2-Stroke Outboards vs. 4-Stroke Outboards
2-Stroke Outboard Motors
- 2-Stroke engines are considerably lighter and as a result have a higher thrust to weight ratio, which makes them much faster with better acceleration.
- They are more reasonable priced and they have a much higher resale value than 4-Stroke outboards.
- Repair parts are more readily available for 2-Stroke engines as they have been around for almost 100 years.
- The design on these engines is rather simple and much less complex than that of a 4 stroke engine. This allows a novice to be able to do home repairs and also makes them much more reliable.
- The older 2-stroke outboard motors are not as environmentally friendly as the 4-stroke, or the newer 2-stroke outboards, producing significantly more pollution
- The older, non oil injection models require a gas/oil mix, which can be a hassle.
- These outboards are much, idle more roughly, and can be difficult to start if not used regularly.
- There can also be some problems with spark plugs fouling, so regular maintenance is required.
- Repair shops do not normally work on ‘vintage’ outboards even though they are pretty simple.
Boaters who would be most likely to choose a 2-Stroke outboard engine if they are powering a small boat and want speed, performance, and acceleration. A smaller boat may not be able to hold the weight of a 4-Stroke engine of the horsepower you desire. A 2-Stroke engine is also suitable if you are more familiar with engine repairs, or even want a motor that is easy to repair and can be brought anywhere to be fixed. Sometimes there are restrictions on the type of outboard you can use on a body of water, so if you are not restricted, you may want to purchase a 2-Stroke. If you would like the most power for weight of the engine, or interested in more speed, acceleration, and performance; a 2-Stroke engine is for you.
4-Stroke Outboard Motors
- 4-Stroke engines are much quieter and idle smoother.
- By their very design they produce much less pollution and have better fuel economy
- They are accepted on all bodies of water, and are reliable.
- 4-stroke outboards are more complex, so when a problem does arise, it is more difficult to diagnose and repair.
- In many cases, repairs can be more expensive due to a lack of qualified mechanics and difficult to find parts.
- 4-Stroke engines are much less powerful 2-Stroke engines.
- They can be much too heavy, resulting in a lack of power and disappointment in performance.
If you are looking for a slow quite ‘trolling’ type of ride in a small boat, a 4-stroke outboard motor is the one you will want. Overall, these outboards are better for use on bigger boats on more open water and generally used on larger boats. They are more environmentally friendly and are even required on some waters. Whatever you decide to go with, be sure to get one that is the proper horsepower for your boat. See Choosing the Right Outboard Motor for your Boat for horsepower recommendations.
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