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Author Topic:   2001 Outrage Appraisal
Luis C posted 04-10-2015 03:21 PM ET (US)   Profile for Luis C   Send Email to Luis C  
I may buy a 2001 Outrage with twin Mercury 225-HP OptiMax engines. One power head was replaced in 2004 with a new Quiksilver and has 149 hours. The other power head was replaced 2014 with a new Quiksilver and has 56 hours. Am I better off with these power heads since the 2001 OptiMax engines had so many problems? Would replacing the power heads, as done, mean the [problems with] these 2001 engines have been fixed, and I don't have to worry about them?

The boat is in very good shape: no radar, autopilot, or enclosure, just GPS, sounder, and VHF. What's a good purchase price?

jimh posted 04-10-2015 06:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Are you better off with replacement power heads instead of the power heads that broke down and needed replacement? Yes.

Have the problems been fixed? You give no information about what caused the original Mercury OptiMax engines to fail, so it is impossible to know if replacement of the power head really fixed the original problems and causes of the failures. The original problems could have been caused by something completely unrelated to a defect in the original manufacture of the engines.

Are you free from worry? I doubt you will be free from worry about the Mercury OptiMax engines. They'll need proper care and maintenance to stay in good running condition. But, if they run, you'll be saving a fortune in the cost of replacements. The value of 15-year-old Mercury OptiMax engines, even if augmented by replacement of the power head over ten years ago or more recently, is probably not too great if they were taken off the boat and sold separately, but, on the boat and in good running condition, they're a nice asset because they will keep you from spending $40,000 on replacement engines, for a while.

The lack of RADAR, autopilot and enclosure does not affect the appraisal. RADAR, autopilots, and enclosures were not standard items on a 2001 Boston Whaler OUTRAGE.

The inclusion of a "GPS, sounder, and VHF" adds little to the value estimate, as those devices could be worth $100 or $10,000, depending on their brand, model, size, and age. Their condition is also important. The cost of marine electronics has dropped very significantly since 2001, and electronics from 2001, although they may have been expensive, are generally not worth much now.

The notion of a good price will depend greatly on the length of the boat, which has not been mentioned.

Luis C posted 04-11-2015 09:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for Luis C  Send Email to Luis C     
Sorry, the boat is 26 Outrage. I don't know what caused the power heads to have to be replaced, but was told that 1999 - 2001 Optimax's generally had a lot of problems, including bad parts and #6 cylinder "blowing up." So I was trying to determine if the replacement of the power heads would have generally cured those problems, the new power heads having been improved over the originals. Thanks for your help, really appreciate it as I'm a boating novice.
jimh posted 04-11-2015 10:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
To get an idea of the present value of a 2001 Boston Whaler OUTRAGE 26, check for listings on a used-boat sales website like


I have not made a study of that particular Boston Whaler model. In general, over the last few years, I believe there is been a decline in the prices of larger boats that use twin outboard engines and have older engines. I believe an influence on the asking prices has been the recognition that the cost of new twin outboard engines will be very high, often greater than the asking price of the used boat with its used engines. This is particularly true for boats using outboard engines of 200-HP or more.

A further influence driving the used values down is the operating cost of gasoline fuel for larger twin engine boats, particularly those with traditional two-cycle outboard engines that do not provide good fuel economy. A boat with Mercury OptiMax engines should get good fuel economy, and that is a plus for those engines.

The Mercury OptiMax engines of the c.2001 era do have a bit of a reputation for being troublesome. At one time--based on some very good insider information told to me by people who were in the know--I thought that Mercury was going to drop the OptiMax line, but they didn't. Instead, they re-engineered it and improved the reliability of the OptiMax. Whether or not all the improvements are manifested in the engines on the boat you are looking at is hard to say.

Since you are "a boating novice" (by your own description), I think I should tell you that Boston Whaler dropped the use of Mercury OptiMax engines quite a few years ago. Once four-cycle engines became available with 200-HP rating, buyers of new Boston Whaler boats showed such a strong preference for four-cycle engines over the OptiMax that Boston Whaler decided to drop the option of having an OptiMax engine rigged on their boats. However, you will find many older Boston Whaler boats were rigged with OptiMax engines.

If you are really a boating novice, you may not know that Boston Whaler and Mercury are just brand names of Brunswick. When you bought a 2001 Boston Whaler boat, there was a mandatory tie-in sale of a Mercury engine with it.

The OptiMax engine is a complicated engine, and, unless you happen to be a great engine mechanic and love to work on outboard engines yourself, you should check your local Mercury dealers to see if any of them are qualified to provide service on the OptiMax. The skill at servicing and the enthusiasm for servicing the OptiMax engines varies with the dealer. For any outboard engine that I would own, I would want to have a local dealer that was an expert in service for that engine, was fully certified by the manufacturer to provide service, and had a good reputation for delivering excellent and expert service for the particular brand and model of engine I was thinking of buying.

For more general advice on buying older Boston Whaler boats, see the comments in a concurrent discussion on that topic at

jimh posted 04-11-2015 10:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Try this link for comparable values: Zip-48009/Radius-4000/Length-26,26/Make-Boston%20Whaler/Keyword-OUTRAGE/ Sort-Length:DESC

vze2gbs4 posted 04-13-2015 11:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for vze2gbs4  Send Email to vze2gbs4     
Luis--before you buy a 26 OUTRAGE, read David Pascoe, one of most respected but often criticized marine surveyors. He was right on the money. I have owned many Boston Whaler boats, and a 26 OUTRAGE is one of my least-favorite hulls. Whaler didnt have many bad apples, but I think the 26 OUTRAGE was one of them.

I don't like boats that have [outboard engines in which the engine] powerhead [has been] replaced. Once you start surgeries on the engine they are not the same--new powerhead or not. This is only my opinion and take it as such. An OUTRAGE 24 is a way better hull and one of my top three favorite nine. You will be able to find them cheaper than a 26 OUTRAGE.

Luis C posted 04-21-2015 01:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Luis C  Send Email to Luis C     
Thanks, I'll consider that.

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