Meet Tohatsu America Corporation’s lightweight, four-stroke, single-cylinder 4, 5 and 6 horsepower portable outboards.

Since Tohatsu’s latest triplets are based on the same downsized 7.5 cubic-inch one-cylinder block and essentially look exactly alike, the only sure way to tell them apart is to check out the number decal on the back of the engine cowling. All three are extremely “man portable” weighing only 55 pounds in the 15-inch short shaft version. Some of these (CD) models offer a built-in 0.29-gallon internal fuel tank, with the ability to easily plug in an external 3.1-gallon (12-liter) plastic fuel tank that will greatly extend your cruising and play time out on the water.

All three of these portable outboards can be fueled by 87-octane grade gasoline, have a 15-ounce oil sump for internal lubrication and feature through-the-prop exhaust. The extended tiller handle offers a welcome hand-hold for total control no matter your operating conditions, and the front-mounted gearshift lever offers excellent ergonomics with a forward-neutral-reverse set-up. All feature a digital CD ignition system, start-in-gear protection, a thermostat controlled cooling system, shallow water drive, six positions of engine trim, over-rev limiter and an oil pressure warning indicator. In addition, a new, larger carrying handle and holding grip make these light and compact designs even easier to transport while the relocation of the fuel cap to the front of the outboard makes refueling fast and convenient. A stainless steel water pump housing liner and a zinc coating on internal water passages offer superior corrosion resistance and durability, plus the high-grade marine aluminum alloy provides protection against saltwater corrosion.

Tohatsu’s 4-Horsepower four-stroke provides reliable horsepower while also providing cleaner emissions for the user and the environment. Small in size, the 4-Horsepower has an internal fuel tank built into the motor and a fuel tank cap located in the front for hassle-free outings on the water. The 5-Horsepower model features a new front mounted shift lever – an industry first in its class and with reduced emissions and exceptional fuel economy, this little 5-Horsepower four-stroke is cleaner burning while also keeping operational costs at a minimum.

The “big sister” 6-Horsepower four-stroke provides all the power needed for motoring in a small craft. Along with providing superior fuel efficiency, it has a newly redesigned carrying handle and holding grip, allowing for easy transporting from the car to the boat and back. The 6-Horsepower short (15-inch) and long (20-inch) shaft models are available with either an internal fuel tank (6CD model) or with an external fuel tank (6C model). The internal fuel tank version also includes a built-in external fuel connector so you can easily add an optional separate fuel tank for extended trips. The XL 25-inch shaft model features a handy standard issue 12-volt/5-amp alternator to charge up your onboard house battery if your boat is powering any marine electronics. The 6-Horsepower edition gets some additional push at the prop by having an extended max rpm range (5000-6000 rpms) to wind up its four-stroke engine.

These mighty-mite single cylinder Tohatsu and Nissan outboards are just the ticket for powering small aluminum skiffs and inflatables around in the back bays and canals, or on your favorite lake. However, the XL (25-inch shaft) 6-Horsepower model that’s equipped with an onboard 5-amp 12-volt charging system would get some serious consideration from me if I had a 17- to 22-foot single outboard (or I/O) fishing machine that regularly worked large expanses of open water, inlets or along the beach and I needed the safety net of a small, lightweight, portable and affordable get-home kicker engine.

The MSRP of these portable one-cylinder four-strokes will vary on the model and horsepower rating, but ranges from $1,380 for the short shaft 4-Horsepower, to $1,630 for the long shaft 5-Horsepower outboard, to $1,886 for the 25-inch XL shaft 6-Horsepower version that’s equipped with the aforementioned onboard 12-volt battery charging system. No matter what your intended use for these lightweight portables, either to power a skiff, inflatable, sailboat or as an auxiliary kicker, the Tohatsu 4-5-6 family of one-cylinder four-strokes will take care of business, are three-star CARB rated for ultra-low emissions and backed by a limited three-year factory warranty.