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Ole' 2-stroke vs. 4-stroke quesion
LSF Member
Joined:
07/18/2013
Posts: 572
Hey guys, and gals,

I am in the market for a new (used) boat. Lots of them out there for sale as usual this time of year. I have a general idea of what I am looking for and the price range. But, I happened upon a boat that almost perfectly meets my wants/needs, except that it has a Merc OptiMax 2-stroke motor on it. It is really low hours, around 100. Its in the 2007 era, so 10 year old. I was sold on 4-stroke, that is what I have now and love it over my past 2-stroke motors.

So, the age old question - should I hold out for a 4-stroke or is a 2-stroke worthy? I know all the details on maintenance, usage, and such, and even longevity. But with low hours, good condition, I am wondering if I should just buy it as everything else is perfect? Have to deal with oil again, the smell, louder noise, etc...

Any thoughts?

Posted on: 4/10 11:58:44
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Re: Ole' 2-stroke vs. 4-stroke quesion
LSF Member
Joined:
12/04/2008
From Detroit Lakes
Posts: 1606
I did this. I bought a boat that checked all the boxes, except it had a yamaha 2-stroke on it. I reasoned that I could deal with it, even though I wanted the 4, because it was a good deal. 3 years later I repowered the boat to a 4 stroke motor. After having a 4, the 2 just didn't do it for me, and I lamented the boat all the time because I just didn't like the motor. Repowering is not easy, and comes with a bunch of balance issues because of the weight difference. I would not recommend having my same reasoning and repeating what I did. Buy a boat with a 4 stroke on it if you want a 4 stroke.

Posted on: 4/10 12:25:29
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Re: Ole' 2-stroke vs. 4-stroke quesion
Staff Team
Joined:
12/15/2005
From Mayer , MN
Posts: 4664
An Optimax is a pretty good two stroke motor. Hard to find the perfect used boat. I guess I would have to rationalize how important having a four stroke is. Do you make long runs, trolling with the main engine, etc.

Posted on: 4/11 10:15:24
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Re: Ole' 2-stroke vs. 4-stroke quesion
LSF Member
Joined:
08/04/2010
From SW Metro
Posts: 220
Another option is to add a 4 stroke kicker.

Posted on: 4/11 11:23:34
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Re: Ole' 2-stroke vs. 4-stroke quesion
Staff Team
Joined:
07/01/2011
From Annandale
Posts: 3509
I troll religiously with my main motor and would not go with anything but a 4 stroke due to how quiet they are. It's really up to your style of fishing as Ret-ro mentioned. If you can stomach the noise, I'm sure it would fit your needs just fine.

Posted on: 4/11 13:35:14
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Re: Ole' 2-stroke vs. 4-stroke quesion
LSF Member
Joined:
01/26/2009
From Hiding from the Wife!
Posts: 1329
Keep in mind how many Opti's for sale have "new powerheads". It's not from the amount of hours on them, they just had some flaws with precision point oiling. Same issues with the mid 00's Etecs. Personally I have run all four strokes for the last 6 years on my different boats and would never go back.

Posted on: 4/11 14:13:58
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Re: Ole' 2-stroke vs. 4-stroke quesion
LSF Member
Joined:
07/18/2013
Posts: 572
Thanks Guys,

Great info. I do troll a fair bit, so that was a concern, but I mostly rely on the trolling motor when fishing. I read about the Opti's and powerhead issues, but those were mostly on the larger HP motors, and before 2006, this is a 2007. A boat mechanic friend of mine said reliability on this motor, 2007 Opti 150hp, is no issue at all, consider it bullet proof, and it has low hours. Fuel economy isn't a major concern, noise would be.

Ret-ro, you kind of hit my dilemma. The boat is that exact boat I have been looking for, basically has every option I would want, electronics and trolling motor. Only issue, 2-stroke motor!?!?! I had convince myself to not buy anything but a 4-stroke, but all other options considered, I have not been able to find a good used boat yet that fits.

Patience is a virtue I guess!!!

Posted on: 4/12 6:47:20
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Re: Ole' 2-stroke vs. 4-stroke quesion
LSF Member
Joined:
02/28/2005
Posts: 3075
My Captain in Zihuatanejo Mexico has run Yamaha 4 strokes religiously for the last eight years or so.

This past spring (a year ago) he needed a motor FAST (it's their bread and butter ya know) and in Zihuatanejo there wasn't a Yammy to be found, so he bought a Suzuki 90HP to power his 26' Panga (you can Google if you don't have experience with Mexican sea going boats).

Now after one short year, all three of his Pangas are sporting new Suzuki's.

Why? He found that he was getting on average a 60% fuel savings per trip, and many days 70%.

I thought he was B.S.ing me until I looked myself at what was left after a full days Rooster-fishing where we are running full out for an hour and a half before we throw the first cast.

So if you are doing a lot of running, you may wish to look into them.

Posted on: 4/12 9:18:54
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Re: Ole' 2-stroke vs. 4-stroke quesion
LSF Member
Joined:
07/18/2013
Posts: 572
If I were buying new, I no doubt would go with Suzuki or Yamaha 4-stroke power. But, buying used, I don't get to choose, the boat is powered the way it is powered. And I am not looking into re-powering a boat I just bought.

I could wait for the boat of my dreams that is powered with a 4-stroke, but that may never show up for sale.

Talking to mechanics, motorheads and a lot of fishing friends....for a recreational, low hours per year usage, there really is no technical reason not to buy a 2-stroke. There are some advantages, really. But also disadvantages. I guess I just have to weight the pro's and con's and make a decision.

Posted on: 4/12 13:22:42
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Re: Ole' 2-stroke vs. 4-stroke quesion
LSF Member
Joined:
10/10/2011
Posts: 275
Once you go 4 stroke you never go back (or something like that). Been running the Suzuki last 12 years and no problems at all and love the 115 I have now.

Posted on: 4/12 13:28:36
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