that can arise in the "moment of truth". Four-strokes generally cost a bit more too.
Another question Iím often asked is who makes the best engine? Really, I donít believe any one manufacturerís engine is all that much better then the next. Off of any assembly line will come dependable engines as well as lemons. There are good Nissans and Yamahas, and there are junk Evenrudes and Mercurys too. Unfortunately dependability is not in any specific manufacturer, but mostly in the luck of the draw.
Iíve been pushing my Jesse Boyce with an 8hp Mariner for 5 years now. Itís been the most dependable motor Iíve ever owned. Yet a friend of mine bought a 15hp Mercury four-stroke for his Contessa 26 the year after I bought my Mariner and he had nothing but problems from day 1.
I suppose my recommendation to one looking to purchase a new outboard would be to assess the prospective usage of the engine and if the weight isnít that big of a factor, go with a four-stroke. If youíre going to manhandle it around, look at the two-strokes. Once youíve settled on a type, look for the best deal more then any specific manufacturer.