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Discussion Starter #1
Hi I have a little 15ft full keel sailboat (Danica 16) that weighs around 900 lbs
I'm looking for a new outboard as I'd like to go a little farther afield and wouldn't mind a bit more omph.
I currently use a longshaft Seagull 40plus clutched model(it has neutral and forward) It's been a very good motor, starts super easy, very reliable and really easy to fix if something goes amiss. It is however, pretty loud and with my boat has a top speed of 3.5-4 knots and that's if I'm running it all out which is when it's loudest of course)
My boat has a hull speed of 4.5 - 5 knots and it would be nice to achieve that without having to run full throttle in case I needed a little extra to fight a current or motor into a breeze
So
My criteria are:
-2.5 - 5 hp
-longshaft
-neutral! reverse would be fun but not at all necessary
- 45lbs or lighter all in(lighter is better!! the seagull weighs in at about 32lbs full)
- Adequate gas tank or seperate tank as I don't want to hang off the back end of my double ender refueling unless I really really have to
-fuel econony
- not super loud
- 2 or 4 stroke
-relatively easy to maintain(I can do this myself)
-oh and I have a pretty limited budget

I'd been thinking about some of the older 60s-70s john evinrude 3-4 hps but I'm sure of any of them have neutral....I like neutral!
Thanks
 

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I used to have a honda 5 hp long shaft four stroke on my 26 foot keeler and it was great quiet and powerful may be a bit heavier than you want though,very miserly on petrol.
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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A Tohatsu/Nissan [same engine different stickers ] 3.5 hp 4 st is worth a look. It is available as a longshaft and quieter than a Honda.

The warrenty is supposed to be 5 years and that might apply in the US mine a 18hp developed problems at 11 months and finally failed totally when the bottom bearing collapsed. 13 months later it has not yet been repaired.

Budget Marine have given me the right royal runaround on this. Still they are mostly OK I just got a rogue engine and dealer.
 

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I had a Johnson 6HP 2 stroke long shaft, full shift, F,N, & R. Bullet proof, ran well and weighed about 45 pounds, IIRC. We now have a 6HP 4 stroke Tohatsu at about 60 pounds, which runs perfectly. Two strokes are lighter, start easily, and with new plugs once in a while, will last a long, long time. The incremental difference in fuel costs is not much unless you run WOT for hours on end.

Paul T
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the responses. They've given me some food for thought
I think I need to narrow my criteria a bit
Probably not over 40 lbs all in, preferably around 35 lbs if at all possible
Nothing over 4.5 hp
And not over $500
I thinking used!
 

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With a used outboard, it's all about provenance. The best engineered outboard can be ruined by careless use - particularly salt water use without flushing afterwards. You're looking for a conscientious owner, rather than particular brand. The good news is that just about anything is better than a Seagull!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I completely agree about used outboards, one has to know what to look for and suss out the previous owner a little. Serious negelect is usually pretty obvious, but not always.

I completely disagree about British Seagulls. I've had a few and the've all been easy to start, low maintenance motors. A Seagull can take serious neglect better than any other motor, I've bought motors that haven't run in 20 years and looked a little scary that started in one pull with fresh gas.

Good little motors Seagulls, not for everyone though. I've certainly had way better luck buying used Seagulls than other used outboards(Viking, Johnson, Evinrude, etc).
My current one has always started first pull and has been very reliable.
I use it everytime I go sailing which is at least a couple times a week.
I've also accidentally(my fault) spilled it in the drink a couple times and after a good freshwater rinsing and drying out for a day it works just fine, not many motors can say that.

Did you have an actual outboard suggestion??
 

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Yamahas are very well engineered. I know because I had to rebuild my 6SF due to extensive interior corrosion due to previous owner neglect. Someone had bolted the engine block to the lower unit with a massive amount of body filler to seal the exhaust!

I had a Tohatsu 3.5 4 stroke (43lb) on my 16ft Wayfarer, great little motor that sips fuel. The Tohatsu is also badged as Nissan and Mercury. (so is the 2.5, which is the same engine but restricted, I think)

All small 4 strokes can be finnicky about keeping the jets clean, but good fuel practices keep this under control (by good practices, I mean only use fresh fuel less than 1 month old, use fuel stabiliser, run the carb dry or drain it after use)
 

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A Tohatsu/Nissan [same engine different stickers ] 3.5 hp 4 st is worth a look. It is available as a longshaft and quieter than a Honda.

The warrenty is supposed to be 5 years and that might apply in the US mine a 18hp developed problems at 11 months and finally failed totally when the bottom bearing collapsed. 13 months later it has not yet been repaired.

Budget Marine have given me the right royal runaround on this. Still they are mostly OK I just got a rogue engine and dealer.
So...you're recommending a brand that you had and broke completely within a year? That's not really how recommendations work. You're supposed to recommend products that you've used and have served you well....

Anyways...with your budget how about a mercury 4stroke 4horse. 2005-2006 for $500. If you want to spend less go a little older. They're good, and easy to get parts and service.
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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So...you're recommending a brand that you had and broke completely within a year? That's not really how recommendations work. You're supposed to recommend products that you've used and have served you well....
My problem is rare and mostly down to Budget Marine not stepping up and stripping the motor when I first reported the problem. At that time a new seal would have fixed it.

There are oodles of Tohatsus/Nissans/Small Mercurys [ same motors different badges] pushing dinks around where I sail and nearly all are fine.

I was loaned a battered old 6hp Nissan 4st which ran just fine and just bought an 8 year old Tohatsu 2.5hp as a stopgap till either Budget Marine do the right thing or I buy another 15/18hp.
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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How do you know your problem is rare? Just because you see them at the harbor doesn't mean you know how well they've worked. Maybe you should go with a different brand next time. It's just crazy to me you'd actually recommend someone something that broke!
How do I know it is rare? Well I am a full time liveaboard in the Eastern Caribbean currently in Falmouth harbor for Antigua race week and plugged into the liveaboard FB pages forums etc. Also I talk with others at potlucks, jam sessions, shopping trips, happy hours. Trust me I would hear if Tohatsus were generally unreliable.

I have just this morning bought an 8 year old Tohatsu 2.5 2 st. I am happy with my buy, it runs well starts easily and pees water. Sure s**t happens and it could blow up but so far so good.
 

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I completely agree about used outboards, one has to know what to look for and suss out the previous owner a little. Serious negelect is usually pretty obvious, but not always.

I completely disagree about British Seagulls. I've had a few and the've all been easy to start, low maintenance motors. A Seagull can take serious neglect better than any other motor, I've bought motors that haven't run in 20 years and looked a little scary that started in one pull with fresh gas.

Good little motors Seagulls, not for everyone though. I've certainly had way better luck buying used Seagulls than other used outboards(Viking, Johnson, Evinrude, etc).
My current one has always started first pull and has been very reliable.
I use it everytime I go sailing which is at least a couple times a week.
I've also accidentally(my fault) spilled it in the drink a couple times and after a good freshwater rinsing and drying out for a day it works just fine, not many motors can say that.

Did you have an actual outboard suggestion??
Well the Segulls seem to be kind of indestructible. I think you can measure things like ring clearance with your fingers! I have never owned one but you can sure hear them coming, sound like they will come apart, but they don't!

My suggestion is to try to find a used 2 cycle. They seem to be less bothered by the alcohol blended fuels and are really simple to work on. 4 strokes are nice because you don't have to mix the gas, but especially the newer ones seem to constantly get there carbs clogged up.
 

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I'd also avoid ones with no external tank connection. Hanging off the back of the boat trying to pour gasoline into the outboard in the middle of SF bay and it's typical chop, is not something I'd care to repeat.

The Yamaha 6hp 2 strokes are superb, you have a twin cylinder while most small 4 strokes are singles, so smoother and quieter, at least at partial throttle.
 

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I agree with MarkSF on the Yamaha 6hp 2 strokes. I had one that was a 1992 model...started first pull and ran flawlessly...all the way until I sold the boat in 2008. I also had a Tohatsu 3.5 2 stroke that was an excellent motor. My current outboard is a Mercury 3.5 4 stroke and it's running fine, although with very infrequent use. Three different brands...all good in my experience.
 
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