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Author Topic:   15 with a 30
Chris posted 12-23-2002 05:16 PM ET (US)   Profile for Chris   Send Email to Chris  
I am looking at a mid 80s 15 SS Ltd. The hull is very good, the upolstry is weathered badly... not a problem. It has a 1999 or 2000 30hp Johnson.. Yes I said 30. The motor is practically new which is a real plus. I have never seen the 30 on this model it usually is a 50, 60, or 70. Does anyone have any ideas and how this rig will perform. I realize that I could sell the 30 and buy a bigger motor, but I know I would never get a used motor this good; therefore, I would have to buy new. Sell a exceptional used motor buy a new 50-70 motor, translates to more money out of my pocket. Frankly, I don't want the hassel of selling a motor and buying another either. So maybe I'll just keep looking. Opinions are welcomed.
whalersailer posted 12-23-2002 05:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalersailer  Send Email to whalersailer     

In order to better understand the nature of your question, could you please provide some more info as to your intended use of the boat in question? If you aren't looking for any great speed or load carrying capacity, I think that the 30 would probably be just ok. If, on the other hand, you will often use the boat with 2 or more people, a full cooler, gas, etc, I think that the 30 would be kind of anemic for this boat. I don't recall anyone here actually having that power on a 15. The smallest I think anyone has on a 15 is a 40. Though I may stand corrected on that.

As a caveat to this opinion, I should state that I am a proponent of having the maximum horsepower motor on any Whaler. I have a 70 on my 15 and couldn't be happier.

Best of luck with your decision!


jimh posted 12-23-2002 06:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The rated minimum horsepower for the 15-foot hull is 20-HP, so it should be able to get on plane with a 30-HP engine. According to the factory it should be able to go about 25-MPH under best conditions with that power.
Bigshot posted 12-24-2002 10:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
To put it in perspective a 15 with a light load(2 people) it will run as fast if not a tad faster than a 13'. So if you are happy with about 30mph top speed and rarely if ever run 4 grown-ups in it, the 30 will work. My neighbor had one with a 25 on it for years. Run it for a couple seasons and then buy a bigger 4 stroke, if the price is right of course. The good thing is that engine on there will not deprciate much. If it is a 2000 model, you can sell it for about $1700. In 5 years it will still be worth $1200+.
witsendfl posted 12-25-2002 04:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for witsendfl  Send Email to witsendfl     
All hulls these days come w/ a plate for MAX HP. I think you can get more for your motor. Maybe as high as 2100 w/ all controls. I suggest beefing up the hull to a minimum of 60HP.(70 HP is better) Being underpowered is a pain. If you want to do anything w/ that motor/hull configuration besides joy ride, you will need a larger motor. Any kind of watersport w/ maybe the exception of pulling a single tube w/ 1 kid will be impossible.

That 30 will always have to run WOT. Sell it now while it is newer and get as much back out as you can. Then look carefully for a slightly used 60 or 70 HP. Who knows it may not cost much more to go bigger.

Good Luck

witsendfl Jim K

Clark Roberts posted 12-27-2002 08:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Chris, I ran a 15 with a 1997 Mariner 30hp (2cyl 39cubic inch) for quite awhile and it performed satisfactorily with up to two aboard. As I recall top speed was a shade over 30mph with two aboard and engine trimmed up (I ran a 12" pitch SS prop). If the 30hp is the 3 cyl OMC with integral trim/tilt it may perform fairly well but if the two cyl (no trim/tilt) not so well. The advice by others above is all good but I would hesitate to say that you would be dissipointed with the combo you describe! Is a sea trial in the cards?.. fly before buy! Clark.. SCN
11 footer posted 12-27-2002 01:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for 11 footer  Send Email to 11 footer     
I would not buy it, the fealing of being underpowerd gets really old really quick, I've been there. Also you will be running the 30 at WOT all the time really giveing it a beating.


Bigshot posted 12-27-2002 01:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Guys you won't have to run it WOT all the time. 30+ mph is not cruising at 23+ is very adequate for some. Remember that a 13' classic will only do 30 with a 30hp so does that mean you have to run it WOT constantly?
credditt posted 12-31-2002 09:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for credditt  Send Email to credditt     
I had an 11 Sport with a 20 for several years. The fastest I ever saw out of it was 27 mph. 25 average top speed. I'd be surprised if a 15 would run much better than 25 or so with a 30, but I could be wrong.
minimontauk posted 01-01-2003 01:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for minimontauk  Send Email to minimontauk     
I have a 96' Johnson 48 HP on my 15' Sport CC. It planes at 35 MPH with two adults at about 90% throttle. A 70 HP seems like overkill. I suppose I could haul one skier and myself with my 48 HP. I'd keep the 30 HP unless you are seriously into skiing or a speed fanatic. For coastal cruising, which is what the boat is designed for, how fast do you need to go?
Bigshot posted 01-02-2003 09:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Credditt....a 13' is faster than an 11 with the same HP believe it or not. My bud had a 15' with a 35hp and I had a 13' with a 35hp and he was a tad faster than me. Hull design is the key.
Florida15 posted 01-05-2003 10:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Florida15  Send Email to Florida15     
I would sell the 30 and buy either a 50 or 60.I have a 50 Johnson on my 1987 15'and I am happy with it. But if I was going to repower and there wasn't much difference in the price, I would probably go with a 60. I think a 70 is a bit much. I once bought a new 14' McKeeCraft
in 1985. It was rated for a 70 so that's what I got - an Evinrude 70. It was overkill
and had power (and weight) that I didn't need.
megawhaler posted 01-06-2003 12:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for megawhaler  Send Email to megawhaler     
Chris, I cant make heads or tails out of all these replys....but at least they are trying....I think...11'??

anyway, I had a 85 15' with a 30hp and it did ok. ( no speed demon) Now the 30hp was an 86.
Here's the catch...that Johnson wont be worth the keyboard Bigshot is typing on in 5 years so forget that.
I dont know anything about the newer 30hp Johnsons, but the old ones (around 86) used the same engine for the 25,30 and 35hp. They just changed the carbs. What I do know is that the new 25hp 2stroke Mercury cant get a 15' out of its own a matter of fact, on a 13' with a prop change, 1/2 tank of fuel, no gear, one person on board, the right sea conditions, you can squeek out a plain........The 15 is a great riding boat, if the price is right, grab it and swap engines. Min 40hp. I have one with a 50hp Honda, and another with an older 70hp Yamaha...I opt for the 50 Honda.

megawhaler posted 01-06-2003 12:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for megawhaler  Send Email to megawhaler     
Chris, I forgot to add. I found out that the 25 merc is the same engine as the 20 Merc. The engine changes at 30hp. I belive the 30 and 35 are the same. So what you have to do is compare the 30 mer with the 30 Johnson. If its the same, then you might be fine. The 30 merc I drove on a 13 was pretty quick, and great torque.....Make the guy let you water-test it. As with any boat.

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