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1953 Ten Horsepower Comparison

I love to look back and compare different outboards just as a potential buyer may have when they were new. In 1953 this segment accounted for the lion's share of the market of outboard sales, close behind was the 5hp class. With 50+ years of experience in seeing how each of these motors faired, here is how they line up:

Data supplied from Abos BLUE BOOK 1957 Edition.

Make &
Model

Mercury
Mark 15
(file photo)

Scott Atwater Gold Pennant

Martin 100
(file photo)

Chris Craft
Commander
(Ad photo)

Firestone
(Catalog Photo)
Wizard
Super Ten
P
H
O
T
O
HP@RPM
10@4,000
10@4,000
10@4,200
10@4,300
10@4,000
10@4,200
10@4,000
# Cyl
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
Bore
2.375"
2.109375"
2.17"
2.1875"
2.5"
2.125"
2.34375"
Stroke
1.875"
2.125"
2"
1.75"
2.03125"
2"
2.125"
CID
16.6
14.89
14.82
13.15
19.94
14.69
18.34
Ignition
OMC Universal
Phelon
Wico
Wico
Bendix
Wico
Phelon
Cooling
Water
Water
Water
Water
Water
Water
Water
Dry Weight
60 lbs.
57 lbs.
59 lbs.
58 lbs.
72 lbs.
59 lbs.
59 lbs.
Oil Mix
1/2pt per gal
3/8pt per gal
1/2pt per gal
1/2pt per gal
3/4pt per gal
1/2pt per gal
3/4pt per gal
Fuel Tank

6 gal remote
(pressure)

Remote
(pressure)
6 gal remote
10 pt (internal)
10.5 pt (internal)
6 gal remote
16 pt (internal)
Speed
Control
Twist Grip
Tiller
Twist Grip
Tiller
Twist Grip
Tiller

Twist Grip
Tiller

Magneto
Lever
Twist Grip
Tiller
Magneto
Lever
Gearshift
F/N/R
F/N/R
F/N/R
F/N 360R
Forward only
F/N/R
Forward only
Retail
$275.00
$332.00
$279.50
$289.75
$375.00
$279.50
$279.50

Which one would you buy?

In the summers from 1975 to 1981 I logged a zillion hours with my trusty QD-14 on my 14' skiff Messenger. I can't even calculate how many cans of fuel I ran through. In all that time the only mechanical replacements were the spark plugs each season and the impellers every couple of years.

I did make one small modification to the QD; I placed a plastic bag over the powerhead and painted the inside of the hood with epoxy foam. Then I quickly put the two cowls back on the motor and bolted them on. In a few minutes after the foam expanded and hardened I removed the hood and pealed the bag off. A little bit of chiseling and I had the best noise insulation ever! I think the foam reduced the noise output by at least 50% on the old girl.

However, after the QD, I wouldn't mind a Chris Craft Challenger or Martin 100!

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