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Author Topic:   Tohatsu Twin TLDI vs. Single
Eagle posted 09-12-2003 11:58 AM ET (US)   Profile for Eagle   Send Email to Eagle  
The following question is two sided and bound to stir up some problems; but I genuinely need the honest opinions this forum is known for.
The debate is over twin Tohatsu 90 TLDI's or a single 175hp.

I have no history regarding the Tohatsu's and am curious if these particular engines are as reliable as the dealer says.

If you a wondering about the rig itself and usage here goes:

24 foot

I live on a 75,000 acre lake year round, but do travel to coastal areas frequently to fish. (INSHORE & OFFSHORE)

I currently on a 175, which is about 12 years old, it has left me stranded more than once.

I considered re-powering with a single and adding a small kicker, but the cost differential between the 15 kicker and the 90 TLDI really is not significant enough.

Bottom line here is I need to re-power my rig and want to know the skinny on Tohatsu's new line.

Any advice will be welcomed!


JohnJ80 posted 09-12-2003 02:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnJ80  Send Email to JohnJ80     
I don't know about Tohatsu (although I thought they were the same as Nissan). At least that is what I heard from internet dealers when I was looking for a small motor for my inflatable dinghy several years ago.

You should be able to get a great deal on pretty much any brand name motor at the end of the season. With competition so great in the OB market right now, take your pick: Evinrude, Johnson, Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda and Mercury. You should be able to get a great deal on a 2003. Even more so since there are some tech things happening for 2004 that will make dealers want to move 03 motors now.

Up here in Minnesota - we are one of the big sales areas for small boats and motors - I don't think you could find a Tohatsu to save your life. So, that would make me think twice because a lot of perceptions at resale are tied up in the availability of dealers and networks. Just for that reason alone, I would really look elsewhere first.

anyhow, just my $0.02.


lhg posted 09-12-2003 02:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Everything that I have heard is that Tohatsu makes a highly reliable, workhorse engine. But it also appears that HP output is somewhat low, as they are not as fast as the major brands. So performance could be a disappointment. Unfortunately, engine comparison figures are very hard to find.

Is this for a 24' Outrage, vintage 1994-1997?

dgp posted 09-12-2003 03:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
Service could be a problem since not every Tohatsu dealer is authorized to sell and service the TLDI models.
Florida15 posted 09-12-2003 04:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Florida15  Send Email to Florida15     
Eagle, anytime I see a boat for sale and it has a Tohatsu
motor on it, I don't even look, I just keep going. Even if it's a Whaler. That's not to say that it's not a good engine because I know nothing about them. It's purely perception on my part. BUT, if I have that perception ,I'm sure that other people do too, which translates into less resale value. Why buy something that may haunt you later ?
Eagle posted 09-12-2003 04:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eagle  Send Email to Eagle     
Some further details. The boat is in the process of being built by Monark a division of Sea Ark of AK.

Since you cannot purchase direct from the factory and must utilize one of their dealers, the dealer highly recommended the Tohatsu's over other competitors.

The dealer has been selling Tohatsu's for more than 10 years. The dealer admits he does not sell nearly the same volume as the other brands, but one aspect the dealer is certain of.

When comparing warranty work he has done, all things being equal (in theory) he has performed far less mechanical work on the Tohatsu's than other brands.

His other sales approach has been the 4 year warranty on the TLDI's.

There are roughly 5 Tohatsu dealers & service centers within a 50 mile radius. So service should not be a factor, in theory!

The 175 hp is an Evinrude which I am considering transferring, from one boat and selling the hull, to the new rig. This dealer assures I will get better performance out of twins over the single even if I were to purchase a new 175.

This is of considerable monetary dilemma when you take into account the up front $$ for a single or twins.

Not to mention rigging for twins, maintenance for twins, fuel for twins etc...

I have never run twins and am really curious if some of you have encountered any issues running twins vs. a single?


dgp posted 09-12-2003 05:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
Some further details. The boat is in the process of being built by Monark a division of Sea Ark of AK.
First, Sea Ark in in Arkansas [AR], not Alaska [AK], second, it's not a Whaler and third you said this was a repower? Try another website.
Sal DiMercurio posted 09-12-2003 05:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
Twin 90s will leave you very much under powered.
The 175 will outdo the 90s by along shot.
I wouldn't go less then a pair of 130s, 150s would be the hot setup.
A pair of 90s equals 180 hp, but that 180 hp isn't even close to a single 175 for top end.
You will need to run those 90s at 90 percent all the time for cruise & that isn't a good setup.
Eagle posted 09-12-2003 05:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eagle  Send Email to Eagle     
dgp..I do own a whaler as matter of fact, 1968 13' have enjoyed it for more than 20 years. Merc 50.

Thank you for your input, your spelling "error" and geography lesson.

No need getting sideways dgp...never used a forum for boating questions before!

It is a re-power if I don't use the 175 is it not?

My friend owns three large whalers and suggested this site for the twin debate, sorry to have disturbed dgp!

alkar posted 09-12-2003 08:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for alkar  Send Email to alkar     
Eagle, I'm with Sal on the power question. Twin 90s would be a dog on a 24' Whaler. It's hard to say what kind of performance you'd get on your new boat, as I know nothing about the hull design. If it's a planing hull with more "V" than a flat-bottom skiff, the 90s probably will not do a good job.

As others have observed, there are many advantages to powering with more "mainstream" motors. Resale and the availability of parts and service are significant considerations. On balance, you'll probably get your money's worth out of the additional 10% you have to spend to buy a Honda, Yamaha, Mercury, Evinrude, Johnson, or Suzuki.

When I was learning to fly I very much wanted to buy a plane - and I really wanted to buy one with twin engines. My flying mentor discouraged me from considering most of the smaller twins because most of them will not climb and fly on a single engine. My mentor was fond of saying, "the second engine on an Apache just guarantees that you're the first one to the crash site".

Well, I was never able to afford the plane I wanted to buy, so I never got one at all - but I think of the lessons I learned during the shopping frequently.

The twins 115's on my outrage are like the twins on the smaller twin-engine planes: They do not have enough poop to plane the boat individually. When I repower my boat I'll probably go with twin 150s, as one of them would probably have the power to get the job done by itself.

triblet posted 09-13-2003 02:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
I have a buddy with a Tohatsu. Both were bought new.
Motor outlived the boat. No problems.


jimh posted 09-13-2003 09:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I have often heard told the story that TOHATSU is a popular brand among commercial fishermen in Japan.

Perhaps one could infer that the TOHATSU brand is the motor of choice for Japanese commercial fishermen when hunting whales.

See their FAQ:

And by extension that TOHATSU is popular with the lone whaler hunter of the caribbean nation of St. Vincent. He might buy one with some of the $5-million dollars left over from generous investments and gifts by Japanese. Interestingly enough, St. Vincent always vote with Japan on issues before the International Whaling Commission.

See story at:

Dick posted 09-13-2003 10:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
I guess you can infer anything you like but I see absolutely no connection between Tohatsu and hugging or hunting whales.


Kingsteven18 posted 09-13-2003 11:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kingsteven18  Send Email to Kingsteven18     
I've had Nissans and Tohatsus (and Tohatsu built stuff for Yamaha and others). Don't worry about where you're going to fix them. Treat them right and they won't break. They have always been more concerned about reliability than anything else. They were designed as motors for Japanese commercial fisherman and used stainless steel parts before anyone else. Also, for many years these motors were used by stock racers. The Japanese always rated their motors at the prop while USA used to rate them at the powerhead. So, a Tohatsu 30hp was at least 5hp more than an equivalent American motor.
SpeedBump posted 09-15-2003 09:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for SpeedBump  Send Email to SpeedBump     
I have beeen running a 1998 Nissan 70 on a 16' 7" BW hull this year. I have been very pleased with the unit. Must say I did have concerns and looked around quite a bit prior to buying as I didn't know much about Nisssan or Tohatsu motors and have been a real fan of Yamahas.

I had the motor checked out by a motor mechanic who services Nissan/Tohatsu motors as well as many other brands after I purchased the boat. They changed out the water pump impeller for me, at my request, and the old impeller still looked brand new. The mechanic had nothing but good things to say about the unit, they have been making these motors for 30+ years and apparently are very durable with excelllent new motor warranties.

So far it's performance has been excellent. It is a bit thirsty but runs very strong and has nice features. I had one quirky issue @ a month ago when a warning buzzer sounded in the control box but this was only momentary, I never could figure out why.

Check the tohatsu / Nissan web site for dealers/service centers around the area where you primarily boat I think this would be the biggest challenge in buying a Tohatsu.

Bigshot posted 09-15-2003 01:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Jim....St Vincent and the Grenadines is/was a whaling community from the beginning of time. They were famous for the whaling ships and today they are still famous for their boat building techniques.....mainly model ships. Bequia is actually the island that does the whaling. I think every few years they are allowed to hunt a single whale for food and tradition. This is done in a small skiff under oar power only and no air powered harpoons like our Japanese brotheren. Bequia is a quaint small island that has no crime, drugs, etc and is hardly known outside of the Grenedines. My sister did a documentary on their Whaling ships and tactics and hence how I knew about Bequia for my honeymoon. They actually had them build a whale boat for the documentary and explain the ritual etc. The engine of choice by the way was OMC and Yamaha. Not a Merc, Mariner, Tohatsu, Honda, etc was to be seen, at least in 1998. For more info on Bequia and St. Vincent here are a few websites:

JBCornwell posted 09-16-2003 01:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Tohatsu engines have a reputation for being basic and near bulletproof.

Very popular with professional watermen around the world.

Not a big dealer network, but service beyond user maintenance is rarely needed.

Red sky at night. . .

jimh posted 09-16-2003 08:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Coalesced dual threads to one; changed TOPIC line--jimh.]
Lou posted 09-17-2003 10:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lou  Send Email to Lou     
17 responses on the Tohatsu thread. I guess I am biased, but I didn't think you'd find a more sophisticated group on the web to talk about these motors.


timbaho posted 09-18-2003 09:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for timbaho  Send Email to timbaho     
I agree with you whole heartedly. Although, I am growing more concerned each time I read a thread like this at all these SELF APPOINTED MODERATORS!! I try hard to ignore them but they just wade right in and screw up the flow of the converasations.
Bigshot posted 09-18-2003 01:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I never owned one, but I would.

How is that?

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