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Author Topic:   Yamaha vs. Mercury
skydivetom posted 08-25-2012 08:46 AM ET (US)   Profile for skydivetom   Send Email to skydivetom  
In previous posts, I've asked questions about the 210 Boston Whaler (which comes equipped with the Mercury 150 HP FOURSTROKE not the VERADO and the 210 can be outfitted with the Mercury 200-HP Verado). Now, recently, I checked out another boat dealer who primarily sells Carolina Skiffs and Grady Whites onto which he puts a Yamaha. Besides figuring out what's the right boat for me (which I believe is the 210 Montauk), the dealer indicated that Yamaha's are the number-one outboard in the industry. Does anyone have any insights on this subject? Have you come across any comparisons between (preferably new models) the Yamaha and Mercury? Thanks--Tom
fishgutz posted 08-25-2012 09:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for fishgutz  Send Email to fishgutz     
#1 in what? Sales? Needed repairs? Dependability? Fuel consumption?
Jessielove posted 08-25-2012 09:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jessielove  Send Email to Jessielove     
Given the context that you’re purchasing a new boat and have expressed a preference for a 210 Montauk over others, your question of Yamaha vs. Mercury is not really a concern. All modern outboard engines, when compared brand to brand will suit your need to provide propulsion for your 210. Unless you’re Whaler dealer is willing to exchange the factory Mercury power and rigging with Yamaha power and rigging at little to no cost, this seems to be a moot question better reserved for someone considering a re-power on an older whaler needing an update.

If I may make the assumption you’re somewhat new to boating or at least with a boat of this size and power, the question of which engine brand is better should not be an overriding factor in your decision since the boat you prefer will be factory rigged with Mercury. A better question for you to consider may be which factory rigged Mercury engine among the three choices available to you would best suit your needs.

Given your situation, I personally would give very little credence to any impassioned recommendation that one brand is better than another unless you possess the type of personality that will never be happy unless you have the brand you feel is better (whether it actually is or not). If you’re in fact the type of person that will always feel some level of angst each time you board your Whaler and turn the key to start your Mercury engine, then maybe you would be better served with a different quality boat brand that can be powered by Yamaha. For example, one such similar-sized foam-filled quality boat would be the Everglades 210 (though probably more similar to an Outrage than a Montauk); you can choose among Yamaha, Honda, and Mercury power options. Here is a link you can follow:

macfam posted 08-25-2012 10:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for macfam  Send Email to macfam     
There are trade-offs and compromises in every boat and motor combination sold today. But I really believe that every major outboard brand (Mercury, Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Evinrude, Tohatsu) make fabulous outboards. Find the boat you want, the dealer you trust, the model(s) you can afford, make a decision, and get out on the water.

I've seriously considered the new 210 Montauk with a 200 Verado for my next purchase. I currently run a Honda outboard, E-TEC outboard, and Yanmar diesel. All three are flawless examples of great quality.
I've run a friends Intrepid 32 with twin 250 Verados many times. Simply awesome.

Russ 13 posted 08-25-2012 10:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for Russ 13  Send Email to Russ 13     
I have owned boats with the following engines:
5 Yamahas,4 Mercurys, 5 Evenrudes,2 Nissons,1 Honda
Out of the bunch, the Yamaha's & Nissons & Honda have been trouble free.
Zero mechanical problems.
The Evenrudes come in next with some problems.
The Mercurys a distant last with many problems.
All of these engines received regular maintanance & care.
They have all been two stroke outboards , except for the Honda.
So from experiance I have spent alott of time & money repairing Mercurys.
...None of the needed repairs were for miss use or operator
error, just poor quality parts or design.
My vote would be power your boat with a Yamaha, Evenrude or Honda, unless you like to support your local Mercury dealer.

jimh posted 08-25-2012 10:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I do not know of any really good source of public information about outboard engine sales and market share. The generally accepted wisdom is that Mercury and Yamaha are very close in market share, and are market share co-leaders. Behind those two are Evinrude, Honda, Suzuki, and Tohatsu, probably in about that order.

If you want to buy a recreational Boston Whaler boat in the United States of America there is a mandatory tie-in sale of a Mercury outboard engine required. I do not believe there is any way around that. The mandatory tie-in sale is a result of Boston Whaler and Mercury Marine being just names for operating divisions of Brunswick. You are really just dealing with one company, Brunswick. If you buy a Brunswick boat you are also going to buy a Brunswick motor.

Yamaha outboard engines are often bundled with certain boat brands, but those arrangements are generally a result of the boat builder deciding to consolidate the purchase of outboard engines to a single manufacturer. Historically some boat builders previously offered a choice of brands, but they may have found that their customers overwhelmingly preferred a certain brand, and, in order to streamline their assembly operation, the boat builder dropped the other brands of outboard engine choices. You can see why a boat builder might do this. If their customers historically ordered Yamaha, for example, 95-percent of the time, why bother to carry three or four other choices.

Yamaha does not own any boat builders, as far as I know, so the choice of a Yamaha engine by a boat builder is typically a voluntarily made choice and is not due to co-ownership of the boat and engine brands by a conglomerate. There is certainly some transfer of image or reputation from the engine choice to the boat choice, and this may influence the decision of a boat builder to select a particular brand. For example, the highest rated outboard boat builder in customer satisfaction surveys by J. D. Power and Associates is always Grady-White. Grady-White only offers Yamaha power on their transoms. I believe that Grady-White does this because they feel the Yamaha is the best engine.

The ownership of boat builder brands by Brunswick has also put Mercury Marine outboards at a disadvantage in the free market of boat builders. Many independent boat builders feel they are competing with Brunswick boats, and if they were to offer Mercury-branded Brunswick outboard engines they would, in essence, be giving some of their business to their competitor Brunswick. One can say that for Brunswick to own so many boat builders is a double-edged sword. On one stroke it gives Brunswick a lot of transoms on which to sell Mercury engines, but on the other stroke it alienates many independent boat builders who might otherwise do business with Mercury Marine.

Brand preference often varies by region. I have been in some marinas in Florida in coastal saltwater areas where literally every boat in the marina had a Yamaha outboard engine on the transom. Similarly, in the Carolinas, I saw an amazingly high percentage of boats with Suzuki engines. I attribute these brand concentrations to the presence of an excellent dealership or perhaps two or three excellent dealerships in the area that are selling that brand in preference to others.

The presence of a strong dealer for a brand is also an important influence. However, because Mercury and Boston Whaler are really just brand names for Brunswick, there has been a general realignment of dealers. Brunswick products tend to be sold by dealers who carry many other lines of Brunswick boats, such as Sea Ray or Bayliner. These days it is unusual to find a Boston Whaler boat dealer who does not also sell other Brunswick boat brands.

contender posted 08-25-2012 11:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
Sky: I have said it before, Go to the repair site on this site and just look at all the repairs in this site alone on engines, most of them are on Mercury engines. Next, I go to the Bahamas every year for 2-3 weeks different islands different places each time. This year I was in Eleuthera, and Spanish Wells, engine of choice was Suzuki 4 stroke, I question the locals as to what they liked and they stated the fuel use, I question them about Mercury, and they stated this, that the Mercury's would blow a cylinder around 300-350 hours, so no one wanted them. The year before I was in Great Guana Cay engine most people used was Yamaha (dealer on the next island) followed by Evinrude, the island had a Mercury engine grave yard, no one had one or wanted one. Back in 2008 I was in Alaska Homer, Mercury dealer in town Engine of choice was Yamaha and Honda's then the Evinrude's, again I was told the Mercury's do not last. I'm not a fan of Mercury, I have own Yamaha's and Evinrude's, next engine I purchase will be an Evinrude. I owned one Mercury in my life time it ran good until about 6 months after I sold it, then it died (Engine seized up). I'm sorry but I do not think they are good engines and I would not own one, Some people on this site swear by them. One more thing I have never been stranded with my Evinrude once with my Yamaha...To each their own...
swist posted 08-25-2012 11:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
As jimh suggests, hard data is rare, anecdotal evidence is easy. Who is more likely to post here, someone with a problem, or someone without one?

There are plenty of places where automobile performance/reliability/etc is tracked in very precise terms - not hard when you have such a huge statistical sample possible. You'll never get that here, or anywhere else.

All brands have had hiccups, some major, reported here over the years. Yamaha circa 1993 had that rusted shift-shaft business (which led to the "Saltwater Series"). Carbed fourstroke Mercurys circa 2004 had blockage problems due to small passages.

I had a Johnson 115 long ago which was notoriously hard to start and no one seemed to know why, but that's a pretty unconvioncing reason to avoid BRP motors.

You'll find a similar story with every brand if you look, but that doesn't negate what was said early that today's outboards are in general pretty advanced and reliable.

Take what comes with the boat you want - if anything base your choice on dealer network in your area (also previously said). But please don't pay much attention to the "I had an X and it sucked" one-off reports.

skydivetom posted 08-25-2012 12:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for skydivetom  Send Email to skydivetom     

Great feedback... plenty of things to read.

In the end though, I'm 99% confident that I'll buy the 210 Montauk. And, as jimh points out, if there's a company agreement that forces me to purchases XYZ outboard (e.g., Mercury) then I probably won't have too many choices.

It'd be a different story if I'd purchase an old boat and have to replace the outboard. Everything would be fair game then.

And, yes, generally speaking I don't pay too much information about people's "horror stories". That's why I was hoping to obtain information about a more objective evaluation such as In essence, I'd find something like Consumer reports (performing a full comparison on all aspects between, e.g., a Honda Accord and a Toyota Camry).... maybe such reports don't existing within the boating world.

Again, thanks for all the feedback... I appreciate it.


vin1722or posted 08-25-2012 03:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for vin1722or  Send Email to vin1722or     
I also have owned 6 yamaha's,2 mercurys,3 evinrude/johnson's and 1 chrysler outboards over the years.
The only engine's I had problems with were the mercury's.Trim and tilt failures and electrical components.I will only buy Yamaha for now on.I also sell them at a marina and I have never had a major failure with a yamaha 4-stroke.Even the older 2 strokes were trouble free,I have a pair(1987 115 HP) still running my 1979 22' outrage with over 2000 hours that I bought in 1987 and they always start rite up.The choice is yours but Yamaha sells more outboards then any other manufacter world wide.
rogerarnal posted 08-25-2012 04:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for rogerarnal  Send Email to rogerarnal     
Can skydivetom buy a brand new 210 Montauk without an outboard and without controls and instrumentation for a Mercury?
skydivetom posted 08-25-2012 04:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for skydivetom  Send Email to skydivetom     
rogerarnal... thank you for actually understanding the constraints. ;)
rogerarnal posted 08-25-2012 05:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for rogerarnal  Send Email to rogerarnal     
Can skydivetom buy a brand new 210 without an outboard?
Yes or no?
Can he buy it without controls?
Yes or no?
Can he buy it without instrumentation?
Yes or no?

Buckda posted 08-25-2012 05:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Roger: all three questions.

A willing dealership and the almighty dollar can make it happen.

What is your point?

rogerarnal posted 08-25-2012 06:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for rogerarnal  Send Email to rogerarnal     
Buckda.....I like Whalers but not Mercuries. Years ago I bought a brand new 17 Montauk and it had Morse controls but nothing else. I had the dealer put a 70 Johnson on it. I could have had a different motor but I wanted a Johnson.
Buckda posted 08-25-2012 06:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Well, there are several options.

1). Find a dealer you like and ask them to make it happen for you.

2). If/When they won't do it, find another dealer that will.

Money is tight, and the boating industry is in a low spot. I guarantee you could make it happen, even if you need to find a dealership that is getting ready to lose their Whaler line-up.

I still have a silly notion that if you walk into the managers office with an envelope full of cash for the boat purchase, you can make this happen very efficiently.

3). Consider going through Brunswick CGP division. Only a few dealerships will be able to do this for you (well). Check with your local law enforcement agency that is using Whalers and find out which dealership they purchased their Whalers from.

4). If all else fails, you can buy it and sell the Mercury rigging and engine(s). This is the least palatable option and perhaps most expensive, but it certainly can be done.

Ferdinando posted 08-25-2012 09:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ferdinando  Send Email to Ferdinando     
I purchased a Montauk 190 in 2008 the Fifty Year Anniversery Edition, I tried to buy it without power but no dice. I kept the Merc 115 for one year And hated every minute I had it. Lots of small issues with the engine, vibration in the bait well cover, cowl latches fell out, the rubber groumet
Where all the cables go into the engine kept poping out, etc,etc.

I sold it for 6 grand and the eng had about 100 hrs. Ran out and bought a 2010 ETec 150. The boat flys, no more vibration, has been trouble free from day one. Set me back another 6 grand but it was worth every penny.
Lesson learned never buy a boat with a pc of equip you don't like, you will regret every second..........


Ridge Runner posted 08-25-2012 10:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ridge Runner  Send Email to Ridge Runner     
I'm seriously considering moving up to a 210 Montauk from my 2005 170 Montauk with a E-Tec 115H.O., I’m very much a two-cycle guy. I have owned many 4 & 2 cycle outboards, and I just prefer not changing the crank case oil. I know it would be an expensive proposition to get an E-Tec on the transom, so I’m going down the path of Mercury OptiMax. I contacted Boston Whaler and Chuck Bennett suggested I work through my local dealer who may be able to convince their regional Boston Whaler sales manager to order a blank boat. My goal is to hang an OptiMax 200 Pro XS outboard on the transom.
Russ 13 posted 08-26-2012 12:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for Russ 13  Send Email to Russ 13     
I am supprised by the comments "don't pay attention to one persons problems with a particular brand."
When you have owned for years many different brands, that have all received proper care & maintainance.
And yet you have many problems with one particular brand
on several different engines.......
Well that sounds like the brand with problems is not made a so good!
I owned each brand with neutral bias....untill the
Mercurys kept needing parts.
A coil pack here, a stator there, a trim pump here, a CDI unit there..on & on....$$$
I think they look good in Black, but their quality.....
Outcome: owner not too happy, Mercury dealer very happy.
I would buy the boat & power it with something other than
Mercury, not only would you have a reliable boat, but it
would not look like all the other new 21 Montauks.
Boating is expensive enough when your boat runs as it should.
It gets real expensive when it does not.
skinnywater posted 08-26-2012 06:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for skinnywater    
I personally believe, based upon my experience, that the current family of Mercury engines are a fine choice of power for the Boston Whaler. I have a 2007 Boston Whaler 170 Montauk with the stock 90hp FOURSTROKE EFI engine and have had nothing but a blast with both, the only problem I have had to date has had to do with my own personal level of boating skills.

Just Me -

skinnywater posted 08-26-2012 07:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for skinnywater    
Now, recently, I checked out another boat dealer who primarily sells Carolina Skiffs and Grady Whites onto which he puts a Yamaha...the dealer indicated that Yamaha's are the number-one outboard in the industry.

Salesmen are what they are and it's called 'sales' for a reason. I recently had an actual door-to-door vacuum salesman show up at my house and proclaim that his product was equal to (if not better) and far cheaper than a [u]Dyson[/u], thus making it a fairly simple and obviously superior choice.

So, are you primarily looking to buy a boat or an engine - and does it matter to you if either is new or used?

If you determine that you prefer to purchase new, and If your primary concern is the power plant, I hope the platform that carries your eventual choice serves you well; however, If you are looking to buy the Boston Whaler boat you prefer and power it with the non-stock motor you prefer, I would suggest looking into a used Whaler and re-powering it with the motor of your preference.

If however you determine that you prefer to purchase a new Boston Whaler, and prefer a different power plant than the stock engine, I think your real question is "how easy [or expensive] is it to do so" and that depends on your experience and tolerance for what you deem to be 'easy', CHEAP or simple and how willing a Boston Whaler dealer is to make that happen for you BECAUSE Boston Whalers, now-a-days, come pre-packaged with Mercs (in the US anyway). So I believe the bottom line to your question and this discussion, as is the case with just about all questions in life concerning personal preference of inanimate objects that take on a life of their own for those who may possess them at any given time, is that you can have the best of both worlds if you have the means and willingness to make it happen - Dollars, determination and sense can go a long way to getting what you really want.

As stated above - I have the stock Merc on my Whaler and have had no mechanical problems at all; I am very pleased with both boat and motor after 5 years of service (basically amateur boating pleasure) here on the South East coast of North Carolina.

In any case, Good Luck to you in making it happen as inexpensive and effortless as possible and I hope that you enjoy the results and can share them with us for years to come because only One thing is certain in this equation; the Boston Whaler itself is a fine choice of vessel no matter how you power it, or how much you pay to do so, and will serve you well for years to come - and, when you've passed on, or are ready to pass it on, the Boston Whaler will serve the next owner very well for years to come after that through countless power configurations.

Just me again -

skinnywater posted 08-26-2012 07:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for skinnywater    
PS - Contender, if you go to a repair site for Chevrolet I bet you will find that the majority of problems concern a stock Chevy motor; I think your premise would be more relevant if the majority of Whalers nowadays didn't come with a Merc as a stock engine (and I am NOT saying that your premise is irrelevant because to find questions regarding aging motors from days of 'free choice' would make sense due to age. I think if equivalent numbers of new Whalers were sold with equal numbers of various manufacturers, your premise would hold more water... no pun intended).


weekendwarrior posted 08-26-2012 08:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for weekendwarrior  Send Email to weekendwarrior     
I tried to buy a new bare Montauk hull years ago. I was willing to pay for it, in cash, but I could not find a dealer wiling (or able?) To sell me a bare hull. I ended up buying my hull used. If you find a way to buy a bare hull new, please let us know!
L H G posted 08-26-2012 12:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
Skydiver is making the right decision to buy a new 210 Montauk. Everyone here knows I am a classic Whaler person, but I think the 210 is a fabulous boat. The same size Grady or Carolina Skiff don't even come close to being comparable.

Boston Whaler has sold 10's of thousands of boats equipped with Mercury. Where are all the thousands of complaints about them, other than a few oddballs who just plain hate ANY Mercury outboard? The 210 can be had with a 150 EFI 4-stroke, a 150 Verado or a 200 Verado. Who makes a specifically better outboard than any of those three. NOBODY. Even if you're a Yamaha or old OMC fan, you'll be imressed once you try a new 210 Whaler with these Merc choices.

I also like Ridge's idea of a 200 XS Optimax for those that still want 2-stroke power. Whaler should agree to do that. That's very close to a 225HP engine. I also think a 225 Verado would be the ultimate power for a 210 and that the tall, thin profile would look great on the boat.

Surely the boat can handle the power. It's a LOT more boat than a classic 22 Outrage rated for 240HP.

jimh posted 08-26-2012 01:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Larry--How much time underway at the helm of an 210 MONTUAK do you have with each of the three engines?
Russ 13 posted 08-26-2012 02:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Russ 13  Send Email to Russ 13     
I have no "hate" for any brand.
And IF Mercury made a reliable/durable engine I would
be a big fan, as I like to buy American made products!!
But in my past unbiased experiance, the Yamaha's have been
trouble free, 6 Yamaha's of different HP, some new some used, ZERO problems with all six!!
The same cannot be said of the Mercury engines I have owned.
The buyer of the new 21 Montauk should get what ever engine
he wants for his boat, IF it is a Mercury hopefully he will
have a better ownership experiance than what I have had.
L H G posted 08-26-2012 05:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
I would expect that a Mercury powered 210 Montauk buyer would at least have the excellent experience I have had with a pair of Mercury 2.5 liter 200 EFI's or a pair of 1985 in-line 6 "towers".

Jim - My Montauk 210 experience is limited to one powered with a 200 Verado. A dynamite boat and engine combination, and as I said, I would even liked a 225 Verado. Compared to the classics, the boat feels huge for it's 21' size. The new 150 was only just coming out this past winter in FL, but I did see a SeaVee repowered with a pair of them.

contender posted 08-26-2012 08:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
Swist: You answered your own question...If I owned a Yamaha/Evinrude/Mercury and did not have a problem why would I post anything????? (Hi, I can not figure this out, I own an Evinrude Outboard and it starts 1st crank, runs smooth, and gets great gas mileage what am I doing wrong?) If I owned a Yamaha/Evinrude/Mercury and something was wrong, I would post it here to figure out what was wrong or if anyone else had the same problem and what the correction was... Therefore since there are more post for Mercury engines they seem to have more problems.

ericflys posted 08-27-2012 01:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for ericflys  Send Email to ericflys     
Statistically speaking, there should be more posts of problems with Mercury engines on this site, compared to other brands. This is because there are way more of them on Boston Whalers than any other brand.
swist posted 08-27-2012 08:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
ericflys - great point. Just more support for the argument that you'll probably not get statistically valid data about any outboard here, at least not in the general "which brand is better" sense.

That is different than reports about specific problems with a specific year/model engine. As I said earlier, all the manufacturers have had hiccups over the years. Such reports are a valuable function of this site.

contender posted 08-27-2012 09:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
Ericflys: You could be correct, but the only way to be fair and correct would be to do a collection/report of all the boat engines on this site to compare with the number of problems listed.(Could do it for each brand)
Couple of things, #1. Yamaha is suppose to be the number one selling engine. #2 Whalers come with Mercury engines (I do not know when/what year this started), however this is for new models and not everyone here has purchase a newer models. And for the amount of problems listed here on this site Mercury outboards would have to be more than a 2 to 1 over all other brands listed on this site (Which I find hard to believe)...
Russ 13 posted 08-27-2012 10:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Russ 13  Send Email to Russ 13     
Most of the "Classic" Whalers came with Evenrude or Johnson power when new. Back then getting one rigged from the dealer with a Mercury was about as easy as getting a new one today rigged WITHOUT a Mercury.....
Mercury Outboards....."The service writer's dream engine."
martyn1075 posted 08-27-2012 12:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
Russ 13... yes a few of the those Mercury models over the years have kept the dealers service staff quite busy :) Its whole lot better now I think. Its hard to forget the the pain if you had one of them though.

swist posted 08-27-2012 12:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
Contender - I like real data and your idea is great. How hard would it be to put together a real survey of all the Whaler owners on this site? For each engine, you could gather model & calendar years in use, approx engine hours during that period, and then some kind of ranking 1-5 or so on problems encountered. Some people would have to reply multiple times if they had more than one engine (repower, or owned more than one Whaler).
L H G posted 08-27-2012 02:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
[This comment has been moved to its own thread.--jimh]
contender posted 08-27-2012 02:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
swist: This would be an excellent idea, But there are 3 things, #1 This is Jim's site and would have to be ran/overseen by him (I do not know if he cares to do something like this or not) #2 I'm an idiot when it come to computers and could not do this even if I want to. #3 We would need to hope that everyone would be truthful about their engines, goods and bads, and their repairs...
swist posted 08-27-2012 05:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
LHG and Contender: You make valid points.

I just got so dependent on Consumer Reports for auto information where you can find out if 2002 Subarus have more or less than the average number of brake system problems.

On the other hand, trading of anecdotal information is more fun "My XXX motor SUCKS and anyone who buys one is a MORON" :-)

skydivetom posted 08-27-2012 06:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for skydivetom  Send Email to skydivetom     
skydivetom here... the one who started this question.

All good stuff here... I will have to read between the lines here. Everyone's experiences are valid... I won't discount any bad experiences. At the same time, ericflys' reference to "statistically speaking" is well taken.

Anyhow, I ended up calling Mercury directly and asked if they could point me to an independent site (not affiliated w/ the company) that would allow me to read up on potentially tests (conducted by maybe test captains or others in this field).

The CSR didn't have any info on the 150 HP 4-stroke but provided me a site for the Verado. The URL is as follows:

Let's check it out and see what other valuable information can be obtained from Mercury "enthusiasts".

Again, I'd like to thank everyone for your contributions (the Good, Bad, and Ugly).


Jefecinco posted 08-27-2012 07:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
Tom your recent claim that most participants on this board don't like Mercury outboards or feel they are inferior to other brands like Yamaha is, I believe, a misinterpretation of what was posted.

To post that claim on another site may have done a disservice to those who took the time and effort to address your questions.


East Bay posted 08-27-2012 09:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for East Bay  Send Email to East Bay     
<<<If you want to buy a recreational Boston Whaler boat in the United States of America there is a mandatory tie-in sale of a Mercury outboard engine required. I do not believe there is any way around that. The mandatory tie-in sale is a result of Boston Whaler and Mercury Marine being just names for operating divisions of Brunswick. You are really just dealing with one company, Brunswick. If you buy a Brunswick boat you are also going to buy a Brunswick motor.>>>

This is simply not true. I bought a brand new Lund Alaskan with a Yamaha outboard last Fall. Lund is owned by Brunswick. I was told by the dealer I had a choice of any motor they sold---Mercury, Yamaha, Honda, or Evinrude. I wanted a Yamaha.

falcon posted 08-27-2012 09:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for falcon  Send Email to falcon     
Yamaha has boats named G3.This was in reference that Yamaha did not own a boat manufacture.
Basshole posted 08-28-2012 01:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for Basshole  Send Email to Basshole     
I have no doubts that every outboard manufacturer has a few bad apples out there. The thing that really disappointed me about Mercury Marine is that when my brand new 2000 150hp Optimax broke down constantly and several top rated Mercury service centers couldn't figure out what was wrong and repair it, Mercury Marine gave up and told me that they were no longer going to try to fix my motor under warranty. I lost a whole boating season because of that motor and Mercury did not stand behind that piece of junk they produced. They should have just replaced it, but they don't know anything about customer support (from my experience). I sold that boat in 2009 with only 85 hours on that motor and it never ran well.

With that said, I'd still take that 210 Montauk in a heartbeat. It's a sweet boat. I'd just make sure to put an Evinrude or Yamaha kicker on it though, and make sure by membership with Vessel Assist was paid up.

ericflys posted 08-28-2012 02:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for ericflys  Send Email to ericflys     
I think the question was about Yamaha vs Mercury but it seems Evinrude is being brought into the mix.

I think having good dealer support near you is one of the most important aspects to consider when purchasing an outboard.

Basshole, one could argue that Evinrudes of that time period don't have a very good reputation either...

Peter posted 08-28-2012 08:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
I spent last week at a large freshwater lake in upstate NY. New Yamahas on transoms substantially out numbered new Mercurys on transoms. It was evident from looking at the older outboard powered boats that at one time this lake was dominated by the Mercury brand for outboard powered boats. No longer the case.

As far as the 4-stroke motors go, the Mercury outboards except for Verados and perhaps the new 150 FourStroke are merely me-too product. And when you only have a me-too product to match your competition, brand reputation becomes very important. Yamaha clearly has that over Mercury. If Mercury had it over Yamaha, there would be no need for the mandatory tie-in.

bluewaterpirate posted 08-28-2012 08:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
If you folks don't think Yamaha is not giving money incentives to boat manufacturers for using their product I want some of the stuff your smoking. It's a fact.

Now as for brand loyality use the motor you feel most comfortable with in NC it's about 50/50 Merc/Yamaha. Etec's are far and few between dealer network is terrible.

As for me my ten year old 225 Opti just went over 4400 hours of use. I don't hug or sleep with it just run the hell out of it. Replaced a compressor at 2200 hours under warranty. Before I bought my Whaler package I ran Yamahas.

Be safe .....


jimh posted 08-28-2012 08:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
East Bay--What I said is precisely true for Boston Whaler boats.

Brunswick has been unable to force their Mercury engines onto the transom of all their boat brands, particularly in the aluminum boat lines they just bought in the last three or four years where the extremely heavy weight of the Mercury VERADO has made it a poor fit. The ability to get certain brands of aluminum boat made by Brunswick without a tie-in sale of a Mercury often depends on the dealer and his relationship with the boat builder. If the dealer was a strong dealership for the boat brand before Brunswick bought the boat brand, the dealer may be able--for the moment--to get a bare hull boat from Brunswick and rig his own engine. However, this option is becoming harder to obtain because Brunswick is manipulating the prices of the bare hulls. The dealers who want bare hulls have to pay a big premium compared to the cost of a Brunswick boat with a Brunswick motor. Just as they did when they bought Boston Whaler, Brunswick will be slowly leveraging the dealers to buy only boats with Brunswick outboard engines on their Brunswick boats. With Boston Whaler it took about five years or more to make the transition. Also, the very poor boat sales of the last three years have made it more difficult for Brunswick to enforce their Brunswick-only outboard engine policy. The boat builders are not selling many boats, and they are not willing to give up a boat sale just because they could not tie-in a Brunswick engine. But wait a few years; as soon as boat sales pick up you will see the policy change toward Brunswick outboard engines only.

But, again, for Boston Whaler and the other Brunswick brands that have been owned by Brunswick for a while, you won't be getting the option to buy a boat without a Brunswick motor on the transom.

jimh posted 08-28-2012 09:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Tom writes:

"If you folks don't think Yamaha is not giving money incentives to boat manufacturers for using their product I want some of the stuff your smoking. It's a fact."

I don't see where this question has been raised. In selling outboard motors to boat builders, I am sure all the manufacturers offer incentives based on the volume of sales. The notion that Yamaha is paying a boat builder, say Grady-White, to get the Yamaha on the transom is not really true. I suspect that Grady-White and Yamaha have negotiated a deal which makes it attractive for Grady-White to buy Yamaha engines in volume and perhaps to use them exclusively.

Mercury has similar arrangements with some boat builders. For example, I think FOUNTAIN boats use Mercury sterndrives exclusively--at least they did when they were still in business.

jimh posted 08-28-2012 09:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Engine makers typically offer discounts to their customers--boat builder and engine dealers--based on the volume of engines sold. Here is how it typically works: there are four tiers of pricing. The more product you sell, the more discount on the price. The volume is calculated on the total horsepower sold. For example, if you sell one 300-HP engine that is worth as much in terms of sales volume as six 50-HP engines.

You can see how this policy might help dealers who sell a lot of higher horsepower engines. For example, let's say you are a dealer in the middle of bass boat country. Your customers all are buying 200 to 300-HP engines for their bass boats so they can go 90-MPH. That adds up to a lot of total horsepower sold. That will quickly push the dealer discount into the highest tier. On the other hand, if you are a dealer on a small freshwater lake with a 10-HP limit, you have to sell thirty 10-HP motors to get the same volume for discount as the guy who sells one 300-HP engine. That sort of dealer is not going to be able to reach the best discount tiers very easily.

Also, let's say you are a dealer that is cozy with a bunch of professional bass fishermen. Those guys buy a new engine every year. Boy, ten customers like that, buying a new 250-HP engine every year, will soon push your dealership into the most favorable pricing. They'll buy 2,500-HP of engines. You'd have to sell 250 10-HP engines to get that volume.

thammer posted 08-28-2012 10:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for thammer  Send Email to thammer     
I thought I would throw my two cents in the ring. I am from Michigan and have run my boats up here and then a week every spring in the FL Key's. I have had 6 Whaler's with six different motors: 1979 w/90hp 6 cyl Merc, 2004 130 Sport with 40hp 4 stroke efi, 2006 Outrage 190 w/150 Verado, 2006 Montauk w/90hp efi 4 stroke and 220 Outrage w/250 Verado. The only issue I have had with either verado was a bad high pressure pump on the 150 Verado when it was a year old. The 1979 90hp Merc I had to have the carbs rebuilt every 5 years other than that I had no other mechanical defect (owned it for 18 years) and the cylinders were all within 2 psi of each other when I sold it to a couple of friends of mine (they both wanted to buy it so they ended up sharing it). The 250 Verado is amazing in it's smoothness and quite operation. Everyone of the Mercury EFI's has started on the first turn of the key (with the exception of the one time with the 150 Verado which happened pulling into the shore station)

In our business we deal with construction equipment and farming equipment. Most manufacturers make good products every once in a while there is a bad one. I don't think you would go wrong with the standard Mercury power on the back of the boat (Verado or 150hp Four Stroke) Be more concerned with the dealer you buy it from and the training and expertise of their staff, that will make the biggest difference regardless of the manufacturer.

My father-in-law repowered his pontoon boat with a 115 E-Tec and it is a nice motor but not as many dealers that service them.

Hope this helps! Tom.

skydivetom posted 08-28-2012 12:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for skydivetom  Send Email to skydivetom     
Butch (aka: Jefecinco)

In response to: "Tom your recent claim that most participants on this board don't like Mercury outboards or feel they are inferior to other brands like Yamaha is, I believe, a misinterpretation of what was posted.
To post that claim on another site may have done a disservice to those who took the time and effort to address your questions."

Was that comment addressed to me (aka: skydivetom). If so, I don't recall having made that comment. Potentially, if was meant for another member w/ a different username.


skydivetom posted 08-28-2012 12:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for skydivetom  Send Email to skydivetom     
This has becomes another post w/ great contributions. Given its length, it's somewhat tough to extract the "biggest" nuggests.

Well, maybe I shouldn't have asked for a comparison between motor XYZ and the Mercury... maybe I should have asked for feedback on Mercury only.

Anyhow, again, there's some good stuff here. At the same time, I always like to dig a bit deeper. So, I've come across a few other sites (I don't think any of them are related to Mercury). Apparently, there's also a good population out there who seems it's a good/great outboard. Please see URLs below:

Should I discount those test/reviews?

jimh posted 08-28-2012 01:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
thammer writes:

"The 250 Verado is amazing in [its] smoothness and quite operation."

Yes, I have been saying that for years. I have been effusive in my praise for the noise, vibration, and harshness characteristics of the L6 VERADO. In spite of that I am still considered to be a Mercury-hater by many readers. Be careful how you praise them.

K Albus posted 08-28-2012 01:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
My advice: Don't let the brand of the outboard motor control your purchase of a boat. That's a serious case of the tail wagging the dog. Find a boat of the size and layout that you want, with all or most of the features you're looking for, and buy that boat.

With regard to the motor, the most important thing is make sure that the boat is not underpowered. Manufacturers and dealers have a habit of putting together boat and motor packages that feature smaller motors in order to reduce the price point of the boat. I would recommend powering the boat at or near the top end of the manufacturer's recommended horsepower range.

Any brand-new motor that you buy is likely to be essentially trouble-free, but there are no guarantees. Furthermore, any brand-new motor you buy will likely have a warranty covering at least the first three years of service.

If you decide to buy a Boston Whaler, it will most likely come equipped with a Mercury engine. You can spend some extra money to have the Mercury engine swapped out for a different brand of motor, but in my opinion, that would be a waste of money. Modern Mercury motors are just as reliable as Yamahas, Evinrudes, Suzukis, or Hondas. Your chances of getting lemon from any of these manufacturers is pretty slim, and switching from one brand to another will in no way guarantee that you won't get a lemon.

martyn1075 posted 08-28-2012 03:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
I think the new Mercury products are probably great but they went through a miserable spell for a fairly long period of time, and for some people their feelings will not change despite an improving product. I can completely understand that and its business and for Mercury maybe that will, or already has made them a better company. Its just not that easy to get those clients back. Where I live Mercury owned the whole entire coast fish camps recreational commercial it was Mercury all the way. As advertised #1 on the water! However things have changed big time. Mercury still has clients but let me be honest their share has really dropped off. Yamaha has picked up 80% of the slack. Fish camps who might operate and average of 10-20 boats are all equipped with Yamaha now. There have to be close to a hundred fish camps on the island alone. That's a huge amount of business to lose and it happened quite quickly within a couple of years. If Yamaha drops the ball for whatever reason Mercury might be able to get back in but they are on waiting list for these companies they are not the go to company as it stands right now. Like I said their product is good at this moment just not that easy to convince after a tough time as they unfortunately did.


contender posted 08-28-2012 05:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
I have to disagree with K Albus: You need to buy the boat and engine you want, other wise every time you set foot in the boat you will be questioning yourself and will not be happy. His second statement is God's truth do not purchase a boat that is underpowered you will be really unhappy. He is also true on his 3rd statement there are no guarantees (except death and taxes). Now you just need to decipher all of the above threads and information and make your choice. To each their own....
ericflys posted 08-28-2012 06:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for ericflys  Send Email to ericflys     
So this being a Whaler forum, we all going to tell you to go with a Whaler. If you are going to get a new Whaler, then the only easy choice is to get it with a Mercury engine.

So then the question becomes which one? The way I use my boat, the max rated horsepower is the starting point for engines I would consider. However, in the case of the Montauk 210, the choice is interesting. See:

The Mercury 150 Fourstroke seems to be the better choice over the 200 Verado, until above 5500 RPM's, which very few of us ever run our boats above that range, except to test props.

So maybe the next question is 150 Fourstroke or 200 Verado.

pcrussell50 posted 08-28-2012 08:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for pcrussell50  Send Email to pcrussell50     
This was snipped from a very informative and insightful post by Jim:

Your customers all are buying 200 to 300-HP engines for their bass boats so they can go 90-MPH

I thought I would clarify and add to just these particular two snippets, since pro bass fishermen are close to home for me, (both fathers in-law). At their level, (where you actually earn a good living doing it), the pro tournaments almost always have a horsepower limit, which last I looked, circa y2000, was 225hp. This kept the speeds of the heavy metalflakers down around 70mph. Of course, there's nothing to stop amateurs and wannabe's putting 300hp on and going 90mph. Apparently, some do.

Also, let's say you are a dealer that is cozy with a bunch of professional bass fishermen. Those guys buy a new engine every year.

My pro bass fishing father's-in-law had new equipment every year for sure, but at their level, they sure as heck didn't buy it themselves. It was absolutely given to them by their sponsors, along with a nice big new truck to tow with. They used Champion and Ranger boats respectively, and I don't remember which makes of motor came with them.

I don't know who if anybody gets credit for the horsepower "sold" when it comes to sponsorship.


skydivetom posted 08-29-2012 07:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for skydivetom  Send Email to skydivetom     
K Albus, martyn1075, ericflys:

Thank you for the most recent comments... and for staying on topic.


jimh posted 08-29-2012 08:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The mention of the performance data from Boston Whaler for the 210 MONTAUK adds a new dimension to the discussion: it's Mercury vs. Mercury now. Is the VERADO a better choice than the VERADOSAURUS?

Looking at the boat speed and fuel economy data, the VERADO is not showing any advantage to the VERADOSAURUS. We have a battle here of small-displacement and supercharger versus big-displacement and no-supercharger, and it looks like big-displacement and no-supercharger wins all rounds. The big-displacement and no-supercharger is faster and gets better fuel economy.

Having been out a few runs with a Boston Whaler boat powered by the L4 VERADO, I have not been as impressed with that engine's noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) characteristics compared to its big brother, the original L6 VERADO. The L4 just does not measure up to the L6 in NVH. The L4 does not have standard electro-hydraulic boost power steering like the L6. The L4 has a conventional engine mount, while the L6 has a completely different design. The L4 does have the electronic throttle and shift controls like the L6. So when we compare features of the L4 VERADO to the new 150-HP VERADOSAURUS, the most distinct difference in features is the electronic throttle and shift controls.

Having spent two seasons now running my boat with electronic throttle and shift controls after having spent two seasons running the same boat and motor without electronic throttle and shift, I am very much in favor of electronic throttle and shift controls, even for just a single engine installation. They are a big improvement. In this case of Mercury vs. Mercury on the 210 MONTAUK, is seems like electronic throttle and shift controls will be the only advantage the VERADO will offer compared to the VERADOSAURUS.

Based on performance, the VERADOSAURUS is favored. Based on electronic controls, the VERADO is favored. What other factors can we compare?

Because of the supercharging, the belt drive, the intercooler, and the waste gate to regulate the boost, the VERADO is more complex than the VERADOSAURUS. I think it is reasonable to consider the long term reliability will favor the engine with fewer complex systems and fewer specialty components. This favors the VERADOSAURUS over the VERADO.

I believe that cost also favors the VERADOSAURUS, too. This makes a rather compelling case for buying the 210 MONTAUK with the 150-HP FOURSTROKE (not the VERADO or as I call it, the VERADOSAURUS).

I don't think Mercury is going to lose much at all if their customers prefer the VERADOSAURUS over the L4 VERADO. The selling price difference probably just barely covers the manufacturing cost difference, as those extra components on the VERADO like the precision twin vane supercharger assembly have to be very expensive components. Given the modest price increase that is charged for them, I have to wonder if there isn't more profit in selling the less expensive engine in this case.

Ridge Runner posted 08-29-2012 09:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ridge Runner  Send Email to Ridge Runner     
I would like to get folks point of view on putting the Mercury OptiMax 200 Pro XS outboard on the 210 Montauk. What kind of performance do you think I would see? Weight is about the same as the VERADO. Although not directly confirmed I have read this motor is putting out 220HP.

I really do prefer 2-cycle power over 4-cycle - for me nothing better then V6 2-cycle sound and powerband.

This boat will be sitting on a lift in FL, it will get used intermittently a week maybe five/six times a year – so typically I winterize between uses (this is a vacation home). My last boat had twin Yamaha F115’s and changing crank case oil on a lift was always challenging.

I absolutely love the “self-winterization” on my E-Tec 115HO, but the cost to put an E-Tec on the 210 Montauk is prohibiting.

Jimh, please let me know if I should start a new thread.

L H G posted 08-29-2012 03:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
Ridge - As I said before, I think you have a good idea.
I know you have had positive prior experience with a 115HP Pro XS so I'm not surprised that you like the engines. Here is some confirmation on the 220HP prop rating. I would check with Mercury as to whether the solid engine mounts would be OK on a Whaler. If you cannot get Whaler to agree to the Opti ProXS, I would buy the boat with the new 150 EFI 4-S, and immediately sell it as a new engine. They are in demand and hard to get, so I would think someone, maybe even someone here, would snap it up right away for 10K. Then simply bolt up the 200 ProXS. A plain 225 Opti could be a good solution also for similar power. I just experienced a pair of new large cube Optimax 225's, and they are now remarkably quiet running engines with great fuel economy. But since Mercury already makes 4-strokes, they don't have to pretend to sound like a 4-stroke, and have a nice 2-stroke sound to them. 3 Star rated also.

I think a 210 Montauk with a 200 Optimax ProXS would be an exciting rig.

jimh posted 08-29-2012 03:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
With the addition of the no-longer-offered-by-Boston-Whaler OptiMax choice, we are now at a Mercury vs. Mercury vs. Mercury decision. I feel sorry for Mercury in this case, as no matter what engine is chosen they lose out on two engine sales.
Ridge Runner posted 08-29-2012 04:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ridge Runner  Send Email to Ridge Runner     
If the market really can support $10k for the 150-HP VERADOSAURUS then that would be the way to go.

Base 210 Montauk: $47,664.00
B/W Rebate: -$1,250.00
Sale of the VERADOSAURUS: -$10,000.00
Opitmax 200 ProXS: +$12,150.00
Mounting Labor: +$300.00
Total 210 Montauk 210 w/Opti 200 ProXS: $48,864.00

Compared to the base 210 with the VERADO 200 and B/W rebate applied: $52,311.00

The difference is a savings of $3,447.00 over the VERADO 200 and it's only a $2,450 price increase over the VERADOSAURUS.

Going that route the boat would be factory rigged and I would be able to get the current rebate plus the Optimax selling dealer will provide the extended 5 year warranty for no charge. With a blank boat I would not get a rebate and would have to pay for the dealer to rig.

Stay tuned......

prj posted 08-29-2012 05:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
With the addition of the no-longer-offered-by-Boston-Whaler OptiMax choice, we are now at a Mercury vs. Mercury vs. Mercury decision. I feel sorry for Mercury in this case,...

Conversely, I'll take the results of a competition involving me vs. me vs. me 7 days a week and twice on Sunday. And I'm merely a pragmatist, not even an optimist.

Ridge Runner, I bet a call to either BW or your local selling dealer could grease the skids for an Optimax of your choice on the transom without the other steps.

Peter posted 08-29-2012 05:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
What about sales tax? You will pay sales tax on the VERADOSAURUS as part of the boat package and then again pay sales tax on the OPTIMAX. Say sales tax is 7 percent on a motor worth $10,000, you've got to add $700 to the price tag. A prudent buyer of your VERADOSAURUS is not going to pay your sales tax.
Ridge Runner posted 08-29-2012 07:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ridge Runner  Send Email to Ridge Runner     
Peter valid point on the boat/motor package. The dealer that I would purchase and have mount the Opti is in Delaware which has no sales tax.
Jefecinco posted 08-29-2012 07:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     

The post you made on the Verado Club site is the one to which I referred.


L H G posted 08-29-2012 08:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
Also, when an engine is purchased and shipped out of state there is no sales tax. Only shipping which is less than $200. Makes a hard deal to beat for most people.

Lack of sales tax from a private seller like Ridge is one of the reasons it should be easy to re-sell a brand new 150 EFI. That puts any local dealership at a large disadvantage, who probably wouldn't be selling as cheap. So 10K could fly easily. And it still would be great deal for the buyer, saving at least $1000.

I was surprised to see [a dealer] stocking 17 150 EFI's for loose sales. He must think they are popular for re-powers!

jimh posted 08-29-2012 09:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Before you go to all the trouble of switching out the VERADOSAURUS for an OptiMax Pro XS, you better actually listen to an OptiMax start, idle, warm up, and run. Unless you are hearing impaired you will observe a rather unique noise signature. It is hard to compare loudness of sound when the stimuli are presented more than ten-seconds apart, but I think you will be able to get a sense of the noise, vibration, and harshness characteristics of the OptiMax The Next Generation (OptiMax TNG or OptiMax The Globe) engines even if you cannot make a direct and real-time comparison with the VERADO or VERADOSAURUS.

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