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Author Topic:   Mid-Range Repowering
jimh posted 03-05-2002 09:08 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
There has been a great deal of discussion lately about choice of engine for repowering Boston Whaler boats in the mid-range horsepower range, i.e., 70-125 HP. I have compiled a list of engines currently available in that range and organized them into a table as part of a REFERENCE section article.

I think this will provide a handy point of reference and also stimulate some further discussion on the subject.

Please refer to the article Mid-Range Repowering.

Use this message thread for comments or discussion of the information presented.

jimh posted 03-05-2002 09:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If you are not stuck on low-emission engines, one particular engine that jumps out in these listings in the Mercury Classic 90 2-stroke.

This 90-HP engine has good weight (305 lbs.), large displacement for its horsepower (85 cu.-in.), and moderate price ($ 5,766).

masbama posted 03-05-2002 09:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for masbama  Send Email to masbama     
Why no Johnson 90hp 2 stroke?I may buy one Friday.
jimh posted 03-05-2002 10:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I don't have a price listing for a 2002 Johnson 90-HP 2-stroke.
Landlocked posted 03-05-2002 10:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     

I got my new 2002 Merc 90 2 Stroke from Bass Pro for 5,025.00 (motor only) - no controls, no prop. That is their sticker price.


JBCornwell posted 03-05-2002 10:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
No Johnny-uki 4 strokes? I think the DF70 appears in the debates at least as often as any other. Bigshot will be upset!

No Johnson 2 stroke 70? Did they discontinue it?

A good start, JimH, and I'm sure it will be a big help to those seeking data.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

jimh posted 03-06-2002 08:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Oops! I somehow left SUZUKI out. I had them in my notes, but forgot to get them into the HTML. Their three engines in this range are now added. I like them, too, as they have 4-stroke AND fuel-injection. For a while they held that ground alone, but now the Mercury 115 EFI 4-stroke has joined the club.

There should be better pricing than the figures shown; I believe those are "list" prices.

I also added the Johnson 90-HP specs, but now prices.

In general, when two models are based on the same displacement block, it looks like you pay a $500 to $1,000 premium to get the higher horsepower version. In some cases there may not be much difference between the engines in terms of their costs to produce.

That 90-HP Merc that lists at $5,766 has been sighted selling for about $1,000 less than that at one on-line engine store.

jimh posted 03-06-2002 08:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
One interesting note: the Tohatsu/Nissan 70 and 90-HP engines with the TLDI system are similar to the Mercury Opti-Max 2-strokes. For some reason Mercury does not make an Opti-Max engine in this horsepower range.
Bigshot posted 03-06-2002 10:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Jim... Merc and Tohatsu have been in bed for some time now since Mercs breakaway from Yamagucci in the late 80's. I believe they will have the 50-90 Opti soon, maybe seeing if Tohatsu can get some action from it first, etc.
Bigshot posted 03-06-2002 10:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
i hit send by accident.

I also assume that this is why they have no EFI 75 or 90. Being that is a Merc/yamaha venture...they might be scraping that line and going Optimax.

I know I said Merc and Yamaha split in late 80's and now I say they are still together. Mariner used to be Yamaha and then when they were bought out by Merc or came to America, they used merc on their engines above 60hp. They slowly got rid of Yamaha until the entire Mariner line was Merc. Then Mariner was Merc/Tohatsu. It gets confusing and sorry if I confused anyone. Kind of like Johnson/Evinrude/Suzuki/Ficht/Carbs/silver/blue/white/dark silver/black/etc. In the last 4 years Johnsons have been like 4 colors and had 3 different lines of

masbama posted 03-06-2002 10:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for masbama  Send Email to masbama     
I don't know what the suggested retail is for the 2002 Johnson 90 but boat show prices were about $5300 in the box. Not bad. VRO is optional. They are not making the 3 cylinder 60 and 70's this year; watch them return next year as Fichts.
Bigshot posted 03-06-2002 11:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
They had a 33 year run on those 3cyls....probably time to redesign. Great engine but sounds like a diesel and outdated compared to newer stuff.
jimh posted 03-06-2002 01:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
One factor in repowering and brand loyalty is the re-use of existing controls and instruments.

Does compatibility with your existing controls and gauges affect your repower decision?

Whalerdan posted 03-06-2002 01:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
It sure did mine. I had OMC and bought OMC for this very reason. If I had changed it would have been to Yamaha. It seems like everyone, everywhere compairs to Yamaha. They are the gold standard in my book. If I see a used whaler with Yamaha power, I automatically think of it as a better boat.
David Ratusnik posted 03-06-2002 02:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Whalerdan- I know a guy who flips classic Whalers and he agrees on Yamaha. It commands more attention (people looking at the boat) plus a higher price. David
Bigshot posted 03-06-2002 04:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Have you guys read the article in this months "Trailer Boats"? It tells how Bombardier has turned OMC around and what they are doing to gain market share etc. Do NOT think Evinrude/Johnson is a hasbeen 2nd tier outboard. They Will be a contender and on top like just a few years ago. There will always be a "war" about what engines are the best. I bet back in the 50's or so people were squawking about Scott Attwaters are better then Elgin. Homelite vs. Montgomery Ward, etc. The truth is the best outboard is the one that starts everytime you use it and lasts longer than you thought it would. Do yamaha add value.....maybe but then again they cost 20-30% more to start.
lhg posted 03-06-2002 05:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Here is some very interesting information on the current state of outboard engine sales, quoting from "Soundings Trade Only" magazine, March 2002 issue:

"Ironically, it is still the conventional 2-stroke that commands the lion's share of industry wide sales", points out Tom Mielke, director of public relations and marketing communications for Mercury Marine.

According to the publication, that market share (all outboards, worldwide) is

70% conventional 2-strokes (carb and EFI's)
20% 4-strokes
10% DFI 2-strokes

There is some intereting "reading bewteen the lines" here. First of all, with Bombardier not yet in the marketplace database from last year, only the OMC leftover sales would be included in above, and practically none of those were DFI/Fichts.

Looking at the 4-stroke market, the players are Mercury, Yamaha, Suzuki and Honda. There is no data on who owns what percentage of this 20%, but if each has 1/4 of this 20% pie, one can see that Suzuki and Honda, with only 4 stroke offerings, could each only have about 5% of the total outboard marketplace. Incidentally, in another article in this same issue, they mention Mercury as the "world's largest 4-stroke outboard manufacturer". They also say that Mercury has over 50% of the world outboard market share.

In the DFI market, currently before re-introduction of the Ficht's, that 10% market share must be mostly Mercury Optimax, and Yamaha DFI to a lesser extent, with a few Tohatsu/Nissans thrown in.

Then, looking at the conventional 2 strokes, here again Mercury and Yamaha are the main players, with huge sales, and with a few leftover OMC's thrown in along with the Nissan/Tohatsu's.

Now I think we can see why both Mercury and Yamaha, and now Johnson too, are saying they're going to be making these conventional engines as long as they can, through 2005. people still overwhelmingly want them while they can get them.

I would expect, however, that as each year passes, the higher tech engines will gain market share gradually. 2006 is sure going to be interesting. I'm wondering if a market slump will occur then as the popular 2-stroke choice disappears overnight and people simply don't buy.

masbama posted 03-06-2002 10:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for masbama  Send Email to masbama     
I have OMC controls; that is why I'm buying a Johnson. It would cost me $1000-$1500 more to buy a Yamaha or else I would do it. I'll take the savings and buy an extended warranty.
Dick posted 03-07-2002 11:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     

How did you come up with MSRP on the motors?
I have 2002 dealer cost sheets on Merc, Yamaha, Evinrude & Johnson. They all look to be in the ballpark except Mercury which looks to be 10% to 15% low.

BTW that 90 Johnson would have a list of about $6,588.00.


Salmon Tub posted 03-07-2002 07:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Salmon Tub  Send Email to Salmon Tub     
A few comments, if I may, The local mechanics at my marina are OMC/Bombad... dealers, I am there at least 2 times a week after work or during lunch and am amazed at how many Evin./Johnsons they are fixing, I mean new ones with defects. Blown cylinder in a Police boat with twin Evinrude 70's (4 Stroke), a johnson who's lower end internals came apart inside the housing. Mechanic said something wasn't torqued down. Now I'm sure I'm going to raise some hackles here, but again, my engine running is what counts when I'm out however many miles, not mileage, not looks, not speed or flair. That ocean is cold and it's not like getting a flat tire and calling AAA. I don't feel like paying a huge tow fee either once I am found. Because of this, I feel that the Japanese engines are the superior product. Not because of their technology but because of quality control. Even with the old ficht system, they should have tested it more before marketing it. That was one foot in the coffin for them. I felt bad for one guy this last weekend because as I was launching my boat, he just launched his zodiac with a new litle Merc 4 stroke 9.9 or 15. I went, parked the rig and came back, he was still trying to start his engine. I fired mine up and after letting mine warm up, and was ready to pop in gear, he got his started. I was actually amazed because for a few seconds, his engine smoked. Why would a 4 stroke do that, does anyone know?
grandmufti posted 03-07-2002 07:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for grandmufti  Send Email to grandmufti     
He probably laid the motor on its side and the oil went someplace it was not supposed to.Before I bought my four stroke I shopped at an OMC dealer who had to carry Mercs.because of no OMC motors.He told me that small 4 strokes were a bad idea if you were going to have to lay them on their sides.He said the oil drained into the heads and on the ground.That is the story he told me and it does sound feasible.Dealer claimed he had a lot of complaints.
Salmon Tub posted 03-07-2002 07:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Salmon Tub  Send Email to Salmon Tub     
You are probably right, he had no trailer so he probably brought the boat and engine in his trunk, small zodiac, small outboard, big car.
masbama posted 03-07-2002 11:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for masbama  Send Email to masbama     
Well, I did it. Ordered my 2002 Bomb/Johnson 90 today. GREAT PRICE! Don't go by the brochure; you CAN get it in white! I'm excited-I feel good about Bomb-they were very honest and helpful. It will go on the 'ole Montauk.
PMUCCIOLO posted 03-08-2002 01:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for PMUCCIOLO    
The entire power package for my 17' Alert was $6500 + tax. That included: 2002 90HP Yamaha (oil injected, two stroke, PT&T), F/W separator, multi-function tachometer, 2 X 6.6 gallon fuel tanks, deluxe side mount controls, all cables, battery, miscellaneous rigging supplies, and labor. I purchased the extended warranty (for a total of 5 years of coverage) for $732. I am providing these details to give you some figures for comparison.

I'd suggest you investigate the rebates, incentives, and financing specials as well. I financed my motor package and trailer (I bought the boat as a "blank") through Yamaha's credit corporation interest free with no payments for one year. Yamaha then sent me a rebate coupon to use on supplies (oil, etc.) for another $25. Make sure you push your dealer a bit (regardless of brand) to maximize the benefits the manufacturers are making available.

I hope that this has been of some help!
Good luck on your repower!

Bigshot posted 03-08-2002 10:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
masbama posted 03-08-2002 12:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for masbama  Send Email to masbama     
The check I will write for motor, aluminum prop, harness adapter, fuel line and installation ( I already had the control box, harness, battery and cables) will be $5300. Bombardier will then send me a rebate of $270. Down to $5030. Selling my used motor will bring me $500-$800. Net out of pocket cost should be $4300-$4530. I will have a year to decide on an extended warranty.
Bigshot posted 03-08-2002 12:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Masamba....I am usually amazed at how much more money the older used engines fetch on E-bay. I see 30 year old engines that don't run fetching $500. You might want to try it.
masbama posted 03-11-2002 12:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for masbama  Send Email to masbama     
Thanks Bigshot, but time is money. I can sell it locally; get half of what I paid for it 7 years ago and every one wins. I need to get it off the transom so I can buff it up for the 2002!
John W posted 03-28-2002 04:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for John W  Send Email to John W     
Salmon Tub, let's make sure we keep some facts in mind before we promote Japanese or bash American made outboards. First of all, that Merc 4 stroke you saw was probably a Yamaha powerhead...Mercury buys all their 4 stroke powerheads from Yamaha as part of a joint venture. Likewise, Johnson/Evinrude 4 strokes are Suzuki powerheads. So if you're comparing a Yamaha 4 stroke over a Merc, or a Suzuki over an Evinrude 4 stroke, you're getting the same powerhead either way. So price, warranty & dealer network should probably make the decision for you. Unless you're afraid of Johnson or Merc lower units, which is really silly IMHO. (The Japanese outboard co's have a big lead in 4 stroke technology from their existing motorcycle & auto divisions, which may make things difficult for the U.S. makers going forward.)

Until this year, all Honda outboards used Mercury lower units, so that Japanese quality control leader has been satisfied with Mercury drive components at least.

The 2 stroke Mercury and OMC motos never had a bad reputation for quality problems, with the exception of OMC oil injection which is terrible. In fact I think a Merc 2 stroke EFI v6 is one of the most reliable motors ever made. It was the DFI motors - FICHT & Optimax - that have led to recalls & quality complaints with some owners. It wouldn't surprise me if the Yamaha HPDI motors have some problems in their future as well...I personally feel that trying to make a 2 stroke DFI motor (with lubrication in the fuel) that doesn't pollute is a very complicated task, and lends itself to more trouble no matter who is making it.

I currently own a Yamaha 2 stroke's been a very good motor, but no better than the Merc's my family has owned for years. So I say, buy what you like, but let's not automatically assume that a Japanese product has to be better.

Bigshot posted 04-01-2002 10:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
John....OMC fourstrokes are entirely Suzuki, not just the powerheads.

Merc supposably makes some of their own 4 strokes, others are joint ventures with yamaha.

Yamaha and Suzuki copied OMC and Merc in the 70's to become what they are today.

vermilionwhalers posted 09-03-2002 11:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for vermilionwhalers  Send Email to vermilionwhalers     
After a weekend of not getting over 10mph, it's time to repower my 15. I am getting a 2003 Yammy 4stroke 60, controls and installation for $6088 plus tax. Now I want them to give me a good trade in on my Johnson 60 (c. 1988) VRO. The threads seem to be pretty consistent in suggesting Yamaha or Merc, with the edge going to Merc with its EFI. But I noticed the weight's about the same (244 for the Yammy, 248 lbs for the Merc.) and Yammy has the three year warranty.

The dealer indicated this was a "Fall discount" for some 2003s they got in early, and that the new ones were going to be about $7K. Other dealers had no inventory until mid-September.

The other reason I am deciding on the Yammy is the dealer had no more Mercs in stock. Don't know if that's significant or not...are there any 2003 Mercs out there?

Doug Johnson

newt posted 09-03-2002 12:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for newt  Send Email to newt     
I just bought a 2003 Merc 90, so I know they are available. I would guess that the 2002's you would need to find left over from someone's inventory.
Bigshot posted 09-03-2002 02:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Not a bad deal with controls, etc. I would shop around over the next few days and see what gives. Finding a 4 stroke is a bit harder than 2's. I know some who paid more than that for 50hp Yammies.
creeble posted 09-04-2002 12:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for creeble  Send Email to creeble     
Just brought in my '86 Montauk for a Yamaha 80HP/4s repower. Spending so much $$, I figured I'd write to keep my jones going...

Got the Yamaha rec from a mechanic in Tonga who cursed Hondas and blessed Yamahas. His primary justification was complexity: the Yamahas are *way* simpler (plus the Hondas have some Achilles' heels, like the fuel pump). I can't imagine a much worse environment for continuous duty, so I believed the guy.

But I'm going to have about $13k in an '86 Montauk that needs a bunch of spit-shining. Maybe not a world's record, but a pricey little boat. Should be good for another generation though, even on SF Bay. Yahoo!


lhg posted 09-04-2002 01:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Doug - Don't know about availability of the Merc 60 EFI, but have you tried some of the big houses, like Bass Pro's Adventure Worlds?

The Yamaha 60 is actually the Mercury 60 HP engine, made by Mercury, and given to Yamaha under their continuing relationship with Mercury, evidently under a "no-EFI" marketing agreement. Yamaha puts their own "leg" on it.

I think you're making a big mistake not to wait out the EFI version in black, or hunt one down out of area.

vermilionwhalers posted 09-04-2002 03:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for vermilionwhalers  Send Email to vermilionwhalers     
Thanks for the replies! I'm in a quandry now. I can get the Merc if I wait a few days for $6300 installed. Friends (and, not surprisingly, a Merc dealer) also say EFI is the way to go. The two engines seem otherwise comparable, but the hot sheets on the Yammie indicate some significant changes for the 2003 model year. See

I'd like to get the boat repowered for a trip in about 10 days. I guess I'll see what they'll give me for the Johnson and if Yamaha has any incentives/financing deals at this point. If things don't look good I'll just get the Johnson fixed and wait for the Merc.

By the way I've had some requests for performance on the 15 with the new motor. I'll do a separate post when I've had a chance to water test it. Email me if you want a personal post or have some specific question.

Doug Johnson

Bigshot posted 09-04-2002 04:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Somebody posted $4100 for just the engine on a 60 merc efi.
vermilionwhalers posted 09-05-2002 11:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for vermilionwhalers  Send Email to vermilionwhalers     
To all, esp lhg:

Based on lhg's and others' advice, I decided on the Merc and took the boat in this morning. The dealer there said it was actually _Yamaha_ that makes the motor, but sells it to Merc. Merc has exclusive rights to put EFI in certain outboards, including the 60. This means Yamaha is prohibited under the license agreement from putting EFI on its own motors! Cost difference is about $210. Some on the river use the EFI motors through the winter and claim no problems starting in freezing weather...

They really liked the Whaler Sport center console and couldn't imagine we routinely use it in big water to transport gear.

I'll let everyone know how the repower goes. The dealer spent most of the time telling what a piece of junk my Johnson was.....

Doug Johnson

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