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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 01-07-2005
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1973gx is on a distinguished road
Small outboards

Any wisdom or experience in selecting a 5 hp outboard for an inflatable? Mercury vs. Honda vs. Nissan vs. other? Initial cost? Maintenance? Performance? Thanks!
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Old 01-07-2005
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Small outboards

I have had a 5hp Nissan 2 cycle with external gas tank for about 8yrs. Still starts on the first or second pull. I use it on a approx 9ft Seaworthy (boatus brand) hard transom/wood floor dingy. Usage is about 6-12 times per year mostly in the summer with long periods of no use during the winter.

Every time I store it for more than a day, I pull the gas connection and run it (in a freshwater tank) till it quits. I had a mechanic recommend this to me years ago and it seems to work. Keeps fuel (esp. gas/oil 2 cycle mix) from gumming up the carb. I also usually pull the cover off and spray with a silicon (not wd40) based spray.

Performance:
*Me (200 lbs) alone - planes easily
*Me and either child (under 100lbs) - usually planes fairly quickly.
*Me and both kids - I can usually coax it up on plane
*Me and the wife (weight withheld but she''s trim) - Sometimes planes, but there can be no additional weight in the boat.
*Whole family - we plod along.

My only other experience has been an approx 10ft Caribe RIB with a Yam 9.9 2 cycle on a charter. It planed with all 4 of us fairly easily. Was nice. Something of that sort will be my next little ride.
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Old 01-07-2005
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Small outboards

Thanks--good info!
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Old 01-07-2005
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Small outboards

Have owned a bunch of small outboards over the past 14 years. All except one have served well and it was a junker I used between seasons on boats I had for sale. Tohatsu ranks extremely high for me as I have had superb service out of them. Be aware that about all small outboards are made by Tohatsu. Mercury, Nissan etc. I believe Johnson is owned and made by Bombardier now. I own a Honda on my Catamaran but it is a 40HP. My friends tell me they love their small Hondas on their dingies. I have a Nissan 9.9 on my dingy at the moment and it is serving me well.All in all I believe Tohatsu has it down as to how an engine should be built and operate.Honda is more expensive than others . My concern would be weight and how much of it you have to handle. Good luck and hope all goes well for you.
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Old 01-07-2005
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Small outboards

The first decision is 2 stroke v. 4 stroke. As usual each has pro''s and con''s. Biggest pro''s for 2 stroke are simplicity, lighter weight (5 hp Mercury 2 stroke is 45# v 55# for a 4 stroke) and lower first cost. Four strokes run clean, no fuel mixing, much better fuel economy which means longer range and are often quieter. Having owned both, at this time we''re sold on 4 stroke for our use.
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Old 01-07-2005
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Small outboards

Keep in mind that the new two-strokes use a 50 or 100:1 oil mix which has an insignificant effect on the environment.
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