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Glad I found Sailnet
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I was looking at the pricess at Defender and it looks like the Tohatsu is much less expensive than the Yamaha, and the Honda is slightly more expensive. Are they pretty much created equal, or is this another case of getting what you pay for?

Anyone have preferences? Which one did you choose and how has it been for you?
 

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Tartan 37
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FWIW...I'm not a big fan of my Honda 2hp 4 stroke. Its loud, it will only start with the freshest of fuel, but is light and easy to handle. I would probably never purchase a Honda outboard or any of their small engines again. Many of the mechanics I have had work on the thing say they're over engineered and see continuous issues with their carburetors.

I used to have a Suzuki 6hp 4 Stroke and was pretty pleased with it but it also liked the freshest of fuel.

How I miss the days of the Briggs & Straton that would start after sitting all winter on the first pull :)

Bottom line, I don't like the new generation of small 4 stroke outboard engines, next one will be a two stroke.

My boat neighbor is very happy with his 4 year old Tahatsu though ;)
 

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I've had a Honda 4-stroke 5hp for the last two years after my long-lived Yamaha 2-stroke finally became unreliable. For me it's been an easy starting, no problem, reliable engine,- no sensitive fuel issues. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
 

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Telstar 28
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I have the Tohatsu 3.5 HP... It's been a solid little engine. Be aware that the small (under 10 HP IIRC) Nissan, Mercury and Tohatsu outboards are actually all made by Tohatsu.
 

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I just recently bought a mercury 8 hp 4 stroke, and so far i am very pleased with it. Starts easy and runs very quiet. I went with mercury after my previous merc lasted well over 20 years. I really like the fact that you can shift the gears from the control tiller without having to lean down to reach the motor.
 

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Admirals fav target
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I've had a 2.5 Mercury 2 stroke for about 4 years now. It's pretty basic mechanicaly and has done a great job of pushing around my water tender 9.4, mixing the gas and oil is a little bit of a pain but the elimination of some service issues due to it being a 2 stroke is nice. It is also light and easy to carry around. When it come time to put it up I just run the fuel out of it and store it for the winter. Don't know how it would handle the salt but it does great in fresh water.
 

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ASA and PSIA Instructor
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I've had seven years of excellent service from a Tohatsu 8HP two cycle, it has always started on the first pull and seems quite solid. probably good for anothe seven years of faultless operation. IMHO buy a used two cycle if you can find a good one, less weight, more power.
 

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All the current 4strokes have about 0 tolerance for sitting around any amount of time with fuel left in the carb

The Tohatsu's have a rubber plug right in the motor cover that allows you to drain the carb on to a paper towel
 

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I bought a 9.9 HP Honda last fall and have been happy with it so far. However, there was a surprise in the owner's manual. It says you must flush with fresh water after every use in saltwater. Quite an inconvenience here at the dock. Can't imagine complying with that while cruising...
 

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we have an old 8hp honda 4 stroke and it runs like a charm no problems with sitting and starts up every it is so quiet that when you are at the bow of my 14 foot boat the only reason you know it is running is a slight vibration
 

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Telstar 28
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Yup... when you need service for it and can't find a Tohatsu dealer, you can often get the parts you need at the local mercury or Nissan dealer, as my friend down in the Caribbean learned...after I told her they were all the same engine. :)
"Be aware"??? :)
 

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Barking Dog
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My 5HP Tohatsu is lighter and faster than my Honda 5HP. The Tohatsu cost much less and is no more or less reliable. Both suffer from ethanol problems equally. If you don't know how to clean a carb, I suggest that you watch a couple of YouTube videos on small engine carb cleaning so that you know what to do when it happens to you.
 

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Courtney the Dancer
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I've had a couple of Nissan/Tohatsu 9.8 hp two strokes that have been absolutely bullet proof. Love them. Just bought a new Yamaha 4hp four stroke and it's loud and has quite a bit of vibration at low RPM, which is understandable being single cylinder. I'd go with Tohatsu if I were you, less money, great engines.
 

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You might try mixing two stroke oil in you four stroke gas at about 100 to 1. I found this seems keep the gas from going bad and does not hurt the performance of my lawnmower or make it smoke. I foun this out by using up my two stroke gas from the boat.

My 5HP Tohatsu is lighter and faster than my Honda 5HP. The Tohatsu cost much less and is no more or less reliable. Both suffer from ethanol problems equally. If you don't know how to clean a carb, I suggest that you watch a couple of YouTube videos on small engine carb cleaning so that you know what to do when it happens to you.
 

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My 2 cents, I would buy a yamaha. period.
I have a 2 stroke 3hp yami on my tender that I've had for 6 years and the motor was given to me. I think it's over 10 years old.

I have done nothing to this motor. nada , zilch. execpt run fresh water throught it for the winter. In six years it's three or four pulls when I pull it out of the basement to start the year and one pull after that all season. I don't change the gas, havn't changed the plug, nothing.

This motor is the most dependable part of my boat toys. When (and if) it ever dies it will be replaced with a yamaha.

A friend has a 5 hp 4 stroke honda and it's a PITA to run and it's heavy.

John
 

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In 1993 I bought a 5hp 2 stroke Nissan outboard and it still starts easily and runs good with very minimal maintenance. In fact I have not even changed spark plugs on it in all those years. I forget the weight, but still light enough to lift into the dingy without use of halyards etc. It will plane the wood floor Archilles with me(205 lbs) and my girlfriend(130 lbs) which is important if you want to go any distance to explore. The one negative is that some of the metal is not first rate....I've sheared off a bolt head on the flushing port and the zinc bolt. I do like the 4 stoke engines since fuel economy is better, but until their weight gets reduced I'm sticking with the old Nissan.
 

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We bought a new 2HP honda, used it once and traded it in on a 2.5HP Yamaha.
The honda was light, that is about all the good I can say of it. The Yamaha has been fantastic though heavy (honda was about 24lbs, Yamy is more like 34lbs)
it is water cooled, gets great gas mileage. It has been in storage for 3 years now, pulled it out last week, filled the tank and it started up on a 1/2 pull.
Has lots of power will run for an hour an a litre of gas. So with a full tank and a 1gal jerry can (the no spill variety work great) I can motor for 5 hrs.
 

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I've owned OB's from Tohatsu, Nissan, Mercury and Yamaha.

Our current dingy OB is a Yamaha two stoke 8 hp. (Yamaha still offers two strokes, if you can find them.) Easy starting, light for its horsepower and lots of power. Wonderful OB -- no issues at all.

We also have a four stroke Yamaha on the sailboat. Great power, but finicky about fuel. Had to have it worked on about every other year for hard starting. Am currently disconnecting the fuel hose at shutdown and let her run out of gas per dealer's suggestion. Also, am running the cleaning dose of Sea Foam all the time (2 oz per gallon). Will see how this regimen goes over time. (FWIW, besides stabilizing fuel, Sea Foam is supposed to perform the same combustion chamber cleaning as Yamaha's Ring Free.)

Prior to that, I had a Mercury four stroke on the sailboat, and wasn't happy with it at all. Initial unit was a bonafide lemon with massive starting issues the dealer couldn't fix. Mercury was no help at all, and the dealer finally replaced it after some arm twisting. Mercury #2 started OK, but was light on power. It was marginal even with a high thrust prop.

Many moons ago, I had a Tohatsu OB, but it was hard to get serviced in SE Michigan. The Nissan dealers wouldn't touch it, even though it was mechanically identical to a Nissan.

At this same time I had a little 3.5 hp Nissan for my dingy, and it was a wonderful little OB. Easy starting and no real issues.

Hope this helps.
Mark
 
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