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Author Topic:   what will your next outboard be?
cangoods posted 06-25-2002 12:44 PM ET (US)   Profile for cangoods   Send Email to cangoods  
On July of 2000 I purchase a brand new Proline open fisher boat with a Mercury OptiMax150. Here is my story to help any one with the next purchase of a marine product.
My first day on my new boat, I decided to break in the boat. So all excited I went out for a pleasure cruise. As I cruised Biscayne Bay an alarm went off, the low oil sensor. This can't be, it was full, but I checked and it had 2 gallons, must be a bad sensor. I came home and called the dealer, they instructed me on a few steps to check the oil. On its second outing I experienced the same low oil sensor, and a high water temp. I made an appointment with the dealer and was able to take the boat in for repairs. A few weeks later I had my boat again.

A short period after the repairs were done I heard the same low oil sensor, and back to the shop it went. After appointment and repair, it had to be over a week with out my boat in the middle of dolphin season.

Few months later guess what, low oil sensor again, and a new problem. The low oil sensor was accompany with the engine light. The combination of both lights means engine might be running with out oil. This can't be good. I called the shop and made another appointment. Turns out the engine had 2 cylinders burned, so Mercury replaced the power head. I was ecstatic to hear this, since I had so much trouble with this unit.

Well I finally got a new power head, its going to run great I thought. As I get ready to leave from the ramp, the shifter is stuck in neutral. This can't be. Another fishing day ruined, and a brand new boat with a pretty Mercury sitting on my trailer. I called the dealership and made another appointment, this time I have to wait on Mercury because the dealer does not have the part. Let's just say another week goes that I do not have a boat.

I began to break in my new power head. The boat is now running great. Or so I think. After the break in period I notice the boat is using a lot of oil, I guess that's better then no oil. I called the dealer and told them I was burning about 1 gallon of oil to every 10 gallons of fuel, that's about 7 times the normal amount of oil. So again I made an appointment. At least another week without my boat. These time the replace a recalled part and made a few adjustments.

Wow my boat was running great, at least for 3 months before the dreadful low oil sensor came back. My boat had more then enough oil so I continued. Every few outings this alarm would go off but no big deal. I took time off and went to the keys. The black anchor (Mercury) ran good for 17 miles before the low oil with the engine light. Well now she is in the shop and who knows for how long.

I have tried to deal with Mercury and nothing, has been solved. Maybe by writing this letter I can help anyone who is shopping for a new engine. I hope my history with Mercury will help you choose your next marine product or which one not to choose. Mercury will replace my engine if it's found to be unrepeatable, but in the modern age what is unrepeairable.

If you do buy mercury, do not forget duct tape, it comes in handy to cover up the alarm.

Hobie1981 posted 06-25-2002 01:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hobie1981  Send Email to Hobie1981     
Can: From your post, it does appear that the dealership has tried to correct the problem(s). The timeliness of repairs seems to be a huge problem to everyone who has their boat in for service. Did you have any contact with the folks at the national office ? From what you wrote, it appears that you had a problem on day one. I'm not sure at what point the decision is or could be made to replace the entire unit. I know I would want the whole thing replaced. I would think a replacement engine would have gotten you back on the water much quicker also. I believe the guys with windows in their offices at MM might have a better grasp of the overall costs of having an unhappy customer, than the dealership or lower level customer service folks at Mercury.

Keep us posted on how things work out for you.


Bigshot posted 06-25-2002 02:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I have heard that story a million times but only on the 200-250 opti's. This is the 1st on a 150 and so far no 135's. sorry to hear about your ailments, I would light it on fire and wheel it into the dealership:)
Salmon Tub posted 06-25-2002 05:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Salmon Tub  Send Email to Salmon Tub     
Is there a lemon law in your neck of the woods?
lhg posted 06-25-2002 07:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Since when are Proline boats Classic Whalers?
Sorry, but not even close in my book. Or, because Boston Whaler is owned by Mercury, is word getting around that this highly popular and widely known website now becoming the fashionable place to crash, regardless of boat brand owned, and complain about Mercury engines and other Brunswick products. The assumption is probably that BW and Mercury people read this site, and these posters will get some warranty help, or at least a chance to publicly dump on the Company & kill some sales. There are other sites where this is more accepted behavior. Do we even know if the post is legitimate, or just some competitor's cheap shot? Hobie, did you notice that the story is TWO YEARS OLD, incidentally. How's he going to keep us posted on progress?
InHerNet posted 06-25-2002 07:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for InHerNet  Send Email to InHerNet     
I'm with lhg! Cangoods and the post belong somewhere else on another forum. This thread should be deleted.
Gep posted 06-25-2002 10:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Gep  Send Email to Gep     
I was kind of thinking the same thing. Why complain on this website?
Hobie1981 posted 06-25-2002 11:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hobie1981  Send Email to Hobie1981     
To All: My Evelyn Wood speedreading has done me wrong. I incorrectly read the date as July 2001. The word "I" directly follows the 2000. That said, I believe my response did pose an interesting question of at what point does the consumer get the big boys at the manufacturers level involved if a significant problem arises. After paying for a new engine, I don't want major surgery on it within the first few months or so :-). Woulda bought me a rebuilt, if that's what I wanted. Can concludes his post with the statement that his boat is back in the shop. It would be possible to update us if and when he get's it back. ;-)


cangoods posted 06-26-2002 09:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for cangoods  Send Email to cangoods     
so i do not own a whaler, but we all share simular intrest, in boating. i want the world to know what bad service and a product mercury has provided. maybe when you repower your whaler you might consider another brand. plus what better place to place my complaint of merc then a sister company of theres. by the way merc does not own whaler, brounswick own whaler and merc.
cangoods posted 06-26-2002 09:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for cangoods  Send Email to cangoods     

its been 4 weeks since i wrote and started posting this story, and the boat is still in the shop. i also mailed the post to merc and they have a rep working on it. after 2 years my boat has been in the shop for over 6 months.

Bigshot posted 06-26-2002 09:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Yeah but think about all the $$ you save on gas and storage fees:)
Hobie1981 posted 06-26-2002 10:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hobie1981  Send Email to Hobie1981     
Now there's an angle I had not considered.
;-). Bonus..


Gep posted 06-26-2002 10:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for Gep  Send Email to Gep     
I'm still lost??? What sister company???
Yes, we do all share an interest in boating, and yes, I feel bad you got a raw deal. But why here???
cangoods posted 06-26-2002 05:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for cangoods  Send Email to cangoods     

mercury and boston whaler are own by the same company, and why not write here. do you have stock in mercury. i just feel mercury ripped me off and i want to warn all boaters.

and yes i save tons of money on gas and beer when my boat is in the shop. i do spend alot of time writting forums.

Gep posted 06-27-2002 12:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for Gep  Send Email to Gep     
I understand who owns who(or is it whom?).
I also understand that you probably got stuck with a bad apple.
Does that mean the whole barrels bad?
I personally don't think so.
In your original post you mention a dealer or dealership.
Is this a Proline or a Mercury dealership? Have you posted your story on thier websites?
Seems like your trying to go after Mercury when you should be going after your dealer. Let them fight it out with Mercury. I might even camp on thier doorstep for a while until they got tired of me.
This is a Classic Whaler website and it just didn't seem like the right forum for this. Just my opinion.

No, I don't own stock in Mercury, but I did just pick up a new Merc last week. It's a 1959 Mark 55A 40hp and runs like a champ. before that I had a Evinrude for 20 years.

jimithing posted 07-01-2002 04:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimithing  Send Email to jimithing     
Yamaha, Yamaha, Yamaha....and oh yeah, Yamaha
Bigshot posted 07-01-2002 04:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Now now Jimithing!

i think you should light it on fire.....get some weiners and have a ball:)

TunreLahw posted 07-01-2002 06:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for TunreLahw    
Personally, I am waiting to see what kind ron3637 gets on his new boat.
Jay A posted 07-02-2002 11:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jay A    
I love my 200hp Suzuki ! I chose it over a Yama-ha-ha for my "big boat" ! But my 40hp 1975 Merc on my 13'1970 Whaler Sport is still going strong!
alvispollard posted 07-02-2002 01:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for alvispollard  Send Email to alvispollard     
Either a Yamaha 90 four stroke to match my 8 hp four stroke kicker
or a Suzuki 70 four stroke.
Jury is still out.
Bigshot posted 07-02-2002 01:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Jury is back in....Yamaha does not make a 90 4 stroke:) you won't be disappointed in either but with price differences the zuki rocks. If you already have a Yammie then a Yammie may be a better controls, guages, etc to buy.
TF3 posted 07-03-2002 09:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for TF3  Send Email to TF3     
I'm with CAN! I cannot understand why a top quality product like BW would put something like a Merc on it? I got rid of my 1992 90 Merc this spring, it was constantly coughing, choking, buzzing and beeping and nobody could figure out why. It stranded me several times (one was a near death experience, that's when I decided I need a Yama) but started up when I got towed back to the dock. And oh yeah...........I got "0", yes zero dollars for a trade-in, so I tried to sell it on my own.........nothing, zip, zilch!
Clark Roberts posted 07-04-2002 04:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Presently running 4 Mercs and have had many, many of most all brands (including Lawsons, Martins, Clintons... etc.) . My next motor will be a Mercury... to each his own... Happy Whalin'... Clark... Spruce Creek Navy
dauntlass 18 posted 07-05-2002 04:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for dauntlass 18  Send Email to dauntlass 18     
Canngoods how did you keep plugs from fouling and engine running when it was useing app. one gal. of oil per ten gal.gas?
Draftmanswife posted 07-10-2002 05:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Draftmanswife  Send Email to Draftmanswife     
Good question Dauntless... must have been looking like mosquito control out there! I think there is a Proline site somewhere isn't there?
flyguy posted 07-16-2002 03:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for flyguy  Send Email to flyguy     
TF3...can i have it?
half shell posted 07-16-2002 08:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for half shell  Send Email to half shell     
A pal of mine had nothing but problems with the 90 merc on his Key West skiff.When it was not being serviced he would complain more about oil consumption than gas.As soon as his wallet allows he is going Honda!Maybe even on a Whaler!
lhg posted 07-16-2002 08:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Ran into a guy on vacation last week with a brand new Merc 115 EFI 4-stroke on his Lund. Asked him how he liked it. Thought it was great and far superior to the Honda 115 he had just gotten rid of. Said the Honda blew the powerhead, and it took him three months to get back on the water. Traded it as soon as it was working again. Also said the Merc is faster, less weight and uses less fuel.

Guess they all break down sometimes.

half shell posted 07-17-2002 08:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for half shell  Send Email to half shell     
lhg that is the 1st failure I have heard of on the Honda.My local dealer has had zero engine failures on all sold so far,including all the commercial boats.
The local tow boat us also after after three seasons has had zero problems and that boat is in the water year round in New England.However any thing can fail.We shall see how the merc holds up in 3 to 5 years!
Jay A posted 07-17-2002 09:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jay A    
half shell, I'm here in New England and my 1975 Merc is still going strong ! All parts except sparkplugs and control cable are original! .....Oh,I forgot, used in saltwater ! At least I can say "I got my money's worth!"
David Ratusnik posted 07-17-2002 09:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Someone ought to poll Sea Tow, Tow Boat US etc as to which (manufacture) they tow most often. Also, what is the apparent cause of engine failure? Only engines less than 3 years old qualify for the survey. Rank order failures by manufacture. Random thought. David
Bigshot posted 07-18-2002 09:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I have heard of many Honda failures.....mainly due to corrosion from saltwater.
jimh posted 07-18-2002 06:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
My next outboard will be:

-- 90-100 HP
-- 4-stroke
-- 320 lbs or less
-- EFI with sophisticated ECU controls
-- Price less than $5,500
-- Strong local dealer support
-- Strong national dealer support
-- Three year warranty minimum

If possible, I would prefer a product made in the USA. I may have to wait for 2003 or 2004...

half shell posted 07-18-2002 07:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for half shell  Send Email to half shell     
jay a I guess you have.Have you owned since new.

Bigshot Many Honda failures? From corrosion?Where and what type of failure?On my 1996 everything looks showroom new.The engine cover and decals under the cover the transom assembly the shaft the lower unit etc.

If its internal what? My dealer states once he sells one you never see the customer complaining just smiling.

However it is not only Honda owners my father has had great luck with Yamaha.

Also my Montauk Honda is in a slip in salt water from May 1 to mid Nov.

Jay A posted 07-18-2002 11:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jay A    
half shell: Yes I bought it new in the spring of 1975. Most of it's life has been trailered and when I get home I lower the engine into a barrel of fresh water and let her run ,disconnect the fuel line at the tank and let the engine run out of fuel. For winterization I remove the sparkplugs and fill the cylinders with Mystery Oil,replace the lower gear oil and store the engine in my basement. For the spring,new sparkplugs and I'm ready to go.
Bigshot posted 07-19-2002 09:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
lot of crabbers and mullet guys down here ran Hondas. They said they ran great but did not hold up to saltwater very well and had corrosion issues(waterjackets, trim units, etc) and have since gone to Zuki & Yamaha 4 strokes. Another guy I know has 2 26'cats. One with 225 Hondas, the other Yamahas. He is getting rid of the hondas due to weight and gas consumption, just telling ya what I was told.....never owned one but I also NEVER listen to dealers, people bought Yugos you know:)

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