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Author Topic:   Yahama 4 stroke vs. Johnson 4 stroke? and what prop?
tomahawk posted 01-27-2004 08:10 AM ET (US)   Profile for tomahawk   Send Email to tomahawk  
Good day to all,

I own a 1989 Outrage 25 which at the old days was rated up to 300 hp but more importantly MAX 970lbs. It has a Whaler Drive on her.
One of my 1999 Evinrude 115hp fitch packed up and I am seriously considering some 4-strokes.
After much research my choices came down to Yamaha 115HP @ 402lbs each and US$15,200.00 for the pair vs. Johnson 140HP @ 417lbs each and US$17,800.00 (both brands in counter rotating).
The price difference doesn't really make me want to think towards the Yamaha but the reliability does.
I live in Sint Maarten in the Caribbean and some fishing days you find yourself almost 30 to 50 miles away from home and on fun days out with the kids and wife, we do a good bit of island hopping. Engine problems can be a little stressful in both of the above situations.
The Yamaha's are readily available on the island and the Johnson's have a three week arrival time. Both brands have dealers on the island as well.

I figured with the 115's I should do about 40mph at 6000rpm and with the 140's at the same rpm almost 50mph.
Then again, this is only possible on really calm days which we don't have that many of down here.

This has kept me busy for a while and could use some advise from other Boston Whaler owner/s.

When I finally made up mu mind, what prop and pitch should I be looking at?

Thanks in advance for the help and regards,


lhg posted 01-27-2004 02:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
There is no way that a pair of Suzuki/Johnson 140's will move a WD 25 Outrage 50 MPH. You would need a pair of V-6 175 or 200's to do that. Those 140's BARELY have any more power than the Yamaha 115's would have, and most are convinced the HP is over-rated by the 10% factor.

Since you seem to be happy with twin 115's on your boat, I would go with the Yamaha engines, or even Johnson 115's. I would seriously look at a pair of the Yamaha 150 4-strokes, which could give you 45 mph.

Tom2697 posted 01-27-2004 11:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom2697  Send Email to Tom2697     
Larry is extremely biased against the Suzukis for whatever reason. All I can say is that the Suzuki DF140 has been a phenominal motor for me on my 18' Outrage. As most on this site know, Suzuki is making the 140 for Johnson. They also make the Johnson 115 4-stroke (at least to the last of my knowledge). Regardless, the 140 is putting out the required +/- 10% horsepower that is the industry standard and as such, can push my boat into the low-to-mid 40's almost regardless of how my boat is loaded. I seriously doubt that a 115hp could do this. Also, my old 150 hp only went about 3-4 mph faster!

As for reliability, I only have about 200 hours on my motor so far (1 year old) and I have not had a single hiccup on any trip I've ever taken. On some trips I even go up to 60 miles offshore and include up to 8 hours of trolling speeds!

Please don't be put-off about a manufacturer because of the bias of a few individuals. I believe either of the motors you mentioned would be great on your boat!

Best of luck with your decision,

PS - For what it is worth, my brother and father have already decided upon a pair of the Suzuki 140's for their '89 Outrage 25 Cuddy when their Yamaha 250 gets a little closer to death.

Peter posted 01-28-2004 08:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Tomahawk, if money is not an object, I think the ideal 4-strokes at the moment for the 25 Outrage are the Yamaha 150s. My reason is simply based on its 163 cubic inches (2.6 liters) of displacement versus the 106 cubic inches (1.7 liters) for the Yamaha 115 or the 125 cubic inches (2.0 liters) for the Suzuki DF 140. At 470lbs each, they fit under the 970 lb maximum.

The advantage of the 150s over the others is that if one motor should fail, you have much more reserve power in the remaining engine to get home. I wonder whether a single, much smaller displacement 115 or 140 could get the 25 Outrage on a plane? Was getting on a plane with a single 115 Ficht possible?

lhg posted 01-28-2004 08:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Tom - Regarding Suzuki's, from everything I have heard, their owners give them a high "customer satisfaction" rating.

So you know, my complaints about them are only:

1. Their marketing practices, which Mercury is calling dumping. We'll have to see how that turns out.

2. Their copycating of Mercury's black. It was not accidental. Admittedly no big deal, and it won't work for them anyway. I have noticed their paint jobs are already a corrosion disaster in the sub-tropical salt water environment of south FL.

3. Over-rating of HP, which I believe is the case ONLY with the 140. Other's may have other opinions. This ties in with their marketing practices. I doubt if your 140 will out run a Mercury 2-stroke 115, either in-line 4 or 6, on an 18 Outrage. Check out the heavier Nantucket performance specs on this site. An old Merc 6 115 will do 42 on an 18 Outrage.

But getting to the real reason for my first response, and as an owner of an Outrage 25, I can say with certainty no WD 25 will do 50 with those engines. From my experiences a WD 25 Outrage needs twin 200 V-6's to do that.

Peter and I agree that a pair of Yamaha 150's should give decent performance, although pushing the maximum reasonable weight limits. These engines weigh slightly more than a pair of Mercury 225 EFI 2-strokes, the boat's max HP rating. From my calculations, a pair of 115's, 25" shaft, on this boat should be good for about 38 mph, which is making them work pretty hard at any reasonable cruising speed. I do not like to power a Whaler that way.

tomahawk posted 01-28-2004 10:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for tomahawk  Send Email to tomahawk     
Hi Tom, Larry, Peter

Thanks for the advise but don't you guys believe if Boston Whaler states that the max weight on the boat is 970 lbs
you come very close with the two Yamaha 150's 4 strokes @ 932 lbs for two.

Is 804 lbs for the two Yamaha 115's 4 strokes than not a better and safer bet?

Especially since I am coming from 634 lbs with the two Evinrude 115hp fitch 2 strokes.

Thanks again,


PS: If going for the 115hp Yamaha's which prop pitch do you guys recommend, 17, 19 or something else.

tomahawk posted 01-28-2004 10:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for tomahawk  Send Email to tomahawk     

By the way, no, it was not possible to get the boat planing with a single 115 Fitch.
Then again I hope with new engines this won't be required very soon or often but I understand it may happen.

I will then take a 12 mph stroll back to the marina in the dark for granted.

lhg posted 01-28-2004 11:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
You might search out farily recent posts by "AM", down in Cabo San Lucas Mexico, (I think) who recently powered his 25 Outrage WD with a pair of Mercury (same as Yamaha) 115 4-strokes. He seems quite pleased with the setup. The Mercs are each lighter by about 20#, but don't offer the counter rotating gearcase.
Tom2697 posted 01-29-2004 08:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom2697  Send Email to Tom2697     
I agree with the others that you could not go wrong with the Yamaha 150's. It is my opinion that the 970 lb rating was based on your hull still being under warranty. Since your boat is now 15 years old and out from the warranty period, you will be fine. No manufacturer will ever design a product and then declare the max anything on it as being the absolute maximum. There is always a factor of safety involved.

I also agree that twin 115's will not push your boat over 40mph. My brother/father's boat will go right around 40 with a single 250. You are pulling double the drag, with extra weight, and less horsepower than their boat.

While speed is always fun, I am always reminded of something a friend told me once: "All boats go the same speed once they leave the inlet...unless it is tournament time." Yes, going 50+ is exciting. But in a 2-4' chop, I wouldn't recommend it unless you have a chiropractor in the family. Now, you will want the extra oomph if the seas pick up in the form of large rollers. A little motor will not have the guts to keep your line.

I have never been in an 18' Outrage with a 115hp. If it really can push it that fast and can do it when the boat is loaded to weigh around 2600lbs, I wish I came to this site sooner since I could've saved a few grand last year. Then again, I like the 6+ mpg I have now.

Regards to all,

Peter posted 01-29-2004 08:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Marcos, the combined weight of your 115s is more like 740 lbs rather than 630. The 20 inch Ficht 115s weigh 370 lbs each. The Yamaha 150s would be the equivalent of 200 lb person standing on your Whaler drive transom. They are under Whaler's design limit so it should be OK.

What pitch propellers are you currently spinning with the Fichts?

Bigshot posted 01-30-2004 01:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
No offense to anyone but those 150 Yamahas are HUGE and close to $10k each. With the Suzuki Johsnon 140's fetching about $7-7500 each, how can you justify over $2000 for 10hp?

If Johnson's are hard to get parts, what about Suzuki? they are identical except for paint.

My 1999 Suzuki has been in South FL in saltwater all it's life and does not have ANY corrosion and the paint shines like new. Many of my friends now run Suzuki's and all have no corrosion issues, nor have ANY been to the dealer since purchased.

David Jenkins posted 01-30-2004 01:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Jenkins  Send Email to David Jenkins     
Larry, when you write about outboard engines you seem to have horrible things to say about all manufactures except Mercury or companies that are currently partnered with Mercury to make or market engines. Is there a reason for this apparent bias?
lhg posted 01-30-2004 03:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
David, maybe I'm just tying to "brown nose" the people at Boston Whaler who probably visit this site on a regular basis, since Mercury owns the Company! I wonder what favors I'll get?

But seriously, as you state, I am heavily biased, and anybody who reads my posts should understand this, and I thank you for the opportunity to explain my reasons. Why, because I think they are the best outboard product on the market, beautifully designed, fairly priced, and one gets the true HP they are paying for. They tend to not hide under the 10% fudge factor. Sure, they've had some problem engines and designs, and I have pointed some of those out when the situation calls for it. The 2001 Optimax 225's comes to mind, and a few other earlier Optimaxs, so does the little 35/40HP model of the 70's. I bought my first new 4 cylinder Mercury 50 in 1970, for a 13' Whaler, and OMC had nothing at the time that could compare to that engine, no power trim, no CD 40,000 volt ignition, no thru hub exhaust etc. In 1971 when I bought my Nauset, I went for the Merc in-line 6, which I also liked better than the OMC V-4, and which it could out perform. I put about 6000 hours on this one before it wore out and needed a rebuild. So I have had excellent results with Mercury's products, and still do to this day. They run fast and strong, are highly reliable and corrosion resistant, and last long. I think they make the best, and most innovative, propellers on the market, which recently, can now be used on other brands as well. Finally, I have this funny notion, that may cause many here to throw up, that I like to keep the business and jobs close to home. I am from the Midwest, and Brunswick/Mercury is an Illinois/Wisconsin operation. My tow vehicles are by GM, made in Detroit and Arlington, Texas.

I don't think I have horrible things to say about other brands at all, because I don't feel that way. Almost all outboards run well these days. But I strive to tell it like it is, and if they can't measure up or cut it, I'll say it. Some here don't like that, and take it wrong. One of my neighbors in FL has a pair of Suzuki 90's, and after a year and half in the water, they are showing considerable paint deterioration. Another has a little Suzuki 50, and loves it, and the paint looks perfect. It is widely known that the Yamaha's of the late 80's disintegrated in a matter of 4 years in the FL salt/sun environment, before they finally caught up in 1994 (Saltwater II series) with higher grade alloys and Mercury's EDP painting systems, introduced in 1984. If I recommend a Merc 115 4-stroke over a Honda 115 4-stroke, it's because I think the pricing, weight and serviciability are important factors making the Mercury a better buy. I am hoping that they will continue leading the outboard industry with the new Project X engines.

Most of my Whaler boating friends drive Yamahas (all of which seem excellent, reliable performers), such as JimH, Kingfish (on a non-Whaler yet), Backlash and JimG. None of us have ever needed a tow. We hardly discuss engines at all, in favor of Boston Whalers instead, and as JimH's articles have shown, generally have a great time together in spite of the fact that I am the "odd man out". But it was nice to have "Eagleman" join us this summer with his 25 Revenge WT WD and a pair of Merc 200's!
But why do these Yamaha guys all call the Mercury engines "bug foggers"? Must be something about the oil injection system design.

From my perspective, it's the Whalers that matter here, not the color of the engines. All they do is help show off the real beauty of the hulls while underway.

David Jenkins posted 01-30-2004 09:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Jenkins  Send Email to David Jenkins     
Thanks, Larry. We all value your opinion.
Peter posted 01-30-2004 10:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Bigs, I think the F150s are worth the extra bucks because you get nearly 80 cubic inches of additional displacement as compared to the pair of DF140s. All DF140 power output debates aside for the moment, if using a rough guideline that 4-stroke engines are capable of producing and typically produce about 1 horsepower per each cubic inch (unless goverened for lesser output), the F150s combined additional displacenent should work out to between 70 and 80 additional horses on the transom as compared to a pair of DF140s while only adding about 100 lbs of additional weight to the transom. If someone handed me a 100 lb, 70 horsepower motor, I'd gladly take it.

Larry, I don't know about the other Merc EFIs, but I have to say every Merc 250 EFI I've seen around here qualifies as a "Yard Guard" bug fogger.

lhg posted 01-31-2004 06:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Yes, Peter, I've got to say, although the Mercury and Yamaha oil injection systems are both bullet proof, as opposed to OMC's long standing problems, the Yamaha system puts out a lot less smoke on start-up than the Mercury V-6 systems, whether the engines be carbureted or fuel injected. In comparison to Yamaha, it is the one thing I wish Mercury had done differently. Once the engines have idled for a few minutes, the smoke goes away, but I've had plenty of unpleasant looks at dockside restaurants. Whether this is an intentional over-oiling on a cold engine, or just a design deficiency, I don't know.

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