One of the big problems is the three carburetor system; it is very fussy on fuel. Even Canadian gas gave it fits. I had the motor serviced at a dealer in San Diego, not a positive experience and a bunch of money later it died a week later. It ran poorly all the way into Mexico and one of the several times I had condemned it to death, a couple of Mexicans offered to fix it. I was dubious but figured it was dead so could not get worse. The cleaned the carbs and it ran great for a while. This scenario followed me to Thailand. I had just had the carbs cleaned again and I made the mistake of buying gasohol 95 octane. This did the bit motor in and nearly ruined a great dive trip.
Upon returning from the dive trip with no dinghy I went into full research mode. The Honda weighs 155 lbs, a new 2 stroke Yamaha or Mercury only 100lbs, a big difference hanging off the back of a RIB. I tried to get a Yamaha but no luck and none would be available for 3 months, life in the wilds you know. I went to the Mercury dealer and they were very helpful albeit puzzled I wanted electric start, it appears non have every sold in SE Asia, a fact I did not find surprising. After some discussion I ordered the new manual start Merc which they had and the electric start kit which will arrive in a month.
The electric start is important to me as we often leave one of the young girls as tender when we dive. They have enough to worry about without having to tug on the string to start the motor, and I find it very nice just to push a button too.
The motor came and we installed it and took it for a sea trial. The dinghy sits much better with the lighter motor; we were always bow up with the Honda. The power of the 2 stroke plus the reduction in weight makes ol “Grateful Diver” fly. We tested it with four people and she popped right up on plane. The 2 stroke is definitely noisier and has a high pitched sound we referred to as a “ring ding” back in the 2 stroke motorcycle days.
Happy with the new outboard I ceremoniously placed the “Steal your Face” dead sticker on the top marking it part of the Furthur fleet.