Join Date: Nov 2002
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I've owned OB's from Tohatsu, Nissan, Mercury and Yamaha.
Our current dingy OB is a Yamaha two stoke 8 hp. (Yamaha still offers two strokes, if you can find them.) Easy starting, light for its horsepower and lots of power. Wonderful OB -- no issues at all.
We also have a four stroke Yamaha on the sailboat. Great power, but finicky about fuel. Had to have it worked on about every other year for hard starting. Am currently disconnecting the fuel hose at shutdown and let her run out of gas per dealer's suggestion. Also, am running the cleaning dose of Sea Foam all the time (2 oz per gallon). Will see how this regimen goes over time. (FWIW, besides stabilizing fuel, Sea Foam is supposed to perform the same combustion chamber cleaning as Yamaha's Ring Free.)
Prior to that, I had a Mercury four stroke on the sailboat, and wasn't happy with it at all. Initial unit was a bonafide lemon with massive starting issues the dealer couldn't fix. Mercury was no help at all, and the dealer finally replaced it after some arm twisting. Mercury #2 started OK, but was light on power. It was marginal even with a high thrust prop.
Many moons ago, I had a Tohatsu OB, but it was hard to get serviced in SE Michigan. The Nissan dealers wouldn't touch it, even though it was mechanically identical to a Nissan.
At this same time I had a little 3.5 hp Nissan for my dingy, and it was a wonderful little OB. Easy starting and no real issues.
Hope this helps.