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Author Topic:   MONTAUK 17 Best 90-HP Four-Cycle
NausetDog posted 08-29-2009 12:32 PM ET (US)   Profile for NausetDog   Send Email to NausetDog  
I'm re-powering a 1980's [Boston Whaler MONTAUK 17]. I'm looking for recommendations on the best 90-HP four-cycle engine. I'm not interested in Mercury. The other contenders seem to be Yamaha, Honda, and Suzuki. What's the best of these three? From what little I know most seem to favor Yamaha.

I'm not concerned with the top end speed of one engne versus another or a fast [acceleration from a standing start]. The boat will be used 100% for inshore saltwater fishing on Cape Cod. It will always be trailered. My criteria in order of importance are:
--Reliability
--Maintenance. Want something that doesn't cost a fortune to do the annual fall and spring preventive maintenance.
--Quiet Operation
--Fuel Economy
--Price. Paying more for the best engine is OK with me

If you know the best prices I should be looking for on your recommendation please let me know. Same goes for Cape Cod dealers. I'm in orleans)

bloller posted 08-29-2009 12:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for bloller  Send Email to bloller     
I would go with the brand that has the best price in your area as long as the dealer network is good as well. Down here in Maryland there are probably three or four Yamaha or Mercury dealers for every Suzuki or Honda dealer.

Any modern four-cycle outboard with fuel injection will be a significant improvement over the old two-cycle outboard you are probably replacing. The differences in price, reliablility, fuel economy, and maintenance costs will not be that significant.

number9 posted 08-29-2009 02:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for number9  Send Email to number9     
If not concerned with the [performance], have you considered a Yamaha T60 or E-TEC 60? Both are moderately priced, about 120-lbs lighter than a 90 four-cycle, and provide great fuel economy. Only downsides would be slightly less WOT speed and may be more difficult to find a buyer if you sold down the road.
Phil T posted 08-29-2009 03:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Phil T  Send Email to Phil T     
Don't make a mistake, consider BPR Evinrude E-TEC as well.

What manufacturers have dealers and shops with factory trained mechanics in your local area? Do your friends like one shop over another?

All new engine brands are very good, the purchase decision boils down to specific engine features, price and service.

Peter posted 08-29-2009 04:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
The four-cycle 90s are all commodity products, with virtually nothing distinctive between them. They will all need service from time to time. In my view, the purchase decision should be based on what dealer is the most trustworth providing the best and timely service If I were you, I would call each of the local dealers for the different motors and find out how long it would take you to get them to do a routine service call like an oil change. The last thing you want is a dealer that can't get to your motor for three weeks in the height of the boating season when you have a problem.
jimh posted 08-29-2009 08:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
ASIDE to Glen E: Here is a good example of the Mercury image problem.
NausetDog posted 08-30-2009 07:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for NausetDog  Send Email to NausetDog     
I considered the 90 HP Etec but decided against it. Not as many mechanics can work on it, and the maintenance costs in my area are more than a four stroke.

The old Evinrude I'm replacing was a 90HP, and I don't want to go any smaller HP than a 90. I make a lot of long runs up & down the Cape Cod Shoreline so it's nice to be able to put the hammer down once in a while.

I'll have all service done by my factory authorized marine mechanic so I won't mess up my warranty & not the dealer I buy it from

So it sounds like I can't go wrong with a Yamaha, Suzuki, or a Honda 4 stroke. Can anyone tell me what the bottom line prices are that I should expect to spend?
Also, any recommendations for Cape Cod dealers to get prices from?

macfam posted 08-30-2009 09:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for macfam  Send Email to macfam     
Nauset,
There will be a limited number of dealers on the Cape that can sell re-power motors. Not every authorized Yamaha facility can sell motors on an empty transom.
When I re-pwered my 13' Super Sport this year from Edward's Boat Yard in E. Falmouth, they could not sell me a Yamaha, although they have new Parker Boats with Yamaha's all over their lot.
Fortunately they do sell Evinrude E-TEC's, which was exactly what I wanted.
The price was excellent, the service was outstanding.

I know your not interested in an E-TEC, but it has exceeded my expectations, and I now think that there is nothing a 4-stroke offers that the simplicity, performance and cost savings of the E-TEC can't beat.
Edward's Boat Yard has repeatedly said that Yamaha's and E-TEC's are just not having problems. They leave the lot, and just don't come back.

My personal observation:
In saltwater the Honda and Yamaha 4-strokes appear to be holding up with minimal corrosion problems. The Suzuki's that I see in the harbors nearby tend to have more.
Being on a trailer, this might not be a concern.

With your stated criteria
--Reliability
--Low Maintenance
--Quiet Operation
--Fuel Economy
--Price. Paying more for higher value.

I give Yamaha a slight edge due to the dealer network for parts and service

BEC posted 08-30-2009 06:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for BEC  Send Email to BEC     
I have read the foregoing articles with great interest. I have a 79 Montauk 17 with a 100 Evinrude XP. Would like to replace with a 90hp 4 stroke but am concerned about the weight (400lbs vs existing 306 lbs).

Is it really advisable to put such a heavy motor on an older boat which probably was not designed to carry a 4 stroke?

I have seen comments to the effect that a 60hp 4 stroke would work well on my boat. Comments / thoughts?


bloller posted 08-30-2009 08:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for bloller  Send Email to bloller     
A 60HP four cycle would be fine as long as you don't water ski or typically run with more than two people in your boat. You will want a 90HP otherwise. I see lots of heavy modern 90 HP motors on 16'/17' Whalers. They do sit lower in the water. If you are concerned about weight then get a 90HP E-tec. It is a little lighter than the four cycle 90's.

Dave Sutton posted 08-31-2009 08:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dave Sutton  Send Email to Dave Sutton     
"ASIDE to Glen E: Here is a good example of the Mercury image problem."


Aside to Jim... it's the truth: The dealer is more important than the hardware to the user. Local Yamaha guys are great and work on ENGINES and not on boats. Local Mercury guys are all about selling boat *packages* that happen to have Mercs installed, and generally do not put full-effort into a guy with an old boat looking to repower. Says nothing about the engine, but more about the people. I see more Yamaha's here than any other engine on "real" boats used by knowledgeable locals and professional mariners (Rhode Island). Mercs seem to be on Clorox-Bottle boats that came with them bolted on, mostly owned by casual users and summer tourists. I know of ZERO boats that have been repowered with Mercs. I can literally SEE over a dozen from the cabin of my Trawler here on the pond that have been repowered with Yamahas. Three are on the dock behind me.


Back on-topic, I'd use a 60 in a 4 stroke, and a 90 in a 2 stroke for a Montauk.


Dave


.

Buckda posted 08-31-2009 10:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Regarding the E-TEC
quote:
Not as many mechanics can work on it...

quote:
I'll have all service done by my factory authorized marine mechanic so I won't mess up my warranty

Huh? Missed me on that one.

...

I have no problem that you'd like to stick wiht 4-stroke motors for your consideration, just curious about your rationale.

Anyway -

I think that most 90hp 4-strokes on the market today are very similar in terms of the parameters you have provided - re: reliability, maintenance costs, economy, etc.

So...

I'd go with the best power-to-weight ratio, and as others have suggested, might even consider a 60 or 75 hp motor.

I'm not sure there is an objective "best" engine to pay more for, i.e. most environmentally friendly, lightest, etc.

It really boils down to which characteristics are most important to you.

Since you've already narrowed down your choice between 3 motor manufacturers and are using your own mechanic and not a dealer network, I think you're really down to price.

For that you'll have to check your dealerships.

L H G posted 08-31-2009 10:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
Aside to JimH: Here is a good example that most buyers don't want or trust 2-stroke DFI's and prefer Japanese 4-strokes.

Aside to Dave Sutton, who wrote:

"Says nothing about the engine, but more about the people. I see more Yamaha's here than any other engine on "real" boats used by knowledgeable locals and professional mariners (Rhode Island). Mercs seem to be on Clorox-Bottle boats that came with them bolted on, mostly owned by casual users and summer tourists. I know of ZERO boats that have been repowered with Mercs."

Your experience from the cabin of your Trawler to be extremely limited and narrow. You should do a little traveling and expand your horizons!

I would consider my Mercury re-powered Whalers (4):

1. "Real"
2. I would consider myself a knowledgable local in the Midwest and SE FLorida
3. I would not consider any of my Whaler's "Clorox Bottles"
4. I do not consider myself a casual owner nor summer tourist type
5. I have seen HUNDREDS of boats that have been re-powered with Mercs where I do my boating and cruising.

My 25 Outrage was bought new from an OMC dealer and repowered with 1997 Mercury 200 EFI's

My 18 Outrage was bought new from an OMC dealer and recently repowered with twin Merc 90's

My 21 Outrage was just repowered with twin Mercury "Towers"
and was re-powered TWICE (in Rhode Island no less) with Mercury before I bought it.

My 19 Outrage had twin Johnson 70's and was recently repowered with a Merc 150.

So from my perspective, I have no clue what you are talking about.

Buckda posted 08-31-2009 10:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Oh Larry!

Give us a break! Let's examine your claims:

quote:

My 25 Outrage was bought new from an OMC dealer and repowered with 1997 Mercury 200 EFI's

My 18 Outrage was bought new from an OMC dealer and recently repowered with twin Merc 90's

My 21 Outrage was just repowered with twin Mercury "Towers"
and was re-powered TWICE (in Rhode Island no less) with Mercury before I bought it.

My 19 Outrage had twin Johnson 70's and was recently repowered with a Merc 150.

So from my perspective, I have no clue what you are talking about.


25' Outrage - bought "Sea Drive Blank" as documented on this site. "re-powered"? No...you bought the boat without engines and powered it with Mercuries - something that people WISH They had opportunity to do today - buy a blank hull and power it how they wish - either from the dealer selling the boat or another dealer.

Your 18' Outrage recently repowered with twin 90's. Great. From which dealer did you purchase those smokey motors? They came "new" never used, never titled - from a private party.

21' Outrage - "repowered" well, true to a point - but you didn't buy new motors, you swapped from another boat (18' Outrage).

19' Outrage - same deal - the 150 Black Max came from your 21.

So..in all of this "repowering" YOU have done, you've bought two motors from an individual seller and swapped motors for the rest. I'll give you credit for the 25' though - you did need to replace the stolen originals, didn't you?

How long ago was that?!

The guy wants a 4-stroke 90, and he specifically doesn't want Evinrude E-TEC or Mercury Anything.

Move on!

Tohsgib posted 08-31-2009 12:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Look at the new 70, 80, 90hp Suzukis, lightest of the bunch at 341 lbs.

Use this as a benchmark but you can beat their prices:

http://www.edsmarinesuperstore.com/suzuki_outboards.htm

weekendwarrior posted 08-31-2009 02:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for weekendwarrior  Send Email to weekendwarrior     
bloller, I don't know where you get your info, but 60hp on a montauk 17 is fine. I have a 50hp on mine and we frequently take it wakeboarding with a full boat and it works great. Even pulled a slolem skier a couple weeks ago just fine, with 3 audults and 2 kids still in the boat. Also tried pulling one of those large multi-person tubes, and in that case it really could have used more hp. Anyway, so as not to hijack this thread, search this site for many of my past posts detailing performance of my boat with a 50hp.
Appleton68 posted 08-31-2009 04:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Appleton68  Send Email to Appleton68     
I went through the same thing two years ago & I concluded, it boils down to what you are comfortable with. I ended up being primarily concerned with the weight issue with the 4 strokes and bought a new 90 hp 2 stroke Yamaha. Other people are not concerned about the weight issue.
bloller posted 08-31-2009 06:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for bloller  Send Email to bloller     
I have a 60hp on my 16' and it is plenty of power for me and my uses. I'm glad you are happy with a 50hp but when I have a bunch of passengers I always wish I had more horsepower.
jimh posted 08-31-2009 08:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It is a hopeless situation for Mercury dealers and their mechanics. Mercury has so many motors out there that it is impossible--well, very difficult--for a dealer to have:

--parts in stock
--trained and certified mechanics
--specialized diagnostic hardward and software
--experience

with all of their many motors. The line-up of just recently sold Mercury motors includes:

--old-fashioned Mercury throwback high-emission motors with simple carburetors, simple ignition, simple systems;

--enhanced old-fashioned high-emission motors with simple electronic fuel injection from the 1970's;

--OptiMax motors;

--Yamaha-made power head motors with a Frankenstein combination of Yamaha mechanical and Mercury electrical; including some with carburetors, and some with fuel-injection;

--Verado in-line four and in-line six motors motors with superchargers, electro-hydraulic steering, SmartCraft instrucmentation;

--Veradito motors without superchargers;

--Tohatsu-made four-cycle motors

As for E-TEC motors, just about every Evinrude dealer sells them, services them, and has parts for them

number9 posted 09-01-2009 03:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for number9  Send Email to number9     
No slight to Mercury intended here.

"--Yamaha-made power head motors with a Frankenstein combination of Yamaha mechanical and Mercury electrical; including some with carburetors, and some with fuel-injection;"

Every thing below the power head on the Y/M 4-strokes was also Mercury and different except for the years Mercury rebadged the higher HP models.

Peter posted 09-01-2009 07:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Given that maintenance is the number two criteria and that NausetDog (ND) "[w]ant[s] something that doesn't cost a fortune to do the annual fall and spring preventive maintenance", and that ND already has an Evinrude on the transom, I'm surprised that the Evinrude E-TEC is not in contention.

Regarding annual fall and spring preventative maintenance, the E-TEC is the easiest and least costly by a long shot. To winterize the E-TEC, you simply turn the key and wiggle the throttle according to the instructions and the E-TEC winterizes the powerhead itself. None of the 4-cycle outboards can do that. With the 4-cycle, you are definitely looking an end of season oil change to get rid of any water in the oil. If you are not doing the oil change, that is a service trip to the dealer.

Given that there is an Evinrude already on the transom, the changeover cost to a Yamaha or other brand will be higher because the current controls can't be used. It will also provide the least upset to the weight balance of the boat.

prj posted 09-01-2009 10:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
While we're ignoring your stated criteria, injecting irrelevant and long winded swipes at Mercury using words with a negative connotation like "FrankenSchteen" and carping amongst ourselves at your expense, have you considered repowering with one of those Yanmar diesel outboards?
Tohsgib posted 09-01-2009 01:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
The new Suzukis are 20lbs heavier than an e-tec, weight is nolonger an issue, nor should it be. I was shocked at much smoother my Montauk rode after replacing the 260lb Yamaha with a 359 Suzuki 70hp. The extra weight takes the pounding out of that hull big time. The fuel savings of almost 50% did not suck either and I only lost 2-3mph at top end. The 90 2 stroke is great combo but I would not opt for it over todays technology. I also do not think that saving $200 on a set of controls is going to be a deal breaker with an Evinrude. I personally would not want 20+ year old controls on my newly repowered boat. Lastly I think the new 80hp Suzuki at roughly $6k is the best bang for the buck out there.
Peter posted 09-01-2009 01:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
$200 for controls? Where? Try more like $450 for a Suzuki binacle control kit. That doesn't include the cables, wiring harness, or the labor for installation.

Most places will quote an installation charge 6 to 8 hours of labor at $100 per hour to derig and rerig. That's on top of the rigging hardware and miscellaneous materials cost.

I had no problem reusing my 20 year old OMC binacle control and the existing cables when I repowered my Outrage 18 from a 1985 Johnson 140 to a 2003 Johnson 150 a couple of years ago. Works just fine. Only thing I had to change was the wiring harness.

Buckda posted 09-01-2009 02:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Who cares? He doesn't want an E-TEC or a Mercury.
Peter posted 09-01-2009 02:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
You're right. Just surprised that the E-TEC isn't even given a look.

Given that all the 4-strokes will meet the selection criteria, what I think ND should do is call each of the local 4-stroke brand dealers tell them he bent the propshaft and find out how long it will take to get a new one. Whomever has the quickest, honest turn around wins. My bet would be placed on Yamaha.

Tohsgib posted 09-01-2009 03:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Dealer wanted $450 for controls on both my Evinrude and Suzuki...E-Bay was $200 and $150 respectively new in the box. Tach was $169 as well...under $50 shipped to my door. There is a reason we call them stealerships. You can usually haggle with the dealer and get them down under $300 for controls and keep both parties happy.
L H G posted 09-02-2009 01:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
This thread points out the withering competition the US manufacturers are facing from the Japanese, with continual new engine designs. A much more complicated and sophisticated Suzuki 4-stroke 90 weighing only 20 pounds more than an Evinrude 2-stroke DFI, and 45 pounds less than an Optimax 90? And I'll bet it costs less too?

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