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  320 Outrage with Project X Mercs!

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Author Topic:   320 Outrage with Project X Mercs!
lhg posted 12-15-2003 10:55 PM ET (US)   Profile for lhg  
Just talked to a Whaler boating companion and sometimes participant here, who has a friend who told him he just ordered a new Boston Whaler 320 Outrage, equipped with the new 250 HP in-line-6 4-stroke Mercurys. You don't want to know what it cost!

He has agreed with the Dealer to allow the boat to be shown in the Detroit and/or Cleveland Boat Show, where they want to showcase the new Mercurys. Supposedly, he said the boat will run over 65mph with these engines. That's amazing for a boat that size and weight. Who says Whalers aren't performance boats?

So detailed information on these engines should be coming out soon. It's no secret that Boston Whaler has been testing them on their boats for some time.

jimh posted 12-15-2003 11:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If that boat and those motors are going to be at the Detroit Boat Show, we ought to organize a Boat-Show-Rendezvous and have a get together down there.

The show is scheduled for February 7-15, 2003.

If the new Mercury 4-stroke engines are shown there they will preempt the Miami Boat Show February 12-17, 2003.

captbone posted 12-16-2003 12:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for captbone  Send Email to captbone     
Not to start trouble, but I think that salesman is off his rocker! 65 mph in a 32 ft boat with only 500hp! A 31 Yellowfin which is DESIGNED for speed can do that, but a whaler. I think he is being very optimistic and got wrapped up in going fast. 52-54mph tops in my opinion, They cant be any faster than the 250 XS 3.0 liter optimaxes, they are both 250hp and both pushing the limits of the hp. The speed with the 250 optimax is the same as it will be with the x motor 4 stroke. If I am wrong then I am sorry but I highly doubt it.
jaccoserv posted 12-16-2003 01:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for jaccoserv  Send Email to jaccoserv     
I'm finding myself looking forward to seeing these new Project-X outboards, however, you realize that it will be difficult for anyone to take any speed quotes seriously until we hear some solid numbers from a reputable source.

A companion of lhg has a friend, that friend told lhg's friend that the salesman "supposedly" told him that the boat would do 65 mph. That doesn't exactly equal a GPS in terms of credibility. With all due respect...

Mercury is no doubt going to give many manufacturers a run for their money especially in the 250 HP four-stroke market. Many boat owners have been settling for 225 HP where 250 HP would be far more adequate. I think we may even see the tables turn somewhat in terms of Regulator and Contender owners asking for Mercs. on their respective brands.

lhg posted 12-16-2003 02:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
The lawyers here would call it heresay, but note that I said *OVER* 65! Time will tell, I guess. Maybe this engine rated at 250 HP can put out more than that, as has been Mercury's tradition for 40 years? Not bad for a measly 2.6 liters.

A published article in a boating mag, about 4 months ago, with the writer on board, did note that one of these smoked a big Yamaha V-max with ease on a similar bass boat. He said they were doing 75 so fast he couldn't believe it.

TRAFFICLAWYER posted 12-16-2003 03:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    
Mr. lhg: You mean the lawyer here would call it naysay!

By the way, I'll be in Jupiter from this sat until the 5th You around??

Peter posted 12-16-2003 05:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Absolutely amazing! By my calculations, to achieve 65+ MPH those motors are putting out a combined 1100 HP (500 HP over the maximum transom rating). To state another way, that is each of the 250 HP Project X motors are putting out 550 HP. How long would a motor like that last?

Alternatively, if they are putting out 600 HP combined (50 HP over the rated output for each) that is one very, very, very slippery deep vee hull with a hull factor over 250 to 300. (Compare to classic Outrage hull factor = 180, Montauk = 200).

quote:
A published article in a boating mag, about 4 months ago, with the writer on board, did note that one of these smoked a big Yamaha V-max with ease on a similar bass boat. He said they were doing 75 so fast he couldn't believe it.
Larry, what happened? I thought you didn't believe these boating mag articles!

I suspect that Captbone has it pegged right with an estimate in the low to mid 50s with the assumption that the Project X 250 puts out 250 HP.

lhg posted 12-16-2003 05:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Traffic - I will be on & off the waterways between Lauderdale and Palm Beach between 12/24 & 01/07. I'll keep an eye out for your 255 if I'm up around Palm Beach/Jupiter.
jaccoserv posted 12-16-2003 06:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for jaccoserv  Send Email to jaccoserv     
Is "A Boating Mag" the name of the publication??? If not, does it, or the writer on board have a name?
lhg posted 12-16-2003 06:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I knew you guys would get on me for this one, maybe correctly, and I understand. Unfortunately, I can't reveal my source and real details, but I believe it to be creditable. We'll just have to see if I got bad information. If so, JimH will erase it, as he consistently tries to keep the information on CW as accurate as possible. And I would not have posted it if I thought it was wrong.

I would make this point, however. It has been released that Mercury has spent $100,000,000 developing this new technology. I think Yamaha and Honda have made big mistakes in developing their 225 4-strokes, none of which perform (speed and accleration) as well as the old 2-stroke EFI's, or even carbed 2-strokes. Seems like a bad business model to me. And the engines, although reliable and slightly more efficient, weigh a ton, look huge, and are just a "ho-hum" offering.

It makes more sense that with this kind of money being spent, the product should be a BETTER performer than the old outboards. Why create a totally new 4-stroke that won't outperform a 250 Optimax, Ficht, or HPDI or even EFI. That makes no sense to me at all. Remember, Mercury alone, not Yamaha or Honda or Suzuki, dominates the performance outboard market, both Racing, Bass and Offshore Performance, plus recreational go-fasts, so it makes little sense putting out another Yamaha/Honda style "ho-hum" 225 4-stroke, that won't outrun an Optimax, Ficht or HPDI 2-stroke. A quiet idle at the dock only goes so far. Why bother at all? The performance guys are looking for more, and this series of engines will give it to them. I think these engines will be "premium" (relatively) lightweight horsepower, kind of like the 32 valve V-8's that were developed for the automotive market luxury cars. I have heard they will all be electronically controlled, with no traditional throttle/shift cables.

DCPeters posted 12-16-2003 07:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for DCPeters  Send Email to DCPeters     
Is it possible to have more than two engines on the 32? And could Whaler have beefed up the transom for the launch (in cooperation with sister division)?
captbone posted 12-16-2003 07:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for captbone  Send Email to captbone     
If it says 250hp it CAN NOT be over 10% of that. The evinrude 250 and optimax 250xs are both pushing that limit. These new engines could have the best holeshot and torque but they are not putting out 285+hp and they are not going to be more than 10hp over the others in the 250hp. Merc use to under-rate their motors ALOT but that was decades ago, they still do it some what but so does everyone else. I have no doubt that this new lake X motor supercharged up the wazoo can put out 350+hp but how long can a 2.6 liter motor turning 4000+ rpms keep that up for in the ocean on a rough day? I added a link to a test 32 outrage with twin 250 EFI Mercs (no one can doubt that these 3.0 liters are some of the most powerful in the class) and it only got the rig up to 50mph. Twin 300X motors (that put out 320-330hp) can not get it to 60mph, triple 250's maybe but still not over 63-64mph. I am sticking with my guess about highly doubting 60+mph.

http://www.boatingmag.com/article.asp?section_id=4&article_id=331

lhg posted 12-16-2003 08:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
DC the information I have is that two engines were used on both the 320 and the 270 Outrages. The 270 speeds were even more staggering, since it is a smaller boat. Somewhere on this site a while back, JimH provided a link to a 270 photo, barely in the water, running a pair of these new engines.

I have been wondering if one the reasons the Outrage designs are migrating to a more "performance shape" is for these engines?

Peter posted 12-16-2003 10:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
To become a performance boat capable of 65 MPH with twin 250s, the 320 Outrage would need to lose about 4000 lbs. It also couldn't have a 23 degree deadrise. Now if it were constructed like a Fountain 31 Open, perhaps 65 MPH would be believable.

TRAFFICLAWYER posted 12-16-2003 11:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    
Mr. lhg:

I'll be boatless and bored, hence if you want to email me you're cell # I'll give you a jingle and may be can go out to peanut island or have acold one at sailfish.

trafficlawyer@yahoo.com

hauptjm posted 12-17-2003 11:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
A link to the story lhg refers to:

http://espn.go.com/outdoors/bassmaster/s/b_news_030731_classic_mercury_4stroke.html

lhg posted 12-17-2003 02:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Although that was not the article that I saw linked from CW, note that it says a pair of them (so the boat would need a rating of 500HP) can push a center console to 68mph with 4 people and 150 gallons on board. I wonder if that was a 320 Outrage being referred to? In the photo, they look reasonably sized too. Thanks for the link, Jim.
mtbadfish posted 12-17-2003 03:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for mtbadfish  Send Email to mtbadfish     
Here is a link to an article at Mercury Marine that identifies the boat as a 31' Fountain. Dated 8/13/03.

http://www.mercurymarine.com/8226project_x_makes_huge_waves_no_noise_in_new_orleans

Here is one that says they will initially be offered at around 18k. It also says that the Evinrude E-Tecs don't have their first scheduled maintenance until the 3 year mark.

http://www.jsonline.com/bym/news/oct03/176996.asp

kglinz posted 12-17-2003 03:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for kglinz  Send Email to kglinz     
The Fountain weights 3700 # less than the Outrage and is almost 2 Feet narrower. Probably a good choice as a demo boat. They lead you to believe it's a 61 MPH boat with 225 Optis. http://www.fountainpowerboats.com/Products/FishBoats/31te_Specifications.htm
kglinz posted 12-17-2003 03:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for kglinz  Send Email to kglinz     
This indicates that 68 MPH isn't a big deal... http://www.fountainpowerboats.com/Products/performance_fish.htm
lhg posted 12-17-2003 04:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
But take the (top end killing) standard tee top off that 31 Fountain, and lighten the load a little, and it would be running in the mid-70's, probably similar to what a 270 Outrage (no tee top) would do with a pair of these? The boats are the same weight. None of this can be for real, could it?

It appears that Mercury has developed a new 5 bladed performance prop for this engine, called a Maximus. Maybe that's where the "dig" comes from, since 5 blades are known for this feature.

captbone posted 12-17-2003 06:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for captbone  Send Email to captbone     
Mid 60 mph's yes but not 70 mph+.
kglinz posted 12-17-2003 06:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for kglinz  Send Email to kglinz     
I really can't afford two engines year, so I'll try for one and put it on this.... http://www.allisonboats.com/SS_2000.html
captbone posted 12-17-2003 07:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for captbone  Send Email to captbone     
Your new single engine "alli" would be one the bottom! They dont even let you put the 3.0+ liter engines on them (they void warrenty) because of the weight.
kglinz posted 12-17-2003 07:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for kglinz  Send Email to kglinz     
There's a kid here in town with one of their boats with a 225 Merc "racing engine" that does 107 by GPS. It's probably a 2.5 liter. He only runs it about twice a year, because the lower unit is always off someplace being repaired.
hugehugo posted 12-17-2003 08:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for hugehugo  Send Email to hugehugo     
Jimh,

I like your idea of a boat show rendevouz for the Detroit Boat show. Let me know if it works out.

kingfish posted 12-17-2003 09:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Huge (and jimh)-

I'm intrested in seeing if a bunch of us can get together for the Detroit Boat Show too - we ought to get our calendars out and see when we can do it-

John
(kingfish)

Buckda posted 12-21-2003 01:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
I received my copy of Trailer Boats magazine yesterday (the January, 2004 issue). Starting on page 46, there is an article on Marine Power for 2004. The informative article lists MSRP's and features of all major outboards; and includes information on Mercury's Project X engines. The part of the article that relates to this thread is on pages 51-52 where it details the Project X.

What interested me was that they indicated that Merc has said the Project X engines won't be available for repowering...it will only be available as a pre-rigged engine on new boats due in part to the proprietary hydraulic steering system and the use of digital controls for shift and throttle. According to the article, Mercury does not want istallation errors causing warranty issues.

Dave

lhg posted 12-21-2003 06:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
From everything I've heard, demand for these engines will be huge, in spite of the $18000 price tag. So why not use them to leverage sales of the big Whalers, both recreational and Commercial/Government, and other Brunswick boat group brands. Then there are Mercury's loyal tie-in brands, such as Fountain, Sea Craft, Mako, Donzi, Powerplay, Midnight Express, the various Bass boats, etc. Sales of all of these should be helped by this engine.

Perhaps this marketing strategy will persuade some of the other high end independent builders to switch their transoms to Mercury, as long as they are not direct competiors of Whaler, etc? Doubt if you'll be seeing any Gradys, Contenders, Regulators etc running around with these. They'll just have to sit there and watch the Whalers and others blow by them!

I wonder if re-powers for Boston Whaler older boats will be available?

Yesterday I heard (from a Mercury Dealer) that this engine is not only dead quiet at idle, but low decibel all through the power range. It is much quieter than an Optimax or conventional V-6 4-stroke. Sounds like Mercury's classic I-6 "Tower of Power" has been re-invented.

Unrelated, but of interest, he also told me that after 2006, Mercury will have NO carburated engines in it's lineup! Both of us were trying to figure out what that means in the low HP ranges. Wonder what an EFI 10HP 4-stroke is like?

Buckda posted 12-21-2003 06:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Larry -

That's what I was wondering: will Whaler dealers be able to repower their customers' boats with these new engines? An 18 Outrage with project X 150HP would be a really sweet setup.

You would think that an authorized Mercury dealer would be given the opportunity to offer this engine as a repower option after sending their mechanics in for a refresher course on exactly how the company wants them to be installed. I imagine there will be quite a bit of clamoring for it as a repower option once it is out there on the market on new hulls.

Dave

captbone posted 12-22-2003 01:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for captbone  Send Email to captbone     
I dont want to this come out like merc bashing but you guys are building this thing up to be the greatest thing since sliced bread! It is a going be smooth and idle quietly and have great acceleration (the same as todays 250 suzuki and 250 fitch) but it is not going to chance boating as we know it. "Sales of all [retail boats] of these should be helped by this engine" I dont know what you are thinking! The fact that they will not do any rerigging for repowering should tell you how big of a pain it must be to rig. The last motor that tried the intergrated steering was the OMC seadrive and look how much fun it is to get parts just 10 years later. They just put too much new tech of this motor, too soon! Also everyone forgets it is only 250hp, ONLY 250hp! The 300 hpdi and 300X promax are more powerful!!!! This engine is not going to make Whaler faster than boats with other 250s! It is going to be a good 250hp motor but that is all! If merc had made this thing 450hp than it would be a site and alot of boat building companies and owners would be killing for this new motor but they did not! Its only a four stroke 250 merc with a weird steering system!
lhg posted 12-22-2003 10:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Well, it would make some sense that the much larger 3.6 liter V-6 Suzuki 200/225/250, or the 3.3 liter Yamaha 250/300, could walk away from Merc's new little 2.6 liter 250, since usually cubes do count. But it's not a bet that I'D be willing to risk this time.

What if Project X can put out even more than 250?

Peter posted 12-22-2003 02:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
As a member in good standing of the NMMA, if Merc plays by the NMMA rules, then the Project X 250 can't put out more than 110 percent of its rating. That means 275 HP max. Under those same rules, it could be given a 250 rating while only putting out 225 HP.

All of the advertising hype I've seen so far suggests that we still haven't seen any real production motor testing data yet. Thus, its hard to believe any of what is currently circulating around until the motor is in production and available for objective testing done without any control or influence by Mercury.

kglinz posted 12-22-2003 04:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for kglinz  Send Email to kglinz     
I just don't think that current Classic Boston Whaler repowering owners are the target customer group for these motors. They must be aiming at the Bass Boat and the offshore group currently running triples and quad engines. By the time the owner of a 25/27 Classic Whaler, running duals, repowers with the 6 cylinder X engines, including DTS controls and rumored steering changes, he will be looking at 40 to 45K as opposed to 26-29K for a DFI or EFI using his current rigging components. As most Whaler owners choose a cruising speed based boat performance(care of boat and body), not "I'll get there first", I don't think many will spend the extra money.
lhg posted 12-22-2003 05:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I received some recent information that makes me believe there may also be a version of this engine at 300HP? I think Kemp's remarks could certainly apply to that one.

But this engine, in various forms of 135-250HP will evidently be Mercury's only entry in the 4-stroke category, so I would think they would become mainstream offerings once initial high demand is passed. I can't see why a pair of them in 150 or 200 version couldn't eventually be available for installation on a Classic 25 Outrage.

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