Fuel Consumption and Repowering with a 4-Stroke
With our 9.9 Evinrude 2 stroke we get about 1/2 gallon per hour consumption at about 5 knots, or about 10 miles per gallon. That gives us a range of 60 miles with the main tank and another 30 with our 3 gallon spare. I have a friend with a 4 stroke Honda and they use about 1/2 - 2/3 the fuel we do. If we had their engine I think we could motor 90-100 miles on the 6 gallon tank. That's a huge difference in range and if I ever re-power it will be with a 4-stroke. I think the extra cost is more then offset by the added range. Not so much because of the fuel savings, but because I see having the extra range as a safety factor. Add to that the environmental issues (I hate that oil slick the 2 stroke makes) and to me the 4 stroke is the clear winner. I would also consider an 8hp engine as I think the 9.9 is more then enough power and I have had reports from other P26 owners with 7.5's that were plenty and some who thought it was barely enough. The 8HP would likely improve the fuel consumption even more. The downside of the 8HP is, currently, no one seems to make one with electric start. But I heard from a dealer that Honda is supposed have an electric start option on the 8hp for 2001. The 8HP 4 strokes weigh about the same as the 9.9HP 2 strokes - about 75 lbs. The 9.9HP 4 strokes all weigh about 100 lbs.
Honda has a new 4 stroke 9.9 (2001) that weighs about 87 pounds for the long shaft, an improvement of almost 20 lbs. I heard at the boat show there would also be a new lighter 8hp.
Close up photo showing engine/rudder clearance
Installing an Internal Fuel Tank