I am considering replacing my year-2000 90 HP Evinrude FICHT engine with a new 90 HP engine, which is the perfect size for my 17 1/2 foot aluminum boat. Friends favor Yamaha and Mercury models. My primary use is slow-speed trolling on Lake Michigan. I'm uncertain whether a 2-cycle or 4-cycle would make a difference for that application. I am wondering whether Great Lakes Angler readers would have a favorite make and model.
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09-16-2011 01:20 PM #1Post Level: Smelt
- Join Date
- Sep 2011
- Sheboygan, WI
Best Outboard Motor for Slow-Speed Trolling: Yamaha, Mercury, Honda, Evinrude??
09-16-2011 01:40 PM #2
Personally, I have a pair of 90 hp Honda on my 21' boat and could not be happier from a trolling standpoint. They are 1998 and 1999 models and have run flawlessly for 12 years now with regular maintenance such as oil changes and winterizing/fogging. They troll right down and are very economical. My only complaint is that at top end the Honda 90's are not as good as other brands so I don't get as high of a top end speed as I see from other outboards. Not a big deal though as a catamaran hull is not really made for speed in the first place.
The newer DFI technology 2 strokes (eTec from Evinrude) sound very good from the reports I have seen though. The Mercury Verado 4 stroke has also got great reviews. Honda has gone to fuel injection in recent years (mine are carb based) and most brands have the electronic throttle controls that allow for very fine adjustment of RPMs which sounds great for trolling. I really don't think that any of the brands are bad -- Honda, Mercury, Evinrude/Johnson, Yamaha, Suzuki... Not sure if it is still being offered, but Suzuki had a great warranty buy in the last year (3 year standard with 3 year extended thrown in).
09-16-2011 04:44 PM #3Post Level: Big Tuna
- Join Date
- Sep 2003
- Buffalo, Minnesota
I had a '98 Merc 2-cycle (3 cylinder model) that did perform quite adequately--however, I could not get it to troll slow enough. Had it on a Targa 18 aluminum. Traded it for a Yamaha 115 4-stroke in 2003 and have been happy with it ever since. It is absolutely trouble-free and a super performer. It gets serviced at end of season--put away for winter--and starts right up in the spring. No complaints, and I usually find something to complain about.
09-16-2011 05:28 PM #4
For your purposes I would go with your favorite best deal for main motor and a Kicker motor for the slow speed work AND as a safety backup.
My little boat runs a 40 Evinrude tiller and a 4 stroke Merc 6 Hp.
I have friends with Honda 35s and 40s that will NOT troll down to 2 mph.
6 hp at 2 uses about 2 gallons of gas per 6 hours of trolling...sometime less.
09-16-2011 09:14 PM #5
4 stroke is going to be the way to go for lots of trolling. They sip fuel, very reliable, and quiet. If you have to have a 2stroke, etech would be the only one I would buy for your application. As for which 4s, they're all good. Suzuki 's are underrated and not well represented in our area but they screw em together well. Yam and honda, they just work. Verado, probably just as good but I don't think they are in your hp range anyway, you'd end up with a merc 4s which is a lot like a Yamaha, shared tech there on several models, or they used to be anyway.
I have a Yamaha 150, couldn't be happier. Troll speed is going to be largely dependent on how you prop it. Under 2.0 is not realistic without help ...bags, plate, etc.
I should have clarified less than 2.0gps speed with no gear deployed. Obviously once you get a few lines deployed you scrub a few tenths off your speed.
09-17-2011 11:05 AM #6
I was looking at his boat length..17 @1/2..
Construction aluminum..and lake fished most.
2 motors are always better than 1 on a large body of water.. :)
My switch to 4 stroke was for Fumes ..the 2 stroke kicker always had fumes rolling right behind the transom..where I sat at the tiller..try trolling for 6 hrs in 2 ft chop with fumes..all the fish in the world might not make me happier..
My lil 1986 40 gets me at 27 mph ( fully rigged with 2 idiots.. ) on calm water on less gas ..4 ft chop is a bit more fun and a lot slower..it trolls down to about 3 which is just on the slow side for Nancy lake Muskys. :)
09-17-2011 01:20 PM #7Post Level: Walleye
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
- Oak Creek, Wisconsin
If your present motor works well and is not an issue buy a kicker motor and add to the transom. It's always nice to have back power for safety. Why put all the hours on the more expensive main motor? Trolling hours add up fast and lead to service charges.
I have an ETEC, 200 HO. The idle speed is 450 RPM and gets me down to 2.5 mph at the ball. Fuel consumption is very good below 1000 rpm though I rarely ever troll on the ETEC.
I have a Honda 9.9 high thrust for trolling. Great motor, trolls 5 hours on about a gallon of fuel. Trolls down under 1 mph if you want.
For your needs I'd say a 6 HP four stroke for a kicker an 8 HP will work but will not make the boat travel faster if used as a power motor verses a trolling motor.
Good luck.Home Launch - Bender Park
10-25-2011 08:00 PM #8Post Level: Walleye
- Join Date
- Jan 2011
i just sold my 18' alum. trophy w/90 hp honda and i would never run anything but a honda first,yamaha 2nd.i had a trolling plate on it and could pull worm harnesses at 1.8 all day and very cheap to run.
10-25-2011 11:20 PM #9Post Level: Steelhead
- Join Date
- Jul 2006
- Johnson City, TN
I would go with the Honda, proven reliability and the only engine with a 5 year FACTORY warrenty, everyone else has a 3. Some offer some kind of aftermarket insurance policy that they call an extended warrenty so they can advertise a longer warrenty.
The 1.5L engine is based off the engine thats in the Fit. It lighter then the Yamaha with almost twice the charging power to keep all your riggers and electronics running. VTEC, BLAST, and Lean Burn Control make it sip on gas and still deliver the power.
Suzuki and Yamaha also make good engines and if your looking to fish with it 4 stroke is the only way to go. ETEC is an awesome engine but in this case not the best tool for the job.
My last few boats have all been Hondas, ive also had a suzuki and an ETEC. All were good motors but it was hard to compare to the Honda.
PS Honda has its own financing company which is a big plus because they will sometime offer some unbeatable rates when your buying one of their engines. According to their website its 3.99% right now. They will also finance "accesories" which could be streched to include some electronics, fishing equipment, ect.
10-26-2011 07:38 AM #10Banned
- Join Date
- Dec 2010
- Syracuse, NY
Honda, hands down! My 225 & 8 HT have worked flawlessly.
10-26-2011 03:05 PM #11
I've had Yamaha high thrust four stroke kickers on my last two boats.A 9.9 and a T8 with power tilt.Hours and hours and years of trolling with them and they never missed a beat,run flawlessly
Buddies of mine have Honda's and Merc bigfoots and love them as well.You may want to pick a brand that has a dealership near you in case you need service.John R.
* Boat- 23' SeaCraft Tsunami
* Port- Olcott NY.
10-27-2011 10:03 AM #12Post Level: Walleye
- Join Date
- May 2009
- Glenview, IL
I have a 2006 18' Starcraft Super Fisherman with a Merc 115 HP 4 stroke. Idle speed with 4 downriggers and 2 dipseys deployed is 1.6 MPH in calm water. To troll at approx 2.2 MPH the RPM must be increased to 950. Works for me without a kicker; using the prop that was installed by Starcraft, QA2038X. It sips gas especially when compared to my previous boat, 27' Sportcraft with a 454 Mercruiser. This boat fits in my garage.
11-03-2011 06:45 PM #13Post Level: Smelt
- Join Date
- Apr 2009
- Belvidere, Illinois
I to have a 1997 19.5' Starcraft Super Fisherman with a 2002 Yamaha 115 HP 4 stroke. Idle speed with 4 downriggers and 2 dipseys deployed is 1.6 MPH in calm water. To troll at approx 2.2 MPH the RPM must be increased to 950. Works for me without a kicker; using the prop that was installed by Yamaha It sips gas, I really love it.
11-03-2011 10:01 PM #14
you cant beat a honda,i have owned a merc 90 2 stroke,9.9 2 stroke,9.9 pro kicker 4 stroke,yam 60 2 stroke and a honda 150 4 stroke and fished on boats with all makes and sizes and you cant beat a honda.yamaha would be my second choice
12-08-2011 02:14 PM #15Post Level: Steelhead
- Join Date
- Mar 2006
- Marquette, Mi,United States
Bad gas is the principal issue for engine problems in the modern 4 stroke and 2 stroke era. Adding a kicker that pulls fuel off the main tank does little to add any additional security, since you can't move the boat any faster than hull speed and if you have bad gas, a second unit to try and burn it does little that is beneficial. The principal advantage of a kicker is that it keeps hours off your main motor, which shouldn't be a concern for future potential buyers if you are running a 4 sroke, but still seems to be for some reason.
If you are going to upgrade engines, staying with the same control system will save you some money.
If you are going to change everything out, your financing package and a reputable engine repair and maintenance facility that is nearby that works on that brand of motor would be my prnicipal considerations. I love my four stroke because it is: 1. very quiet 2. doesn't coat me in fumes after a day of trolling, since I sleep on board 3. fuel efficient and it will troll down to Lake Trout speeds for my 24'. Among the 4 strokes at your stated horsepower range, Honda, and Suzuki have received high marks in reveiws. E-Tecs are a bit noisy for me, but also well rated.