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  Outrage 270, 225 Opti's or 225 four strokes?

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Author Topic:   Outrage 270, 225 Opti's or 225 four strokes?
Wayward posted 03-27-2003 11:45 PM ET (US)   Profile for Wayward   Send Email to Wayward  
I'm in the process of ordering a 270 Outrage and I'm having troulbe deciding which engines I should get. After reading of the problems with the Mercury Optimax engines on some boards I was sure I was going to get the 225 four strokes. However, my dealer is strongly pushing the Opti's (he doesn't have a 270 in stock so he's not trying to sell me an in stock boat). I would appreciate any suggestions on the matter. Thanks.
Clark Roberts posted 03-28-2003 07:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Way, if you're going for highest reliability how about twin 2S EFI 200's, 225's or 250's? You will not get the fuel economy of the Opti or the 4S but you can run them for years and years with nothing but spark plug changes...They are superb performers and surprisingly quiet!! You will save enough $$$ in initial cost to fuel the 4 strokers for a long, long time. Also you will have less weight etc.. Just had to mention this option and the choice is yours, and of course suggest you bounce my suggestion off some experts ... interesting choices/opinions !!!???? Very Happy Whalin'... Clark... Spruce Creek Navy
rsess1 posted 03-28-2003 08:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for rsess1  Send Email to rsess1     
I think for resale value more than anything that you should get the 2 strokes. Any boat that I see for sale makes me think twice when it has Opti's on the back. Even if they have fixed them, their reputation precedes them. Good Luck
diveorfish posted 03-28-2003 11:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for diveorfish  Send Email to diveorfish     
Welcome to the site. Wow! A 27 Outrage! Iím envious. Anyway, this is a topic that has been discussed here quite a bit. Each engine has its pros and cons. What is most important to you? Do you care most about fuel economy, speed, noise or reliability?
I will throw down a little matrix to get things started but there are many on this site that are down right experts on the subject.

4-stroke: sip gas---quite---reliable---less speed and acceleration when compared to 2-Strokes---meet stringent emissions standards---very expensive

EFI: suck gas---fairly quiet---very reliable---excellent speed and acceleration---donít meet stringent emissions standards---least expensive

Optimax: sip gas---a bit more noise than an EFI---Reliability is in question---excellent speed and acceleration--- meet stringent emissions standards---less expensive than 4-strokes but more than EFI

Which is best is a personal choice. My current experience is with 2001 twin 135 Optis. The engines perform great by any definition but I blew the powerhead on my starboard engine after only 60 hours. My dealer promptly fixed it under warranty. When my dealer fixed my engine, he gave me a new powerhead and additionally replaced all the injectors in both engines with the 2003 versions. With the 2003 parts, my engines now run noticeably smoother, quieter and stronger.

When the Optis first came out they had problems but they are supposedly fixed now. Given the way my engines run with the 2003 parts, they may be right. If I hadnít blown my powerhead, I would be all over the Optis. Since it did though, I will forever have an Opti nervous tick when I run my boat. This is just my personal experience though, many others have had no trouble at all and I sincerely believe that the 2003s have been indeed fixed.

jimh posted 03-28-2003 01:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
There have been about two cases of problems reported with larger, high-horsepower Optimax engines in the articles posted to this forum. Typically these come from highly upset owners of the affected engines.

Many others have reported satisfactory results with Optimax engines.

Anecdotal reports of problems have a way of turning into dominant trends via a bit of internet repetition and hyperbole.

Based on the tiny sample data that was presented here, the following conclusions were about equally supported:

--all Optimax engines are bad;

--the Optimax engine is bad only if owned by a lawyer.

lhg posted 03-28-2003 02:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Mercury has been saying for some time now that the newer Optimax engines are completely reliable, so that should not be a concern.

But I like Clark's recommendation and would go for the 225 or 250 EFI's. I think Whaler is even promoting those on the new 320 Outrage. I know that US Customs prefers the EFI's over the Optimax for their rigs.

My 200 EFI's do not suck gas. They are quite efficient, actually. Because of the high weight and deep Vee of the new 270, no engine is going to be particularly fuel efficient on it.

If you want comparisons between the "clean" options, check out Mercury's 2003 catalog. It gives the figures on the Opti vs the Yamaha built 4-stroke. In my book, the Opti wins hands down.

TRAFFICLAWYER posted 03-28-2003 02:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    
Go with 4 strokes, they work and you'll have much better resale!

Mr. Webmeister is right in that when lawyers own opti's, they fail for many reasons usually the lawyers fault.

kglinz posted 03-28-2003 02:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for kglinz  Send Email to kglinz     
Jimh
I would agree that a lot of unsubstantiated information is posted to the forum about Optimax failures and 225 4 Stroke performance. I would like to know how many people on the forum have had Opti failures. Not my buddy or a guy at the marina, but actual owners with major problems. I would also like to hear from actual 4 Stroke owners stating there feelings about their engines. The only info I feel I can currently trust, about 225 4 Strokes comes from the Yamaha website. Their performance data actually looks good to me. I have talked to owners of a GW 330 Express and a Pursuit 3070 with Yamaha F225s and both are very pleased.(I was looking for info usable to repower a 28 Conquest)

I feel that it's human nature to defend what you own. Its pretty damn tough to have spent $25k on anything and suddenly find it's obsolete, but forum readers are trying to make decisions based on what they read here.

I'll state my experence. I had a pair of 225 Optis. 2000 Models. They ran great. I never had any minor problems. I ran about 20 miles it the fog, one morning, never getting above 1200 RPM. One engine developed a miss. I shut it off a ran home on one. My dealer took great care of me. Mercury took care of the repair even though it was 3 months out of warranty. Replaced the Powerhead. Engine had 163 hours. Those are the facts. My opinion is that I couldn't trust Optis.

Kemp Lindsey

captbone posted 03-28-2003 08:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for captbone  Send Email to captbone     
If you can wing it, go with no power and then 2003 Yamaha HPDI 250's. Will help resale, the performance will beat the other motors hands down, and you will have something different!
jimh posted 03-28-2003 09:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The point I was making regarding the conclusions that are supported by the anectodal data that has appeared in this particular forum about Optimax engines is that the sample size is quite small and the negatively affected owners quite vocal.

To tell the truth, I don't know what decision I would make if forced to choose at this moment. I'd probably lean toward conventional two stroke engines, unless the boat was going into very heavy use and fuel consumption was a prime consideration.

diveorfish posted 03-29-2003 09:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for diveorfish  Send Email to diveorfish     
Sorry lhg. That's what I was told but I stand corrected. Just out of curiosity, I know the Optis are at least a bit more fuel-efficient. I don't know by how much though. I haven't done any research but what would you say? 1,2,5,10, or 15 percent more efficient than the EFI. Merc says Optis can be 40% more efficient than carbed, but I didn't see anything about EFI's.
Sal DiMercurio posted 03-29-2003 10:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
You might also concider a new Evinrude, very hard to beat their specs & Bombardier seems to really be behind their engines & as far as economy , emissions, power & reliability , your going to have to search very hard to beat them.
I ran Mercs 250 [ 280 ] hp , 4 of them to be exact on the same boat, they are very impressive, redline at 8,000 rpms, but I can't say how reliable they are cause I really don't know.
As far as the 4 strokes,......well, to each his own.
Sal
TRAFFICLAWYER posted 03-30-2003 08:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    
Mr. Webmeister:

Here's some 'anecdotal' data: of the three posters to this thread with Opti 100% have had blown powerheads.

captbone posted 03-30-2003 02:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for captbone  Send Email to captbone     
Maybe also the new 250 suzuki. If you are going to spend that kind of money on a great boat may as well go with the best power too. The Evinrude 250 Fitch, Yamaha 250 hpdi or Suzuki 250 4 stroke. I would take anyone of these motors over any merc any day. But that is just my 2 cents.
DaddysGirl posted 04-07-2003 03:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for DaddysGirl  Send Email to DaddysGirl     
I don't know what all the hype is about Optimax. I own a 2000 225 Opti w/136 hours on it. Not one hiccup. Brings me out fishing 25 miles offshore and back everytime!
petescoffee posted 04-08-2003 02:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for petescoffee  Send Email to petescoffee     
I have just purchased a 290 Outrage with Mercury 225 hp 4 strokes and am picking it up on Thursday. What I was told was...The boat may be a little slow out of the shoot but has plenty of power once planing. I would expect it to be a little slow out of the shoot as it is a heavy boat. I wanted the 4 strokes for the fuel economy for long runs for tuna and to not have to carry extra oil for the long runs (30-60 miles out). The shop I purchased from expects the motors to be reiliable based on the feed back they have heard on the Yamaha's. A friend is running the opti's on his 295 Conquest and I was told he had problems so I asked the shop and his problems have been minor. 1 problem was fuel tank related and the other not stopping to refill the oil on his tanks on the way back in and the alarm going off.
just my 2 cents.
TRAFFICLAWYER posted 04-08-2003 02:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    
petescoffee:

Congratulations! Great product excellent power choice. If you need objective info on the F225's go to floridasportsman or hull truth. Happy Boating, keep us informed!

lhg posted 04-08-2003 03:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Mercury's 2003 catalog lists "side by side" comparisions of the 225 4-stroke and Optimax.

The 4 stroke gets 10% better gas mileage on plane.

The 4 stroke is 6% slower top end.

The 4 stroke is 50% slower in acceleration, both 0-20 and 0-30mph.

So once again, when it comes to fuel use, you can't beat the old energy equation, you get what you pay for. Save some gas, get less performance, your choice.

Is a 2003 Optimax more reliable than a 2003 4-stroke, with less lifetime maintenance costs? That is the only issue that can't be answered yet.

Sal DiMercurio posted 04-08-2003 11:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
Ihg, Honda 4 stroke just came out with a so called high speed lower unit for their big engines, only makes a difference of 3 mph at top end.
I dissagree with use gas, have lots of power, use less fuel, have less power.
I get a solid 5 + mpg [ between 3,000 & 3,500 rpms ] with my 200 FICHT & the best Honda can get [ on a bass boat to boot ] is 4.6 mpg with their 200 hp 4 stroke at their very best rpm for fuel economy.
I must say, the FICHT power is awsome compared to a 2 stroke carbed engine.
As far as quite, i'd compare my 200 hp Ficht [ on the hose with the exhaust exposed ] to a 5 yes a 5 hp as my 15 hp Johnson is minimum 3 - 4 times as loud at idle.
The FICHT dosen't have that hollow rap as a normal 2 stroke has.
Sal
kglinz posted 04-09-2003 10:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for kglinz  Send Email to kglinz     
lhg
I read those numbers in the Mercury catalog. I wish they were tied to a boat. It's to bad that Mercury and Boston Whaler haven't produced some "Performance Bulletins". I got all my info from Yamaha and Pursuit bulletins. I don't know the level of honesty in those bulletions, but in many cases 4 strokes compare quite favorably when installed on heavier boats. I know a lot of Mercury dealers don't "push" 4 strokes. Maybe the discount schedule favors Optis. If Mercury and Boston Whaler have true "Performance data" they should publish it so their customers make can informed decisions.
lhg posted 04-09-2003 06:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I think Mercury and their Dealers are temporarily in a strange position with regard to the Yamaha 225 4-stroke being painted black. I have read that Mercury and Yamaha made a deal for 4000 of these engines to be sold as Mercurys, but with better, redesigned Mercury soundproofing cowls. For Mercury, it is a stop-gap situation, both to help their Yamaha partner overwhelm Honda's competing engine in sales volume, and to give Mercury a big 4-stroke to sell pending the later than expected arrival of the 2004 Mercury in-line 6, 2.6 liter (quite small for 250HP), supercharged 4-stroke. The marine press has already run this engine in Tennessee, and say it's 250HP blows away the conventional 225 Yamaha & Honda engines, including all of the Opti's, and Fichts. So Mercury probably doesn't want to "over sell" the Yamaha engine, since it will be replaced by their own. There are also rumors that in exchange for the Yamaha "favor" to Mercury, Yamaha will get the new Mercury 250HP engine. There is already talk out there that Yamaha is bringing out a 250HP 4-stroke, and I'll bet it probably is this Mercury engine.

If I was in the market for a big 4-stroke, I would wait for this new Mercury technology. The reason it has been shown with a large mid-section, is that the bottom two cylinders are actually in there, below the traditional cowling.

Capt_Tidy posted 04-18-2003 12:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Capt_Tidy  Send Email to Capt_Tidy     
Has anyone actually seen/touched/heard Mercury's new turbo 250 4 stroke yet? My local guy says the will be here next year. He indicates 3L versus the smaller block... He actually says to wait another year and then getting a killer deal on the 225s?
John from Madison CT posted 04-18-2003 07:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for John from Madison CT  Send Email to John from Madison CT     
I'll believe it when I see it. So often we hear about a new "secret" technology from Merc especially, and it never pans out.

A Merc. Rep at the NY Boat show said that they have NO Supercharged engine in the works. Perhaps he can't speak the truth, however I ask "Why". Maybe it's not true or maybe it ain't happening anytime soon. I would think that if it was going to market soon, they would tell people to keep alot of folks from repowering now.

FWIW, with the early Optimax problems, and Merc using the same Engineers, I would never, ever, be the first in line to be their R&D Guinea Pigs.

As far an anectodal reports of bad Opti's, instead of just reading the few cases on this board, go to a wider audience, such as:

www.thehulltruth.com

http://floridasportsman.zeroforum.com/zeroforum?id=16

Judge for yourself, but using an open mind you should never draw the conclusion that V6 Yamaha's are as troublesome as these Optimaxes.


John from Madison

bsmotril posted 04-18-2003 12:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
What other "secret Technologies" from Merc have been rumored and not panned out? Where do you find this stuff out? I'm missing out.
BillS
Capt_Tidy posted 04-18-2003 02:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Capt_Tidy  Send Email to Capt_Tidy     
Overall, I'm very disappointed in the entire bunch of outboard engine manufacturers. It would appear that then entire industry has essentially produced a line of inter/over breed mutts that are generally heavy, stinky, still loud at high rpms, and so expensive that buying a new engine doesnít pass the laugh test.

Imagine the new turbo/supercharged 4 stroke 250 horse at whatÖ maybe 20K? My guiess it will be 21K. Thatís better than Ĺ+ the price of most new family cars. The only real winners with this engine will be those who buy 2002, 2001, and 2000 stock... again mid to late 1990s technology.

If you add in the fact that the industry for the last couple of years hasnít really advanced the environmental friendly aspects of marine engines (simple question Ė is a new four stroke cleaner than a two years old 2 stroke? YES or NO across the entire range of hp? I donít know the answer and have heard good sounding stories on both sides - and if the answer is no Ė then why mislead the entire planet on green 4 stroke technology that isnít better for mother earth and for godís sake let me buy a 2 stroke in California), then you must conclude the entire industry has done a terrible job at meeting the needs of publicÖ talk about an industry that in balancing what the market will bear v. what the environment needs/demands. When I was looking for a new set of engines for my outrage I felt like a hostage. In my humble opinion the entire 4 stroke line should be dumped in the bay... it amounts to nothing but a well thought out marketing ploy/promises that just doesn't add up. If the industry was serious about air and water pollution then reward people for getting rid of the older 2 strokes by making it affordable to buy newer engines.

Errr. Guess Iím frustrated because I couldnít justify spending 32k - two new installed 225s FROM A CALIFORNIA DEALER with platform - on my 12K outrage...And yes I could have found cheaper two strokes engines outside of California but why should I to...

I feel better.
Cheers

lhg posted 04-18-2003 04:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
The new Mercury engine is for real, and it is an in-line 6. I have seen photos of it, on boats, in the water. The top mechanic at my Mercury dealer said he is going in for training on the engine. He also said the 5 & 6 cylinders are actually in the engine's mid-section, to keep engine overall height lower. The question is how they are getting 250HP out of a 2.6 liter engine, with fantastic acceleration, when the Yamaha enigne is 3.3 liters and barely putting out 225, with sluggish acceleration. I think that is where the supercharger rumor comes from. They've evidently done something to eliminate the major complaint against these big 4-strokes.

I would think more people here would be happy to see the only American outboard manufacturer left, and Whaler's parent, knocking out the foreign competition. Maybe not.

Sal DiMercurio posted 04-18-2003 05:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
Yo...Capt. Tidy, you can buy a 2 stroke in Calif, just not one with carbs, gotta be EFI or DFI or HPDI.
As far as the 4 stroke farse, they just can't compare with the new injected 2 strokes period, yeh, they might be a little more quite but the new injected 2 strokes are about 1/3 as noisy as the older carbed engines so take it from there.
Sal
Capt_Tidy posted 04-18-2003 06:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Capt_Tidy  Send Email to Capt_Tidy     
I'd settle for all North American! As a Canadian living in the U.S. raising Canadian/german/Danish kids - well I get a little confused. Somehow I feel the guys jumping the border an hour from my house have more right to be here than I do!

I had dinner the other night with a top rep from Kawasaki and asked point blank why no small marine engines... She said it was because they couldn't go up against Suzuki.. not even acknowledging Mercury who I consider the leader it this field. She said she could help me out if I need a couple of thousand hp!

kglinz posted 04-18-2003 07:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for kglinz  Send Email to kglinz     
Mercury has been working really hard to come up with something to beat Sal's Ficht. Maybe this will do it.... http://members.fishingworks.com/kglinz/PhotoImages/img023.jpg
captbone posted 04-19-2003 09:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for captbone  Send Email to captbone     
That thing is amazing. I heard that it puts out 320 hp, goes 10,000 hours at 80% throttle and weighs less than 300 lbs. The only problem is the price, it is something like $30,000+++
Sal DiMercurio posted 04-19-2003 10:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
KG, don't get me wrong, I feel Merc makes an excellent engine, & their numbers are even better then FICHT in some cases.
After running those 4 fire eating Merc 250s [ 280s ] on one boat all at once at wot, if your not impressed while in the boat, somethings very wrong, they flat out scream.
Sal

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