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Author Topic:   Verado vs OptiMax Performance on Boston Whalers
Perry posted 08-13-2005 09:46 PM ET (US)   Profile for Perry   Send Email to Perry  
At whaler.com there is performance data for the 210 Outrage. They test the 175 Verado. It is slower to 30-MPH than the 175 Optimax but a little faster at WOT. Mid-range fuel consumption is pretty good (4.7 MPG at 21 MPH) but at WOT, it does worse than the 200 OptiMax. I am looking forward to seeing more performance data for the 235/150 Verado.
Peter posted 08-13-2005 10:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Perry, did you notice that the 210 Outrage powered by the 175 Verado is only carrying 12 gallons of fuel and no water whereas the 210 Outrage powered by the 175 Optimax is carrying a full load of fuel, 95 gallons, plus 20 gallons of water? That difference in the amount of fuel and water carried by both boats leads to a test weight difference of 650 lbs in favor of the Verado powered boat (3,624 lbs v. 4,250 lbs). That is why the Verado powered boat is faster. I also noticed that the 175 Optimax boat is faster to 30 MPH than the Verado despite carrying more weight!

Looks like they are biasing the performance reports in favor of the 4-cylinder Verados just like they do with the reports for the 6-cylinder versions.

Perry posted 08-13-2005 10:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
No Peter, I did not notice the test weight. I wonder if BW is going to make the weight equal to the Optimax powered boats for future testing of the 135/150/175 Verados.
Peter posted 08-13-2005 10:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
I was just looking at the 240 Outrage test reports and comparing the twin 150 Optimax to the twin 150 Verado powered boats. They do the same thing there -- handicap the Optimax powered boats with more fuel which equals more weight. Despite the extra weight, the Optimaxes turn in a better idle to 30 MPH time than the same HP Verados.

However, in the performance report for the Conquest 205, the Verado 150 powered boat actually carries 3 gallons more fuel than the 150 Optimax powered boat. The Optimax powered boat has faster time to plane and time to 30 MPH. The Optimax powered boat also consumes almost 5 GPH less at WOT (19.6 v. 14.7 GPH).

I also noted in the Conquest 205 report that the 175 Verado consumed 20.9 GPH at WOT! That's getting into 225 HP territory.

prm1177 posted 08-15-2005 02:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for prm1177  Send Email to prm1177     
The numbers don't lie (when the same baselines are used). The Opti's seem to outperform the Verados in key areas such as hole shot and fuel economy. I was kicking the tires about re powering with Verados (I really do like the low noise of these engines), but with gas at the fuel dock near $3.50/gallon thirsty engines are not what I'm interested in.
LHG posted 08-15-2005 06:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
It is beginning to appear that these Optimax's are such great performers, that even the new 4-stroke Verados are having a difficult time matching them. Perhaps one really does get great value, fuel economy and acceleration from an Optimax, which is their new advertizing campaign. A 200 or 225 Optimax with DTS option could be a great combination.

But in spite of all this, the excitement seems to be with 4-stroke engines, with buyers of all brands.

Peter James Morgan posted 08-15-2005 06:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter James Morgan  Send Email to Peter James Morgan     
You're right, prm1177, the numbers don't lie, when the same baselines are used.
Plotting graphs with rpm as the baseline is mathematically invalid for any meaningful comparison. BW might just as well put on a bar graph showing the colour of the drivers' eyes, or perhaps their height! What would they do if one or two of the motors were gas turbines?
The ONLY meaningful baseline for comparison of the performance of different motors is BOAT SPEED. A plot of mpg on the vertical axis and boat speed on the horizontal axis would clearly show the overall superiority of the OptiMax direct injection 2-stroke technology. One does not need a degree in mechanical engineering to grasp the fact that the energy to drive a supercharger, which is considerable, comes from burning fuel, and hence there is no way that supercharged engines are going to be top performers in the fuel economy stakes. Rather, they will be top performers in terms od horsepower per liter of engine displacement, which is hardly an advantage meaningful to recreational boaters. If a smaller engine displacement led to a lighter and more compact outboard, there would be some basis for a tradeoff. However, Verados are bulkier and much heavier than direct injected 2-strokes, and indeed other 4-strokes. BW's published test figures show that the ONLY advantage the Verado has over the OptiMax is in quietness. Given that BW is a Brunswick company, we are not going to see anything other than Mercury outboard test results published on the BW website.

If anybody has any test figures on BW boats powered by E-TECs for example, compiled by a reputable organisation, please post them here!
BRP claims that E-TECs are within a whisker of the quietness of the best 4-strokes, and they are much lighter and less bulky than Verados. When one examines the fuel consumption numbers and observes what is currently happening to fuel prices, one has to question why Mercury went down the Verado path.

Perhaps the ace up BRP's sleeve is that E-TECs can easily be made to run, with no loss of performance, on home-made biodiesel made from waste cooking oil. Fast-food shops and restaurants are usually glad to get rid of it at no cost, and one 200-liter drum of waste cooking oil plus some methanol plus some caustic soda (lye) makes one 200-liter drum of biodiesel plus some glycerine which can be sold. It's all on the Internet, so rest assured that where there's a will, there will be a way to go fishing!
PJM

Teak Oil posted 08-16-2005 09:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for Teak Oil  Send Email to Teak Oil     
I think they are adding the weight to the Optimax boats on purpose to make up for the big difference in weight between the Verado and Optimax. Obviously Whaler and Brunswick make more cash on every Verado they sell vs. every Optimax they sell

What a bunch of crap

Peter posted 08-16-2005 10:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
The weight added to the Optimax boats is far more than the difference in weight between the outboards. The weight difference appears to be intended to mask a seemingly significant performance gap between the two types of outboards. Even if they were simply trying to make the weight of the two rigs the same that would not be the correct way to do the performance testing in that it would not give a fair indication of whether or how much the extra weight of the Verado hampers performance assuming that the Verado provided the same output as the Optimax, which it clearly doesn't.

Larry puts a nice spin on the situation but the reality is that the DFI 2-strokes of all the manufacturers are very close in performance. I have no doubt based on my own experience with DFI 2-strokes that if one were to bolt on a non-black colored brand of DFI 2-stroke in place of the Optimax for comparison purposes, the results would be the same.

Even supercharged, the 4-stroke still doesn't appear to have the grunt of a DFI 2-stroke, and I suspect it never will. 2-strokes were, for a very good reason of high power to weight ratio and simplicity, the preferred type of configuration for an outboard motor for many years before EPA and CARB regulations forced changes. We heard may folks generally remark about how fast they think the Verado is, but I often wonder just how much of that impression of speed and acceleration really comes from the fact that the motors are quiet and the expected audible sensory inputs from the motor under speed aren't there.

prm1177 posted 08-16-2005 11:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for prm1177  Send Email to prm1177     
I think the Verado's selling points in the demonstration is that, while maintaining the quiet of a 4 stroke, they deliver performance approaching a two stroke. It's the combination of low noise and speed that's impressive. My only criticism of my dual Opti 135s is their high noise levels when running. If the E-Tecs actually deliver lower noise, then they have a marketing advantage. Maybe Mercury will redesign the intake, exhaust and cowlings of the Optis to counter.
jimh posted 08-16-2005 12:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The reason the four-strokes are quieter is, to a large part in my estimation, because they were designed to be quieter. The legacy two-stroke engines were not designed with an ear to quiet operation--which should be obvious to anyone who has heard them growl. The E-TEC is a good example of a two-stroke that was designed with some consideration for its acoustic signature (a fancy word for engine noise). Most of the comparisons in noise levels are made at idle, and the four-strokes are very quiet at that speed. As engine speed increases, the four-strokes tend to lose most of their acoustic advantage.

If you look at the x-ray drawings of the VERADO engine that are often included in brochures about them, you will see that a lot of the space under the cowling is just air space. They could make the cowling significantly smaller if they wanted. My guess is the reason for all that space under the cowling is for acoustic treatments to reduce noise.

LHG posted 08-16-2005 02:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
In spite of what Peter says, Yamaha is saying the F150 outperforms their 150 HPDI, and it doesn't even have supercharging for acceleration. I wonder if they are rigging the data also, just to sell the popular F-150. Here they are proving, with similar cubes, that a 4-stroke can definitely keep up with the 2-stroke.

Wide open fuel use means basically nothing, because it represents less the 1/1000th of an engine's use. The area that counts is where we all run our engines, idle up to about 4500, and the 4-stroke Verados get great mileage at those speeds and extremely quiet running.

I recently had occasion to see a boat rigged with a pair of 225 Fichts, idling along side a boat rigged with twin 275 Verados. The difference between the two was startling, and the engine sound comparison was like night and day. The Verados seemed, and looked, like a whole new generation of technology, while the 2-stroke Fichts sounded out of date and klunky. I think the Optimax's have a similar image problem alongside a Verado.

Peter James Morgan posted 08-16-2005 05:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter James Morgan  Send Email to Peter James Morgan     
Oh come on, LHG, you're being grossly unfair comparing a Verado to a Ficht!
More appropriate would be comparing a Verado to an E-TEC, and until we see the numbers published by a reputable organisation, we ought not to speculate.
That said, I have heard plenty of anecdotal evidence that the acoustic signatures of E-TECs are vastly superior to those of Fichts.
The sooner we see the results of a properly conducted shootout between the latest outboards of a particular horsepower the better. If anybody has the numbers, please post them here!
PJM
Peter posted 08-16-2005 06:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
I don't mind Larry comparing to the Ficht at all. The Fichts are admittedly louder than the Verado, but they are also cheaper, lighter and consume less fuel. I'll trade a little idle noise for lighter weight and less fuel consumption any day although I suspect that one doesn't really have to trade the noise as much now with the E-TEC being available.

As I see it, the things that tend to differentiate the Verado from other OB products seem not to be performance related but rather creature comfort related -- noise, power steering and shifting. Because 3rd party power steering and electronic controls are available from Teleflex, if desired, the remaining distinction really seems to be noise level. However, if one put 125 lbs of sound insulation on the Ficht, Optimax or HPDI, I'm betting that it would be as quiet as the Verado. ;)

Interesting commentary about running up to 4500 RPM. One Verado owner I know makes a conscious effort not to run above 4500 because of the consumption penalty above that. I don't think I could live with a motor having a limitation like that. Maybe a few years ago I could have when I had a carbureted 2-stroke but I've been spoiled by the Fichts' very frugal consumption across the entire operating range. I'm sure the same is true for those running the Optimax or HPDI.

With respect to the HPDI 150 and F150 comparison, I wish I could get ahold of Yamaha's own performance hot sheet comparison between these two products that Yamaha used to have on its website last year. It showed just the opposite of what Larry says -- the Z150 had better performance above idle. But I found another article which agrees with that comparative Yamaha test report putting the Z150 (HPDI) ahead of the F150 in fuel economy (from mid range on) and acceleration. The testing of those two motors used the same boat. That article is authored by Charles Plueddeman entitled "Oil in the Gas", I think it was in February 2005 Boating Magazine. Interestingly enough, the Z150 was actually cheaper to operate over 5 years. The article concluded that if you want quiet, get the 4-stroke, if you want acceleration, get the 2-stroke.

Peter James Morgan posted 08-17-2005 09:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter James Morgan  Send Email to Peter James Morgan     
Yes, Peter, the OptiMax 150 is 79 lbs heavier than the Verado 150. Undoubtedly the best material to absorb sound and prevent it from escaping out through the cowling is a layer of lead-lined foam. Approximately 11 square feet of 1/8 inch thick lead sheet weighs 79 lbs -- more than enough I would think to completely cover the inside of the OtiMax cowling -- and that would make a huge difference to the acoustic footprint of the OptiMax.
By all accounts, the E-TEC 150, which was deliberately engineered to be super-quiet, is within a whisper of being as quiet as a Verado, and it is approximately 20 lbs lighter than the OptiMax -- and almost 100 lbs lighter than the Verado. The sooner somebody can give us performance figures for a pair of E-TEC 150s on a 240 Outrage the better!
PJM
prm1177 posted 08-17-2005 11:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for prm1177  Send Email to prm1177     
PJM

Where are you getting your numbers for the Opti being heavier than the Verado? The Merc site shows the Verado 150 (25") as 527 lbs dry and the Opti 150 at 431 lbs. That's almost a 100 lb weight advantage for the Opti. This is the reason Whaler doesn't recommend repowering some twin rigged older boats with Verados as the added weight may induce porpoising at mid to hi rpms.

With the weight advantage of the E-Tecs, has anyone here switched from Mercury to Evinrude? If so, how big of a pain is it to re-rig the boat?

LHG posted 08-17-2005 02:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
Prm - you're comparing a 25" Verado to a 20" Optimax. The real difference is 431 vs 510, or 79 pounds. PJM probably meant to say 79 pounds lighter.

The 2005 Yamaha catalog says the F150, after only one year on the market, is it's #1 selling model. That is amazing. Somebody must like it over the 150 HPDI.

I keep trying to figure out where all this information is coming from on the 150 E-tec, an engine nobody is even able to buy yet. Do all you guys with inside information on power, sound and economy work for BRP marketing, or just some of you? I find it impossible to believe that an E-tec (the ones that currently ARE available to the consumer) gets better gas mileage than an Optimax, the economy champs.

Even before the Verado, 4-stroke outboards have been sweeping the market. The Verado just puts the frosting on the cake in 4-stroke performance and engine design. Is there any truth to the rumors that Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki are working on new Supercharged 4-strokes also, which will also get generic DTS throttle shift and some kind of Smartcraft? If not, they need to, since right now there is no other 4-stroke that will run against a Verado of same HP.
The 275 is in a 4-stroke class all it's own until Yamaha gets their new model out.

I wonder when Mercury will feel the need to increase the cubes a little on the Verados? It seems the HP capability of the engines is much higher than 275

fourdfish posted 08-17-2005 02:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for fourdfish  Send Email to fourdfish     
The E-TECs are quieter than the Fichts. I had mine running next to a Ficht and it was not even close. The E-TECs were engineered to be quieter. I would also now bet the bank my E-TEC gets better milage than a Optimax or the Verado. LHG Never said he has even seen an E-TEC running and
obviously never been out in one so how could he compare?? I heard a 225 Verado running last week and it was not quieter than my E-TEC. It will be awhile before the boat people find out about the E-TEC but it will happen sooner or later no matter what LHG says about them.
LHG posted 08-17-2005 03:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
I have to admit Fourdfish is right - I have never seen an E-tec on the water. They are rare as hens teeth. I see all kinds of other engines, including many new 4-strokes and Verados, where I do my boating, but no E-tecs. Where are they? Have any actually been sold to other than to Fourdfish and a couple of 90's owned by others here?
CHRISWEIGHT posted 08-18-2005 03:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for CHRISWEIGHT  Send Email to CHRISWEIGHT     
I had the pleasure of hearing a pair of etec 225s running on a 27 foot rib and they were almost inaudable at Idle ,I had to ask if they were running.

I have little experience of such boats but throttle response and acceleration were virtually instantaneous.

regards chris

Peter posted 08-18-2005 04:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Same observation. A local muncipality here just repowered its 27 Whaler fire boat with a pair of 225 or 250 ETECs. It went by the other day at no wake speeds and you would not know they are 2-stroke motors. Amazingly quiet.
jimh posted 08-21-2005 09:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Peter James Morgan sent me this interesting graph showing the fuel economy performance of the two engines (150-HP Verado and Optimax twins) plotted as a function of boat speed.

http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/OptiMaxVsVerado150BW-PJM.pdf

As he mentions above, plotting fuel economy as a function of boat speed is more interesting than plotting it as a function of engine speed.

jimh posted 08-21-2005 09:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It can be somewhat dangerous to base your estimation of engine sales on your own personal observations. If I were to do that, and if I were also to exclude all Verado engines I have seen which were on boats still owned by the Boston Whaler company and its dealers, then my conclusion would be that sales of the E-TEC far outweigh sales of the Verado. This strange conclusion comes from the fact that I have yet to see a Verado boat underway on the water which was not part of a factory demo ride day at a dealer!

I saw my first larger E-TEC just a few days ago. A fellow came to the ramp with a 2006 E-TEC 200-HP HO model on a bass boat. He ordered the motor in the spring and was told to expect delivery in April, but just received the engine a few weeks ago. He was happy to get a 2006 model. It started at the touch of the key and ran flawlessly without smoke at an idle of only 500-RPM.

Regarding the Verado performance, I am always surprised at how much of the top speed for that motor comes in the last 500 RPM, and that, of course, is where the fuel flow rate goes hyperbolic.

The other outboard makers are apparently all going with the industry standard NMEA 2000 electronics for their instrumentation, leaving Mercury as the odd man out with its proprietary SmartCraft system. The NMEA 2000 movement is just getting started and at this time there are few choices available, but I expect it will be more common in a year or two. Of course, standards are one thing and actual products and results are another, but I don't see any reason why the NMEA-2000 standard will not be successful. With Bombardier, Yamaha, and Honda planing to use it, there will be plenty of motors available for people to sell instrumentation, so I expect it will draw some vendors to it. LOWRANCE already has NMEA-2000 products.

It seems like the market down under (Austrailia) is a bit ahead of our domestic market, as the E-TEC seems well established there, and NMEA-2000 products seem more available there, too.

Peter posted 08-21-2005 11:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
If the Verado powered boat were carrying as much fuel as the Optimax powered boat, I suspect that you would see all points on the Verado fuel consumption versus speed curve sit lower on the graph. Accordingly, I would expect that the difference in fuel consumption between the Optimax and the Verado at the Verado's peak economy speed (~24 MPH) would be less than what is represented and the difference in fuel consumption between the Optimax and the Verado at the Optimax's peak economy speed (~30 MPH) to be greater than what is represented by the curves.

With respect to product penetration observations in my market region, I am seeing many large E-TECs on a variety of boats both new and repowers. I am seeing Verados only on the back of new Whalers. I've now seen about three or four Verados versus about a dozen new E-TECs in the same HP range. Given that the E-TEC's lighter weight and lower cost makes it much more compatible with new and old transoms in general, my earlier thoughts that the E-TEC could outsell the Verado, at least in this area, so far seem to be holding up.

oroseiwhaler posted 08-21-2005 12:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for oroseiwhaler    
Hi all,

i've just enterd my logbook in to a excel sheet to check my fuel consumption.

Interpreting the results consider this:
1. Boat '98 Outrage 23 with 2001 2 150 HP HDPI Yamaha mounted 1 hole up (third hole from top)
2. GPH is measured by the Yamaha Fuel Management Gauge ( very accurate)
3. Knots/Nautical Miles are measured by GPS
4. My Boat has the huge original BW T-Top and outriggers.
5. I am working as skipper and this year mostly a bring divers to divingsites distant 3 to 6 nautical miles.
6. I transport in average 6 Divers with their equippement, so the boat is usualy heavy loaded and often overloaded (11 divers).
7. I never get under 30 gallons of Fuel left and the when i refill i put 50 gallons.
8. Usualy cruising speed is 22 knots @ 3200 rpm (200 rpm over planing speed)
9. We have a very windy season and so alldays a minimum of 2 feet chop up to a 7 feet swell. (Nasty conditions for diving)


In 77 trips i measured 515.13 Gallons and i made 668 nautical miles in 105.2 houres, so:0.78 gallons/nm or 1.31 nm per gallon or 7.36 gallon per hour.
Minimum was 0.44 GpnM, 2.25 nmpg, 4.27 gph
Maximum was 1.19 GpnM, 0.84 nmpg, 12.68 gph

Confronting this values with them from last year it seems that i use 0.5 GpH less than last year. It seems that this "saving" is the result from lifting this year the motors one hole up. I guess that the "savings" will be some better using the Boat in calm conditions.

I hope that this helps

Chris

oroseiwhaler posted 08-21-2005 01:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for oroseiwhaler    
Some considerations about 4 stroke Outboards.

first i want to agree that 4 stroke OB are nice, quiet, non-stinking and sometimes low consumption Motors.
I agree also that a 4 stroke at the same rpm than a 2 stroke DI use the same or less gas.
But i don't agree that a 4 stroke Motor use lesser Gas than a modern 2 stroke DI O/B und normal cruising/fishing conditions, except the case of low speed trolling in front of the harbour without heading to the "hotspot" an cruising speed.
Some economical benefit in terms of fuel consumption will archieve fisherman who does slow trolling day by day near their harbour doing more than 100 hour per year. It's he same question like Outboard or Inboard Diesel where you archieve financial benefits usualy after 5-6 years, except "comercial fishermen" with more than 100 houres per year.

To service a 2 stroke outboard it takes 4 hours and aprox. 150 dollars of spare parts, a 4 stroke takes 2 hours more and aprox. 300 dollars of spare parts. To service a inboard gas or diesel takes 1 day ugly work with your head in the (always too small) engine compartment and 500 dollars of spare parts.

Here in Italy 1 gallon of fuel is 4.83 US Dollar and 1 gallon of Diesel is 4 US dollars, so low consumption motors are greatly appreciated, but after the big 4 stroke Hype, most of the italian normal Boatuser ( the use the boat - mostly 13 - 17 ft. RIB's - 3 weeks during holydays in August) is disapointed about the fuel consumption of their brand new 4 stroke motors.

My opoinion about the Verado:
a real gem of engeneering, but i never would buy it. Why?

1. I don's see the need to squeeze 150 HP out of a 1.7 liter block so make it similar in accelleration to a 2 stroke. The automobilistic story tells us that big block engines are much more durable than small block, compressor/turbo pumped engines.

2. I feel fine with my cable steering and controls. Shure it would be nice to steer my boat without any effort and feedback by joystick, but i'm afraid that some connector or boardcomputer corrodes and i found my self 20 mile offshore in nasty weather with some alarm beeping, motors off, electrohydraulic steering won't work, and no way to resolve the problem by my self.

3. This electronic "gadgets" are fine in a car, were i wait until someone passes by and tow me to the next mechanic, but 20 miles offshore i may wait for a long time.....

4. On my Yami's HDPI each year i change 12 spark plugs, the impellers, gear oil, check belt tension and fuel filters, rinse it down, grease everything and they are ready to give me a new season of joy during work or in freetime. That's what i need.

That's my own personal point of view.

Best regards
Chris

Peter James Morgan posted 08-21-2005 06:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter James Morgan  Send Email to Peter James Morgan     
Hold it please, folks. Boston Whaler/Brunswick have goofed, and I didn't notice it before I sent my graph to Jim Hebert. The 3500 rpm consumption of 10.3 gal/h is obviously erroneous, as the OptiMax's consumption could not possibly be less than it is at 3000 rpm. The graph even has an upwards bump in it at 3500 rpm.
I shall prepare a new comparison, again using Brunswick/BW's own data, for OptiMax vs Verado, and shall email it to Jim Hebert for posting on this forum.
Sorry for the confusion -- as a Technical Editor myself I should have picked up Brunswick's goof myself, but I must say I wasn't expecting to have to proof-read such an illustrious company's work. Perhaps when Bruswick's people fix the error they will trawl through ALL Bruswick's websites and change the symbol for kilowatts from kw as it often appears, to the internationally agreed SI unit, kW.
Also, It is appropriate that I apologise for getting it back to front when I wrote that the Opti was 79 kg heavier than the Verado!
PJM
bigjohn1 posted 08-21-2005 08:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
does the E-tec really get better fuel economy than Optimax? does anyone know of a non-biased test proving this? I would think their economy numbers would be very similar....
LHG posted 08-23-2005 03:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
John - If one believes Mercury's new catalog, the answer is NO, by 18%. Mercury claims the 90 Optimax is the 90HP mileage king.

On same boat (don't say what it is, nor cruising speed):

90 Optimax = 7.7 mpg
90 Merc 4-stroke/Yamaha F90 = 6.8 mpg
90 E-tec = 6.7 mpg
Honda BF90 = 6.7 mpg
Suzuki 90 = 6.4 mpg

Nor does it appear the E-tec 90 gets any better economy than any of the 4-strokes.

They also claim the 150 Optimax gets better mileage than the Yamaha F150 or Honda BF150, and that the Verado 150 out-accelerates these 4-strokes.

The new 3-star 225 Optimax Pro XS is claimed to be the fastest 225HP engine. I guess that includes the Verado 225

fourdfish posted 08-23-2005 05:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for fourdfish  Send Email to fourdfish     
LHG can say what he wants and Mercury will always say that Merc engines are better on gas but Trailer Boat mag showed the E-TEC had great gas milage thru the whole speed range. My 200hp burns only .33gal/per hour at trolling speed and I estimate I have saved over $400 in fuel costs so far this year than with my old motor. BRP also claims that the E-TEC gets better milage. By the way I have only seen Verados on Dealers Boats on Lake Michigan and Green Bay. LHG isn't that your water too? That Optimax is quite a bit louder than my E-TEC.
I can speak from experience. Why disrepect something you haven't seen?
prj posted 08-23-2005 05:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
While I'm neither endorsing nor refuting Mercury's findings,
this statement doesn't provide much in the way of
quantifiable information, fourdfish:

"E-TEC had great gas milage thru the whole speed range"

LHG posted 08-23-2005 07:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
I was only repeating Mercury's 2006 catalog information. I have very little experience with Optimax DFI engines, preferring instead the old 2 stroke EFI technology, which has been excellent for me. But those days are gone, I guess, especially with the high price of fuel today.
Peter posted 08-23-2005 10:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
After last year's performance bulletin where they overpropped a 300 HPDI so it would only turn 4500 RPM at WOT and then compared it's acceleration to a Verado, if I recall correctly, I've learned not to put much stock in the Mercury marketing literature when it comes to performance puffery. I'm quite surprised that Mercury doesn't offer performance reports for its motors on various hulls when Evinrude, Yamaha, Suzuki and Honda do.

The only non-manufacturer originating comparative performance reports for 90 HP outboards that I'm aware of is the September 2004 Trailer Boats Magazine article entitled "Bantamweight Brawl". In that article they report test results for five 90 HP outboards on the same boats, although not the exact same boat. In that article, the Optimax 90's best fuel ecomony was 7.1 MPG at 24 MPH. The E-TEC's best fuel economy was 8.8 MPG at 27 MPH. The Tohatsu boat took the fuel economy prize with 9.7 MPG at 23 MPH (Tohatsu was the only 2-Star rated motor tested, all the rest were 3-Star). The boat with the E-TEC 90 also had a slightly faster top speed than the boat with the Optimax 90. The article reported the E-TEC 90 boat accelerated from 0 to 30 MPH in 8.1 seconds while the Optimax 90 boat took 9.4 seconds. The Tohatsu TLDI 90 boat took 9.3 seconds. The Honda 90 was the quietest, which should be of little surprise to anybody.

Perry posted 08-23-2005 11:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
I'd put more stock in Trailer Boats Magazine than Mercury Marine when it comes to comparing performance of outboard motors.
LHG posted 08-24-2005 03:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
Peter, the only problem with all those Yamaha 300 HPDI's is that their owners had/have a nightmare of problems with them, while the clearly superior 275 Verados are out there humming along quite trouble free and highly reliable, and maybe a little faster, besides, and a lot SMOOTHER. Many think that HPDI is dead for Yamaha with this latest fiasco.
I hear they are working on a new 300 HP 4-stroke to replace this HPDI beast?

Be my guest to trust ANY boating rag about performance figures, where you have to pay to play. Most of that stuff is worthless. Some here are now even doubting that "Powerboat Reports" is honest. Are there "truth in advertizing" responsibilities that Mercury, or any engine manufacturer would have to adhere to, or do we only believe the Evinrude advertizing when they show that Yamaha F225 unable to plane off the boat? If Mercury's ad claims are false, then how good are Yamaha's or Evinrude's claims? They would have to be equally worthless according to what I read here.

The only thing that makes any sense with all of this is that, once again, unwittingly perhaps, the environmentalists have saved us from the conventional 2-stroke with these new gasoline price highs. Great fuel economy of the new engines seems to be an unplanned for event in pollution clean-up.

Now, what are we going to do about truck and SUV mileage?

bigjohn1 posted 08-24-2005 05:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
"The E-tec had great gas mileage thru the whole speed range".

I will not argue this as I think it is 100% true but does this back up the claim that it gets better economy than Optimax? - NOT!

Lets practice some critcal thinking skills here guys. Any manufacturer (Merc or otherwise) is always going to claim theirs is "better". Lets find a non-biased reference which pits the E-tec head-to-head with Optimax and then use that test to measure the fuel economy difference. I just want to know but am not willing to go out and believe anecdotal info for or against EITHER technology.

"The E-tec had great gas mileage thru the whole speed range" just states the obvious - that E-tec gets good fuel economy. What about its economy compared to Optimax?

Peter James Morgan posted 08-25-2005 03:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter James Morgan  Send Email to Peter James Morgan     
Fuel costs are a relatively minor component of boat ownership costs. Despite the current high prices for fuel, servicing costs and resale value are much more important.
Servicing costs for an E-TEC are claimed by BRP to be lower than for any other motor, and resale value has yet to be determined -- the jury (you folks) is still out! In the meantime, perception rules, and perception is what the marketing dollar of each of the manufacturers is targeted at!
The contribution of the Internet is that manufacturers can no longer hide poor perception or indeed, poor performance -- and thanks to the Internet and boating forums such as this one -- these are now known to a vast number of consumers.
Vivre l'Internet!
PJM
LHG posted 08-29-2005 05:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
I think it is yet to be proven that an E-tec would have lower servicing costs than an EFI 4-stroke, including a Verado. The 4-stroke owners here, regardless of brand, are all raving about their maintenance free, trouble free motors.

It seems you have to get up to at least 3000 hours before a valve job would be needed, if at all. Do autos need valve jobs? Not any of mine. An oil change doesn't seem to be any more work, or expense, than constantly filling an oil reservoir.

I think they are, inevitably, in all of our futures, whether we like it or not, and they are saying that most will like it anyway

Captain Utsey posted 03-05-2006 09:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Captain Utsey  Send Email to Captain Utsey     
This is a great discussion topic as i am in the midst of deciding whether or not to repower my opti with a verado. What i think it boils down to at the end of the day, for me at least. is what i've got to pay to fill the boat back up after a day of fishing. I would love to see somebody calculate the performance factors of the verado vs opti as a matter of operating cost in dollars to runs a given vessel a given speed, so don't forget to factor in the $20 a gallon optimax oil and the recommended quickleen. Everybody seems to bicker about top speed, cruising speed, noise, etc but no mention of the expensive oil consumption and how that really affects the bottom line. That's what it's really about to me, the bottom line.

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