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Thread: Suggestions on Outboard Marine Engines

  1. #1

    Default Suggestions on Outboard Marine Engines

    Greetings to everyone.
    I've had the privilege to view this forum for many months, but this is my first post/thread.
    It is very clear that there are lots of individuals with vast amounts of knowledge and experience in Alaskan Saltwater on this forum.
    I'm in need of some advice. I am planning to replace my current outboard marine engines (Evinrude E-Tecs 150s) on my 30 ft Harbercaft KingFisher. To keep it clean.... I have no confidence in these engines and will not purchase E-Tecs again.
    Lots of research on Suzukis, Hondas, Yamahas, etc.. have left me without a clear front runner.
    Can anyone offer advice or an opinion on good, safe consistent engines that I might put on our boat.
    We spend a lot of time in PWS, around Montague Island and Hitchenbrook Island in the summertime going out of Whittier and Seward.
    Any advice or suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

    I would also like to say a great big THANK YOU to all who share their experiences and advice on this blog. Your generosity with your time, knowledge and advice to all who view this forum is greatly, greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jrddiver View Post
    Greetings to everyone.
    I've had the privilege to view this forum for many months, but this is my first post/thread.
    It is very clear that there are lots of individuals with vast amounts of knowledge and experience in Alaskan Saltwater on this forum.
    I'm in need of some advice. I am planning to replace my current outboard marine engines (Evinrude E-Tecs 150s) on my 30 ft Harbercaft KingFisher. To keep it clean.... I have no confidence in these engines and will not purchase E-Tecs again.
    Lots of research on Suzukis, Hondas, Yamahas, etc.. have left me without a clear front runner.
    Can anyone offer advice or an opinion on good, safe consistent engines that I might put on our boat.
    We spend a lot of time in PWS, around Montague Island and Hitchenbrook Island in the summertime going out of Whittier and Seward.
    Any advice or suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

    I would also like to say a great big THANK YOU to all who share their experiences and advice on this blog. Your generosity with your time, knowledge and advice to all who view this forum is greatly, greatly appreciated.
    If you look around the Homer harbor the VAST majority of outboards you'll see are either Yamaha and Honda. Personally I think choosing between them is like choosing between Ford or Chevy. If you ask 100 people which is better you'll probably get about 50 people that prefer Honda and 50 that prefer Yamaha. I have Yamaha because that's what came on my boat when I purchased it. Would I purchase them again? Yes. Is there any reason I'd pick them over Honda? No.

    I hate to say it, but I doubt you're really going to get any sort of clear winner by asking that question here.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
    http://muttleycrewfishing.com

  3. #3
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    Where are you going to get the engines worked on? Which dealer are you closest to? How good are they? The answers to those questions are likely to be the tie breakers in making your engine choice. My local marina is almost entirely Yamaha because the local dealer has been around for 25 years and has a good reputation. There are several independent shops nearby that are Yamaha specialists that have a good reputation too.

    Big_E

  4. #4

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    The 150 Yamaha 4 Stroke is nothing short of amazing. Guys are getting 4-5k hours out of them if they do the the 100hr. They just run and run much like the Honda 130's did.

    You've got to be working those engines hard pushing a 30' boat with twin 150's. You might want to look at twin 200's?

    But again it comes down to Service. If you have good service for a brand, go with it.

  5. #5
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    I vote yamaha but it really is a "ford" vs "chevy" thing. I'm having a new 28 Duckworth Offshore being built this spring and decided to go with twin yamaha offshore 225's. I could have gone with 250's but the extra "umph" is found at the higher RPM's and I really don't want to be up there too much because of the price of fuel!! I looked hard at zukes and verados. Suzuki was a close second and I decided against Mercury because I was worried about the supercharger and the cold during late season deerhunts. There was a day Honda was tough to beat but maybe not anymore. At the end of the day, I decided on the yammies because every one I have ever owned or used has performed flawlessly.

    The yamaha 150 is definitely a proven motor but I agree with 270ti, you might want to consider adding some HP. Yamaha has added a in-line 4 cylinder 200 hp this year (based on their 150 hp) and it's offered in both mechanical and electronic controls. I would have hung them on my new boat but I'm going with electronic controls and that motor will not be released until May and I plan to have my boat in PWS by then. The mechanical version should be out in the next month or two I'm told. I was also a little nervous going with a brand new model but from what I understand, it's going to be a crown-pleaser!

    I would sure like to hear what you decide once you decide! Good luck!

  6. #6
    Member Kodiakfly's Avatar
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    Everything said above is true...the motors are great and it comes down to service. Best motor in the world can be a pain in the butt if you can't get simple maintenance or local advice. If dealer availability and quality are equal, I'll say from experience that Yamahas have treated me great and they're all I run. I run a 225 Sport now, which is a 250 detuned to 225 and a 20" shaft. The variable camshaft timing really roars on the low end and it's a torquey bugger.

    I'm a Yamaha guy, and while I don't like Evinrudes, I know guys running Suzukis that just love them and I've never heard bad about them...other than dealer support. And of course Hondas are known for being Hondas. So find a dealer/mech and talk to them and go from there.

    As far as power, if you're repowering there's no time like the present to up the power some. I always suggest going with as much power as your hull can take or is rated for AND as much as you can afford.

  7. #7

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    Thank you for all of the great advice!!!

    The twin Evinrude E-Tecs 150s were on the boat when we purchased it new. I didn't have much of a choice at the time.
    I completely agree with the comments regarding the need for good service. My E-Tecs have needed constant tweeking, tuning, maintainence and repair over the past 4 years and part of my dislike/frustration w these engines is secondary to the very poor, inept service I've gotten from the Evinrude dealer in Anchorage.
    I plan on powering up as suggested by many on this thread. My boat is rated for 450hp max. The comments above lead me to lean towards Yamaha and Suzuki as the front runners at this time. Would anyone be willing to comment on the quality of dealers/service for Yamaha and/or Suzuki engines in Anchoarge or Seward?
    Also, does anyone have an opinion regarding electronic vs manual controls?
    As always, thanks for your time and input!

  8. #8
    Member akjeff's Avatar
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    I own a 150 Honda and a 140 Suzuki. If you are having your motors serviced in Anchorage and received poor service on your ETECs it is clear you will not buy a Honda from the same dealer. I purchased my Honda from Storm Chasers in Seward and try to have my work done there (actually I haven't needed anything outside of servicing). I get my parts and such for the Suzuki at Anchorage Yamaha/Suzuki Marine. So far so good.

  9. #9
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    When I was shopping for a new boat and motors, I stopped in all the Anchorage dealerships and talked to the sales guys and the mechanics where I could. I learned something from all of them but more importantly, I decided who I was not going to do buisness with. I ended up buying my boat and motors from a dealer outside because the local guy just didn't seem too excited about having my buisness and I felt like I was doing all the work trying to get them excited about the sale. In May, I too will be looking for a Yamaha service shop for those things I can't do myself so I don't have first-hand expirence to offer yet.

    That being said, the mechanic and the sales guy at Anchorage Yamaha took the time to talk to me about Yamaha and Suzuki and about mechanical and electronic controls but I did not buy a Northriver boat so I didn't buy from them. Anchorage Yamaha claims they do a lot of re-power sales but I don't have any scoop on their service in shop. There's another big Yamaha dealer in Anchorage and rumor has it, they have a great mechanic over there but there is no shortage of horror stories on these forums about their incompetence as a dealership. I poked my nose over there several times because they sell the boat I wanted but after making my own assessment, I bought elsewhere.

    Good luck!

  10. #10

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    Honestly, I've had mostly good (and a few bad) experiences with all the dealerships in Anchorage as far as service goes but I hesitate to say this because I don't want to imply that I'm whining about other shops but........ that said I will say that I love George and Bob and Anchorage Yamaha Suzuki. If I were repowering I'd try to get a Suzuki from them but if I found a good deal on a Yamaha I'd get it knowing that they could work on it for me. Actually, that's exactly what happened and I love my new Yamaha 70HP. I also have had GREAT luck with J Kimberly for all two stroke and some four stroke stuff.

  11. #11

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    I would agree that Anchorage Yamaha and Suzuki have great customer service. I worked with Bob when I bought my Suzuki 175 and he was awesome. Ill be going back there for sure for all my future purchases. By the way, I switched from a Yamaha 115 to a Suzuki 175 on my Ocean Pro and absolutely love it!

  12. #12
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Another vote for getting a Suzuki from Anchorage Yamaha Marine. If I were repowering a 28' kingfisher with twins I'd give a pair of Suzuki 175's a hard look.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  13. #13

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    I bought twin Suzuki 175s in 2008. Flawless! I would buy them again, but am getting rid of the 9.9 Suzuki kicker and will never buy one again. Very poorly balanced vibrating the boat at half throttle and up. Leave any ethonal based fuel in the carb for over a month without additve and you have to pull the carb to clean it. Bought all matching at the time. Going back to the bulletproof Yamaha kicker.

  14. #14
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    not had a boat for a couple of years now but you should go with the larger ENG's that way you can get up on step faster at a lower RPM an you have power to spear , you are not working the eng's as hard with lower RPM's on the eng's , just like a car try to keep the RPM's low an still get the job dun

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    Had a suzuki 140 on my last boat it worked great. My friend works at South Port Marina and says he has several of the bigger outboard yamahas come in every summer with lower ends blown. And thinks that the Suzuki is a better motor. But there are a lot of yamahas out there and they also make a great motor.

    Also my suzuki came with a 6 year warr.

  16. #16
    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    .
    I'm in need of some advice. I am planning to replace my current outboard marine engines (Evinrude E-Tecs 150s) on my 30 ft Harbercaft KingFisher. To keep it clean.... I have no confidence in these engines and will not purchase E-Tecs again.
    Lots of research on Suzukis, Hondas, Yamahas, etc.. have left me without a clear front run

    We spend a lot of time in PWS, around Montague Island and Hitchenbrook Island in the summertime going out of Whittier and Seward.
    Any advice or suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

  17. #17
    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    Sorry. my post finger got the best of me. I wanted to give you my 2 cents worth. Peter thompson owns the Yamaha shop in Soldotna. Great prices, excellent service and knowledgeable mechanics. Give them a call. River & Sea marine 1-800-770-7700 or 262-7402

  18. #18
    Member kenaibow fan's Avatar
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    Pretty much what every one else says. Pick your motor based on the person you want to fix it. I have run mercs and yamaha. They are both great motors, never had any issues with my merc, and very minor things with the yamaha that I could fix. They are all pretty much built the same as far as performance goes some are a little faster top end while others on the bottom. But I agree with you on the ETEC's nothing but trouble form what I have heard. My buddy has one for his jet boat…….he told me that if you are lucky enough to find an ETEC that runs KEEP IT!!!!!!!!!! LOL

  19. #19

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    How important is the variations in the weight of these engines?
    Harbercraft KingFisher's have a reputation of sometimes being aft/stern heavy. I know mine is. Should the seemingly minimal variations in weight be a consideration when picking engines in a situation such as mine?

  20. #20
    Member Mel Roe's Avatar
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    I don't own any but pretty much all the charter boats and many of the private boats have switched over to the new Suzuki's and everyone I have talked to seem very happy with them. When I re-power it will be with the Suzuki's.
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