Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: On the boat cruising
Thanked 103 Times in 98 Posts
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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.
Manta 40 Catamaran "Reach"
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