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Author Topic:   150 HP comparision test report article
Perry posted 08-15-2004 11:16 PM ET (US)   Profile for Perry   Send Email to Perry  
Interesting report from a Finland boating magazine. Check it out.

jimh posted 08-17-2004 10:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Many thanks for the pointer to that interesting article.

I found several areas of the testing to be very unusual. The reviewers seemed to be quite thorough and to use much higher accuracy measurement instrumentation than is generally used in tests conducted by American boating magazines.

For sound level measurements they use a BrĂ¼el & Kjaer meter. This is the gold standard of sound level measurement. For fuel consumption measurements they use a flow meter with an accuracy of one percent.

They also make a very interesting observation, which I do not recall reading or hearing anywhere else. It bears repeating:

[i]"The [fuel] consumption figures expressed as litres/hour are relevant when boating with the intention of just spending time on the boat....The situation is different when one has a fixed destination, as we often do. Then fuel economy, expressed as litres per nautical mile, becomes the key issue."

WT posted 08-18-2004 12:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
I didn't realize that outboards over there cost almost twice as much as in the USA.

Also the test confirms in my mind why there are so many pro-Yamaha boaters.


hauptjm posted 08-18-2004 12:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
I was very impressed with this article. I can not ever remember reading anything close to this in content and substance in a "popular" boating magazine in the U.S. Our magazines "dumb down" and pander to the ad man.
erik selis posted 08-18-2004 05:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
Very interesting article indeed. It kind of makes it even more difficult to choose. I guess you would really need to analyse your own situation and boating habbits to find what is best suited for you. Local dealers, customer support and sales price reductions will also have an influence in choosing.

Too bad the 150 Verado wasn't in this line-up.(yet)..or E-Tec...would have been nice to compare. Most likely they would have given the best results but at what price?

WT, it's not only the outboards that cost twice as much over here. Almost everything.


Perry posted 08-18-2004 02:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
Eric, just curious, wht do you think that the Verado and e-tech would have most likely given the best results against the other 150 HP motors in the test?
LHG posted 08-18-2004 07:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
As someone else suggested, the losses the Japanese are taking in the US market are made up in the European market. Guess Mercury and BRP are going along for the ride.
erik selis posted 08-19-2004 04:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     

This is just my opinion from what I have read up till now concerning both the Verado and the E-TEC engines. Both theses engines are the next generation engines. One step further than the engines the Finnish boating magazine tested. I am not saying that these tested engines are old technology. The concept that is used in these engines has existed for a while now and has been improved.

Both Mercury and Bombardier have something to prove with their new engines (especially Bombardier). I believe they will both stand tall with their new engine concepts . I also believe they took their time to do it, so they could get it right the first time.

Looking at the noise levels and fuel consumption reports of the existing Verado engines, there's no doubt in my mind that the 150-hp version will also stand out above the rest.

The E-TEC 150-hp version will most likely be the most fuel efficient at lower rpm's with a minimal oil consumption. The overall performance I expect to be great because of the light weight it will have.

Also, just by looking under the cowling of the existing Verado's and E-TEC's you can see the attention given to the manufacturing details...I know this says nothing about performance but it does say something about how a company wants to get the job done at it's best.

Again, I'm not criticizing the tested motors, just doing some thinking out loud. As I also mentioned in my first post: what will the price be?


LHG posted 08-19-2004 08:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
I would like to dissagree with those of you who think this Finnish magazine article is less biased than those of the US magazines. It's not, and it even sounds like it was financed by Yamaha.

Look at it more closely, where they carefully disclaim the fact that the Yamaha engines were jacked up on the transom, and using higher pitch props, admitting that could affect the results. Anybody with any experience in setting an engine up for top speed would have recognized this glaring discrepancy. This completely prejudices their results. All engines should have been set up the same. Believe me, you'd see differing top end results.

And then, much to my surprise, Yamaha publishes the results on their website. This sounds like the old JD Powers routine again. All of the carefully prepared tests are used to disguise the unfair advantage given to the Yamaha engines in mounting elevation and prop pitch. I'd say the other manufacturers got had.

It could very well be that the 150 Yamaha hpdi is the fastest on this boat, but until the others get the same set up, I'm not buying it for one minute.

Peter posted 08-19-2004 09:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
"All engines should have been set up the same. Believe me, you'd see differing top end results." Merc should have followed this good advice when putting out "test" reports for the Verado versus HPDI a couple of months ago.
Perry posted 08-20-2004 12:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
I agree that the motors should have been rigged the same and propped for maximum performance. But the noise and fuel economy were tested fair.

I also found it ironic that Yamaha used the article on their web site.

Clark Roberts posted 08-20-2004 06:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Not setting up all engines the same renders the entire results (there can be no results) invalid. This is elementary "testing/comparing 101"! Beam me up! Clark SCN
jimh posted 08-20-2004 08:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I was surprised that Yamaha published the test results, as I did not think that the results showed anything particularly special about their engines. The unusual fuel consumption of the Z150 HPDI model at idle stood out as a negative compared to the rest.

The Honda engine seemed to stand out for its good fuel economy, but at a significantly higher retail price.

The Mercury Optimax was a good performer, with better fuel economy than the Yamaha engines. It beat both the Yamaha engine in the "rated fuel consumption" segment of the tests. The one negative for the Optimax, however, was its sound levels: it ran much louder than the other engines.

It would be clear to a sophisticated reader that the set up of the engines and propellers was not optimized for all engine, but, apparently, there were representatives of the manufacturer in attendance at the tests. You wonder why they did not jump in with a different propeller or suggest tweaking the engine heights?

erik selis posted 08-20-2004 09:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
All due respect to some who may have a different opinion but I have to agree with Jimh here.

Not one of the engines came out of this test in a bad way. They all had advantages and disadvantages compared to each other. They also clearly stated that choosing an engine would entirely depend on ones boating habits and preferences. I think that the test was extremely objective being it is a Yamaha website.

Also as Jimh mentioned, the factory rep's were on site monitoring and advising on the engine set-up. Now if that's not objective then I don't know what is.


Peter posted 08-20-2004 09:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
This is a reprint of an article first published in Vene magazine in February 2004. I assume the magazine accepts advertising. If it does, then you will never see a report that severely crticizes any product reviewed. If the magazine values its advertising revenue, it will be very careful not to cast any products in a negative light.

I believe the only truly objective results may be the sound level measurement at idle. Sound level measurements at speed and fuel economy results are very much dependent upon what size and type propeller is used. Based on my own experiments, fuel economy can vary significantly using different style propellers of the same pitch.

I infer from the report that each of the manufacturer's propellers was used. Some manufacturer's propellers are simply better than others for a given situation. Ideally, they should have used the same type and size propeller from engine to engine where possible. That might be easy to do amongst the 2-strokes having substantially the same gear ratio but not so easy to do with the 4-strokes that have a different gear ratio from each other and from the 2-strokes.

Perry posted 08-20-2004 01:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
Peter, how much does the prop come into play when measuring fuel efficiency at idling speed? The test also compared the fuel consumption at 3000 rpm and WOT not at a given boat speed. Wouldn't that fact even the playing field?
LHG posted 08-20-2004 01:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
The only real way to compare a bunch of 150HP engines on the same boat is to, first of all, attach the dyno and determine the true prop HP of each. Once you know that, correct comparisons and adjustments can be made, even with respect to fuel mileage, purchase cost per HP and which engine is a better buy in terms of given HP. Some will register less than 150, some more, but we need to know which engine is putting out what.

Then, they can be set up similarly, and where possible, run the same prop per similar gear ratios. An interchangeable hub design prop, such as Mercury or even better, generic Michigan wheel, will allow this to even out the field. Then all performance results can be adjusted for known HP output, fuel usage, and even purchase price. Some will be clearly better deals than others in this light.

Are we ever going to see this in ANY boating magazine. Don't even think about it. The manufacturers do this privately, but we will never see it unless they use it their own advertizing

Peter posted 08-20-2004 07:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Perry, prop pitch will certainly come into play and prop style may have some influence on economy at idle. However, if they used a flow meter to measure fuel consumption, then the idle speed consumption readings are probably not very accurate anyway.

Flow meters are generally not very accurate at low flows. Usually flow meters have an accuracy rating which is measured as a percent of the full scale reading. So if the flow meter is rated for 50 GPH with a 99 percent accuracy, that means that its reading accuracy is +/- 0.5 GPH throughout the whole range. So at low flow rates, its not very accurate. As the flow goes higher, the accuracy actually improves.

I can see this phenomena happening with my own Navman 3100. At idle speed with the extremely low flow rates the economy expressed in MPG is usually all over the place. Some times it computes fuel economy as high as 15 MPG or more for twin 225s! But at higher engine speeds, typically 1500 RPM and greater, and corresponding higher flow rates, the Navman provides a much more consistent reading.

These new direct injected 2-strokes and 4-strokes burn so little fuel at idle that I think the differences between them in consumption at idle are essentially irrelevant.

As Larry notes, the only way they would have a substantially level playing field in which to judge the motors is with the same prop and the same mounting height. For the 4-strokes with different gearing, they'd most likely have to use a different propeller so it may be hard to compare them on a pure apples to apples basis with the 2-strokes. I'm not sure its necessary to do the dyno testing. Using the same propellers and mounting heights with the same weights and conditions would give a pretty good idea of who comes out on top.

elaelap posted 08-20-2004 07:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
Erik states:

"Not one of the engines came out of this test in a bad way. They all had advantages and disadvantages compared to each other."

Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!! Like taking that first deep, bracing breath of fresh salty air when you leave the harbor and your boat begins to move under you with the send of the sea and it's crisp and breezy and clear as a mountain stream after a miserable day in muggy, smoggy, big city traffic.

But it can't be THAT simple, Erik. Ya don't mean to tell me that for the most part outboard motor manufacturers are doing a pretty fair job, that the differences between the motors are relatively minor, that improvements continue to be made, that for the most part motors will perform okay on the transoms of our Whalers, and that there's really no need for rancorous bickering and hostility among potential friends and shipmates over arcane technological minutiae?

Well geeezzzz, if that's true half the folks at this website will probably pack up and leave...


jimh posted 08-20-2004 07:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I believe that Tony is trying to capture this feeling:

Exultation is the going
Of an inland soul to sea,
Past the houses -- past the headlands --
Into deep Eternity --

Bred as we, among the mountains,
Can the sailor understand
The divine intoxication
Of the first league out from land?

--Emily Dickenson

erik selis posted 08-21-2004 04:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
Yes Tony, it is THAT simple my friend. :-)

Peter makes a very good point however concerning the accuracy of the flow meter.

Actually the are several tolerances on a calibrated flow meter. You have the "Full Scale Accuracy" (FSA), the "Readout Accuracy" (RA) and "Repeatability" (RP).

Peter described the full scale accuracy (most relevant one)and it is therefore very important to choose a flow meter that lays within the range you wish to measure. If a flow meter has a FSA of i.e. 0.5% (typical) you will tag along this 0.5% inaccuracy over the whole range. This makes for a major difference in the readout in the lower flow region. The RA is the tolerance of the output signal to the displayed value. This my vary 0.5% (typical) on the actual readout. The RP tells you how accurately you can go from full scale to a certain know value in the flow range. Going to this known value repeatedly will show a slight difference on the display each time. This may be 0.25% (also typical)

Also for very detailed flow measurements a Mass Flow Meter is often used in these types of tests that compensates for both temperature and pressure differences.

Sorry Tony, I just couldn't resist after reading about the dyno...:-)


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