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  • Buy Yamaha or Buy Tohatsu, Buy Local or Buy online?

    Okay, so I've pretty much all but decided to pull the trigger on this. With this year's PFD expected to be around $1900, I'll only have to put a small chunk of my own cash into buying a new 4 stroke outboard for my Grumman Sport Boat. (And that will hopefully come from selling my 2 stroke at a later date.) We've discussed some aspects of this already, and, between Mainer's, KKAlaska, swmn, and a few others' previous input, I'm settled on a 9.9HP, Short Shaft, manual start outboard.

    Initially, I was set on another Yamaha. Then Mainer (and I think FamilyMan had something to say for the Tohatsu, too) said check out the Tohatsu. I was skeptical at first, but, I've been reading forums and websites for about 2 weeks now and can find almost nothing bad about either Tohatsu or Yamaha outboards in that size. The worst thing I found about Tohatsu is that they idle like crap and may be very sensitive to fuel quality. (But that was about 0.5% of what I've read about them. Everything else, everywhere, by everyone is all rosy.)

    So I posit the question: I want the Honda Civic/AK-47 of outboards. I want to weld the cover down and never put a wrench on it, ever (this is figurative; I know I'll have to change oil, plugs, lower unit gear oil, and water pump impellers regularly.) I want to drop it in wet cement and it will still go (again, figuratively). The Tohatsu is significantly cheaper (about $300 less) than the Yamaha (usually a warning sign) and has a better warranty (5 yrs vs 3 yrs.) The Tohatsu is also about 6 lbs lighter than the Yamaha. I already own one Yamaha (4HP, 4 stroke) that I think I'll be keeping as my girlfriend's dad wants it. Is there any validity to claims about Tohatsus not idling well or any other issues? Any reason the Yamaha is worth the price point difference? (Other than that I mostly like the one I have, and buying another Yamaha would mean fuel line and tank interchangeability, but to save a few hundred, I can rig up a quick disconnect that fits both brands.)

    Next question is buy local or buy online? As much as I like to support local, there is a huge difference in price, huge. I can get a 9.8 Tohatsu shipped to my door for $2200; that's $275 less than the local dealer. I can get a 9.9 Yamaha shipped for $2400 or about $300 less than the local dealer. That's not exactly chump change. Which brings up my next question about local service. I've not heard much about the local Tohatsu dealerr, but what I have heard is bad. The only other dealer in AK is in Seward. Has anyone had any dealings with those guys? If so, what can you tell me? (There is a rule here about negatively commenting about a business, so I left their name out. You all know who they are, they're in Eagle River. Feel free to PM about your experience with them-I'd like to hear it either way.) The local Yamaha shop is Dewey's and they've been good the two times I was in there. (My 4hp Yamaha had a recall to replace the fuel fitting. They gave me all the parts I needed for the swap, didn't ask for my name, a letter from Yamaha, nothing. Just trusted me to bring the old parts back with my serial number when I was done.)

    In the end, saving a 2-300 on one engine or the other isn't nearly as important as getting the most durable engine.

  • #2
    Seward is about 140 miles from Eagle river or about 280 miles for one trip down an back . that would be 560 to take down an go get it
    [ lot of GAS ] an time I, would look local, I like the warrantyof the local people SID roud:

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    • #3
      The Anchorage tohatsu dealer has been okay for the one time my, 3.5 needed work.
      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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      • #4
        Originally posted by JR2 View Post
        The Anchorage tohatsu dealer has been okay for the one time my, 3.5 needed work.
        What kind of work did your 3.5 need? How does it idle? Do you find it finicky about the quality of fuel you put in it?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Sid View Post
          Seward is about 140 miles from Eagle river or about 280 miles for one trip down an back . that would be 560 to take down an go get it
          [ lot of GAS ] an time I, would look local, I like the warrantyof the local people SID roud:
          I hadn't thought of that. I wasn't thinking of buying it form them; I was thinking if I needed to get it serviced and the folks in Eagle River could not or would not do it. But you're right; it would be about 40 gallons of gas for me to make a double trip down there for service, or $160-ish.

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          • #6
            It idles okay, better if you don't get water in the fuel. I took it in after getting water in it and it was running bad. It had a fuel leak or stuck float or something. I did not have time to mess with it and needed it running for a trip. They got it in and out in 24 hours, cleaned out the float bowl and rebuilt the carb and it's good as new. Lesson learned on my part about not leaving the tank cap vent open in a rain storm.
            My understanding is that all the tohatsu is a mercury with a different name on the side.
            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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            • #7
              Originally posted by JR2 View Post
              My understanding is that all the tohatsu is a mercury with a different name on the side.
              That is correct, but in reverse. All a Mercury is is a Tohatsu with a Mercury name on the side. As are Nissan and Evinrude, which is why I didn't even mention them. They all sell at a higher price due to the "Premium" branding, and, as much I once loved the Johnson/Evinrude/OMC brand, I see no reason to pay one cent more for the exact same engine just because it has a brand name on it.

              (Actually, the Mercury/Tohatsu has a different shifter on it, and the "Bigfoot" lower unit is not a Tohatsu unit.)

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              • #8
                I had a choke that was sticky on my 2nd hand Tohatsu 20 HP Seamarita replaced the carb under warranty. I have had no issues with my 9.8 HP
                Tohatsu, other than typical cold blooded 4 stroke. Been happy with Sea Marita on service and I bought a new non current 9.8 at great price.

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                • #9
                  Have a 8hp Tohatsu kicker for 3 years now. Zero issues, runs great, starts every time.
                  I would buy another in a heartbeat and I run twin Yamaha's for main's.
                  BK
                  BK Marine Services 232-6399
                  Alaskas only Planar diesel heaters dealer, service, warranty, and installation.
                  Alaskas only Lonestar drum winch dealer, Whirlwind props, Stinger gearbox, and Alumatech airboats.
                  Www.bkmarineservices.com

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                  • #10
                    marita will have end-of year 9.8 tohatsu's for $1700 for winter prices.
                    www.freightercanoes.com

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
                      marita will have end-of year 9.8 tohatsu's for $1700 for winter prices.
                      That's awesome news, as I'm in no hurry. About when do they start marking them down?

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                      • #12
                        i don't know, ask them. I'm honestly getting tired of participating in your incompetent circus music. whether it's answering pm's, phone calls, or responding to your references of me on these posts, i need a break please and thank you. Good luck with your motor purchase, and safe hunting sir.
                        www.freightercanoes.com

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
                          i don't know, ask them. I'm honestly getting tired of participating in your incompetent circus music. whether it's answering pm's, phone calls, or responding to your references of me on these posts, i need a break please and thank you. Good luck with your motor purchase, and safe hunting sir.
                          Well I'm sorry you feel that way, Mainer. I could tell you were pretty upset about that text, which, I'm sorry-it went to everyone who is in my cellphone's phone book because I was changing numbers. Your number shouldn't have been in there; It won't happen again. I won't reference your name again, and I won't expect you to answer my posts. You give a lot to this group, and I'm sorry I bothered you. No hard feelings on this end.

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                          • #14
                            I have had a 2006 9.8 tohatsu since 2008 and have had no issues with it. My brother has had a 2009 for 3 years and neither of us have had an issue of any kind with the motors both bought used. I have upgraded to more hp and am selling the tohatsu unfortunately you are a bit far away.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
                              i don't know, ask them. I'm honestly getting tired of participating in your incompetent circus music. whether it's answering pm's, phone calls, or responding to your references of me on these posts, i need a break please and thank you. Good luck with your motor purchase, and safe hunting sir.
                              Originally posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
                              Well I'm sorry you feel that way, Mainer. I could tell you were pretty upset about that text, which, I'm sorry-it went to everyone who is in my cellphone's phone book because I was changing numbers. Your number shouldn't have been in there; It won't happen again. I won't reference your name again, and I won't expect you to answer my posts. You give a lot to this group, and I'm sorry I bothered you. No hard feelings on this end.
                              lol **** is funny

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