Monday, 6 April 2015

Suzuki 2.5hp = 3.5hp?

It's been a hectic week on the Portabote forum with a debate as to whether the Suzuki 2.5 hp 4 stroke outboard actually has an output of 3.5 hp.
What raised this topic was a couple of statements on the Portabote Suzuki Marine page where it was stated that a Suzuki 2.5 hp was as powerful as most 3.5 hp outboards and a 4 hp was as powerful as most 5 hp outboards. This topic was raised due to a query in the forum as to whether a 2.5 hp or a 3.5 hp should be bought by a particular new bote owner.
Once those statements were challenged things heated up a bit on the forum.
I decided to contact Suzuki Marine here in Oz and also in the US and ask for clarification.
Once I posted my findings on the forum, discussion continued with me copping a bit of flack from Portabote and a couple of forum members.
Finally Sandy decided to contact Suzuki himself and this was his next post:

"From Sandy

Because of the claims and counter claims made, I finally got through to one of the top people at Suzuki this morning.
I explained to him that years ago, when we first joined with Suzuki and were developing our site, we worked with a promotion company that Suzuki was using at that time.
When we asked them how come Suzuki doesn't have a 3.5hp or a 5hp in this country, they told us that the 2.5hp-was as powerful as a 3.5hp and the 4hp-was as powerful as a 5hp.

As a result, we had the statements on our site for many years.

Jon told me Suzuki hadn't used this company for years and to remove those two statements - which we just did.
I, again, asked him "point blank" is there any truth at all to this? He just reiterated, "Sandy, please remove those two statements".

So, thanks to Mat for "sticking to his guns on this topic. What we took as a given
was wrong. Thanks again, Mat. Now, we and two other Suzuki nationwide dealers no longer have this claim on our sites.

Ironically, we have found the main reason most folks purchase the 2.5hp model is the 29 pound weight and the good reputation that Suzuki has developed over the past half century (they make fine motorcycles, also)."

The 29 pound that Sandy is referring to equates to around 13kg.

I think it would have been a difficult thing to make that statement in a public forum so kudos to Sandy for his actions here. I only wish that he'd gotten my name right :)



  1. how fast will a 10" PB Alpha go in flat water with 400 lb live cargo

  2. Hi Rick,
    Thank you for stopping by.

    It is difficult to answer that question in that there are a couple of variables and I haven't tested all conditions in regards to weight, outboard size, etc.

    I can speak from my own experience though and that Portabote themselves have said that the maximum safe hull speed for the flexible hull is 15mph (Gen IV series) and I believe that it is the same for the Alpha series.
    That's not to say it can't go faster but it is not recommended to place an over sized outboard on any boat.
    The latest specs I can find on the Portabote website give maximum weight of the outboard rather than HP.
    That weight for a 10' bote is 58kg.
    A lot of 6hp outboards are 58kg or less (
    depending on the make.

    I will make further inquiries and see what I can find out.

    Thanks again for the question.

    1. Hi Rick,
      I just received confirmation from Portabote that the maximum expected speed for the current Alpha series and the Gen IV series would be 13mph to 15mph on a 10' bote with 400lb on board.

      Thanks again for the interest.