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I'm considering getting an outboard motor to go with an 8 foot inflatable roll-up dink. Just need to get from anchorages in Chesapeake Bay to shore or town--so short distances and I suspect 2 - 3 hp or so would be fine.

Should I be looking to buy a new 4 stroke? Or look for a used 2 stroke? If used, what should I look for to avoid buying someone else's problem?

Light weight is a plus. Reliability is key. So, is being easy to maintain or learn to maintain.

Thanks for your advice. Last time I had much use for an outboard, I was misspending my youth camping on the islands in Narragansett Bay. Fun times, but that was (sadly) some time ago... (Richard Nixon was President).
 

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69' Coronado 25
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2 strokes are dirty burning and you have to add oil to the gas but they are light and dependable. 4 strokes are clean burning, quiet no adding oil to gas but heavier and my own experience not as easy to start as a 2 stk. but if you maintain a 4 stk then starting shouldn't be a problem. I just picked up a Yamaha 2 stk and it starts on the second pull every time cold or hot, I had a Honda 4 stk and it took 3 to 4 pulls sometimes 6 pulls to get it to fire and that was after a service (tune up) was done to it. It didn't make a difference if I tuned it or a dealer did.
 

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im all about old school reliable and very affordable outboards

best bang for buck here

 

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first sailed january 2008
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Four stroke. Used if you can find a good deal. They do seem to be in high demand in my part of the world so they sell used for a lot. So much so that every time someone lists a sailboat with a nice one, half the calls are from fishers wanting just the outboard.

So I vote new mercury 2.5 or 4 hp four stroke. With a built in fuel tank.

Two strokes stink and pollute. Kind of the opposite effect of a sailboat. They are a lot louder too, and get much worse miles per gallon.

Sometimes at the dealers you can get a year old one on sale. I like yamaha best. But for a dinghy I'll still say a cheaper mercury. You won't put the wear on it like your boat motor.
 

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Weight is the issue with all four stroke engines. I'm comfortable handling an engine up to about fifty pounds. That limits me to about 5hp in a four stroke. That should be fine in your application.

I'm a dealer for Lehr propane outboards so let me put in a plug for them. They are real easy to start. They are very clean to run and refuel. They are pretty simple to maintain and work on. Carbs don't gum up. No ethanol damage. The fuel can be stored forever without going bad. In most places propane is cheaper than gasoline.

The draw back is that propane isn't often available in marinas. It is the most popular cooking fuel in the world so it's available almost everywhere, but you might have to hunt for it. The other draw back is that the service network is small right now. It is growing fast and Lehr has terrific telephone support.

I own a 2.5 Lehr that I use on an 8' Avon Roll Up and another inflatable that is 12 feet long. It pushes both fine. I have an eleven pound fiberglass tank that I should get about twenty hours of run time from at 3/4 throttle. The 2.5 Lehr weighs 38 pounds.
 

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id love a propane outboard!

the comments about stink an pollution, comon guys...these 2 2 strokes I have just put a pic of are some of the most reliable, quiet, and great performing outboards of all time

and they are exactly what sailors are about...

you want to take apart a 4 stroke on your bench on your boat mid cruise? highly doubtful...

Im not advocating 2 strokes Im just advocating simplicity

and about pollution you actually polute more because you think people around the world have recycle oil centers all over when you dump your dirt oil after an oil change?

we felt very bad when cruising around(with a big diesel inboard) as we often times had no where nice to put used oil...poeple would say yes drop it here only to dump it right in front of our eyes into the dirt or trash or whatever...

anywhoo

4 strokes outboards are better now than they used to be, they used to suffer from reliablty and starting issues...but have improved...

they are simply too heavy for the power they produce especially the small engines...small d2 person dinghy easy to haul for one person that type...

they are not light, simple or easy maintenance when compared to older engines...however they are super quiet, torquey, great overall performers.

just sayin

dont shoot the messenger
 

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Weight is the issue with all four stroke engines. I'm comfortable handling an engine up to about fifty pounds. That limits me to about 5hp in a four stroke. That should be fine in your application.

I'm a dealer for Lehr propane outboards so let me put in a plug for them. They are real easy to start. They are very clean to run and refuel. They are pretty simple to maintain and work on. Carbs don't gum up. No ethanol damage. The fuel can be stored forever without going bad. In most places propane is cheaper than gasoline.

The draw back is that propane isn't often available in marinas. It is the most popular cooking fuel in the world so it's available almost everywhere, but you might have to hunt for it. The other draw back is that the service network is small right now. It is growing fast and Lehr has terrific telephone support.

I own a 2.5 Lehr that I use on an 8' Avon Roll Up and another inflatable that is 12 feet long. It pushes both fine. I have an eleven pound fiberglass tank that I should get about twenty hours of run time from at 3/4 throttle. The 2.5 Lehr weighs 38 pounds.
great info, Id love one...maybe sometime, propane is used for everything here including cars...

just from a weoght perspective for example propane outboards seem to be the middle ground between old school 2 strokes and 4 strokes today

my evinrude for example is supposed to be 12kg...but its a 3.3 not the lightest but very nice power to weight ratio

like you 50 lbs is my magic number for hauling an outboard

the big johnson 15 seahorse in the pic weighs around 85lbs or so...heavy for me and worse since its a longshaft but it will be used with a davit and pulley system...

:)
 

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the bang for your buck will be with the 2 stroke outboard. With how popular the 4 stroke outboards have become, 2 stroke motors are cheap and abundant. The only down side is mixing the oil
hardly a downside huh?

kind of like making a vinagrette...2 parts oil to 1 vinegar cept for outboards its much less acid!

jajajajaa:D:D:D:D
 

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I'd like to offer an alternative solution.

The OP says he's looking at 2hp outboard, for "short distance" hops to shore on the Chesapeake, for an 8 foot dinghy.

I use my dinghy for exactly that purpose, and I use a 30lb. thrust trolling motor, on my Avon Redcrest dinghy.

The trolling motor is extremely light and easy to transfer from the pulpit rail to the dinghy. It never requires maintenance. It's silent, and pollution free. No need to carry additional fuel or jerry cans for dinghy fuel.

I can make several hops from an anchorage to town before it needs charging, using my house battery, but I can also add a 3rd battery to my string, and tie it into my onboard charger.

You don't even need to go to the expense of a Torqueedo electric outboard for the purposes the OP is talking about. My little trolling motor pushed me to my boat in a 20 knot breeze, with no problem at all.
 

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how do those trolling motors do in saltwater?

thats what I eanted but down here they only had very old beat up trollin motors...I guess it would of worked for a while

they had a shakespeare one
 

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^^ The Chesapeake Bay is salty, especially down near the mouth. For the amount of time that the motor sits in the water, they are perfectly fine.

When you're sailing, put the motor on the pulpit rail mount. When you're at anchor, tilt the motor up out of the water. That's simply smart practice, no matter if the motor is specifically built for salt water use, or not.
 

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thanks bud...Im all into electric and really wanted one but the moment passed and the motors were no longer for sale when I had the money so I found my nice little evinrude 3.3 which Im really happy about

my dinghy is a very old but impecable orange zodiac 2 adult inflatable, the ones with a tied in removable wood transom, jajaja

very smal but perfect for the wife and newborn...jeje

light too!

peace
 

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Four stroke. Used if you can find a good deal. They do seem to be in high demand in my part of the world so they sell used for a lot. So much so that every time someone lists a sailboat with a nice one, half the calls are from fishers wanting just the outboard.

So I vote new mercury 2.5 or 4 hp four stroke. With a built in fuel tank.
The Mercury 2.5 (made by Tohatsu) is a lot heavier than other 2-2.5hp motors:
Honda 2 -- 27lbs
Honda 2.3 -- 29.5lbs
Suzuki 2.5 -- 30.1lbs
Mercury 2.5 -- 41lbs

If light weight is your goal then it isn't the right motor.

If I were buying new I'd get the Suzuki. However if buying used I'd look for the Honda. They've been made for over 20 years and are fairly plentiful on the used market. I bought my Honda BF2A (no clutch, always in gear) for $350, which is about half of the price of the new Suzuki.

I don't get a lot of use out of it. I prefer to row my dinghy (which is rigid) unless I'm going multiple miles with more than one person in the dinghy.
 

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I have had both 2 & 4 strokes.

2 strokes:

1. Light

2. Start easily, simple & reliable

3. Feed them new plugs once a year, and they will last virtually forever

4. Mixing fuel is easy

4 Strokes:

1. HEAVY, for anything over 2HP

2. Can be a bit cranky to start

3. Heavy

I had a Honda 2 HP 4 stroke, ran it hard for over 20 years, absolutely bullet proof. Unless you want your raft to plane, 2 HP is plenty, had one.

Outboards in general:

1. If you can get a used motor, preferably not run in salt water, better yet

2. Suggest you have the seller run it in a barrel

3. Unless you see a good, solid, constant "pee" stream, walk.

Paul T
 

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I have a 15hp 2-stroke Mercury so I'm not even going to enter the weight debate :eek:

But on other points:

My motor is super reliable - never gives any trouble and starts every time first time, often only half the pull cord required - my wife who is technically challenged starts it easy as.

My motor has a separate fuel tank which I always know has fuel in it. Many times I fetch friends marooned in their dinks who didn't think that their integral fuel tanks were nearly empty when they went off.

My motor is quiet, smokes a little once in a while but the pollution factor does not bother me because I use one tankful of fuel every three months - hardly Gulf of Mexico levels. And mixing the oil - no different to mixing a rum and I don't hear too many people bitching about that.

The 15hp? Well, I have no problem moving my 13t boat from one place to another by making the dingy fast on the side - the 15hp manages it with ease and when you're out there it's a nice back-up.

Not trying to propose this motor for others but as far as 2 stroke v 4 stroke - why would anyone want a piece of machinery that does exactly the same thing but has 5 times the moving parts?
 

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I have a Suzuki 2.5, weighs 30lbs and is more than plenty for my 8.5" inflatable. Started on the first pull even after sitting for 6 months and I didn't even put fresh fuel in it (I gave a few pulls with the fuel off to get some oil round it first of course). The key to getting a 4-stroke to start easily every time is to make sure that there is no fuel left in the carb. Always switch off the fuel and let it run out.
Anyway, as said previously, if you have a means to charge, get a little electric motor, otherwise a gas motor makes a lot more sense.
[Edit] Of course given the increasing eco-regulation, you may find at some point that it will be illegal to use a 2stroke any more in many areas, I bet that day is a lot closer than many people realise
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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The Mercury 2.5 (made by Tohatsu) is a lot heavier than other 2-2.5hp motors:
Honda 2 -- 27lbs
Honda 2.3 -- 29.5lbs
Suzuki 2.5 -- 30.1lbs
Mercury 2.5 -- 41lbs

If light weight is your goal then it isn't the right motor.
I'm not sure where these numbers come from, but my Mercury 3.3 (2-stroke)weighs 28lbs. The 2.5 weighs slightly less. This is the exact same motor as the Nissan/Tohatsu 3.5.

To the OP: I would only consider a used 2 stroke. Ease of maintenance, performance and light weight are the reasons why.

The Lehr outboards, while promising, are converted 4-stroke engines and have the weight and maintenance (periodic engine oil change) drawbacks of a 4 stroke. Their reputation for reliability / serviceability is also questionable. Others in this forum can provide first hand experience, but based on my reading of their frustrations, I would not consider one.

The trolling motor is a brilliant idea, but I perceive the down side is the battery... Do you leave the battery in the dink and tow it while sailing? Do you lug the battery on deck (actually this may not be that difficult - clip it to a halyard and winch it aboard) and stow?

The Torqueedo is a great idea, but $2K - Seriously!?!?
 
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