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I have owned a second hand 2001 Merc 25HP 2 stroke for 10 years. It is one of 3 other motors from 6 HP to 250HP. This motor has a cult following for a good reason. My 25 HP Merc has been bullet proof. All I have had to do is change out the water pump every 2 years and the lower unit oil once a year. This year I finally cleaned out the carb and picked up 3 MPH on the top end. This motor is easy to work on, so I have been able to do the work myself. I have the 25 HP Merc on a LT25 and I get about 10 MPG.

As far as the 2 vs. 4 stroke debate I plan to run the 2 stroke Merc for a long time. If I was going to get a new motor I would probably go the 4 stroke route to get better range. Four stroke technology has come a long way and is reliable. As far as hole shot goes 4 stroke performance is good enough for me and has not kept me from getter to where I need to go or out of a place when I need to go home. Bottom line between 2 or 4 stroke I don't think you can make a bad decision.

If you do buy a used 25 2 stroke Merc check engine compression, should be around 125 psi for each cylinder. Check the lower unit fluid, should be clean and not milky looking. Its best if you can take it for a run. Running the motor on the water at speed will tell you more about the motor than just running it on a hose in the driveway. For instance a stalling motor when giving it full throttle will tell you if you have a fuel issue like a clogged carb. Look at the prop and skeg for damage, that will give you an indication of how it was abused or used.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
thanks everyone for your input. Leaning towards taking a gamble on a merc 25 because a new or newish 4 stroke over 20 hp is just out of my budget I think. Will bide my time a bit and wait for a nice one
 

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Discussion Starter #24
164340
Here’s the beast it’ll go on eventually. Just got her off the mold and ready to do the inside last weekend. Will post a bragging spot post when she’s done for any that are interested.
 

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You may have seen this already but below-
 

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So I’ve owned a few small 4 strokes now but never a 2 stroke, looking to get a Mercury or Yamaha 25 from the early to mid 2000’s for my currently underway home build. As most of you probably know, they don’t go cheap if they’re in good condition. I’ve heard the Yamahas are bulletproof and the mercs are faster but I havnt heard much about the merc reliability. Anyone who’s been running one of these for a while able to attest to their reliability? Also interested in their performance vs a modern 20 hp EFI like the Suzuki. I’m pretty handy so I can probably fix small things and am capable of cleaning carbs etc, but I don’t want to spend a ton of time working on it when I can buy an almost new 20 hp 4 stroke for maybe 400 bucks more. Also pointers on things to look out for when buying a used 2 stroke would be great. Any input welcome, thanks.
I had a late 90’s 2 stroke Merc 25 and went through two power heads before I finally gave up and went to a Yamaha 4 stroke. I love the shifter in the throttle handle but they just have issues with the top end.
 

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Both the Yamaha and Mercury 25 2 strokes are great motors. The Yamaha is bomb proof if properly maintained, but a true 25hp. The Merc is much less reliable, but a 30hp. The F25 Yamaha is a solid motor that’s close to the Merc 2 stroke in top end, and powers a 16’ Waterman ( Whip and El Dora) hull well. Pretty similar size to your build.
 
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