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Best small outboard

NormanS

Well-known member
Joined
10 Nov 2008
Messages
7,451
At present I have an ancient Mariner 2.5hp two stroke outboard, and am contemplating treating ourselves to a new outboard. Presumably a new one has to be four stroke, and I'm looking for something of approximately the same power.
Does anyone have any particular recommendations, or anything definitely to avoid? Thank you.
 

VicS

Well-known member
Joined
13 Jul 2002
Messages
44,681
Location
Home: Kent. Boat: Chichester
At present I have an ancient Mariner 2.5hp two stroke outboard, and am contemplating treating ourselves to a new outboard. Presumably a new one has to be four stroke, and I'm looking for something of approximately the same power.
Does anyone have any particular recommendations, or anything definitely to avoid? Thank you.
Many are simply rebadged Tohatsus

Of the popular brands the only one that is sometimes criticized is Suzuki but no doubt someone will spring to their defense.

The nearest 4 stroke in power to a 2.5 hp 2 stroke is a 2.5 hp 4 stroke........ it may well be a good bit heavier though

How about a Tohatsu Tohatsu 2.5hp outboard engine

or the same thing dressed as a Mariner 2.5 hp Mariner 2.5hp - 3.5hp | Barrus
 

C08

Well-known member
Joined
8 Feb 2013
Messages
2,472
I would be tempted to try an obtain a lightly used 2 stroke 3.5. The 3.5 is no heavier than a 2.5 and has the advantage of in and out of gear which is a good safety feature. i.e. start and warm up before setting out in a strong current, no start in gear and accidently have throttle open. Although the weight difference between 2 and 4 stroke may not seem much, handling the outboard on the back of a tender is a totally different situation. Being able to lie down the 2 stroke any way up without oil leakage is also an advantage. Worth thinking about, any of the Tohatsu/Mariner ilk are perhaps best.
 

Catalina36

Well-known member
Joined
6 May 2020
Messages
556
I ended up with a 3.5 hp two stroke Mariner and a 2.5 hp four stroke Yamaha, both almost new when I got them. I used both over several years and ended up selling the Yamaha and keeping the Mariner. The four stroke was heavier, underpowered and had the most fiendishly complicated carburettor I've ever seen with umpteen jets and little passage ways to get blocked, and all for a single cylinder.
 

duncan99210

Well-known member
Joined
29 Jul 2009
Messages
5,687
Location
Winter in Falmouth, summer on board Rampage.
I bought a Suzuki 2.5 in a hurry to replace a dead 2 stroke machine. It was fine in my hands but the Admiral couldn‘t start it all the time. So it went to be replaced by a truly ancient Suzuki 2.5 2 stroke, which has now been replaced by a Mercury 2.5 2 stroke: both of these engines are Admiralty Approved. Given the choice, I’d keep the 2 stroke until it develops some terminal habits and even then look to replacing it with a 2 stroke if possible. Unless, of course, you have an Admiral who can cope with a 4 stroke.
 

JumbleDuck

Well-known member
Joined
8 Aug 2013
Messages
21,137
Location
SW Scotland
I ended up with a 3.5 hp two stroke Mariner and a 2.5 hp four stroke Yamaha, both almost new when I got them. I used both over several years and ended up selling the Yamaha and keeping the Mariner. The four stroke was heavier, underpowered and had the most fiendishly complicated carburettor I've ever seen with umpteen jets and little passage ways to get blocked, and all for a single cylinder.
I once started counting the jets, nozzles, metering thingies and other flow restriction devices in the Weber carb on my old DS. There are twenty three of them. That's why I love SUs and Zenith Strombergs: just one jet to worry about.
 

LONG_KEELER

Well-known member
Joined
21 Jul 2009
Messages
2,101
Location
East Coast
I'm surprised that some outboard nut has'ant created the equivalent of a Norton frame and
Triumph engine like the Triton and get the best of all worlds.

How about the Merhond or Torqyam hybrid . I'd buy one.
 

Praxinoscope

Well-known member
Joined
12 Mar 2018
Messages
2,473
Location
Aberaeron
I'm surprised that some outboard nut has'ant created the equivalent of a Norton frame and
Triumph engine like the Triton and get the best of all worlds.

How about the Merhond or Torqyam hybrid . I'd buy one.
Nah! just find an old British Seagull, what more could you want? Simple engineering, parts still available and once you have learned it's 'funny' little ways usually reliable.
 

fredrussell

Well-known member
Joined
24 Mar 2015
Messages
1,346
If you have somewhere to flush outboard with freshwater after a sail, get a water-cooled one. Otherwise get a Honda 2.3. It’s air cooled. The cooling passages in ALL small water-cooled outboards are tiny. I’ve de-salted two old two strokes now, never again. Air cooled for me now, and when I next hold up the post office, a Torqueedo.
 

FlyingGoose

Well-known member
Joined
12 Feb 2019
Messages
3,419
Location
The Known Universe
My little honda 2,3 great little machine started first time, always ,10 years old , my Honda 15 also first time and a beast, until stolen :cry:
I then got a Tohatsu 9,9 less than a year and it went poop I think bad fuel , but under warranty (a good long warranty with tohatsu) but apart from that it was a great machine
 

mbroom

Active member
Joined
4 Apr 2015
Messages
493
Location
Troon
I bought a Suzuki 2.5 in a hurry to replace a dead 2 stroke machine. It was fine in my hands but the Admiral couldn‘t start it all the time. So it went to be replaced by a truly ancient Suzuki 2.5 2 stroke, which has now been replaced by a Mercury 2.5 2 stroke: both of these engines are Admiralty Approved. Given the choice, I’d keep the 2 stroke until it develops some terminal habits and even then look to replacing it with a 2 stroke if possible. Unless, of course, you have an Admiral who can cope with a 4 stroke.
I have the same problem, I am the only one in my family that can start the 4st Suzuki 2.5. This is a huge problem as my wife and/or daughter cannot go off on their own in the dinghy, it will be a deal breaker for any future engine. In addition it is extremely prone to carb blocking.... The old Mariner 2st 2hp or Yam Malta 3.5 were much better engines... I recently used a friends torqueedo electric outboard. An Eye watering price, but easy use use and so reliable. This is the future!
 
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