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Maerd posted 03-23-2001 12:07 PM ET (US)   Profile for Maerd  
The golf clubs & balls of today are far superior to the old equipment because of the materials. Is this true of the foam / fiberglass etc when comparing Classics and modern? The modern Whalers may weigh more because of new materials and we now better understand stress loads etc and testing has revealed that a 25' of 1980 and the same hull of 2000 are not the same weight and durability etc. Comments please.
Shadowcatcher posted 03-23-2001 12:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Shadowcatcher  Send Email to Shadowcatcher     
Wouldn't new materials such as kevlar actually make the boats lighter? --Brian
Louie Kokinis posted 03-27-2001 01:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for Louie Kokinis    
The newer foams and resins are better, lighter, and stronger.

But, the newer hulls are not heavier because of these materials - they are larger boats, with higher freeboard, wider beams, larger fuel tanks, larger consoles, etc.

Louie

jimh posted 03-27-2001 08:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The biggest contributor of weight in newer Whalers is the 3-piece construction. Before, boats like an Outrage were fabricated with two molded pieces sandwiching a foam core. Now an Outrage has a third, top piece which is not part of the Uni-bond construction. The top molded piece adds all the interior/cockpit details.

Certainly that third piece adds weight. Does it add strength? Probably, but not as much strength per pound as the Uni-bond fabricated hull does. Is the third piece bonded to the other two by primary bonds? I think not.

In fact, that is a good question: Is the typical 2001 Outrage hull still a Uni-bond structure? Is the third molded piece bonded to the other two by a primary bond, i.e., a bond formed by the initial wet lay-up of the laminate, or is it bonded by a secondary bond, a bond where an adhesive holds two fully cured laminates together?

Cruiser posted 03-27-2001 10:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for Cruiser    
Uh Ohhh....Maerd is not going to like this. He is sensitive about the newer boats.
SuburbanBoy posted 03-27-2001 12:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
I recently was told that the strength of carbon fiber cloth was about 6 to 7 times that of conventional fiberglass cloth. I would guess that the supporting resin could be stronger as well. The cost factor for the carbon fiber system was a much higher multiplier than the strength factor. (In other words it was expensive). This may not be a factor for commercial vessels, but for most recreational users it most certainly is a factor.
dreid posted 03-27-2001 01:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for dreid  Send Email to dreid     
The carbon fiber post begs another question: Why the trade to more expensive carbon fiber? Some of the "classic" advertising boasted a 20-ton earth mover poised on top an inverted Whaler hull, an old glass one. And I've never heard of a classic glass Whaler coming apart at the seams even after 30 or 40 years of use. Was the move to carbon fiber maybe just a marketing ploy to ramp up the profit margin? Or do you think the newer owners of the brand really had customer safety in mind? Just wondering.
triblet posted 03-27-2001 01:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
I don't remember seeing anything about
carbon fiber in whalers.

Chuck

SuburbanBoy posted 03-27-2001 02:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
I did not mean to imply that Whalers were made with carbon fiber. To the best of my knowledge they are not. This was just a continuation of Brian's comments about kevlar. Whalers are not in the price range of carbon fiber hulls, .... yet.
Maerd posted 03-27-2001 04:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Maerd    
CRUISER - What's not to like? I appreciate a mature discussion and thanks to everyone who responded to my question.
LarrySherman posted 03-27-2001 05:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for LarrySherman  Send Email to LarrySherman     
Resin imparts little or no strengh, without the appropriate fibre mat. You can take a piece of .5 inch thich pure cured resin and break it in your hands. In fact, the goal in laying up a hull is to use as little resin as possible without starving the mold. Most builders go with resin ammount about 10 to 20% high of this to account for variations in the layup process.

The fibre material it another issue. the benifits of building in Carbon fibre really only come into play when it is in tension. It is ver unforgiving if used incorrectly ( Have you seen the pictures of the many Americas cup boats that have lost masts, spars, and sunk due to poor implimentation of Carbon fibre?).
In summary, the properties of a structual building material can only be evaluated within the framework of the application for which you intend to use it. One can not say that if a golf club (a great application for Carbon fibre, as we are dealing with largly compressive and tensile loads) uses Carbon fibre, that hulls should be constructed from them too. Carbon fibre in hulls is a good idea, in the right application (areas of high tensile stress: masts, booms, chainplate reinforcement, etc). In other areas, more traditional glass may perform better (bulk of hull, deck, etc) due to its more forgiving modulos of elasticity and wear resistance...

Larry

lhg posted 03-30-2001 12:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I have been wondering for some time whether
the newer Brunswick era Outrage/Conquest hulls are as strong and bouyant as their predecessors, and am beginning to think they are not, in some cases. The exceptions being the new 13, the Montauk (unchanged) and the new 16 & 18 & 22 Dauntless models. All of these seem to be Whaler's traditional construction of only 2 skins, with foam in between, and absent of the 3rd liner panels that Jimh is referring to above. All have excellent weight to bouyancy ratings, indicating high foam content in the hulls.

In referring to the both the 2001 catalog specs, and the 1987 catalog specs, I see some differences to support my OPINION (that's all this is!) regarding the larger boats.

By many Dealer's own admissions, the newer hulls are less expensive to build than the older, more complex shapes, particularly the inner skin. As JimH has pointed out, the greatly simplified interior skin of the new models, which saves design and production costs, is compensated for by a more complex 3rd liner shell (to get wells, storage areas, etc), unrelated to the structural integrity of the foamed hull underneath. The VERY complex interior skin of the older Outrages lends considerable STRUCTURAL strength to the finished, composite hull, and no 3rd liner shell is needed. As previously mentioned, this is where all the weight comes from. Almost all other boats are built this same way, but they don't have the weight of the 2nd skin holding the foam.

So the question is, are the newer, larger hulls stronger than the older. I don't really know, but I suspect not. In the old advertising, there is the now famous picture of a 43 ton bulldozer sitting totally ON TOP of the 18 Outrage overturned hull. Until this year, BW still used this picture in their advertising even though that particular hull was discontinued 10 years ago. Why, one can only wonder, but I'll bet they had nothing new that was as strong. Now this year, they have the idea back, but it is a 32 ton rubber tired hauler with only 2 of the 4 wheels sitting on a Dauntless 16. So that would be 16 tons, not the 43 tons on the older hull. If they truly wanted to show the new as strong as the old, why not the 43 ton bulldozer this time?

Swamped bouyancy ratings, as defined by BW, is directly related to the amount of foam in a given hull, another issue. This also relates to hull strength, as foam separates the hulls, and the more separation and complex interior shapes you have, the more rigidity you have. (the complex interior and exterior shapes tend to work like structural members)

The new 21 Outrage has bouyancy of 5200 lbs, but a 25 outrage, which is only 300 lbs heavier, has 9000 lbs. The old 22 Outrage, a full 12" narrower, and 1000 lb lighter, has the same 5000 lb bouyancy. The 23 Outrage, almost the same weight as the 25 Outrage, has 4900 lbs. So where's the foam, and subsequent hull strength & bouyancy? My guess is thinner, less complex, foam holding hull sections, and smoother interior skins, with less strength-adding detail. (also much cheaper to engineer and produce).

The comparisons with the largest hull, the 28 vs the older 27 are even more startling. The 28 Conquest has a bouyancy capacity of 5800 lbs, while the old 27 has a rating of 10,000 lbs. Once again where's the foam, to steal an old Wendy's ad?

Finally, the new 34 Defiance has a reserve rating of only 4000 lbs, same as a Dauntless 16. Unless I'm reading this wrong, this is scarry for a boat this size that's billed as "unsinkable" Remember, BW describes this rating as "total weight persons, MOTOR and gear boat will support if filled with water"
I don't know what a couple of diesels weigh, nor weight of fuel & equipment carried, but with a few persons aboard, I think this boat could be Whaler's Titanic! One of these days, one of those is going to SINK if my engineering is any good! There's not enough foam in it. I'll take the old 27 at 10,000 lbs for unsinkability any day.

Now, you can begin your attack.

bigz posted 03-30-2001 06:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Hmmm -- what's to attack Lawrence?

Just your opinion! Everyone is entitled to one.

Your dissertations are usaully interesting reading ---

Louie Kokinis posted 03-30-2001 08:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for Louie Kokinis    
Larry, you make an excellent point.

I've always thought it was the higher freeboard and closed transom that brought down the swamped capacity (although I'm sure the liner doesn't help). I remember the old A B comparisons where a competitor boat was swamped - it was always the low transom that saved the Whaler

Louie

lhg posted 03-30-2001 02:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Louie: The higher freeboard is probably not a factor, since all of these boats have the eqivalent of an open transom. There is only so much depth of water (hence weight of water) that the boat can hold before it will run out at the outboard mounting area. But even if the foam is still there, which it very well could be, then one must conclude that the boat design holds more water deep in the bottom, underneath the liner shell, reducing the bouyancy safety factor anyway. This I am not comfortable with at all, but I don't know what provisions the hulls have to get rid of this water. The older hulls have no reliance on bilge pumps to accomplish this, which I like. So in many ways, the ideal hull design would be to hold as little water as possible when submerged. That will give you the maximum submerged bouyancy rating. The low profile 19 that Clark is about to do is probably the ultimate in this consideration.

I also note that the 23-28 hulls are designed with a transom door, which opens the floor level of the boat out to the Euro transom area. I wonder (and assume) that the bouyancy ratings are done with this water evacuation door open, which means the floor level of the boat would contain little water, and all would be below deck. You could be submerged and keep your feet dry? But Boston Whaler does not tell us the details of how any of these ratings are achieved. And only recently they had to correct published boat weights, a most unfortunate incident from such a trusted company.

All of this points up the fact that the boating industry operates in a world that does not keep the buying public particularly well informed about it's products and standards, and particularly, competitive pricing. But the internet and sites like this are changing all of this, and most have yet to adapt. The good and bad experiences with Marine products of all types are getting out and disseminated almost instantly. The manufacturers can't hide the problems & defects any longer. The OMC mess points this out better than any. More than two years ago we were starting to hear about Ficht problems. Now, because of the bankruptcy, we know literally EVERY ONE of those early engines had to be replaced, breaking the company's back. Company employees, on the inside, passed along a lot damaging information that no one would of known about pre-internet. Three months ago the word was out on the fires and explosions of the 200-250 engines. All was denied, saying these were truly perfected engines. Only last week, Bombardier finally had to act to preserve the reputation of what they had purchased, saying the engines SHOULD NOT EVEN BE USED until repaired! OMC did their best to conceal the whole mess, but the web let it out. The poorly designed VRO oil injection systems of OMC over the last 25 years have never really have been owned up to. There have been thousands of engine failures from this faulty design, thousands of pumps replaced, but it's been well concealed until now. Bombardier will have to redesign these, also, before new engines can come out. That's why it will be a least 6 more months before any new Johnsons or Evinrudes hit the market.

Public relations in the Marine business is now in a whole new arena. Boston Whaler inadvertantly found this out with their own Forum, where all of us got started. But they didn't know how to deal with it from a public relations standpoint, and shut it down because they, and the Dealership network, couldn't deal with the continued popularity of the original Whalers. But here we all are again, and I think they are missing out on the action! But I hope they're learning something from what they read here, both good and bad.

Finally, Kingfish just revealed an interesting bit of information to me. While looking to purchase a used 23' Pursuit (fairly recent model) as a camp boat with other family members, he discovered that the Dealer was mis-representing the boat as having foam floatation. It was discovered that it had NONE! I had always thought Pursuit was a high quality boat. Cross that one off my list! The Coast Guard only requires flotation in boats 20' and under, but how cheesy to for a supposed high quality boat manufacturer to skimp on this major item! But more do it then we realize. We're kind of spoiled with our Boston Whalers, I guess.

bigz posted 03-30-2001 03:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Coast Guard has for years only required less than 20 foot boats to have flotation nothing new there!

BW never told us how their buoyancy ratings of the older Whalers was actually achieved either on the larger models (they didn't cut those into pieces --- chuckle) yet like the new ones they did receive a USCG registration specification plaque.

Wrong on bilge's Larry most all the older larger boats required bilge pumps to get rid of any water accumulated under the decking or in the bilge's -- everyone doesn't trailer their Whaler yeah know or have it hauled nightly and pull the plugs.

I'm surprised John didn't realize it or the dealer, again nothing new there with a Pursuit. He didn't even mention he wanted a boat with floatation when he mentioned it to me (when researching another boat for him) regarding this new family owned boat for their camps.

This "fire" thing on the Ficht's has the dealers floored, since none I spoke to have experienced or heard what the possible cause could be -- yes they have heard a few of the "stories" which were circulated. The "exploding situation which was rare was corrected on early models with new bolts and strap kits for the injectors.

However, at present time the dealers haven't a clue what they are going to receive in the way of an upgrade kit since no information as mentioned has been forth coming from Bombardier or the ex-OMC management and engineering team that has been hired back by Bombardier on this recall.

Another tidbit Bombardier maybe looking for away out of the union and EPA situation since the latest word is they are in talks with Harvard Casting about selling the #2 plant, the one with EPA headaches --- this is just a rumor at present. Guess though it would mean Harvard would hire back the ex-workers (all union) and produce castings for the engines as a subcontractor. These ex-OMC workers then would be subject to Harvard's labor agreements not sure union or not.

See no attack Lawrence just a few facts, can't commitment on the reason for the astronomical weight increases on some of the new Whalers I am no a marine architect or engineer and don't have a clue on what or why such a steep increase in weight (I can conjecture but no factual explanation).

Tom

PS I'll let you know how the Ficht engines run --- we now own two 225hp'00 models attached to our new boat.

lhg posted 03-30-2001 07:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Tom: I didn't know you'd found a new boat, Whaler 27 Walkaround, I presume? I'll bet it's nice.

Since you mentioned the continuing Ficht problems that the Dealers know nothing about, and now own two of these engines yourself, here's what I know from someone on the inside. Hope this will help you and your dealer out.

The fire and explosion problem is worse than most know, and Bombardier is not yet releasing the info, but only telling people all engines are involved, that they are working on a "kit" and they should not be operated until the problems are resolved. That's why the Dealers know nothing of the newer problems, thinking the "enhancement kits" released in late November were the total solution. They are not, and evidently even those kits, which were to correct the problem of injectors coming loose and causing a fire from leaking fuel, have not been fully tested either. They do believe that problems of total engine failure from fouled spark plugs and excessive carbon build up have been solved with later head designs.

But the problem that they evidently do not yet have a solution for, and are not yet disclosing publically, is that of the vapor separator tops breaking away, or outright exploding (if I understand it correctly) and leaking fuel into the lower motor cover, creating the fire hazard. This was first discovered back in May 2000, and OMC ignored & covered up the problem! One quick fix was to vent the lower motor covers to let the runaway fuel just drain away!!! Or in other words, actually accepting the fuel leaks and figuring out how to handle them!! Bad engineering with bells on. Evidently when the engine gets really hot under the cover, the fuel in the vapor separator expands and pushes the top off the canister (or blows the top off the canister, and the whole engine hood off the motor!), resulting in runaway fuel leaks. There is also a leaking O-ring problem in this unit.

In addition, there was thought of programming the EMM unit so that it would shut down the engine and fuel pump when it went into uncontrolled runaway due to excess fuel being sucked into the intakes.

I'm not sure I completely understand the technicalities here, but you can see there are a host of other problems yet to be corrected, which is why the Coast Guard forced Bombardier to issue the relatively non-descript "don't use" warning . My guess is that total resolution and testing of the needed design changes is not yet done, or at least the parts are not yet ready from outside contractors. They obviously can't build new Ficht engines until these problems are fixed and certified. I do believe the engineers are hard at work on the problem.

My comment on how the Outrages drain was under a fully swamped situation. In the 25, I run the boat always with the two sump plugs removed. At rest I get a few gallons in the sumps, that's it. The other thru hull drain is in the forward well. If fully swamped, and with no electrical power, by just pulling this plug, the boat will rise back up under it's own bouyancy. That's a great safety factor to me. No garwood drain plugs in the dark pits of the bilges, which don't exist. I don't know if the new Outrages funtion this way or not. But I know my 18 outrage does, as I have been in a fully swamped situation with it, in 4' seas.

bigz posted 03-31-2001 06:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
We think she is pretty nice Larry, '92 27 WA, thank you.

Well the dealers were aware of the strap/bolt kits for the injectors, actually they were issued last summer. They also were aware of the vapor separator potential problem and the reprogramming of the EMM unit.

They both related basically the same information (one is in NC, the other a close friend is in NJ) that other than the kit upgrades and I believe EMM programming they haven't experienced any significant problems with engines they have serviced or sold--- that doesn't mean there hasn't been or that OMC wasn't aware of the problems and still went ahead and sold them. They both said ex-OMC management should be held responsible for this situation. As one said if someone is/was injured, bankrupted or not criminal negligence charges might be brought, if it could be proved prior management was aware of the potential then disregarded it and sold the engines anyway, against the individuals not the defunct corporation..

These engines have approx. 100 plus hours and have been run a number of times out to the "Stream" off NC since last Spring. No worse for wear. It does concern me but not to a paranoid level.

Nor does it to our surveyor who will be running her up the coast next week to a boatyard for a bottom strip, barrier coats, and anti-foul painting, plus detailing. As it stands now she will be high and dry for at least a couple of weeks so if Bombardier can actually come up with a solution or at least define the problem it can be readily be taken care of I should think.

Now the performance of these direct injected engines is awesome --- I won't get into detail yet until they can be run in a more test like situation. The 20 miles we did do in the sea trial I was absolutely amazed and so was our marine surveyor ---

Well in the bilge in the 27's you can't do pull the "plug" and self drain! The stern bilge is a deep dark hard to get into "hole"!

If your in a slip with any of them left unattended your going to come back and find the deck awash without a bilge pump (happened a couple of times to our 20 OR when the float switch got jammed) after a rain. If you pulled the plug at rest it would "nicely" equalize after filling the gas tank under deck area the wiring trough and about an inch or two over the aft cockpit deck area ---! Under way I agree it will self drain to a point --- guess we crossed on what we each meant by "self-draining" ---

Louie Kokinis posted 03-31-2001 03:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Louie Kokinis    
I lost my drain plug last year, and see no reason to buy another.

Louie

lhg posted 03-31-2001 03:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Tom: Congratulations on your new Whaler. I love those models and wouldn't mind finding one myself! For a while it sounded like you were considering a 28 Conquest. I think you did much better, and saved to boot. And I would have to agree, that everybody that has run the Ficht 200/225's says they are very strong. Most think faster than the Optimax or HPDI's. I do hope they get the bugs worked out. Incidentally, and not to scare you, but I heard that most of the problems have occurred after 100 hours. So keep on top of it. I recently talked to a couple of Marine patrol guys in FL, and they love them. Are worried about the fire hazard, however, and this was before the CG warning was issued. Incidentally, the CG is investigating the whole situation for validity, and will have to re-certify the upgrades, so maybe you can get some immediate and current info from them.

My 25 Outrage, even with the engines hung back on a bracket and full tank of gas, gets no water up to floor level at the back sumps, even with people standing back there. Up until the new models started appearing, BILGE was not a term that applied to any Whaler 25' or less. That's why I barely even use the plugs - actually only in salt water or if overnighting on the boat. It is totally self bailing at rest. Sounds like Louie's 22 is the same. Could be the original 20 that you had didn't sit as high. And I know what you mean about the stern sump in the 27. That's a real nasty place to reach. But I assumed at rest the 27 still wouldn't hold much water except in that stern sump.

bigz posted 03-31-2001 03:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Louie you think it might have something to do with the way a commerical is set up and all that sealed compartment space. Is the gas tank area sealed off too?

As I said if I pulled the plug on the 20 OR the water would equalize flooding the gas tank area and wiring trough covering an inch or two of the aft deck at rest. She wouldn't sink though --- chuckle! Now our 13 will bob around all day with the plug pulled and only a couple of inches around the transom area will stay wet, move her off under power and she drains right out.

bigz posted 03-31-2001 03:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
We crossed post Larry.

You really must be kidding on a 28 Conquest the thought never crossed my mind. Maybe you read it into the few post I made defending it like I have all the newer Whalers since hey they are Whalers ----

Yes it could have been the old deep V 20 it did sit low with the 175 Johnson. It was their fist try with a deep V design.

There are 5 bilge pumps on the 27!

The Coast Guard update stated the problem surfaced in November and a service fax for upgrades was sent to dealers which we were aware of and you mentioned it. It gets a little fuzzy now since the way the CG recent statement reads that this in fact was the problem Bombardier is addressing now with engines that weren't upgraded prior to the Christmas closing and subsequent bankruptcy. However I must say you can read this either way meaning their might be more than the original problem, they are waiting more information form Bombardier ( ex-OMC engineers back at work is more likely). Well if they blow on the way up to the boatyard we'll be without motors for a while unless they have a pair of counter 225's laying around. Will have him keep a fire extinguisher handy.

bigz posted 03-31-2001 04:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Oops Larry I apologize just slipped the old mind.

Thank you for the "cheer" on our new 27 WA -- she is a fine boat --- much appreciated.

Gee now we have two of these things laying about! -- As George Harkness remarked -- Tom you got enough boats to start a yard --- heh heh --

Sent some photos to JimH which aren't for publication on the site we'll wait until we get her the way we want her before posting any -- she is very close to the Italian one on the 27 WA photo page ---

Louie Kokinis posted 04-02-2001 01:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for Louie Kokinis    
Tom: I think the only way water can get to the tank is if it goes up the channel (to around the console) and approx 6" up. There is never more than a couple of inches of water in the channel though, and thats only at rest - never any water on the floor. My pic in cetacea shows the boat at rest, with no plug installed.

My manual states the drain plug may be left out unless an automatic bilge pump is installed. Larry may know why the 20 wouldn't be the same, it doesn't make any sense.

Louie

lhg posted 04-02-2001 01:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
The original v-20, the first of the 2nd generation Outrages, had a pretty shallow "V", so maybe that was the reason, which would cause the floor to be closer to the waterline. It was kind of the experimental transition hull from the original outrages. I remember talking to Dougherty about it once at a trade show (sometine in 1992), and he said that it was a little too shallow, and rode harder than the later models where the V was deepened. That's why the 1985 20 was introduced, basically a cut off (at the transom) 22.

My 18 Outrage, with the weight of the twin setback Mercs (305 lb each), will completely fill the sump with the plug out, and if someone stands back there, they can get their feet wet. But left at rest at a dock, if rain is in the forecast, I always leave the plug out, as one should do with any Whaler, and water stays below deck level.

lhg posted 04-06-2001 07:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Tom and other high HP Ficht owners: Relative to the 1999 & 2000 Ficht 200's & 225's, today the USCG made it official and issued a warning against their use until repaired. They said because of fuel leaks a "substantial risk of fire and explosion exists" and the problem represents a "defect that poses substantial risk of danger to the public". They indicate they have many reports of fires, explosions and personal injuries! And, in case anybody wonders, a fire on a small boat on the water is THE worst possilbe thing that can happen to you. They did not say what caused the fuel leaks. I believe there is more than one source, and all the repairs are not yet ready.

The overtone of the CG advisory indicates Bombardier has no choice but to assume responsiblity for this problem, if it was to get along with the US. My guess is that for Public Relations value, and spirit of cooperation, the CG let them come out first. By their own admission, they had no intention of warrantying the 1999 models, but I think the CG probably insisted they get involved in this year also. I wonder what they're going to do with all the blown powerheads from the 1999's, a separate problem. Fix the leaks but let the 1999 engines blow up? They must have known what they were buying into. They bought it cheap. They can afford to take care of the problems. Maybe a lot of 1999 Owners are going to get brand new Bombardier Evinrudes in exchange, for free. That would be the SMART thing to do.

It's really becoming apparent why OMC went under. The engine division was in free-fall, and upper management moral integrity had gone to zero, with people being put in both personal and financial jeopardy knowingly. Can't say much for the Coast Guard either regarding protection of the American consumer. It took them about 6 months to get involved, probably because a lot of insiders were told to fear for their jobs. A lot of people, consumers and Dealers alike, have been mislead & lost money they can't afford to lose. Or did OMC, and the boating press and trade organizations in general, just do that good of a job of concealing the problems and liabilities? They are a pretty thick, protectionist, group. Anybody ever try to find a selling price, or even list price, of a boat or engine listed on a major Company's website, including BW, Mercury or Yamaha? Good luck. If they do it for airline tickets & autos, why not Marine items? Maybe this is really why the industry is all badly overpriced anyway. The boat/hole in the water saying persists.

I believe it is going to be a long, hard road back for Bombardier. They may be a large operation in planes and trains, but compared to Brunswick, their marine jet ski, jet boat Sea Doo operation is tiny, with no experience in outboards. Hopefully for them, the new, improved Ficht engines will speak for themselves. Of all the talk on this site, I don't hear of anyone going out, now, to buy a new Evinrude or Johnson OMC leftover these days. All the talk is Merc, Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki.

I am wondering whether they are even going to bother building the Johnson 2-stroke line. I don't think they've got a place to build them that doesn't have pollution liabilities. I did hear they renewed the Suzuki contract, so should have their 4 strokes in the 2002 year line-up. Those Suzuki's could be critical in keeping the brand names alive until Bombardier's own engines can be produced. Plus maybe a few Fichts could round out the lineup.

It's obvious to anyone that I have no lost love for the old OMC, even though the engines seemed to be fine before Ficht problems surfaced. The place, in Waukegan IL, has been mis-managed for about 30 years, and is an environmental nightmare. When it became known, 25 years ago, that they were repsonsible for MAJOR PCB pollution in Lake Michigan, eminating from Waukegan Harbor, affecting edibility of millions of fish, and refusing to cleanup the situation, except after 15 years in the courts, I wrote them off. Swore I'd never buy another product from them. Remember, their business was selling boats and motors to Great Lakes FISHERMEN, among others, while poisoning their own backyard, and the backyard of their customers! Incredibly irresponsible. Not my kind of people. Those of us left (most have quit fishing because of the PCB's) who have fished Lake Michigan for 20 years get the health PCB advisories on eating fish every year with the license. Thanks a lot, OMC. You deserved to go out of business! It was probably inevitable. Even Soros got taken. But maybe I'm not entitled to this opinion!

Maerd posted 04-06-2001 08:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Maerd    
Wow - I am really sorry for those that cannot use their boats. If I had the bad motors I would have my lawyer immediately go after the company and the dealer for negligence by placing everyone in jeopardy of bodily harm when they knew about the problem. You want to have your case first in line. Plus mental anguish etc. As far as this summer goes you may be able to lease non-Ficht motors or get the dealer to sell to you at cost. What does the warranty say? Does your state have a lemon law? My guess is that you can not sell your boat and motors without telling the buyer about the problem. If you operate your boat and have a fire your insurance company probably will not pay. Good Luck
lhg posted 04-06-2001 10:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
The Coast Guard warning says that upon their further investigation, they discovered that between July 1999 and December 2000 OMC had received reports of fires and explosions on these engines. That's a period of 21 months they evidently knew about it, and did nothing to inform the customer! But they still sold these '99's and '00's to supposedly unwitting Dealers (some HAD to have known), who in turn sold them to unwitting customers. Even before they walked away, they had a big discount to Dealers to unload all the unsold 2001 engines they had produced. Then they locked their doors in mid December, and still did nothing to inform the public officially. Now another 3 1/2 months have passed before Bombardier & the USCG made the announcement. But the internet has been alive with the stories for months, and many of the old OMC diehards have been denying them as worthless rumors, just so more inventory could be first sold off. Terrible situation!

This situation had to be a factor in the bankruptcy. Hey, just stick the lenders, the suppliers, the Dealers and the customers with the mere $1,000,000,000 and walk away. That way nobody can sue. We do need to change the bankruptcy laws in this country. (I just heard on the news that one of the California power companies just declared bankruptcy, leaving a 9 BILLION debt!) Wonder who's gonna pay for that one? Answer: ALL OF US!

Well, a lot have said that OMC was a great American Outboard Company. But there's an equal number that would disagree. It was at one time, but not in recent times, even though it still had a lot of great employees, a lot of great Dealers, and a lot of great, loyal customers, including Boston Whaler at one time. All deserved better. But at some levels of management and decision making, it was the opposite of great.

I wonder if someone at Bombardier is saying "what have we gotten ourselves into?" Did they get outsmarted by Jacobs of Genmar? I doubt if they ever expected a Coast Guard investigation and advisory. This is not good for business. Look what happened to the Pinto with it's fire/gas tank problem. Or Firestone tires. Who's buying them? Fire on the water, mixing gasoline and fiberglass, is such a life threatening situation, that I can't see anybody ever looking back at one of these "Advisory" engines running 5000rpm and being comfortable.

Mercury and Yamaha must be licking their chops.

B Bear posted 04-06-2001 10:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
That is absoultely CRIMINAL. How many people have lost thier lives and or risked life and limb to this point? These OMC ex CEOs and Board members should be held accountable in CRIMINAL court. What good will all that money they paid themselves screwing millions of hard working Americans be in prison. And that is where they belong being somebody's _itch.

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