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The Smart Buyer - Different strokes: 2- to 4-stroke conversions

The transition from 2-stroke to 4-stroke is getting easier as manufacturers continue to reduce the weight of their engines. The new DF200A from Suzuki is an example of a lighter 4-stroke.Four-stroke outboards are more fuel-efficient, quieter and cleaner than ever. Manufacturers are also reducing the weight of these engines with their second-generation models.

Suzuki and Yamaha have added 4-cylinder 4-strokes to their offerings to complement their V-6 counterparts. The new Suzuki DF200A weighs 498 pounds, about 12 percent less than the company’s V-6 200 models. Yamaha’s new 487-pound F200 weighs 119 pounds less than its V-6 F200 and only 14 pounds more than its 2-stroke Z200 HPDI outboard.

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Better Than New

A refit Down Easter becomes a perfect family cruising boat

Eric ThielscherAs an adolescent and young adult, I had grown up with powerboats, including a 17-foot Boston Whaler Montauk and a 23-foot Mako 232. In my early 30s I got very lucky when I married a woman who shared my love for the sea.

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Thinking about a refit?

Here are some recommendations when considering a purchase-and-refit boat.

• Attend the prepurchase survey for insight into whether the boat has “good bones” and is capable of accommodating your changes.

• Check out as many designs in person and online as possible to broaden your frame of reference.

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The best testing is real-world testing

Cummins' test boat was rigged with its new joystick system for inboards at the press event.About 10 percent of FLIR Maritime’s annual revenue is set aside for research and development, and a big chunk of that is spent testing products. Most manufacturers of engines and marine electronics operate their own on-water test centers, with one or more boats.

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The Smart Buyer - What to consider when considering a refit

The refit of this Mako involved building a full-height transom to accept an engine bracket.Refitting a boat can be an enjoyable and rewarding task if you undertake it with the proper attitude and planning. For the purposes of this article, I’ll limit the discussion to smaller boats, as refits on larger yachts generally include project managers, interior designers and naval architects.

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