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Author Topic:   Mercury EFI vs OptiMax
FireFox posted 08-10-2005 10:30 AM ET (US)   Profile for FireFox   Send Email to FireFox  
We are thinking about buying a 1998 OUTRAGE 26 with twin 1998 225-HP Mercury EFI motors. Trying to see what kind of performance we can expect, I came across the specifications for the 27-foot on the Boston Whaler website--it's a little bit bigger hull--and they claim the 27-footer can do 56.2-MPH with twin 225-HP Optimax.

What performance can we expect from a 1998 OUTRAGE 26 with twin 1998 225-HP Mercury EFI motors? Would it be able to reach the same top speed as the 27-footer can do with twin 225-HP Optimax motors? Are the EFI motors behind the times?

How's the reliability and fuel economy a 1998 OUTRAGE 26 with twin 1998 225-HP Mercury EFI motors?

How do win 1998 225-HP Mercury EFI motors run and sound?

I know it's a lot of questions but your help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Teak Oil posted 08-10-2005 10:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for Teak Oil  Send Email to Teak Oil     
The 225 OptiMax is a 3 liter block, the 225 EFI's are the 2.5 block I believe. The EFI's will probably be a little slower, but should still perform very well. They are very dependable motors
FireFox posted 08-10-2005 11:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for FireFox  Send Email to FireFox     
How fast should I expect this 26' whaler with twin 225-HP Mercury EFI motors to be?
Plotman posted 08-10-2005 01:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
The 225 EFI is actually 3.0L block, just like the Optimax. Those EFIs are bulletproof engines, and should give very compoarable top end.

The main advantage of the Optimax IMHO comes at lower speeds where it is going to be much cleaner.


LHG posted 08-10-2005 01:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
The 225 EFI is a faster engine than the 225 Optimax. I am told the EFI puts out 242 HP, while the Optimax is closer to it's rated 225. Both are built on Merc's 3.0 liter block. No traditional 3.0 liter 2-stroke V-6 gets great fuel economy, however. The Optimax is MUCH better, even better than the 4-strokes.

Nor is the "270" Outrage a larger boat. Actually the 270 is 25' hull with an integral engine bracket. The 26 may acutally be a larger boat, I'm not sure. Compare hull weights for a more accurate prediction of speed. I had my Armstrong bracket equipped 25 Outrage rafted to 270 Outrage, and the distance from the engines to bow were identical

FireFox posted 08-10-2005 02:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for FireFox  Send Email to FireFox     
Thanks for the input now how about that 1998 26' outrage. I personally love the boat even though the insides of the whalers have shrunk over the years. What are the pros and cons of the 26-footer?
Peter posted 08-10-2005 02:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
One person's published opinion on the 1998 26 Outrage can be found at . I think the author has some valid criticsm, particularly with respect to the transom hatch and oil fill location.
FireFox posted 08-10-2005 03:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for FireFox  Send Email to FireFox     
I already read that and that author is full of himself. He needs to chill out.
Peter posted 08-10-2005 09:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
I'm not sure that author is so full of himself. One might not like his writing style, but he does make some valid points. You wanted pros and cons and he's given some to you.

I happen to agree that the placement of the oil fills in the transom well, at least on that boat, is the wrong place for a variety of reasons. The oil fills should be accessible from within the cockpit at a minimum and they should be up high. I wouldn't want to have to fill an oil tank out at sea on that boat, to the extent that you could even do so. Of course, the problem with the oil fills could be eliminated by the use of 4-stroke engines.

Battery placement below the deck isn't a great idea either. It certainly is not in the original Whaler tradition. I also agree with the commentary on the low cable pass thrus.

Compare that rigging in the 1998 26 to the rigging in my 1989 27. In my 27, the oil fills are under the helm seat, about 2 feet above the deck about mid-ship. I don't have to hang outside the transom to put oil in the tanks. The oil tanks have substantially no risk of sea water intrusion or even rain water intrusion. My batteries are mounted in Whaler battery boxes at deck height, not below deck height. It would take a severely swamped condition with clogged scuppers to have the top of the batteries go below the water line. Cable pass thrus on the 27 are about 6 to 9 inches below the top of the main transom, making them about 1 to 1 1/2 feet above the Whaler drive transom, not in the motor well in line with the transom.

bsmotril posted 08-11-2005 01:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
I owned a Conquest 23 for 8 yrs with the same locations for the oil tanks and batteries in the stern under hatches in the motor well. I backed down on a lot of fish, and took plenty of water into the motor well. I never had a problem with water ingress from those hatches, wet batteries, or contaminated oil. They don't leak if you take care of the gaskets. Care is simply not knicking them, and putting some kind of silicone lube on them once a year. Pascoe theoretical ramblings is far worse than the reallity of living with that configuration day in and day out. BillS
Peter posted 08-11-2005 03:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Can't fault Pascoe for bringing attention to a potential problem area. Certainly have to be a bit more careful and vigilant with the rigging on that boat.
jimh posted 08-11-2005 09:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Edited article to use OptiMax to refer to the Mercury OptiMax motor.]
jimh posted 08-11-2005 09:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
As a general rule, among Mercury outboard negines, when the same displacement block is used as an OptiMax it gets a lower horsepower rating than when used as a two-stroke EFI motor.
rtk posted 08-11-2005 11:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for rtk  Send Email to rtk     
I really don't think the Mercury EFI 3 liter V6 motors are behind the times, as far a performance and reliability are concerned. I can only speak with experience to the current EFI's, not the 1998 models.

I repowered last year with a 2003 Mercury 250 EFI. It has been an excellent motor for the 110 hours I have run it. It is Smartcraft compatible and shares alot (as I was told) of the Optimax computerized systems.

I would call them a current technolgy EFI two stroke outboard.

The advantage of the Optimax motor is better mid rpm range fuel/oil efficiency and less reported smoke. I have read alot of reports that show twenty to thirty percent less fuel consumption under certain running conditions.

If you are going to fish offshore/cruise distance and range is a concern, fuel economy should be a concern. Check out how much fuel she holds vs. the fuel burn of each engine setup. If you put alot of hours on the motors you will save money on fuel costs in short time. If you don't run the boat alot it will take a long time to recoup the added cost of the Optimax.

The Optimax and the EFI Mercury V6 have a very good reputation. How the 1998 motors perform for you will depend on how they were run and maintained by the previous owner.

The motor I replaced was a 1997 Mercury 225 carbed V6, same block. It was a great motor too for the thirty hours I ran it.

Good luck with it. Have a good Mercury tech look over the motors.


BIG O posted 08-19-2005 10:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for BIG O  Send Email to BIG O     
I have a 1999 26 outrage powered with twin 225 Opti Max. The 26 is LOA 27.10. FYI full load of fuel ( 200 gals )
2 people no gear flat water, trimed out to the max on the GPS
was 56.3. I normaly run offshore and in 2- 3 ft seas on average running 40 miles offshore one way, I find I can run at 3,300 RPMS 30 miles per hour in those kind of seas, and not get beat up to bad.
Regarding the Pascos writing ther are a few things that I do agree with him having my boat out in not near perfect conditions as stated above. He is dead on the money regarding the trim tabs on this particular boat, they are pretty worthless in my opinion in rough seas they are very
sensitive and overcorrect to much, and it gets a little tricky
in a big following seas. Regarding the Optis they have never left me stranded, but ever time I have gone out I have had an alarm go off, even though I have taken her in and preformed
every thing that the Merc tec has suggested to do, from injectors to TPI and the motors have around 210 hours on them
now, but when I bought the boat last October, one had a new powerhead, with 45 hours on it and the other motor had 85 hours on the meter. Feel free to E mail me if you have any other questions at
Big O

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