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Author Topic:   c.1985 MONTAUK Re-power For Water Skiing
Kelly posted 01-24-2015 11:17 AM ET (US)   Profile for Kelly   Send Email to Kelly  
I am planning to re-power a c.1985 Montauk 17. I have two conditions and would like to get comments. First, I would like to be able to pull a skier, about 6-foot 3-inch tall and 175-lbs on one ski. Second, what about installing a jack plate along with the new engine? I am on a lake in north Georgia.


jimh posted 01-31-2015 02:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If you want to have strong acceleration for pulling a skier, you can generally improve that by propeller selection. Usually the propeller pitch will be moved lower to help the engine accelerate more easily.

A 90-HP modern outboard engine is a good choice for a MONTAUK 17 for applications like water skiing.

An engine jack-plate generally provides two benefits:

--the engine mounting height can be more easily adjusted than with the usual direct on-transom mounting; some of jack-plates have a jack-screw threaded height adjuster that permits very fine height adjustment. Others just have slots no jack-screw. Fancier even still, some have hydraulic lifts that permit the engine height to be adjusted while underway.

--the engine is set back slight from the transom.

In regard to these benefits, my thinking is that the extra weight, extra cost, and extra complexity of a jack-plate are probably not needed for most application, and perhaps particularly so for water skiing applications.

I do not see the need to make perpetual adjustments of engine mounting height. Mounting height increments of 0.75-inch as provided by the standard mount on the engine ought to be sufficiently fine in their incremental height to allow you to dial-in the performance. Once you find the right height, I doubt you will need to continually change it while operating a MONTAUK.

As for the added set back distance, this is probably of marginal value--if any--unless you were to get a very long set back bracket. However, I don't think a MONTAUK transom is the best choice for long set back brackets.

Your location on an inland freshwater lake really does not affect my recommendations on engine propeller selection, engine power, engine mounting height, or use of a set-back bracket.

If I had a c.1985 MONTAUK and wanted to re-power it for water skiing, I would give the Evinrude E-TEC 90 H.O. a close look. It is a V4 engine.

A V4 OMC engine rated at 90-HP or sometimes 115-HP was a popular choice for the MONTAUK back in c.1985, and I think it would be a good choice today. Because you want to use the boat for water skiing, you will benefit from having the extra low-end power of the four-cylinder 90-HP.

contender posted 01-31-2015 07:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
You need at least a 90hp a 115hp would be better, Caution about the jack plate. If you choose to use one you need to take care, if you have hydraulic steering the cylinder will hit the plate when you raise the engine, unless you spend the bucks for a hydraulic set back with the lift kit in it. You can use a jack plate set back with the standard Teleflex type steering cable, this type does not interfere with the tilting of the engine...Trust me I went through all of this...
cc13 posted 02-01-2015 06:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for cc13  Send Email to cc13     
I have a 1972 hull with 90 Yamaha 2 stroke. Decent skiers below 150 are fine. As you approach 200 lbs, you will need a very good and strong skier, more horsepower than the 90, or get up on two and drop one. I weigh 205, I have to drop one.
Teak Oil posted 02-01-2015 07:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for Teak Oil  Send Email to Teak Oil     
I had a 1985 Montauk with a V4 90 Evinrude with a jack plate and it was great for skiing, the 100 cubic inch V4's have a ton of torque.

I would skip the jack plate, it is not beneficial to skiing and just gets in the way. Get a 90 with the highest displacement you can and you will have a good ski machine. Stay away from "small" 90s like the Yamahas and Tohatsu's, they are weak out of the hole where you need the power the most.

Kelly posted 02-01-2015 09:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for Kelly  Send Email to Kelly     
jimh, Thanks for moving my post to a new thread and getting the ball rolling on this topic.

I like the idea of not having a jack plate, you know, one less thing to worry about.

The 90 E-TEC seems like a great option. I think it would be hard for me to justify the extra 70-lbs for the high-output four-cylinder E-TEC over the in-line three-cylinder. I want to be able to pull a skier, but it is not like we ski that often.


cc13 posted 02-01-2015 08:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for cc13  Send Email to cc13     
I want to repower for water skiing, which is the thread title. The details of wanting to pull slalom a 175 lb 6'3" skier followed by "it is not like we water ski that often"---Lord

Real simple. If you want to pull up slalom you need 115 or a very good skier. If you can go two and drop, you can drop to 90, 70.

tedious posted 02-02-2015 08:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for tedious  Send Email to tedious     
Kelly, I don't own an E-TEC, but for the Montauk and other 17-footers, I think the E-TEC 90 is a great combination of power and reasonable weight.

If you were going to ski a lot, the 90 H.O. would be a good choice, but if not, I agree that the regular 90 would be better; it is smaller, lighter, probably slightly better mileage. You could always put on a different propeller for skiing, if you want to go to that trouble.


jimh posted 02-02-2015 09:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I like Tim's assessment. If you don't use the boat to pull up an adult skier on one water ski every day, just switch to a more suitable propeller when you want to have extra acceleration.
boatdryver posted 02-02-2015 10:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for boatdryver  Send Email to boatdryver     
Back in the day, it was common to have a second, shallower pitch prop for occasionally pulling a skier. We called them "ski props."


Qtrmeg posted 02-02-2015 12:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Qtrmeg  Send Email to Qtrmeg     
If I were re-powering a Montauk I would take a very hard look at the new Mercury 115-HP FOURSTROKE. It is about 30-lbs heavier than the E-TEC 90, but that is still reasonably light.

I also believe they can be had for less money than the E-TEC 90.

cc13 posted 02-02-2015 12:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for cc13  Send Email to cc13     
First, I would pick out the reputable dealer that you intend to use for service and maintenance. I would let them advise you on brand and options suitable for your purposes. I have known people that become enamored with something on the internet, for example, when E-TEC engines were first becoming popular; they'd drive 15 hours round trip to get it, and then six months later realize no one within 100 miles of them provided service. Find a good dealer and trust him. Don't overthink.

Back when I had a 17-foot SeaPro for skiing I settled on a 15-pitch prop and a whaletail. The whaletail does help; that is not fiction. Also, stainless propellers and even composites provide better stiffness than aluminum.

The north Georgia lakes, Rabun, Burton, Chatuge, etc., are deep water. I can't imagine a jack plate being needed since you are not skimming across some 12-inch Florida flat.

Bobs66 posted 02-02-2015 03:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bobs66  Send Email to Bobs66     
I have 66 Sakonnet with an 85 Yamaha (13.25x17 aluminum prop) and it pulls me up slalom with no problem and I don't have one of those new super fat skis.I am 190 lbs and not so strong anymore at 67.I also ski tandem with my daughter but we both start on 2 skis . I have skied with this boat with a 75 (v4) and 85 Evinrude .The v4 85 was probably the best ski set up but the 85 Yamaha has been more than adequate .I do trim it In a little to start.Good luck. Bob
Kelly posted 02-02-2015 08:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kelly  Send Email to Kelly     
I like the two prop idea. I also like the local dealer approach.

cc13, as far as the over think comment. I am bad about that.

As soon as I get a chance there are a few dealers that I will visit.


jimh posted 02-03-2015 09:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Regarding cc13's comments above about service, the Evinrude E-TEC engine is not a very good example for an engine that might be hard to find qualified service. The Evinrude product line consists almost entirely of E-TEC engines. The E-TEC technology is used across their entire range of engines, from 15-HP to 300-HP. (Evinrude does sell some small engines in the 10-HP and lower range that are not E-TEC engines.) As a result, a dealer who has a service department for the Evinrude E-TEC has only one technology to be familiar with, to keep parts for, to train his technicians on. The E-TEC is a very unified product line.

In contrast, a dealer who is providing service for Mercury must have a service department that will be qualified to work on six major product lines, all using different technology:

--the VERADO supercharged engines and the ProVERADO cousins,

--the ProXS engines (which used to be called OptiMax ProXS) and OptiMax engines using the Orbital Combustion Process under license,

--the non-supercharged FourStroke engines based on the VERADO (which we call the VERADITO to distinguish it),

--the FourStroke engines made by Tohatsu in Japan,

--the FourStroke engines made in China,

-- the FourStroke engines made in Wisconsin based on the 2.1-liter block, now colloquially called "the new FourStroke", and the similar 3.0-liter block FourStroke engines.

On that basis, I would not have any particular concern about the E-TEC engine being difficult to locate a qualified Evinrude dealer for service. I'd be more concerned about finding a Mercury dealer that was qualified to offer service on the much wider range of engine technologies that Mercury is presently selling. That is particularly true for the VERADO, which requires a dealer to have special training and certification just to sell and install the engine, let alone service it.

jimh posted 02-03-2015 09:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Advice to give consideration to the dealer who will sell you an engine and provide service for it in the future is good advice. When I bought a new engine in 2009 the major influence on my choice of engine was the dealer selling it and servicing it.

Engine brand popularity is quite variable by region. I have been boating in many different areas of the USA, and I have seen in certain locations a particular brand of engine will be represented well, while in other regions you never see that brand. I attribute those regional differences more to the influence of very successful dealerships than to any particular environmental influences. A very strong and dominant dealer or network of dealers in a region can cause a particular brand of engine to have very strong sales in that area.

Do not be mislead by what you see at boat shows. Boat shows are representative of new boat sales, not re-power sales. Re-powering a 30-year-old boat with a new outboard engine is a different market than buying a new boat with an engine the boat builder favors. Boat builders often prefer to pre-install only one brand of engine on their boats in order to reduce their production variation and inventory costs. They also typically make very favorable deals with engine makers if they are willing to buy only one engine brand as an exclusive power choice for their boats. And, in the case of Brunswick, their boat brands will use their own Mercury brand outboard engines.

cc13 posted 02-03-2015 07:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for cc13  Send Email to cc13     
Op says he will boat on north georgia lakes. I dont know if he emanates from atlanta or some hamlet in north georgia, tenn, or nc. Dealers/servicers are key. I live n a city of 200,000 people, three local lakes, and 3000 homes around those lakes, most with at least 2 boats and/or jet skis. I have lived here 30 years. That said, I haul my stuff 4 hours to the florida gulf coast for service.if there was anyone worth a dang around here they could stay busy full time and have a heck of a business. Sadly, there is not.

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