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post #51 of 141 Old 03-07-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

I'd disagree about the 2/4 stroke difference. We've been cruising full time around the entire Caribbean Sea for over 10yrs now with a 4 stroke and it has been brilliant. Two of them, actually, a Honda 15 and a Suzuki 20. The Honda died of old age, and was abused relentlessly with no problems.

Our new boat has a 2yr old Tohatsu 18hp 2-stroke and I can't wait to get rid of it. It uses at least 60% more fuel than our Suzuki 20hp, smokes and smells, rattles and growls, and I have to mix the gas. And being carbureted, it requires a secret combination of throttle position and choke position, for a secret amount of time to start - then floods if it isn't done correctly. The 4-strokes are so quiet and smooth that you don't even know they are running at idle. When you are cruising outside of fuel availability, it is nice to be able to go months on 10 gallons of gas while using the dink to go miles/day fishing and exploring. This Tohatsu takes 3gal of fuel just to go to a fuel stop and back. If you have a Honda generator, it is nice to not have to partition fuel into mixed and non-mixed.

Our experiences with other cruisers is that they deeply believe in their 2-strokes, particularly the Yamaha 15, but are also almost constantly working on them. And looking for more gasoline. The people with 4 strokes are not having problems, except for those with Yamaha 20hp - for some reason that particular engine is troublesome. Another exception are the very small carbureted 4-strokes below 6-8hp - those have continual carburetor issues, but I think it is the same for the 2-strokes of the same size.

Excellent advice on a good in-line filter. Make sure it is also a water separator. This one easy inexpensive thing is the most important part of keeping any outboard trouble-free - and the one thing few people actually do.

Mark
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post #52 of 141 Old 03-07-2019
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The newish 4 stroke carbed are not very tolerant. FI very reliable.
My 4hp 2 stroke does one thing better than my 6hp 4 stroke...
Always always always starts and runs

But drinks at least double the fuel.
Mixing 100/1 doesnt bother me
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post #53 of 141 Old 03-07-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

Update: Single handed the boat overnight from Bequia to St Lucia (80nm). It was the full Monty of weather phenomenon, calm winds to roaring winds 25 kts between St Vincent and St Lucia, rain showers, calm seas to large seas. Wind on the bow to beam reach. Water over the bow and got hit with some beam seas. Boat is cover in salt water. My dink that was strapped down on the foredeck got moved by the green water coming over. Got sandwiched between cruise ships and freighters. Actually made the cruise ship turn course so as not to hit me because I had no place to go. He was nice about it. Overall an interesting experience. Main was reefed all night and jib was out, in, out, reefed, in, out ,in.. I was busy. Current was 1.5 kts starting behind me but as night progress moved to abeam. I ended up tacking back into Rodney Bay 10 NM out. What I planned was 5.5 kts and what I got was average 7.7 kts. So I ended up laying up for a few hours outside of Rodney Bay until sunrise ( I don't go into any anchorage at night). Heave too works, calmed the boat down, made coffee and had a nice breakfast. Of course all the cruise ships (4) and freighters started to show up all at the same time. So lots of radio chatter. They obviously had a pecking order to enter the main port here. They too waited until sunrise to enter. I have a lot of pictures of this to show but I still cannot figure out how to post here. Maybe Donna will bail me out again.
On the subject of dink outboard motors. 2 strokes rule out here. Not to say there isn't any 4 strokes but from my observation only Americans and Canadians carry those. Europeans like the smaller engines under 4 and our side of the world are either 9.9 or 18-20 hp. 2 strokes weigh less which can be a factor for a lot of people, myself included. My brand new Nissan is in the shop,, won't start. But I think it is a case of bad gas. I saw a rash of motors that wouldn't start in Bequia beside mine. Mine is under warranty so that is one less boat project I have to worry about for now. FYI - I believe there is only 3 manufactures of outboards. Yamaha and Honda are solo and the rest are made by Tohatsu/Mercury . Someone correct me on this please. Also Honda motors are hard to get parts and fixed outside the USA from what I understand too. I walked over to Island World store (West Marine Caribbean)(here in Rodney Bay) where I bought it from (Grenada) and within 30 mins a guy came to take it to the shop to fix it. Pretty cool. I should have it back tomorrow. I agree with Mark about a water separator. I have one but haven't installed it yet. I need to get new fittings for the new motor.
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post #54 of 141 Old 03-07-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

Nice post! I haven't been down that way for more than 20 years, but I recall the outer Rodney Bay was a pretty wide open easy to enter anchorage. I don't have access to charts so this is a bit of a fog. There was a channel and a small anchorage near the marina. I need to get down there again. This sort of post is a motivation.
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post #55 of 141 Old 03-07-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

Tohatsu makes small OB's for Mercury, Suzuki, and I think Evinrude. Once above ~15hp (maybe 10hp), engine manufacturers make their own. These include Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Tohatsu, Evinrude, and Mercury. I guess you could include Lehr too.

Nissan was bought by Tohatsu recently, so I left them out of the above. They were always rebranded Tohatsu anyway.

The weight differences are no longer that great, and mostly in small OB's. Once at 15hp, the weight differentials between 2/4 strokes is inconsequential. For example, our Suzuki 20hp 4-stroke is only 4lbs heavier than our Tohatsu 18hp 2-stroke, and the same for the Yamaha 15hp Enduro 2-stroke.

This weight indifference is something nobody wants to believe, so it keeps getting perpetrated. A look at actual data sheets will show the truth.

The argument about local parts availability is hollow to me. I've never needed anything besides routine consumable parts for any of our 4-strokes, and many areas do not stock many parts even for those OB's that are heavily sold there. For example in Panama, where Yamaha and Tohatsu 2-strokes are heavily sold, parts needed to be ordered in for almost anything. It isn't cost-effective anymore to keep large stores of parts. Even things like carburetors and jets. It is almost always quicker (and sometimes cheaper) to just order parts from the US or UK. After all, this is what many of the local shops do.

The difference in fuel consumption is tremendous. The new fuel-injected 4-strokes use 3-4x less gas than the popular 2-strokes. Really. We carry so much less gasoline around than our 2-stroke friends. Cruising out in the boonies where fuel isn't available at any cost, this becomes important. At $5-6/gal, helps the wallet also.

It may just be US and Canadians that are using 4-strokes, but I'm seeing many more of these OB's now than 10yrs ago. Suzuki has jumped into the Western Caribe market in a big way, and local fisherman in many areas are switching for the fuel consumption alone.

But it is an old cruising meme that one should get a Yamaha 15hp 2-stroke. Like one should have a double-ender, or full keel, or ketch rig, or hank on sails. I think like those, time will eventually lead to re-examination.

Mark
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

The Yamaha 15 meme is likely because if there are so many of them... every plays... then getting repairs becomes less a mystery, easier to find competent labor and parts. You have what is deemed an uncommon engine... people expect to have to wait for parts and have the mechanic bollocks up the repair. They may be more unreliable that other OBs by stats... but maybe easier to get repaired????

For my needs they are too big / heavy in any case.

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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

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Northeast of Long Point in Greenwich Bay... Mischief seems likely.
Yup, that's it. Goddard Park Beach. Pretty spot. Just one where I feel the need to be much more careful.


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post #58 of 141 Old 03-08-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

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The Yamaha 15 meme is likely because if there are so many of them... every plays... then getting repairs becomes less a mystery, easier to find competent labor and parts. You have what is deemed an uncommon engine... people expect to have to wait for parts and have the mechanic bollocks up the repair. They may be more unreliable that other OBs by stats... but maybe easier to get repaired????

For my needs they are too big / heavy in any case.
It would be a poor mechanic who could only work on one brand of small outboard. Regardless of type or brand, these are fundamentally the same engineering and mechanics. Yes, definitely differences between 2 and 4 stroke, but if anyone has ever worked on an automobile, they immediately understand 4 strokes.

Parts is the main thing that people misunderstand. Not many places actually have real parts. Maybe a carb kit or oil plug or impeller, but one should be carrying those anyway. Any real parts that are needed will almost surely need to be ordered from overseas. It doesn't make economic sense to keep large stocks of parts around - those are kept in centralize distribution centers and ordered in as needed.

One more thing about weight. If one needs to regularly lift their engine on and off by hand, then there is no real difference between a 86lb 15hp 2-stroke and a 91lb 15hp 4-stroke. One should not have an engine this size regardless of type or brand. For smaller engines 2-6hp, the 2-strokes are lighter.

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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

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It would be a poor mechanic who could only work on one brand of small outboard. Regardless of type or brand, these are fundamentally the same engineering and mechanics. Yes, definitely differences between 2 and 4 stroke, but if anyone has ever worked on an automobile, they immediately understand 4 strokes.

Parts is the main thing that people misunderstand. Not many places actually have real parts. Maybe a carb kit or oil plug or impeller, but one should be carrying those anyway. Any real parts that are needed will almost surely need to be ordered from overseas. It doesn't make economic sense to keep large stocks of parts around - those are kept in centralize distribution centers and ordered in as needed.

One more thing about weight. If one needs to regularly lift their engine on and off by hand, then there is no real difference between a 86lb 15hp 2-stroke and a 91lb 15hp 4-stroke. One should not have an engine this size regardless of type or brand. For smaller engines 2-6hp, the 2-strokes are lighter.

Mark
I am referring to perception and a herd mentality. It's like the cool thing to do...

I decided long ago to use a demountable crane for getting the OB from the RIB to the rail. It's easy peasy for 2 and totally doable by one old salt. I use an 4 stroke 8 which can plane my RIB with a clean bottom and 2 adults. I don't have the need or the opportunity to plane however 99% of the time. I am thrilled not to be mixing oil into fuel.

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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

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....and hot shower in the evening.
For us less-initiated, please explain the equipment you use to accomplish your hot shower.
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