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Old 07-13-2013, 10:17 AM   #1
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I really hate my 4 stroke dinghy ob

So my 2006 15hp 2 stroke Johnson was stolen some months back. Due to governmental stupidity (is there any other kind?) we can no longer buy small 2 strokes in the US.

I had insurance on my old motor and Allstate was nice enough to buy me a new motor of my choice. Afetr a good bit of research I went with a 20 hp Suzuki. I have it on a Caribe L1011 (10'6") RIB. I was going to buy a 15hp, but the 15hp and the 20hp weigh the exact same and are the same size, so I went with the extra HP. Glad I did or the situation would be even worse. Also, the Suzuki is the lightest 15 or 20 hp 4 stroke on the market, though not by much.

Now, before you old sailors tell me I have too big a motor, our crew consists of me (170lbs) my wife, 15 YO son (140lbs and growing) 11 YO son (80lbs and growing) and black lab (80 lbs). We cruise in the Bahamas and need to cover long distances. We tow a knee board. We fish and snorkel on near in reefs, we spear fish, we haul big loads of groceries and sometimes water. An little 6hp putt along just doesn't work for us.

So the old motor was top end 3 mph faster, much, much quicker out of the hole, smaller to store, easier to get off the dink into the big boat, easier to start, idled better, accelerated smoother and balanced the dinghy better.

The new one burns about 1/2 the fuel (who cares, we used to burn 18 gallons in a 3 week trip, now we burn 9) and is quieter. Other than that it sucks.

I'm thinking I'm going to have to move up to a 12' dinghy. Which means bigger davits.

Anyone want to trade a really good 2 stroke 15 for a brand new 2013 20 hp Suzuki? I'm serious.
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Old 07-13-2013, 11:19 AM   #2
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On the exact same dinghy, I used a 20 Yamaha 2 stroke. It had power enough to be scary with just me (160 lb) at the tiller, so I added a dolphin to the bottom of the outboard and "Smart-tabs" to the transom. That settled it down nicely. With your extra weight (both you and the 4 stroke) you may get away with only the dolphin to settle your down.
I bought the 20 Yam 2 when my 15 Merc died, on the recommendation of the Merc/Honda dealer, who told me Yam had the best power to weight ratio.
If you shop the used market, you might still find a 20 Yam 2, which starts easy, runs quiet, uses a little more fuel, makes a tiny bit of smoke (100 to 1 mix), so has all of what you want.
I now run a Caribe 12 with a Honda 40 4 stroke. I like it! Faster out of the hole, sips fuel, quiet, room in the dink for the Prawn hauler, traps, etc, dry ride, console steering. I had to beef up my davits for the heavy lift, and I don't lift as often. Tows well.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:11 PM   #3
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I feel your pain

I have a Yamaha 20 hp 4 stroke on a 10'6 Zodiak Rib. My old Mercury 15 which I still own is about half the weight, starts easier, has better controls , and is faster. I did learn a trick on starting the Yamaha, The carburetor has a accelerator pump and you can facilitate starting by twisting the throttle a couple of time to prime the engine for cold starts. Just like we used to do old carburetor-ed cars. The rope pull on that 20hp Yamaha is about all I can do and I doubt a average sized woman could rope start it.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:23 PM   #4
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could it get better when its broken in and runs better ?
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:48 PM   #5
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I might start looking at the used market. My guess is that I could sell this Suzuki to some sap who believes the crap about 4 strokes being better and cover the costs of the used motor.

Thanks for the advice on the dolfin, I've been thinking of trying that. Right now though, I have to store the motor in my lazzarette, clamped to a stringer, as we don't yet have davits on the new boat, and I don't think it will fit in there with the dolfin. That is for sure my next step though after davits of some sort.

Do you find with the dolfin that after you get out of the hole it continues to trim the bow down? On our dinghy I slide forward to get it up on plane then slide back to get the bow out a little, otherwise it sticks in turns and can get pretty scary to run.

Another annoying habit of the 4 stroke is that the pull cord "sticks" about 1/3 through every third or fourth pull. It really hurts when you are pulling hard and expecting the cord to come all the way out.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:52 PM   #6
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We have a 15 HP Suzuki and it's clearly the star among 4-stroke offerings. Great little motor. Our Nick Jackson davit easily lifts the dink with motor. Anybody with a 2-stroke should jump at a trade.
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Old 07-13-2013, 03:50 PM   #7
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"Do you find with the dolfin that after you get out of the hole it continues to trim the bow down? On our dinghy I slide forward to get it up on plane then slide back to get the bow out a little, otherwise it sticks in turns and can get pretty scary to run."

IIRC, the dolfin didn't do much to keep the bow down after getting up on a plane. The smarttabs did lots of that though.

My experience was that with just me in the stern, the 20 Yam felt like it had enough punch to flip end over end. When I added the Dolfin, it would rise to a 45 deg angle, but go no further, then flatten out after getting up to speed. It rode fairly level, not too different than with no trim aids. With Dolfin and Smart-tabs, it would stay fairly level as it came out of the hole and ride bow down once it was up to full speed. Got to love Smart-tabs.
Get over it and go to the 12' with at least 30 hp. You won't regret it.
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Old 07-13-2013, 04:30 PM   #8
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A boater in the same marina I'm camped at offered me a straight-up trade for my old Merc 9.9 for his new 4 stroke Merc/Tohatsu 9.9. I nearly jumped at it, but when I felt the size and weight of his four stroke and compared the performance, I said "no thanks". A week later, he paid top dollar for the best 9.9 two-stroke Merc he could find and took a big loss selling his four-stroke to the first guy that came to look at it. He's happy.
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Old 07-13-2013, 09:18 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dougcole View Post
I might start looking at the used market. My guess is that I could sell this Suzuki to some sap who believes the crap about 4 strokes being better and cover the costs of the used motor.

Thanks for the advice on the dolfin, I've been thinking of trying that. Right now though, I have to store the motor in my lazzarette, clamped to a stringer, as we don't yet have davits on the new boat, and I don't think it will fit in there with the dolfin. That is for sure my next step though after davits of some sort.

Do you find with the dolfin that after you get out of the hole it continues to trim the bow down? On our dinghy I slide forward to get it up on plane then slide back to get the bow out a little, otherwise it sticks in turns and can get pretty scary to run.

Another annoying habit of the 4 stroke is that the pull cord "sticks" about 1/3 through every third or fourth pull. It really hurts when you are pulling hard and expecting the cord to come all the way out.
How long have you had the motor?... thought of taking it back to the dealer and tell him your majorly unsatisfied?
I had a 10hp Honda that was a piece of crap and I practically gave it away to get rid of the overweight P.O.S.
For a dinghy that has to be lifted on davits nothing beats a 2 stroke.
Get on Craigslist and search inland and find a good later model 2 stroke that has been used only in fresh water.. then go forth and be happy!
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:53 AM   #10
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hollywood8118 says;

"Get on Craigslist and search inland and find a good later model 2 stroke that has been used only in fresh water.. then go forth and be happy!"

YES. Good 2 strokes should be found for some time to come but the ethanol issue muddy's the picture. I've got a 70 somth'in 6hp Johnson and I ain't part'in w it.


HopCar I probably sold one of your bad breath engines yesterday. I told a friend about them and he sounded like he needed to go right down and get one.
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:32 AM   #11
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Couldnt you just by a 2 stroke in the Bahamas, they just don't sell them in the USA. Also noticed that Canada still sells 2 strokes as well. Just a thought.
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Old 07-15-2013, 12:41 PM   #12
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Couldnt you just by a 2 stroke in the Bahamas, they just don't sell them in the USA. Also noticed that Canada still sells 2 strokes as well. Just a thought.
Maybe Canada. Prices in the Bahamas are 50 to 100% higher than US. I don't go there to buy anything except Bahama coconut bread.
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Old 07-15-2013, 12:59 PM   #13
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So who makes the 2stroke OBs available in the Bahamas?
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:22 PM   #14
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I don't know about the Bahamas, but you can buy Tohatsu/Nissan, Yamaha or Mercury 2 strokes throughout most of the Caribbean. This past spring we bought a new Tohatsu 9.8hp, 2 stroke for $1,950 US in St. Martins with no tax or duty.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:58 PM   #15
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And I thought I was the lone hold out. I bought a 2 stroke Johnson the last year they were legal in CA and I will not buy a 4 stroke. I use synthetic 2 stroke oil that is biodegradable too. I can pull my plugs and they are whitish grey. Starts and runs great.

I have 2 25hp johnsons with electric start that are 2 stroke. I have one on a 14' Glasspar that's a 62 or close. It's a classic runabout and the Johnson makes for scary rides.

I'd part with one of the Johnson 25 hp. It's old, don't know the year. It's been stored for the last 6 years.
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:11 PM   #16
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Capthead,
The best full synthetic 2 stroke oil is BelRay MC-1 ll. It's so viscous it it not recommended for oil injection. It's a racing oil that must be pre-mixed. Costs about $60 a gallon too. Mix at 50-1. Must be mixed thoroughly initially but does not separate.

But in a low temp sea water cooled engine you don't need MC-1 at all. I just use a good dino oil for outboards.
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:22 PM   #17
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I was buying redline racing synthetic 2 stroke oil but a few years ago I was in a Johnson repair shop and they were selling Johnson fully synthetic 2 stroke oil by the gallon for 12.00 so I bought a few. They said it was a close out and they discontinued it. It works great actually and for 12 bucks how can I go wrong?

If I can't find a good source for synthetic after I run out, I might go back to dyno.
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:21 PM   #18
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The best full synthetic 2 stroke oil is BelRay MC-1 ll.
That is all I used to run in my racing quads. For the money I spent tuning those engines BelRay was dirt cheap.
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:34 PM   #19
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Capthead, PM sent re: your Johnson.
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:48 PM   #20
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Capthead, PM sent re: your Johnson.
What? This is a family forum!
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