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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey gang,
I was talking to a yamaha mechanic today on the subject of 2 vs. 4 stroke motors. His comments were not positive on the 4 strokes. Several reasons were given. One was that there's not enough difference in gas milage to warrent the difference in cost. Second the maintanance is higher on the 4, oil changing, ect.. Third, if it ever sinks it's toast, whereas a 2 stroke can run again. Fourth, it runs a smaller prop thus more rpms to cover the same ground. Bottom line, he said buy a EFI 2 stroke. The only positive thing he said about the 4 was that it was quieter. Any comments from you guys?
Gery
 

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Red X Angler
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2 stroke for me, I dont want oil injection either. I take time to mix mine and I KNOW it is there.... Oil injector pump malfunctions and you may not know it until the motor locks up! You won't rebuild a 2 stroke as quick either because of the lubrication.
Less is better to me in this case. I stretch my dollars by skipping the frills.
 
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I prefer 2 stroke.

Lighter weight to power ratio
2 stroke spools up faster
Mileage between and EFI/HPDI/DI and the 4 strokes is negligable now days.. too close really on GPH usuage
Lower maintenance (no timing belt adjustments, oil changes due to fuel in oil)

though the 2 stroke motors of today are quieter, the 4 strokes are definately quieter especially at idle.. lot's of stories of guys tryin to crank their 4 strokes when it's already running.. that's pretty quiet

I'll always love the sound of a Mercury screamin on the back,, but it gets anoying after a while and you go deaf... Them ol Merc's are plain loud!! (but in a nice kinda way).

4 strokes definately have more moving parts and maintenance (when the time comes) can be a little higher overall.

I run a Yamaha now and it's a big 2 stroke (3.3 litre) but I can still hear the water rushing under the hull and can talk to the guy next to me when I have it running at cruise... so 2 strokes have definately come a long way.

There's benifits to both and some cons to both... just depends on what you want to spend as there's definately a difference in price. I can see the point the mech told you about props, I would think a 2 stroke could spool a higher pitch prop a tad faster off the get go cause it just spools/winds up faster (shorter amount of time).

I think the main points though are 4 strokes are quieter overall and dont burn 2 stroke oil, where as that's a added exspense on a 2 stroke... but then again.. you dont have to change oil on a 2 stroke. My buddy has a Honda 200 4 stroke on his boat.. and I wouldnt want to pay his spark plug bill when it comes time to change them out!! Pretty exspensive.

Todays motor's both 4 and 2 are very reliable compared to past generation motors.. with the 2,3 star ratings for emissions, direct injection fuel, fuel management systems... it's hard to beat any of them really.

Just my .02
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yamaha has come out with a 350 hp now. They just got a boat in with twin 350's. He said it burnt 39 gallons a hour or almost 20 gallons per motor per hour.
I think the bottom line on the 4 strokes is that the maintainance cost more than they're worth when it comes to saving a little bit of gas. My 2 stroke 115 is 11 years old and I think I've spent about 300.00 in tune ups and that was just because I didn't add the gas stabalizer year before last and the carbs. had to be cleaned. I do have oil injection and the pump went out but the alarm went off and it was just a matter of adding a quart to the motor resevour until I replaced the pump which took about 10 minutes. The more I talked to the mechanic the happier I was to have a 2 stroke and realized I didn't need to jump on the 4 stroke bandwagon. Well friends, I just thought this would be a good discussion and if anyone else has comments please share,
Gery
 

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I have owned nothing but 4 strokes since 1998 and that is all I will ever own. I do my own maintenance and it is simple and inexpensive.

They may get close to the same mileage (not quite,) but you also have to add oil to the 2 stroke, I don't.

Horsepower to weight ratio goes to the 2 stroke, but mileage and quiet no-smoke no-smell power go to the 4 stroke.

Different strokes for different folks for sure!!
 

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He said it burnt 39 gallons a hour or almost 20 gallons per motor per hour.
Gery
That's not really all that bad Gery. (twin v.s. single motors is another lengthy debate item...) but those #'s for how I've seen fuel usuage in the past isnt that bad.

I have to assume those #'s come from WOT. With my Yama 250 I have a max fuel consumption rate of 21.5 GPH (on the average) at WOT, so that would be considered the max fuel burn rate. Though I dont run everywhere at WOT or WOT all the time, and when keep my hand out of the throttle and hit the optimum cruise speed (via fuel management guage), my fuel burn drops to 13-15 gallon per hour (normally 14 gph +/- at a speed of 34-36 mph and normally around 4K rpm on the motor with full load - people-ice-gear) and that's with a single motor.
Since my boat is capable for twin motor set up, I'm more efficient running a large single in my case v.s. twins (for debatable reasons). Twins are thirsty for sure... so like 2 v.s. 4 stroke... it's all preference and how you decide to spend yer $$ and what you feel comfortable with

so comparing the 350 motor to my 250 motor, with the 350 burning 20 gph v.s. my # of 21.5.. sounds like the monster block motor is pretty efficient.. but...
there are lot's of factors to consider too.. mines real world performance v.s. paper performance (I'm guessing),, so have to factor in sea state, wind, fuel type, elevation, currents, prop size diameters and pitches, hull deadrise/running surface.... lot's of variables to get the true average performance for the 350.

With todays high reliability on motors,, why hang 3 or 4 motors on the back when you can stick a couple big blocks on the transom and run just 2 motors to do the job 3 or 4 use to do. Plus it gives alot of pocket sportfish boats new options on power as well as you can shave off ALOT of money by putting large outboards on the back v.s. twin diesel inboards. There are definately benifits to having these large outboard motors, especially for the "larger" boat crowd.

again, just my opinion
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Great discussion. Points well taken. Dave, that is a good comparison to your motor. Hotspot, it sure helps to have a little knowledge on motor maintainance for sure. I remember now seeing you post on your motors. My son is working with a mechanic now and I hope he sticks with it and learns all he can. It's a good trade to be in. The yamaha mechanic I talked to is a customer of mine and has helped me out especially with the oil pump. I will return the favor one day when I have the opportunity to bless him.;) I just love blessing people when they least expect it! Thanks for the input guys. Dave, see you in the morning:D
Gery
 

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The comments so far lead me to believe we are mainly comparing the latest 2 stroke technology versus 4-stroke. Keep in mind they still make the older style 2-strokes - the ones that use vaccum fuel feeds instead of direct injection.

I'll continue the comparison between direct injection (each manf. has it's own proprietary technology - but all boil down to this group) versus four stroke. Four strokes are basically a car engine re-tooled into a compact outboard package.

First Economy: Three areas - consumables (gas, oil, etc), routine maintenance, initial cost. For comparison purposes I'm using a Yamaha 200 HP engines, the F200 (four Stroke) and the Z200 (two stoke w/direct injection technology). The engines were both tested on the same boat (a 23' CC made by Sailfish) under similar conditions (weighting, weather, etc).

2007 MSRP as rigged on the boat - difference in price $3,970 - the Z200 being cheaper.

All gas/oil consumption is based on Yamaha's published life cycle figures which are 200 hours a year over a 10 year period. Naturally everyones usage and retention of the equipment will vary but we are using the same numbers for both, thus apples to apples. For this analysis I'm using 3500 RPM for both engines - that seems a fair average (based on percentage of efficiency for usage combined - if you want the details I'll explain otherwise you can just take my word for it).

@3500 RPM the Z200 uses 7.2 GPH versus the F200 at 6.8 So over the 200 hours of usage in a year, (Yamaha's life cycle assumptions) @ $3.00 per gallon the 2 stroke will use $240 more in gas. Over the ten year life cycle that is $2,400.

Comparing costs, So far we have:

F200 = (3,970)
Z200 = (2,400)
_____________
F200 = (1,570)

Now for oil

Z200 = 50:1 ratio so 1440 gallons per year would use 28.8 gallons of oil - cost = $668.16 Ten years = $6,681.60


F200 = 2 oil changes (every 100 hours) at $34.94 each (includes 5 quarts of oil and filter). Ten years = $349.40

Our Summary so far F200 = ($1,570)

minus the difference in cost of oil: Z200 = (6,331.60)

Total = Z200 cost $4761.60 more over the 10 year life cycle or $476.16 per year.

Some will argue they don't run their boats 200 hours a year - some run it more. But these figures give you an idea on how to compare true costs.

As to maintenance - other than the oil change, the recommended routine maintenance lists based on hours and items are almost identical. I'm not sure where the timing belt change comes from - it's not on the list. Both engines use spark plugs and they need to be changed at the same frequency. So maintenance cost seems to be similar. (granted if you pay someone to change your oil it will use up some of that $476 per year savings on the F200. Most shops around here charge $75 per hour and an oil change is 1/2 hour so it woul be $80 per year (doesn't count the lower unit lube or other items which are the same for both engines).

Now for Performance - I agree the nod goes to the two stroke - it weighs 55 pounds less and goes faster at the same RPM (about 10% - but of course uses more gas). The time to plane for the two stroke was 3.57 versus 3.80 seconds for the four stroke.

Emissions testing - the 4 stroke gets 3 stars (US Government system), the 2 stroke 2 stars: edge = 4 Stroke

I couldn't find the DB ratings for the engines but I have seen them some where before and the 4 stroke is quieter at all RPMs.

So as you can see the cost, efficiency & performance are similar with each getting a nod over the other in certain areas. So it really comes down to preference.

Oh on a side note - the 4 stroke is easier to work on according to my brother (a certified mechanic and engineer at Mack Truck). He says if you know car engines you can work on a four stroke. Not true with the two stroke - you need a marine mechanic for that he says as the technology is very different. Just his opinion of course.
 

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Red X Angler
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When Honda engineers were trying to decide on a powerplant for the new Honda Fit automobile, they decided to use the same basic 4 stroke engine used in their outboards since it was economical and a proven design. Just thought that was an interesting tidbit..

For comparison, my old 1975 70hp Evinrude only gets around 7-8 gph @ WOT and tops out on my 15ft Walk thru- trihull at 18-21 kts loaded. So I see a big difference in modern technology in either case...
 

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the one major thing you need to use if you run a yamaha either ring free or sea foam in every tank.. i got 1153.3 hours out of my 03 yammer when the piston pin broke last winter.. i own 2 yamaha's and a omc outboards.. as i bass fish 2 strokes get my vote..

you will almost never hear of an eletronic problem with yamaha's..

drop you have a point the honda moters are gas sippers. but a miserable pain to work on.. the #1 failure in honda moters are the starters which are UNDER the power head..it takes 8 hours -laybor rate $75 per-to replace the starter..

i have messed with all kinds of outboards for alot of years.. give me either an older omc or a yamaha.

as for gas guzzler i have run the same distance with a 03 yamaha two stroke 50 horse and the 71 johnson 2 stroke 50 horse..it was 18 miles round trip at wot. the yammer burned about 3 gallon of gas the johnny well it took 7 gallon of gas for the same distance..


zooker
 

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It sounds to me like it is more of an application issue than anything else. If I were taking people offshore in a larger boat and doing a lot of trolling I'd go with the 4. For the average fisherman that doesn't do a lot of trolling it sure looks like the two stroke would be a better fit. I know the interest you would get by putting the difference in a savings account wouldn't be that much but if it were financed it would be considerably more. The avg. fisherman would be financing this extra inital expense over several years. This could effectively double the true difference in price. The Licensed Capt. can write his boat expenses including interest off his taxes . If the motor is going to be running for the better part of the day and there isn't the as much noise or exhaust to lessen eveyones experience with that Capt., he would be inclined to go with keeping his fares comfortable. I would imagine that the 4 stroke would have the edge in the trolling dept. cost wise also.
 

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Definately agree there Al, plus you wouldnt have the fumes to deal with, with a 2 stroke at a slow speed.

2 strokes dont like trolling all that much, much better to "run" them, which works for my application for sure, as I like to get to the groupah's and shut the motor off. I dont have as many hours on the motor, but have tons of fishin hours.
 

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Think before you buy. The are some states, and lakes in the US, and more every year that do not allow new boats to use 2 stroke engine because of the oil blown into the water. This will grow to more states every year.
 

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Red X Angler
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Think before you buy. The are some states, and lakes in the US, and more every year that do not allow new boats to use 2 stroke engine because of the oil blown into the water. This will grow to more states every year.
That's the best point I've heard for 4 strokes. My old "rude even drips mix on the ramp, so I know it is putting fuel and oil in the water.:(
 

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excellent post... I was interested to hear more thoughts... I am looking at two boats... the 191 mako with 115 merc optimax 2 cycle and the triumph 190 bay with a 115 yammer 4 cycle..... wondering if I should try to save some money on the yammer by switching it to a 2 cycle.... the price difference in the boats is only 1200 dollars.... thoughts?
 

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I have the Yammy 115, wouldn't trade it for anything. It's a great engine and very, very fuel efficient and quiet, plus no oil smell. Gas wise you are better off with the Triumph/Yamaha combo for sure. The omnimax is a good engine too, can't go wrong with either one.
 

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Wow!!! looks like you may stumbled upon a deal. We're talking about two vastly different boats from what I can tell. For me it would be no question , I would buy the Triump. The Triumph has much better features and more of them. The MSRP difference is over $10K, with Triumph being the more expensive of course.

As far as the engine goes, I have the Yamaha 115 and I love it. It's quiet , easy to maintain, and sips fuel. It's hard to add to TA's post above , I think the Pros and Cons have been pretty well established. The only thing that I don't like about my Yahama 115 , is that it's not a 150.
 

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well guys i have owned both types of motors. i will say without a doubt that i will not have anything but a 4 stroke motor. i trol for stripers and im always slow trolling around 2.5mph. with a 200hp 2 stroke that is impossable. now with my 200 yami. 4stroke well i do it all day long. also dont have to hear the motor. i will oftem times catch myself getting up and going to the back just to make sure the motor is still running.now also lets not forget the fact i want to see any 2stroke pull up to the dock in FEB. in 18 deg weather and crank on the first try and stay running.even with all the new motors comming out i still see them etecs,HPDI,optimax, and all the other 2 strokes setting at the dock trying to let the motor warm up. ill put in my boat and hit the starter and be gone long before they even think about leaving the dock.this is the main reason i love my 4stroke.
 
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