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Old 10-12-2017, 09:55 AM   #1
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When to replace dinghy motor?

Hi,
I have a Mercury 2001 4 stroke 25hp Bigfoot on an 11' Caribe dinghy. I have had several Mercury mechanics work on it. $550 here, $1500 there, $800 again. Thought the last one got it right and now it will start and run for 15 seconds and stop. Start right back up and stop.
I am trying to decided - is it time for a new motor? The dink and motor ride mostly on the roof of our trawler but when we want to use it, it needs to run.
So - what brand replacement motor should I be looking at? Particular model or features?
Any that I should stay away from?
Thanks
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:16 PM   #2
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I like yamaha or suzuki. For a dinghy I would also look for a two stroke as anyone, anywhere can work on them.
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:25 PM   #3
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We have a 20 hp Suzuki on our Caribe Light 11, it's a good motor, though I don't like it as much as I liked my 2 stroke 15 hp Johnson on the same dinghy.

It's a 20 plus mph dinghy with the 'zuke on it. The 15 HP and the 20 HP are built on the same block and weight the same, no reason to go with the 15, other than to save a (very) few $. The 25 is heavier, I think it is built on the 30 HP block, but I'm not sure.

BTW, I'm sure you know this, but the bigfoot motor was a low torque engine made for houseboats, pontoons, etc. I wouldn't think it would be a great dinghy engine.

Personally, if you can afford it, I'd get a new motor. Not worth futzing with the old one if it's not running well. You'd be 1/2 way to the cost of a new motor already if you had pulled the plug when it first broke down.
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:09 PM   #4
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Key word in the OP's posting is four as in four stroke. Those of us stuck with two strokes will probably be using them until we die. Mine is 20 years old, unfortunately I still need to put gas in and change the spark plugs every year. Oh I forgot I had to change the pull rope and handle out a few years ago.
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:01 PM   #5
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Lol, note the dollars already spent on the four stroke. Time for a two stroke particularly if cursing in remote areas.
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Originally Posted by Bay Pelican View Post
Key word in the OP's posting is four as in four stroke. Those of us stuck with two strokes will probably be using them until we die. Mine is 20 years old, unfortunately I still need to put gas in and change the spark plugs every year. Oh I forgot I had to change the pull rope and handle out a few years ago.
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HenryD View Post
Hi,
I have a Mercury 2001 4 stroke 25hp Bigfoot on an 11' Caribe dinghy. I have had several Mercury mechanics work on it. $550 here, $1500 there, $800 again. Thought the last one got it right and now it will start and run for 15 seconds and stop. Start right back up and stop.
I am trying to decided - is it time for a new motor? The dink and motor ride mostly on the roof of our trawler but when we want to use it, it needs to run.
So - what brand replacement motor should I be looking at? Particular model or features?
Any that I should stay away from?
Thanks
Wifey B: When? Before spending the $2850 you just spent. Seriously, when you ask the question, you know it's time.

I'm a Yamaha fan as are most of the people I'm around. Because weight matters. Yes, it does. The top of a series vs the bottom of the next. So, like on Yamaha, the 15/20/25 you get a 25 that only weighs 126 lbs. Then the 30/40, the 30 weighs 214 lbs so a huge difference to go up 5 hp.

With Suzuki, the 30 is in the same series as the 25 and weighs basically the same, 163 lbs. I personally would go for the 25 hp Yamaha. We're happy with our Yamahas but they're a bit larger.
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:25 PM   #7
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Another vote for a Yamaha two stroke here. I swear ours will still be running long after I'm dead. I did have to dismantle and clean the carb last year (the little float flapper/pin thing was stuck -- I'm using the technical terms here). I'd never done a carb job before and thought to myself if I couldn't get all the little pieces back together and it wouldn't run, then I'd just buy a new motor. The darn thing went back together just fine and fired right up so now I'm stuck with it for at least another 20 years.
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Old 10-12-2017, 03:02 PM   #8
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I've been running some small towboats with Yamaha 60s and one with a 25 recently. The 60s are nice and smooth. The 25 is OK; quite a bit louder than the 60s. I'm guessing these all have a boatload of hours on 'em, and the drill often calls for way more throttle than I'd normally use.

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Old 10-12-2017, 03:38 PM   #9
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Thought the last one got it right and now it will start and run for 15 seconds and stop. Start right back up and stop.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sounds to me like a problem I had, maybe, with my '94 Yamaha.
Finally figured out the carb had to be run out of fuel before putting away. Really run out of fuel. After many times pulling the carb off I realized the needle valve was sticking closed from fuel pressure from the remaining fuel. Run it out problem disappeared.

I do now use a fuel stabilizer which seems to help eliminate the varnishing which can also occur.

Every time now I come in to the dock I pull off the tank supply hose and let the engine run out.

If you really leave it for long periods of time between uses then look at how you store it in between uses. You may be experiencing a similar problem with a sticking needle valve, a somewhat plugged jet .

I also use only the 92 or 94 octane gas.
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Old 10-12-2017, 04:19 PM   #10
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10 percent ethanol gas in small carb outboards is horrible if the engine is not used regularly.
Time to move on to EFI.
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