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Discussion Starter #1
I've been contemplating getting a small outboard (4 stroke) to use on a light weight 12 ft aluminum boat and also as a "back up" for my 17 ft Sea Nymph should the 60 merc leave me stranded.

Leaning towards a new 6 hp as they are the lightest weight verses hp motor.
At the moment I can get a merc 20" shaft for about $1,800.00.

Suggestions for the most reliable new 6 hp motor that will mostly be just a back-up?

Readily start if only used half a dozen times per year.
 

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Don't have any experience with the Merc, I think it is made by Tohatsu. I have a 6 HP four stroke Suzuki that I had on a 12 foot boat for 2.5 years. I had a rusted valve on the motor that was caused by a defective part and it was fixed under warranty. Since the fix I have run it for over a year and it has worked perfectly. The reason I bought the Susuki over others is because at the time it was the lightest in the category, and its ability to tilt up easily for shallow water drive. You can store this motor on three different sides where some motors you are limited to 2 sides so oil does not go where it is not supposed to. This motor is my travel motor during nationwide trips so it spends a lot of time in the back of my Jeep. When the motor is stored by locking down the vent cap and turning the fuel valve off I get very few fumes if any in the Jeep. I do put the fuel hose in an air tight plastic ammo box because I have found that to be a source of bad fumes. I've operated the motor from the Keys to Lake Michigan, in water temps from 88 to 50 F and elevations from sea level to 2,000 feet without having to change out the standard jets that come on the motor. I bought my motor from a dealer in California and it was less than Florida prices and no taxes, this is who I got my motor from. Suzuki Outboard Team Good luck in finding the right motor for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Suzuki 6 HP
54 pounds, 20" shaft and a few hundred less than the merc...
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Since the eighties the only outboards (new) I've bought were Evinrudes.
Never had an issue with them other than always taking three pulls to start.

Seems that Suzuki has a following on this site too.
 

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Suzuki 6 HP
54 pounds, 20" shaft and a few hundred less than the merc...
---
Since the eighties the only outboards (new) I've bought were Evinrudes.
Never had an issue with them other than always taking three pulls to start.

Seems that Suzuki has a following on this site too.
There are lots of good engines out there. I am not really brand loyal but I go by the reputation of a particular motor. I like doing all types of fishing and currently own motors from Suzuki, Yamaha, Mercury and Evinrude. I bought one of the first Evinrude 9.9 2 strokes when they first came out in 1974. When the 9.9 was first launched it took them over a year to figure out the type of spark plug they should use in them and it ran rough. Evinrude got this figured out and provided the new plugs to me and it has run fine ever since by just changing water pumps, plugs, starter rope and one set of coils, over 46 years is not bad. Even though the Suzuki had a problem over the warranty period I am still okay with it because things can happen and I have given it a lot of use. Of all the brands if I was to have a loyalty to it would be Yamaha. I own or have owned their motors from 9.9 to 250 HP and they have served me well with few problems. The only problem I have with Yamaha is that they tend to be pricey compared to the competition without reason. So specifically when I looked at the 6 HP Suzuki compared to the Yamaha I thought the Suzuki had a better design plus a lower price. The thing I will be watching is its reliability and also how it holds up to corrosion. From some mechanics I have talked to Suzuki's will rust from the inside out. So far from what I have seen on my motor after 2.5 years corrosion is not a problem.
 
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