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Thread: Small outboard motor comparisons

  1. #1
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default Small outboard motor comparisons

    Does anyone have 40hp or 50 hp motor comparisons? Thinking of upgrading this winter to a new motor for my zodiak. The tohatsu is looking pretty good for my needs (wanting Tiller with rope start and light as I can get). The 40hp is same block as the 50hp and the 50 is same weight at about 300$ MSRP more....no reason not to go with the 50?

    I have done some looking at manufacture websites but it seems a lot of variables...

    Manufacture HP Weight Transom stroke steering Trim Alternator EFI Starter MSRP.... others

    Zuki 40 243 20" 4 Tiller Elec Y Y Elec

    Honda 40 214 20" 4 Y Elec

    Tohatsu 40 205.7 20" 2 Tiller Elec Y Y Elec ? $5.6K

    Tohatsu 50 205.7 20" 2 Til Elec y y Elec ? $6K

    Merc 40 208 20" 4 Til Carb Rope 5K



    Lots of holes, but if anyone wants to fill them in go for it!

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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    So here's some info from personal experience. You've also left off two additional brands, one of which I would highly recommend. I've included the info below.

    40hp Evinrude Etec. 232lbs with manual tilt but I highly recommend the hydraulic assist. That probably adds another 15lbs so call it 250lbs even. That's a pull start. This is a 40hp with the same block as the 50hp. You can only get the 50hp with electric start so that puts it around 250lbs as well. You'll have to call around for prices.

    40hp Yamaha. The one I have is a pull start, hydraulic assist tilt and comes in a 205lbs. I think we paid around $4500.

    So now for my experience. For the modern motors I've run the Etec, Yamaha, Honda and Tohatsu. The Tohatsu and Etec that I've run are direct inject two strokes. These were all run on an 18ft Lund Skiff in rivers and bays in western Alaska. Of those four brands I was least impressed with the Tohatsu. It just seemed to lack power and was pretty loud like the old two strokes. It reminded me of running the 90s Johnsons we used alot for my work.

    Second place is a two way tie between the honda and Etec for two completely different reasons. The honda is a very reliable engine, quiet and fuel effecient, but it's a dog. I've had the 30hp, 40hp, 50hp, and a 150hp Honda and they all seemed to be a dog. The 50hp Honda I've run couldn't keep up with the 40hp Etec and barely kept up with the 40hp Yamaha. I've found this to be generally true of all these power ranges. I had a 150hp Honda on an Hewes Ocean Pro and it didn't perform anywhere near what the 150hp Yamaha did.

    As for the Etec, its the most powerful engine in the group by far, gets good fuel economy, and is quiet. Downfalls are its heavy and its really sensitive to bad gas. We work in an area that is tough to get good gas and keep water out of the gas. As long as the fuel runs through a racor its fine but the littlest bit of bad gas and its starts having trouble. One of my favorite motors for sure but when running in remote areas as we do up here, I just get worried and want a reliable motor.

    So that leaves the Yamaha. Its by far my favorite motor. Its reliable, fuel effficient, good power, quiet and light. Its not the most powerful but has more than the Honda and only loses out to the Etec. Its easy to start, I can move it around myself (I wouldn't want to carry it far) and its just a great motor overall.

    Folks may disagree with me on this but that's my experience over the last 8 years running mid range motors in remote areas of western Alaska. Hope it helps.

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    I like my Tohatsu, run it 2 or more days a week. Have run Hondas, Jhonsons and Yamahas as well honda being a 4 stroke and the others 2. For me, the decision came down to 2 stroke torque and Kenai legal, so it was teally down to E-tec vs Tohatsu. HAd never heard of them before, but after researching and discovering that e-tecs were tempermental I chose the other. I Part of my research had turned up this very helpful article: http://www.bwbmag.com/images/element...pShootout_.pdf
    Now, while on the river I do see boats passing me from time to time, but I generally do not run WOT and I have opted for a pump rather than prop so I can see more river.
    If I was going center console or a larger boat maybe I would have gone Yamaha 4stroke

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    i think the yamahas have best resale value and you can unload them easily if you ever think you may sell your motor.
    i like their controls also

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    Quote Originally Posted by lineburns View Post
    I like my Tohatsu, run it 2 or more days a week. Have run Hondas, Jhonsons and Yamahas as well honda being a 4 stroke and the others 2. For me, the decision came down to 2 stroke torque and Kenai legal, so it was teally down to E-tec vs Tohatsu. HAd never heard of them before, but after researching and discovering that e-tecs were tempermental I chose the other. I Part of my research had turned up this very helpful article: http://www.bwbmag.com/images/element...pShootout_.pdf
    Now, while on the river I do see boats passing me from time to time, but I generally do not run WOT and I have opted for a pump rather than prop so I can see more river.
    If I was going center console or a larger boat maybe I would have gone Yamaha 4stroke
    I certainly know alot of folks in the bush that agree with you. The ones that have Tohatsu's seem to really like them. I'm just hooked on Yamaha as I've never been dissappointed in them. Not that their aren't other good motors out there but why change a good thing.

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    I have the Tohatsu 50 TLDI, I'd get it over the 40 because they are the same only the 50 has 20% more power. Weight is an issue. But they also have to be connnected to a battery. Not sure about the other motors in the line up. I like motors that can be just pull started and don't require a battery. My 50 is really powerful and sips the fuel. On a big 2-stroke oil consumption is a price factor but the smaller motors it isn't a big deal. I go through a gallon or two a season.

    I also agree on the resale of a Yamaha.

    If you are runnin the Kenai ignore this but around here people with skiffs buy the etec 65 commercial model over the 40 and 50.

    In the end I am really big fan of buying from a good dealer who has superior sales and more importatantly superior service.

    All of your motors you have listed ought to run along time provided they never get swamped or sunk. Back in the old days the two stroke motors would go out due to the oiling system going bad and fourstrokes never had that problem but they were heavy. Both cases are resolved mostly.

    My biggest point is in a skiff for many reasons I like a motor that doesn't need a battery. My tohatsu can be emergency pull started with the cowl off but even then you still need to be connected to a battery. In a zodiac that battery needs to be secured otherwise it can go all over the place other boats like a lund you ought to secure it but the battery and gas can have that well they fit into.

    Sobie2

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    I think PatrickL is spot on. Keep in mind that manufacturers are allowed some variance in their horsepower ratings which is why outboards with the same HP ratings are not equal. It's hard to go wrong with a Yamaha for power, reliability, or resale. Their 50 HP is an awesome motor, but it weighs a bit. For me personally weight is more important than HP. I don't know what size zodiac you are repowering, but Mercury has a fuel injected 30 HP four stroke that is relatively light and might be worthy of a look. I would look at performance bulletins to see what the different motors are capable of. Here are some bulletins for the 25 - 30 HP Merc: http://www.mercurymarine.com/engines...25-30/?model=1 Good luck.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I have an old (1985) 15'-5" zodiac. I am running a 40hp 1986 Zuki on it. The suzuki is tagged with the 35hp stickers and the person that I bought it from said that it is "really" a 40hp. So - I don't know how to tell if they put on a new spark box or not. I might be running an old 35.

    My current motor is enough. It runs 23-24mph with 2 people, dog, and some fishing gear - same empty. It can run about 21-22 with a FULL load if the water is just right. With a full load it labors getting up on step. With an empty load she jumps right up.

    I would not mind more power, but think that I would hardly use it except for getting a heavy load on step or maybe that very occasional day when you can actually go 30mph in it on the water.

    My biggest concern is weight. My 40hp zuki maint manual lists dry weight at 162 pounds. I also have a rod holder on the transom that weighs 45 pounds without poles in it. Then you put my 250 pounds in right at the back and she is pretty loaded at the transom. Will another 50 pounds sink her - definately not. I could move my 26 gallon fuel tank forward to compensate very easily. The boat is rated at 50 HP.

    Is there a difference in prop HP between a 1985 motor and a 2010 motor? Ie. is the old motor HP measured at the crank and the new at the prop? If so, what is the percentage difference between the two measurement methods.

    I think that 30hp is not enough.

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    Go with the 40 hp Yamaha. I used to manage my parent's boat rental business and we had those motors on all our 18 ft Crestliners. With the electric start and tilt it was a sweet motor to run. Quiet, efficient, and reliable. They are dang tough too, some of our clients really put a hurtin' on them.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

  10. #10

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    Outboard manufacturers changed their HP ratings from the powerhead to the propshaft in the early 80's. I am guessing your current motor is rated at the propshaft. I have heard estimates between 4 - 15 % difference in the ratings. I think you are right that on a zodiac your size you won't be happy with the 30. Unfortunately it doesn't look like Yamaha is still offering a recoil start on their 40 which also looks to have put on a few pounds. Maybe you can find a deal on a noncurrent.

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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanonamous View Post
    Outboard manufacturers changed their HP ratings from the powerhead to the propshaft in the early 80's. I am guessing your current motor is rated at the propshaft. I have heard estimates between 4 - 15 % difference in the ratings. I think you are right that on a zodiac your size you won't be happy with the 30. Unfortunately it doesn't look like Yamaha is still offering a recoil start on their 40 which also looks to have put on a few pounds. Maybe you can find a deal on a noncurrent.
    That would be a shame. The pull start on the 40hp Yammie I use is a sinch. I've never pulled as big of a motor that was that easy and smooth.

  12. #12
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Well - I will have time this winter to do some more research - thanks for the input guys.

    Coming back across the inlet yesterday I opened her up and we were doing 27.2mph on the gps but it was a little bumpy and hard on the motor (or so I think) so I backed her down to 22.0 mph. A little more hp wouldn't hurt, but probably not needed.

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