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Author Topic:   Power options: Boston Whaler with outdrives?
jimh posted 08-15-2001 11:34 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
I have come to appreciate that for salt water use the outboard motor has many advantages over inboard/outboard (I/O) drives, but up here in (cool, clear, drinkable) fresh water country, the single engine I/O is a very popular choice for powering boats from 17-feet to about 26-feet.

I would guess that on many fresh water lakes, on boats more than 20-feet long the I/O is used much more than larger outboard engines.

At one time Whaler offered I/O drive boats in their product line, on models like the Revenge and the Temptation in the 22-foot hulls.

What would your reaction be to having a Whaler with an I/O drive?

Here is a modern boat with a modern, diesel I/O outdrive!:

This boat looks like it could be an interesting choice. What do you think?

With Whaler being in the Mercury family, it would seem to make perfect sense for them to develop an I/O powered boat. And using a diesel engine would be very much in keeping with the Whaler approach to strong functionality in a boat.

Let's hear some comments on this!


Tom W Clark posted 08-15-2001 11:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

I have mostly owned outboards but now find myself with two I/O's and have really come to appreciate the differences.

The diesel I/O is an idea which I don't think has really been developed (or marketed) very well. There was a time when I was looking at buying a Grady White (forgive me) and I considered the diesel I/O option. my dealer, Jacobesen's, told me that Grady did offer a diesel option and they had one customer who went so as far as visiting the Portland, OR Grady dealer to test drive one and was not pleased. It's the old power to weight ratio dilemma that becomes a problem in the 20' to 25' range.

Being a cheap son-of-a-gun I like the economy that a diesel can afford but the initial purchase cost and the noise puts me off. In my home town there are lots of people driving around in fancy new diesel powered p/u trucks which I believe they bought because the are "big and bad", but they paid thousands extra for the privilege and they will never reap the benefits of longevity, unlike my tile setter who drives his '82 Ford F250 HD with about 400k miles on it. I suspect he's gotten his money out of it by now.

But an I/O Whaler? Seems like a good idea, and if they can get the initial cost of a deisel down, then so much the better.

bdb posted 08-16-2001 07:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for bdb  Send Email to bdb     
I think there's merit...for a few of reasons:

September issue "Boating" magazine features a brief test of Stingray's new 20'CC with the engine nearly midship and a jackshaft turning the sterndrive. The difference from past similar applications is that this one has Mercury's new little 120hp diesel. Not everything was hunky-dory, but this is a 2900lb boat cruising along at 30mph getting nearly 8mpg! And priced at $27,500. Closed cooling too. (By the way, Lakeland Boating ran this rig a few months back.)

Some have perhaps read my posts about running a 23'Walkaround w/twin 225 outboards. If I could do one thing to settle this "jumping bean" down it would be to drop a couple of chunks of cast iron under the helm and mate seats. Here again, a jack-shafted sterndrive dances through my imagination.

Then, as a BW historical witness, we have in the area an early 70s 19' Revenge with a Volvo sterndrive. I believe it's a 130hp, but don't hold me to that. Purrs like a kitten, and is quiet. The gentleman who owns it has owned for nearly 30 years...he doesn't want a new boat. Delightful fellow, who launches the boat and climbs aboard with a fishing pole, can of worms, a dog, flask of brandy and two cigars. Comes back when the can and flask are empty and cigars gone. Turned 92 this winter. That boat planes out very nicely and my observation is that it seems to run at a smooth/steadier plane that outboard hulls of the genre'.

Oh, but I digress!

Harpoon Harry...who's plotting to steal the neighbor's tractor engine, and drop it in the Montauk's console. Pictures for Cetacea soon!

OutrageMan posted 08-16-2001 07:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for OutrageMan  Send Email to OutrageMan     
I think the idea of diesel outdrives is an interesting one.

While in Florida this pas winter, my Father and I went to several of the different boat dealers in the area. Dorado was one of our stops.

This is a boat company that has done some very interesting things with I/O's. One in particular was a 40' center console with a tower and cuddy cabin. It had a SINGLE Yanmar diesel mated to TWIN outdrives. Don't hold me to it, but I believe that the performance quoted was 40 knots top end with a gph of around 12! And we are talking about a boat with 1.2" thick glass on the hull and 3" transome thickness. This boat made Bertrams and Vikings look like they had the structural integrity of a john boat that has been sitting in salt water for 20 years without a washdown.

I think I/O's do have certain advantages, however, it has always been my opinion that many of the boat manufacturers have under powered their boats with them, or not used them in the proper boat design.


Whaletosh posted 08-16-2001 08:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    
I am also very intrigued by Stingray's mid-engined I/O center console, as I stated in prior thread.

Also Whaler did offer the 23 Conquest with an I/O as an option for 2000 or 2001.

The problem Whaler faces is the same as all boat makers that make boats that are for saltwater use, even if that is only a perception. I/Os have design characteristics that make them less than desirable in saltwater, especially if left at a slip. Namely, the bellows are prone to failure and water can collect in the exhaust. Plus the trim rams are very close or below the waterline. None of these tend to exist for outboards or inboards making these better choices for saltwater use. So, boat makers that produce boats that are mostly for saltwater use tend to use outboards for smaller boats and inboards for larger units. Look at the Defiant.

I personnaly don't think that I/Os should be a problem for owners that trailer or keep their boats on a lift. Simply flushing the motor and drive with fresh water and inspecting the bellows and exhaust components on every trip would be the key. and on a trailer or lift the trim components wouldn't be exposed except while the boat is in use.

I really think that Stingray's 200MS is a brilliant idea. I don't know what thier reputation for quality is, but one might want to go tot their website and look at it.

It is priced in the mid 30s; and can have Mercruiser or Volvo I/O.


Whaletosh posted 08-16-2001 08:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    
Correction on the price of the Stingray 200MS. According Stingray's website the 200MS is $29,827 including the T-top. This shipping and dealer prep. It doesn't include a trailer, figure $3000 for the trailer.


Dick posted 08-16-2001 09:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
The mid engine idea has been around for a long time and even Whaler has tried it.

At the 1983 dealer meeting I was able to run a 27 Cuddy with twin 260 Mercruisers mounted midships and connected to the drives with jack shafts. The ride and handling was tremendous. I don't remember the top speed, but it was nothing to brag about. The same boat with twin Johnson 235s on Gill brackets was much faster but the ride was not as soft.


Bigshot posted 08-16-2001 09:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Donzi has a 22 classic with a 300 or 350hp Yanmar, mid 60's with cruise being 90% of WOT. Finally somebody is thinking. We all know diesels are more expensive but lets compare apples to apples. Don't have a 22 Donzi that comes stock with a 454 385hp and then drop a Yanmar 170hp in it.
andygere posted 08-16-2001 11:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I'm pretty sure I recall seeing a 2001 or 2002 Conquest with I/O power either in the Whaler catalog or on the website.
andygere posted 08-16-2001 11:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
One downside to the saltwater I/O is the large bilge area required for the engine. I don't think a self-bailing bilge would be possible, and the amount of flotation required in the hull to offset a flooded bilge would be substantial.

I have witnessed the very real downside of this on my uncle's 20 foot Aquasport cuddy, powered by an in-line 6 Mercruiser. We were striper fishing in the atlantic just outside Nauset Inlet, drifting live eels over the shoals. I kept hearing a sloshing noise I wasn't used to, and remarked that I thought there might be a problem. My uncle wasn't concerned at first, until the freeboard aft was noticably reduced. When he pulled the motor cover, there was a lot of water in the bilge. Fortunately that old Mercruiser was a true marine engine, and the starter and alternator were mounted up high. We got the boat going and limped inside the inlet (it wouldn't plane) and beached the boat. The problem was minor: a hoseclamp on the through-hull fitting to the cockpit drains had let go, allowing water to fill the bilge from waves slapping against the transom. The bilge pump could not keep up once the bilge was substantially flooded because the scupper drain outlet was underwater from the extra weight. I suspect that had we been further out, in heavy weather or had not detected the problem in time, the boat may have swamped or even sunk.

SuburbanBoy posted 08-16-2001 01:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
I followed a number of diesel inboards in and out of the South Haven dock areas. I can say that the smell was as boad or worse than any bus in any city I have visited around the world. There is something about Diesel fumes that I (and many others) find very distasteful. With a following breeze just grab your gas mask. Ran into someone I had not seen in many years. He and his wife were travelling around in their trawler (Grand Banks) with twin diesels. He and his wife agreeded that under certain circumstances, it could be overwhelming.
dgp posted 08-16-2001 06:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
Jim, here's a funny story about that Apex MerCruiser Diesel powered panga.
They had that boat at the in-the-water display at the Miami Boat Show. It was docked next to our corporate show boat.
The panga is made somewhere in South America, I think Costa Rica. Anyway the captain, George, that was demo-ing the boat was from Venezuela. This boat was very popular with all the South Americans attending the show and was constantly taking people out. On one trip there was 11 spanish speaking guests along with George and was stopped by the US Customs boat patroling the area thinking that they were possible refugees entering the US. Everyone was laughing about that event when the got back to the dock. Good thing they didn't get stopped by the CG since they only had 6 lifejackets on board.

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