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VERADO Opinions: Reliability, Maintenance, Performance Factor
|Author||Topic: VERADO Opinions: Reliability, Maintenance, Performance Factor|
posted 04-16-2015 12:55 PM ET (US)
Hi all. After almost 20 seasons I'm moving from my 1989 classic Montauk to a bigger boat. I was debating between a Grady-White and a Boston Whaler and have found a really nice Conquest 205 in South Jersey at a Boston Whaler dealer that's brokering the boat. I have a deposit on it but it's contingent on the sea trial.
I need some help. I think the boat is outfitted perfectly and the size and condition are really great. It's the Mercury Verado that I know very little about. Can any owners give me an idea of the reliability, maintence and performance factors for a 2006 Mercury 150-HP VERADO FOURSTROKE. It has 132 hours.
I've previously owned two Yamahas on the Montauk, and both were terrific. The Mercury, with its supercharging and low displacement, makes me curious if I'm going to be okay with it. I like to do as much of my own maintenance as possible and certainly do my own winterizing. I have asked the dealer for a printout and all service records on the engine. This dealer sold and maintained the boat since the original sale.
I understand from Whaler's data sheets the 205 [with VERADO 150] will do 42-MPH, a tad better than with the 150-HP OptiMax--hmmm.
Any insights and shared experiences would be terrific.
If all goes well with the Conquest, the 1989 Montauk with 2003 Yamaha 90-HP two-cycle outboard with 140 hrs and 2008 TIDEWATER trailer will be posted on this site shortly after the I secure the Conquest. The package is in Holmdel, NJ 07733.
Thanks so much--Jim.
posted 04-16-2015 01:20 PM ET (US)
Jim, without any special knowledge about that motor, some of the basic factors that I would emphasize are:
- 132 hours is almost nothing
Those may or may not be factors in your specific situation.
I'm not sure what your point is regarding the Optimax, but in general, I would consider a Verado to be significantly more desirable, even if it were a bit slower. The Verado is a lot quieter that the first-generation DI 2-stroke Optimax.
posted 04-16-2015 02:10 PM ET (US)
I do not believe you can get any data from a Mercury engine without very specialized diagnostic terminals, which are available from Mercury. They're considered expensive even by dealers who might use them to service hundreds of engines. I think Mercury keeps the software under tight control, so even if you have the physical device, you need some sort of subscription to the mother ship to use it.
I doubt you'd be able to get one of the diagnostic terminals to make your own service work easier, and, if you did, it would probably be expensive. I think you will be stuck with taking a VERADO to a qualified dealer for any of that information and any work that needs the diagnostic terminal.
If your service work is going to be limited to routine service like replacing the lubricating oils in the engine gear case and engine crankcase, changing the spark plugs, changing filters, then I don't think there is any special problem with the VERADO. It certainly was not designed with the owner-service in mind, as Mercury did in their follow-on series of modern four-cycle outboard engines. In those engines, Mercury made a big point of emphasis about the easy-to-service features. I have never seen one word from Mercury that suggests the VERADO is easy to service or intended for the owner to service.
You should ask about do-it-yourself maintenance at one of the VERADO engine specialty sites. I think there is a website all set up to sell packages of replacement parts and any special tools directly to VERADO owners who want to turn a wrench and do some of their own work. Someone, who has access to OEM Mercury parts, has set up a website and sells them directly to VERADO owners. I think the fact that a website like that exists and has customers says something about the availability of parts and service from local dealers. If you could walk into your local Mercury dealer and get all the VERADO parts and some free VERADO service advice, the on-line sale of the parts with some attached free advice would probably not be as popular as it probably is.
The four-cylinder VERADO is not as quiet or as smooth in operation as the six-cylinder model. That six-cylinder engine is really a beautiful example of refined engineering. And the four-cylinder may not have the electro-hydraulic power steering of the six-cylinder. It very likely has the rated 150-HP, and it probably is plenty of power for the 205 CONQUEST. It has the same, proprietary, non-compatible Smartcraft electronics. It uses the same Mercury propellers. I don't think you will suffer in any aspect of performance with the 150-HP VERADO on a 205 CONQUEST.
posted 04-16-2015 02:19 PM ET (US)
I finally remembered the name of the website selling VERADO parts directly to VERADO owners. It is run by Shipyard Marine up in Wisconsin. Here is a link.
posted 04-16-2015 02:29 PM ET (US)
I forgot to mention reliability. The most intriguing aspect of VERADO reliability seems to be the supercharger. You never hear any tales about blown superchargers, to make a little pun. That is probably the component that was initially thought to be the most likely to cause problems. I haven't make it my Ph.D dissertation project to study the VERADO supercharger history of repairs, so be prepared for some wag to come on here and list three or four articles he gathered using a GOOGLE search to dispute what I am about to say, but it is my impression that the supercharger has not been much of a worry to VERADO owners.
Other parts cause more problems. The coil-on-plug spark coils, called in the VERADO argot "pencil coils", seem to be higher than expected maintenance.
Components in the VERADO fuel system in the earlier days seemed to be intolerant of some of the fuel passing through them if the fuel contained a blend of ethanol and gasoline. I don't know the exact epoch when Mercury figured out what they needed to replace in the fuel system to stop ethanol-gasoline fuels from causing problems. That is one area that should be explored more closely. Maybe the 2006 "production year" is past the time of ethanol problems.
The VERADO does not like low battery voltage. Initial problems with the VERADO were often cited as being caused by poor batteries. Keep your VERADO happier with a really big, really oversized, really well charged AGM battery that is really expensive.
posted 04-16-2015 04:30 PM ET (US)
I have a 135 Verado on a Montauk 190. The 135 was replaced by the 150. The only change is to the ECU. I am a big fan of these engines.
Good batteries are essential for Verados with electric power steering but less critical for the four cylinder 150 Verado, which almost always uses hydraulic steering. Boston Whalers with factory installed Verados are equipped with Digital Throttle and Shift (DTS) and SmartCraft gauges. You'll love these features when you get used to the DTS. It took me a couple of outings.
posted 04-16-2015 08:42 PM ET (US)
I have a 2007 200 Dauntless with a same year 175 HP Verado, which is the 4 cylinder version.
The ethanol-fuel problems referred to above did affect my 2007 Verado. The component affected was the fuel control module, a small device on the forward end of the engine. The problem manifested itself within 40 hours by preventing the engine from running, and, once replaced under warranty, has not recurred.
I now have 400 trouble-free hours on the engine. On this site we have read anecdotes of commercial operators getting over 3,000 hours from a Verado engine.
I agree with others that it is desirable to have a Verado certified mechanic within an acceptable distance.
posted 04-17-2015 12:07 AM ET (US)
Jim--you wont have problem with Verado as long as you love it and take care of it. I had two [VERADO outboard engines] and they were a pleasure to own. You won't find better people to deal with than Rick and Island Marine Center. I bought two boats from them, and they are as good as gold.
But I have a problem with 205 Eastport or Conquest. I wouldn't touch that boat. A 210 outrage is way better and roomier, and, if it has to be [unclear, perhaps meant "a walkaround style"] then a 235 would be my choice. If you look hard enough you will find them close to $30,000. There is a reason why [the Boston Whaler 205 CONQUEST] had a short comeback production span: people just found them cramped and found not much use for a small cabin.
posted 04-17-2015 12:29 AM ET (US)
Electronically controlled throttle and shift are features available on all modern outboard engines. They are standard equipment on a VERADO. There is no option for manual controls. Once you run an outboard engine with electronic throttle and shift, you'll be a convert. You'll love it. Electronic throttle and shift are much better than mechanical controls--the difference is amazing . A big endorsement of the VERADO for its electronic throttle and shift--it's a great feature.
posted 04-18-2015 12:04 AM ET (US)
Thanks all for your responses.
Having heard from this group and reading the Verado owners manual last night, I'm encouraged with the operation and do-it-yourself maintenance that's specified by Mercury. Filters, oil changes, spark plug changes and lube changes are all spelled out nicely in the book along with a maintenance schedule.
However, though the accessory drive belt is specified in a maintenance routine, there's no indication of how to do it. I guess that's intended for a service tech or perhaps someone from this forum can give some advice if there's a need for special tools and know-how for changing the belt.
Also, the 2006 Verado manual does not specify AGM batteries, just 800 CCA standard starting batteries. Can anyone give some advice about batteries as well? Currently, the boat is outfitted with standard lead-acid 800 CCA starting batteries that may be coming to end of life.
Thanks...I look forward to your responses...Jim.
posted 04-18-2015 09:25 AM ET (US)
The Sears Die Hard Platinum Marine AGM battery is a reasonably-priced AGM battery. In the crazy world of Sears retail pricing, the price changes often due to endless and random promotional offers. See
posted 04-18-2015 10:03 AM ET (US)
The newer Verado battery requirement is for AGM batteries. There are several brands available but the Sears Platinum DieHard is probably the most popular. The DieHard has an excellent warranty and they are available virtually anywhere in the US from any Sears store.
I've been using AGM batteries for about 12 years. I've never had an AGM battery failure. A feature I particularly like is that water is never added. It's nice to never have to work in a tight area with a mirror to check and add water. That feature alone is enough to compensate for the higher cost of AGMs for me.
posted 04-19-2015 10:23 AM ET (US)
I had a 2006 date stamped Verado on my 190 Outrage and If I recall correctly I had about 400hours on it when I sold it. It was very reliable and did not require any work other then the scheduled services. They are a tad thirsty and noisy but never gave me a problem.
posted 04-20-2015 10:19 AM ET (US)
Regarding AGM versus conventional lead acid batteries for a four-cylinder Verado, my 2007 200 Dauntless with a 175-HP four-cylinder was delivered with two Group-27 lead-acid 800-CCA starting batteries.
This was a couple of years before the recommendation was issued by Mercury that AGM batteries be used for a Verado engine. I think that change was prompted when owners of six-cylinder Verado engines, all equipped with electro-hydraulic power steering, began to experience low voltage problems.
The simple unpowered hydraulic steering on all four-cylinder Verado engines should have no effect on electric power needs. I am now on my second set of lead-acid batteries. The first set lasted six or seven years on my boat, which is kept in the water with no shore power. I don't know the expected life of AGM batteries.
It's pretty easy to see the fluid level in the cells on my setup. I understand that in set-ups where one has to use a mirror to see the fluid level, it would be worth the extra cost of AGM batteries to never have to check battery water. On our previous cruising boat I needed a headlamp and mirror and ruined several shirts by acid eating holes in the sleeves!
posted 04-21-2015 11:00 AM ET (US)
AGM batteries are lead-acid batteries. The alternative is a vented, flooded cell lead-acid battery to which you can replenish the electrolyte if necessary.
posted 04-18-2015 06:50 PM ET (US)
If you have [a] Verado [with power] steering and [electrical boost] pump you need 1000 [of something, probably means the rating of the engine cranking battery in marine cranking Amperes]. If you have SeaStar hydraulic [steering] [a battery with a rating of] 800 [marine cranking Amperes] will do the job. Regarding maintenance and doing it yourself, there is way more [to it] than reading [the owner's] manual, and [there are] little things you should be aware of. To go Verado club and read tons of secrets. When you winterize motor, if you do [it] yourself, you have to follow steps to not mess up digital stuff and trigger alarms and codes that only dealer is able to clear. It's not rocket science. I maintained my 150 and 200 without glitch.
posted 04-21-2015 11:10 AM ET (US)
I wonder why you need someone other than the manufacturer to tell you how to maintain the engine. Usually the manufacturer tells you how to maintain their engine and how to prepare the engine for storage. It is strange that you have to depend on advice from clubs with websites to gain this information. Winterizing a modern outboard engine should not require so much investigation into "tons of" secret practices not clearly spelled out in the manufacturer's literature.
posted 04-21-2015 11:21 AM ET (US)
Marine battery ratings are not generally specified in cold cranking amperes. When the ambient temperature is zero, not many of us are trying to start our outboard engines.
I wouldn't worry excessively about the battery you will use with your VERADO engine until you buy the boat under discussion and feel it is time to replace the battery. I certainly would not base your decision to buy the boat or not buy the boat on the basis of the type of battery it has now. A new battery is only an investment of perhaps $100 to $200, and it is hardly the sort of decision point to make or break a deal on a nice boat.
Let us know if you get the boat. You'd better mention the kind of battery. Apparently it is a hot topic among Verado owners. As I said in my earlier comment, a lot of problems with the Verado have been blamed on low voltage in their battery, and it is abundantly clear that Mercury recommends using AGM batteries.
posted 04-23-2015 09:37 PM ET (US)
Thanks Jim and all!
I've received all the service records and the engine print out from the Verado. The sea trial is scheduled for this coming Monday. I'll keep you all posted with how things go, including the battery type and condition.
I'll be preparing my list of items to inspect tomorrow and welcome any insights and additions to the list prior to Monday.
I've also received one inquiry already about the sale of my excellent 1989 Montauk with 2003 Yamaha 90 HP 2 stroke and 2008 Tidewater trailer. If the Conquest 205 is a go, I'll post the Montauk on Continous Wave before any other sites.
Thanks all....more to come...Jim S.
posted 05-01-2015 04:32 PM ET (US)
Hi All--I took the sea trial on the 205 Conquest this past Monday. The boat is in superb condition and the Verado is strong and smooth. The DTS system is very impressive as are the SmartCraft gauges and their capabilities. I did a thorough inspection of the package and only found three minor items (battery strap, starboard bow light bulb and aft seat adjustment) that required attention.
Prior to the inspection and trial, I received and went over every service record on the boat since it was new, forwarded to me by the dealer including a brokerage inspection report. All updates on the Mercury VERADO were performed and regular spring and fall servicing was done as well. I have fall 2014 and current engine computer read outs showing 131 hours (more than 50-percent at idle) and no faults.
Based on everything above and encouraging reports on the VERADO from users on this forum, I purchased the boat-motor-trailer package that afternoon as a brokerage boat from Island Marine Center in Ocean View NJ. Needless to say, I'm pretty happy and will take delivery on Monday by a hauler that will drop it off here in Central NJ.
As for information on the the marine batteries for VERADO from conversation on this thread, the Conquest is outfitted with a pair of Interstate marine lead-acid wet-cell starting batteries, rated at 800 CCA each and installed new in March 2012. The 2006 VERADO manual specifies exactly this type of battery. Apparently, Mercury made a change to AGM type batteries after this model year.
My 1989 Classic Montauk with 2003 90-HP Yamaha two-stroke (140-hours) and 2008 Tidewater Trailer will be posted on this site shortly.
Thanks everyone for the information on the VERADO engine and the encouragement. It was very helpful during the decision making process.
posted 05-02-2015 01:56 PM ET (US)
Congratulations on the new boat. Having a trailerable cuddy cabin boat will greatly increase your range of use. We have been trailering our smaller Boston Whaler cabin boat all over the United States since 2001.
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