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Outboard & Jet Motor Comments

On October 2, 2015, in Glen-L Styles, by Gayle Brantuk

The Glen-L Forum is a treasure-trove of helpful information because many of our Forum members are seasoned boaters and boat builders. Of course, everyone has their own opinion on any given subject, but the following comments were taken from our Forum from users of various motors. I think you’ll find it helpful and be sure to check out the Glen-L Forum for lots of other information.

I’ve been in Belize this week. I met a guy who repairs and maintains outboards here on Ambergris Caye. He said the people here really don’t take care of their engines. The sand here is full of shell and coral, very abrasive. These guys run up to the dock then redline in reverse and suck up sand.

His engine choices are… 4 stroke Yamaha because they are quiet and they have a great monitoring system that will warn you of just about any problem. 2 stroke Evinrude E-TEC because they are bomb proof. They only need an occasional adjustment to the high pressure injectors. – Bill (Forum Moderator & Gathering organizer–Tahoe builder & currently building a Bartender)


I’ve been running my Yamaha 4 stroke 115 hp on the fishing boat for 13+ years, and wouldn’t buy any other brand. I had a faulty oil alarm switch early on (still under warranty), and replaced the water pump impeller once, and the spark plugs once. Other than that, just oil and lower foot grease changes. It still runs like it did on day one! – Tom (Bo-Jest builder)


I’ve had my 3 cylinder – 90 hp Evinrude E-TEC for 3 years now with no problems whatsoever. I am getting ready to take it in this spring for its first scheduled maintenance. It is quiet and not nearly as BIG (meaning… physically big) as its 4-stroke competitors. Not to mention the maintenance schedule for four-strokes. It gets excellent fuel economy and is low maintenance. I can’t see going with anything else.

Just my opinion. To be clear, I have never owned a 4-stroke so I don’t know what owning one is like but again… I highly recommend the E-TEC – darthplywood (Sea Knight builder)


I make a small part of my living rigging boats (mostly under 21 feet) and working on outboards – but not salt run motors which have their own issues because of their environment.

While I don’t own, nor would I ever buy a Yamaha, they are super well built and they are one of the only manufacturers that actually engineer every motor from paper to the final product (most others bolt on sourced parts). And Yamaha builds more motors than all of the other manufacturers combined – that says something.

I had the opportunity to observe some of the initial on-water tests for the E-TECH’s back a good few years ago. There were some “bugs” with the software which were quickly identified and corrected. They have become a solid motor for those (like myself) that believe the only place for a 4 stroke on any watercraft, is in the front end of the tow vehicle – at least as far as outboard motors go – so the direct injected 2 strokes are my only “new” option now. To winterize an E-TECH you simply “push a button” – tough to beat that.

My initial concern with the E-TECH’s (and the now discontinued HPDI’s from Yamaha) was the fact that they used uber-high pressure direct injectors (compared to the low pressure injectors found on the “joint designed” Merc’s and Tohatsu’s). I had a gut feel that they may tend to fail at quicker intervals than the lower pressure injectors, but now 15’ish years in, they seem to be holding up every bit as well.

And yes, the maintenance on the 4 strokes is one of my “pet peeves” – when the guys in the showroom are selling the fancy new rigs on “easy payment terms” they fail to instill in the buyer that you can’t treat a 4 stroke like dad’s/grand dad’s old 2 stroke – neglect (as in not following the service schedule to the letter) leads to lot’s of scrap metal in fairly short order.

But to be fair, the cost of parts (computers, sensors etc.) for the DI 2 strokes is right up there with 4 stroke parts – and direct injected oil is just plain expensive. – Graham (Cuddy Sport builder)


I can give you an opinion on the difference between a jet model and a regular “prop job”.

So first, to your note about fuel consumption.

Yes, horse for horse a jet burns more fuel. Why? Because a great deal of horsepower is chewed up in the “jet” process such that to get say the “equivalent” of 45 horses at the back end of the boat from a jet, you need a 60 horse power head (which is exactly what the outboard mfgs do – they simply bolt on a jet unit in place of the normal prop). A prop is just far more efficient at producing “thrust” than the impeller in a jet on a horse for horse basis.

So while a 45 horse “prop” model would burn 4.5 gallons per hour if you were running full throttle, the jet would burn 6 gallons per hour to achieve the same top end speed (these are fairly loose rules of thumb that have been borne out in real on-water tests – but of course there are always variables/exceptions).

However, sometimes the “extra fuel cost” is absolutely necessary for the safe operation of the water craft – could you imagine if jet ski’s had props – how many riders would be permanently “maimed” after falling off and encountering the prop – so in that case, a jet is a “must” for safety.

Also, with jet units there is very little “hanging” below the hull, so they can run in super shallow water – barely more than needed to float the boat – so in rivers, shallows etc, again they are invaluable and necessary.

I could drive a smart car to work and save countless gallons of fuel compared to driving my 1/2 ton pick-up – but sometimes you “pay the premium” to better suit your wants/needs.

Boats are expensive toys and if a couple gallons of gas will take it from “viable” to “un-affordable” then the boat, like many, will spend it’s life in the driveway on a trailer until the significant other makes you get rid of that “eyesore” that’s hogging space. Graham


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