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Old 12 January 2004, 18:23   #1
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Ribnet outboard analysis

As the owner of a Honda outboard, it has always occured to me how few seem to feature on the transoms of Ribnet members' boats. It was with this in mind, therefore, that I set about conducting a random and, admittedly very unscientific, analysis of which outboards are the preferred choice for RIB users. The results may be entirely predictable to the techie types amongst you but for the benefit of some of us less experienced ribsters I would be interested in hearing people's views or conclusions on them.

I specifically selected frequent posters on the forum on the basis that these tend to be the more experienced, and therefore knowledgeable ribsters, whose choice of outboard is more likely to have been an informed one. I have not included diesel or inboard engines. Of the 59 engines selected, 18 were Yamaha, 17 Mariner, 9 Suzuki, 9 Mercury, 3 Honda, 1 Evinrude, 1 Johnson and 1 Tohatsu.

1. Why so few Hondas? Premium pricing or are they perceived as 'old technology? I always thought they had a reputation for longevity and certainly they seem more popular with commercial operators than leisure users.

2. Is the high incidence of Yamahas predictable?

3. Excellent showing for Mariner. Conversely to Honda, is this a reflection of more competitive pricing? Interestingly, Mariner featured strongly in the high horsepower categories, particularly with the Optimaxes. So why half the number of Mercury units?

4. I imagine the relatively low number of Suzukis would be a reflection of their traditionally low marketing profile in the UK, since their latest 4-strokes seem to receive unbridled praise from users. Of all the brands Suzuki seems to be getting noticeably more aggressive in recent times.

5. Are certain brands favoured in particular horsepower categories? Most of the engines in the poll were between 90 and 175hp.

Anyway, probably not many conclusions to be drawn, but I'd be interested to know what influences people's choice of outboard. I'm sure there's more to it than price.
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Old 12 January 2004, 19:15   #2
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Hi Phil,

I presenyly own a Honda, an Opti and a Yamaha and I have used all of them a lot. I also have about 4 hours experience of a mate's big Yamaha.

1 Honda's are heavy and have a depressing power to weight reputation, They seem to be reliable and do start OK and I never found the servicing prices to be that extortionate. (given that all Outboard parts are gruseomely expensive)

I believe however they measure the power output at a diferent point i.e the crank as opposed to the prop which makes a Honda 130 equivalent to a merc 110 or so.

They are also quite pricey but do come with a five year warranty, which according to the Honda dealer is bulettproof. Also Honda at one time were the preferred engine partner to Avon and Scorpion ?

2 Yamaha I have a three pot yamaha and of all my outboards I think the Yamaha which appears to be the best made. They are always at the edge of technology abd performance and sre really great engines 2 or 4 stroke. they ar estill percieved as the status symbol outboard I think.

3 mariner/mercury i think the optimax's are the best engines around and the only outboards iI would buy in the forseeable future, unless a real deal iss available from a competitor.

Merc and Mariners weree marketed seperately until a few years ago, i think the Mercs were marketed by Barrus and the Mariners by Sowester? I always thaought that the Mariner colour scheme was very similar to the Yamaha's, and I think that people subconciously thought this also and bought more of them than Mercuries.

4 Dunno but I suspect you are right

5 In my opinion small Yamahas up to 90 2 strokes are excellent engines and any other engine in the range is really good

Over 115 then it has to be an Opti for me or a Yamaha if I had to. I have been thinking about the Tohatsu's lately since I heard they were the marine arm of Nissan
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Old 13 January 2004, 02:53   #3
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Hi Phil

As your aware i inherited my engine with the boat when i bought it, and of course all the problems that went with it. When i was debating the "shall i rebuild or by new" thing back last year i looked into buying new engines and it seems everyone rated the Mercury, Suzuki's and Yams and the Mercs even had an endorsment from my mechanic who says its easy to get parts, they are cheap and he never seems to see major problems with mercs.

Now for various reasons i chose to rebuild rather than buy a new motor but i think if i was buying new now i'd be looking at what i know works rather than being tempted by newer technology as yet untested by the market.
Our county scout boat has twin 50 4 stroke Hondas on it and they swear blind by them, and if a friend of mine comes along on the SE Southend run in two weeks you can talk to him about Yams as he has an 80 4 stroke on a 5.5 searider and is having problems with it at the moment.

Richard
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Old 13 January 2004, 09:56   #4
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Thanks for your comments, chaps - very interesting, although this thread seems to have gone down like a bucket of cold sick with the rest of the forum
Perhaps Ian was right after all when he pm'd me after reading the post and told me I really needed to get a life, get out more and start meeting some new people rather than making sad little analyses of what engines people use
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Old 13 January 2004, 10:03   #5
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Honda

I have currently got a Honda 150hp on order for my new RIB. Prices wise the Yamaha was more expensive. That surprised me.
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Old 13 January 2004, 10:45   #6
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David, I think Honda must clearly know where the real competition for their products lie and that's got to be with Yamaha. They have to be competitively priced to make a dent in Yamaha's market share. I must admit the Honda 150 is a lot more attractive than the 130.

I guess I need a life too ass I thought this was quite a good thread.
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Old 13 January 2004, 10:54   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Phil Davies
Thanks for your comments, chaps - very interesting, although this thread seems to have gone down like a bucket of cold sick with the rest of the forum
Be fair, Phil, the thread is only 15 hours old.
I haven't even got an outboard, but I am finding the thread interesting!
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Old 13 January 2004, 11:44   #8
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Yes, thanks Brian - I must admit I find the whole engine thing extremely interesting, but when I tell you my job involves analysing the markets for heavy earthmoving machinery in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, you'll understand my paranoia at the mere whisper of the word 'anorak'
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Old 13 January 2004, 13:02   #9
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My 10p's worth:

Yamaha being top-of-the-list does not supprise my at-all. They have a great reputation and deserve it.

IMHO Mariners have an image of being slightly cheaper than Merc's, hence more of them although to my knowledge they are identical except paint colour.

The honda only has one thing going for it (strictly IMHO), it's warrenty, and for some this is important, hence people buy 'em but i can't think of another reason.

I was speaking to the guys from the Honda/Cougar racing people yesterday at the boatshow and was very suprised to hear they offer not only the 5yr leisure warrenty but a 2year race warrenty with their 150/225 in this class. Now that is confidence for you. Furthermore the guy said they will trade it in after 2 years and for 3k you get a new engine with another 2 years race warrenty in it! This brings to cost of getting into racing into reality for me and i'm really quite excited about it!
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Old 13 January 2004, 16:12   #10
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Hi Phil
sorry that you feel ignored but ive only just logged on and read your post but if it helps,
I had amercury 2 stroke which gave no trouble so when i bought a new boat that came with a 4stroke merc i didnt mind, the price was compareable with the others.
i think that unless you have definate requirments yourll be swayed by the dealer to have what ever make he gets the best deal on or is tied up with (ribeye was or still is tied with yamaha)

last year at the boat show one dealer was packaging his zodiacs with hondas this year its suzuki

2nd hand boat and theres no choice.

However i was suprised to see mercs so low on the list.
and besides if you don't supply this sort of information no one else will.

Alistair
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