2020 320 VANTAGE Engine Options

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Zen
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2020 320 VANTAGE Engine Options

Postby Zen » Mon May 18, 2020 1:27 pm

Are twin Mercury 300-HP VERADO FOURSTROKE [V8 naturally aspirated AMS midsection] engines okay for powering a 320 VANTAGE?

Or, should choose the option for 350-HP VERADO FOURSTROKE [L6 supercharged] engines to power a 320 VANTAGE?

I'm buying a new 320 Vantage and planning to go with twin Mercury 300-HP VERADO FOURSTROKE [V8 naturally aspirated AMS mid-section] engines and joystick steering.

The standard engines are twin Mercury 250-HP VERADO FOURSTROKE [V8 naturally aspirated AMS mid-section] engines, but I think they wouldn't provide the power I need, particularly when docking with the joystick. I don't care how fast [the boat] can go. I want to have maximum control at the docks.

I don't want to spend more if I don't have to.

jimh
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Re: 2020 320 VANTAGE Engine Options

Postby jimh » Sat May 23, 2020 8:00 pm

I don't understand the basis for increasing engine power in order to have better control during low speed docking maneuvers. Why would you need 700-HP to move the boat at 1-MPH or 2-MPH around a dock? Why would the standard 500-HP rigging be insufficient to control the boat during docking maneuvers?

roundle1979
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Re: 2020 320 VANTAGE Engine Options

Postby roundle1979 » Sun May 24, 2020 9:43 am

Have a look at Boston Whaler's own performance tests:

https://www.bostonwhaler.com/family-overview/vantage-boat-models/320-vantage/

Dual Mercury Verado 350 (L6)
*Time to plane: 8.5 seconds
*Top speed: 51 MPH at 6350 RPMs

Dual Mercury Verado 300 (V8)
*Time to plane: 6.7 seconds
*Top speed: 49.1 MPH at 6000 RPMs

Dual Mercury Verado 250 (V8)
*Time to plane: 6.8 seconds
*Top speed: 46.4MPH at 6000 RPMs

Personally, I would go with the 300; I would give up a little bit of the top end that the 350/400 offer for more low-end grunt. Also, I would prefer to have naturally aspirated engines rather than supercharged engines. That said, the V8s have not been around that long so there aren't many around with thousands of hours.

Also worth mentioning, if you are looking at the 320 Vantage, I'd probably also have a look at the following:

Everglades 340DC: https://www.evergladesboats.com/sportfi ... les/340dc/

Southport 33DC: https://southportboats.com/model/southport-33-dc/

Grady White Freedom 325: https://www.gradywhite.com/models/dual- ... eedom-325/

jimh
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Re: 2020 320 VANTAGE Engine Options

Postby jimh » Sun May 24, 2020 9:58 am

ROUNDLE--many thanks for mentioning the difference between these engines, now all under the branding of VERADO. Previously, the VERADO name badge meant an in-line four-cylinder 1.7-liter with supercharging or an in-line six-cylinder 2.6-liter engine with supercharging. When Brunswick developed their V8 engine with natural aspiration, they decided to brand it the same as the supercharged in-line or L6 engines, and gave it the VERADO badge. This is now a source of confusion to anyone who is not an expert on Mercury engines.

With the distinction between the engines now clear, I have some comments:

First, the original in-line or L6 VERADO 2.6-liter engine with supercharging is a really beautifully engineered engine. It has been around since c.2004, or for 16-years, and it has a good track record. There was a very early production change to what became known as the Generation II or Gen-2 engine, which improved the fuel efficiency. The most outstanding feature for me that these L6 VERADO engines exhibit is their remarkable low noise, no vibration, and no harshness (NVH). They really set the standard for a modern outboard engine for NVH. This quality is due, in part, to the natural characteristics of an in-line six-cylinder engine. The reciprocating and rotational forces are inherently very balanced in that engine design.

Next, I cannot say anything about the running characteristics of the newly named VERADO V8 engine because I have not been aboard and operating a boat with them. But they are not supercharged engines. For their low-engine speed acceleration they depend on larger displacement, using 4.6-liter blocks.

The most obvious difference between these V8 engines and the L6 engines is the cowling shape and size. The aesthetics might be a factor in choosing which engine.

Based on Mercury's website, both L6 and V8 VERADO FOURSTROKE engines use the same engine mounting, which was, by the way, another new design that was introduced in c.2004 with the initial VERADO roll-out.

Regarding the choice of naturally-aspirated or supercharged, at the initial roll-out of the VERADO I thought that a supercharger on an outboard engine was something very unusual, and for the supercharger to be operating in a saltwater environment a particular concern. However, from what I can tell from anecdotal information, the supercharger in the VERADO has not been a maintenance problem. Apparently, the component is very well designed for its application in saltwater use.

jimh
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Re: 2020 320 VANTAGE Engine Options

Postby jimh » Sun May 24, 2020 10:09 am

roundle1979 wrote:Dual Mercury Verado 350 (L6)
*Time to plane: 8.5 seconds
*Top speed: 51 MPH at 6350 RPM

Dual Mercury Verado 300 (V8)
*Time to plane: 6.7 seconds
*Top speed: 49.1 MPH at 6000 RPM

Dual Mercury Verado 250 (V8)
*Time to plane: 6.8 seconds
*Top speed: 46.4MPH at 6000 RPM


Based on this data, the V8 seems to have better acceleration onto plane. This suggest better low-engine-speed torque. Better low-engine-speed torque seems like it would be an advantage for docking. Again, I have to ask:

Where did the initial presumption that the 350-HP engines would be better for docking than the 250-HP engines originate?

Based on the two criteria laid out in the initial post:
Zen wrote:I don't care how fast [the boat] can go. I want to have maximum control at the docks.

and
Zen wrote:I don't want to spend more if I don't have to.

the choice of the standard twin VERADO V8 250-HP engines seem to meet those requirements.

jimh
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Re: 2020 320 VANTAGE Engine Options

Postby jimh » Mon May 25, 2020 8:20 am

The Boston Whaler webpage on the 320 VANTAGE contains plenty of data about fuel economy and speed with various engines. It show there is no advantage in fuel economy at optimum cruising speed provided by using more horsepower. The three comparisons are:

Twin 250 V8 with 17-pitch
33-MPH = 1.3-MPG

Twin 300 V8 with 18-pitch
34.3-MPH = 1.29-MPG

Twin 350 L6 with 17-pitch
33.7-MPG = 1.22-MPG

All comparisons use the Mercury REVOLUTION4 propeller.

There is a fourth power option:

Twin 400-HP L6 with 17-pitch
30.2-MPH = 1.33-MPG

This last comparison shows that with more horsepower to get optimum cruise the boat speed is SLOWER. This is the exact opposite of the hypothesis offered above that more horsepower will lead to faster cruise speed. Also, the test data was collected over a period of four years and at different times of the year. Since the fuel economy is given to a resolution of 0.01-MPG, there really is no basis to assume that a precision of measurement to one-hundredth of a gallon in fuel economy is purely a function of engine horsepower. It is more likely that variations in fuel economy of 0.01-MPH could be due to variations among the various engines due to small manufacturing variations, variations in environmental conditions like air temperature, humidity, water temperature, winds, and currents, variations is test measurements, particularly in boat speed as measured as speed over ground by GNSS. And the propeller pitch is not constant in all tests.

I don't see any well-controlled experimental basis to come to any reasonable conclusion about a trend for fuel economy to improve if greater horsepower engines are used and throttled down. I think this is an intentional disbelief that some people adopt to explain why they have bought engines that cost $30,000 more than the base engines

The test data is presented in terms of engine speeds, not boat speeds. If you really want to compare fuel economy as a function of boat speed, then the test will be to run all the engine configurations at the same boat speeds, and compare the fuel economy as a function of boat speed, not as a function of engine speed. When boats are in actual use, the helmsman usually adjusts the boat speed to an appropriate speed for sea conditions. The helmsman is not limited to only adjusting the engine speed in 500-RPM increments as is done in the test data.

conch
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Re: 2020 320 VANTAGE Engine Options

Postby conch » Mon May 25, 2020 9:30 am

Nice boat, pretty heavy girl though. Will you keep her forever and ever, or do you consider resale? A 30K premium for 60% more horsepower is about 10% or less of the purchase price. Not out of range for boats or pickup trucks I think. Put the 400 Merc's on there or you will piloting a 13,000 lb pig when fueled-up ,iced-up ,friends aboard, and ready to go.
Chuck

jimh
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Re: 2020 320 VANTAGE Engine Options

Postby jimh » Mon May 25, 2020 12:29 pm

ASIDE: I guess I am not the only person who has become confused by Mercury's decision to brand their new line of V8 large-displacement naturally aspirated outboard "propulsion systems" as VERADO. I notice in Boston Whaler's performance data, they do not use the branding VERADO to refer to the V8 engine. They refer to is as "Dual Mercury 250 V8 AMS" and as "Dual Mercury 300 V8 AMS" engines, where AMS means advanced mounting system.

This is actually a very good decision so their customers do not become confused about what engine is being tested and what engine they are going to get on the boat.

I infer Boston Whaler doesn't think the VERADO branding of the Mercury 250 V8 AMS and Mercury 250 V8 AMS non-supercharged engines is particularly clearly understood.

And I think it is very important that this distinction be made in this thread, so the actual customer is not confused by others who seem to be talking about comparing a 300-HP L6 VERADO Supercharged engine, which, by the way, is no longer in the Mercury product line.

jimh
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Re: 2020 320 VANTAGE Engine Options

Postby jimh » Mon May 25, 2020 12:34 pm

conch wrote:Nice boat, pretty heavy girl though. Will you keep her forever and ever, or do you consider resale? A $30,000 premium for 60% more horsepower is about 10% or less of the purchase price. Not out of range for boats or pickup trucks I think. Put the 400 Merc's on there or you will piloting a 13,000 lb pig when fueled-up , iced-up, friends aboard, and ready to go.
Chuck


Very good points to consider, and better arguments than fuel economy. With gasoline fuel much cheaper than bottled water, who cares what the fuel economy might be?

We really don't have data from the prospective buyer about the prices of the various boats. Maybe there is a glut of 400-HP VERADO engines and they go for cheap. But I think it is just the opposite. The 400-HP VERADO is probably in high demand.

For some buyers there is an important bling-factor to having really high-powered engines on the transom, whether or not the actual use of the boat requires that level of propulsion power. And, as you mention, if the boat goes up for sale, the bling-factor of 400-HP engines might attract some additional buyers who will pay more for that bling.

jimh
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Re: 2020 320 VANTAGE Engine Options

Postby jimh » Mon May 25, 2020 6:58 pm

Another consideration if following the rather strange notion that the twin 350-HP supercharged VERADO engines will give better docking and a faster cruise: those engines need 91-Octane gasoline. The added cost of always-needed 91-Octane fuel should be an important consideration in choosing the engine option. Here in Michigan there is generally no 91-Octane fuel at marina fuel docks. The best grade (and only grade) is usually 90-Octane pure gasoline.

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Phil T
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Re: 2020 320 VANTAGE Engine Options

Postby Phil T » Tue May 26, 2020 11:07 am

This thread has almost completely ignored the OP's question.

I don't care how fast [the boat] can go. I want to have maximum control at the docks.


The answer should be:

There is nothing to gain by selecting a higher horsepower engine to improve docking performance.

If anything, the selection of propellers may affect docking performance.


Sheesh.
Member since 2003
1992 Outrage 17, 1992 Evinrude 115

jimh
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Re: 2020 320 VANTAGE Engine Options

Postby jimh » Tue May 26, 2020 1:05 pm

Phil T wrote:... the selection of propellers may affect docking performance.

The standard propeller selection has already been been discussed; see above. Boston Whaler always uses the REVOLUTION4 propeller.

PHIL--do you know if when ordering a new boat from Boston Whaler pre-rigged with engine that the buyer can change to a propeller of his own choice rather than the standard propeller?

ASIDE: outboard engine propellers with high rake often are not very effective in propelling a boat astern.

jimh
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Re: 2020 320 VANTAGE Engine Options

Postby jimh » Tue May 26, 2020 1:08 pm

Phil T wrote:This thread has almost completely ignored the OP's question.
Zen wrote:I don't care how fast [the boat] can go. I want to have maximum control at the docks.

Yes, almost. But at least one post was directly on that point.
jimh wrote:Based on the two criteria laid out in the initial post:
Zen wrote:I don't care how fast [the boat] can go. I want to have maximum control at the docks.

and
Zen wrote:I don't want to spend more if I don't have to.

the choice of the standard twin VERADO V8 250-HP engines seem to meet those requirements.


The thread did get dragged off into the woods when a new topic, fuel economy and how it can improve with higher horsepower, was introduced. I have actually removed all that sidebar discussion, as there really was no basis for the original premise.

I am now waiting to hear from Zen about the cost of the various options. The joystick steering is quite expensive, about $24,000. I think joystick costs more than the upgrade to the bigger engines.

biggiefl
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Re: 2020 320 VANTAGE Engine Options

Postby biggiefl » Wed May 27, 2020 9:39 am

" I think joystick costs more than the upgrade to the bigger engines."

I hope so as the upgrade from 250hp to 300hp when repowering is roughly $2k per engine. According to Whaler.com it is a $5294 option for the 300's which is in line. Another $4206 to paint them white. And the 300 w/Joystick is $31k option so Jim was close as it is $25,700 for the Joystick. That must be one Joy of a stick. The 350hp are another $10k over the 300's.

Personally I would scratch that joyous stick and spend $7100 on the bow thruster option, that will out maneuver any Atari controller.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall. :roll:

Jefecinco
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Re: 2020 320 VANTAGE Engine Options

Postby Jefecinco » Wed May 27, 2020 4:21 pm

A major advantage of a bow thruster is it's very well proven history of performance and reliability. It does not take a genius with a laptop computer to trouble shoot and repair a bow thruster. The repair and maintenance costs should be commensurate with it's simplicity.
Butch