Do you have opinions on reliability of a Honda 50hp vs. Mercury 50hp 4-stroke EFI?I'm buying my first boat (Lund Classic 16 SS) and I tell the dealer that I want a Honda 50hp, but he swears by a Mercury 50hp 4-stroke because it's EFI.My main concern is reliability. Is a Mercury more likely to leave me stranded at the lake than a Honda? I know EFI means better fuel economy and there are Mercury repair shops everywhere, but that will be of little comfort when stranded 20 miles from the ramp.Also, I know Mercury's 4-stroke are made by Yamaha (or at least a good portion of it), so do you have an opinion of getting a Yamaha instead of Honda or Mercury?Thanks in advance.Sergio
Both are excellent motors. The only trepidations would concern the availability of a servicing dealer for the Honda and future parts availability for the Merc. A lot of parts that go into the Merc powerhead are Yamaha parts. They're itching to sever ties with Merc ASAP, so getting replacement parts may become a problem in the very near future. But regular maintenance parts shouldn't be a problem. Just internal powerhead stuff.
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I prefer EFI in a 4 stroke if I can get it, Sergio. I think they are both fine engines.EFI and computer control are light years ahead of multiple carbs. Quick, easy starting, smooth operation and economy.I believe that the EFI Merc 50 uses a Yamaha-built short block with Merc made EFI, computer and lower end.Can't say anything about reliability except that we get more requests for help on the Honda, but that is still very few. Could be that guys with the EFI Mercs don't try to service their own engines during warranty.Given those choices I would get the Merc, but if I could get one, I would get the Johnson/Suzuki EFI 50 instead.Good luck.
Willy, DJ, JB, Thanks for your responses. JB, a beginners question: the Yamaha-built short block, is that also called the powerhead? I mentioned this issue of powerheads built by Yamaha to the dealer and he says the 50hp's powerhead is made by Mercury. The Yamaha-built powerheads are for the 75hp, 90hp, 115hp. This matches the news stories about Mercury and Yamaha legal battles: http://www.bassresource.com/bass_fis...umping_21.html I'd be hesitant to get a Mercury 4-stroke in the 75 - 115 hp range because of the uncertain future.Sergio
I looked at a Suzuki EFI 40hp and was suprised to see that the 40 and 50 were the only larger Suzuki motors without a fresh water flush attachment. This was a crucial factor as I keep my boat in a salt water Marina. I bought a Yam 40 with a hose connector and find it very convenient.
Andy, Thanks for the info. Yes, I saw that hose attachment in a list of accessories for the Honda in their web page. I've decided to go with the Honda, just trusting a gut feeling. If I'm diligent with its maintenance I'm sure it'll give me many years of good service. Another interesting bit of news I found about Mercury is that they just opened or are about to open a plant in China that will produce engines in the 40hp to 60 hp range. I found this from Brunswick's annual report. The report doesn't specify, however, if the plant will produce both 2-stroke and 4-stroke or only one of them. My guess is that it'll produce both.Sergio
redear,The honda is an excellent engine. In JB's first comment, he mentioned that there've been more repair requests on the honda than the merc. True, but the Honda 50 has been out many, many years...the Merc EFI just a few. Scan the Honda posts and you'll find there are very few fuel related problems, most of which are partially due to poor maintenance or an "incident". Honda makes extremely good carbs but they have very small ports which can get clogged if the motor is neglected. True, they're not using EFI, but then again they haven't "Needed" to in order to sell their product.Carb or not, they always fire up and run smooth.I have the 40hp version, a 2000, and when my son was born in 2003, the boat got laid up for over a year while I was assisting mom with our son. 13 months later, I finally made it outside, hooked up a new battery, connected the fuel tank, hit the switch and it jumped to life and sat there purring.This is why I bought the honda. This is what I've come to expect of an outboard. My other engines (Mercury, Force, Johnnyrude, and Gamefisher) would never make my life this easy.Both of the engines you were looking are nice pieces of machinery. I think you made an excellent choice!Nav