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Author Topic:   I think I'm in shock
montauk madness posted 06-20-2003 03:18 PM ET (US)   Profile for montauk madness   Send Email to montauk madness  
I need some serious advice. I'm on the first day of a week long ski vacation and the #1 piston just cracked. The motor is a 1991 Mercury 90HP on a 1991 Montauk. I have a few questions I'm hoping you can help me with.

First, Is this engine worth rebuilding. I have no idea how many hours are on it. It has been in salt water it's whole life. I've just had $600 dollars wourth of electrical done to it.

I'm really leaning toward buying a new one. I would like to go up in power. Maybe a 115-125HP.

Can I stir up some opinions on the best brand?

Do I save substantial money/hassle by staying with Mercury? and if I buy a Mercury should I buy the 115 Classic, 115 Saltwater or 115 Optimax?

I mainly plan on using the boat for Skiing and pleasure boating.

Thank you in advance for your help.


Bigshot posted 06-20-2003 03:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Salt or freshwater use? If salt, spend the extra $150 on the saltwater series. I would not go with the 125, horrible gas milage on those for some reason. The weight of the 115 and 125 are the same I believe and on the heavy side.

I would go with a 115 Johnson 2 stroke or 115 Yamaha. The yamaha you can use your existing controls but not the guages and wiring harness. Johnson will all have to be new except tach might still convert.

Bigshot posted 06-20-2003 03:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I personally would not rebuild it unless money is tight. Those engines do not have heads and are a real pain to rebuild plus water jackets are not accessible being no head and that might let go any day, etc.
Jimm posted 06-20-2003 03:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jimm    
Nick, is this the same 90 2S that comes on today's Montauks?
whalernut posted 06-20-2003 06:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Nick, also did the 1989 90h.p. Mercury have no head either? How do they not use a head on them, I meen I have never seen an engine without a head on it? Thanks-Jack.
montauk madness posted 06-20-2003 08:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for montauk madness  Send Email to montauk madness     
Hey come-on. We're losing focus. I have only 4 hours on this boat since I purchased it 2 months ago. My stress level is high. This boat has to be ready for the Blake Island Rendezvous.

Thanks for the input Nick. I definately value your opinion. Why the Yamaha over the Mercury? What model Yamaha do you like? The boat will be in the salt water 95% of the time.

Should I buy the motor online and save a few dollars or buy it local? Who in the Seattle-Tacoma area would you guys recommend to buy from and mount the motor.

Does anyone else have an early montauk w/ a 115 hp?

Dick posted 06-20-2003 10:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
montauk madness

Switching to any other brand other than Mercury will require new control cables.

Since I am service manager at a marina in the Seattle area I don't like to rate one dealer over another.

My suggestions:

3 Rivers Marine Woodinville, WA 425-415-1575
Doug's Boats Woodinville, WA 1-800-245-3684
Mercer Marine Bellevue, WA 1-800-423-1835
Lake Union Sea Ray Seattle, WA 206-284-3800

I didn't include our marina as we don't buy enough motors to get the good discounts.

Feel free to e-mail me.


JBCornwell posted 06-20-2003 11:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Howdy, MM.

For a ski boat you want low and mid-speed torque.

The Bombardier 90s make as much mid-speed torque as many 115 and 125 engines and a lot more than many other 90s.

You have an invitation to change to a better engine for your usage and stay "legal". Take it.

Red sky at night. . .

montauk madness posted 06-21-2003 09:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for montauk madness  Send Email to montauk madness     

Are you suggesting the Ficht engines? Does the 90 weigh less than the 115?


JBCornwell posted 06-21-2003 11:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Hi, MM.

The DFI 90/115 Evinrude has been sufficiently redesigned that they no longer have to call it Ficht, and they don't.

The DFI Evinrude engines, both 90 and 115, weigh a lot more than the carbed Johnson 90 and 115, but are well below the 400lb transom weight limit.

If you are concerned about weight, go for the Johnson, but consider that it will use a lot more gas than the DFI Evinrude. That extra gas might well weigh as much as the injection system on the Evinrude.

The differences in performance between the 90s and the 115s would be hard to measure except at WOT. Most folks don't ski at 40+mph.

Red sky at night. . .

dreid posted 06-21-2003 02:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for dreid  Send Email to dreid     
Isn't that hull rated for maximum 100 h.p.? I'd go with the Johnson 88/90, in the salt water OceanPro series if available.
raygun posted 06-22-2003 11:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for raygun  Send Email to raygun     
My limited, but recent Seattle motor searching and buying experience.
When my '86 Evinrude 90 blew the driveshaft last year I shopped all around Seattle. A Mercury salesman(!) suggested I check out the new Johnsons. (V-4 vs. his 3 cyl., more low to midrange torque and I wouldn't have to change controls) I just couldn't afford the new Evinrude and was then frightened of the new technology. The Johnson is simple carbed 2S.

Seaway Marine or Jacobsen deal with the Johnson & Evinrude motors here in Seattle.
Seaway offered the best price on the install of a 2003 Johnson 90. Jacobsen wanted way too much in labor for my taste ($1800)and down time as did the dealer on Mercer Island. I had a very limited time limit (guests coming) and Seaway couldn't install the motor in my very limited time frame(shop too busy), so I went to a dealer in Oregon(direct calls to Bombardier customer service and the regional sales director helped get the motor in the desired white color there on time). Wasn't thrilled with the mounting or wiring of the install by that shop however so I cannot recommend. Initially I did discuss the installation with the service dept. at Seaway and they DID seem very knowledgeable and curteous at half the proposed labor price of Jacobsen(somehow the two dealerships are related).
Both Jacobsen and Seaway offered me the motor at 5450.00 plus install as did the Oregon dealer(just no tax there), but the Mercer Island shop wanted 7500.00 dollars for the same motor plus $$$$ labor! I had existing OMC controls which we kept.

I live on Bainbridge Island, and you are welcome to take the ferry over anytime and take a look/drive my '86 Montauk with the new Johnson 90 to see if it's got enough power for you. Masamba's described his as a Saturn VI rocket and I'm very pleased thus far.

BTW, Jacobsen at first tried to get me to buy a Yamaha, but it was over 2,000 bucks more without the controls.
email me if you'd like to check out my setup.

Bigshot posted 06-22-2003 07:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Yes the 91 and 2003 90's are basically the same design. The pistons come out when you remove the crank. etc.

Just for the record...many people use Yamaha controls on Merc engines because they are nicer. Mercury propellors also fit Yamaha engines.

That Johnson carbed 2 stroke will smoke the 90 Merc just because it is 4cyls over 3. Might mean top end is much greater but torque is more significant. The 90 Yamaha is a great engine as well and canbe bought for about the same as the johnson if you shop($5-5500) but like the Merc she is a 3cyl and lacks the ooomph the 4's do. You also do not know how well that engine was doing being your ltd time and its condition. You might be surprised if relaced with the same....probably will.

I would look and find who has the best 90-115hp for the best price and go from there. They are all good engines. You can probably swap your old engine for labor if you use a small shop. Those 3cyl engines usually stuff the center piston for some reason.

PSW posted 06-23-2003 11:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for PSW  Send Email to PSW     
Montauk Madness,

I am located here in the Puget Sound and I also have a 1991 Montauk. The power is a 1991 Merc 115 2 stroke, straight 4. Top end is 49 mph on GPS and it runs very good for me. Have not had any problems yet. What I like about this setup is how effortless the boat cruises at 30 mph. Although if I were in your situation I would not buy this motor new. Possibly, if you found a used one at a good price I would consider it. I am very happy, but I would repower with the 115 Optimax and would buy it from M & P Mercury in Canada. Once mine blows that will be my choice of power.

Best of luck,


alkar posted 06-23-2003 07:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for alkar  Send Email to alkar     
MM, I place a high premium on developing a good relationship with a competent local dealer. It's worth a few extra bucks to have a local dealer who wants to help you when you're in need of prompt service. You certainly will not be the #1 repair priority if you bring the dealer a motor you bought on ebay.

Stepehens Marine (Portland, Oregon) buys Mercury motors cheap. Unless something has changed in the last 18 months, they buy more Mercury motors than anybody else west of the Missippi. Page Stephens, the owner, also owns River Marine (in Medford) and, most importantly, Alumaweld boats. He has enormous buying power AND OEM status with Mercury.

Maybe you can use Stephens as a price-match standard for your local dealer.

Duckin Whalers posted 06-24-2003 12:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for Duckin Whalers  Send Email to Duckin Whalers     
My buddies' dad bought a Merc 2 stroke from a dealer out of Canada, he put it on his credit card and only paid $2900 for a new Merc 50 and the dealer brought it down and met him in Blaine. I think the deal must have missed taxes. I guess the guy brings them across the border, you pick them up in the crate and it is cheap. Just a thought. Wait for the killer exchange rate I guess. I don't know about that but, from going on vacations in Canada I know that if you use you credit card you get the exchange rate that is present at the time the ttansaction is completed. This was about a year ago.
tully_mars posted 06-24-2003 12:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for tully_mars  Send Email to tully_mars     
As many of you know I have the 2002 75hp Evinrude FICHT on my Montauk, and it runs great. It doesn't sit too low in the back, and I don't have a problem porpoising or with the trim. The battery and oil tank are mounted in the console.

If you are looking for a high torque fuel efficient and smooth running motor there is nothing better, I am very pleased with mine. It seems to run about 2mph slower than the 90hp on top end, everywhere else in the rpm range it is identical. It is also less expensive than the 90hp by quite a few dollars, and even much more less than an equivalent 4 stroke that would produce the same amount of torque.

Tully Mars

Duckin Whalers posted 06-24-2003 01:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for Duckin Whalers  Send Email to Duckin Whalers     
I know an owner at Northwest Jet Boats that will give a discount to friends. I have never asked but, I'm sure he'd like to here from me regarding new business. He sells Honda outboards. I'd be willing to ask if Honda is in your heart. They are located in Pasco, Wa.

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