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Twin 150-HP: A Thing of the Past
|Author||Topic: Twin 150-HP: A Thing of the Past|
posted 03-26-2006 12:02 PM ET (US)
Are installation of twin 150-HP motors a thing of the past?
With larger horsepower outboard motors available, will boats with ratings for 300-HP maximum be more likely to install a large single engine rather than twin 150-HP motors? There seems to be some incentive to a move in this direction on the basis of weight, cost, and performance.
Modern outboard motors have become very large and heavy. Older boats which were designed with twin engines in mind, such as a classic Boston Whaler OUTRAGE 22, may not be able to tolerate the weight of a pair of modern twin 150-HP motors. For example, a pair of Yamaha F150 four-stroke outboards (466-lbs) would put at least 932-lbs on the transom. A pair of Mercury 150-HP Verado outboards (510-lbs) would put 1,020 or more on the transom. Actual weights will probably be significantly higher, when the cumulative weight of duplicated rigging, propellers, and fluids are added.
In contrast, installation of a single 250 HP motor will reduce transom weight significantly. A Suzuki DF250 weighs only 580-lbs. This is only 70-lbs more than the weight of a single Verado 150-HP, and 440-lbs less than twin Verado 150-HP motors.
The cost of twin engines is also significantly higher than a single engine installation. Usually the price of a higher horsepower motor is less than the price of a pair of motors of half horsepower. In addition to the double engine costs, there are double expenses for controls, instrumentation, propellers, and installation.
Performance should be about on par with either single or twin installations. Depending on the particular hull and motors, twins sometimes seem to be able to approach the same fuel economy as a single, but generally the edge goes to a single motor. Twin propellers offer more blade area and often produce better handling, but improvements to propeller design may make the differences not as great as in the past, giving a single nearly equal standing.
Boston Whaler seems to have cast its vote: a big single is preferred over twins. They have several newer boat designs where the transom is built only for a single engine. In the past, boats in the 300-HP size range, like the CONQUEST 235 for example, might have had an option for twin power; now it is only available as a single engine boat.
Mercury seems to have voted for the big single engine, too. Their Digital Throttle and Shift (DTS) has great features for use with twin engine installations, but they have not offered it on the their new OptiMax engines below 200-HP. Perhaps they feel there is no market for twin 150-HP OptiMax engines that would have the added expense of DTS.
Perhaps the greatest reason for twin engines is the redundancy. However, with modern engines becoming more reliable, perhaps the notion of needing twin engines for a hull with a 300-HP rating is becoming old thinking. It seems like it.
Are twin 150-HP installations a thing of the past? Your comments are invited!
posted 03-26-2006 12:19 PM ET (US)
This is not only the case with outboards, but appears the be happening with diesel powered boats as well. A lot of single engine trawlers are appearing. Some boats, originally built as twins, are now being built as singles. To me reliability and maintenance costs are the issue.
posted 03-26-2006 12:37 PM ET (US)
Due that i broke one 150 H HPDI of my double rig on my Outrage 23 i'm thinking about that.
posted 03-26-2006 01:05 PM ET (US)
To make clear one point, I am specifically talking about the case of boats with a maximum rating of 300-HP, generally boats in the 22 to 24 foot range.
There is no doubt that boats larger than about 24-feet with ratings of more than 300-HP will continue to be powered with twin outboard engines, and, in fact, the market for twin, triple, or even quadruple outboard power is certainly growing. But in most cases these installations will be using motors of 200-HP or larger and are installed an much bigger boats. People are now showing 36-foot offshore fishing machines with outboard motors.
The twin 150-HP situation is quite different. We are on the verge of having available 300-HP recreational outboard motors that come with full warranties. Suzuki has announced such a motor, and Yamaha has hinted they are not far behind. Mercury has shown a racing motor with 300-HP but limited warranty. And there is always the 275-HP Verado (premium fuel) motor, almost at this level of power.
Will these powerful, reliable, lighter, and less expensive outboard motors cut into the market for twin 150-HP installations?
Are modern engines now thought to be sufficiently reliable that the redundancy of twin engines is a luxury too expensive to indulge at the 300-HP level?
posted 03-26-2006 02:52 PM ET (US)
I think the perfect set-up is a large single with a good quality 10 HP kicker. 10 HP on a 22 Revenge for example, is plenty of emergency power.
posted 03-26-2006 05:10 PM ET (US)
Perhaps some will find fault with this analogy, but here goes anyway... Modern 4-stroke outboards use basically the same technology used in modern automobile engines- computerized fuel injection and ignition, dual overhead cams, etc. Modern 2-strokes, while taking a pass on the cams, are otherwise also using much of the same technology. So... when's the last time you insisted on driving, even in the back-country or off-road, in a twin-engine car?
PS- No, I'm not anti-twin. I grew up running twin inboards on a 31' Owens. I like the sound, I love the handling.
posted 03-26-2006 07:05 PM ET (US)
Perhaps hybrids are the most recent version of a twin engine car. Even the hybrids aren't new technology, not going to admit to ever doing it but a VW beetle can go a long way on it's electric starter alone :-).
I think boats in the 22-24 foot range will increasingly be rigged with single four stroke power. Hopefully the new batch of 300 4 strokes will prove that big power is possible with reliability and economy in an outboard. Then we can forget the Cosworth Mercury 300, OMC v-8 275/300 and Yamaha's initially troublesome 300HPDI two strokes. Let the horsepower war bring us to a discussion about hanging twin 500 hp in a few years.
posted 03-26-2006 07:46 PM ET (US)
[This article had no content except to link to a picture that showed twin engines.]
posted 03-26-2006 09:03 PM ET (US)
I like twins. No matter how reliable a single may be there will always be situations where the second engine saves the day.
A few years ago I was returing to Noyo Harbor in northern California in my 22 Revenge WT with twin Johnson 90's. I was running in some very heavy short interval swells, lining up for the jetty when a one of the engines stopped. It would start in neutral but when I put it in gear, it died. There was a length of polyethylene rope fouling the prop. I managed to maneuver with my remaining engine in extremely tricky conditions and made the run through the jetty without consequence. Having twins saved the day. If I had a single that had fouled at that time, my boat would likely have been dashed against the rocks.
Twins will probably become less common now though, because of the weight penalty of 4-stroke engines.
posted 03-27-2006 12:02 AM ET (US)
I think the same can be said for a 94-98 24' Outrage that has a 400 HP rating. The 200's back in the early 90's were much lighter then those of today. I believe in some cases they had the same displacement/weight as the 150's. Should I make the change to twins, I might be hard pressed to add 200 lbs to the transom over the original 200's. I'm sure there are quite a few other boats out there with the same dilema.
posted 03-27-2006 04:38 AM ET (US)
Im banking you are right Jim & this is good news for me, because, the odds to rescue a single engine boat versus twin to repay my BW CPD 22 investments are double.
Just kidding. Actually, I hope I dont rescue anybody.
Seems to me the trend to heavier 4 stroke singles are a result of LAWS & the market adapting to those laws more than a change in single vrs twin preference.
I am facing a twin 150 dilemma now.
My PREFERENCE is NEW American made commercial grade 2 strokes. i's dotted, t's crossed.
Merc has a 2 yr commercial warrantee BUT, reversing eng is NOT AVAIL...bummer. (Merc factory rep, refs avail)
So goes the American Made commercial engine options.
Yeah Jim, I know very few will be tangled up in the commercial jungle I am, but, its probably pretty relative.
posted 03-27-2006 09:29 AM ET (US)
Michael--Your questions about the difference in warranty offered to commercial users versus recreational users must be left for another discussion, if you don't mind, as this is far afield of our topic here.
posted 03-27-2006 01:22 PM ET (US)
I am puzzeled by this thread as surely the real reason that singles may well predominate in the 22-24' market is that most of these boats simply cannot take the new fat overweight 4 strokes and so twins are simply not an option. Given that so many boat manufacturers are owned or have deals with Engine manufacturers and Merc seems to dominate in this arrangement, they simply cannot hang twin 150 Verado engines off the stern of many of the boats-just too much weight. I don't believe it is out of choice as the same pros and cons still apply between singles and twins. What it does mean is that IF you can source a hull only and want the advantages of twins then E-TEC is the only way to go as they are no heavier than the engines they replace. Furthermore, if you have less than premium quality fuel only the E-TEC will enjoy it.
posted 03-27-2006 08:43 PM ET (US)
I'd like to get the discussion back on track. What I am discussing here has little or nothing to do with brands of outboards.
Until recently, using a pair of 150-HP outboards was quite common, and was really the only way you could power a boat effectively with 300-HP. There just were not good choices available for a single engine in the 300-HP range. The situation has changed.
Now we are entering a new era of outboard motors. There are 300-HP outboard motors on the market, and there are more 300-HP models on the way to the market. The existence of good 300-HP outboard motors, with reasonable fuel economy and good performance, will probably change the use of twin 150-HP motors in powering boats which can handle that much horsepower.
This is the same situation we had back a decade or more ago, when the first 200 to 225-HP motors started to appear. Prior to that, it was common to see a boat powered with twin 90 to 100-HP motors. Once more powerful single engines were developed in the 200 to 225-HP range, the trend became to go with a single engine instead of twins.
Just look around and see how many boats are powered with a single 225-HP motor compared to how many have a pair of 115-HP motors. When the 300-HP outboard becomes common, will twin 150-HP rigs become rare?
posted 03-27-2006 08:44 PM ET (US)
If we look at older Whalers, pre-1990, they seemed to be very dual-engine oriented. It was not uncommon for one of these hulls to have OMC power.
So, if we look at the weight of a Whaler with two 150hp Johnsons circa 1980-1990, I believe the weight to be roughly 385 lbs per or 770 lbs. total.
Currently, Mercury offers the 150hp Optimax which weighs in at 431 lbs. and Evinrude offers the 150hp E-TEC at 419 lbs. In a twin mount, we only gain 92 lbs. and 68 lbs. respectively over a the set-up these hulls were designed to carry. To put that into perspective, that is comparable to carry and extra 10 gal. of water in your baitbox or an extra ice chest.
Me thinks we sometimes dive too deep into the forest to see the trees. I'm sure a Whaler in the 22-24 foot range made in the 1970's and beyond could handle this slight weight increase without a hitch.
As far as newer boats in this size range and their capacity to carry twin rigs is entirely dependent on the designer/corporate wishes. Although there has been a continuous increase in quality on the offerings from engine manufacturers, that same comment may or may not apply to boat builders. Overall, I do think boat-building has seen quantum leaps in quality over the last 20 years. However, some of the visuals are not as appealing to me as some more Classic vessels. The approach to limit the transom and it's ability to carry multiple engines, I believe, is more a method to selling larger horsepower than anything else.
Remember, it's the engine manufacturers that are designing and manufacturing the boats.
posted 03-27-2006 09:04 PM ET (US)
I have always thought 22 to 24ft hulls were transition hulls from single to duel power. A single 225 was only just adequate while twin 150s were overkill. I am a single engine, max HP rated minded fellow who would only use twins if a single would not get me (at least) close to max rated HP. With the introduction of 250 and greater HP motors, weight savings, greater reliability, and less maintenance, I don't see any advantage to having twin 150s on this size hull.
posted 03-27-2006 09:12 PM ET (US)
Actually, I think JimH is correct, and twin 150's will soon be dead for these 2 sizes of classic Whalers. There aren't that many out there even now, most already having singles. But not quite yet, [went off topic to suggest that only a Mercury motor, yet to be offered for sale, would actually produce 300-HP and claimed it would produce 310-HP--jimh]. The 300 HPDI is [cited some horsepower figure, without any reference to how it was measured] , the same as the [cited another engine]. The Suzuki 300 is a year away, and there are no other 300's in the pipeline yet announced.
Actually, though, those Merc/Yamaha 275's are probably as powerful as twin 150's, so they are cost saving options for the only two Whaler boats that even apply here anyway, the 22 WD's and the 25's. I would take the Verado as a more reliable option, given the history of the 300 HPDI. In almost every discussion we have had here, the big single is the choice, even for the 25's, so I think almost all of our 22WD's and 25's owned here will be repowered with big singles, if they are not already. None of these old boats justify the expense of twins without getting into negative equity in the boats.
With my old Classic 21, I have become a new fan of a single. Cheap to buy and economical to run. I have already decided that when it comes time to re-power my 18 Outrage, I am going to put a Verado 175 single on it, and get rid of the old twin 115's, which I now consider a waste on an 18 Outrage. There really won't be any other alternatives for me, since Merc's lightweight 75 and 90's will be long gone by then. And the SMOOOOOOTH 4-stroke will be fast and pleasant to run with DTS.
posted 03-28-2006 05:38 PM ET (US)
I think that one 250/300HP O/B is fine and adequate for "family cruising" on a lake or bay.
But i'm thinking that a double 150 HP Rig is necessary for professional work with passengers -paying for a quality service- in the open sea for security reasons.
With a double rig it is much more easy to handle nasty conditions like 5''+ chop with breaking waves on a heavy loaded Outrage 23 like mine.
When i broke one motor i was "lucky" the it was a perfect day (the weather), if it where a nasty day i could handle to get back slowly with one motor, with a single motor i had to wait for a tow and in the meantime the ancor could drag and i could end up smashed against the cliffs with 6 divers aboard. Not realy a nice immagination.....
So i think that 150 HP double rigs will still exist on 22-24'' boats, maybe lesser than today, but for "hard core" applications it is a must.
posted 03-29-2006 01:34 PM ET (US)
Larry, say it ain't so! Twins on your Outrage 18 a waste? Where's the real LHG, and what have you done with him?
posted 03-29-2006 02:44 PM ET (US)
When the day comes to repower our 25 Revenge W/T I will most likely go with a large single four stroke. My current 200 Merc's run great however my co-pilot hasn't learned to appreciate the real outboard boating experience of exhaust noise and smokey start up's.
On my previously owned Whaler's a 19'4 Revenge and 22' Outrage I had single engines with the largest rated horsepower on each boat, handling and performance were never an issue. I'm assuming that I would be equally pleased with the handling of a large 4 stroke on a 25.
posted 03-29-2006 04:11 PM ET (US)
I had the same dilema on a smaller scale last week. My new to me '76 19' Revenge is due for a repower and I have a perfect 1999 70hp Suzuki on my 17' Newtauk. Well I found a leftover Demo 1999 70hp with 12 hours on it for $2900 and SERIOUSLY considered putting twins on it being it is designed for it. I then realized that twin 70 4 strokes weigh OVER 720lbs. I don't think it is a bright idea to slap 720+lbs on the back of a 30 year old boat. Granted it was designed to handle twin 85's but back in the 70's an 85hp V4 only weighed about 265lbs. Newer ones with VRO and PTnT were roughly 300lbs. Still a far cry from a 90hp Suzuki coming in at 420 each...ouch. Also take in the cost. If buying new twin 70's you are looking at roughly $6k an engine plus controls,etc. So to rig twins with tax, etc you are probably at $14k+. A new 140 is roughly $8000 so rigged with tax you are looking at MAYBE $9.5k. Is twins worth $5000 more with an extra 300lbs? I hear what you are saying Jim and I think it all 175hp and below engines will rarely see a twin brother sitting next to it on a transom. The days of people putting twin 70's is over as well.
posted 03-29-2006 07:34 PM ET (US)
My 25 Revenge WT is powered by a single 250 2-stroke Yamaha OX-66. I think performance is excellent. But could be better on fuel, Yamalube oil, smoke, and to a smaller extent noise.
If I were to repower, the local dealerships would really come into play.
There are many dealers in close proximity.
A Yamaha/E-TEC is the closest, but there are
5 more Yamaha, 1 Honda, 3 Mercury and 1 Suzuki, but 20 miles away.
I think my first choice would be E-TEC (but, I hate the white only color), second choice F250 Yamaha. Both at the same dealer 1.5 miles away.
But a 300 Suzuki(next year), with the largest Suzuki dealer in the US 20 miles away is tempting. I have heard only good things about the current Suzuki 250.
For my purposes the single 250-300 hp range is ideal regarding performace, weight, and fuel economy. Not to mention the purchase/maintenance savings.
New boat......I'd go Verado. It's got it all right now for new installations.
Side Note: A good friend is finally having his new Intrepid 32 with twin 250 Verado's delivered here on Cape Cod very soon.............Oh, man!!!!!Can't wait
posted 03-31-2006 09:34 AM ET (US)
I have a pair of 90hp Johnson's on my 20' Revenge W/T and am getting ready to repower with twin 90hp Evinrude E-Tec's. # 1 the new 90hp E-Tec's are 3 cyl. motors so running twins is equal to running a single six. but having the convence and safety of twins.
posted 03-31-2006 12:21 PM ET (US)
Not to argue with your thinking but that is Jim's point of the post. They are not more convenient being you have two things to maintain and repair, etc. They are much more expensive, heavier, etc than a single and as far as security, engines now have 7 yr warranties. They RARElY break down and when they do that is what a kicker or SeaTow is for. Also most failures are due to gas or electrical problems so unless you are running dual gas tanks, etc usually both crap out. Again, different strokes for different folks but with todays technology, having twins to come home on one idea is the thing of the past.
posted 03-31-2006 12:23 PM ET (US)
Jim...I was reading my new brochures today and I realized one flaw in our thinking about smaller twin's these days. Cat boats require twins(usually) and therefore you will see them with twin 115's, etc as the norm. Not because of safety, etc, just because of design of the hull.
|The Machinery Killer||
posted 04-01-2006 04:09 PM ET (US)
You have a valid point to where there are more manufacturers out there going towards single engine applications along with the weight considerations. Additionally, you also have the factor where people want to pay the least amount possible to bounce on a wave. They commonly overlook the known fact that “You will get what you pay for”. Those that pay the least initially are the ones with the biggest tantrums when their pride and joy needs to be repaired as I have witnessed this more then I care to remember. Finally the typical pleasure craft owner has not been in the marine industry for many generations, has not fully comprehended what Mother Nature can do with little to absolutely no warning when she gets pissed. Take this along with the overwhelming fact that a very small percentage of the pleasure craft owners have spent any time (Days, weeks, months, and years) in the search and rescue business.
When faced with a nice day to go out and have fun running around for the day on the water is what everybody wants to do and it is possibly the best way to spend it with your friends and family. When you find yourself off the coast a few miles and a storm kicks up with no warning and you end up with waves longer then the vessel you are in. At that point, I would not be concerned about the “New and improved turning radius of the stern drive” selling point. I would not be concerned with what the “New, quieter sounding engine” or the “Low emissions”. I would be completely focused on getting the hell out of dodge and making sure both mains inboard or outboard perform. If I loose one main, then shut it down and hang on since it is time for a little “Rock and roll” since number two main will be at wide-open throttle until we are in from the breakwater since the no wake zone will not mean a damn thing until in protected water.
The kicker argument is something that I have no confidence in on the basis that the only thing to me that matters when all hell has broken loose is where is the other 50% of rated hull hp on number two main? Is a kicker better then a set of oars? You bet. Can a kicker move a vessel in water? Absolutely. Can a kicker move a vessel in heavy seas or in a storm? Let us not get too confident here.
The market place may fill up with many single engine applications and those companies may make the entire margin in the world, have sales records never seen before. Nevertheless, I assure you I will not be one of their customers.
posted 04-02-2006 06:39 AM ET (US)
I'd like some advice on this topic as I'm wondering if a new 2005 Outrage 240 being offered with a Verado 250 is ideal? The boat is rated at 350HP (was only 300HP 2003). I plan on using the boat in the SF Bay area for offshore fishing,crusing the coast up to Bodega Bay, and putting on a trailer to wakeboard in the Delta. When I first set out I was expecting to end up with a boat with twin 150's or 175's. Dealers up and down the coast said the single 250 was the ideal setup.
posted 04-06-2006 11:54 AM ET (US)
My '98 Outrage 23 with double 150 HP Yamaha HPDI 2-Stroke needs 10 - 15 seconds to plane and sticks full trottle @ 25 knots on 4000 rpm with light/medium load and flat sea with only one motor running and the other fully tilted out of the wather.
I don't know if she's planing with a steep waves over 5 foot with only one motor running and i absolutely won't know if i can sneak home with a 25 HP kicker under this conditions.
Shure i can call Sea-Tow or a friend to tow me back, but waiting from one to several houres in a upset sea is no fun.
Maybe i'm paranoid, but i made the 2005 season with over 4 feet waves daily and average 7 divers aboard.
posted 04-06-2006 12:14 PM ET (US)
the Outrage 240 is slightly longer and heavier then my Outrage 23.
For light and medium loads 250 HP will be enough.
A single or double rig is a question of money and safty and this tread shows personal opinions about this.
posted 04-09-2006 01:27 AM ET (US)
Chris- Thanks - in the end my I decided to go with a 1 year old 270 with twin Verado's - picked it up in SCal with low hours. Will have it in a few weeks back up here. My wife and I flew down for a sea trial and fell in love with the boat immediately. We are extremly excited to join the BW family.
posted 04-10-2006 03:34 AM ET (US)
you bought a dream.
Big congratulations and welcome to the club!
posted 04-11-2006 09:03 PM ET (US)
If you get the boat back here before May 19, try to see if you can make it to the Norcal Rendezvous in the Delta. A lot of us would be happy to take rides in your Verado equipped Outrage.
Check the Trips and Rendezvous page on this site for more info.
posted 04-14-2006 12:30 AM ET (US)
Thanks very much. The trip to the Delta sounds like a wonderful idea. I'll check it out. I hope to have the boat back here before the end of the month. My plan is to tow it back myself and get used to pulling something that zize.
Best Regards, Doug
posted 04-14-2006 03:31 PM ET (US)
Not sure if you've had a prior boat in Marin, but a good launch ramp exists at Loch Lomond Marina, in San Rafael. It's big, wide, and protected with a gas dock. Other gas locations on the water, are Western Tackle on the San Rafael Canal. Your authorized Mercury Mechanic in Marin would be Anthony at Hi Tide Marin (across the canal from Western). That's where I keep my Conquest. Oddly enough, there are two other CQ 23s there now as well.
Hope to see you at the Rendezvous.
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