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A reliable outboard motor can make the difference between an enjoyable boat trip and a dangerous one. Certain brands and models receive uniformly high rankings, allowing boaters to sail easy with the knowledge that their engine will be there when they need it.
Honda motors have been ranked top of their class by Popular Mechanics and JD Power & Associates. Popular Mechanics noted that the 4-stroke Honda BF115 was the quietest, most fuel-efficient motor in its class. JD Power & Associates noted that the engine was easy to start and highly reliable. The BF115 is adapted from the four-cylinder engine of the Honda Accord sedan, which has been ranked highly by US News and World Report and Consumer Reports.
The Yamaha F115 was ranked second in its class by both Popular Mechanics and JD Power & Associates, and Yamaha engines are generally prasied for their ergonomic design by Field & Stream magazine. All Yamaha motors are noted for their ease of handling, although Australian Boatpoint.com noted that the Yamaha F115 performed less well at low speeds compared to its more expensive Honda counterpart.
Evinrude's two-stroke outboard, the E-TEC, was ranked first in its class by JD Power & Associates. The engine is notable for its reliability and ease of handling. According to JD Power, the E-TEC avoids some of the common problems with two-stroke engines, including those with acceleration. According to Evinrude and Marine Engine Digest, the Direct Injection (DI) oil system on two-stroke engines allows the E-TEC to use 30-75 percent less oil than four-stroke equivalents.