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Old 10-05-2010, 05:44 AM   #1
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Dinghy Motor Recos?

We are looking at replacing our dinghy motor. Our current 3.3 hp Mariner from the 90's, other than being broken at the moment, does not have the power we would like to plane the 8' Avon inflatable we have. Primary use will be to pee the dog and do some exploring while at anchor. We also think that it's just too slow to stay out of trouble in busy waters and at night.

We are looking to get a 5 or 6 hp Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Mercury, Nissan, or Tohatsu. Finding them used is proving to be nearly impossible. Certainly here in NC they are rare. So I am not opposed to buying new, I guess. Besides, the warranty coverage might not suck. Still, does anyone have a preference of brands? Any differences between them we should know about?

One other thing is that we are going to upgrade to a Livinstone hard dinghy in the spring http://www.livingstonboats.com/ and want to buy a motor that is good to scoot either the 8 or 9 foot up on plane as well.

Opinions?
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:49 AM   #2
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RE: Dinghy Motor Recos?

I love Nissan and Tohatsu (same motor), with Yamaha being my second choice. I had a Nissan 5hp for years without a single problem. I'd put it up for winter and in the spring, if it didn't start on the first pull it would on the second. I loved it!
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:12 AM   #3
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RE: Dinghy Motor Recos?

Gonzo,If you need 8 hp I recommend the Yamadog 2 stroke twin at 60 lbs. Four stroke engines on a dinghy is sorta stupid if a 2 stroke is available that meets your power requirements.
I don't like my 4 stroke OBs. WAY too heavy and the small ones vibrate more than a 2S.
If you lay them down on the wrong side the oil will run all over the place. And expensive.
I recommend you run'em dry when done and mix fuel/oil at 50-1.
Keith,
The little one lung Mercury is a Tohatsu as well.
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:08 AM   #4
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RE: Dinghy Motor Recos?

I have been Mercury for 40 years and 5 months, when I bought our first run about with a 140 HP 2 stroke Merc which we still own and it still runs. I presently own 4 Merc 2 stroke OB, 140, 25, 7, and 4.* I would not buy a 4 stroke engine if two strokes are available and allowed.* The reason I like Merc is that parts and service are plentiful and available through out the US and Canada.* *Anyway 4 votes for Mercury 2 strokes.


*
We have a 12 ft Livingston high side center steering counsel with a 25 hp on it.* I have had the 7 HP for like 30 years but it to heavy to lift off and on rowing dink, so I bought the 4 hp which is lighter in weight.* Oh, we also have a 3 HP sear game fisher that is air cooled with a auto clutch which sounds like a chain saw.* The 12 ft Livingston was to heavy for our 30 year old wood mast and boom, so had a new aluminum mast boom made, and larger/thicker backing plates for the stays. *The Livingston is the dink I want to take when we head for Alaska and Canada.* Great stable dink!****

I alway run them dry even if they are going to sit for a couple of days, and mix the oil on the heavy side which fouls the spark plugs quicker but less wear/tear on the engines and I think more punch/power.* When they start staring hard and/or*running rough its time for a new set of spark plugs but 30 to 40 years is not bad for an OB engine.* Is it?
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:44 AM   #5
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RE: Dinghy Motor Recos?

Amazingly, I found a used '06 Tohatsu 6hp today for $800. It's almost exactly what we wanted. However, I got a bad review of the Tohatsu from my broker (a guy I trust and is now our friend). He said they are loud and his was unreliable. Still, the price is tempting.

I also found last year's model Yamaha 8hp 2-stroke (out of production of 2-strokes 8's this year) for $1650. or the Yamaha 6hp 4-stroke single-cylinder for $1250 (although it's out of stock at the moment)

Currently, I am holding onto a 6hp Johnson from the early 90's/late 80's from a guy at work who wants to sell it. It would be a stop-gap purchase for, hopefully, less than $300. It's in good shape for its age. The downside is that the technology is mechanical points and are hard to get to because they are under the flywheel.

I want to lean to the Tohatsu 6hp, but what the broker has said sent new shock waves of doubt through me.
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:11 AM   #6
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Dinghy Motor Recos?

The Livingston's hull is not an efficient planing hull so you'll need more power than you might think to plane it. We have the 9' Livingston on our boat with a 4hp Yamaha. Our objective was to keep the weight down on the swimstep, not speed. But based on the dinghy's "performance" with 4 hp, if we wanted to plane the Livingston with any sort of a load in it I think we would have to go clear up to the maximum rated hp for the 9' model which is (IIRC) 9 hp.

Yamaha still makes 2-cycle outboards but I don't believe they are available in the US anymore. When we were shopping earlier this year for a new trolling motor for our Arima fishing boat I learned that some dealers, knowing the availability of Yamaha's 2-stroke engines was coming to an end, stocked up on the more popular 2-strokes. The dealer we work with here in Seattle had four of Yamaha's 2-stroke 8 hp outboards still in stock, which is the engine I had originally wanted. Unfortunately none of them were long-shafts which is what's required on our Arima. So we went want with Yamaha's new four-stroke 6 hp which has proved to be a very good engine for our needs.

If I wanted to plane our 9' Livingston I would probably try to find an 8 or 9 hp 2-stroke. A four-stroke of the same power would be too heavy I think, particularly given the Livingston's very low freeboard when loaded down.

-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 5th of October 2010 11:12:28 AM
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:55 PM   #7
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Dinghy Motor Recos?

Ok, here goes my $0.01 since you are looking at engines in the 5-6hp range and maybe a Livingston.

Get the 9' Livingston unless you literally cannot fit the 9'. Don't waste your time on the 8' if you want to plane with two people and your dog.* In fact if the main boat will fit the 10' safely seriously consider it.* I would if my vessel had the beam to carry it safely (11' beam).
Don't waste your time on a 6hp Yamaha which was the detuned 8hp.. I had one and it would sometimes plane the 9' with two of us, sometimes not.

I use the Yamaha 8 hp 2 stroke on the 9'. At 100:1 oil/fuel and 60 lbs it's been a great combo. The extra 20# of the 4 strokes is a lot of weight at the tail end. I suppose you could fit tiny trim tabs.

That said the 6hp on the 8' will plane with just one person and a small to medium dog but wouldn't with my wife & I and some prawning gear. I had this setup before my 6hp was stolen, replaced with the 8hp, and then later when the 8hp still couldn't reliably plane the 8', I went to the 9'. There was a world of difference.

The last thing I've done is raise the engine ~ 3" on the transom. The cavitation plate sits too far down, the Livingston is a cat so the boat bottom is higher. Too much drag. So to reduce drag and rooster tail I raised the engine.



-- Edited by C lectric on Tuesday 5th of October 2010 07:35:44 PM
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:04 PM   #8
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RE: Dinghy Motor Recos?

Yamaha is numero uno!!! If you can find a 2 stroke, get it...they are still out there. They stopped making them in 12/09 for this country. I bought my 15hp 2 stroke in February. Anyway, Yamaha is like Furuno....look at the people who rely on outboards for their livelihood....Yamaha is what they are running.

At the risk of ofending, Nissan/Tohatsu is crap. A 6hp might be just fine. Doug has a 25hp 4 stroke and it has THREE CARBUREATORS!!!!! I am willing to bet if you asked Doug if he would buy a Nissan again he would laugh and cry at the same time.

In the end, most are good. But if you want to go with the best, Go Yamaha!
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:11 PM   #9
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RE: Dinghy Motor Recos?

The problem is that the $1700 Yamaha 2-stroke 8hp is new and The Carbon Wife Unit is not wanting us to spend that much so close to a $3k+ bimini job we have coming up in November. So that choice, I suppose, is now off the table.

It seems to boil down to either the used Tohatsu 6hp $800 or the really old Johnson for $250. Then wait until later to get an engine for any future dinghy purchase. I would assume that the 6hp Tohatsu would really make the inflatable scoot. That would be enough for a while.
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:13 PM   #10
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RE: Dinghy Motor Recos?

Gonzo,

Not as big as you are now looking for but I saw some new 3.5HP Mercurys advertised on the Wilmington Craigslist by Bellhart Marine for around $850 I think. If they have two of those, they may have one slightly larger....if you have not tried it, search craiglook . com* ....it is a search engine that will search all of craigslist so you do not have to spend time searching individual cities....
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:08 PM   #11
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RE: Dinghy Motor Recos?

Gonzo,We have an old Johnson 6 hp twin (just as many power strokes as a 4 cyl 4 stroke) and my wife loves it. Starts easy and she has no trouble w it. We have used it on the 10' yellow dinghy thats on top of our boat in the avitar. It goes 8 or 9 knots at about 1/2 throttle ....
nice and quiet. I have also run both the 6 Johnson and the 8 Yamadog on an 18' freighter canoe (w small flat stern) and they both seem to have the same power. The points and the flywheel are'nt a problem. Get a flywheel puller or have a mech do the poinds once a year if you like. Try the 6 Johnson. By the way John's full of crap. Tohatsu's are great engines. Why do you suppose so many many brands buy powerheads from them?
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:30 PM   #12
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RE: Dinghy Motor Recos?

Quote:
nomadwilly wrote:We have an old Johnson 6 hp twin (just as many power strokes as a 4 cyl 4 stroke)
Eric--- We have the same engine (maybe).* Ours is a 1978 Evinrude 6hp,*2-stroke,*2-cylinder longshaft.* This is the engine we just replaced this year with a new Yamaha 6 hp longshaft.

The Evinrude did a good*albeit*noisy job*as a trolling motor on our Arima for years.* But it had become very hard to start and it ran too unreliably to count on as a get-home motor if*something ever happened to the main engine.* Plus it was two stroke so required it's own fuel supply.* The main engine is two-stroke, too, but its oil suppy is on board the engine so*the fuel in the boat's*main tank is straight gasoline.**So the move to a new four-stroke kicker*got us the reliability we wanted, it starts on the first or second pull,*plus it can feed*from the main tank if we need to make a long get-home run with it.

But that Evinrude was a very good engine in its day.

*
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Old 10-06-2010, 04:04 PM   #13
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RE: Dinghy Motor Recos?

Eric, I will put it another way....anything with more than one carburetor for such a small engine is crap!!! 3 carbs on a 3 cylinder engine is crap!!!
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:20 PM   #14
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RE: Dinghy Motor Recos?

I also like the Tohatsu. The Mercury engines of 40 HP and below are all made by Tohatsu, as well as the Nissan line. Before they sold to the pleasure boat market, they were commercial outboards
only. MANY of the clammers in my native massachusetts use and swear by them.
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:58 PM   #15
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RE: Dinghy Motor Recos?

Quote:
Baker wrote:

Eric, I will put it another way....anything with more than one carburetor for such a small engine is crap!!! 3 carbs on a 3 cylinder engine is crap!!!
OTOH..... The Yamaha 3-cylinder, 2-stroke 70 and 90 hp engines they made in the mid-1980s were three cylinders with each cylinder having its own carburetor.* We have one on the Arima fishing boat we bought new in 1987 and it's been a very good engine for us.* Granted we haven't put much time on it in all these years because we only run it to get to and from where we're fishing.* Most of the time we're out in the Arima*we're either not running anything or we're using the trolling motor.* So I think the 90 hp has less than 200 hours on it at this point.* But this model has a very good reputation.

*
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Old 10-06-2010, 07:04 PM   #16
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RE: Dinghy Motor Recos?

Are motors for dinghys even necessary/mandatory/desirable?

In the 20 years of my boating experiences, I never*missed the absence of a dinghy since*we were almost always*on day races/sailings with only an occasional overnight anchored where we planned to stay aboard.** Nevertheless, I'm acquiring a 35-foot trawler and can imagine some scenarios when a dinghy*might be handy.*

Why not just use oars?* Here in California, small boats powered by oars don't need to be registered and taxed.* Outboards are expensive, significantly increase dinghy weight, require special fuel, are messy, yadda, yadda, yadda.* I can see that an inflatable isn't that easy to oar, suggesting advantages for rigid dinghys.* So, convince me I need an outboard for my possible, future dinghy.
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Old 10-06-2010, 07:12 PM   #17
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Dinghy Motor Recos?

Quote:
markpierce wrote:
Why not just use oars?*
Oars work fine IF you are not boating in waters where you may have to row against a current of three, five, seven, etc. knots, and/or are boating in waters where your trips to shore will always be short.

We used oars with our Livingston until the day we got "caught" in a swift current flowing out of a narrow bay entrance and were barely able to row out of its grip.* In thinking about it afterwards, we realized that*our dinghy may be someday be called on*in an emergency and the ability to get somewhere regardless of the current, wind, or distance*could be very important.* So we got a motor.*

It's not a large motor, only 4 hp, but it can move the Livingston against any current we are likely to encounter under typical circumstances.* If weight had not been an issue we would have gotten a larger motor, probably 8 hp or so, so we could go faster if necessary.

-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 6th of October 2010 07:13:28 PM
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Old 10-06-2010, 07:49 PM   #18
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RE: Dinghy Motor Recos?

We currently only use oar & sail power for our Portland Pudgy dinghy; however, we will be adding an outboard before the next cruising season so I'm following this discussion quite closely.*

The reasoning for us is that on a number of occasions we found that a motor would have been desirable so that we could travel the few miles to a store for provisions or head off to explore that somewhat distant cove/shoreline etc from our anchorage. We much prefer anchoring, and in any event we find that often there is no room at the dock for the mothership when all we want is food and perhaps to do some laundry. The oars and sail will continue to our primary means of moving around the anchorages.


As an aside we are currently looking at the Honda and Yamaha 2 HP long shaft models.
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Old 10-06-2010, 07:50 PM   #19
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RE: Dinghy Motor Recos?

Quote:
markpierce wrote:



Why not just use oars?* Here in California, small boats powered by oars don't need to be registered and taxed.* Outboards are expensive, significantly increase dinghy weight, require special fuel, are messy, yadda, yadda, yadda.* I can see that an inflatable isn't that easy to oar, suggesting advantages for rigid dinghys.* So, convince me I need an outboard for my possible, future dinghy.

It depends on how and where you cruise.* We don't have a car, other than our dinghy.* We do lots of exploring.**When we're provisioning everything goes into the dinghy and we routinely anchor several miles from town.**We have gone more than six months in a year, a couple times, and never went into a marina.* For us the idea of rowing that much is just to much exercise.

That's our story and I'm sticking to it.

Larry/Lena
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:39 PM   #20
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RE: Dinghy Motor Recos?

Quote:
Conrad wrote:

We currently only use oar & sail power for our Portland Pudgy dinghy ...
Now that Portland Pudgy is an attractive but expensive solution ($6000 for the lifeboat version).* Are you happy with your version?

*
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