Moderated Discussion Areas
  ContinuousWave: Whaler Performance
  Outboard Reliablity - recommendations

Post New Topic  Post Reply
search | FAQ | profile | register | author help

Author Topic:   Outboard Reliablity - recommendations
PeteB88 posted 08-05-2004 12:19 PM ET (US)   Profile for PeteB88   Send Email to PeteB88  
I recently aquired an early 70s 11.5 which is fantastic. Our lives have changed! My wife is nuts about it - the other boat(s) are either gone or for sale. I have asked lots of questions via the forum and appreciate all your help. Thanks!

I now have an opportunity to get a larger Whaler which we plan to do, Montauk or 18 Outrage for big water and fishing on Lake MI. But the 11.5 is the sweetie.

QUESTION: Since I have significant history w/ old and new wood boats my instincts are to try and find a 20 or 25 HP the same vintage as the 11.5 - that's just me. I hear from some boaters that the older motors are great and perhaps better in some ways than newer models. I do not know the transom weight limitations for the 11.5, am not particularly interested in a newer 4 stroke (seem heavy). However, I would come off my wallet for new or newer used based on recommendations of experienced Whaler Bros.

Pls share your recommendations/opinions re: older motors and what vintages are good, great excellent and what to avoid. I certainly understand the issues of low hours, care and maintenance.


brisboats posted 08-05-2004 01:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for brisboats  Send Email to brisboats     
If you are looking at that vintage..1970's I would stay with mercury and OMC. I have had good luck with 2 cylinder -25hp OMC motors from that era and currently have an 1983 mercury 25hp tiller. But I really love my 2000 tohatsu 18hp. If it were me and I was using the boat I would bag the nostalgia approach and look for the cleanest, latest model used motor I could afford or even buy new and plan on keeping it. I am not down on vintage motors actually have a collection of them its just for day to day use I rather run something newer.


Barney posted 08-05-2004 01:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
For my 11 footer, I love the Yamaha 15, 2 smoke, 2003 model. Runs like a bat. Jim
Barney posted 08-05-2004 02:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
Oh and I would bag getting an old outboard too. One carburator rebuild on an old one would set you back quite a bit. Jim
JohnJ80 posted 08-05-2004 05:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for JohnJ80  Send Email to JohnJ80     
we had a early 70's evinrude 85HP engine. Gave great trouble free service for 20+ years. When I brought it up here to use - motor still worked great. I took her out on the water and wound up paddling back. The ignition module went out.

No big deal, this motor certainly was entitled to SOME service after as trouble free as it had been. Unfortunately, the 20+ year old engine parts came to more than the boat AND motor was worth. The ignition module and replacement cost was something like $1500. I think the module itself was like $1200. Makes sense, the cost of holding that part for 25 years is high.

We did better with the tax write off donating it to a local charity.

Lesson here: Unless you are a collector, I'd look for more current technology.


CFCAJUN posted 08-10-2004 10:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for CFCAJUN  Send Email to CFCAJUN     
I have a 1976 Evinrude 85hp. Is there anything I can do to prevent something like the ignition module from going out?

Or, any other good preventive maintenance for older engines?


brisboats posted 08-10-2004 09:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for brisboats  Send Email to brisboats     
Not much really that you can do, not a bad idea to have a spare available as these motors were known for dropping the powerpack. You can buy used on Ebay for usually around $39 and after market new the cost is usually less than $200. The old crossflow V-4's will run and run. Tough to change one on the water but it can be done.


ole_mick posted 08-13-2004 03:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for ole_mick  Send Email to ole_mick     
Pete -- I'm in the same boat so to speak. Have an 11.5 that I love also. Currently have an 80s 20 hp Johnson which is fine, but I do a lot of long distance small river travel -- and would really like a new 4-stroke. Have a great deal on a newer Tohatsu 25 hp but am worried about the weight and excessive hp on this small boat. I to, would really like some input from the experts on the forum. Some of these guys really know their stuff. The only new 20 hp 4-stroke I can find is the Honda BF20 ($$$). What's the popular thought on re-power on these small boats? Is a 25 4-stroke too much? Thanks! Mick
rbruce posted 08-15-2004 10:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for rbruce  Send Email to rbruce     
I own a Sport 11 and love it!

Mine is powered with a 1969 Chrysler 20 HP and on my last venture into the channels of Caribbean coast of Costa Rica the boat and motor combination was great!

We even tried the fishing in the middle of a river bar, with my PFD on and my brother's concern to leave the motor idling. But there was something wrong with the idle jet and the motor would not idle much or it needed adjustment.

If we faced the waves with the motor cut the water would start filling the boat as the wave entered the bow when we were comming down from a wave and we were very unstable to throw our fishing rods. So I watched out the waves and my brother tried to fish. But it was not possible and the fish were not bitting at all. We hoped for Snook or Rooster fish but these are better caught trolling, they say. The locals were not fishing either eventhough, they were using shrimp.

Another thing would have been to try to troll in these waters but I didn't try and my brother didn't want to have his digital camera getting wet or lost. Remember that my Boston Whaler Sport 11 only has a 5 feet beam and a 6 inch draft! However, it took better the waves from the beam. These were not breaking waves.

I wanted to feel my boat in rough waters and I even put it back at the waves but it seemed to take the waves better this way. One wave struck the motor on the way in but nothing happened only the different sound of the motor having almost the leg covered with water up to the short block!

On the second day of the trip we took the boat upstream and find quite many boats that were running aground and the low draft of the little Whaler proved to be the winning ticket! It took us to get to "Tortuguero" an important port in the channels about 2 1/2 hours upstream to the north east of our location and 9 gallons of fuel and oil were spent. Not a very gas saving venture and this is why I would now vote for a recent motor or a 4 stroke Honda 20 HP instead of a two stroke.

My favorite boat was the Boston Whaler Montauk 170 with a 90 HP motor, however, the seating arrangement of the Venutra 160 is much nicer but not the price! I guess I will have to save more and put some money aside for my kid's education before I sink some big dollar into boating.

Take care and look forward for your input!

ole_mick posted 08-16-2004 12:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for ole_mick  Send Email to ole_mick     
I love my 11.5 also! Great little boat for what I do. You're correct with the limitations in rough water, when I get in the larger rivers barge traffic can be interesting -- but all in all it's a great boat. Re-powering can be a problem. With the exception of the Honda BF20, I can't find a new 20 HP, 4 or 2 stroke.

If you go 25 HP, you're 25% over the rating -- but okay on weight if you stay with a 2-stroke. If you go 4-stroke 25 horses, you begin talking about some significant weight on the transom. I'm trying to find someone who has a 25 4-stroke on an 11.5, and see what kind of performance they get -- or if they have any problems. I have a 25 Tohatsu I'm thinking of mounting -- it's a 4-stroke but comes in at around 160 lbs. all said and done.

Another concern with the new power tilt/trim motors is the need to anchor the bottom two bolts on the motor mount into the transom. The inside of the 11.5's transom is not open for the bottom bolts -- so you use lag screws (ouch) or find some other way.

I'm all for the 4-strokes because of fuel savings and other factors -- but only Honda makes a 20 HP (and it doesn't require bottom two bolting)... but of course, with Honda you're talking $$$. I'm with Pete, and hoping some other 11.5 owners can lend some input.


rbruce posted 08-16-2004 10:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for rbruce  Send Email to rbruce     

I would definitively consider repowering with the Mercury Classic 25 E which is as heavy as any other 20 Hp or 25 Hp even a 1980 Chrysler 20 Hp but with less displacement. The Classic 20 no longer manufactured has the same displacement as the 25 perhaps the difference is in the carburetor size.

How much does the Honda BF 20 cost? Is it made in the USA? I ordered a catalogue from Honda USA and found the motor very nice, but when I called the Honda dealer in Costa Rica they denied that there ever was a 20 Hp motor. They were very pissed because they lost the big sales to E-Tec by Bombardier!

On the other hand the 25 Hp is fancier structurally and comes with a full displacement oil pump, where as the BF 20 oil pump is not even mentioned. Perhaps it doesn't even have one and it comes with a splasher which could pose a question with regards to durability?

I liked the propeller on the BF 20 but with 4 blades I would think this is a motor meant to push pontoons, perhaps I am wrong.

The other route would be to overhaul your current motor and spend the savings in gasoline!



ole_mick posted 08-17-2004 09:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for ole_mick  Send Email to ole_mick     
Robert -- I agree. The Mercury Classic 25 is 25% over on horsepower (an insurance ding and some dealers won't mount it), but from the weight standpoint it's a great choice. I personally don't have anything against the Mercs -- actually like them. Don't have to worry about the bottom bolts on the Mercury standard configuration either.

Thought about rebuilding my Johnson but would like something a little newer (and maybe more reliable). I may go hours (sometimes an entire day) w/o seeing another boat on some of the rivers I travel. The Johnson has never let me down, but I think it wants a direct fuel line to the nearest gas pump. I like the thought of a 4-stroke but the Honda is coming in around $3.5K -- a lot when I can get a Mercury (or other) 2-stroke for about a grand less.

I just don't know how much weight you can get on the tail end before it affects performance. I've also thought about the new 25 HP Johnsons -- but don't have any feedback.

Thanks for the input!


mikeyairtime posted 08-19-2004 07:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for mikeyairtime    
4 stroke outboards are just now getting wide spread acceptance but if my motorcycle experience is any indicator a 4 stroke will outlast a 2 stroke without having to do major engine work by more than double. Now before you tell me about your 56 evinrude that still runs lets talk hours. I killed a 89 130 Yamaha in 3 years fishing lobsters(major rod bearing failure). The second power head lasted 4 years. I'll never buy another 2 stroke.
ole_mick posted 08-19-2004 08:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for ole_mick  Send Email to ole_mick     
Mike -- I agree, I like the 4s reliability aspect. I just wish they could get the weight and $$$ down somewhat. If I had a bigger boat, it wouldn't be a question -- but the 11s are so small as is that a 180 lbs. on the tail might make a big difference. Wish I could find someone with a 25 HP 4-stroke on an 11.5 and see what kind of problems (if any) they had. Mick
rbruce posted 08-19-2004 11:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for rbruce  Send Email to rbruce     
Ole Mick:

Have you talked about your insurance with the agent about exceeding by 25% the upper limit, and have you considered a Tohatsu 18 HP four stroke which will not exceed that limit?

I wouldn't travel alone yet not even in rivers. Perhaps you don't have pirates where you live (neither do us but I have never encountered them yet), but there are always risks and lone wolfs don't really swim. I would rather join some sort of boating club (like I do here in Costa Rica) and that proves that we humans are pack creatures!



Post New Topic  Post Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | RETURN to ContinuousWave Top Page

Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board, Freeware Version 2000
Purchase our Licensed Version- which adds many more features!
© Infopop Corporation (formerly Madrona Park, Inc.), 1998 - 2000.