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Thread: Small outboard choice for tender

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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    Default Small outboard choice for tender

    I am in the market for a small 4 stroke outboard for my tender as I am tired or rowing. Anyone have any pro's or cons on the various brands?

    My tender has a 5 hp limit and I am looking for a 4 hp motor as they are the highest HP motor that have the fuel tank included in the top of them and that eliminates the need for extra tank sitting in the tender all the time.

    I know that the Merc/Nissan/Tohatsu are all made by the same company and the Tohatsu is much less $$ than the rest.

    So lets hear what you have, how you like it and if you would buy it again. Also if you know where to get the best deal. I do have the ability to have a motor hauled for free from the Seattle area so if you know a great dealer down South I would love to hear about that as well.

    Not that it really makes a difference but my tender takes a long shaft motor as well.
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

    Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    I know you said it is rated for a 5 horse, but I would take a serious look at the zuke 6 hp. It is the smoothest running single cylinder motor that I have run personally and has the internal fuel tank. Compared to the yamaha F4, it really shines.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    It looks like some zuke and Mecury motors up to 5-6 HP have internal tanks as well.. interesting. I wonder what the size difference is? I intend to keep this outboard in one of my fish holds when not using it so it has to fit, but I think it will... if the weight difference is not too much I don't see how the extra HP could hurt.
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

    Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson

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    Member bnkwnto's Avatar
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    I use a 3.5 Tohatsu for my raft and I've had no problems at all with it. I'd check with Marita Sea and Ski to check out the current prices etc.

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    I've got the 240TDS Alaska Series Inflatable. I bought a 2 HP 4 Stroke Honda Longshaft for it. Never really used it as my Transom is sitting on the bottom fo Finger Lake due to a Dingly Deployement Drill that didn't go so well a few months after I bought the dingy. LOL Never bought another transom as I just used the oars for short shore access. $750 if your interested. Weighs 28 pounds.

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    If your considering a Suzuki I am selling a brand new 5 hp short shaft for $1,600. The same motor is going for $1,750 in Anchorage where I bought this one. Never even put oil in it yet. Bought it in Aug or Sept of 2012 so under full warranty as well. It gets packed up and shipped mid April so if your interested don't wait till summer because it will not be here.
    I bought this to replace a 2.5 which we decided was simply to slow to push two adults in our 8 foot tender. Internal tank with the option of adding an externl tank with the proper fittings and small gas tank.

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JR2 View Post
    It looks like some zuke and Mecury motors up to 5-6 HP have internal tanks as well.. interesting. I wonder what the size difference is? I intend to keep this outboard in one of my fish holds when not using it so it has to fit, but I think it will... if the weight difference is not too much I don't see how the extra HP could hurt.
    Personally, I would hesitate to store a 4 stroke on its side for any length of time. You might consider a bracket off the back of your boat or even on the back of the cabin.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    I have a 4hp yamaha. I bought it new in 2006. It's realiable once broken in, but when it was new, it was a pain to get started.

    But, it gets good gas milage, and nice that it has the inboard tank. I've taken it on float planes to remote cabins, and worked good for that purpose.

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    We have the 6 HP Tohatsu, only one season on it so far but it has been an awesome motor. Use it to push around an 8' Zodiac hard floor with keel. It will plane off and haul arse around the ocean. Bought it from Marita as we couldn't beat the price, even looked outside.
    Internal tank too or option of hooking to an external also. Nice set up.
    I have no problems storing a 4 stroke on its side, either Honda or the Tohatsu. Just lay it down on the correct side and you'll be fine.
    BK

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    Member pacific23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spoiled one View Post
    Personally, I would hesitate to store a 4 stroke on its side for any length of time. You might consider a bracket off the back of your boat or even on the back of the cabin.
    10-4 on this big time, if you store it on it's side drain the oil.

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    I have the Honda 4 stroke long shaft. Manual says it is fine on one side. I have put mine on its side all winter in the garage for 4 years without issue (now I will jinx myself). It is a great motor if you don't want to get on step. It is also air cooled so no need to have to flush it ever. Simple and starts like a Honda every time. I wold get another one in a second. It is nice that it is light when wrestling it to the back of the dingy in the water.
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    I have a Honda 2 hp also and like it except for the noise - I can't sneak up on the deer anymore with that thing buzzing! I saw a Honda 2.2 hp at the Seattle show but don't know the difference - they looked identical.

  13. #13

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    I am very happy with my tohatsu 3.5 hp. It is very light and has its own fuel tank. Can't beat it for the price in my opinion.

  14. #14
    Member JR2's Avatar
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    How big of a motor do I need is my next question. My tender is 8 ft 11 and rated for 5 hp. If I want to motor around hauling near max payload (950 lbs) and make some headway against the tide do I need 5hp or will a 3.5 do it.

    I did notice that all the 4-6 hp motors weigh the same so I was thinking a 6 hp might be better just for the extra power once in a while.

    Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

    Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    6 HP. You nailed it when you said they all weigh the same. Why cut yourself short on power?
    BK

  16. #16

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    Your not getting on step or pulling a water skier, your just avoiding the rowing thing. I have the small 2.5 Suzuki, weighs about twenty pounds, gas tank built in. Can lift it with one hand, it almost fits in a large cooler, mine goes under the deck or on the roof no problem. YES, it will push 3 guys well over 200lbs easy. Inexpensive, small, and light weight.

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    My opinion of these smaller motors seem be a lot different than what I've been reading. First small outboard I bought was a Honda 5 hp. While it had enough power it would vibrate you to pieces. Sold it within a year. Next we rented the same motor at MWR to see if the first one was a fluk, which it was not. Same amount of vibration.
    Then bought a Suzuki 2.5. Just a fantastic little bugger. Very smooth, light at about 28 pounds and built in tank. We mounted it on our 8 foot Zodiac and with my son and I in the boat it would push us at maybe 4-5 mph, tops, when running it at full throttle. I think if this motor was put on a canoe the speed would double. Great choice if you need a small motor for a fly in trip but not enough power for 2 adults in a Zodiac unless you were only using it to run to shore and back. Kept it laid on the correct side for days on end and it always started easily. Just follow the instructions.

    Other than the vibration experienced with the Honda's I think pretty much all brands are about the same. When I went shopping for a 5-6 hp the only criteria I used was weight and cost. If I were shopping again today I would use the same criteria.

  18. #18
    Member JR2's Avatar
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    So the Nissan 6 HP with internal tank that I found for a $1000 brand new is probably the way I should go. Still waiting on a price for the same Suzuki but I expect it to be upwards of $1500-1700 so I will probably opt for the Nissan.. It weights within a pound of all the other similar motors and at $500-800 less than comparable motors it seems like a good choice. Afterall its a Tohatsu anyway or a Mecury depending on the stickers on the cover. The only think I like about the zuk more is that is has an extra handle for carring it and loading it onto the raft, that looks handy but not worth the cost of filling up the boat for a weekend of fun.
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

    Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson

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    Great prices. Where did you find a new 6 hp Nissan at for $1,000?

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    Member breausaw's Avatar
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    One more thing to keep in mind, a 6hp kicker may not push your tender much faster than a 2 or 3hp one. Once you start pushing a bow wake you have reached your maximum speed unless you have the power to push past that point a get on plane. I use a 2hp Honda air cooled kicker on our Alaska Series tender with 3 adults and hit about 4.5mph at 1/3 throttle, if I increase to WOT I make a little better than 5mph but the bow rises considerably and the ride suffers.
    The 3hp Suzuki comes in at about 33lbs and the 2hp Honda weights around 26lbs.

    Something to keep in mind.
    Jay
    07 C-Dory 25 Cruiser
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