23 Outrage with Honda BF225

Optimizing the performance of Boston Whaler boats
FSBO37
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23 Outrage with Honda BF225

Postby FSBO37 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:17 pm

I have a 1998 23 Outrage with a 2008 Honda BF 225. I've added trim tabs and a cobia tower with controls. I've also moved the batteries to the center console. I'm currently running a Powertech 15.25 x 14-pitch OFS4 propeller. With that combination, engine acceleration is topping out at 5,200 RPM; boat speed is 32-MPH.

When the 23 Outrage is loaded down for tuna, it has trouble getting on plane in any type of head sea. I've also broken teeth on three brand-new factory Honda lower units, each time replaced with a new factory lower unit. Each time I've broken teeth it has been coming back in from a long offshore trip on a flat calm day where I'm running in the upper RPM range. Each time there is no evidence on the skeg or prop that I've hit something. (Murphy's prop shop inspected the propeller).

I'm looking for advice on how to get a better [acceleration from a standing start]. primarily for safety in sloppy seas, and how to keep from blowing another lower unit.

I've looked at going to a 3-blade Mirage 13-pitch propeller to get better RPM, but I'm not sure that will completely fix the [acceleration from a standing start] or protect the lower unit.

I've also thought about buying a BF250 lower unit (2.0:1 ratio) and strapping it to my 225 (1.86:1) for the lower gear and beefier gears. I'm thinking this might be the better option, but I'm looking for some sage advice.
Last edited by FSBO37 on Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.

vze2gbs4
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Re: 230 Outrage with Honda BF225

Postby vze2gbs4 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:46 pm

I am no Honda outboard expert in any means but how did you end up with 14 pitch prop and now thinking even going down to 13. Those prop pitches I used on my 13-15 foot whaler . I would assume that such a heavy boat as 23 outrage need at least 17 if not 19-21 pitch propeller.it seems that your propeller is spinning so hard its ripping gears apart. Again never had Honda on whaler ( had BF 225 on 21 Hydrasport ) but had experience with Yammi-Mercs and again 23 foot boat would like to see at least 17 pith prop to move so much fiberglass.
I had exact same PowerTech OS prop on my 2001 BW 17 Justice that had 150 Verado. Pitch on that 4 blade Power Tech was 17.It did perform way better than standard 17 pitch Mirage

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Re: 230 Outrage with Honda BF225

Postby jimh » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:08 am

FSBO37 wrote:I have a 1998 230 Outrage...


Boston Whaler did not make an OUTRAGE boat in 1998 with the model designation "230".

Please clarify what boat you are discussing.

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Phil T
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Re: 230 Outrage with Honda BF225

Postby Phil T » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:01 am

The OP most likely has a Outrage 23 or Outrage 24.

With either boat, the dry weights are above 3k without the tower, fuel etc. Both have a max hp of 225hp.

If it were me, I would call Ken at PropGods. He is a well respected prop guru who can get you sorted. I would guess a 4 blade is in your future.

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1992 Outrage 17, 1992 Evinrude 115

vze2gbs4
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Re: 230 Outrage with Honda BF225

Postby vze2gbs4 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:01 am

Yeah OP is definitely referring to 23 outrage. But whaler contradicted this model reference in 2002 model year catalog listing this model as 230 which is actually now current production model and totally different boat.2002 was a most likely first year they started adding 0 and 5 to model reference so they simply added it to some hulls even though boat was the same . Minimum HP for this hull listed by catalog is 150 and maximum 300 HP ( transom is designed for twin option ).
I collect whaler brochures and have almost every single year starting in late 70 so its easy to verify this info by simply finding the year of interest.

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Phil T
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Re: 230 Outrage with Honda BF225

Postby Phil T » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:11 am

Andrew is correct. My mistake.

The minimum hp is 150hp. I was reading the small print from the Catalog collection instead of the Specs index.

FSB may want to consider more power given the tower and load. Your single motor is really straining with all the weight. Many recommend owners of post classic hulls rig with the max hp.
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1992 Outrage 17, 1992 Evinrude 115

FSBO37
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Re: 230 Outrage with Honda BF225

Postby FSBO37 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:13 pm

Thanks fellas.

[The boat] is an 23 Outrage. Since they no longer make a 23 Outrage, I’ve gotten used to calling it a 230 so that people less familiar would know what I’m referring to.

I’ve already tried two different four-blade propellers, the previously mentioned OFS4 and an Apolo 14.5 x 16-pitch four-blade. With large 200 to 300-HP engines, manufactures recommend achieving close to the maximum RPM range (of 6,000 RPM) for the engine. Since my engine is only turning 5200-RPM with a 14 pitch prop, I only have a couple options.

If I step up to a 17 pitch prop, it will only further reduce the engine RPM, which will put more stress on the engine and reduce developed horsepower.

Engines only develop rated horsepower at rated RPM, which in the case of the BF225 is 5,500-RPM. By going to a three-blade propeller and reducing the pitch, I should be able to get closer to 6,000-RPM and reduce stress on the engine. However, if I go to the BF250 lower unit, with a 2:1 gear ratio, I may be able to even step-up in pitch to around a 17-pitch propeller while achieving 6000-RPM, and running heavier duty lower gears. I’ll likely still go to a three-blade propeller for top end speed.

I’ll talk to Ken at PropGods. At this point I’m leaning toward paying around $500 to swap the lower unit [rather than] shelling out several thousand to get the maximum horsepower. If the lower doesn’t work, I’ll definitely be looking for a used Yamaha digital 300.

If anyone has a better idea under $1,000, I’m all ears.

Thanks again.

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Re: 23 Outrage with Honda BF225

Postby jimh » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:34 pm

Thanks for opening up the discussion to "anyone." This will allow me to comment.

The easiest change to make is to try the lower propeller pitch (13-inch) and see what results. For quite a while I was running a 15-pitch propeller on my 24-foot Boston Whaler with 225-HP engine. The difference in top speed for the boat with a 15-pitch or 17-pitch was minimal, but the 15-pitch let the engine run in the upper end of its full-throttle engine speed range, gave the boat and engine very nice handling and acceleration, and made no difference in fuel economy.

In particular with four-stroke-power-cycle outboard engines, the maximum power seems to come on only in the very upper part of the RPM range. Since your present set-up only lets the engine accelerate to 5,200-RPM, you probably are not getting all the performance available from the engine if it could accelerate to 6,000-RPM

You mention the load on the boat only in terms of a particular species of fish you intend to go after. I don't have any notion of what sort of total boat weight is involved under those conditions. A 225-HP engine can only push a moderate planing hull boat so fast, and the speed is just a function of weight and horsepower. Do you have any data on total boat weight that you will have under your heavy load set-up?

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Re: 230 Outrage with Honda BF225

Postby jimh » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:35 pm

vze2gbs4 wrote:I would assume that such a heavy boat as 23 outrage need at least 17 if not 19-21 pitch propeller.


Bad assumption. Propeller pitch is not correlated to boat length and boat weight. If anything, it is inversely correlated to boat weight. The heavier the boat, the lower the pitch.

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Re: 23 Outrage with Honda BF225

Postby jimh » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:43 pm

Re the broken gears in the HONDA BF225: I thought Honda was using a Mercury gear case. I recall that Mercury redesigned their V6 engine gear case when the VERADO FOURSTROKE came out so the gear case was more robust. Perhaps the gear case on the Honda, if a Mercury style, is the older style.

Before spending a few thousand on changing to a different gear case, I'd try a lower propeller pitch.

Going to 13-pitch from 14-pitch while staying with the present 2:1 gears is a decrease of 1/14 or about 7-percent.

Going to a gear ratio of 2:1 from 1.86:1 and staying with a present propeller is a reduction of 0.14/1.86 of 7-percent.

On that basis either change seems like about the same in terms of the propeller load on the engine. If nothing else, changing the propeller pitch to be lower as the first step may give insight to how the engine would respond to changing the gear ratio.

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Re: 23 Outrage with Honda BF225

Postby vze2gbs4 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:38 pm

All good points-go to Honda BF 225 performance report and props they used. There are hundreds of boats tested- if you compared similar boats to 23 outrage smallest pitch I see is 17 - everglades 243 had tests with 4 bladed Power Tech prop-17 inch pitch. I donrt know but i wouldnt use anything less than 17 pitch on that hull . Look - this is open forum and everybody will give you advise that best worked in their experience -this is a beauty of web boat forums . You have to absorb all of them and do what will best work in your set up.
We have all been there trust me . Manufacturers will most likely use prop that will best fit average Joe but we all have different needs and ways we use our boats. Some guys like speed others fuel economy,some troll all day and some have entire neighborhood on the boat. and I had boats that I couldn't figure out what is best prop to use and some I nailed it right on a money.

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Re: 23 Outrage with Honda BF225

Postby jimh » Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:15 pm

vze2gbs4 wrote:...go to Honda BF 225 performance report and props they used. There are hundreds of boats tested- if you compared similar boats to 23 outrage smallest pitch I see is 17...


Again, there is no notion that propeller pitch is correlated to boat length. There is no way this can be true. That some other boat used a 17-pitch propeller has no real relevance to the the boat being discussed, the engine being used to propel that boat, and the load being carried by that boat.

If the BF225 engine with a 14-pitch propeller can only accelerate to 5,200-RPM when it should be able to reach 6,000-RPM, the suggestion that the propeller pitch should be increased to 17-pitch makes no sense. To increase pitch to 17 from 14 means an increase in pitch of 3/14= 21-percent. Load is proportional to pitch, so the load on the engine increases. What engine runs faster when you increase the load?

Propeller pitch is correlated to boat speed. Boats that have enough power to be propelled to high speeds use propellers with higher pitch than boats that lack sufficient power to reach those high speeds.

Until we learn the total boat weight when the BF225 could only propel the boat to 32-MPH, we don't really have sufficient information.

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Re: 23 Outrage with Honda BF225

Postby jimh » Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:25 pm

Regarding the still unknown weight of the boat "when loaded down for tuna," we can estimate the weight using Crouch's analysis. We assume the following inputs:

HP = 225 (the rated power of the engine)
HULL FACTOR = 180 (a typical value for a Boston Whaler V-hull boat with moderate

Then using a boat speed of

MPH =32 (the reported speed in a sea trial)

we calculate boat weight according to Crouch's method, and find total weight should be:

LBS = 7120

If the actual weight of the boat "when loaded down for tuna" is close to 7,120-lbs, then the reported speed, 32-MPH, is consistent with a 225-HP engine.

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Re: 23 Outrage with Honda BF225

Postby FSBO37 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:34 pm

Thanks again fellas. All good points. Since posting this I’ve located a BF250 lower unit that the dealer is willing to swap my basically brand new BF225 for just $400. Since my primary concern is breaking lower units on long offshore trips, I think going to the larger lower unit (reportedly 10% bigger gears) is the way to go. In addition, the BF250 lower unit is supposed to be 5% more efficient in terms of drag. That combined with the fact that the dealer who specializes in repairing and refurbishing lower units said that they never get BF250 lowers in for repairs, convinced me that it’s the right course of action for $400. I’ll still likely need to buy another prop, but the dealer is willing to let me try several out before buying one. They also have experience with Honda BF225s and BF250s on other very heavy boats like C-hawks.

To answer your questions on what the total weight of my boat is when running offshore for tuna, I normally have about 4 guys onboard (900 lbs), 200 lbs of ice, 300 lbs of fishing equipment, an 80lb life raft, 50 lbs of other safety and repair gear, as well as 166 gallons of gas (1045 lbs). That combined with the added hard top, tower and controls (estimate 400 lbs) added to the base weight of the boat without gas (5200 ish) puts the total around an estimated 8000 ish lbs. I need to get the boat on a scale soon to get a better idea on the weight. The boat as is accelerates ok except when facing sloppy seas in the 3-4’ range or worse.

Jimh, I wouldn’t doubt the weight is somewhere between your estimated 7120 and my 8000 lbs. I was doing stubby pencil math.

Thanks for the help!

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Re: 23 Outrage with Honda BF225

Postby Phil T » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:40 pm

I, personally, would not spend a dollar before talking to Ken at Prop Gods.
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jimh
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Re: 23 Outrage with Honda BF225

Postby jimh » Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:12 pm

FSB'--thanks for the follow-up.

I agree with your decision to upgrade to the larger gear case, particularly if your trusted dealer is endorsing it so strongly.

When the gear ratio changes with the new gear case, you will, if effect, get a new propeller, as the 14-pitch combined with new gear case will be about the same as a 13-pitch with the old gear case.

As for the total boat weight--wow. Eight-thousand pounds is a lot of boat weight. No wonder the single 225-HP engine is having a bit of a struggle.

It is funny that you have the gear case failures on the way back home. On the way back, the fuel load should be 500-lbs lighter, all the beer should be gone, and--if you didn't catch any tuna--the boat should be lighter. On the other hand, if you landed 500-lbs of tuna, maybe the boat is as heavy on the way home as it was going out.

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Re: 23 Outrage with Honda BF225

Postby jimh » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:01 pm

Further on using Crouch's method:

If we assume the boat weight is more like 7900-lbs, the engine is 225-HP, and the boat speed is 32-MPH, then Crouch's method will tell us the hull constant: 190

A hull constant of around 190 is also consistent with some Boston Whaler hulls, particularly ones with broader beam. We can look at the available data in this manner, too.

The most interesting observation to be made is the horsepower being produced by the engine seems to be reasonably estimated at 225-HP, which suggests that there really is not an engine problem here.

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Re: 23 Outrage with Honda BF225

Postby FSBO37 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:14 am

Jimh, thanks for that insight! I think 225 hp was marginal for this boat in the beginning and I haven’t helped it by adding the tower and fishing it so heavy. Ideally I would repower it with twin 150’s, either Yamaha’s or recently I’ve been fascinated with the Evinrude G2’s. The hole shot of 2-Stroke engines combined with reportedly better fuel economy than 4 strokes has my attention. But that’s going to have to wait a few years. If I keep going offshore, I may eventually try to get a larger boat to save my back and neck. In the meantime, I’m just doing everything I can to minimize risk and improve performance on what I have.

Ive only had 500 lbs of tuna on board once! We got into a school of big eyes before we even got all the lines in the water. Hooked up to three 200+ lbers at once, landed two and followed it up with a large yellowfin. Since they wouldn’t fit in the fish boxes and we no longer had anywhere to stand in the cockpit, we decided it was time to head back in at 6 am! Best 10 minutes of trolling in my life and probably my best fishing trip ever.
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