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Maximum Horsepower Capacity: Classics Versus New Classics
|Author||Topic: Maximum Horsepower Capacity: Classics Versus New Classics|
posted 11-07-2002 08:30 AM ET (US)
The stated horsepower capacity for the new Montauk 170 has been an issue kicked around for discussion at Continuouswave several times now. I, like many others, are curious about why a larger and heavier Montauk has a maximum horsepower capacity lower than its lighter and smaller predecessor. The same curiosity applies to the other larger and heavier "new classics". This curiosity prompted me to construct a computed/actual maximum comparision table for the Sport 13, Sport 15 and 17 Montauk versus the 130 Sport, 150 Sport and 170 Montauk. The computed maximum was determined using the formula specified in 33 CFR 183.53. The tabular results were interesting and are set forth below.
Does anyone know why Whaler has become much more conservative on stated horsepower capacity on the new classics? At least for the Sport 150 I think it may have something to do with maximum engine weight of a 4 stroke engine and that these boats were possibly designed with the notion that 4-stroke engines will probably be the predominant type of power source below about 100 hp. For example, the 60 hp 4-stroke Mercury weighs 236 lbs. The 75 hp 4-stroke Mercury weighs 386 lbs. The 386 lbs is probably too much weight on the transom of the 150 Sport to provide good performance. But that reasoning or excuse doesn't apply to the 170 Montauk. A Mercury 115 4-stroke doesn't weigh any more than a 90.
posted 11-07-2002 09:35 AM ET (US)
Following is e-mail correspondence I had with Chuck Bennett about how Whaler calculates the rated horsepower. I found it interesting that the calculation matches exactly on the 22' and 25' classic hulls.
12/13/2000 4:19:26 PM
Subject: Re: horsepower ratings
Boston Whaler complies with the NMMA regulations and, at times, chooses not
to outfit a boat with the maximum allowed horsepower due to safety and
12/12/2000 01:10 PM Subject: horsepower ratings
I am interested in how Boston Whaler developed the horsepower ratings for
the "Classics." I've reviewed the federal laws at 33CFR183 which govern
the settings of maximum horsepower ratings for boats less than 20 ft.
Using the equation listed there, I calculated the following values. I
could not find the beam and length of the old 20 ft Outrage, so that one is
From the table, you can see that the rated horsepower for the 13, 15, 17
13' | 5.4 | 13.3 | 40 | 54.4 | 55
posted 11-07-2002 09:37 AM ET (US)
RE: Montauk 170
I still believe its a way for them to blow out the 90 4 strokes. Also there still is the 115 EFI shortage.Because of it the consumer suffers.As I remember the 17 Ft Outrage with less overall weight has a rating of 150 HP. IT MAKES NO SENSE!
posted 11-07-2002 10:34 AM ET (US)
Russ, thanks for sharing that. I can a understand a company's desire for reasonable underrating (75 to 85% of computed maximum). But 50 to 60% of the computed maximum seems significant,
Since the regulation does not apply to the over 20' category. Going right up to the computed maximum probably has no legal consequences.
posted 11-07-2002 11:35 AM ET (US)
It has been said here before but I think that it is the correct answer. I feel that BW is just keeping the max low on the new classics just to keep the price down. They did this with the 13 sport, it first came out with a 30 max then when it got out on the water and popular they raised the max to 40. I feel that they are doing the same with the montauk to "blow them out" and get them represented on the water, then they can raise the max and the price because their will be a reputation and a demand. Who wants to buy a brand new 13 or 17 with less than max power, but since that is more expensive they adjust the max power to the price of the motor. It is a pretty smart marketing idea!
posted 11-07-2002 01:23 PM ET (US)
Interesting. Sounds like they have adopted something similar to new automobile model launch marketing practices.
It seems to me that in the launching of a new automobile model, the manufacturer first comes out with the ordinary, pedestrian model, then launches the souped up, more limited version later once the ordinary model has some visibility. Assuming this business model is correct, it makes some sense because all of the enhancements (a more powerful engine, enhanced interior and/or better suspension) must be integrated into the automobile at the time of manufacture. However, I don't see how that applies to a boat hull that is not manufactured with an integrated engine and which doesn't physically change except for the non-functional capacity plate. They clearly are not marketing the Sport 130 with the 40hp plate as the Sport 130 Plus because it has a stronger transom. What it seems like they are attempting to do in my opinion is fool the consumer into thinking that they have a "loaded" package at whatever the price is since you can't buy any more power and you can't buy a bare hull without Merc power. In my opinion, to later raise the power capacity on the same hull of the next model year is deceptive, and particularly unfair to the consumer who purchased under a belief that maximum capacity was stated in relation to safety considerations not marketing considerations. If that is actually happening, shame on them.
posted 11-07-2002 02:43 PM ET (US)
I think Russell's post on max engine calculations is most interesting!
Many run 50's on Classic 13's, as I have, and have found it not be a problem.
Many run 115's on a Montauk or 16' Classic, as I have, and have found it not to be problem.
What intersts me most is the 180 HP calculation for an 18 Outrage. My guess is that Whaler opted for the 150 rating because many 175's are nothing but 200's with 175 decals, and that could be bit much. But for a twin installation, this allows twin 90's, which makes a lot of sense to me. I would doubt if twin 90's would be any faster than a single 150 anyway.
posted 11-07-2002 04:03 PM ET (US)
with the 13ft sports (new) they were hurting the consumer in the begining because of the fact that they 30hp is marginal power with any large load, and people might think that since the max is 30hp that a 25hp would be fine, (from what I have heard the 25 4 strokes on the 13ft new sports are pigs.) People with the early 13 sports are stuck with an underated boat. I would just write to whaler and get a tell them that my 2002 13ft lost its capacity plate and I would by a new one and put it on a 1999 13ft sport.
posted 11-07-2002 04:25 PM ET (US)
It looks like the trend for Whaler for the under 20 footers was to rate at approximately 85% or less. Back at the time the 13' was designed, I believe that a 50hp OMC was a 4 cylinder engine. I don't know what the Merc was. The OMC 50 was too much weight for the 13 with a 15" transom. The 40s were almost too much.
posted 11-07-2002 04:26 PM ET (US)
Larry. I think they stuck with the 150 for 2 reasons. The 20' had a max of 175 or 180hp and the 150 was obviously plenty.
My 74 revenge 19' was rated for 170hp. 170 for twin 85's and the biggest outboard back then was a 150 merc. In my 1978 catalog they rated it at 175hp being 175's came out in 1976.
Funny thing is the 15' when it came out was rated at 75hp and then dropped to 70.
The 20' outrage and revenge also had about 3 different capacity ratings over the years.
My friends 21 Mako is rated for 230hp(twin 115's) but they had 235's since 1976. I guess the hull was designed before then and they did not want to change it. The 17' Mako is still rated for 135hp but between 1977 and whenever merc started making 135's(1990?) nobody made one so it was either a 140 or 115 for about 13 years. That 17 mako would be a mean witch with a 135 merc or even a 130 Johnson on it.
posted 11-08-2002 01:09 AM ET (US)
I myself would love to take a ride in a new Montauk 170 powered by a 140HP Suzuki 4 stroke. I considered it myself but there are very few dealers in Connecticut, and the 90 for the 115 Mercury was a much easier to swap and install.
posted 11-08-2002 11:32 AM ET (US)
What you need to do is find someone who wants the 90 before you buy the boat. Either the 2 or 4s and sell it to him/her for a fair price with controls, guages etc. Then repower with what you want. This would work great if say your friend wanted a new 60-90 merc and you could reley on him to take it upon delivery. I would do the 140 John/zuki as well.
posted 11-08-2002 01:32 PM ET (US)
All of the calculations in this thread are based on the Coast Guard formula for maximum horsepower. However, russellbailey's post of the e-mail from Boston Whaler indicates that BW uses the NMMA regulations. I checked the NMMA website (www.nmma.org), and the regulations are not available there, but the site states that the NMMA follows the ABYC standards. I checked the ABYC website (www.abyc.com), and the standards are only available by purchasing them in booklet form. I would suspect that there may be some significant differences between the Coast Guard formula and the ABYC standards.
posted 11-08-2002 07:04 PM ET (US)
Nick has a great idea for either someone wanting to re-power with a Merc 2-stroke 90, or for a would-be 170 Montauk buyer who wants more power, or another brand. This could be advertized in Marketplace, and I'll bet it would work.
It's just a matter of hitting the right timing. With all these Whaler types here, an arrangement like this could be workable.
Anybody want to put a mint Merc in-line-6 115HP on a new 170 Montauk? These engines put out more like 135HP. A trade like this, up in HP and down in engine value, could put you in a new 170 for about $15,500! Wait a minute, I just thought of a great idea.
posted 11-08-2002 11:09 PM ET (US)
We've been kicking the subjects of horsepower ratings, Merc only packages and who really makes the power heads around for quite a while on several different threads. It's great stuff and there are some pretty sharp Whalerholics out there. Although I must admit, at times I haven't felt this confused since my first day in Algebra class. I'm currently working in the UK and I came across this web site that offers 90 HP AETOL 2 stroke and F100 HP AETL 4 stroke Yamahas as their standard offerings. To top that they have a picture of what appears to be a back bench seat from the 17 classic and offer it as an option. I guess they play by different rules over here.
Hey Tabasco, maybe I'll find a 115 when I go a couple more countries east!
posted 11-09-2002 11:50 AM ET (US)
I wish that [dealers in the United States] offered [a choice of] either Yamaha or Mercury outboard like [dealers in the United Kingdom]. Also look at the used boats [on the website mentioned above] 2 Montauks (old) rigged with 150 Yamahas!
posted 11-09-2002 04:06 PM ET (US)
posted 11-10-2002 01:19 AM ET (US)
Captbone, Good point on the used boat section, 150 on a 17 classic, wow, now that's pretty sporty. Got a boat got an engine? Hook'em up! That's the British way. I might also mention that their is a limit on liability law suits in the UK. Stick a 150 HP on a Montauk, flip it over, rip a leg off, 160k is all your getting. Whats interesting is that Dorset Yacht list themselves as the "sole distributors of Boston Whalers in the UK. Their web address would also indicate that they have an official relationship with BW. Got a boat? Got a 100Hp engine, sure stick it on. Call it standard. I can asure that there is not a USCG plate on it.
posted 11-11-2002 02:07 PM ET (US)
Ever been to a foreign country and looked at a Whaler? No plate. Why? That plate says US coast guard....Not UK coast guard, etc.
posted 11-11-2002 08:51 PM ET (US)
I started looking at this in the Cetacea comments section, but my information is more apropos here. The cited regulation 33 CFR 183.53 states
"Compute a factor by multiplying the boat length in feet by the maximum transom width in feet excluding handles and other similar fittings, attachments, and extensions."
That's not the overall beam. We need to run the calulations again with the transom width, which is going to be serveral inches less. If the transom is 5' 9" on the classic Montauk 15, that yields exactly 100HP.
So, anyone want to take a tape measure to their transom?
posted 11-11-2002 08:55 PM ET (US)
That should read 'classic Montauk 17'. Sorry.
posted 11-12-2002 06:06 AM ET (US)
I knew that the regulation called for width at the transom but I didn't have that information. In any event, even if the transom is narrower than the overall beam, which wouldn't be by much, it does not change the fact that the wider, heavier New Classics appear to be underrated when compared to their Classic counterparts.
posted 11-13-2002 09:07 AM ET (US)
This link (originally cited by Taylor in another thread) provides quick access to the actual regulations regarding horsepower rating. http://squid.law.cornell.edu:9000/cgi-bin/get-cfr.cgi?TITLE=33&PART=183&SECTION=53&TYPE=TEXT
To resolve some questions that have come up, my interpretation is:
The maker must state the horsepower as no more than that computed under the formula, except, if the maker conducts the performance testing procedure, the results of that testing can be used. (Some qualifiers apply.) Apparently the maker is free to state a lower rating if desired.
The formula reduces to:
(2 X L X W) -90 = rated horsepower
posted 11-13-2002 09:21 AM ET (US)
Jim that formula only works on bigger boats because a 10' jon boat would be rated for -10hp.
posted 11-13-2002 11:58 AM ET (US)
Nick --Read the regulations for tabular data on how to compute ratings for smaller boats.
posted 11-13-2002 01:33 PM ET (US)
posted 11-13-2002 02:10 PM ET (US)
To get extra length into the formula, and hence high HP ratings, the go-fast boat designers use the extra long, pointy bow, basically worthless in sea keeping ability. But the bows of these boats are great placed for storing pointed objects.
This design feature can add as much as 4 (very cheap to build) feet to the hull's overall length. Length determines selling price. Sea Ray has also learned this lesson well. Is that why the new Outrage/Conquest Whalers are so "pointy"? In the old rounded bows of the classics you got a lot more boat for your "per foot" price, but less HP rating. This is why the new "270" Outrage is the same size overall, but with less interior usable space, than a Whaler Drive 25.
Getting back to the formula, has anybody checked as to how the Whaler Drive models changed the HP ratings?
|Tom W Clark||
posted 11-13-2002 02:44 PM ET (US)
Any boat over 20' does not need a horsepower capacity. Whaler could assign whatever they felt like. This is true of dildo boats as well. I don;t think the pointy bows have anything to do with upping the horsepower capacity. They just look "cool", right?
The Whaler Drive models were all over 20' so Whaler was under no obligation (except maybe to their lawyers) to stick to some formula to determine horsepower capacity, but they may have used the formula as a guide given that the Whaler Drive adds running surface to the bottom, and flotation as well, effectively making it a bigger boat. Let's try some examples:
A Classic 25' WD is 26' 6" and let's say 8' at the transom. So according to our formula:
(26.5 x 8 x 2) - 90 = 334 (rounded up to nearest 5) = 335 hp, quite a bit less than the 450 hp they are actually rated for.
A Classic 22' WD is 24' 2" and 7' 5" wide so (24.17 x 7.42 x 2) - 90 = 268.68 rounded up = 270 hp, far less than the 400 then 450 and finally 300 hp capacity Whaler gave them!
But remember, Whaler would not even publish a horsepower capacity for the Whaler Drive models instead advising you to "contact your dealer".
The formula also fails to explain the increase in horsepower capacity you get on a new Guardian 25 when you order the optional 30" tall transom. The capacity goes from 300 hp to 450 hp due to the fact that a 30" transom will keep water out of the boat when heavier (and presumably more powerful) outboard motors are used. It has nothing to do with how fast the boat goes or with the formula.
At the other end of the spectrum, the formula breaks down for a 10' pram as Nick notes above. This is why they use different criteria for a boat like that. If a 10' pram is 4' wide it will receive a horsepower capacity of 5 hp.
posted 11-13-2002 03:42 PM ET (US)
Tom - thanks for the interesting explanation.
It now certainly appears that for boats over 20', almost anything goes, even with Whaler.
Your comments on the 25 Guardian interest me.
But when I ordered my 25 full transom, which is even higher than a 30" transom, they refused to use the 450 HP Whaler drive plate for mine.
posted 11-13-2002 04:40 PM ET (US)
The horsepower rating is determined by a factor which is length x transom width. As Tom points out, they use certain numerical HP sizes for small (low factor) boats. It looks like this:
Note that the formula applies if the factor is over 52.5. and the boat has remote steering and a 20" transom. Otherwise there is yet another formula. But the main formula applies to roughly 13' remote steer Whalers and up.
In paragraph b, were it talks about boats for which the the performance test is allowed, it says they have to be 13 feet or under. Performance test does not apply to bigger boats.
In the example (and you picked a good one, Tom) of the 10' x 4' pram, the factor is 40, the horsepower stated as 7.5hp for factors of 40 to 42. But you have to derate one level for the flat bottom/hard chine so you get 5hp. If you as a manufactuer think you jon boat can handle more than 5hp, you may try and prove it on the water with the test.
I don't see anything about the forumla not applying to bigger boats. Maybe that is elsewhere. Jim is correct, there is a lot of room for interpretation when you read this rule.
Now, what is the transom width of a Montauk 170? Only after we know that can we talk about whether or not Whaler picked a rating that was below the maximum allowed by the forumla.
|Tom W Clark||
posted 11-13-2002 09:31 PM ET (US)
The MT 170 would have to have a transom width of 5’ 3” in order to qualify for no more than 90 hp.
If you look at the plan drawing of the MT 170 on the whaler web site http://whaler.com/Rec/specpop6_NEW_170_montauk.shtm it is clear that the transom is as wide as the maximum beam, 6’ 10”. It does not appear to taper off as you move aft at all. This is true with most Whalers 18’ and above as well.
It would seem that you could put a 140 hp motor on the new MT 170 without much trouble so long as it does not weigh more than 410 pounds.
posted 11-13-2002 11:39 PM ET (US)
As I said the 140 HP Suzuki would be wonderful on the Montauk 170.
posted 11-14-2002 12:07 PM ET (US)
Both the Suzi/John 140 4s (417 lbs; 125 cu. in. displacement) and the Evinrude 135 (419 lbs; 158 cu. in.) would be a bit over the 410 lb. weight limit. But 410 was the weight limit for the classic 17 Montauk as well--BW didn't change the rating, though one would think that could go up a bit with the increased size of the 170.
There has been much more positive buzz about Evinrude dfi reliability since Bomb took over--to the point that I think these motors deserve serious consideration (though I'd still opt for an extended warranty to be on the safe side).
I am seriously considering both the motors for my 170 when it arrives sometime after the first of the year. Interesting choice between what is essentially a souped up 115 4s versus a detuned 150 2s. I'd guess that the Evinrude would significantly? outperform the Suzi/John, but the boat's performance with either motor should be impressive so the 135 may be guilding the lilly a bit. I assume the 140 would be quieter and more fuel efficient...
Interesting side not--the Merc 115 4s is really tough to get ahold of around here; biggest local dealer has over 40 on back order and says the wait for me would be at least two months. While the switch to the 115 would be a snap, if the added weight is ultimately not a problem I would rather move up to the 140 4s or 135 2s than be waiting for months for the 115 to show up.
I ordered my 170 with the 90 2s, specifically with the intention of "moving it". Fortunately I have a 15 striper that is ready for repowering, so the 90 may well be used as trade stock in that endeavor.
posted 11-14-2002 01:36 PM ET (US)
Hell....put the 90 on the 15, let us know how she goes. I would!
posted 11-14-2002 02:03 PM ET (US)
What about a carburated Merc 150 2-stroke at 406 lb? They only weigh 20 lbs more than the 90 4-stroke, cost about $7300, and would be an easy conversion from the 90, and nobody said you've got to run it wide open. You could loaf along all day at 3000 rpm or less.
It's a very quiet engine, no noiser, or even less, than a 4-stroke at speed turning higher rpms.
The reason I say this is that the new 170 Montauk is only 4" narrower, but weighs 150lb MORE than the Classic 18 Outrage, all of which have been running 150's for 20 years now.
posted 11-14-2002 04:09 PM ET (US)
The killing of the fuel economy and resale would keep me away from that 150 option. I would go with the 115 4s mercury or my favorite the (ugly) but sweet 140 4s suzuki.
posted 11-14-2002 08:20 PM ET (US)
Bigshot--Glad you raised the question, because I have thought about that option myself. I was actually leaning more toward the Yammy 90 2s due to its lighter weight (42 lbs less than the Merc) and better fuel economy (I assume). My local Merc dealer is also a Yam dealer and so would work a swap with me, but its definately gonna cost me more $$ to be in the Yammy that to just hang on to the Merc.
posted 11-15-2002 02:01 AM ET (US)
lhg--I had not really given much thought to going 2s with the 170. The 150 sure would be a great performer from a power to weight standpoint. I suppose that I am just drawn to the fuel economy and "automotive start" qualities of 4s and dfi motors. A bit further in the back of my mind is a concern that the Oregon legislature may be considering some draconian laws limiting the use of 2s motors. This state is legendary for such things.
Bigshot--So which would be your pick, the "ugly but sweet" Suzi/John 140, or the snarling 135 dfi Rude (which appears to be shaking off some of its negative reliability baggage)?
posted 11-15-2002 09:21 AM ET (US)
I would have to go with the suzison 140 because it is 50hp over the max. If we were talking 90's I may go for the DFI. 4 strokes have a 'different" powerband but with 140 of them, I doubt you will have a sluggish holeshot. Nothing is better than a EFI 4S at idle.....so sweet. When I drive my Montauk on plane I can't even hear the engine with the wind in my face. An experience that will convert any smoker.
posted 11-15-2002 09:22 AM ET (US)
PS....drop that merc on that 15'. Who cares about 45lbs, move the vbattery up forward. Hell I saw one with a 115 on it.
posted 11-15-2002 11:12 AM ET (US)
Bigshot--Thanks for the advice.
Any other opinions out there? Seconds?
posted 11-15-2002 04:14 PM ET (US)
Just curious - Since the 170 comes pre-rigged for Mercury, why 135 Evinrude instead of 135 Optimax? The 135 Opti has a superior track record, is just as fast or faster, and will just hook up to your system.
With Evinrude, you'd have to switch everthing out.
It would be interesting to see comparisons between the North American made 135 DFI's and the Suzuki 140. The 130 Honda has been tested in comparison to the 135 Opti, and got blown away, all categories, including fuel mileage.
But at more like $9000, the 135's are quite a bit more than the 4 stroke 115's/140. It's entirely possible these V-6 135's are too much power for the 170. For all practical purposes they are really 150's.
posted 11-15-2002 05:39 PM ET (US)
lhg--Well, I was concerned weight might be an issue. At 443 lbs you would be well over the 410 lb capacity, and by the time you throw a jackplate into the equation it really starts to creep up there. Then I started asking myself, why is this 135 so darn heavy? And of course, it's due to the displacement. Its a big burly son-of-a-gun; you may be right about it being too much for the 170. Sooner or later someone is going to hang one on a 170 and then we'll all know. While I am somewhat of a rebel, experimenting with the 135 opti on the 170 is just a bit too much "bleeding edge" for my taste. But I have to admit, I sure thought about it 'cause it would be so easy to set up...
posted 03-21-2004 10:57 AM ET (US)
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