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Author Topic:   Merc Optimax 90
jacksonnh posted 04-08-2004 12:42 PM ET (US)   Profile for jacksonnh   Send Email to jacksonnh  
I'm about to put my money down on a new Merc Optimax 90 and I'm looking for opinions on this engine. I have asked about it in a previous post but I hadn't heard anything. There is lots of information on this sight about engines, especially on the e-tec but I'd rather stay away form Evinrude and I just can't seem to get any information on the Optimax. I'd be very interested to hear form someone who has the 90 on their Montauk or just any experience at all with the optimax.
Barney posted 04-08-2004 12:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
On the official Boston Whaler website there is 90 Optimax performance information. Go to the 170 Montauk and hit "Performance Data" button. Jim
LHG posted 04-08-2004 05:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
I think the engine is a little too new for much information yet. I have heard it's extremely quiet running, quieter than the 4-strokes, but it's a large sized package. Someone at BW told me it runs about the same as the 90 Merc-aha 4-stroke, which is actually a little disappointing to me. For a quicker 90, get the 2-stroke.

It is the same weight as the Suzuki 4-stroke 60/70. It would be very interesting to run one of these 90's off against the lighter Evinrude E-tec 90.

Barney posted 04-08-2004 05:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
I would recommend the 90 4-stroke over either. The Whaler site shows the 4-Stroke is quicker, from idle to 30 MPH, than the Optimax on several tested boats. Jim
jimh posted 04-09-2004 09:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
To contradict the comment by barney, the performance sheet from the Boston Whaler website I just looked at (for the 170 MONTAUK) showed the Optimax was faster to plane than the 4-stroke.

I am having trouble reconciling that data sheet with the comments that the they show the 4-stroke to be faster. Perhaps a pointer to where this evidence can be found would be helpful.

LHG posted 04-09-2004 04:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
I believe the Optimax has also has lower decibel running sound at the higher RPM ranges.
Barney posted 04-09-2004 04:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
The Optimax is much quieter. However, for performance you'll need to click on the magnifying glass to see "Acceleration" under the spreadsheets.

For the 170 Montauk:

90 Optimax
time to plane 4.4
Idle - 30 8.6

90 4-Stroke
time to plane 4.5
Idle - 30 7.8

For the 160 Dauntless:

time to plane 5.7
Idle - 30 10.9

Classis 90

time to plane 6.6
Idle - 30 10.5

90 4-Stroke
time to plane 5.1
Idle - 30 9.5


Barney posted 04-09-2004 04:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
Some of the performance and noise info was discussed here too:


jimh posted 04-09-2004 09:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Again, the data sheet shows the Optimax to be faster on the 170 MONTAUK than a 90-HP 4-stroke. On another boat the Optimax is is slower than a 90-HP 4-stroke. It would be hard to draw conclusions which would be applicable to all boats from these two sets of data.

Boston Whaler includes quite a lengthy disclaimer in the test data about it be repeatable on other boats, etc. I think they are aware that it is offered as a guideline and not as absolute measurements.

The data sheets show a very, very significant advantage in the Optimax over the 4-stroke engine in sound level. The Optimax is quieter--much much quieter--in these results.

Barney posted 04-09-2004 09:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
My original statement was: "The Whaler site shows the 4-Stroke is quicker, from idle to 30 MPH, than the Optimax on several tested boats." Ok, make that 2 boats, sorry. At least this is some data.
The statement "For a quicker 90, get the 2-stroke" doesn't wash with what data we do have.
I will concede my 4-Stroke puts out some sound at 3500+ RPM.
Moe posted 04-09-2004 09:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
The 90 Opti managed 4.4 sec time to plane and 40.0 mph top speed in 79F water on a 77F day with 2177 lb total load.

The 90 4S managed 4.5 sec time to plane and 39.7 mph top speed in 74F water on an 80F day with 2207 lb total load.

The 90 4S was .8 sec faster in 0-30 mph time.

Except perhaps for the 0-30 time, these differences in performance are insignificant and are within the run to run variance you'd see on one boat alone. The 0-30 difference was 1.4 sec on the 160 Dauntless, definitely significant.

Something's wrong with 90 4S noise numbers. There's no way the 90 4S is 108db on a 170 Montauk and 94 db on a 160 Dauntless, and there's no way there's a 15db difference between the Opti and the four-stroke. The 2db difference between the 4S's 94db vs the Opti's 92db on the Dauntless would be undetectable by normal human hearing.


jacksonnh posted 04-10-2004 02:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for jacksonnh  Send Email to jacksonnh     
Thank you for your replies. I just purchased the 90 Optimax Saltwater and I will be mounting it on my boat in a few weeks. I will give you a detailed performance report when I get a chance to run it.
bigjohn1 posted 04-10-2004 11:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     

Congrats on your new purchase. Since you have already purchased and you didn't say whether the engine was an option you were considering for a new 170 or as a retrofit for an older Montauk, I'm not sure what to infer. Still I would be interested in the price difference between the Otimax and the 90 4-stroke.

I looked into ordering my new 170 with an optimax but finally decided against it after learning my dealer was going to charge me over $4,000 for this option. Just to be clear on what I mean, it was going to be an additional $1,500-$1,700 over and above the 90 4-stroke option - ($2,800). I live in the Pacific islands so everything is higher out here due to shipping so if the $2,800 makes a few scratch their heads and wonder why I'm getting ripped off.....the option costs us more out here.

An additional item I considered in declining the Optimax is the extensive computer system it has onboard. I felt like that electronic engine management system was going to take a beating out here with our heat, humidity, and extreme salt content in the air. Carbs work well out here so I just decided, what the heck, go with the tried and true technology. Good luck with your engine and let us know how it runs.

Big John

jacksonnh posted 04-12-2004 06:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for jacksonnh  Send Email to jacksonnh     
Big John, for what it's worth I paid $6650 for the engine and I think that is a hell of a deal. This is $1000 cheaper than I could find anywhere else. I also got the 5 years warranty and $300 rigging allowance. I can't wait to get it in the water. I'll let you know how it runs.
Barney posted 04-12-2004 06:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
jacksonnh, Looks like your website info has been hijacked. Jim
jacksonnh posted 04-13-2004 07:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for jacksonnh  Send Email to jacksonnh     
Barney, do you mind explaining. I don't get what you mean.
Moe posted 04-13-2004 08:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
jacksonnh, look at your profile here on continuousWave. You have a worm or adware on your PC that puts in a link to a XXX webcam website every time you submit a form that has a field for a URL or home page in it.


Moe posted 04-13-2004 08:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Go download this

and use it to clean up your "AutoComplete" items.


jacksonnh posted 04-13-2004 10:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for jacksonnh  Send Email to jacksonnh     
Thank you Moe, I had no idea. This crap that ends up on my computer drives me nuts.

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