New Dink, Looking at Tohatsu 3.5 - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 44 Old 02-19-2008 Thread Starter
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New Dink, Looking at Tohatsu 3.5

HAHA! The Sapper has made a steal this week. No, not literally. The marina chandlery (Tidewater Havre de Grace) here is downsizing the store. In doing so they are selling gear on the cheap like crazy. Almost everything is at a minimum 40% off. I'm in there all the time, mostly because i live there and like to shoot the breeze with the workers.

So there I am flipping through the Achilles brochure minding my own when one of the guys says, "In the market for a dink?' I ask if they are on sale too, and they are. Soooooo, it takes me all of about 20 seconds to decide that I'll take that brand spanking new Achilles LSI-88 off of their hands for $890 after taxes (normally $1800 before taxes). Not a hard decision to make.

Now I'm stuck with the task of getting some power behind this puppy. The manf. recommends a 4HP, but I can't justify that extra .5HP for an extra 12 pounds, particularly when it'll be yours truly lugging that thing up onto the stern rail all the time. I'm NOT rigging a crane either.

After scanning around a bit, I've decided that a Tohatsu 3.5 looks pretty good to me. I like the price, weight, and simplicity of the motor. I've downloaded the manual in pdf format and looked it over, looks good to me. Now what I need from you Sailnetters and AFOCs is REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE. Tell me what you like AND dislike about the Tohatsu 3.5. If you have a similar motor tell me about it too. PLEASE DON"T TELL ME ABOUT A 6 OR 8 HP MOTOR. I'm not looking to break any speed records and I'm not driving a hydrofoil. This is a grocery getter.

So please, let me know real world pluses and minuses about the engine or one very similar. Many thanks

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post #2 of 44 Old 02-19-2008
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Originally Posted by Sapperwhite View Post
HAHA! The Sapper has made a steal this week. No, not literally. The marina chandlery (Tidewater Havre de Grace) here is downsizing the store. In doing so they are selling gear on the cheap like crazy. Almost everything is at a minimum 40% off. I'm in there all the time, mostly because i live there and like to shoot the breeze with the workers.

So there I am flipping through the Achilles brochure minding my own when one of the guys says, "In the market for a dink?' I ask if they are on sale too, and they are. Soooooo, it takes me all of about 20 seconds to decide that I'll take that brand spanking new Achilles LSI-88 off of their hands for $890 after taxes (normally $1800 before taxes). Not a hard decision to make.

Now I'm stuck with the task of getting some power behind this puppy. The manf. recommends a 4HP, but I can't justify that extra .5HP for an extra 12 pounds, particularly when it'll be yours truly lugging that thing up onto the stern rail all the time. I'm NOT rigging a crane either.

After scanning around a bit, I've decided that a Tohatsu 3.5 looks pretty good to me. I like the price, weight, and simplicity of the motor. I've downloaded the manual in pdf format and looked it over, looks good to me. Now what I need from you Sailnetters and AFOCs is REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE. Tell me what you like AND dislike about the Tohatsu 3.5. If you have a similar motor tell me about it too. PLEASE DON"T TELL ME ABOUT A 6 OR 8 HP MOTOR. I'm not looking to break any speed records and I'm not driving a hydrofoil. This is a grocery getter.

So please, let me know real world pluses and minuses about the engine or one very similar. Many thanks
The Tohatsu, Nissan & Mercury's are all Tohautsu's. Part for part they are virtually identical.

That being said the Mercu-hautsu-sans weigh about 41-42 lbs. and the little Suzuki 2.5 weighs 29. The difference between a 2.5 and 3.5 will be hard to notice. If it were me I'd be buying the Suzuki, for the weight and the fact that it's still water cooled, but they are all very reliable motors and you can't go wrong with any of them! Don't pay the premium for the Merc as they all carry the same warranty.

The only small engine I don't really feel comfortable with is the 2hp Honda. My buddy Eric has had nothing but corrosion issues! The motor is three years old, used on a dinghy, and looks like it's been sitting in a bucket of salt for twenty years. He fought with Honda for a year and they gave him lip service only.. Honda is normally a great company but they wanted nothing to do with him?? I don't believe all Honda's suffer this and he believes it was a manufacturing / paint issue..

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 02-19-2008 at 10:16 PM.
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post #3 of 44 Old 02-19-2008 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by halekai36 View Post
The Tohatsu, Nissan & Mercury's are all Tohautsu's. Part for part they are virtually identical.

That being said the Mercu-hautsu-sans weigh about 41-42 lbs. and the little Suzuki 2.5 weighs 29. The difference between a 2.5 and 3.5 will be hard to notice. If it were me I'd be buying the Suzuki, for the weight and the fact that it's still water cooled, but they are all very reliable motors and you can't go wrong with any of them! Don't pay the premium for the Merc as they all carry the same warranty.
I knew that the Tohatsu, Nissan & Mercury's are all Tohautsu's. I wasn't sure of the noticeable difference (or lack of difference) in power between 2, 2.5, 3.5.

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I have the Tohatsu 3.5 HP four-stroke as the dinghy motor on my boat. Think it's a great little engine. I'd highly recommend it. I use it on a 12' 6" porta-bote and a 8' 6" inflatable with a roll up floor. BTW, my friend has the 2.5 HP.

Any questions, PM me.

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Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
I have the Tohatsu 3.5 HP four-stroke as the dinghy motor on my boat. Think it's a great little engine. I'd highly recommend it. I use it on a 12' 6" porta-bote and a 8' 6" inflatable with a roll up floor. BTW, my friend has the 2.5 HP.

Any questions, PM me.
Nothing that really justifies a PM. Plus I think it'd be good to know engine specific info for any future searchers.

I knew you had one from conducting my "before I start a new thread due diligence search". So.....

How many years have you had it?
Is it relatively quiet?
Power ok?
What do you NOT like about it, or would change?
Would you get it again, or move up or down in size?
Have any contact with the manufacturer? If so are they good to work with, or do they give lip service?

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Bought it last April at the Defender sale... it is relatively quiet with decent power. Gets the little inflatable with a wooden rollup floor up on plane with two people in the thing...that's about 350 lbs. of people, since neither my crew or I are lightweights. It'll get the portabote moving pretty well too, even with three people in it.

The fuel tank on it is a bit small IMHO... gets about an hour's run time out of the 1/3 gallon tank.

For me and what I need, the size and weight is almost perfect and I haven't had any problems with the engine, so no contact with the manufacturer.

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Originally Posted by halekai36 View Post
.......and the little Suzuki 2.5 weighs 29. The difference between a 2.5 and 3.5 will be hard to notice. If it were me I'd be buying the Suzuki, for the weight and the fact that it's still water cooled, but they are all very reliable motors and you can't go wrong with any of them! Don't pay the premium for the Merc as they all carry the same warranty...
I did initially think in the direction of the Honda 2, but went against it after reading some of the different viewpoints.

I did read a short review on YBW that said the Suzuki 2.5 was "A handy engine let down by its awkward stowing." How awkward could a tiny engine be? The Suzuki Marine website has some good info in the brochure. My only thing with this engine is, is it enough? Is there that much difference on the water between a 3.5 and a 2.5? Remember, I'm not looking to break speed records. However, if I'm moderately loaded with say, oh topless chicks and beer I guess, will the 2.5 be sluggish?

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post #8 of 44 Old 02-19-2008
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We have the Nissan 3.5 2 stroke - very reliable and dependable so far(3 seasons), easy to lift up and down onto the dinghy.

I like the neutral gear on this motor. Still have to spin it around to back up, but being able to idle in neutral is a big advantage IMO. The dinghy won't plane, of course, but it's just a beach barge after all.

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We also use the Nissan 3.5 two stroke. Very light, it's a one handed move from the rail to the dingy transom. Generally get around two or three hrs. per. tank full. running at 1/4 to 1/2 throttle.
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post #10 of 44 Old 02-20-2008
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We have sold around 60 of them in the last two years. We haven't had any problems with them except for freight damage(cracked engine cover(3) & tip broken of L.U(2). All damage courtesy of FedEx. Only 1 person has reported a problem to us and that was the result of his using bad fuel(water in gas). I have heard of some broken fuel tank nipples from other dealers(All freight damage again), but I don't think we have had any of our customer report that problem.

I think the engine is a little heavy at 41 lbs, but other than that it's been a good model so far.

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