Selecting An Outboard Motor
30 years ago American manufacturers dominated the outboard motor market.Names corresponding to Mercury, Johnson, Evinrude and Chrysler, led the field competing with one another to produce bigger and higher outboard engines. However, while this was going on they were neglecting the smallest of the outboards. These are the outboard motors that sell within the greatest of numbers and are sometimes the first outboard many people, buy. This being the case many people stick with the same brand (brand loyalty) as we buy other bigger outboards over the years. The Japanese seized on this fact and gradually Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Tohatsu concentrating on small outboards started to take over as market leaders. They achieved this domination by improving effectivity and reliability. As well as adding options to these small outboards beforehand only discovered on larger engines.
Having achieved success in the small outboard market, these Japanese manufacturers expanded up the power range. They once more came to dominate the outboard engine market up to at the very least 20 hp. The American producers instead of competing with the Japanese, gave up and determined to purchase these engines from the Japanese and badge them as their own. Now the Chinese have entered the market. Basically doing what the Japanese did beforehand, copying one of the best features of the present engines and on the same time keeping prices down.
So let us evaluate the outboards that are on offer for these searching for an outboard motor for their dinghy. If we take a fairly larger dinghy say, a Pioner 12, so that each outboard has to push a reasonably heavy weight by means of the water. If we then take the next outboard motors :
Mercury 2.5hp; Mercury 3.5hp; Mariner 2.5hp; Tohatsu 3.5hp; Yamaha 2.5hp; Suzuki 2.5hp; Honda 2.3hp; and a Parsun 2.6hp. All these outboards are 4 stroke engines. This is due to an E.U. Directive that prevents 2 strokes from being sold within the E.U. These outboards will provide a fairly wide range of engines available available on the market, for powering dinghies.
To evaluate one engine towards the another several tests have been completed. A Bollard pull test showed that the Mercury 3.5hp and Tohatsu 3.5hp had been essentially the most powerful at 90lbs of thrust (These engines together with the Mariner are virtually an identical). The least efficient was the Honda 2.3hp at 66lbs of thrust. In between have been the Suzuki 2.5hp at 83lbs of thrust, the Yamaha 2.5hp at 78lbs of thrust and the Parsun 2.6hp at 70 lbs of thrust.
Next test was Fuel Consumption. At full pace - 5.75 knots, the most effective outboards have been the Yamaha 2.5hp and the Suzuki 2.5hp by at least 20%. The worst was the Parsun 2.6hp. When the throttles were eased and the dinghy was cruising the Fuel Consumption comparison was less evident, only about 10% difference. All these figures are for 4 stroke engines. However, based mostly on figures previously recorded for two strokes under related circumstances, the older engines were up to 50% less fuel efficient at full speed. Very thirsty! Keep in mind 2 stroke outboards are still available second hand.
Then the weight of each outboard motor was compared. 4 stroke engines are heavier than older 2 strokes because of the powerhead etc. The Mercury, Mariner, Tohatsu, Yamaha and Parsun all weighed approx. 38 - 41 lbs (18 kg.). Nevertheless, the Honda 2.3hp and Suzuki 2.5hp weighed rather a lot less at 28 lbs (12.5 kg.).
Although the Parsun was the most cost effective and it's virtually similar the identical engine as in the Yamaha 2.5hp, it's not as good. It is a bit like me following a Gordon Ramsay recipe, to the letter, however when compared side by side you just know that his is going to be that much better. The Chinese are able to copy, just like the Japanese did earlier than them, however they have not bought it proper, but!
Finally slightly about every outboard tested. The Mercury, Mariner and Tohatsu are the identical engine. Starting settings for the throttle are straightforward to understand with the choke and cease button clearly labelled. The petrol on/off tap isn't so clearly marked. All these motors have gears. Ahead and impartial then using the 360 degree rotation you will get astern thrust. There are 4 tilt positions and a shallow water ability. Oil levels might be simply checked by viewing the indicator on the side of the engine cover.
The Yamaha 2.5hp additionally had simply understood beginning and stopping settings but the oil level gauge was out of sight under the engine casing cover. As with the Mercury outboard the Yamaha 2.5hp has gears, ahead and neutral with 360 degree rotation. In contrast to the Mercury which has a shear pin, the Yamaha has a rubber hub at the propeller, so no shear pin to break.
The Suzuki 2.5hp is as above but with the oil gauge easily considered on the side of the cover. The propeller has a shear pin with spares stowed under the engine cover.
The Honda 2.3hp will not be water cooled like all the other outboards tested. It's aircooled and has no gears. Instead it makes use of a centrifugal clutch. This makes beginning and maneuvering more troublesome than the others. It merely takes a little bit of getting used to it. The oil gauge is out of sight under the cover. The propeller has a shear pin with spares saved under the engine cover.
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