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Old 23 May 2011, 06:26   #21
spartacus's Avatar
Country: UK - Scotland
Town: Aberdeenshire
Boat name: Sula
Make: Ribcraft 4.8m
Length: 4m +
Engine: Tohatsu 60hp + aux
MMSI: 235087213
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 3,058
Had a mid 80s Yamaha 25hp outboard, model: 25DM and the starter rope broke on it. Luckily we were close to a fish-farm in a sea loch and got a tow back to the pier.

Ever since that incident - I replaced the starter rope on my manual start outboards every second season, regardless of condition.

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Old 23 May 2011, 08:23   #22
Country: UK - Scotland
Boat name: Wildheart
Make: Humber/Delta Seasafe
Length: 5m +
Engine: Merc 60 Clamshell
MMSI: 235068449
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,538
I think there could be a bit of truth in the OP statement, if you say second hand rather than old based on the fact that not everyone will look after their engine with TLC, and as it gets older, there will be more of an incentive to "give it a go, coz how hard can it be to fix?" which when it fails ends up on Ebay as spares or repair after the owner has extoled it's lack of virutues on forums?
My Johnson is the classic example. Powerhead ran fine, shame the previous owner(s) were a little lax in their gear change technique. Having replaced the abused parts it's now about to hit it's 40th Birthday......

The "more to go wrong" theory could be countered with "has it been serviced?" which is applicable to any engine. Also how many of them were badly rigged?

There is also the "fundamental design flaw" scenario, which is normally ironed out pretty soon after the new lump goes on the market. Clamshell is a classic example, athough as a case study I think Clamshells needed one or two mods to the original design! I'll tell you how reliable the last version of it was in either one or ten years time!

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Old 23 May 2011, 09:14   #23
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Country: Ireland
Make: Redbay Boats
Length: 9m +
Engine: 370hp
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,143
Originally Posted by 9D280 View Post
Ebay as spares or repair after the owner has extoled it's lack of virutues on forums?
Why DO people dis their own kit on fora?
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Old 23 May 2011, 13:22   #24
Country: UK - England
Town: Essex
Boat name: Inflatable
Make: Ribcraft & Zodiac
Length: 5m +
Engine: Suz F140,F6 & Yam F6
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 246
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Mariner 60HP Efi. Good engine but had the grommet issue causing a coolant blockage and alarm (Now sold.)

Mariner 6HP 4 stroke. Used as an aux on 4.8 Ribcraft. No problems to report. (Now sold)

Mariner 15HP 2 stroke. Good engine, never any trouble and starts within 2 pulls even after a few months of no use. (Still own)

Mariner 3.3HP. Good reliable lightweight outboard for a tender. No problems to report. (Still own)

Yamaha 100HP 4 stroke (half share). Good outboard, however there was an issue with the trim and tilt mechanism which was costly to diagnose and repair.

Suzuki 5HP 4 stroke (half share) Aux on 5.85 Ribcraft. No issues to report.

Mercruser 4.2D 250HP inboard on shaft drive. No issues to report.

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Old 23 May 2011, 15:37   #25
Country: UK - Channel Islands
Town: Jersey
Boat name: Archangel
Make: Ribcraft
Length: 6m +
Engine: ETec 225
MMSI: 235063789
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,005
Originally Posted by biffer View Post
Being an inboard man I find that outboards break down at anytime. To me they aren't built robust enough.
Whereas inboards suffer from corrosion, impellor failure, pulley slipage, leaks, and they smell like death warmed up. They also weigh a tonne, cost a fortune and don't really go that fast if the truth be known. ETecs man, the noise alone is worth all the money.
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Old 23 May 2011, 17:52   #26
Country: Other
Town: Stanley, Falkland Is
Boat name: Seawolf
Make: Osprey Vipermax 5.8
Length: 5m +
Engine: Etec 150
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,655
Originally Posted by biffer View Post
your post is mainly my point, an outboard is rated at 300hp at full rev's, you need to put it in a boat where the rev's are achievable, great, put it say on a vipermax and blast it about for as long as you can, enter a race and your warranty goes out the window, same boat same rev's same fella driving it, what are they not telling us
Yes but ... my point was that a leisure engine (whatever the makers say) is likely to be designed for intermittent use of full power (like a car engine), whereas a commercial engine is rated to deliver that power reliably day after day. If you take any new car you could think of and look in the book at the small print I bet the warranty goes straight out the window if used for racing or rallying? Derate your 300hp outboard so the same size block produces 150-175hp, pushing that through the same gearbox, and I imagine it would last for ages.

Our other boat at work (twin Volvo TAMD63 in a 12m Nelson 42) is rated at something like 235hp per engine IIRC - these are commercial rated engines - but the same TAMD63 engine is available in a leisure rating up to 370hp. Having had the 'pleasure' of organising maintenance on both the company's boats for quite a few years, there is no way I would say inboards are trouble free and a random selection of problems include umpteen impeller failures on the raw water pump, burst hoses, shredded polyvee belts, heat exchanger leaking salt water into the intake causing valve seat corrosion and engine rebuild required, head gaskets blowing repeatedly, injector cups leaking (blow by from the cylinder), quite a few oil leaks and the Volvos also eat drive plates and 5k PRM gearboxes on a fairly regular basis though at least you can rebuild those and it only goes a bit into four figures...

There are probably a few dozen others in the last 10 years but those just off the top of my head. And that's with old-tech injector pump diesels which if my experience of running a garage on land is anything to go by, are about 10x as reliable as the common-rail electrickery that is working its way into our world

Outboards = bang for the buck on a tight budget with a (possible) compromise on reliability and yes I'd love to get something with twin 6cyl diesels in if I had a quarter of a million to spare but the only way I'm going to see north of 40 knots in my lifetime is with an outboard

Originally Posted by wavelength View Post
nowt to do with Biffer's point but using petrol o/bs in a work environment can be a nightmare. Petrol is usually unavailable in a commercial dock and rarely in a marina.
That's more to do with the UK's mental health and safety rules though, isn't it?
A Boat is a hole in the water, surrounded by fibreglass, into which you throw money...

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Old 23 May 2011, 22:08   #27
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Country: Canada
Town: Vancouver, BC Canada
Boat name: Black Ops
Make: Zodiac Hurricane 733
Length: 7m +
Engine: OceanPro 150hp x 2
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 246
The op asked for first hand experience. Some posters that love diesels are using generalities it seems regarding outboards. I have a different experience. I've owned 4 large outboards (v6's) 3 gas I/o's and one diesel. I've been stranded twice. Once was a mercruiser B3 leg that burped it's gear oil triggering an alarm. I didn't have any synthetic gear oil onboard and neither did the local marina. The other stranding was a solenoid failure on my diesel (2 screwdrivers and plenty of sparks sent me on my way)

My. Experience is that larger 2 stroke outboards are very reliable ( I have not owned a direct injection 2 stroke, however )

One more thing, winterizing an outboard is much easier than an inboard, and 10 times easier than a fuel injected inboard. Beaching a boat with an inboard is also a pain as you can never get the leg clear of the water.
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Old 24 May 2011, 02:05   #28
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Country: UK - Channel Islands
Town: Alderney
Length: no boat
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,047
Some excellent posts, thanks.

Lots of reports of failures that still allowed the boat to get home.

The inboard debate adds an interesting twist, taken to it's illogical conclusion even new outboards are risky and everybody with an outboard is heading for disaster?

Not quite my experience: We took a ten year old Honda that had been left fallow for three years and gave it a comprehensive service. It went on to do several hundred hours day-in-day-out with a diagnosed* coil fault that did not affect performance enough for us to change it.

* It took a good while to diagnose, but we got there!
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Old 24 May 2011, 02:38   #29
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Country: UK - England
Town: Reading, Hants
Boat name: Juicy
Make: Sealine F43
Length: 10m +
Engine: 2 x 370hp
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,875
my first engine was a suzuki 85 2st, it siezed but was second hand and I didnt bother to winterise it that winter and it ended up with some corrosion that caused the seizure. I had had it 2 years so the assumption is it was ok when I got it. have owned 6 outboards since and none have given any issues or faults.

on the comments regarding inboards, I understand that legs can be problematic but typically shafts are more reliable and need less maintenance
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Old 24 May 2011, 02:42   #30
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Country: UK - England
Town: swanwick/hamble
Boat name: stormchaser
Make: custom rib
Length: 8m +
Engine: inboard/diesel
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 3,848
Originally Posted by GJ0KYZ View Post
Whereas inboards suffer from corrosion, impellor failure, pulley slipage, leaks, and they smell like death warmed up. They also weigh a tonne, cost a fortune and don't really go that fast if the truth be known. ETecs man, the noise alone is worth all the money.
i can see you are an outboard man and i will agree they are heavy and pricey, i've got over 1000hrs on my yamaha and if you cut in half my top speed to be fair about sea miles i have still done over 20,000 miles, pulleys slip when the rust gets on them from little use, impellors much the same as outboards, no leaks or corrosion on my old girl and she don't smell either, i put my wets and pasties on top of my engine, running at 80degrees it dries my gear and cook's my pasties really nice.
the lower cg is good as well for handling and the low down torque is good for towing.
i don't mind outboards i just find the new ones gimmicky
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