Most outboards don't die of engine wear. They die because the lower end gets smashed, the cooling system goes out and they fry, etc.
Around the world, Tohatsu 2-strokes sell well, and will continue to. Once a local wrench learns to tune 2-strokes, they are far simpler to maintain and tinker on than most 4-strokes.
I don't think that 2-strokes will go away in salt water use for a l-o-n-g time. For inland waters that do not she much commercial traffic, sure the 4-strokes will rule. It's just normal market segmentation taking place....
I have had 2 stroke engines on outboards in the past. The 4 strokes are far superior and are the wave of the future until we have electric outboards. I would not buy a used 2 stroke engine because the 4 strokes are so much nicer and quieter. The newer E-tec engines are fairly quiet but can be troublesome and difficult to diagnose. I really like my 2007 Mercury 4 stroke 115 HP which I believe is made by Yamaha. I have had it since 2012 and had zero problems other than the starter clicking instead of engaging once in a while but it would always start. I feared it would drop me dead when I needed it most therefore I replaced the starter.
Last carb 2s I had was a 1996 Johnson ... then a 2006 OptiMax â€¦ what a change that was â€¦ pretty clean engine and great hole shot â€¦
So now have 2012 4s Yamaha â€¦ does not have the same hole shot but love how quiet it runs â€¦
Changing oil is easy â€¦
It's not like my dad's 1957 Evinrude that makes a rainbow-colored wake anymore, is it?
Nope, the new direct injected 2-strokes (Tohatsu and Evinrude) have computer controlled oiling and lean the oil down to 100:1 for low speed use. They do have over-rides to richen the lube regimen when doing commercial work and during break-in. In some cases they are cleaner than some 4 strokes. They qualify for Tahoe.
I'd love to have a new Tohatsu 90HP 2-stroke. But I'll have to kill the Johnson 70 HP 3-cylinder first; and I have a spare power-head with good compression on all holes, so that ain't likely ...
I also have a 140HP V-4 Evinrude waiting for a short light hull so I can go terrorize the Petaluma River. Not really any enforceable speed limits on San Pablo Bay. That's why the off-shore guys like to test and tune there
4 strokes are the future? Only thanks to marketing. The Etecs are more powerful, burn cleaner, and are more fuel efficient. The only thing going against them is that everybody has it drilled into their heads that 4 strokes are cleaner. The Etec is the cleanest burning outboard made.
Ignorance so many times drives the marketplace. 4 stroke marketers have done a good job.
Don't get me wrong, the 4 stroke outboards are really nice. Just operate one back to back with the equivalent Etec 2 stroke on a similar boat and you'll find a significant difference in acceleration and fuel economy.
Good friend has an etec ... let me give you a couple words about that motor:
Yeah, mine is just a tiller 40 on an 18 foot aluminum PolarKraft wide beam, with no carpet. It is just a basic fishing boat. With 5 adult men and gear (including a couple guys who could lose a few pounds, Lol), this thing just leaps out of the water! Top end is only about 29mph, but man, it gets there with no effort, at all.
It was the same when I had an OptiMax ... loved it but when I down sized to a specialty skiff it was only offered with Yamaha 4 stroke ... quiet, efficient, reliable, ... but low end is where it is weakest ...