Hi John ,
Quick correction first !
It will be obvious from the context of my last message that what I should have said is that Petrol is substantially " Cheaper " over here in Ireland ! I mistakenly typed "dearer" ( years of looking at you guys across the water drinking cheaper juice during the 70s and 80s ! )
On the subject of 4 stroke reliability - I only have my engine for about 4 or 5 months so it is probably too early to say .
However, In many years of experience I have generally found that most unreliability stories about Outboards of one make or another , Sterndrives , etc. originate because of poor or non existant routine servicing by the owner . I have owned or used 20 or 30 new engines of various makes and age in the last 10 years and have never had a problem with any of them . Why ? I like to think that it is regular maintenance and good driving habits .
On the whole diesel is going to be better on mpg especially on UK prices , however you must also consider the greater initial capital cost of the engine and the other factors we mentioned . There is also of course a price premium on 4 strokes .
For info , my own boat Ally Cat which you can see on our website www.powerboat.org
cost about £stg 25k .This included LCD Radar , Gps colour plotter - sounder 4 seats , long range tanks a 2 wheel Rollercoaster with winc / brakes and a few other goodies . I have two sister ships of her fitted with dive racks instead of the extra seats with the Army Boat Squad . We reckon on carrying a Cox plus 4 divers on these 6.5 m boats equipped with Yamaha 115's
Feel free to contact me off list if you like .
Best wishes ,