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Author Topic:   Ideal Montauk motor for lake/ocean fishing?
alvispollard posted 04-12-2002 05:58 AM ET (US)   Profile for alvispollard   Send Email to alvispollard  
1200 lbs. of fishermen/gear/28 gal. of gas/2 batteries. 1'-4' waves which minimize speed due to pounding. Four stroke or two stroke? MPG vs thrust, economy vs power, etc. 8 hp high thrust Yamaha kicker for trolling. Is a 60hp too little power? 70? Is 80 or 90 ideal. Would like to repower in next year and would appreciate your imput. I would love to go with 4 stroke if possible.

gunnelgrabber posted 04-12-2002 08:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for gunnelgrabber  Send Email to gunnelgrabber     
re: your 8hp troller you clamp it directly on the transom? or do you have one of those bracket devices?..25" or 20" shaft? thanks...lm
JBCornwell posted 04-12-2002 08:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Ideal engine, Alvis?

50 to 90hp EFI 4 stroke. So far, that means Johnson/Suzuki DF50 or DF70 (DF90 is probably too heavy, DF60 is derated DF70), Mercury EFI 60.

I have a Suzuki DF70 on my Montauk. It is faster than I anticipated at 38.5 mph WOT. JimH's chart (Reference) shows the DF50 producing 33mph. That would be enough for me, the DF50 is over 100lb lighter than the DF70.

In the 70s common power for Montauks and other 16/17s was Bearcat 55s, which probably produced about 48 at the prop. They did not set the water on fire, but they performed well and would reach 30+mph.

Good luck.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

Salmon Tub posted 04-12-2002 05:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Salmon Tub  Send Email to Salmon Tub     
I ran for a while with a 40hp and must say that what you go through is about the same as myself as far as waves. With that much weight, I would say go North, all the way. Go with a 90 hp. If you don't have to, get a 2 stroke, you troll with a kicker, and a 90 hp 4 stroke will be HEAVY. I get 4-5 MPG with my 90 hp with same boat but less load. That is good for a boat. With that many guys, you don't want a super heavy engine, or else you'll be taking slop over the transom constantly. On the other hand, with that many guys, go too light and it just won't sit right. I would say stay in the 300 lb. range as far as motor size. Those extra horse are nice because you can pitch down the prop, and not worry about lugging the engine.
gvisko posted 04-12-2002 07:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for gvisko  Send Email to gvisko     
i have a suzuki df70 four stroke on my montauk and fish in ocean all the time
tru moriches inlet (one of the worst inlets
in the east) get 36 wot but iam a lot heaver
then jc gvisko
Alan Hiccock posted 04-12-2002 07:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Alan Hiccock  Send Email to Alan Hiccock     
Yamaha 90 2 stroke.
Light 3 cyl. design , the extra ponies to beat out a storm. A great motor that wont let you down and will make the boat much easier to resell if need be.
Ive got a new 70 Yamaha , first one for me after having 6 different OMC's & Mercs over the years and Im very impressed.
Montana posted 04-12-2002 09:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Montana  Send Email to Montana     
Alan, I've been debating between the Yahama and Merc 90's for sometime now and I'm still having a hard time deciding. You really like that Yamaha better then the Merc?
lhg posted 04-12-2002 09:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
If you want 85 HP, light weight and want to pay more, get the Yamaha. If you want 95 HP and more torque, for less money, get the Mercury. Some say you get what you pay for, who knows? Certainly not I.
Curtis Johnson posted 04-12-2002 09:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Curtis Johnson  Send Email to Curtis Johnson     
Depends on the marketplace, but if you could find a '75 Johnsonrude 85 hp tnt, freshwater, light use (a surprising number of folks almost never use their boats), you could buy four of them for one yam 90. Plus, in the old days they measured hp at the prop and a horse was a HORSE.
Alan Hiccock posted 04-12-2002 09:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Alan Hiccock  Send Email to Alan Hiccock     
Ive owned Mercs and I dont think thier bad motors but the Yamaha is state of the art & MUCH better.
I'm blown away by the quality of this motor, the way she starts, runs smoothly @ all RPM's, the quality of the gauges & controls.
I think its money well spent and the difference isnt that much, the boat will be easier to sell too not to mention safer.
Ive owned 6 other outboards & I'll never go back to Merc or OMC..
Just 1 mans opinion, Suzuki's are right up there too.
alvispollard posted 04-12-2002 10:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for alvispollard  Send Email to alvispollard     
25" shaft is the fit. I got my Yamaha 8 hp high thrust motor from Hastings Marine, Ontario, Canada.
The exchange rate lets you get motors for 25%-30% less than the best deal stateside. Don't let anyone tell you the warranty is a problem. Motor warranties are good in U.S. or Canada. I got this motor for $1399 (stateside-$1999. Add $80 for United Airlines Shipping and you have a deal. No tariffs or fees or tax. Hastings is a huge Yamaha/Mercery dealer and the salesmen are very helpful. Hope this helps. I appreciate all the replies to this thread that will help me in making my decision of which motor to buy.
Gone Fishing CU@Dark:30
alvispollard posted 04-12-2002 11:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for alvispollard  Send Email to alvispollard     
25" shaft is the fit. I got my Yamaha 8 hp high thrust motor from Hastings Marine, Ontario, Canada.
The exchange rate lets you get motors for 25%-30% less than the best deal stateside. Don't let anyone tell you the warranty is a problem. Motor warranties are good in U.S. or Canada. I got this motor for $1399 (stateside-$1999. Add $80 for United Airlines Shipping and you have a deal. No tariffs or fees or tax. Hastings is a huge Yamaha/Mercery dealer and the salesmen are very helpful. Hope this helps. I appreciate all the replies to this thread that will help me in making my decision of which motor to buy.
Gone Fishing CU@Dark:30
TightPenny posted 04-13-2002 09:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for TightPenny  Send Email to TightPenny     
I originally had a 60 on my Montauk and have replaced it with a 90.

The performance with the 60 was adequate in the Atlantic, but the 90 operates with a lot less strain, plus I have the extra oomph for when I need it.

PMUCCIOLO posted 04-13-2002 11:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for PMUCCIOLO    

My family, over the years has had 5 17's, ranging from a 1972 Katama to my current 2001 Alert. Yours is a difficult question to answer, but I'm happy to furnish our experiences and my observations.

First of all, when it comes to load, the Boston Whaler ownner's manual states something to the effect that the hull is designed to be run lightly loaded and slightly bow high. (I can't recall the exact quote.) That would cause concern regarding the weight increases associated with four stroke engines. Also, it suggests that you trim down your provisions to a minimum. That's a matter of common sense.

Second, brand preferences (and loyalties) vary widely. I am DELIGHTED with my 90 Yamaha. My family has had six Yamaha's on various boats, ranging from a 50HP four stroke to a 250HP Ox66 EFI. Not ONCE have we had problems. That is a small sample size from which to extrapolate, but, in my opinion, it speaks for itself. Associates of mine have enjoyed similarly positive experiences with their Yamahas. Others on this forum are brand loyal to Mercury or OMC stemming from their satisfaction with the respective brands.

Third, consider lhg's post carefully. Cubes are cubes, and HP is HP. Based on the description you've furnished, you need TORQUE at a cruise speed. I cannot comment on the actual prop HP and torque of the Mercury versus the Yamaha versus the Johnson. I don't know if the OBJECTIVE data (and not "seat-of-the-pants" anectodal reports) are available from the manufacturers, but I'd suspect so. It is my understanding that a 10% variation in "rating" is allowed the engine manufacturers. I haven't seen "official" documentation of this, but it is widely accepted among boaters. Furthermore, I don't know if this 10% figure refers to horsepower or torque. Perhaps another forum participant can provide this data. [By the way, lhg, why does the 90HP Yamaha's HP rating fluctuate between 80 and 85 in your various posts?] (To avoid ambiguity: That's a joke:)

If an objective, well documented, significant difference does exist between models and brands, pick what suits your application best. This is where separation of the intellect and emotion is essential. I run my boat lightly loaded. The stern floats high, drainage is superb, and the boat planes (from the seated position) with almos no bow rise. If the Mercury or OMC offer more HP or torque (Consult lhg, as he may have the data to substantiate this), and that is what you need at a cruise speed, your decision is made simpler.

Next, the all-important price. Yamaha's are LISTED at higher prices than those of their competitors. However, my ENTIRE rigging job, including 2002 90HP Yamaha, cables, controls, battery, 2 X 6.6 Gallon OEM fuel tanks, etc., etc. totalled $6500.00 + tax. All it takes is a little shopping. I wouldn't let a few hundred dollars deter you, especially in light of the fact that the boat is your source of recreation and enjoyment. In fact, explore all of the incentives manufacturers have to offer, because several dealers, in my recent shopping experience, were NOT forthcoming with such information.

Finally, the Bombardier situation. Having recently seen a 90HP Johnson Ocean Pro (2002 per the owner) on a large aluminum bass boat, I must say that I was impressed. It started and ran smoothly and had a beautiful paint job. My brother's 1999 90HP Johnson Ocean Pro-powered Montauk has provided him with superb performance. The reliability of the newer engines is uncertain, whether FICHT, carburetor, or conventional EFI. The reason for my statement? Several marine mechanics informed me that many of the once alloy parts on the OMC engines are now plastic and various composites thereof. (I know, I've heard the whole "plastics" story...Remember "The Graduate"?) What concerns me was their telling me that the head gaskets are now some sort of O-rings. Based on the repairs they've had to make on the engines (these were all new engines, mind you) the consensus is that these "advances" were unwise on the manufacturer's part. This suggests that the consumer is placed at risk of encountering mechanical failure, sometimes catastrophic. Others may tell you that their FICHT engines are the best thing since sliced bread...but time will tell.

I wish you luck in your deliberations.



masbama posted 04-15-2002 10:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for masbama  Send Email to masbama     
I just ran my '77 Montauk for the first time with the new 2002 90hp Johnson "Bomb". Aweswome! Fit and finish are great, starts right up and makes this boat fly! I moved up from a 60hp Johnson. I think the Yam, Merc and Johnson 2 stroke 90hp's are the perfect engines for this boat. Power and weight match up. Prices are right. I paid $5000 for this engine and will receive a $270 rebate. Can't beat that! Check the internet for prices then shop them to local dealers.
Bigshot posted 04-15-2002 11:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Big advocate for the 70 Zuki 4 one, you'll buy it.

Guys the 90hp Yamaha is a great engine, especially for a 17' but it is weak compared to other 90's. I would consider it a 80hp.

lhg posted 04-15-2002 05:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
With todays electronics, especially when fishing and trolling, using radio, sonar and GPS, and maybe even navigation lights, alternator capacity is important to avoid draining the battery. Yamaha 70 puts out 6 amps, Yamaha 90 puts out 10 amps and Mercury 75 & 90 put out 18 amps, all this at max RPM. At trolling/idling speeds, alternator output becomes even more critical with today's electrical loads. Yamaha seems to have corrected this deficiency with their new 80 & 100 4-strokes, which now have 20 amp alternators.

I was being generous in stating the Yamaha 90 at 85 HP. Nick's far greater experience with the engine is probably more accurate.

whalernut posted 04-15-2002 08:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Curtis, great point on the 75` 85h.p. Johnson, I own one on my 73` `16 Currituck and it is still very strong. I can`t believe how strong that V4 is after 27 years of hard use!!! The only thing is it uses a Ton of fuel!! I would go smaller on the older `16 Hulls, I am selling my 75` 85h.p. Johnson if anyone is interested. It doesn`t have Power T/T. Jack.
PMUCCIOLO posted 04-16-2002 03:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for PMUCCIOLO    

"Experience" unless gained through a large sample size (n > 1!) is anecdotal. Can OBJECTIVE data supporting these claims be provided?


Bigshot posted 04-16-2002 11:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I know I only had 1 and that is my experience. I do know about 3 people who had v4 OMC's and went to the Yamagucci and although they loved the weight and fuel economy, said it was much slower and less powerful than their 88 or 90's that it replaced. A 90 OMC or Merc will give about 44-45mph, the Yamahas about 41-42, and a 70 around 38-40. Therefore I say about 80hp.
lhg posted 04-16-2002 01:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Does engine displacement count? Based on my experience with Mercurys, I know that they have traditionally managed to squeeze a lot of HP out their cubes. So, keeping that in mind, here is some data, by cubic inches, and alternator size:

(all two stroke technology)

Yamaha 60: 51.8 w/6 Amp alternator
Yamaha 70: 51.8 w/6 Amp alternator
Mercury 60: 59.0 w/16 Amp alternator
Yamaha 90: 69.6 w/10 Amp alternator
Mercury 75: 84.6 w/18 Amp alternator
Mercury 90: 84.6 w/18 Amp alternator

Looking at this chart, and considering a purchase price of around $4400, the Mercury 75 stands out as an excellent cost-to-performance all around power choice for a 16/17' Whaler, if two stroke is one's interest.

It also appears that the Mercury 60 would be favorable in price/performance comparison with a Yamaha 70.

Alan Hiccock posted 04-16-2002 07:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Alan Hiccock  Send Email to Alan Hiccock     
Here we go again, Merc's are better then Yamaha's
Alan Hiccock posted 04-16-2002 07:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Alan Hiccock  Send Email to Alan Hiccock     
Here we go again, Merc's are better then Yamaha's
lhg posted 04-16-2002 07:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
No Alan, it's not "here we go again". It's more like just posting the comparative stats, often things the manufacturers don't want us to figure out. Consider it more like Powerboat Reports. The intended subject here is this 10% + or - Hp convention in ratings. Compare the facts and let the buyer decide. All listed are very fine engines. Hopefully a chart like this gets rid of the marketing hype. The goal of this site is an "informed buyer", no matter what brand or commodity. Many of my good boating friends have Yamahas and we all get along just fine. One such owner loves to refer to my Mercurys as "bug foggers"!
Julius Bosco posted 04-16-2002 10:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Julius Bosco  Send Email to Julius Bosco     
I appreciate the objectivity; that is why I visit this site often. There is vital information here you could never get from a dealer. While I feel Yamahas are great outboards, I too have friends who have owned both v-4 88, 90 hp OMC's and 90 Yam., and the OMC's seem to have more torque for water skiing. Lets continue to share our experiences and help us all make our best decisions for our own needs-thanks!
Alan Hiccock posted 04-16-2002 11:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Alan Hiccock  Send Email to Alan Hiccock     
IHG, sometimes the stats dont tell the whole story, it may not be a great thing to have a 75 Merc making 100 HP.
Piston slappin away like a bored out Harley.
Also Yamaha doesnt under rate thier motors HP ratings, I posted a thread @ asking this very question about a month ago where within the replys were links of DYNO results. The new 225, 250 Yammie 2 strokes are way over advertised hp by like 30 in some cases.
I know for sure my 70 Yamaha is putting out 70+ @ the prop as Ive been clocked twice @ over 45 in my 15 Sport. The 90 is a sweet , light 3 banger with enough charging ability, torque for any Montuak. These motors are just so nicly engineered and assembled, the clearances are perfect... it's nicer then all the other 2 strokes Ive owned and theres been a few.
I bet the new Bombardier OMC's might catch up soon , maybe Merc too but as of now Yamaha is state of the art , the industry's leader. Heck merc rules I/O's , sell the most outboards too.
But whats a better motor for a B.Whaler the best boat made, why Yamaha, the best engine of course!
Yamaha has made boating fun again for many people, more time on the water and less time on the forklift,
take care, Alan
jimh posted 04-17-2002 12:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
An interesting observation I've made regarding Mercury and Yamaha, as part of preparing the listing of engines ( ):

The Yamaha engines are all priced higher than the Mercury as equavalent horsepower.

However, I did get a peak at a confidential dealer price list, and on that sheet, the Yamaha and Mercury engines were priced almost identically, not more than $50 apart!

This tells me the typical Yamaha dealer has much more room to dicker with the price, if he has to. If he has a customer on the hook that wants to buy into that "superior Japanese quality", then he keeps the price high. If he has a customer that will walk next door and buy a Mercury, then he lowers the price.

It really is amazing to me that two totally different manufacturers could make these engines on two continents, then somehow the "dealer price" for them ends up being so close the difference is less than 1% of the price.

lhg posted 04-17-2002 12:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
JimH - your comments are absolutely on target. When I was shopping for my new 25 Outrage, to be Mercury powered of course, one of the very few Whaler/Mercury dealers at that time told me that he had recently taken on Yamaha, and that their higher selling price was all additional Dealer profit and incentive to sell the brand. He said he made twice as much for selling a same HP Yamaha as a Mercury or OMC. That was how they broke into the OMC/Mercury dominated outboard market place.

The Japanese have always been known for providing MORE for LESS money, such as in the economy autos. So why doesn't this relate to outboards? Actually it does, but they sweeten up the pie to entice the Dealers, and the consumer pays this difference. This practice decimated OMC brand rigging at Whaler dealerships in the late 80's and nineties. They correctly figured out that in 95% of boat sales, the buyer just takes whatever engine the Dealer has pre-installed on the boat. Now BW is doing this with Mercurys, and it's also working. To avoid giving up their big Yamaha profits, some previous Whaler dealers have simply bolted, and some are still complaining like hell, demanding un-rigged boats to meet their Yamaha quotas.

rsgwynn1 posted 04-17-2002 12:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for rsgwynn1  Send Email to rsgwynn1     
I ran a Johnson 115 on my '74 Whaler bass boat (17') and didn't feel it was overpowered. My brother has a 1999 McKee with a 70 Suzuki 4-stroke, and it's a very nice rig (the hull is comparable to an older Whaler).
PMUCCIOLO posted 04-17-2002 03:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for PMUCCIOLO    

Thank you for the list of the engines with their displacements and alternator outputs. I wonder if the manufacturers, when they test engines, put them on some device (like a dyno) to measure the HP and torque at varying RPM's...Does anyone have information of this nature?


Kelly posted 04-17-2002 10:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for Kelly  Send Email to Kelly     
I have an 80' 17' that I have been thinking of repowering for a while. I certainly don't have the experience with the motors that other members have, but here are my thoughts.

First, in 90 2 strokes, it seems that the Yamaha is a great motor for the boat, and you can't go wrong with that choice. However, after talking to a mechanic recently that carried Yamaha, Mercury, and Tohatsu, my opinion of the Mercury has gone up. His opinion was that the Mercury 90 was one of the best motors that they have ever made. The Johnson 90 2 stroke also seems to be a good motor, I personally would opt for a good used Johnson unless I got a very good price on a new motor. Conclusion, to me the Merc and Yam 90s are about even in price and quality. Merc seems to be more powerful based on what people have said. I would have to find the right situation and price to get the Johnson 90, but I have seen so many posts about how well the boat performs with this motor, I would like to try it.

Second, 2 stroke 70hp. Unless you find a leftover or deal motor, the difference in price doesn't seem to justify the drop in hp for me.

Third, 4 stroke 90 or 100 hp. At this point, the motors available seem to be too heavy for the boat. People have them and use them, but they seem too heavy to me.

Fourth, 4 stroke 60 and 70. Both the Suzuki 70 and the Mercury 60 seem to be good choices. It seems that the Suzuki is a little heavy, and that the Mercury is a little light on power, but people seem to like both motors and get good performance with them. I don't think you can go wrong with either of these. If I had to buy today, I would probably get the Mercury 60 hp 4 stroke.

I think I could be satisfied with almost any of the motors mentioned except the 90 or 100 four stroke due to their weight. I would really like a lighter 70 hp 4 stroke than what is currently available. I think if you can wait, there will be additional 4 stroke choices in the 70 hp range within the next few years. I think I am going to try to get another couple of years out of my old 70 hp Johnson and look at the new offerings.


masbama posted 04-17-2002 11:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for masbama  Send Email to masbama     
One must think of the total package when buying a new motor. There is the price for a motor "in the box" and a price for fully rigged. I just bought a 2002 Johnson 90hp. I already had a OMC/Bomb Binnacle, wiring harness and cables so I paid just for the motor $5000 (before the $270 rebate from Bomb) and prop(aluminum)/new fuel lines and filter/some rewiring and harness adapter/installation/test run: $500. No tax because it was in a neighbor state. ( I also got $500 for the used 60hp. You do the math. A new Yam 90 would be $1200 more at best. I can put the savings in an extended warrenty and still come out ahead. It's all about what you want. Any 2 stroke, carbed 90 will be perfect.
masbama posted 04-17-2002 11:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for masbama  Send Email to masbama     
You know, Alvis; I think I am going to amend my previous post. A 2 stroke, carbed 90 is perfect for me. After re-reading your situation-I would go with a Suzi/Johnson 70 4 stroke. You could sell the kicker motor (that will compensate for the higher price and weight factors). One of the main advantages of the 4 stroke is it is an ideal trolling motor-especially EFI ones. You won't need 90 horses in speed limiting water anyway. What do you think?
kamml posted 04-17-2002 07:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for kamml  Send Email to kamml     
I opted for a new Merc 90 in February this year. Having about 4 hrs. on it now here are my observations. It has good planing ability on the 77 Montauk hull, it is effortless to get up. From around 3000-4500 it has terrific midrange punch, it just gets there quick with more speed just a push away. At 3200 rpm it loafs along and you can talk with anybody around the boat without having to shout. It idles in gear at 2.8-3.2 mph, perfect for lake trolling, it sputters, and smokes but never misses a stroke. I have had it topped out with the bimini up around 42mph GPS on a 19" al. prop. My fuel mileage appears better than what I expected. I just added 10 gallons (27 gal tank) this weekend for the first time since the initial 24 gallon fuel up with break in mixture. If you were keeping the load light, I bet 70hp would be ok. As I have to pull tubes in the summer the 90 with a 19" prop is just right. My Merc dealer quoted me a price about $1600 cheaper than I could get the Yammie for around here. I paid $5100. for the motor. Ken
Minke posted 04-17-2002 08:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Minke  Send Email to Minke     
Do the references to Suzi/Johnson DF70 4-stroke indicate that they are the same under the badge?
Considering this as good replacement for '82 Johnson 70 when I repower my '68 Menemsha.
lhg posted 04-17-2002 08:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Ken - If you really want to wake up that Merc 90 on your Montauk, put the bolts through the middle hole of the five, which means you'll be running up about 1 1/2" high, and get a 20" pitch Mercury 5 bladed Hi-Five performance prop, the best water ski prop in the world for an outboard. You'll have great holding in rough water, great hole shot and smooth pulling power, and your top end will go up at least 3 mph. Those props are a work of art. The 19" aluminum, although an adequate prop, is at the bottom end of performance on a boat that will do 45 MPH. They are a low priced prop, but in Mercury props, you get what you pay for! A performance prop is about $380, bought right.

I believe our resident classic Whaler performance expert, Clark Roberts, ran this prop on his Montauk with your engine, and got close to 50 mph out of her.

If super smooth ski pulling power is less of an interest, get the all around Laser II prop in 20" pitch. You will love either one. I run the Laser II's on both of my whalers, and they are superb.

masbama posted 04-17-2002 10:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for masbama  Send Email to masbama     
Yes Minke; they are the exact same motors. Suzi makes them for Johnson. One thing I do know is that the Johnson can use the current control box, wiring harness and cables of a previous OMC engine; I don't know if the Suzi needs its own. I was quoted $5700 for the Johnson in a box.
Clark Roberts posted 04-18-2002 06:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Larry is correct about the high-five prop and my 17 was a Newport model with a '96 Merc 90 and 20" high-five prop. Engine was mounted up about 4" on a Bob's Machine MJ-5 jackplate also a doel-fin. Hole shot and mid-range accelleration were fantastic and top end was, as Larry recalled, right around 50mph. Fuel mileage was around 5mpg average which is really great. I took this rig to Bahamas and back, all over Fla. etc. and put tons of hrs on engine before selling motor in 2000. I have had many of the 3cyl Mercs (from 70 to 90hp) and all have been solid and reliable performers. Am currently restoring a 1977 17 hull and am going to install a 1993 Merc 70hp (3cyl. same as 90 of that year @71 cubic inches... the 96 90hp was bigger bore 84cubic inch model) which I'm currently running on my 15' Center Console (Killer) until the 17 is ready. On the 15 it is a real handfull and too much power/speed (close to 50mph)for this old shucker. A note on the sputtering/smoking mentioned above: Each of the 3 carbs has an "idle/air" adjustable needle valve (horizontal on carb top) and these need to be fine tuned and the sputtering/caughing at idle will go away! Here's the drill> Turn each needle valve screw clockwise until it lightly seats and then back it out 1 1/2 turns; with boat in water/tied to dock, start engine (warm it up for about 3 mins) and put in fwd; starting with top carb, turn needle valve clockwise (leaner) until engine runs rough/begins to stall and then turn counter clockwise (richer)until same. Now try to adjust to midpoint between the two positions! Best to favor richer than leaner position! Repeat for other two carbs! Adjust idle (in gear) to about 800rpm using the idle adjustment screw (these Mercs idle on timing only). Some of these engines require more "fiddling" than others to get really smooth and steady. All 3 cyl engines (yam and omc) will respond to this same fine tuning but the base position may vary (as stated above it's 1 1/2 turns on Mercs). REason for in water/in gear adjustments is because of the head of water in lower unit and the associated back-pressure exerted on exhaust... adjusted on hose/out-of-water will result in an idle too low when in water..etc..etc. Ask me what time it is and I'll try to tell you how to build a watch... blah, blah, blah, ... one of my many faults, just bare with me... Happy Whalin'... Clark... SCN
Bigshot posted 04-18-2002 11:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Masbama...Nice price on the Johnson/zuki 70.

Clark if you had a Zuki EFI you would not need to make adjustments....or add oil:) is way better than the 70 you have and probably more power. I get close to 40 on my GPS with my zuki 70 on my heavier Montauk.

Minke posted 04-18-2002 12:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Minke  Send Email to Minke     
Mambasa & Bigshot
Thanks for your responses.
I'll go with the Johnson/Suzi 70 when the '82 comes off, hope to get through this season first though!

Bigshot posted 04-18-2002 12:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Keep your eyes peeled for a leftover Evinrude/zuki in the meantime. I got a 99 leftover VERY cheap. You can use your old controls and guages if you choose as well.
Eric posted 04-20-2002 11:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
I appreciate the requests for objective data. There's so much brand loyalty and other opinion to sort through with a question like this. It does highlight one of my favorite things about this website: everyone posts their opinions, while respecting those of the other forum members. No one has slammed anyone or gotten into a (virtual?) argument. I'm proud to be a member!

There is a previous engine comparison for montauks on this site where someone reprinted the data from a 1999 comparison from testing various identical boats with 90 horse outboards. The Johnson was actually the fastest, despite the well earned Mercury reputation for fast motors. The big V4 made quite a bit more torque than any of the 3 cylinder motors, about 10 foot/pounds at their respective torque peaks, which I believe made the difference in the speed. In addition, the V4 torque peak is at a much lower RPM than any of the others, around 3600 as opposed to about 5000 with the Merc. That means that at around 4000 RPM the V4 could be making more like 20 foot/pounds more than the others. It's just like on land, when it comes to making power there's no replacement for displacement.
My choice? I bought my Johnson 90 primarily based on price, $4500 in the box for a 99 model in 2000. The newer models are much more efficient than they used to be. I usually get better than 3 gallons per hour, usually about 2.6 gallons/hour on my offshore trips. I believe that one reason for this (surpising to me) level of efficiency from this big, low-tech motor is the fact that I'm usually running at about the torque peak when offshore. That's the most efficient speed in any engine. Still no comparison to a DFI motor or 4 stroke, but lighter weight, proven technology, and much cheaper. It's also got a 20 amp alternator. Finally, a consideration of torque may be a factor with the amount of weight you haul.
It's so much fun to think of all the options, so enjoy it. Whatever you choose, I don't think that there's a dog in the bunch these days.

Bigshot posted 04-21-2002 12:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     

From what I understand with cars and the same with anything is that torque shows what it CAN do and horesepower says how fast it will do it. That is why I think the 4 strokes are not so shabby at cruise,etc. 4 strokes always have more torque than 2 strokes but takes a bit longer to achieve it. So while a 70hp s 2 stroke might blow me away in drag race, I have more beneficial cruise, etc. Question is how do you run a boat? If you run WOT then a 2 stroke is your choice. If like me you want a good cruise then 4 strokes or DFI reign supreme and will crush a 2 stroke like a jelly bean(rap humor). I was brought up where you treat a motor likr it was it's last day, therefore run it easy with an occasional WOT run. In my case a 4 stroke is ideal and compred to a 2 comparison. if I drove like I just stole it, I MIGHT not feel the same.

Evaluate the way you drive and go from there. Maybe post how you drive to let us give a better educated recomendation.

zpeed7 posted 04-21-2002 04:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for zpeed7  Send Email to zpeed7     
Here ALL the local comercial fishermen use Yamaha's, I haven't seen one with a different brand for years now... When you go out every day 15+ miles to make a living and depend on your outboard to bring you back, I sincerely doubt any brand loyalties had to do with their decisions. For me, that says it all.

And by the way... very few use kickers....

jimh posted 04-21-2002 10:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
When zpeed7 says "here" he means Puerto Rico.

I was in the port of Mazatlan on the Pacific coast of Mexico a few years ago. There is a large fishing fleet of outboard powered boats ("pangas") in that city, too. They were also powered predominantly by Yamaha.

While some might see this as an endorsement of Yamaha as being "more reliable", it may not necessarily be the case.

One strength of the Japanese manufacturers (and not just outboard engine makers, either) is they have learned to market into countries that don't speak their native language. Of course, that includes the USA and other English speaking countries. YAMAHA already has produced all the marketing and support materials for their engines in a foreign language--English--so it is not too big a step to also make them available in other languages, too.

Perhaps the preference for YAMAHA in these two Spanish speaking areas may be from the availability of better documentation, parts lists, repair manuals, etc., in Spanish.

American manufacturers are relatively new at exporting their products to foreign speaking markets and often tend to be very English-language oriented.

I used to work for an electronics instrument maker. We had a division in Germany that we had acquired in a merger. Many of our products overlapped and competed with each other. The German products were all prepared and documented in about seven languages (German, English, French, Spanish, Portugese, Russian, Dutch). Our products were only documented in English, and rather poorly at that since we provided most of our support by telephone. We also had an in-house repair service that was very economical, so we did not have many customers in the US who tried to do any repair or re-calibration on their own; they just sent the instrument back to us via overnight-Air freight.

The German products all came with extensive repair and recalibration procedures in seven languages. Parts lists in seven languages, etc.

In addition, our product representatives overseas (who had the joint product line) were in the main the same reps who previously sold the German product line. They were more familiar with it, and since many of them did not speak much English, they had difficulty contacting us for support. They relied on the German office, where often the inside people spoke their language or another language they had in common.

We felt quite strongly that our products were much better than the German ones, and by specification they were. They were more sensitive, had higher resolution, better accuracy, etc.

However, in overseas markets we could not compete at all with the German product line. Go to South America or Indonesia or Russia and our sales prepresentatives could not give our stuff away. The customers wanted the German product. It outsold ours 100:1.

In some of these markets we faced general hostility toward American brand products. The German brand did not have to deal with this same animosity. (This was 25-years ago, when the world was more polarized by East-West tensions.)

In the USA, we had the reverse situation. Often the decision makers at the companies we were selling to were World War-II veterans. For them, buying a German product was still a problem. For example, on the product literature there was often very poorly worded translations that caused American buyers to react. One of these gaffs was the inclusion of a title in German for "plant superintendent". This appeared as "Works-Fuhrer".

There was absolutlely no way we could sell the German product to people who had fought in WWII with the word "fuhrer" on the literature.

In the USA, the pricing was always in our favor, too. Since we controlled it, we carefully positioned our products to be cheaper than the German ones. Price was always the BIG consideration, and coupled these other problems, we did not sell much German made instrumentation in the USA.

And when we did sell, the customer often complained that the documentation was hard to use and read because it was in seven languages!

I mention all of this because I can easily see where these same situations exist today. Mercury may not be as well established in certain overseas markets, they may not have good multi-language documentation, they may not have aggressive pricing, they may not have the best sales prepresentatives.

Does the better overseas marketing of the Japanese or German product mean the product is better than the equivalent American product? Maybe not. It just means that in that particular market the manufacturer has done a better job of selling his product to the local customers.

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