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Author Topic:   Pre-Rigging from factory
jimh posted 06-15-2000 01:44 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
I stopped in for a chat with the local Whaler dealer (a non-SeaRay, non-Mercury dealer) who described the policy on factory pre-rigging as this:

--It used to be possible to get factory pre-rigging for other brands, but no longer.

--You can get order boat with no pre-rigging, but this means no holes in the console, nothing. The dealer has to do all the rigging for other non-Merc brands himself. This adds quite a bit of labor to the sale, plus the cost of the gauges and controls themselves.

Previously, a credit was available from BW for deleting the Mercury pre-rigging, but no longer.

The dealer mentioned that sometimes they get "assistance" from the outboard maker in helping to cover their costs for pre-rigging for that brand.


Bill D posted 06-15-2000 02:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bill D  Send Email to Bill D     
Thats pretty interesting. Back in 87 when I bought my Montauk nothing was done other than hanging the motor on the transom and runing the steering and throttle controls. I installed tach, speedo, and depth "flasher" in the dash (cutting my own holes) and mounting a loran, chart recorder, and VHF. For me that worked out well because I sure of
my wiring job and knew where to look if I ever had a problem. Although through the 11 years I owned the boat it never had an electrical problem. Anyway, looking at my Conquest I really wonder what the "OMC pre-rig" is. The Factory gauges are the same as a Mercury equipped Conquest. I assume the tach has a different wiring harness at the motor, but I think its just a plug-in. Steering is by teleflex, and not a big deal. The throttle/shift linkage looks to be the same at the helm, but probably different at the stern. I guess I don't see where this
adds a lot of labor to the sale compared to
all the extra electonic's and such most of
add to the factory rig. Maybe someone can clear up just what a "pre-rig" really is.
lhg posted 06-15-2000 08:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Pre-rig usually means the engine controls only, and any optional gauge packages. As you say, steering is universal and not involved here. As we all know, pre-rig would then mean installing the engine control in the console, key switches & kill lanyards, and maybe some gauges. This includes running the cables thru tunnels, and the wiring connections. It's not terribly complicated, because all this stuff comes with complete installation instructions, but it can be time consuming. It used to be a big dealer profit center, and added considerably to the cost of the boat. I can't say that I blame Whaler for making this procedure more cost effective and efficient, which it does, in an effort to keep down the cost of the package. Also gives the factory a better control on quality of the installations. Gauges are usually interchangeable between brand, but controls and cables are not. Once a boat is rigged for a particular brand of engine, it is usually repowered with same. That is the name of the game.

For me, this is something I prefer to design and install myself, and if I was a buyer of a new Whaler, I would want it completely unrigged, and drive it away from the Dealership in that condition. I have never been interested in factory or Dealer rigging work, which I've never felt was as good or as creative, as what I could do. Jim has an example of my work on page 3 of Cetecea, all designed and installed by yours truly. But I'm not sure one is going to be able to do this much longer with a Whaler, and most buyers probably don't want to anyway.

Jim's dealer visit seems to back up what I have heard, and mentioned elsewhere in the Forum. Unless you want to waste a lot of money, you will end up with a pre-installed & pre-rigged Merc on your new Whaler - period!
How times have changed!

Bill D posted 06-16-2000 07:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bill D  Send Email to Bill D     
I think your right on target when you say "most buyers probably don't want to anyway", when it comes to rigging a boat. "Package deals" are the way its done now. Remember when we could order a car and select item by item the options we wanted.
Ed Stone posted 06-16-2000 09:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ed Stone  Send Email to Ed Stone     
The Dealer I spoke with said this was his last year selling Whalers.They are also Yamaha dealers.All of their new boats were rigged with Yamahas.I asked him if it was the pressure to sell mercury motors and he said yes.We talked about the different styles of whalers and he said they had a hard time selling the conquest and the ventura's.A sea ray dealer told me at a boat show "you don't want that conquest that's a northern boat".I still believe in Whalers boat building process and hope that is not changed.
Ed Stone
lhg posted 06-19-2000 01:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Yes, I have heard of the Yamaha problem from other Dealers. Yamaha has been particularly threatened by the take over of many outboard boat companies by OMC & Mercury, and now has finally started doing it themselves. Back in the mid eighties, when they entered the US market, they moved into existing OMC & Mercury Dealerships (was there anything else?) by giving the Dealers TWICE the profit per engine of OMC & Merc, and they did this by using a higher list price,(claiming a superior product) and getting the buyer to actually pay more than for an OMC & Merc, and then giving that overpayment to the Dealer as mark up profit. So naturally, the dealers pushed them hard. Now, after working so hard to break into the US market, including Whaler Dealers, they are finding themselves increasingly sqeezed by situations similar to Boston Whaler. Currently they pay large year end sales commissions to their Dealers, which they are using to prevent, say Boston Whaler Dealers, from selling the Whalers with Mercs. So many Yahama Dealers, are finding themselves in a bind - either give up Yahama and big profits, or get rid of Boston Whaler, or at least set up a separate location for selling the Whalers. So what Mercury is doing, from their prospective, also makes sense - ship from the factory with the ENGINE already on the boat, and the Yahama situation is dead on arrival. There are some instances, particularly smaller Dealers, where Yamaha has won out, and Whaler has been dropped. But Whaler has taken up the slack by giving the product to Sea Ray Dealers, filling a void in their product line (Sea Ray makes very few smaller outboard boats, and no fishing boats). I know one, very large BW Dealership, that prior to 1985 was strictly OMC, then Yamaha came in, and 80% of the Whalers went out with Yahamas. (You wouldn't believe the grief I used to get showing up at their dock with Mercs!) Now 95% of their Whalers go out with Mercury Outboards!
lhg posted 05-24-2001 01:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Now, a year later, we know that this has been implemented by Brunswick. New buyers will soon forget,or not know, that it was ever possible to get other than a Merc on a recent Whaler! And OMC is gone. What a difference a year makes.
B Bear posted 05-25-2001 12:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
The bottom line is you can put any engine you want on a new whaler. It costs more than a pre-rigged hull, but when you consider that a new whaler is between $5000 to $10000 more than any other boat of the same size, a few hundred dollars to put on an engine of your choice outside of Mercury is not that big a deal.
lhg posted 05-25-2001 02:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I understand that to put a pair of Yamaha 225's on an Outrage 26/28 instead of the Merc 225's is about $3500 extra!
B Bear posted 05-25-2001 09:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
If you can afford a new Outrage 26/28, you would not even give $3500 a second thought. You can afford what ever engines you want!
lhg posted 05-25-2001 10:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Bear - here is what I have been told by a Dealer regarding 2001 Whalers. To delete the engine(s), BW only gives the Dealer the credit for engine, controls, instruments and rigging, at THEIR factory cost. Then, of course, unless the Dealer wants to take a big hit on (say) his Yamaha profits, he has to pass on all the much higher Yamaha parts and engines cost, plus his less efficient rigging costs, to the buyer. This can amount to a LOT of additional expense. These deals are getting hard to pass off on a buyer, unless he's totally uninformed about a comparison cost of accepting a Merc engine. I suppose some Dealers are able to pull it off, using full list on the factory rig as a cover, but this is why so many are unhappy with the arrangement of pre-rigged Mercs. It takes business (shop work) and profits (from other engine brands) away from them. I have seen VERY few 2001 Whalers with anything but a Merc on them.
Dick posted 05-25-2001 11:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
What's wrong with a Merc? A black motor not only looks great on a Whaler, it's as good or better than anything out there. Yamaha & Suzuki are good motors. But are they any better than a Merc? Are they worth the extra cost? Most likely not.
lhg posted 05-25-2001 11:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
It's no surprise that I'm with you, Dick.
But everybody's entitled to their own brand loyalty.

I just read the story of how Mercury's came to be painted black.

When the first in-line 6 was being designed, this (then) huge looking, very tall, engines' size was of concern. The Mercury people were afraid it would look HUGE on a boat, and nobody would buy it. The time is 1960, I think. Before then, their engines were either silver/green, white, or of other varied bright colors.

It seems that Charlie Strang and Karl Kiekhaefer had been discussing the problem of engine size at work that day. Strang's mother happened to come over to visit him at home that evening, and he mentioned they were agonizing over the height & size of this 6 cylinder monster. His mother came right out and said, "that's easy, just paint it black - everybody knows large women wear black to look thinner, and it works"

The next day they tried it at the factory, and sure enough, it worked for outboards also! So for all of the model year 1961 Mercs, black was used. And it stuck. I think it still works today. Mercury's still look like the smallest engines on the water.

Now, everybody else is trying to copy as close as possible. Yamaha puts a lot of black on their bass models, Evinrudes are as dark a blue as possible, Suzuki four strokes are ultra, ultra dark gray, etc. It will be interesting to see what color Bombardier uses.

lhg posted 05-25-2001 11:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Regarding Charlie Strang, Kiekhaefer's most loyal engineer and friend, he later left Mercury, I think in the mid 80's, to head up OMC.

I remember in the mid 80's, when Mercury decided to develop EFI V-6 outboard technology similiar to what was happening in autos, he said it was a huge mistake, and never took OMC in that direction. History now shows us he was wrong, and that decision left OMC without the needed technology to move beyond low tech carburated engines, both in 2 stroke and four stroke. EFI outboards, and their on-board computers, have proven to be extremely reliable and trouble free, just like the auto systems. Now the EFI is being applied to 4 strokes, and soon, DFI/Optimax will used. I think that's what Mercury is up to with their new 250HP 4 stroke.

Except for Ficht, which was basically sub-contracted out, Bombardier bought a company really badly behind in the new outboard technologies, and in over their head with Ficht.

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