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.
As 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.
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.
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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