View Poll Results: Which 20 HP Outboard?

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  • Yamaha

    7 33.33%
  • Tohatsu

    5 23.81%
  • Honda

    7 33.33%
  • Mercury

    2 9.52%
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Thread: Which 20 HP Outboard??

  1. #1
    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    Default Which 20 HP Outboard??

    I picked up an Alaska Series 380A 12'6" Sport Boat at the boat show and think I want a 20 HP short shaft outboard for it. Which one should I get and why? Are any dealers better than another? My intended use is running the lower Kenai for kings and reds and hunting Tustemena and Skilak Lakes among other things.

  2. #2
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    If its your money you're spending, hit sea and ski in ANC and get the 20 HP 4 stroke Tohatsu and don't look back.

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    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    Anyone that goes to Marita Sea and Ski deserves what they get..... SCREWED.
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.
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  4. #4
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    A little info many may not be aware of: Tohatsu builds all the small outboards under 40hp for Nissan and Mercury. The only difference is the decals on the cowl and the $$$ between the name of the decal.

    Get a Tohatsu, save $$, be happy.

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    Tohatsu's are pretty good, they all are good. I would buy the cheapest one out of the lot. Cabela's sells Nissan 20 hp for about $2,800.
    Tennessee

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    is the tohatsu " kenai legal" ??.....i'd go tohatsu also will prob be the cheaper choice & they run forever & easy to get parts

  7. #7
    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by excav8tr View Post
    is the tohatsu " kenai legal" ??.....i'd go tohatsu also will prob be the cheaper choice & they run forever & easy to get parts
    It should be, it's a 4 stroke. It looks like West Marine lists the Mercury for $2,799. The cheapest I've fount the Tohatsu for is $2,699 so far.

  8. #8

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    Tohatsu outboards 30hp and below are all 4 strokes. 40hp and above are the 2 stroke tldi units which are also Kenai legal to the 50hp maximum limit. My understanding for Kenai, Skilak lakes is that there is no hp limit but outboards must be the newer technology 2 or 4 strokes which includes several different brand names. I'm voting Tohatsu as I've had a 6hp for years and never a problem. I know several who have their higher hp outboards. I honestly don't know anyone who regrets their Tohatsu purchase. I hope what ever you should choose serves you well!

  9. #9
    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    I'd actually vote for Yamaha. I've never used anything smaller with a Yamaha than the 40hp but the service has a great reputation here in Anchortown and compared the the 40hp Tohatsu, I'd buy the Yamaha everytime. This is my experience in the bush with small outboards including Johnson, Etec, Yamaha, Honda, and Tohatsu. The Yamaha just seems to be the best compromise of power, economy, and reliability. Its not the cheapest, not the most expensive, but I think is the best compromise. Just my 2 cents so take it for what its worth.

  10. #10
    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    Looks like AMDS wants over $3,500 for the Honda, seems a little high. Anybody know if there are any better prices on Honda locally? If not, Honda is out.

    Is pricing usually pretty good at the Sportsman's Show?

  11. #11
    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    I've found Honda to be amongst the highest prices for outboards. That being said I don't know if that's a good deal or not but you mike check Ron's Honda in Soldotna or Stormchasers in Seward. Honda makes a very reliable motor but I won't be getting one as long as I'm in anchorage. The service here leaves something to be desired.

  12. #12
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    The Honda is going to be more expensive, and I've heard a lot about poor service in the area. I think the Boat Shop in Fairbanks is a good service dealer, but that doesn't work if you are in Anc. Then again, the Honda won't need service for a long time, except for oil and filter changes, lower unit lube which you can do yourself or have any shop do. You get what you pay for, and I'm a solid Honda fan. On the other hand, I've heard nothing but good things about Yamaha or Tohatsu. Haven't heard much good about Mercury, mostly on their bigger engines.

    The 20hp Honda 4-stroke is the biggest of their "little" outboards. The 25 hp jumps way up in complexity, price etc. I had a 20hp Honda for several years, didn't use it much, but what a sweetheart when I did. Bump the starter and run all day, it sips gas. I got electric start and the power tilt, and you should seriously consider these options. Look at the total price, sometimes the listing price is bare bones, some even list the price without a propeller...

    Have fun on the Kenai!

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    I have been shopping for a 20 HP outboard for a few months now. West marine has the best deal yet. 20 HP mercury short for $2799

  14. #14
    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Ron View Post
    The Honda is going to be more expensive, and I've heard a lot about poor service in the area. I think the Boat Shop in Fairbanks is a good service dealer, but that doesn't work if you are in Anc. Then again, the Honda won't need service for a long time, except for oil and filter changes, lower unit lube which you can do yourself or have any shop do. You get what you pay for, and I'm a solid Honda fan. On the other hand, I've heard nothing but good things about Yamaha or Tohatsu. Haven't heard much good about Mercury, mostly on their bigger engines.

    The 20hp Honda 4-stroke is the biggest of their "little" outboards. The 25 hp jumps way up in complexity, price etc. I had a 20hp Honda for several years, didn't use it much, but what a sweetheart when I did. Bump the starter and run all day, it sips gas. I got electric start and the power tilt, and you should seriously consider these options. Look at the total price, sometimes the listing price is bare bones, some even list the price without a propeller...

    Have fun on the Kenai!
    Thanks for the feedback on the Honda. I grew up on the Kenai and haven't fished it since it went 4 stroke. I just can't take it anymore. I'm getting a small inflatable sport boat and I want to keep it portable, so I'll be skipping the electric start and tilt.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin476 View Post
    I have been shopping for a 20 HP outboard for a few months now. West marine has the best deal yet. 20 HP mercury short for $2799
    I saw that online, but haven't had a chance to make it over to the Anchorage store yet to see if they stock them at that price. Can you confirm that they are in stock in Anchorage for that price?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tyrex13 View Post
    I saw that online, but haven't had a chance to make it over to the Anchorage store yet to see if they stock them at that price. Can you confirm that they are in stock in Anchorage for that price?
    They were not in stock a few weeks ago, he said sometimes they do have them in stock, price is the same either way, I was just gonna pay for it and when it gets here it gets here. I am in no hurry to get in the water... yet

  17. #17

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    Couple of things I'd check:
    1. Weight of the outboards (check Mfg. websites)
    2. Tiller arm length; I don't think all are the same (our Yamaha 25 stroke has a fairly short arm, difficult/not comfy to run for long periods so I bought a 18" or so extension handle from Cabela's. Kinda important IMO.
    Although I love the 25 Yammi, I'd also consider the Merc/Tohatsu if lighter.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim View Post
    Couple of things I'd check:
    1. Weight of the outboards (check Mfg. websites)
    2. Tiller arm length; I don't think all are the same (our Yamaha 25 stroke has a fairly short arm, difficult/not comfy to run for long periods so I bought a 18" or so extension handle from Cabela's. Kinda important IMO.
    Although I love the 25 Yammi, I'd also consider the Merc/Tohatsu if lighter.
    The Honda is the lightest at 104 lbs. The Yamaha, Merc and Tohatsu all weigh 114 or 115lbs.

  19. #19
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    Well I ended up going with a Honda 20 from Ron's Honda in Soldotna. The price was $2,995 compared to $3,670 at AMDS. I also got a price of $3,100 for a Yamaha 20 from River and Sea Marine in Soldotna compared to $3,170 for the same Yamaha from Dewey's. I think performance and reliability are fairly equal in the 4 brands from what I have learned. My reasons for choosing the Honda are the following:

    It is 10 pounds lighter than the others.
    It has a 5 year warranty instead of 3 year like the others.
    Price.

    I would have bought the Yamaha if I could have got it for $2,900 and I would have got the Tohatsu if I could have got it for $2,500, but $3k for the Honda seemed like the right price/performance/value merging point. Ron's was also great to deal with. They were happy to talk to me on the phone and offered to hold my motor until spring.

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