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Old 09-12-2012
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4hp outboard motor questions

Hello,

I'm in the process of buying a 19ft daysailor. I have some sailing experience (ASA 101 plus a bunch of charters), but this is my first owned boat.

I have some questions on a motor. I'm going to (at least initially) be sailing in a tidal river. I'm getting a slip to reduce the time of getting ready to sail. I expect my windows of time for sailing will only be a few hours, so I want to spend as much of that sailing as I can.

I'm thinking of getting a Tohatsu 4 stroke, 4 hp, regular shaft (15") outboard with a 0.3 gallon integrated fuel tank. Tohatsu because it gets good reviews for reliability and cost. 4 hp because I expect I'll make mistakes on the tide tabels and need to motor home against the current. While the 4hp is heavier (58 lbs) than the smaller engines, because the boat will be in a slip, I think that takes care of the issue of hauling it on and off more frequently. I also want to get a new engine because it is my first boat, and I don't have experience fixing engines, so hopefully it will give me more reliability.

I don't have any sense on how far a 0.3 gallon tank will take me. Do people just carry some extra fuel in an external tank and refill the engine if needed? It seems that for the smaller daysailors, people generally aren't connecting the outboard to an external tank (and I'm not interested in doing that either). Any rules of thumb on how far 0.3 gallon of fuel will take a 19ft daysailor, against some current and maybe some chop?

Generally, is there a different motor I should be looking at? I started with Honda's, but they don't seem to make a 4hp, and are more expensive. It goes from 2hp to 5hp, and for the reasons above, I want more than 2hp. The boat says the max is 4 hp. Nissan and Mercury are the same as Tohatsu at this size. Suzuki and Yamaha's closest dealer was much further away.

Many thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 09-12-2012
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Re: 4hp outboard motor questions

The only difference between the Tohatsu (and private branded Totatsu) 4 & 6 Hp is the carburetor. Suggest you consider the 6hp, which only 'lightly higher' in price and with a lot more maximum output ... you dont 'have to' run at max. output.

As to reliability, the Tothatsu (as well as most recent 4 strokers) will easily foul the carburetor when ethanolated gasoline is used. To keep the carb. clean ... always run the engine 'dry' (just shut off the fuel supply and let the engine stall), use a stabilizer in the fuel AND drain the fuel and use it in your automobile when the fuel becomes older than 30-45 days.

Fuel economy depends also on wind and wave conditions and how much power is needed to 'punch through'. In flat water, running below 'flat out', youll probably use ~1/2 gallon per hour with the 6. Consider a remote tank.

There are very good prices for Tohatsu OBs on the internet, and usually include free shipping ... and tax advantages from buying on the 'net' when the supplier is in a different state.
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Old 09-12-2012
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Re: 4hp outboard motor questions

Most outboards run a roughly the same efficiency rating, plus minus enough to make marketing departments go crazy.

That 1/3 of a tank will run you about an hour.
That 4 hp will push you at roughly hull speed in a 19 footer (5kts just to do the math easier).
Figure on keeping a 1 gallon tank aboard if that's not enough.
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Old 09-12-2012
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Re: 4hp outboard motor questions

Looks like you can expect less than an hour from your 0.3 gal tank: Tohatsu Outboards: Estimated Fuel Consumption for Tohatsu Outboard Motors

If you plan to fill it up before leaving the dock each day, and only plan to motor in and out of the slip, might be a good option for you.

Personally, I wouldn't like the idea of carrying spare fuel and trying to fill up an internal tank on a motor, hanging over the water, while drifting.... (Not even sure that's legal on some waterways due to environmental concerns.)

If you can fit a 5-6 gallon tank somewhere, the convenience factor of not having to routinely mess around with fuel might be enticing.
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Old 09-12-2012
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Re: 4hp outboard motor questions

We have the Tohatsu 6HP and just use the integral tank on our fishing boat. The 4HP & 6HP weigh the same and agree with Rich H that some day in real nasty conditions the extra power may be appreciated. We generally troll for about 3 hours with a 15 minute flat out run back to the ramp and use a little less than a pint of fuel for the day. We are very satisfied with the motor, it runs perfectly. We bought it on the internet, delivered to our door, well packaged in the original container for just over $1,600 total cost. I carry some extra fuel in one pint cans and although I have not re-fueled on the water it is very easy to re-fuel on the driveway from the small container. Make sure the short shaft is long enough for rough, choppy conditions.

Paul T
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Old 09-12-2012
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Re: 4hp outboard motor questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichH View Post
The only difference between the Tohatsu (and private branded Totatsu) 4 & 6 Hp is the carburetor. Suggest you consider the 6hp, which only 'lightly higher' in price and with a lot more maximum output ... you dont 'have to' run at max. output.

As to reliability, the Tothatsu (as well as most recent 4 strokers) will easily foul the carburetor when ethanolated gasoline is used. To keep the carb. clean ... always run the engine 'dry' (just shut off the fuel supply and let the engine stall), use a stabilizer in the fuel AND drain the fuel and use it in your automobile when the fuel becomes older than 30-45 days.

Fuel economy depends also on wind and wave conditions and how much power is needed to 'punch through'. In flat water, running below 'flat out', youll probably use ~1/2 gallon per hour with the 6. Consider a remote tank.

There are very good prices for Tohatsu OBs on the internet, and usually include free shipping ... and tax advantages from buying on the 'net' when the supplier is in a different state.
+1 on that


Quote:
Originally Posted by caberg View Post
Looks like you can expect less than an hour from your 0.3 gal tank: Tohatsu Outboards: Estimated Fuel Consumption for Tohatsu Outboard Motors

If you plan to fill it up before leaving the dock each day, and only plan to motor in and out of the slip, might be a good option for you.

Personally, I wouldn't like the idea of carrying spare fuel and trying to fill up an internal tank on a motor, hanging over the water, while drifting.... (Not even sure that's legal on some waterways due to environmental concerns.)

If you can fit a 5-6 gallon tank somewhere, the convenience factor of not having to routinely mess around with fuel might be enticing.
+ 1 on that also.

Here my 2 cents.
I have a catalina 22 and I run a 4 hp (mercury) at half throttle I can cruise at 6Knts (oddly over hull speed) . but I'm in an inland lake with no currents. If I had bad weather and or currents to deal with I would go for the 6HP.
As far as the integral tank, do yourself a favor and buy an external tank, use the integral as "reserve" if you would....
Also, go with the long shaft, trust me on that one...
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Old 09-13-2012
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Re: 4hp outboard motor questions

We have the 4hp Tahatsu to power our Walker bay Odessey on Davits. It has plenty of power to put it on a plane and also runs whishper quiet. Oour has an internal tank and also an attachment for an external tank. It is the lowest hp model 4 stroke which has this dfeature. W have a snall 3 gallon Moeller tank in the dinghy. We get many miles/ hours on the external tank and about 1 hour on the internal.

When we turn off the engine we discinnect the external and let the engine run out of gas thus emptying the carborator as well as fuel lines, when we are using ethanlo,based gases as the varnish tends to build in the carb if left there. We use aviation fuel when possible so there is no problem with varnish.

Dave
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Re: 4hp outboard motor questions

I would go for the 6 hp too ,its the same weight .
its not a big deal till you need it ...

we have the Tohatsu 6 and are very happy with it ..couple years old and no problems so far
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Re: 4hp outboard motor questions

I'm going to buck the trend, and say get a nicely cared for used 2 stroke and go smaller in size. 4hp for a 19 foot boat is overkill. I use a 2.2hp for my 25 footer, and it pushes me to 5.2 knots (hull speed on flat water). Granted, a 4hp is probably better for my boat. But the 2.2 runs well.

The tohatsu are the same as the merc, and 3 other motors. they make them all. Great motors and you can't go wrong. What these guys are saying is it's better to go bigger than you need (and I agree), I think 4hp IS bigger than you need.

That being said, they are also right in that the 6hp is the same weight (too much mind you) as the 4hp so if you are OK with the 4hp weight, then then 6hp is OK.

Have you considered HONDA? Their 3.5 is really nice (pricey) but a real steal, and also quite light.

My 2.2hp 2 stroke merc, runs for about 2 straight hours on a full (integrated 1 liter) tank of fuel. I carry extra fuel in a Jerry Can but I DON'T leave it on the boat. My boat doesn't have a dedicated fuel locker, so the tank doesn't stay (unless I forget - which I did last night).
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Old 09-13-2012
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Re: 4hp outboard motor questions





You do need the long shaft and the 25" on the 6 HP is great

BUT there is really ONLY one good High Thrust Porp which the 4 HP motor has NO problem reaching FULL RPM with SO i have never really figured out how you would deliver the extra 2 HP ?

As i have never had and issue moving even the 8000# boat or the J24 in 30 knots ?
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