I've previously mentioned in our "Tips" section about dinghy selection. I still stand by what I said there, but I felt now that we have had three weeks of run time with our new to us 15 hp, Yamaha 2 stroke, I needed to add this.
Over the course of the 10 years we've been actively cruising, we've had a variety of outboard engines. We've had 2 strokes and 4 strokes, 3.5 hp, 8 hp, 9.9 hp and two different varieties of 15 hp. It's only now, that we have the Yamaha 15 2 stroke that I realize why these things are by far, hands down, the most popular engine out here.
The power to weight ratio of these bad boys is awesome. Weighing only 8 pounds more than our Mercury 9.9 - 2 stroke and 38 pounds less than our Mercury 15 - 4 stroke, this engine walks a fine line between performance and weight.
I know, I know, the eco-Nazis are going to say that 2 strokes are killing the environment and all that and I'm sure there is some truth that they aren't as eco-friendly as the 4 strokes are, but the newest units generate much less pollution than model made prior to 2005. I'm sure 2 strokes, like all internal combustion engines, are on their way out as electrical alternatives start come online, but in the meantime you simply cannot beat the simplicity, reliability and down right awesomeness of the Yamaha 15 2 stroke.
If your heading out cruising soon, do yourself's a favor and get one of these guys to power your moderately (less than 14 feet) sized rigid inflatable. you won't be sorry.