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Thread: Suggestions for Outboard Marine Engines

  1. #1

    Default Suggestions for 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.
    BTW: I've posted the same question on the saltwater fishing forum.

  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.
    BTW: I've posted the same question on the saltwater fishing forum.
    If you live in Anchorage or the Valley, all the ones you mentioned are good choices. If you live away in dinkville, get the motor with local dealer support. They all break someday and you'll be glad you did.

  3. #3
    Member Kodiakfly's Avatar
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    I replied in your other thread...

  4. #4
    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.R. Bauer View Post
    If you live in Anchorage or the Valley, all the ones you mentioned are good choices. If you live away in dinkville, get the motor with local dealer support. They all break someday and you'll be glad you did.
    As TR Bauer said they're all great motors and I think you'd be hard pressed to ever get a clear front runner. I 2nd the suggestion that you get some info on local service in your area. For example, I do like Honda motors but where I live I'd avoid them just because of the local service department. I think that's part of the reason Yamaha's are so popular around here.

    Overall you'll be happy with any of those motors as they are all very reliable.

  5. #5
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    I have installed and repaired lots of out board motors in my many years as a professional marine technician
    and out of all the motors I am partial to Suzuki's and with the proper service will last years. Suzuki's are easy to rig,
    the electronics are simple and their good on gas. The only draw back is not being able to put digital throttle and shift
    on the 150 hp. These systems are expensive, but once you have operated DTS, I will never go back to shift cables. I would
    suspect that DTS is coming since suzuki uses the can bus electronics of other manfacturers. The most important aspect,
    suzuki's dont drink expensive oil. This is a decision that could cost you 30,000 dollars and everybody has an opinion.
    My next boat will have a Suzuki on it without shift cables.

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    PM Me... interested in hearing about your problems with the e-tecs.

  7. #7
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakeside View Post
    PM Me... interested in hearing about your problems with the e-tecs.
    Don't bash them unnecessarily, but I am sure we would all like to hear about your etecs. How many hours do they have on them, and what is the problem that warrants changing them out. Back to your original question, for best resale in southcentral, I think my first choice would be Yamaha. If I did not care about this and wanted the best motor, I would go with Suzuki. My opinion is from a lot of second hand information on others experiences.
    2009 Seawolf 31'
    www.seawolfmarine.com
    Fully Loaded

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    Member pacific23's Avatar
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    All good choices, go with the best 5 star dealer support that's closest to you and rock on, a pair of 175 Suks would be waaaaaay cool on that ride, i believe they weigh the same as the suki 150s just tuned up to 175.

  9. #9

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    Thanks to all for the great advice/information re the outboards.

    Lakeside, I apologize for not PM you, but I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't quite figured out how to do that yet on this forum.

    The issues I've had with my E-Tecs have been rather dramatic. Every single summer (purchased new in 08") we have had a significant failure in some form or fashion with these engines that have taken our boat out of the water for extended periods of time. Throttle/cable box x2, Shavings/ sea water in lower engine unit requiring replacement x2, fouled plugs requiring replacement of almost every plug every year... sometime half way through the summer. Constant difficulties w oil burn...uneven burn b/w the two engines sometimes as much as a30% difference. "Computer issues", "electrical issues". I'm sure if I opened up my bill file on these engines I could give you more examples, but that would be to depressing.
    The E-Tec dealer in Anchorage does not help the situation as they rarely could figure out what was going on with the engines. Example, After having the boat in there shop for 3 weeks w/o a clue as to the etiology of one specific problem one summer I pulled the boat out of there and over to Burkshore Marina in Big Lake where the problem was identified and fixed in 4 days. Having my boat out of water for 3 weeks when we are lucky to spend 7 weeks in AK during the summer is a big deal to me, yet they approached "my problem" with no urgency.
    No bashing here... all facts....I have all of the bills to document. Thank goodness I purchased the extended warranty !!!!!
    Hours on engines approx 350.
    I hope this sheds some light on my eagerness to switch power plants.
    Best to all!!
    Last edited by Jrddiver; 01-16-2013 at 21:03. Reason: added hours on engines

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jrddiver View Post
    Thanks to all for the great advice/information re the outboards.

    Lakeside, I apologize for not PM you, but I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't quite figured out how to do that yet on this forum.

    The issues I've had with my E-Tecs have been rather dramatic. Every single summer (purchased new in 08") we have had a significant failure in some form or fashion with these engines that have taken our boat out of the water for extended periods of time. Throttle/cable box x2, Shavings/ sea water in lower engine unit requiring replacement x2, fouled plugs requiring replacement of almost every plug every year... sometime half way through the summer. Constant difficulties w oil burn...uneven burn b/w the two engines sometimes as much as a30% difference. "Computer issues", "electrical issues". I'm sure if I opened up my bill file on these engines I could give you more examples, but that would be to depressing.
    The E-Tec dealer in Anchorage does not help the situation as they rarely could figure out what was going on with the engines. Example, After having the boat in there shop for 3 weeks w/o a clue as to the etiology of one specific problem one summer I pulled the boat out of there and over to Burkshore Marina in Big Lake where the problem was identified and fixed in 4 days. Having my boat out of water for 3 weeks when we are lucky to spend 7 weeks in AK during the summer is a big deal to me, yet they approached "my problem" with no urgency.
    No bashing here... all facts....I have all of the bills to document. Thank goodness I purchased the extended warranty !!!!!
    Hours on engines approx 350.
    I hope this sheds some light on my eagerness to switch power plants.
    Best to all!!
    I had a similar experience with E-tecs, overheat,burn up plugs,quit pumping oil,gear cases went out,etc,all in 335 hours. now I run four stroke suzukis 2200 hours and no problems, 20% less fuel and no two stroke oil.

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    I am not trying to hijack this thread but I have a question about outboard service in The Homer area. Who provides the best service work? I think I need to repower. The boat has twin 75's honda . Too heavy- thinking of a single of 100-130 hp range.
    Thanks
    dennis

  12. #12
    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    If you were in Juneau, I'd recommend only Hondas or Yamahas. The local Honda/Suzuki dealer says only buy Hondas, he says he keeps his store open on Suzuki repairs and conversion to Honda repowers.

    There are two local Yamaha shops. I own both Hondas and Yamahas and have never been let down by either. Either way dealer support is key.

    Sobie2

  13. #13

    Default Suggestions for Outboard Marine Engines

    Sounds like you spend most of your time in the sound so I'm guessing you're coming from Anchorage, but if you spent anytime on the Peninsula I would highly recommend getting in touch with Zach or Nate at Peninsula Powersports in Soldotna. I've dealt with them and have nothing but good things to say about their service and commitment to their customers. They are a Suzuki dealer.
    If you get your heart set on Yamaha's then I would go to Barrett in Homer at Lower Peninsula Powersports. I don't believe they are affiliated, but I've heard only great things about them. I haven't personally purchased motors from LPP, but have had many discussions with Barrett and the service you get there will be miles ahead of our other local Yamaha dealer.
    I would say either of these shops would be worth the drive, especially of you are having dealer issues up in Anchorage.

  14. #14

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    Retired,
    for the homer area, I'd stay away from Mercury if you're interested in running your boat 'year round (and couldn't see why not living here); they close up shop for the winter.
    For Honda/Suzuki or Yamaha, compare weights, alternator output, warranties and use that criteria for a decision, there now seems to be no clear cut "winner" between the 3 and neither the Honda/Suzuki shop nor the Yamaha shop are stellar in their service but adequate.
    The "big 3" brands can easily get 4,000 hrs or more out of their outboards. I friend of mine in Hawaii sold his first pair of Suzuki 70's 4 strokes that went 7,000 hrs for him and are still in use on another boat.

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    Default Suggestions for Outboard Marine Engines

    Outboards are like pickups. None stand out & shine. I'd be looking at the best warranty, price & quality service. Which would prob end up being a yami or a Honda. Once I narrowed down service center I'd shop Washington & Oregon for best price also if you have the means to do the install

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    While Honda engines do have a good reputation their gear cases are week compared to Suzuki or Yamaha.

  17. #17

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    How important is engine weight, especially in my Harbercraft KingFisher which has a reputation of being aft/stern heavy?
    Are the slight differences in weight really that meaningful?

  18. #18
    Member pacific23's Avatar
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    TS, where does this info come from?
    If your going by the coastie boys, they run'em into rocks and things all day long.

    I would buy what ever motor has a 5 Star dealer closest to you.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by pacific23 View Post
    I would buy what ever motor has a 5 Star dealer closest to you.

    I agree 100%. Buy the outboards from the dealer too, and make time to get to know the manager. Goes a long ways in getting repairs done fast. On my current boat, I pull mine in for a 100hr and it's done the same day. Haven't had any issues with it other than that! (yamaha 150, 650hrs)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacific23 View Post
    TS, where does this info come from?
    If your going by the coastie boys, they run'em into rocks and things all day long.

    I would buy what ever motor has a 5 Star dealer closest to you.
    Running charters I know many people that run all kinds of motors,and thats the main complaint from honda owners. The coasties sold off their fast boats with outboards,and now use bigger better fast boats with twin cummings. cost us tax payers 1.5 million a copy. got boarded last summer thats how I got this info.

    Typical charter operator will put around 500 hours a year on a motor. you learn pretty quick what last and makes you money.

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