Guys, I need your advice and thoughts on a new engine purchase, please. I'm looking at buying a new 10hp (currently use a Yam 4hp 4-stroke) for an Avon RibLite 3.1m I've just bought. 10hp is the boat's maximum rating and max transom weighting is 40kgs. I'm interested in the recently launched Mercury 9.9 4-stroke (38kgs) or, if I go the 2-stroke route, the Yamaha 9.9 (36kgs). The Honda, Suzuki and Yam 4-strokes are all well over 40kgs and therefore not in the equation, which is a pity coz I'd have had that sweet-looking Suzi in a flash. The engine will be transported in the back of a car and I will only have to carry it a few yards to mount it on the transom.
I'm aware of the potential problems associated with transporting 4-strokes in cars and can make provision for this with a modicum of hassle. The 2-stroke appeals in that it can be chucked around with abandon but I do find mixing oil and petrol such a dreadful bore. The boat/engine will be used mainly in the winter for duck shooting forays so I don't necessarily need the acceleration qualities of a 2-stroke and the slow running capabilities of a 4-stroke do appeal. My other slight concern about the 2-strokes is the exhaust emissions - it is customary in England to shoot one's duck, not gas them.
Another consideration is the issue of the gear shift being incorporated into the throttle twist grip on the Mercury. A good friend whose opinion I respect highly has warned me off the Merc system and suggests the front mounted gear shift of the Yamaha is superior. I must admit I can see a problem developing if one shifted into neutral too fast and accidentally went into reverse at the wrong moment. Anyway, I'd value other people's views on the gear shift issue.
Also, how critical do people think it is that conventional 2-strokes will become obsolete after 2006? I don't intend ever selling the engine and would probably keep it for 15 years so parts supply might be important further down the line.
A third option I have is the Tohatsu 9.8hp 2-stroke which weighs a sprightly 27kgs. Only problem is I hate the colour and looks of it, although I suspect it's probably the most sensible choice