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Small outboard advice needed


walkabout

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Great forum. Been a lurker for the last 6 months, and finally had the need to ask a question.

I have just recently aquired a 1979 15' Alumacraft without an outboard. This would be my first boat. The serial plate on the boat says a max of 15hp. I have a 30lb trolling motor.

I have been searching for an outbord for my new baby, but am wary of spending too much on a new motor or buying a unreliable used motor. I have looked in the paper, been and seen new motors, searched the internet, but am no closer to finding what I want.

Can you guys give me some recomendations about what I should be looking for? Where to look? reliability of old motors? what to look for when inspecting a used motor? etc.

Thanks
walkabout (twin cities)
(sory for being so vague, but I really of inexperienced in the realm of outboards)

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I went through this with my first boat also. If I had to do it over again this is what I would do with your boat.

Get the maximum rated outboard for your boat. If you get a smaller outboard you will wish you got the bigger a year later. Trust me.

Buy new, the price you pay for a good used motor, you will then wish you bought a new motor with warranty.

Next, I know this will , make some upset, but buy a two-stroke motor. It may not be as quiet as the four stroke. But it will half the weight of the four stroke and price.
And a outboard motor dealer told me a two stroke motor is more suited for MN than the four because of our weather. They are better for a warm weather climate. He talked me out of a four stroke and glad he did.
I have friends with four strokes and they dont like them. One has had nothing but problems with his 2 year old yamaha 9.9 four stroke.

But there are good used outboards out there. And you do mostly get what you pay for.

Good Luck...

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I would agree somewhat with the weight issue on the 4 strokes - not twice as heavy but appreciably heavier. Not on the trouble issue however. I supposed the best of us is capable of producing a lemon once in a while.

I've run 2 different smaller Hondas and an assortment of different small Mercs, Evinrudes and Johnsons. There is no comparison - effiency, running, starting, reliablity, quietness, longevity. The 2 strokes may have a little more top end but not enough in my opinion to offset the other advantages. With that said, I don't have enough experience with the newer Johnson, Evinrude and Merc 4 strokes to speak objectively. I will be shopping in the near future for a newer 30-35 hp and Honda, Suzuki or Yamaha will be my first considerations - in that order.

If the weight is an issue do some comparisons - some of the new 4 strokes don't weigh what they did 5-10 years ago.

About selecting a dealer - do your homework -ask for recommendations. A warranty is only as good as the guy who gives it to you.

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One thing I agree with Trapper is go with the max hp for the boat. As far as a 15hp two-stroke wieght difference vs. the four, I don't think there is gonna be that big a difference in that small of a motor. I run a 25 fourstroke Yamaha and wouldn't trade that one for the world. Never lets me down, quiet and smoke free. Don't have to mix any gas. Whatever toots your whistle go with. Probably would be easier to find a used two stroke over four. It's all good as long as your fishin'. Good luck, Junky..........

------------------
Definition of a fishing guide: A fishing guide is just a fishing junky who takes others with him to support his habit.

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Sorry, forgot to add resale. I think it would be easier to sell a four-stroke over a two. Less depreciation also. Junky........

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Welcome!
I bought a 1960 5.5 hp for $300.00 and got what I payed for. It's got about 6 hpurs from me on it and now it won't fully engage forward or reverse.

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Aquaman
<')}}}}}><{
Peace and Fishes

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i just picked up a 1990 nissan 8 hp 2 stroke for 200.00 it runs like a champ half a pull mabey a full one if its cold but the point of this is you can get good deals from private sellers but the key is make sure they run them for ya.

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Howdy Walk. First determine if you need a long or shortshaft motor. I would assume yours is a short, but make sure first. I would look for a new or newer four-stroke motor. Yamaha or Honda would be my choice, but that is my preference. These newer motors hold thier value, so you probably wouldn't save a whole lot over going new. Not sure if you would have much luck finding one of these motors, people tend to hold on to them. Probably have better luck looking through the dealers used inventory. With new however, you get a warrenty with the motor. I would buy new. No second guessing what your buying used. Just my opinion. I'm sure others can give you some advice as well. Good luck in your hunt, Junky........

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Thank you guys for your thoughts.

So it boils down to?
1. Buying new will be costly initialy, but has the security of a warrenty. Resale on motors are really good so one should be able to sell a new motor for close to what one paid for it a few years out if one wanted too.
2. 2 vs 4 stroke issue seems to be a weight, noise and personal choice issue. 4 stroke will have a higher resale and initial cost.
3. Buying used can be risky with no warrenty, but there are good motors and good sellers out there. Make sure you have the seller start the motor at least. There are deals out there, but you generally get what you paid for.
4. Get the max HP that your boat is rated for. This will prevent you from saying "I wish I had..." later on.
5. Brand choice seems to be a personal thing, but you can't go wrong with Johnson, Honda, Suzuki, Evinrude, Mercury or Honda.

Thanks again.
Walkabout

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You got it. Now go get the motor and get some fillets!! Good Luck...

Forgot to mention a 2 stroke is much cheaper than a 4 stroke. One more thing to consider.

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Hey Walkabout-welcome to FM. Just though I'd pipe in my .02- fourstrokes are great and if you can afford one go for it, otherwise there are some affordable old 2 strokes that are absolute gems I'm a johnson/evinrude man myself but have see some great yamahas, suzukis and others that are just good sound runners. If your looking into buying a used motor make sure the seller starts it for you-either on the lake,in a garbage can full of water or with a suction cup attachment that hooks onto a garden hose (good investment at +-15$). Start the motor a couple times, idle it awhile and shift it in and out of gears several times to make sure everything is alright-also make sure the motor is peeing a steady stream out the side so you know its getting the water it needs for cooling. Make sure the tilt and lock work. When mixing your fuel be accurate and consistant. It's always good to know a good outboard mechanic and they may have some leads on where to pick a good used one up-otherwise buy a repair manual and keep some spare plugs in your tackle box. Good luck and I hope you find a gem new or old and get many years of enjoyment out of it.
redhooks

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Thank you guys for all the great advice.
I purchased a NEW Mercury 15hp 2 stroke (manual start) yesterday!!! Am I a happy guy!

Here are the reasons why I got this motor:

1. I bought new as it seems like used 15hp are pretty hard to come by. If you do find one that is fairly NEW say '94 onwards they tend to be about pretty close to the price of a new motor minus the warrenty. Older motors, say '80, still fetch $800 - $1000. i.e. Motors hold their value really well.
2. 4 stroke vs 2 stroke weight: Since I will probably be taking the motor on and off, weight was an issue. I tried lifting both the Merc 15hp 4 stroke and the 2 stroke and there is no comparison in the weight. The 4 stroke was 111lbs and the 2 was 74lbs, what a difference 37lbs (50% of the 2 stroke) can make. Plus the lighter motor better suits my small alumacraft.
3. 4 stroke vs 2 stroke general: although the advantages of a 4 stroke (no oil/gas mixing, better gas consumption, lower emmissions) did not outway the advantages of the 2 stroke for me (more common, lower/easier repairs, *weight*, higher topend power). I also was told that you have to store a 4 stroke a certain way to prevent leaking oil etc. This is a problem for me as I will most likely not have the motor on the boat all the time.
4. Brand/Make: I did not chose Mercury because I think Mercury is better than other brands. I chose it because it was a well known brand, sold and serviced by most shops. There might be better motors out there than the one I chose, but I am brand blind and ignorant!! Maybe I will become a Mercury loyalist!
5. Manual start: I got this as I did not want to have to buy another battery for my little boat.

Please take my comments/views in their context. That being from a complete novice, who researches a lot, but does not have any practical knowledge!!!

Walkabout

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Hey Walk. Congrats on your purchase. Merc is a fine motor. Summer short, so go out and fish. Good luck to ya, Junky.........

------------------
Definition of a fishing guide: A fishing guide is just a fishing junky who takes others with him to support his habit.

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