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The Convenience of Four Stroke Outboard Motors - Just Fill Them Up With Regular Gas

Jun 30, 2008
It was not long ago when all outboard motors - whether for fishing or waterskiing on your favor lake issued that well known trademark of blue smoke.

On top of that there would always be mixing the 2 cycle oil into the gasoline tank with all the frequent cross examination by your father whether the oil / gas mixture in the outboard motor was correct either for that brand motor or was the mix for another motor in your outboard motor collection. Why, you most likely wondered why it all couldn't be simple and easy - just like filling up the family car with gas at the gas station 1, 2, 3 on the way up to the lake, cottage chalet or fishing or waterskiing event.

Fortunately things have changed with the times. Convenience is everything.

Four stroke outboard motors rather than the older 2 stroke type seem to be the norm. Well at least with new and newer model motors. Of course with the limited use many motors receive over the summer and spring / fall weekend boating seasons there are still many of the older belching motors still around for sale - at considerably reduced prices.
Convenience has its price.

In a nutshell it can be said that four stroke outboard motors are everything a two stroke is not. They tend to run quiet and smooth, produce less pollution, burn less gas - which is a major consideration with four dollar a gallon gasoline prices. In addition it can be generally said that four cycle outboard motors, have in comparison to the older style 2 cycle motors- increased longevity. Most importantly for boating safety on the water it also can be said, that with proper maintenance and care, four cycle motors tend to be much more reliable as well - compared to two cycle outboard motors. But best of all its no muss, no fuss, no forgetting of the two cycle oil to ruin your day at the dock.

Four cycle motors take simple, standard, run of the mill gasoline. They fill up with the same readily available fuel as your family car.

Still there are pros and cons to both sides of the coin. There are people and situations where a good old two cycle outboard motor is preferred and yet other areas where the newer four cycle outboards rule the day. In terms of fuel economy and maintenance costs the four strokes are preferred. Organizations and businesses that have a fleet of boars usually prefer four strokes - less cost for gas and maintenance, more reliability and not only simpler maintenance but also less chance of guests as well as workers making mistakes with the oil / gas mixture or in extreme cases even forgetting to mix the oil with the gas. These fleets genially turn over and replace their stock of motors on a regular basis - just like a fleet of leased cars or trucks, replacing these motors with new ones on a 2 year cycle basis. Hence there is usually a good supply of relatively new, reliable four stroke motors around for most cottagers, water skiers or fisherman.

On the other hand a two cycle motor is lighter to carry - there is no cranks case full of oil to add weight. A two cycle motor, empty of gasoline can be carried in any position where a four cycle - with the oil in its crankcase can not. In cases where light weight is a consideration - for example fishing lodges where everything is flown in or even walked in prefer the light weight and greater flexibility of transportation and storage of two cycle engines. Fishermen who physically carry the motor to a remote lake or setting are also in this boat so to say. However on the other hand for slow speed trolling a four cycle engine will completely out compete the two cycles. Ditto that for bass fishermen who need ultra quick acceleration at times. For bass fisherman the much greater speed and acceleration of the four cycles make it the wise choice over the two cycle outboard engine.

In the end it can be said that boaters and fisherman now have a more convenient option in their outboard motor choices. It used to be that there was only one choice - the two cycle engine with its characteristic blue smoke. Oil had to mix into the gas. Now with the availability and popularity of four stroke outboard motors, the boating public - whether they are fisherman, water skiers or simply those who need a boat for transportation or recreation have a choice. On top of that the four stroke engine is a lot more convenient. Just fill it up with regular gas.
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