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Author Topic:   Outrage 25: Re-power to Single Engine from Twin Engines
unsinkable_2000 posted 02-08-2012 03:18 PM ET (US)   Profile for unsinkable_2000   Send Email to unsinkable_2000  
Considering an outrage 25 hull with twin merc 2 stroke 150's. Early 2000's models. I am thinking if i were to buy this boat and repowering with a 275-300 single screw in either a verado, etec or perhaps a yamaha. I am wondering how this may pan out. Thoughts on change in performance, fuel economy. Would a single cleaner engine save on fuel or work harder and therefore burn more? Any thoughts or speculations would be great.
jimh posted 02-08-2012 05:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
My boat, a REVENGE 22 W-T Whaler Drive, is only a few inches shorter than an OUTRAGE 25. When I re-powered with a modern two-cycle engine that replaced a classic two-cycle carburetor engine, the fuel economy improved significantly. The best I could average with the older engine was 1.8-MPG. I now average over 3-MPG with the modern engine. That is an improvement of 1.2-MPH, which is an improvement of 67-percent. Based on this, and also on the reports of others who have bought modern two-cycle engines to replace older engines, you should see at least a 50-percent improvement in fuel economy, that is, if you were now getting 2-MPG the fuel economy would improve to 3-MPG.

You should not anticipate that you can recover the cost of the upgrade in saved fuel expense, unless you operate the boat a very high number of hours per year.

The cost of twin engines will likely be higher than a single engine, but, since your boat is already rigged for twin engines, you might encounter extra expense in converting to a single, or, conversely, you might save some expense in staying with twins.

unsinkable_2000 posted 02-08-2012 07:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for unsinkable_2000  Send Email to unsinkable_2000     
Yes I understand converting back to a single may cost a little more, I am also apprehensive on how sometimes running twin engines can be a bit quirky. I had twin optis on my Frontier 25 and were reliable however smartcraft gauges were extremely sensitive and had to do a lot of tweaking. I'm wondering fuel economy of a cleaner new engine vs pair of older two smokes??
Buckda posted 02-08-2012 08:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
You can't compare twin old technology two strokes vs a single new technology engine. The new technology will win even if you repower with twin new technology engines. Re: fuel economy, the old technology will lose every time.

Resale on a 25 will be impacted with a big single vs. twins.

You may wish to raise the transom some and buy a 30" shaft single if you go with a big single - so add that into your calculations/considerations.

Personally, I'd hang a pair of E-TEC or OptiMax 150's on there, perhaps slightly used motors to save a bit on cost, but ONLY if the current motors are so tired that they're unreliable. You will not likely recoup the cost to repower either way if you go on fuel economy gains alone, unless fuel reaches more than 6.00 / gallon - which isn't out of the realm of possibility if you buy on the water.

I'd love a pair of E-TEC's on my 25' Outrage Cuddy, but I'm sticking with the low-hour 130 Johnson Ocean Pros, because, well - gas is still relatively inexpensive and new power is so expensive when compared and analyzed with no "emotional" involvement.

Engine reliability, peace of mind and owner preference are the only real reasons to repower to new technology engines, except in the few locations where regulations mandate their use.

I know for fact that the guys on the Whaler marketplace facebook page generally consider a big Whaler with a big single engine a net "negative" when they pop up on the used boat market - and I know that I skipped a local 25' Outrage Cuddy for one more than 1,000 miles away, in part, due to the power on the transom *single Evinrude 225, vs. twin 130's*.

Good luck in your decisions.

jimh posted 02-08-2012 09:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
A boat larger than 25-feet needs twins. A boat smaller than 25-feet is usually a single engine power set-up. A boat around 24 to 25 feet is right at the at the break point. With modern single engine power now at 300-HP, you can drive a 25-foot boat to significant speed with a single engine. With twin 150-HP, you're at the same speed. I speculated that twin 150-HP power might be a thing of the past in

Twin 150-HP: A Thing of the Past

Everything said in that thread is applicable to this situation. Read the thirty or more comments in that discussion.

Buckda posted 02-08-2012 09:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
The best post in that thread linked above, is the one where LHG indicated he'd repower his 18 with a single Verado. I believe that boat sports a new pair of twin 90's.

unsinkable_2000 posted 02-08-2012 10:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for unsinkable_2000  Send Email to unsinkable_2000     
Jim, Those were some great posts in that link. More food for thought. Thanks
crow posted 02-09-2012 05:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for crow  Send Email to crow     

Here are some performance numbers that I recorded a year and a half ago on my Outrage 25 powered with a Suzuki 300.

Owtrayj25 posted 02-09-2012 09:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Owtrayj25  Send Email to Owtrayj25     
I don't think we are going to see the twin 150 HP engine set up drift into the sunset quite yet. At least as long as they make 25' offshore fishing rigs. Here on the East coast, twin 150 rigging is by far the preferred set-up for this popular size Sportfish boat. Parker, Grady White, Pursuit...they all offer larger, single engine set-up and the preferred twin 150 HP engine rigging.

Some will argue they would prefer a large, single and a smaller kicker. But with today's euro-transoms, rigging a kicker becomes challenging. Years ago, with transoms either notched or otherwise squared off, a kicker could be easily added and more functionally blended into the main engine rigging. Not so much with today's transom designs. With increased fuel efficiency of today's larger 150 HP engines, particularly at trolling speeds, the fuel consumption argument becomes less of a factor as well.

And at the end of the day, the cost is just not that much less than a twin engine set-up.

Buckda posted 02-09-2012 09:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Also in that linked thread, a member speaks about his single-powered boat with great appreciation, however, when that particular boat was repowered, it emerged from surgery with...

When the rubber meets the road, I think twins are really preferred. A big single is almost always a cost decision, not a handling or performance one.

Perry posted 02-10-2012 02:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
That thread is a little over a year and a half old. Are you saying the he took of his new DF300 and repowered with twins?
Buckda posted 02-10-2012 05:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Sorry for any confusion. Here is the selection to which I am referring:

"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."

The 18 has twin 90's and the 21 has those twin 115's.

crow posted 02-10-2012 01:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for crow  Send Email to crow     
"When the rubber meets the road, I think twins are really preferred. A big single is almost always a cost decision, not a handling or performance one. "


Are you applying this statement specifically to the Outrage 25, or to classic Outrages in general, or to just certain sized boats?

Buckda posted 02-10-2012 06:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
My remark is my opinion aimed at similarly sized boats that were designed with twin 150 hP motors in mind when it comes time for original or subsequent owners to repower the vessel.

It is not observed with any prejudice for or against the decision, just an observation.

crow posted 02-10-2012 08:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for crow  Send Email to crow     
I hear ya Dave. I didn't take it that way. Just trying to figure out which models you were refering to.
If you're talking about a notched transom Outrage 25 then I somewhat disagree with your asertion. These boats were not specifically deisgned for twin 150hp engines. They had a 300hp max rating. I think that is an important distinction. In 1987 mounting twin 150 hp engines was the most practical way to get to the 300hp max rating. I believe Evinude/Johnson did make a 300hp outboard. And 25 years later this is obviously not the case with Evinrude, Mercury, Yamaha, and Suzuki all producing 300hp outboards.

I have no doubt that [cost] is a factor in some re-powering decisions, especially in these crappy economic conditions. I just don't think re-powering with a big single is "almost always a cost decision." I really think it is more of a needs or usage decision. I think people are now asking, "why do I really need twins on my Outrage 25?" Performance and fuel economy is not improved by twins. A modern 300-HP is going to be much lighter than a pair of 150s, especially four-strokes. Traveling 50-miles offshore might not be a consideration.

Look, I wouldn't re-power an Outrage 18 with twin 75's; an Outrage 20 with twin 100's; or an Outrage 22 with twin 115's. I'd re-power with a single 150, 200, and 250 accordingly. Along those same lines I did not re-power my Outrage 25 with twin 150's. I went with a single 300. It was a matter of want more so than cost. I think more people are starting to feel this way.

I'm not trying to re-hash all the pro's and con's of twins versus big single. If people feel more secure with twins, and they like the manuverabilty it provides them, great. Everbody uses their boat differently and has different priorities.

I think the introduction of the modern 300-HP and 250-HP outboard will change how people look at re-powering notched transom Outrage 25 boats going forward. I predict that the majority of re-powers will go in this direction.

jimh posted 02-11-2012 12:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I want to introduce a new sidebar to the discussion: the role of electronic controls in re-rigging. The use of electronic controls and instrumentation affects the scope and difficulty of changing rigging from twin to single or vice versa. I realized this when I converted my boat to electronic controls from conventional controls. When the conversion to electronic controls was finished, I realized that I could change over to twin engines from my single engine rather painlessly, at least compared to the old days of conventional mechanical remote controls and conventional engine rigging.

If I were to change to twin engines on my boat now, the engine wiring at the transom would be ludicrously simple. I would run one cable from the new engine to the existing ICON control hub. That would be the end of the rigging at the transom. (Of course I would have to connect battery cables, fuel and oil lines, and the steering, but in terms of the engine controls, wiring harnesses, and instrumentation harnesses, there is only one cable.)

At the helm I would change the single lever remote controls to twin lever controls. I'd have to get a new ignition key switch and start-stop panel, and I'd get a second tachometer, but the re-rig wiring could be done in a hour. The hardest part might be cutting a larger hole for the key switch panel.

With conventional mechanical controls and conventional engine instrumentation, converting to twins would take most of the summer. I think I could convert to twins in two days with ICON controls.

This has altered my thinking about converting to twin engines. Previously it looked like an excessive amount of work--not to mention expense--but now it seems to be only a very modest amount of work. Of course, the expense is still there.

Buckda posted 02-11-2012 04:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Crow -

I respectfully disagree with you re: the Outrage 25 with notched transom. This hull was introduced in the EARLY 1980's. My 1983 version has a 300 HP rating. Pretty much the only way you were getting 300 HP in the early 1980's was with twin 6 cylinder 150 HP motors. I think there was a short run with a souped up Mercury and the famous/infamous OMC V-8 300 HP beast, but most boats that were powered at the max rating had twin 150's on the hull.

I also respectfully disagree with JimH's assertion that propeller surface (and the subsequent performance/handling gains from that additional surface) is really close when comparing a 300 HP and twin 150's. Giving a hefty nod to modern propeller design and extra large gearcases available in the 300 HP motors, I'll be generous and say you'll have about 30 percent less surface area pushing water with a modern 300 HP vs a pair of modern 150's - since we're comparing repower options, both engines and propellers should be new, eh? Those modern propeller designs are helping out in the twin repower scenario too, n'est pas?

I also believe that some of the fuel efficiency gains from a single gearcase in the water are negated a bit from the extra lift available from more propeller surface in the water - but of course, you're running gas through two engines with twice the associated drag/losses from drivetrain, powerhead mass, etc. In the grand scheme of things, I don't think fuel efficiency gains are much.

Also, I know that 50 Percent of engine operating time is at idle speeds or less. If you're operating a boat with twins, that time can be on one engine or the other - meaning that if you're running a big single, you are putting about 25 percent more hours on your engine than you are on the twins, and there are associated savings with fewer hours of operations (maintenance, breakdowns, etc).

I will say that I believe that the decision to go with a single engine is more socio-economic than much else.

1) Social:
a) Persons purchasing a 25' Outrage in 1985 are likely akin to those who purchase the 32' Outrage today
b) The 25' Hull was Whaler's flagship in the 80's. Today, it's the 32' Outrage. Persons purchasing the flagship offshore vessel in Whaler's lineup are likely to go offshore...and will likely want twins or even triples, and have the means to pay the extra costs (see below)

2) Economic:
a) There is a certain expectation when buying a new boat of additional expense. The Big Outrages are well over 100,000 dollars, whereas the 1980's OUtrages were much less - say, 50/60 percent of that, fully rigged with top of the line gear.
b) Repowering a used vessel is often done by second or third owners, and the purchase cost of the boat on the used market was typically less, so repower costs, when considered in the mix are often a factor - twins are often more costly in terms of equipment than singles. Also, (and NOT always) persons buying on the used market are of more limited financial means than those buying new. In the Whaler world, this is somewhat offset by the loyal following for the classic designs - but I believe that the demographics of the owners in a broad sense help skew the repower options to a more cost-conscious decision.

a) Some people will sacrifice economics for things they feel are important and have value. And others either won't, or don't assign the same level of value to the extra expense of repowering with twins.

Again - it's a personal decision and God knows I don't find fault with that. I just recently caught quite a bit of flak here for making a homemade engine lifting ring to save $100. :)

I do find it interesting that LHG, despite his initially considering going with a new modern single for his 18' Outrage ended up repowering with new old-technology twins. For him, I doubt it was a cost consideration, given his penchant for meticulous restorations and rigging. There was something else driving that decision.

In conclusion - I don't think there is a "right" answer, but it is interesting to see this unfold as the demographics of the operators/owners change.

Sfef84 posted 02-12-2012 03:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sfef84  Send Email to Sfef84     
Unsinkable- The answer to your question lies in the answer to this qurstion: How far offshore do you travel (if at all)?

My buddies have a 240 Outrage with twin 150hp 4 strokes that we routinely fish over 100nm offshore from Freeport TX. Last trip was over 200nm round trip. We press the ignition switch is used a total of 2 times every trip, once to turn them on and the second to turn them off once we return.

If your using your Outrage for coastal cruising, a single may be your answer.

dgoodhue posted 02-12-2012 08:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for dgoodhue  Send Email to dgoodhue     
I pretty much what buckda wrote is spot on.

I have never seen a single OMC v8 installed in classic whaler beside the 27'. I went to all of the Boston boat shows in the 80's and I have never seen the big v6 Mercury in the show or on the water. I get the feeling is was more of a racing motor that one might see on offshore cigarette style boat especially with the above water exhaust option.

MDI posted 02-12-2012 01:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for MDI  Send Email to MDI     
Go to my profile to see a 1989 25' Revenge WT with a 1989 V8 300hp Johnson. This is the only engine that's ever been on the boat.


crow posted 02-12-2012 02:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for crow  Send Email to crow     

I think I may have been unclear in my first paragraph. First, I know that the Outrage 25 was introduced in the early 80s. Actually it was first introduced in 1980 as the V24. I arbitrarily used the 1987 date for the sake of the discussion. I also may have confused people when I brought up the 1987 Johnson 300hp outboard. I actually wrote that sentence in parenthesis (jimh changed it) and only mentioned it as a side thought so people wouldn’t nitpick about my point which was:
“These boats were not specifically designed for twin 150hp engines. They had a 300hp max rating. I think that is an important distinction. In 1987 (or 1980 or 1983 or 1985) mounting twin 150 hp engines was the most practical way to get to the 300hp max rating.”
Maybe I should have said the ONLY way. (Even though not technically accurate.)
I believe you said the exact same thing:
“Pretty much the only way you were getting 300 HP in the early 1980's was with twin 6 cylinder 150 HP motors.”
Again this is NOT the situation in 2012 as Evinrude, Mercury, Yamaha, and Suzuki all make 300hp engines. People are no longer forced to power these hulls with twin engines to get the maximum performance from the boat.

In your third paragraph you said:
“I don't think fuel efficiency gains [from a single engine] are much.”
Great. Therefore you would certainly agree with my statement:
“…fuel economy is not improved by twins.”

In your fourth paragraph I think you are trying to somehow rationalize that twins engines on an Outrage 25 will be less expensive to maintain and will have less mechanical issues in the long term compared to a single 300hp. I disagree. I am not buying your “50% running time” theory.

I agree with your statement:
“Persons purchasing the flagship offshore vessel in Whaler's lineup are likely to go offshore...and will likely want twins or even triples…”
I think it’s also accurate to say that in 2012, many people purchasing Outrage 25 hulls are not necessarily looking to own a ‘twin engine’ or ‘offshore’ boat.
I don’t agree that people are sacrificing quality or value if they choose to re-power with a modern single 300hp engine. Modern 300hp engines give people a choice that they never had in the past. I believe re-powering decisions often come down to how the boat owner uses his boat and what his needs are. I think Stef84 is essential saying the same thing. Again, I predict that the majority of notched transom Outrage 25s will be re-powered with large single outboards.

Buckda posted 02-12-2012 03:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
My 50% running time at idle statement isn't theory - it's a secret that my own engines tattled on me a few years ago via the Engine Report from my 18' Outrage with twin 90 HP engines.

JimH posted that data in his article (to which I'll post a link in a minute).

I agree that engine quality doesn't differ between twin or single rigged boats. I think that the demographics of people buying 25' boats is much different than it was in the 1980's.. despite the current economic conditions, Americans have more wealth and spend more on items like boats than they did in the 1980's. In the 1980's, nobody would have thought to put much more than 100 HP on a 25' Pontoon boat, but now we have tri-toons with 500 HP plus that will leave most Boston Whaler boats in their wake.

Times have changed.

Incidentally, if you have a good mechanic and want a deal, there's a 300 HP E-TEC on E-Bay for sale right now for 3,500 dollars.

Buckda posted 02-12-2012 03:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda
crow posted 02-12-2012 03:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for crow  Send Email to crow     
I'm not doubting that 50% of your running time was at idle. I'm doubting your theory that this somehow translates into twin 150s being cheaper to maintain and more trouble free than a single 300.

Thanks for the heads up on the engine

Buckda posted 02-12-2012 03:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
First, I didn't make that assertion - I simply pointed out that operating on a single engine would translate to lower total hours for your twin engines than having to always operate a single engine.

But since you brought maintenance in, I guess we're back to a cost decision.

Like I said - no big deal, but it is what it is.

BigDaddyWhaler posted 02-12-2012 05:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for BigDaddyWhaler  Send Email to BigDaddyWhaler     
I spend countless hours out in the ocean fishing. Having both motors hanging off the back is just a little extra insurance. Plus when it is time to repower I'll raise the transom to accomdate twin 25" shafts. I like having twins.
jimh posted 02-12-2012 05:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Operators of large ships know what engine configuration is the most economical to operate: single engine. That is why most large ships are designed with single engines. Military ships have twin engines for reasons of speed, redundancy, and maneuvering. The military does not particularly care about costs. If you want lower cost and better fuel economy, follow the commercial ship operators and get a single engine.

The redundancy of twin engines can be a benefit in twin engine installations, but often there is not complete redundancy in the installation of twin engines on many recreational boats. For complete redundancy you need isolated systems, including isolated fuel systems and isolated electrical systems. Often the fuel or electrical systems are mingled together somewhere.

Peter posted 02-12-2012 06:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
In the days of the modern, fuel efficient outboards, you cannot count on a single large outboard necessarily delivering better fuel economy than twin smaller outboards.


Regarding redundancy, the Outrage 24/25 was originally equipped with two 70 gallon tanks and each of the 2-stroke motors required no external electrical system to operate. I'm not sure whether the 70 gallon tanks were replaced by a single 140.

If I were in the market for an Outrage 25, I would seek one out that had twin outboards on the transom.

Sfef84 posted 02-13-2012 02:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sfef84  Send Email to Sfef84     
I am so sick of the "commercial ships only use one engine" argument.

Its not an apples to apples comparison at all.

a)They have dedicated crewman that are mechanics with all the supplies/tools they could ever need.

b)They are not planing hulls

c)Their propulsion systems are highly engineered and built for decades of use

d)On some engines, the crankshaft only turns 100rpm at cruising speed (vs 5,000RPM for outboards)

e)A lot of the engines used can be completely maintained while underway, even so far as cylinder repairs without shutting down.

f) Meticulous maintenance schedules that are required by law.

jimh posted 02-13-2012 09:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Sfef84 says,

"I am so sick of the 'commercial ships only use one engine' argument."

That's great, but you failed to make one argument that shows that two engines will be better. Please try again.

jimh posted 02-13-2012 09:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Peter--The GRADY-WHITE performance data you pointed to is interesting; it shows the twin 150-HP engine rig gets better fuel economy. GRADY-WHITE probably cooked those numbers to sell the more expensive option. Call me a skeptic.
tmann45 posted 02-14-2012 12:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for tmann45  Send Email to tmann45     
And the twin 150's have a faster WOT.

Very interesting.

Peter posted 02-14-2012 12:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
I doubt Grady cooked the numbers on the twins. On the contrary, I would expect them to cook the numbers in favor of a single outboard as the boat rigged with a single is cheaper and with a cheaper price they have a greater chance of selling a new boat which is what they are in business to do.

jimh posted 02-14-2012 02:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I am surprised by the propeller selection in the GRADY-WHITE performance tests:

--Twin 150-HP used 17-pitch propeller, 13.75-inch diameter; MPG 2.46

--Single 300-HP used 19-pitch propeller, 15.25-inch diameter; MPG 2.37

--Single 350-HP used 17-pitch, 16.25-inch diameter; MPG 2.2

Perhaps Dave's theory of greater propeller lift from twin propellers is working in this case.

crow posted 02-14-2012 06:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for crow  Send Email to crow     
Peter--the last I checked we are posting on continuouswave. Let's leave the Grady White Freedom 255, Fisherman 255, 'I Don't Care If My Boat Sinks' crowd out of this. Here are my ACTUAL performance numbers on a notched transom Outrage 25 re-powered with a 300 Suzuki.

Maybe someone out there with twin 150s on their notched transom Outrage 25 can post their performance numbers and we can compare them? Preferably those who have re-powered their notched transom Outrage 25s with twin 150 four strokes or E-TEC's.

Peter posted 02-14-2012 08:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
My oh my, why all the hostility towards Grady White? ;)

Ok, now that I have your attention, how about a comparison of the big single versus twins on a 25 foot "this doesn't have one bit of resemblance to the Down East character of an original Boston Whaler Outrage" 250 Outrage.

250 Outrage with a 300 HP Verado -- best cruise economy is 2.23 MPG at 4000 RPM and 24.7 MPH


250 Outrage with a pair of 150 HP Verados -- best cruise economy is 2.35 MPG at 4000 RPM and 26.5 MPH.

See EnginePerformance/268468_EnginePerf.pdf

Interestingly, even the twin Verado 225 configured 250 Outrage turns in a cruise MPG which is merely 0.1 MPG less than the 250 Outrage configured with a single Verado 300.

Now the single 300 gets better fuel economy at trolling speed than the twin 150 or twin 225 configured 250 Outrages but not the twin 200 configured 250 Outrage. However, that can be easily remedied by shutting off one of the 150, 200s or 225s of the twin configured boats and tilting the gearcase out of the water. Essentially, by shutting off one of the two outboards you "match" engine displacement with load (the Cadillac V8-6-4 effect, remember those) and if you alternate this between the two outboards on the transom, you can keep the hours down on your outboards and increase the time between oil and filter changes.

So, going back to the original request for "thoughts on change in performance, fuel economy", if you are considering powering a 25-foot boat with a single large outboard because you think you will save fuel, you may want to look at that closer. While you will save some money in capital cost and may save some on maintenance, you will be trading off dockside manuverability and with a single propeller, likely some heavier load carrying capacity due to the smaller propeller surface area. You are also giving up some redundancy benefit.

If I were in the market for an Outrage 25 that needed repowering, I would consider powering it with a pair of 150 E-TECs [for their] high power-to-weight ratio, NMEA 2000 compatibility, fly-by-wire upgradable at any time, low transom profile, and auto-storage mode.

jimh posted 02-17-2012 08:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Peter--Thank you for the data you found from Boston Whaler, in which we can make a comparison of the same boat being run with a big single engine and then with twin engines of the same total power. Again the data show that the fuel economy of the twin engines is actually better than with a single engine of double the horsepower.

Crow--Thank you for pointing to your data in which you give results with a single engine. It is hard to make an inference about the results that might be obtained with twins on your boat without presuming the trend of fuel economy, which is precisely what is under discussion here.

I have to say I am surprised with these reliable boat reports where single and twin power is compared on moderate v-hull boats around 25-foot length.

As for the engine running time, we can look at the situation of twins and single engine as follows. First, we assume that half of the total boat operating time will be at displacement speed. This is a reasonable assumption based on the engine history reports from modern engines. Second, we assume that whenever operating at displacement speed only one of the twin engines will be running. And, finally, we assume that we will perfectly balance the operating time between the two engines.

If a boat runs for 100 hours with twins, then engine A and engine B will each accumulate 50-hours when the boat is above displacement speed. When the boat is at displacement speed, A and B will each accumulate 25 hours. The total engine running time for A and B is thus 75-hours, and the total engine time for the boat is thus 150-hours.

Of course, a boat with a single engine running for 100-hours accumulates 100-hours of engine time. Thus we see that the twin engine running time could perhaps be less of a burden that one might think at first glance. The twins will not accumulate twice as much time as single, and each of the twin engines might actually accumulate only about 75-percent as much time. That depends on the operator being very diligent about sharing the running time between them when at displacement speed and running on only one engine.

The possibility for a decrease in running time on each of the twin engines might suggest a reduction in maintenance, but one should also consider the seasonal nature of most maintenance. If you are a typical 100-hour-per-season-or-less boater, the savings in running hours on the twins might never actually reduce your maintenance. You'd be doing the seasonal maintenance anyways.

As for the general argument about single and twins, we ought to be guided by some boats smaller than 25-foot. If twins were eminently attractive, we would see a lot of smaller boats powered by twin engines. For example, an 18-footer--do we see a lot of 18-foot Boston Whaler boats with twin engines? There are a few, but the great majority of 18-footers are powered by a single. This observation tells me that the single engine choice is preferred in most cases when there is a single engine of sufficient power. I don't see anything different when you get to 25-foot boats. Now that there are 300-HP single engines--plenty of power for a 25-foot boat--you are going to see more 25-foot boats powered with a single engine.

I think the only way the boat length factors into the decision about single or twin engine selection is when the boat length enables the boat to be operated far offshore. One is more likely to set off 50-miles into open water in a 25-footer than in an 18-footer, and the 50-mile offshore operating conditions would tend to favor twin engines for redundancy.

L H G posted 02-17-2012 01:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
I don't like going out on big water, whether it be Ocean or Great Lakes, without the company of another boat, with a single engine boat, period. I do it in my Montauk and 19 Outrage, but am never completely comfortable about it.There are just too many things that can happen.

I see Sea Tow towing boats all the time, and they are always single engine rigs, with all types and brands of power, new and old. Getting towed in, waitng several hours for service, with all the other risks of being stranded off shore, 1 mile or 50 miles, in good or bad weather, assuming they are even within your area of breakdown, is not my idea of a good day on the water.

Let's be honest here, the only reason for a single engine rig for offshore use is cheaper cost, initially, and for fuel and maintenance, period. Or the boat only has a single engine transom.

My only problem with the new 190 and 210 Montauk designs, is the single engine transom so that stern quarter seats can be included. They are a great place to sit and get wet while all the time having the engine sound up close and in your ear! What were they thinking?

Sfef84 posted 02-17-2012 04:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sfef84  Send Email to Sfef84     
People need to understand that it [i.e., the failure of an engine on a boat] is not a question of if, but when. Accidents are not planned. It [i.e., the decision to use single or twin engines,] comes down to the level of risk adversity a boater is comfortable with. I have twin 70's on my Raider and wouldn't trade them for a single four-cycle engine.
Peter posted 02-17-2012 06:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
"Now that there are 300-HP single engines--plenty of power for a 25-foot boat--you are going to see more 25-foot boats powered with a single engine."

I disagree. I believe that at least 9 out of 10 prudent purchasers of a new Outrage 250, with 9 foot beam and 5000+ lb dry weight (7000+ lb loaded operating weight) and a $100,000+ MSRP tag doing appropriate due diligence would choose twin 150 HP FourStroke outboards versus a single 300 HP Verado. The new 150 FourStroke outboards would add maybe $5,000 to the total price over the base price with a single 300 Verado, if that, and the total driveability of the boat both at the dock and on plane would be greatly improved.

The single 300 HP powered Outrage 250s would most likely be the boat show low price special sold to a first time unsuspecting purchaser.

jimh posted 02-17-2012 09:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
As 300-HP engines go, the VERADO is the smallest displacement. I would argue against it being replaced by twins on a really big 25-footer like the new Boston Whaler.
Peter posted 02-17-2012 10:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
If the Verado is a bad example because of its small displacement, then at the risk of mentioning the apparently dirty word "Grady White", go back and take a look at the data for the generously proportioned single Yamaha 350 with 5.3L of displacement versus the pair of Yamaha F150s (with nearly equal displacement and cylinders as the F350) on the 25 foot Grady White hull. The F350 falls quite short on cruising efficiency. The smaller F300 (with a still generous 4.2L of displacement) also falls short of the twin F150's efficiency.

jimh posted 02-18-2012 06:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The comparison of the VERADO 300-HP with its 2.7-liter displacement with twin VERADOSAURUS 150-HP engines, each having a larger 3.0-liter displacement is unusual. The twin engines have a total of 6-liters of displacement while the single engine has only 2.7-liters. The VERADO probably has to run in a region of its power curve where it is using a lot of boost pressure and its fuel economy is suffering.

The comparison with the Yamaha engines is more apples-to-apples. The F150 has a displacement of 2.67-liters, for a total of 5.34-liters. The V8 has 5.3-liters, so it should be a better comparison of the engines. If the twin F150 boat still has better fuel economy, then I am impressed.

jimh posted 02-18-2012 06:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Sfef84 says:

People need to understand that it [i.e., the failure of an engine on a boat] is not a question of if, but when.

This prompts me to ask the twin-engine owners in this discussion to recount for us the number of times they were offshore and one of their twin engines failed, requiring them to return to port on a single engine. I particularly am interested to hear from L H G, as he has many years of experience and almost always with twin engines. If engine failure is inevitable, it should have happened to L H G by now.

Peter posted 02-18-2012 08:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
The Whaler performance comparisons are not between the 3.0L 150 FourStroke but rather the 1.7L Verado 150s.

To the extent that Whaler's Outrage 250 and Grady White's data provide is not enough, one can see yet another similar datapoint with Whaler's Conquest 255 performance data (see EnginePerformance/268459_EnginePerf.pdf . In that data, the pair of Verado 150s are also an equal match for the single Verado 300 at cruise speeds. The Verado 300 does better at WOT but that can be explained, at least in part, by the fact that the Verado 150s are 2005, 3-Star vintage and the Verado 300 is 2007, 2-Star vintage. Some may recall that Mercury made a change to the Verado (Gen II) in 2007 which knocked the emissions rating down a peg. The result was better fuel consumption above 4500 RPM (a criticism of the Gen I Verado).

Besides paying attention to the data showing comparable fuel efficiency, take a look at the time to plane and idle-30 MPH data. Much better for the twin powered boats. Not surprising given that there is more displacement with the twin powered boats and more propeller surface area. The combination of greater displacement and greater propeller surface area should translate into a 25 foot boat that is much more responsive to throttle input commands both at the dock and on plane.

newt posted 02-18-2012 09:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for newt  Send Email to newt     
I'm new to this discussion, but will jump in and respond to Jim's question.

I have a 25 foot hull with twin engines. In the few years I have owned this particular boat, I have returned to port twice on one engine due to intermittent electrical problems. One time, I left the dock, boated near shore all day and then returned with only one working engine. With the old engines (1992) I own, twins are mandatory, in my opinion. With a new, modern engine, I would not worry so much, but probably would not venture 25 miles straight out, with no buddy boat, as I do now occasionally unless I also had a kicker.

I would love to slap a pair of new twins on the back of my Revenge, but the high cost has kept me from doing so. I have only spoken to a couple dealers about re-powering with E-TEC motors and the price difference between twins and a big single is quite large. The best deal I found so far for a big single (E-TEC 250), complete with the required new rigging and labor was around $16k. Loose quotes to re-power with twin 150's is close to $30k although I have not negotiated this much. I think it is easier to find a deal (left overs, etc) on a single then it is to find a deal on twins.

The other advantage to twins is the decreased draft. Re-powering with a single engine and no bracket, would add 5" to the draft of my boat. 5" is significant in my mind as I often pull up to sand bars, beaches, and also fish the flats.

L H G posted 02-18-2012 11:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
Newt - That twin E-tec quote is ridiculous, and the single quote is too high also. You can install a pair of the new 3.0 liter Merc 150EFI 4-strokes for 21K complete with shipping and no sales tax. Just priced them out for my rig.

Not that it's still a lot of money! New engines are expensive.

Buckda posted 02-18-2012 01:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
JimH -

To answer your question above, Once.

That was enough, and it wasn't a huge deal other than the concern in my mind about the second engine failing as well the rest of the way to port. Fortunately, I was close to port when it happened.

Oh, and you were there, remember?

Buckda posted 02-18-2012 01:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Come to think of it, you may not recall the incident because the very presence of a second motor made it such a "non-issue" There was no drama, there was no request for you or HOMEASIDE to tow me in, I simply came in under my own power.

jimh posted 02-18-2012 06:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Dave--I don't recall your engine trouble. I guess we've done so much boating together there is too much water under the keel to remember every day.

Newt--I don't count electrical problems as engine failure. I am talking about one engine of a twin engine rig failing mechanically to an unrepairable state while offshore.

Ironically, the only engine problems I have had offshore have occurred with my old twin engine boat. Once a spark plug wire fell off, causing one of the engines to run poorly on the remaining cylinders. A second time, the safety lanyard switch on one engine became loose. It did not fall out of the switch, but it did manage to kill the engine. The engine was actually running perfectly, but the jarred lanyard clip was displaced just enough to stop it. In both instances I investigated the problem, found the cause, and applied the remedy myself. I will say that I did this at the dock after coming back on one engine, but I think I probably could have applied the same remedies while still out on the water. But I do not count these as engine failures. They were just minor engine problems.

I do agree that I am hesitant to go far offshore on a single engine boat without any buddy boats. A few years ago we were heading out into the Atlantic Ocean near Hilton Head. It was on a weekday. We were by ourselves. The weather was not great, and there were almost no other boats around. I looked out at that big ocean and decided instead we'd just stay in the Atlantic Intracoastal Water Way. I did not feel comfortable going out there in strange water by myself, and the single engine boat did not help make me more confident, either.

Peter posted 02-18-2012 06:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Larry, of course you know that you are comparing apples to oranges. Instead of a quote for a turn key system, your quote is for engines only -- no controls, no gauges, no miscellaneous items, no labor, no tax.

I had a gearcase failure in the first 5 hours of my ownership of my Whaler 27 WD forcing me to come in on one motor (the motor itself had 100 hours on it but the gearcase did not). BRP replaced the failed Offshore counter-rotating gearcase with a more robustly built Magnum counter-rotating gearcase under warranty and I haven't had a problem since.

At approximately 450 hours, I had a starter motor go bad on the same motor forcing me to come back to home port on one motor. There was absolutely NO advance warning that the starter was failing. Too bad the motor wasn't conveniently pull startable.

And yes, a single Evinrude Ficht 225 has enough low end torque to put a Whaler 27 WD with a 10 foot beam on plane although I would avoid doing it if is not necessary.

SpongeBob posted 02-18-2012 06:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpongeBob  Send Email to SpongeBob     
I lost use of one of my two 120hp Evinrudes in the Gulf of Mexico late one summer afternoon, with thunderstorms looming on the horizon. The engine did not quit running but the lower unit exploded. With the second engine I was come back in on plane safe and sound. These are 1985 motors so theoreticly 1 new single engine is more reliable. But given the resources, which I don't have, I would repower again with new twins. Probably 90hp or 115hp Etecs due to their weight factor. Realisticly though when the tie time to repower comes I will look for two newer but used 115hp Yamaha 2 strokes.


newt posted 02-18-2012 07:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for newt  Send Email to newt     
Jim, By "intermittent electrical problem" I meant power pack shutdown/failure and loss of an engine. It took me two years to figure out what the problem was, because it only happened twice. I was 10 miles from the dock, with wife and kids, and very happy to have had the second engine to bring us home at 25-30 mph.

Larry, I haven't really talked serious turkey with anyone about the E-Tecs, so I believe that there are better prices to be found, but my costs would include controls, harnesses, and some instrumentation, as pointed out by Peter.

Buckda posted 02-18-2012 08:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
So, the decision to repower with a big single is never really one in which "peace of mind" trumps economics, it is generally one in which various factors are weighed, and economic factors and tolerance of risk combine to form a weighty adversary to repowering with two engines.


Disagreeable, but understandable.

God help the guy who buys LHG's 25' Outrage, wet slips her with bottom paint and repowers her with a 300 HP Suzuki.


L H G posted 02-18-2012 09:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
Dave, my will states that I shall be buried in and with my 25 Outrage!

Two engine "piece of mind" is what allows one to get out on the water, wherever and whenever you may choose, without worry of breaking down and having to be rescued and towed back to dock, or to the launching ramp, day or vacation ruined.

For many of my earlier years of boating, both on the East Coast and the Great Lakes, I ran a big single. Never had a problem. Then I personally experienced an "offshore event" in someone else's Montauk with a BRAND NEW ENGINE, that caused me to immediately purchase an 8HP kicker for my Nauset. My next boat was the twin engine Outrage 18, then the 25.

In '04, I found my Ribside, powered by a single Mercury 150 with low hours. Never had a problem with it (other than an alarm module), but was ALWAYS uncomfortable when out on big water without a buddy boat. Now it has twins and it feels like a whole new boating situation with the added "piece of mind". I feel it can take me anywhere I want to go.

Then I couldn't resist picking up my "barn find" Outrage 19 from an aging client, which had twin low HP engines, but of the "wrong" brand for me. He powered it with twins for the same reason, offshore in northern Lake Michigan. So I thought I'd try the single 150 on it, since that is what most people like, not even knowing if I'd keep the boat, initially planning to flip it. But since I can't part with it, and even though it runs well and fast, I now feel the same level of hesistation out on big water alone and in remote situations. So twin classic Merc power for the boat is now under consideration once again.

jimh posted 02-19-2012 06:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Having spent a considerable amount of time underway cruising with both a twin engine outboard boat and a single engine outboard boat, I can say that one of the attractions of the single engine boat is the elimination of the constant juggling of the throttles with twin engines that goes on when trying to keep their speed matched. Running a twin engine boat is a pain compared to a single engine boat in regard to the throttle controls. However, now that there are modern electronic controls available for modern outboard engines, like the Evinrude ICON controls for the E-TEC, it is possible to run twin engines when at cruising speeds with a single throttle control level and let modern electronics keep the engine speed synchronized. I am impressed with my ICON electronic controls; they have removed one objection I have had to going back to twin engines. With modern controls, twin engines will no longer be a constant distraction for the helmsman due to their wandering engine speed. For anyone planning to run twin engines, you must give very serious consideration to electronic controls.
L H G posted 02-19-2012 07:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
Jim - A pair of digital throttle shift Evinrude 130's would be nice cruising setup on your Revenge.
Peter posted 02-19-2012 09:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
ICON controls are not available for the 130s. It's available only on 2008 or newer 150 and up.

Perry posted 02-20-2012 03:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
Engine failure is often contributed to a problem with fuel or fuel delivery which would affect both motors unless separate fuel tanks are used.
Peter posted 02-20-2012 07:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Based on my experience, I believe a boat based fuel quality or fuel delivery problem has a low probability of causing motor failure or stranding offshore. If you have a load of bad fuel with water in it for example, chances are that you would find that out quickly in the beginning of a trip. I've had that happen more than once in my 30+ years of boating. You simply don't get far from the dock before you know you've got a problem with the fuel (usually water). If you are able to go a distance with the fuel in your tank, the probability is quite high that the fuel won't go bad nearly instantly to strand you offshore.

Regarding boat fuel system component failure, such as an anti-siphon valve, primer bulb, hose clamp or fuel hose collapse, as a cause of stranding -- each of the twin outboard motors, if properly rigged, have their own independent fuel delivery plumbing systems all the way to the tank. A failure of any one of those components would not shut both motors down.

I have had a motor based fuel system problem, namely the motor's lift pump fail which shut a motor down, but that's not the boat's fuel system and it would have nothing to do with the other motor. The lift pump failure actually didn't cause a stranding because squeezing the primer bulb was an adequate substitute for the lift pump to continue operating the motor to return to port. But we had a second motor to run back on while we figured out the situation.

jimh posted 02-20-2012 11:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
My Boston Whaler boat came from the factory rigged with a fuel system designed for twin engines. The only component of the fuel system which would be common if I had twin engines is the actual fuel tank. There are two pick-up tubes, two fuel fittings, and two fuel hoses.

I believe this was the Boston Whaler standard rigging, as my boat was eventually rigged with a single engine, not twins. On that basis I believe the dual fuel system was probably the standard installation. It would be interesting to know if most of the larger Boston Whaler boats are rigged as mine was, with a dual fuel system from a single fuel tank.

In my boat's fuel system, the common tank and the fuel in the tank would be the only element of the fuel system that was shared between engines. Other than the fuel in the tank, the engines should be able to operate independently of each other's fuel system.

A problem with bad fuel could occur after setting out from the shore. For example, a fuel filter could become blocked with crud from the fuel, shutting off fuel flow. However, this is not a special condition that occurs only in single engine or only in twin engine rigs, and the remedy should be available; everyone ought to be carrying a spare fuel filter.

jimh posted 02-20-2012 11:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Peter and Larry--Thanks for the suggestions on how I could spend $25,000 more on my current boat. The 130-HP V4 E-TEC would seem like a good fit, but if they can't be run with ICON controls they're not as desirable as I'd like. That pushes me to twin 150-HP engines, which would be 433-lbs, for a total of 866-lbs of engine on the transom. That is compared to my current 524-lbs, an increase of 342-lbs. It also puts me at maximum horsepower--and maximum price, too. I don't know that I am likely to make change. If I lived on the water and had a passion for fishing 50-miles offshore, perhaps I would. For my current style of boating, the single engine is sufficient. But it is an interesting topic for discussion.
Peter posted 02-20-2012 01:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
My former 1986 notched transom Revenge 22 Walk-Thru had two fuel pickups tubes, one of which went unused.

With twin outboards, there are two fuel filters. In all my years of boating, I have yet to have a clogged fuel filter shut a motor down.

Your Revenge 22 Whaler Drive was purposely built for twin 425 lb V6 outboards so weight on the transom is not and should not be considered an obstacle to a twin repower project now that you have laid the DTS pipeline. ;)

jimh posted 02-20-2012 06:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Peter--You mean the "ICON pipeline,' or at least I hope you do.
Peter posted 02-20-2012 07:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Well yes. I was referring to DTS pipeline in the "digital throttle & shift" generic meaning. The ICON is a digital throttle and shift system as opposed to a mechanical based analog system.

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