We test seven of the latest four-stroke 5hp outboards. Find out which one we rated as the best in the November issue of Motor Boats Monthly

The 5hp two-stroke outboard used to be the king of the portable power packs but then came the four-stroke revolution, and the 5hp put on weight.

It also developed a few awkward habits that made it less easy to handle. We took seven of the latest 5hp outboards on the market to see how they fared.

Yamaha 5hp outboard – from £969

Yamaha 5hp outboardThe latest Yamaha portables have a new-look white and blue livery which sets them apart from their larger brothers.

The 5hp has a smooth rear carrying handle, but only a small lip at the front. The cowl is held in place with a hook at the front, and a plastic over-centre clip at the back.

The gear lever is chunky and easy to grasp. The integral fuel filler cap is set at 45° for easy filling, and it has a three-way fuel tap for remote, integral or off settings.

A plus point of this engine is that it can be laid down on any three sides for storage without oil leaking. The pegs on the starboard side and on the gear lever make it obvious how it should be laid. There’s also an oil level gauge, but it’s a bit out of the way, placed above the filler cap.

Pro: The Yamaha 5hp can be laid down on any three sides for storage without oil leaking.

Con: It is the most expensive model on test but it put out a mid-range performance with one or two crew aboard.

Parsun 5hp outboard – from £696

Parsun 5hp outboardThe first of the Chinese motors to hit our shores, Parsun has been with us for some years now. The 5hp comes with remote or integral tank options.

The carrying handle was the worst of our test, being small, and almost impossible to hold with more than two fingers due to the fuel tap getting in the way.

The cowl is held in place by two plastic clips, but the only indication of how to lay it down was a tiny, almost indecipherable sign on one side.

There is no external indication of oil level,– instead you have to remove the lid and the filler cap. The kill-cord clip was impossible to operate one-handed.

Pro: The Parsun 5hp was the joint cheapest outboard on test.

Con: The carrying handle was the worst of our test, being small, and almost impossible to hold with more than two fingers due to the fuel tap getting in the way.

Suzuki 5hp outboard – from £999

Suzuki 5hp outboardThere’’s a huge, well-placed gear-lever, which makes it the easiest on test to operate, plus a two-way fuel tap with integral and remote options.

The external oil level sight gauge is quite easy to read too. On the hood there is a rear handle, which unfortunately only serves to make lifting on to the transom that bit trickier, but the pegs on the port side indicating which way you should lay it down are quite useful.

Pro: The Suzuki engine started first time on the lightest of pulls.

Con: The rear handle on the hood only serves to make lifting it on to the transom that bit trickier.

Vector 5hp outboard – from £729

Vector 5hp outboardThe Vector is also made in China and comes with either a remote or integral tank. It has a large square-edged front-mounted carrying handle, and the cowl is held on by a hook and rear swing lever.

Its slightly higher price is backed up by some better design– the gear-lever is large and easy to reach and there is also a large label showing you which way to lay the motor down after taking it off.

There is another one of those tricky kill-cord clips, which we’re guessing are most probably from the same Chinese component manufacturer. Good luck with trying to use this clip -– we had some difficulty.

Pro: The gear-lever is large and easy to reach on the Vector and there is also a large label showing you which way to lay the motor down after taking it off.

Con: One of the trickest kill-cord clips of all the outboards on test, almost impossible to use.

Mariner 5hp outboard – from £975

Mariner 5hp outboardThe Mariner is another outboard that only comes with a remote fuel tank. It has a square-edged front handle with one sharp corner, and there is a cowl recess at the back that is held in place by a hook at the front and swing lever at the back. The gear-lever is set low down at the side.

An oil warning light on the front panel simply shows red or green. It also has an easy to use ergonomic kill-cord clip, with pegs and a clear ‘this way up’ notice, indicating which way to lay it down.

Pro: The Mariner 5hp ran strongly with two crew and was the fastest engine one-up.

Con: It is another outboard that only comes with a remote fuel tank.

Honda 5hp outboard – from £1,239

Honda 5hp outboardHonda has only ever made four-stroke outboards, so its models are understandably refined. The 5hp only comes with a remote tank.

It has a square-edged front handle and recessed hand grip in the top of the cowl at the rear. The gear-lever is set low down to the side.

An oil warning light on the front panel displays red for low oil pressure and green for OK. The oil filler under the cowl is set high enough that you can fill it easily.

The cowl itself is held in place by a hook at the front and a large swing lever at the rear, making it secure, safe, and easy to engage. Pegs on the port side indicate which way you should lay it down.

Pro: The Honda 5hp gains extra points for being the quietest and one of the smoothest at speed.

Con: It only comes with a remote tank.

Hidea 5hp outboard – from £699

Hidea 5hp outboardAnother Chinese motor with a similar list of features, but the Hidea does have a few stand out features like the soft, rounded carrying handles.

It has one at the front and another at the back – they are large enough to get two hands on so two people can carry this outboard between them, which is a real bonus.

Sadly, there is no indication which way down to lay it – instead you have to look through the owner’s manual, and even then it isn’t easy to find.

That said, even though it shares the lowest price tag on test, along with the Parsun, this motor is nowhere near as disappointing to use.

Pro: The Hidea has soft, rounded carrying handles on the front and back, large enough so two people can carry this outboard between them.

Con: On the downside, there is no indication which way down to lay it -– instead you have to look through the owner’s manual, and even then it isn’t easy to find.

  1. 1. Yamaha 5hp outboard - from £969
  2. 2. Parsun 5hp outboard - from £696
  3. 3. Suzuki 5hp outboard - from £999
  4. 4. Vector 5hp outboard - from £729
  5. 5. Mariner 5hp outboard - from £975
  6. 6. Honda 5hp outboard - from £1,239
  7. 7. Hidea 5hp outboard - from £699
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