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Old 29 August 2009, 11:43   #1
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To Buy or Not Buy - 20HP Mercury 1979

1st post! , So hi everybody ;>) ... Been reading for a while, a member for a short while.. but little to post as I've yet to afford my own boat!

I have been looking for an inflatable + outboard package since start of the year! Missed the good buys and due to budget will have to wait and hope for a summer user selling kit this winter.

Ideal buy would be a 3.1 - 4m inflatable (airdeck) + 15HP. Good buys sometimes crop up around 1200 - 1500. (and typical my budget is 1000 max for outboard+boat!).

However finding there are a few boats out there minus outboard which people struggle to sell.

SO... started looking for outboards and by chance have been offered one locally - Never used 20HP Mercury. - Started in a tank 2 yrs after purchase to service but never got put in the water due to circumstances.

HOWEVER! .. This was in 1981! The outboard was purchased in 1979. It has been sat still since the service.

We havn't started talking money yet, but the seller is well aware they are selling an unused outboard. However its 30yrs old!! What sort of money is it worth?

I would of course want to see the outboard run and see it was pumping water, but obviously being put off by the age of the outboard and the fact that it has been standing. Also concerned if spare parts would be available, and if a 20HP from 1979 has the same power compared to more recent outboards?

Any comments please? Thanks.
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Old 29 August 2009, 11:51   #2
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I doubt he can prove it has never been used - which means the market value of what he is selling is a very good condition second hand outboard not a new one. I would have though that a 30 yr old outboard even in immaculate condition can only actually be worth a 300-500 ish? I'm not sure what might have perished on it in storage but as a bear minimum I would want to replace the impeller and be sure that the bolts holding the leg on weren't seized.
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Old 29 August 2009, 12:56   #3
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If spare parts are not available for such an old engine, no matter how brand new it is don't buy it, unless cheapo price is a real bargain and a must buy economic issue. That model is probably made by Yamaha for Mercury, the newer ones by Tohatsu and no spare parts compatible, according to Tohatsu web page, there is not a 20 HP 2 stroke actual version, just 25/30 newer versions.

Happy Sibbing
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Old 29 August 2009, 13:39   #4
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thanks for the prompt reply. really useful.
Pretty much confirms my concerns, plus I doubt I would be able to get it for less than 400.

I think I will wait for that 1000 bracket combination of a newer outboard + inflatable. Cheers.
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Old 29 August 2009, 14:54   #5
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Newer Merc/Mariner 20 strokes were made by Merc them selves not Tohatsu - they only ever made the 50hp model which the RNLI wanted.

I would steer clear of this particular engine. Come the Autumn/winter there should be some good bargains about (theres quite a few at the moment). Hold out for something newer.
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