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  #1  
Old 04-14-2003
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Outboard motor for dingy

We have a 10 ft inflatable hard bottom dingy and are considering a 4 or 5 hp engine for it. Weight is a factor for us. Any suggestions would be appreciated. We plan to be cruising for 1-2 years.
Thanks,
Kim
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Old 04-14-2003
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Outboard motor for dingy

The environmentally safe way to go is with a 4 stroke. But beware! They weigh A TON! I have a Zodiak 310 (10''6" or so) and the local dealer talked me into an 8hp Honda. This is really a tremendous OB, but at almost 90 lbs... I have had to rig a hoist to move it from stern rail to dingy and back. Quite a change from my dear old British Seagull. Or course the Seagull was not exactly the environments best friend.

There seem to be some really nice Mercury 2 strokes in your power range, light weight and effecient. But they are no longer available in all states, as emmissions laws tighten down.

Good luck!
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Old 04-14-2003
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Outboard motor for dingy

A couple of years ago I was looking for a 3HP outboard for my dinghy and ended up buying a Yamaha 2 stroke. It''s very hard to find reliable info on engine reliability, but it came down to Honda or Yamaha for me. I chose the Yamaha 2 stroke because of the comparatively light weight (4 strokes are too heavy for now), and because I could find no one who complained about Yamaha engines. I''ve been very happy with my choice.

The mechanic who serviced the engine the day I bought it and ran me through its operation told me that Yamahas are the only outboards in his experience that will start right out of the box. He also said he would probably never see me again unless I brought the engine back to him to winterize -- Yamahas are that reliable.

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Old 04-15-2003
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Outboard motor for dingy

You may want to look over the Nissan 4 HP. It is low weight, and either runs on a top tank or an auxiliary tank, nice option. I think it''s 4 stroke too. I have a Nissan 6 hp and am quite OK with it
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Old 04-15-2003
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Outboard motor for dingy

While i understand your weight concerns, I would question putting a 4-5hp outboard on a dinghy as heavy as a 10'' RIB. (Perhaps you have a rib with a composite hull or something.) Having owned 3 Honda outboards, a Yamaha, and a Nissan as well as a cruis n'' carry! I would agree with the comments above. Honda engines, in my opinion, are the best of the bunch in terms of reliability and cleanliness given their 4 stroke engines. Of course the tradeoff for this is weight. I believe my 8hp Honda weighed upwards of 80 lbs and my 10hp more than that. (As an aside, the weights that manufactures list on their specs page are often alot lighter than the actually weight. I know it sounds ridiculous but you may want to consider bring a scale with you to the dealer to confirm weight.) The Yamaha is a bit lighter but is a 2 stroke engine and, as such, you need to deal with the mixing of oil and gas and the environmental impact. I believe the Nissan is the lightest of the bunch, 2 stroke engine, etc. They make the engine with an aluminum block I believe; hence the weight savings. I use a Nissan 9.8 on my 10'' Zodiac with HP floor. The 2 strokes are quite simple engines and, if taken care of properly, you can fix most problems yourself. My Nissan has been quite reliable with just an annual changing of spark plugs, the zinc, fuel filter, and lower unit oil. Just flush it out with fresh water once in a while. You might want to consider a product called easylift motor tote from www.clevel.com in Rowaton CT; it goes on your outboard and make it ALOT easier to mount and pull off the outboard from the dingy. Good luck.
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Old 04-16-2003
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Outboard motor for dingy

We recently bought a Tohatsu 8(same engine as Nissan) for our AB 11.5 hardbottom. This 2 cycle weighs a reasonable 70 or so pounds.

I personally question that the environmental benefits justify the extra cost and weight of 4 cycle small engines - and would go for the 2 cycle as long as they are available in the US. You need to decide your own attitude about this near-religious issue.

As to size, you need to decide how fast you want to be able to go with how many people. I believe our 8HP will plane the AB with four people on board where I expect a 4/5HP may only plane with one on board. You need to decide what matters to you.

However, you might check on the availablity of parts/service overseas. I understood that the Tohatsu is widely sold overseas. I would wonder how widespread the global acceptance of 4 cycles is.

Good luck.
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Old 04-16-2003
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Outboard motor for dingy

Sailinfool raises a good point - Parts availability.
I found the Village Dumps, in the Bahamas (Exumas) to be full of older OMC (Johnson/Evinrude) engines, from which I was able to scrounge many useful parts.
The Bahamians have started to favour Yamaha outboards, so expect that they will soon be showing up in the dumps.
Anyone have any similar experience elsewhere?
Regards,
Gord
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Old 04-16-2003
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Outboard motor for dingy

For a 10''RIB, I would consider an 8 hp. You should be able to plane with two people and have plenty of power for adverse wind and wave conditions.

I used to have a 3.10 RIB and had both a 15hp and a 3hp aboard. When I just needed to drop the dinghy in for a quick trip, I could pick up the 3hp with one hand and be ready to go in a minute. For longer trips or longer duration, I had the 15 hp on a small davit. I now have just the 8hp Yamaha on an Avon 3.10 and am very satisfied.

I personally strongly favor Yamaha, and if weight is important, would only consider 2 strokes.
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Old 04-23-2003
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Outboard motor for dingy

If you go with a 4 cycle, be careful about the weight. A recent Practical Sailor mag has a letter from a guy who reports that using a 10HP 4 cycle on an inflatable rated for 10HP resulted in problems in the engine due to it being too low in the water - the inflatable settled too much with a 4 cycle. The writer said after two warranty repairs the dealer gave him credit towards a 2 cycle...

good luck.
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Old 05-03-2003
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Outboard motor for dingy

We too have a 10ft rib, with a 5hp 2 stroke engine and have been cruising for 2 years.My biggest regret is in NOT getting a bigger outboard. We thought 5hp would be fine for getting to shore as it is in the Chesapeake but in the islands, your boat is home and the dinghy is the car and you often go miles in one to hit the reefs or go fishing and friends with 10+hp would go 3-4 times as fast as us and that is a BIG difference.
So...if islands are your destination and your budget can stand it I would recommend the largest 2 cycle you can handle. Best...GB
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