Please advise on first outboard purchase

Have a question about your motor? All motor talk and questions go here.
CPM
Posts: 8
Joined: 05 Jun 2020, 15:32
1

Please advise on first outboard purchase

Post by CPM »

My young son and I restored an old 16ft Loweline Jon boat and want to add a small outboard. Up until now we had electric-motor-only lakes available to us, so we just used a trolling motor. Now we have the lower Chesapeake Bay to play in and we’ll need more power to get around in the open water.
I don’t really have any idea where to start. I did find the Maximum Outboard Horsepower Capacity Guide sticky and it looks like my max is 15 H.P. I’m not necessarily interested in max though if it’s not needed. But I do want to be able to get out of the way when I need to. We’re just pikers that goof around some when we have the time. So I’m not looking for “the best”. Entry level is the name of our game.
Key considerations:
Cost
Market availability
Weight (I’ll be lifting it off after every use)
Ease of maintenance and DIY repair
Parts availability
Tiller steering
Electric vs pull start
2 stroke vs 4 stroke
MINimum recommended HP

MrGiggles
Posts: 609
Joined: 12 Jul 2017, 21:42
4
Location: Springfield, MO

Please advise on first outboard purchase

Post by MrGiggles »

I think 15 would be optimal. I'm surprised a 16ft boat doesn't have a 25 or 35hp maximum. I for sure wouldn't go smaller than a 9.9.

2 stroke will save you quite a bit of weight, as will manual start.

As for brand, OMC (Evinrude and Johnson) have the best parts availability. I wouldn't pass up a deal on a nice Merc, Yamaha, Suzuki, or Nissan though, just be wary that finding parts may not be as easy as strolling down to the local dealer.

CPM
Posts: 8
Joined: 05 Jun 2020, 15:32
1

Please advise on first outboard purchase

Post by CPM »

MrGiggles wrote: 04 Aug 2021, 20:51 I'm surprised a 16ft boat doesn't have a 25 or 35hp maximum. I for sure wouldn't go smaller than a 9.9.
I kinda figured a 2 stroke manual start would be my choice. Thanks for confirming for me.

As far as HP goes, I was only going by the thread that helped calculate max HP for insurance purposes.
I too think a 15 HP would be a good entry level size for us to have fun with.
Like I said, I'm not looking to haul ass, just be able to get where I need to go safely.
Do you think more than 15 HP would be overkill for some fair-weather newbs that aren't very serious about fishing?

CedarRiverScooter
Posts: 1505
Joined: 13 Nov 2014, 08:01
6

Please advise on first outboard purchase

Post by CedarRiverScooter »

IMO a 15 hp outboard isn't going to push a 16 foot Jon satisfactorily.

20 Hp, even 25 would be a better plan.

Weldorthemagnificent
Posts: 1116
Joined: 12 Mar 2017, 12:09
4

Re: Please advise on first outboard purchase

Post by Weldorthemagnificent »

Agree that 15 seems like a small max hp for a 16' boat. That being said a 15 should get it on plane if you don't add too much weight to the boat. May need a hydrofoil if you're a big fella to get lift at the transom. Definitely recommend a Johnnyrude 15 or a Yamaha/Mariner.

Sent from my CLT-L04 using Tapatalk


User avatar
wmk0002
Posts: 884
Joined: 17 Apr 2014, 15:39
7
Location: North Alabama

Please advise on first outboard purchase

Post by wmk0002 »

A basic pull start 25 hp 2 stroke is about the perfect motor for general use. You can put it on pretty small hulls safely and then you can slap it on a bigger welded 16 footer and still move around ok. They stay in high demand and hold value well too. Weight should be around that 100 lb mark which is good although taking it on and off every time would get old even at that weight.

I think a 15hp would work too as long as you stay light and prop it accordingly. It would be much easier to take on and off too as it should be in that 70 lb range.
2016 Alumacraft 1648 NCS - 2020 Yamaha 25 HP Tiller - 1992 Johnson 9.9 HP Tiller
https://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopi ... 21&t=40764

CPM
Posts: 8
Joined: 05 Jun 2020, 15:32
1

Please advise on first outboard purchase

Post by CPM »

Thank you guys for being so helpful.
I do see what yall mean about power to spare. A 15 HP might be fine most all of the time but 25HP would give me some margin.
I'm 220# and sometimes there are 3 of us plus gear.

So here are a couple of questions I'm a little embarrassed to ask but I'll go for it anyway.
Are new 2 stroke outboards still being made? If not, about when did the switch-over happen?

Are all fuel tanks external? Do I have the option of finding a motor with its own internal tank?

User avatar
wmk0002
Posts: 884
Joined: 17 Apr 2014, 15:39
7
Location: North Alabama

Please advise on first outboard purchase

Post by wmk0002 »

The size outboard you will be looking for won't have an integrated fuel tank. Your best bet would be a 3 or 6 gallon portable fuel tank although you could get a custom tank integrated into your boat or the boat may have one (though unlikely). Thanks to the EPA modern plastic portable tanks aren't too great (think how much regular gas jugs suck now) but for your situation they are great since you can disconnect them from the motor easily and then you can move the outboard and the fuel tank independently of each other.

I'll have to let others chime in on the timelines for when the 2 strokes started becoming unavailable. I know some are still made but they are usually international versions only offered overseas in areas with less environmental regulations.
2016 Alumacraft 1648 NCS - 2020 Yamaha 25 HP Tiller - 1992 Johnson 9.9 HP Tiller
https://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopi ... 21&t=40764

MrGiggles
Posts: 609
Joined: 12 Jul 2017, 21:42
4
Location: Springfield, MO

Please advise on first outboard purchase

Post by MrGiggles »

CPM wrote: 05 Aug 2021, 10:49 Thank you guys for being so helpful.
I do see what yall mean about power to spare. A 15 HP might be fine most all of the time but 25HP would give me some margin.
I'm 220# and sometimes there are 3 of us plus gear.

So here are a couple of questions I'm a little embarrassed to ask but I'll go for it anyway.
Are new 2 stroke outboards still being made? If not, about when did the switch-over happen?

Are all fuel tanks external? Do I have the option of finding a motor with its own internal tank?
2 strokes were gradually phased out starting in the mid-late 90s. The exception was Evinrude's Etec, which was canned this year. In theory you could still probably find a new one, but they're heavier and far more complicated than their predecessors.

GYPSY400
Posts: 433
Joined: 27 Apr 2012, 21:01
9

Re: Please advise on first outboard purchase

Post by GYPSY400 »

What is your budget? Let's start there.

Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk


Weldorthemagnificent
Posts: 1116
Joined: 12 Mar 2017, 12:09
4

Re: Please advise on first outboard purchase

Post by Weldorthemagnificent »

Don't be afraid to run an older motor. Just either buy one that has been gone over by a marina or go over one yourself. The early 80's to mid 90's Johnson/Evinrude 9.9-15 and 20-35 families are both very good motors. I run a 1983 35 on my 16' vee hull. Also run a 1964 18hp on a deep and wide 12' harbercraft. My boys just took it on a 3 day interior camping/fishing trip on the French River here in Ontario. Ignition, carb, water pump and gearcase seals are all things to look at for keeping a motor reliable. For weight the 9.9/15 weighs about 72lbs. The old 60's - late 70's 18-20 weigh in about 77 on my bathroom scale. I had a 75 20hp electric that weighed 98. Once the thru hub exhaust came in the 521cc engine they got a bit heavier (but an excellent motor) My 35 weighs 112 for a short shaft pull start. More than I wanna slug every time. Four strokes start at 90lbs for a 9.9 and go up from there.

Sent from my CLT-L04 using Tapatalk


User avatar
Kismet
Posts: 1224
Joined: 21 Apr 2012, 17:11
9
Location: rural SW Wisconsin

Please advise on first outboard purchase

Post by Kismet »

I LOVE the older Johnnyrudes!

If you look at the threads listed at the bottom of this post, you'll see a 1956 12' Alumacraft with a 1956 Johnson running happily along worry-free. The motor on the 1959 Alumacraft is a 1959 Johnson which is just a trouper and fault-free if I do my part.

The key is to find a marine engine mechanic who has some experience. Some of those guys can look at a picture of an outboard and tell what is wrong!

Have fun.
Be safe.
Kis
Enjoy every sandwich

1955 Alumacraft Model A
https://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopi ... 08&start=0
1959 Alumacraft Model F
https://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopi ... =3&t=25386
1980 Alumacraft Model F7, 1955-56? Johnson 10hp
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=35326
1956 Alumacraft Model RB
https://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopi ... =3&t=39249