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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 06-25-2007
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Recommendations sought for small outboard

It looks like I'm favouring a 10-foot nesting dinghy plus a 10-foot PortaBote for my tenders when we shove off in 2009. Having two tenders will allow both my wife and I to go off in different directions when at anchor, plus the sailing option on the nesting dinghy will give my son some recreation and some freedom in lagoons, etc.

I have mentioned before that I am "off" RIBs due to my dislike of davits and the vast amount of foredeck and 100-lbs. plus weight issues. This makes both my 9.9 HP Honda long-shaft 4-stroke and my 9.9 HP Mercury two-stroke effectively surplus, and I will be selling both.

The maximum HP for both of the "projected" tenders is 4 HP. I am looking for opinions on the new crop of light (under 50 lbs./luggable) 4-stroke outboards. I don't want to plane these tenders, I want a 4-knots of speed alternative to rowing distances, and portability and mechanical ease of care and repair is important.

I am leaning toward the Honda BF2, which is air-cooled and very light at 29 lbs. with a 20" shaft. I like the fact it doesn't require a freshwater flush, and that it weighs about the same as a case of beer, meaning even my tiny wife can one-arm it. I don't care that it needs more frequent oil changes (50 hr. cycles, under a pint of oil) and I don't care that it's a little louder, being air-cooled. I don't plan to use it extensively when I can sail or row...just for garbage/laundry/provision runs.

Any other recommendations? Is there a decent 4-stroke at the 4 HP level? (Not the Mariner 4 HP two-stroke...I've seen a number of these crapboxes break down).
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Old 06-25-2007
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Most of the small hp motors nowdays are made by Tohatshu and then rebranded. I looked at the Honda 2hp, but found it a bit on the pricey side at well over $200 more than my Nissan.

Currently at 36 03 21 N 76 36 37 W
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I've had a Honda 2 Hp. for a couple years now and it's been excellent, dockmate just got a new Suzuki 2.5 Hp 4 stroke that weighs right at 30 lbs. like the Honda. Suzuki had forward and neutral gears and was maybe $100 less than the Honda.
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Old 06-25-2007
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AS PB indicates, most small 2 strokes are Tohatsu-built. We've had good luck with the Nissan line, models 3 - 5 hp over the years. And Nissan offers double the warranty (or at least they used to)

If it's a 4 stroke you're after, then the options are limited in that size range.
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Old 06-25-2007
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I have had a 2-hp Yamaha 2-cycle for 5 years and it has been very reliable. It only weighs 22 lbs! The new version is a 4-cycle and only weighs a bit more. Worth a look.
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Old 06-25-2007
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Not sure I want to admit this, and in this range I don't know, but before deciding on sailing, we were thinking about fishing, and Suzuki seemed to be the motor we'd prefer. The only drawback seemed to be the support network. Apparently, Suzuki is (was) the leader worldwide in outboard motor sales. On a vacation to Venice, (the one in Italy) we noticed that almost all of the outboards were Suzuki.
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Old 06-25-2007
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Actually, most of the new under 9.9 hp motors are 4 stroke. My Nissan is a bit heavier than the Honda, but otherwise, pretty much the same features.

Currently at 36 03 21 N 76 36 37 W
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Ontario 32 - Aria

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Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
JCP


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Old 06-25-2007
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Any air-cooled models, like the Honda? I know it's expensive, but it's also air-cooled and light, making me happier in a seaway. It will go on and off either dinghy relatively frequently and on a mount in the workshop otherwise.

If it was staying permanently mounted, the weight (up to 50 lbs.) wouldn't matter much, because it would go onto a rail mount. But I am getting two tenders, both more or less collapsible, and so it must be regularly stowed.

I would prefer a 4-stroke, but will entertain 2-stroke suggestions. They are not yet banned here, although I certainly notice that my Mercury 9.9, while powerful enough to get my RIB on the plane with two adults and a child aboard (better than my Honda 9.9!), is noisier by far and is a dirty bugger with the exhaust and the occasional drip.
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Old 06-25-2007
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These are a bit heavy, but very inexpensive and simple. I would imagine, if you can work on your lawn mower, you could work on one of these.!
Features/Specs - Briggs & Stratton
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Old 06-25-2007
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B&S are interesting, but they are explicity just for fresh water use. Besides, by sheer coincidence there was a news item today announcing a mass recall of their snowblowers due to the potential if over-primed to burst into flames...

Briggs & Stratton Snow Thrower Engines Recalled Due to Fire Hazard

It's a bit off-putting. But thanks for the suggestion. They do meet the "simple and reliable and air-cooled" aspects, but are about two horses too many and 20 pounds overlimit.
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