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Author Topic:   ENGINE DEBATE 115/90 ON THE 170
bigjohn1 posted 03-01-2004 05:31 AM ET (US)   Profile for bigjohn1   Send Email to bigjohn1  
Gang,

About to close the deal on my 2004 Montauk and still wondering on engines. My dealer says they will install a 115EFI but going that route will totally void the hull warranty! I have read all the praise on the 115 and I think everyone probably agress it is superior to the 90 4-stroke.
The weight is identical and it gives you 15 more "ponies" plus the smoothness of fuel injection over carbs. The only thing I can imagine is the factory thinks the extra vibration of the more powerful engine will stress the transom more thereby increasing fatigue on the hull/transom.

God knows I don't want to buy a new boat with no hull warranty but the 115 is an attractive proposition given Whaler's rock solid hull reputation. As an alternative, I am tempted to just save the few thousand extra and go with the standard 2-stroke 90 in the hopes that maybe next year Mercury will offer an EFI 4-stroke 90.....then I can swap out motors (for a few more bucks of course).

I will primarily use my new Montauk off-shore 5-10 miles out for trolling, bottom fishing, spear fishing, and as a dive platform for 2-3 people. That said, my teenagers will sometimes want to go tubing, skiing, etc. and we all know you need every pony you can get to do that. I wonder if simply changing props and going down in pitch 1-2 numbers for water skiing will make the 4-stroke 90 a more suitable powerhead for water skiing.

Way out here in the Pacific, we pay a few thousand more than you guys in the states due to shipping costs. My fully loaded 170 with every possible option (and a 4-stroke 90) will be $28,500. Adding the 115 will jack that up to over $29K......what a bummer it would be to pay that kind of money only to have a problem with the hull then not have it covered under warranty!

Inputs, Pros, and cons welcome here.....I realize there are other sections of the site that cover the engine controversy
but not in very much detail.

Thanks to all,

John
Okinawa

fno posted 03-01-2004 07:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for fno  Send Email to fno     
I do believe the dealer is blowing smoke somewhere near you. Ask him if you can read the warranty. I don't rememeber everseeing anything about it. On the other hand, I don't think you need the extra horses on a 170. Others here can guide you better through experience.
Barney posted 03-01-2004 12:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
John, You are picking a great boat. Some folks have gone to the 115. My question is have you water tested the boat with the 90? Jim
LHG posted 03-01-2004 01:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
I have over-powered three brand new Whalers, thus voiding the warranties. But it did not matter, because I never had a warranty claim anyway. The first one, a 1971, was still absolutely perfect when I sold it 17 years later. The other two I still have, a 1986 and a 1989, and those that have seen them can vouch for their continued hull integrity, even though any 10 year warranty would have long expired.

So the question is, who here on ContinuousWave ever had a hull failure within the 10 year warranty period? There were about 100 problem hulls with 18 outrages in 1983 models, but unrealated to HP situations, and also with the 1998 28 Conquests, a new design at the time. Other that, I'm not aware any situations of any significance.

The 170 Montauk seems like a pretty well made hull, and there has been no word of problems that I am aware of. I wouldn't worry about it. I never did. Further, the higher HP 115 is the same weight as the 90, another non-issue.

My Mercury dealer has told me that in 2006, every Mercury engine will be fuel injected, no carbed engines at all, and no conventional 2-strokes, even EFI's. So that must mean the 75/90 4-stroke gets EFI in 2006. Why they've waited this long must be Yamaha dragging their feet, as we know Mercury has been the leader on EFI's since mid-80's. Look at the 30-60HP 4-strokes, all Mercury built engines, both brands. The Yamahas don't have EFI.

I'd put a nice Merc 125 2-stroke on it!!

bigjohn1 posted 03-02-2004 09:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
LHG,

Thanks very much for your substantial input..I do appreciate it. I realize both engines are the same weight and agree that in and of itself, simple "weight" of the engine is a non issue.

That said, An identical weight engine making 25 more HP more power is apt to create more vibration. This increased vibration is not something that likely you, I, or any layman boater will actually "feel". I do suspect however that this increased "vibration" may tend to add increased stress (fore and aft or lateral) on the transom itself.

Before I found my "sea legs" in the Navy, I was an engine builder by trade and built many small and big block V-8's
and Harley Davidson engines (stock, slightly modified, and fully modified for racing). There is no doubt creating more horsepower on a "production" engine makes more vibration.

In fairness though, we must distinguish between production and custom-built engines as many custom-built engines are
custom balanced and "blue-printed" which most in the industry would agree decreases the vibration that the higher powered engine puts out. Lets say the factory tolerance on a Chevy 350 V-8 main bearing end play is
.060 -.180. This is a wide tolerance that is fine for production engines but when you "blueprint" this same engine, you mechanically manipulate this example tolerance so it is EXACTLY a given value (lets say .070). There are various schools of thought on this among engine builders but .070 will work in this arbitrary figure to illustrate my point.

OK...back on topic. Few factory production engines are blueprinted...its simply too expensive for the production line. So, these two engines which share the same block have different bores (the diameter of the piston) and different strokes (the distance the crankshaft makes the piston travel). Bigger bore and stroke on the same "production line" block produces higher vibration. On a car, this vibration is somewhat handled by vulcanized rubber engine mounts. You don't always feel the higher vibration as the engine mount takes the stress. BUT....go stick a higher horsepower motor in your otherwise stock factory car and those stock engine mounts are likely to wear out quicker.
The engine mount on a boat is the transom and it will likely stress more with higher HP.

You make an excellent point however that you have overpowered whalers before with no problems encountered. I like to hear that as it makes me want to go with the higher HP engine and not worry about it at all. I'll bet though that the instances were you overpowered boats was with 2-stroke engines (lower weights) than the heavier 4-strokes.
If that's not the case, let me know because I am apt to go with your line of thinking but still want to be sure. Thanks again...

John

Knot at Work posted 03-02-2004 10:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Knot at Work  Send Email to Knot at Work     
I have the 4 stroke 90 Hp and have not felt overpowered, underpowered or had difficulty. Direct your questionto Tobasco he is to my knowledge the only 170 owner to out a 115 on his.

I am satisified with my 90 hp 4 stroke. plenty of power for fishing and I can get 5-10 miles off the coast if I want.

divefan posted 03-02-2004 11:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for divefan  Send Email to divefan     
I read all of Tobasco's posts RE: 115HP engine. Before I took delivery of my 2004 170 I asked the dealer to replace mine with the 115. I was hot for it after reading the posts. It all made perfect sense. The dealer was more than willing to do it BUT, he did say it would void the hull warranty. It is simply a matter that the US Coast Guard plaque does state that the engine hull is not rated for that HP. Therefore, whether it can take it or not is no longer the issue. Legally it is not rated for 115HP. Period. End of story.

After thinking it all through I decided that paying all this money for a NEW boat I didn't want to go "naked" and have NO warranty at all just for an extra 25HP. Just in case. Remember, the hull can have a problem NOT related to the engine HP. If it does the NO Warranty still holds.

I do believe that the 115 is the better choice. I also believe that it is a cost issue with BW why they don't offer it. Further, I believe that the boat can "take it" with no issue. All that being said it comes down as usual to personal choice. Warranty or no warranty. What's more important to you.

Good luck.

Matthew posted 03-02-2004 12:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Matthew  Send Email to Matthew     
John--I think Aquanaut (sp?)also has a 115 on his Montauk 170 and I believe he works at a dealership rigging boats. May be a another good source of information.
I personally have the 90 hp 2 stroke and am very happy with the performance of my boat. I've heard LHG say that this particular engine is a strong 90--possibly putting out closer to 100 hp. I was skeptical at first but I am coming around to agreeing with him.

Matt

erik selis posted 03-02-2004 02:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
I agree with Matt. I also have the 90hp 2-stroke on my 170 and the performance is outstanding. I would believe LHG if he say's it's closer to 100hp. Another advantage of the 90hp 2-stroke vs the 4-stroke is the huge difference in weight. I don't have anything against the 4-stroke but there is a big price and weight difference.

Erik

divefan posted 03-02-2004 03:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for divefan  Send Email to divefan     
Interesting point of 2 v. 4 stroke and the weight differential. I am using the 90HP 4 stroke. However, because of the type of boating I do and the better consumption of the 4 stroke (I think it's better consumption anyway :))I am sticking with the standard 2/ 6.6 gal red plastic tanks for the time being. I would figure taking into account that many 2 stroke owners will install the Pate 24/27 gal fiberglass tank that in the end the weights are comparable. If you figure the extra fuel weight and the extra weight of the fiberglass tank it will probably offset the difference in the engine weight. I do realize that the engine weight is constant and the fuel weight diminishes as you use the boat. So there is some leeway there for sure.

Perhaps someone more knowledgeable in this area could get in on this with some facts and a more exact point of view.

Jimm posted 03-02-2004 04:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jimm    
There was a great comparison of the 90 2 stroke, 90 4 stroke and the 90 opti on one of the forums. I think it was here on CW , I searched but to no avail. The bottom line was stick with the 2 stroke for power.
Maybe someone with a little better memory than I could find it; it was since Christmas.

PS: my 90 2 stroke is more than enough for me and 2 full grown adults.

LHG posted 03-02-2004 04:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
Jimm - I think you are referring to BW's own test comparisons on the Nantucket of Mercury's 3 115's, 2-stroke, new Optimax, and Merc-aha 4-stroke. The 2-stroke clearly offered superior performance and 4 mph top end, which I think is a lot. JimH has made that data available here.

I don't know if the same comparisons would hold for the three 90's, but I'll still bet the 2-stroke 90 runs the best for it's 305#.

Just this past weekend I had a chance to compare physically, side by side at Bass Pro Shop, the 3 Merc 90's. The Optimax appears huge, but weighs 360#. The 386# (without oil) 4-stroke uses the same engine cover as my 200 EFI's! The little 2-stroke 90 is really ideal if you ask me. Will hate to see it go. I'm thinking of picking up a pair for my 18 Outrage before it's too late.

A person a Whaler recently told me the 90 Opti and 90 4-stroke are about the same in performance, but I think I would prefer the Optimax for slighter lighter weight, fuel injection and probably better acceleration.

divefan posted 03-02-2004 05:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for divefan  Send Email to divefan     
jimm & LHG:

I think you are both correct. I would have chosen the 2 stroke for outright power and initial dollar savings over the 4 stroke. I just wanted the quiet and less fuss with oil lines, oil, and noise. Side by side I don't think a well made 2 stroke gives up anything in power to a 4. Probably just the opposite as you described.

Jimm posted 03-02-2004 06:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jimm    
Yep, Larry - that was it. Thanks for jogging my memory.
andygere posted 03-02-2004 06:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
The oil tank on the Merc 2-stroke 90 is under the cowl, so no external oil tanks or lines to worry about.
Matthew posted 03-02-2004 09:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Matthew  Send Email to Matthew     
Divefan--
Regarding the thought that four stroke owners are more likely to keep the two 6.6 gallon tanks which will even the weight out between a two stroke with an increased fuel load, and the four stroke-- I would think that it is pretty universal that most 170 owners, regardless of engine type, have been increasing their fuel capacity. Well except for me--I have stuck with the twin 6.6's far too long, my range was around 60 miles. I liked the concept of having twin tanks and looked into a couple of different options- aluminum and plastic, that would have left me with twin tanks and increased the fuel load. I have come to the conclusion that a Pate 24 or 27 is probably the correct option for me, due to the available space under the rps.
Matt
Tom W Clark posted 03-02-2004 09:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Matt,

Buy a pair of the Mirax aluminum tanks and put them under a new RPS.

You could be the first 170 Montauk owner that has upgraded to the classic RPS. We're pulling all the necessary parts together. You should join us. You'll have more room for fuel tanks...

Moe posted 03-02-2004 10:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Matt, if you really want to stick to two tanks (with your existing RPS), Barney uses two 12 gallon Tempo tanks in his 170, if you haven't seen it yet.

http://myweb.cableone.net/barney9014/images/17/11.jpg

http://myweb.cableone.net/barney9014/images/17/9.jpg

--
Moe

Matthew posted 03-02-2004 10:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Matthew  Send Email to Matthew     
Tom,
I have given it some thought, and although I'm not super familiar with the classic rps, I do like the leaning post (locking & 4 positions) qualities of my current set up. I've also thought of going to a true leaning post, but haven't been able to slip that one past the goalie (wife). I price the Mirax aluminums out over a year ago, and I thought they were pretty spendy. I can't recall the exact cost, but now that I'm considering a Pate I should revisit the cost of the Mirax tanks.

Moe,
I recently purchased two 13 gallon PBW Tempo tanks, but the fit under my rps wasn't great. Remember I bought my boat in May of 2002 and they may have changed some items. My fuel line comes throught the deck under the RPS in a difficult position, leaving one can further towards the stern than the other and the clearance between the seat and the top of the tanks wasn't great. Any info on Barney's installation would be helpful: did he move the fuel line? or trim the height of the rps opening? hinge the seat? etc..

Thanks,
Matt

RioRaft posted 03-02-2004 11:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for RioRaft    
Bigjohn1,
It is not against federal law to overpower a hull. Check with local regulation, put on the engine you want and be happy. I have a 2003 170 90HP/4S, 27 gallon pate. I'm very happy with the set up, speed and performance. Having said that if the 115 was an option I would have gone for it, more for the EFI than the 25 horsepower. Then again I drive a Vette, so I have other avenues to fulfill my need for speed.

Good Luck, Boat Smart!

Rio

Moe posted 03-02-2004 11:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Barney ought to be along soon and fill you in on the details. I don't have them for you.

--
Moe

bigjohn1 posted 03-03-2004 05:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Many great points here both on the engine debate and various tanks. One thing that might tend to "blow some minds" out there is the fact that we regularly venture out in the deep blue miles from shore. How far you ask?..well, here in Okinawa, 3-4 of us regularly go out to 20-30 miles off-shore spearfishing for tuna in a 23ft Japanese-style Panga runabout. The hulls here tend to be narrower and longer (its a Japanese thing I guess). The 23 footer we now use is powered by a 2003 60HP Yamaha 4-stroke and it pulls us (we all weigh around 210) with all our gear and loads of fish to speeds of just under 30 MPH. That is about as fast as you would ever want to go in the open ocean.

The 170 I am about to buy will primarily be used on the island of Guam and you have to go off-shore there to get any descent fish becuase all the near-shore reefs are fished out. The max I will go out there will be about 30 miles on a calm day. Its a different mindset in the Pacific; although I grew up bass fishing down south, out here everyone goes far off shore. Safety is still practiced out though; locator beacons, high quality radios, die marker, strobes, etc. are a standard part of any sane off-shore guy's equipment. If we are venturing far out, many of us have base station VHF in our homes and go out with pairs or groups of boats just to be sure.

I will say the far off-shore trips will happen less than simply going out 3-5 miles from shore for some trolling or bottom fishing. I will ocasionally be pulling my two teens on water skis too. With all this said, does anyone change their recommendation on what motor is best? Fuel will not be an issue though as the two 6.6 tanks will probably go in the trash can after I get the boat home...seriously, perhaps I'll use them in my inflatable or sell them to one of the many sail boat owners with tenders.

Big John

Barney posted 03-03-2004 09:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
Matthew, I unscrewed the RPS cover from the RPS and left the cushion snapped. Refueling is easy just flip up the RPS cover with cushion. I have the same tanks you have. Jim
samwhaler posted 03-05-2004 10:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for samwhaler  Send Email to samwhaler     
John, congratulations on choosing the 170. Power options are directly related to your use and loading. I had mine, an 04 170 with a 90 Merc 4-stroke, fishing package, swim ladder and factory sun top since 9/03. I load mine with a 20 gallons live bait tank, a 5 hp 4- stroke kicker, fishing gear, gas, drinks, food etc and four adults, about 1500 lb. It seems it takes forever to plane. A lot of times I feel that I could use a few extra ponies. I donít load it like that all the time, and most of the time I am satsfied with the 90 4-stroke. I tend to agree with LHG that it is unlikely that there will be a problem with the integrity of a BW hull. The only thread discussing hull warranty problem on this forum, the dealer did a terrible repair job. But then again it is a risk and benefit analysis. Maybe if I were more handy with fiberglass repair or had more boating experience I would have gone with a 115 2 stroke?
After drilling holes in the transom for the kicker and seeing how well built it is, a 115 would not be a problem. As for the fuel capacity, I like the two 12 gallons Tempo setting. It is a flexible solution, portable and still can get you out there and back. I donít venture offshore more than a couple of miles, so the 2-6 gallons tanks are enough, plus I troll most of the time on a three gallons tank. The 04 RPS is one molded piece, no cover and no screws to reach under for the tanks as I see in Barneyís pictures. Other things I learned from my mistakes! Get a Fishfinder/GPS combo unit (Garmins or Furuno are good choices) or a separate handheld GPS that you can take and use elsewhere. I have two separate fixed units and they take a big space. Get a fixed mount VHF 25W (ICOM M 45, Sitex Ultima, or Standard Eclipse Plus) with an 8 ft antenna mounted on a ratchet to the center consol rails so you can lower it for storage. I have a handheld VHF and I think of throwing it overboard each time I use it.
Good luck you will enjoy the 170. Sam
Chuck Tribolet posted 03-05-2004 11:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
I've got a buddy with an M170 with a Merc 4-stroke 90. I've
got an M167 with an Evinrude carbed 2-stroke 90. One day
we caught some really flat water. My boat, with me and
and Adm. Linda and our dive gear on board was just barely
faster than his with just him and his dive gear.


Chuck

Moe posted 03-06-2004 04:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Chuck, given the narrower beam of your 16/17, that performance comparison sounds about right. From what I've seen of these four-strokes, I don't think the outcome would've been much different had your buddy had a diving partner and gear for two aboard. They don't seem to be impacted much by additional load.

I've seen the Ohio Marine Patrol frequently doing inspections out at the launch we use at Lake Erie. Overpowering a boat is against Ohio statutes, as it is in my home state of Florida. To me, it doesn't seem worth the possible hassle of getting fined to overpower the boat when the capacity plate HP is adequate. YMMV
--
Moe

LHG posted 03-07-2004 03:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
Regarding big john's post about going out 30 miles out of Guam, I would not do that without a pony motor of some sort on that Montauk, and a 28 gallon fuel tank. I don't care whose engine or technology is involved. This sounds like an ideal situation for a twin powered 18 Outrage!
prm1177 posted 03-07-2004 03:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for prm1177  Send Email to prm1177     
I think an issue here might be if your insurance will cover you when over-powered. I doubt hull failure will be an issue, but if you are involved in an accident (particularly with another boat), over-powering may void your liability insurance and provide fuel for any liability questions.
AQUANUT posted 03-09-2004 10:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for AQUANUT  Send Email to AQUANUT     
HEY JOHN...


good choice for a 17ftr.......i have rigged /tested...170's with opti 115's...90 optimaxs......90 2 strokes and 4 strokers....I myself have an 115hp EFI $ stroke on my 2004....since the new hull design is quite a bit different than the older montauks....the weight issue isn't a major one....critical in older montauk 170's....quite frankly....
its a toss up between the optimax 2 stroke 115 and the 115hp 4 stroker....weight difference in the two is minimal.
{ my 4 strocker at over 380 lbs plus' causes water to come into the splashwell to a level of 1 inch}...I often carry 4 to seven passengers onboard...also I might add that I am installing a t-top..thus weight issues caused my need for the extra hp....However....when its just me...reminds me of my days of owning nitrous powered an twin big block powered boats of my past....man what a ride....here in the pacific northwest there can be sleeper waves that sink 65ft fishing boats....I opt for any advantage to an sticky situation I can get..the water is usually arround 45 degrees...boat may not sink..but hypothermia can still kill ya....storm or wave I am going for the beach...fast as my whaler will go!...


I have no concerns about vibration you speak of...doesn't exist....fyi..the transom on montauk 170 is considerably thicker than 170's of the past....its a great solid boat.


please think about these:


hull is rated @ 90 hp
warranties considered, 115hp is a violation and cause for void...the warranty is only as good as the b/w that sold ya the vessel
some insurance companies are on an automated application system that will not let ya insert the serial number identifing the engine as 155hp..it kicks it out to agent as be wrong engine for this hull.

{usually the larger insurers on national level}

some places there is enforcement that will ticket ya for over powering....ex: florida ...
california


and this is the BIG ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I personally have chine walked my montauk with the bow into a 50knot wind...under full throttle....It was not fun..and was over before I realized exactly that I was about toblow over....responsive when I got off the trottle..

but jet boat or alotta other boats in same situation could have had same consequence...to much air under hull..too fast....chine time.....you can email me if you have more questions...
btw....most dearlers will not endorse the installation of an 115hp on a 170...there is alot of liability involved if there is a mishap or failure.....for me..I did the swap myself...I rig boats for a living...I fix them when they break...I want to spend my free time enjoying myself..not working on them....tho its my second passion...mercury/boston whaler....good marriage


good luck

erik selis posted 03-10-2004 07:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
Aquanut,

Are you suggesting that your 2004, 170 Montauk has a thicker transom than a 2002 or 2003 170 Montauk? Or are you referring to the 17-foot Montauk before the 170 Montauk?

Erik


bigjohn1 posted 03-10-2004 08:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Aquanut,

Good input....I appreciate it. I have until May 1st to place my order..I won't pick up the boat till July as it takes a while to get them shipped all the way over here to Guam in the middle of the South Pacific. That means I still have a bit of time to mull over this decision.

Dang man, I would love that kind of speed but will I ever use it? Doubtfull out in the rough ocean except on exceptionally smooth days and those will be less than half the time. Most of the time, the boat will see max winds of only 10-15 MPH and perhaps 1-3 ft seas...I rarely go out when its rough - just no damn fun I guess. Mostly will take it out 1 or 2 other guys for diving and some fishing. Many would say, what the heck, just get one of the two different available 90's and be happy...might indeed do just that.

The water coming in the back makes me want to lean toward the 2-stroke 90 to save weight..can't see where the 90 4-stroke would be any better in this regard as it weighs the same as the 115. I bet the throttle response is better on the 2-stroke huh? I think I have been led to believe the 90 4-stroke is more reliable than the 90 2-stroke hence its being a beter off-shore motor given this boat only takes a single engine.

I have read enough threads on "kicker engines as a reliable back-up power source" to make my head spin. For the record, no matter what engine I get I WILL NOT INSTALL A KICKER. Been there - done that, what many people don't realize is that a 5,10, or 15 HP kicker will not power this weight of boat in any appreciable sea condition at a sufficient speed to make much progress and make it home.

Wrong some might say? Consider this......twice I have known owners of crafts in the 16-20 ft range who have had their primary engine go out. One made it back to shore about 25 hours later (from 21 miles out) on a 10 HP engine and the seas were relatively calm. The other had seas kick up and couldn't make any progress and got so sick of sitting back there wrenching his arm and neck to operate the kicker, he gave up and called his buddy's base station and the Coast Guard to come get him. No offense meant to anyone here but the idea of using a kicker on the 170 for anything other than trolling is laughable.

I'll use the money I save from a kicker purchase and buy quality navigation gear, a quality VHF radio, a back-up handheld VHF, and a $1,000 emergency locator beacon. Out here, we are not on a lake and getting lost or losing power is serious business. Some would say why buy a 170 for this type of use given the risk...I say its because MOST of the time, this 170 will be used for reef diving fairly close to shore...on occasion (smooth days) it might be coaxed off-shore.

AQUANUT - BTW, I can't locate your e-mail address on your profile...am I mentally challenged or is it not there? I greatly appreciate your input though and would like to swap more ideas on this whole thread...thanks a million.

Big John

bigjohn1 posted 03-10-2004 09:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Aquanut,

Good input....I appreciate it. I have until May 1st to place my order..I won't pick up the boat till July as it takes a while to get them shipped all the way over here to Guam in the middle of the South Pacific. That means I still have a bit of time to mull over this decision.

Dang man, I would love that kind of speed but will I ever use it? Doubtfull out in the rough ocean except on exceptionally smooth days and those will be less than half the time. Most of the time, the boat will see max winds of only 10-15 MPH and perhaps 1-3 ft seas...I rarely go out when its rough - just no damn fun I guess. Mostly will take it out 1 or 2 other guys for diving and some fishing. Many would say, what the heck, just get one of the two different available 90's and be happy...might indeed do just that.

The water coming in the back makes me want to lean toward the 2-stroke 90 to save weight..can't see where the 90 4-stroke would be any better in this regard as it weighs the same as the 115. I bet the throttle response is better on the 2-stroke huh? I think I have been led to believe the 90 4-stroke is more reliable than the 90 2-stroke hence its being a beter off-shore motor given this boat only takes a single engine.

I have read enough threads on "kicker engines as a reliable back-up power source" to make my head spin. For the record, no matter what engine I get I WILL NOT INSTALL A KICKER. Been there - done that, what many people don't realize is that a 5,10, or 15 HP kicker will not power this weight of boat in any appreciable sea condition at a sufficient speed to make much progress and make it home.

Wrong some might say? Consider this......twice I have known owners of crafts in the 16-20 ft range who have had their primary engine go out. One made it back to shore about 25 hours later (from 21 miles out) on a 10 HP engine and the seas were relatively calm. The other had seas kick up and couldn't make any progress and got so sick of sitting back there wrenching his arm and neck to operate the kicker, he gave up and called his buddy's base station and the Coast Guard to come get him. No offense meant to anyone here but the idea of using a kicker on the 170 for anything other than trolling is laughable.

I'll use the money I save from a kicker purchase and buy quality navigation gear, a quality VHF radio, a back-up handheld VHF, and a $1,000 emergency locator beacon. Out here, we are not on a lake and getting lost or losing power is serious business. Some would say why buy a 170 for this type of use given the risk...I say its because MOST of the time, this 170 will be used for reef diving fairly close to shore...on occasion (smooth days) it might be coaxed off-shore.

AQUANUT - BTW, I can't locate your e-mail address on your profile...am I mentally challenged or is it not there? I greatly appreciate your input though and would like to swap more ideas on this whole thread...thanks a million.

Big John

Clark Roberts posted 03-10-2004 09:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Big John, in my opinion you can't go wrong with a 90 Merc 2 stroke as it is relatively light at 305 lbs, very simple, very powerful (will hold its own against most 115hp and outperform some), very reliable (I put 2170 hrs on a 1995/96 Merc 90 2 stroke before trading it in, even took it to Bahamas and back-Green Turtle Cay) and have owned maybe a dozen of these engines in the 70 to 90hp range). I now own a 115hp Merc four stroke and like it very much (on a 1979 Revenge21) and performance is comparable to same hull with the 90 2 stroker except that 115 is about 4 mph faster (39 vs 35) and mid range acelleration is about same or maybe the 90 two stoke was a little quicker... hard to tell.
I have had several engines on this same 21 Revenge hull (200 carb 2stroke, 90 carb 2 stroke, 135 Optimax DFI, and the current 115 4 stroke EFI) and I wish I had made some measured/timed tests for comparisons to share but I didn't and have to rely on my old fading memory. Hope I'm around long enough to wear the 115 out! Happy Whalin'... Clark... Spruce Creek Navy


AQUANUT posted 03-11-2004 07:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for AQUANUT  Send Email to AQUANUT     
hey BIG JOHN
sounds likt to me..you are on the right track to make the correct decission....doing your homework helps...the more data ya collect..the better the decission....thats where this forum really helps...good luck
btw..the guy in the bays next to mine at the b/w dealership I work at....is from guam..native...he's has a fishin addiction...he runs jetboats.{sleds}...metal hulled...with 200hp mercury outboard jet..all islands are GREAT places to live..is the diving good there?
unlimited vissability?

hey Clark
have made that same run to green turtle prob 30 x's....
question...do they still serve sea turtle on the menu @the rest down the road from treasure cay? man o man that was good stuff...I have pulled some giant grouper outta the reefs near green turtle..also, is the lycan channel a busy place these days?...wish I was there right now...fyi...the last trip back from abaco...I rode a seadoo jet ski all the way home..while my wife drove the 32 foot searay..the 53 mile leg from freeport to wpb was glassy flat day...whatta ride on a seadoo..halfway back..the wife blasted thru a reall large weedline...with twin I/O's..it closed behind her
I hit it @ about 25mph..{looking for hatch covers/pallets andother floatsum}...sucked up seaweed in intake rake...had to go under the 600lb/10ft long...three person jet ski and clean rake..man o man..big ugly fish hanging out under weed lines..fish I never seen before in ocean...looking for food....finally wife turned arround came back and tossed me a dock line..what a trip....

hey Eric
thanx for email headsup...fixed it..spaced it out
thanx

bigjohn1 posted 03-11-2004 09:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Thanks Clark, I kinda thought that same thing on the "tried and true" 2-stroke 90's. While I have only owned smaller Merc 2-strokes, not one of them have ever let me down..especially when the proper preventative maintenance is done.

Did some more reasearch thinking pros and cons...115 is great but no hull warranty. 90 2-stroke is also great, I get my hull warranty (and no potential insurance worries) but doesn't get as good mileage and has perhaps a bit less power.

Enter the 90 OPTIMAX! Don't know much about this engine except what Merc has on their website but it looks to have promise. It weighs in at 10 pounds less than the 90 or 115 4-stroke motors, AND supposedly gets better mileage than the standard 90 2-stroke, probably much better acceleration than either the 90 2-stroke OR the 90 4-stroke, and clean burning. Only con I see is it probably gets just a tad less fuel mileage than either the 115 or 90 4-stroke.
I think I may have found the perfect motor (for me) to power this new 170??

I also am thinking of going with the Mercury Salt water line since this boat will do 100% of its time down close the Equator in harsh tropical conditions.

AQUANUT...gimmie the straight scoop since you're in the business. I understand the only real difference between the salt water and fresh water motors Merc makes is the shaft length (the salt water motors have 5" longer shafts). My dealer tells me its all marketing as both motor lines are made of the same metals and have the same anti-corrosion properties?? Is he blowing smoke up my butt? Also, since a 90 OPTIMAX Salt Water has a 25" shaft versus a 20" shaft, is this going to be 5" more un-needed inches of lower unit running through the water to kick up spray?

Perhaps Whaler designed the 170 hull specifically for 20" shaft length motors for optimum all-around performance and using a longer shaft motor will screw all that up?? Only experience I have had here is on inflatables....we use the longer shaft models (on Merc 25 and 40 HP) in the ocean as they don't tend to cavitate when the swells toss your boat around as you are motoring. The short shaft models give you better speed on inflatables (less metal running through the water) but tend to cavitate when the water gets sloppy (rememeber, the entire boat/motor combo weighs only about 300 pounds!) -- that's light.

Perhaps I have found the best all-around motor for my 170 which will do 100% of her time in the heat, humidity, and high salinity of the South Pacific - THE 90 OPTIMAX SALT WATER MODEL. I get my hull warranty, good power, better fuel mileage, EFI-type acceleration, and the anti-corrosion durability we so direly need out here.

Aqauanut....tell your Guamanian buddy I am from Agat and operate from the Agat Marina and like him, love fishing. I am told there is a healthy population of people from Guam living up in your neck of the woods...aint this a small world :-)

Big John
Okinawa, Japan (for now)
Agat, Guam (home)

AQUANUT posted 03-11-2004 10:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for AQUANUT  Send Email to AQUANUT     
HEY JOHN,

there is only a few basic differences in the saltwater and standard mers.....the designation saltwater...means..that the tilt-tube...the the steering cable is inserted into and the large nuts on each end of the tube are stainless steel...although they are painted black on some of the sw mercs.....there is usually a difference of approx 50 bucks for the additional stainless involved....if you have ever had to replace a steering cable due to corrosion/non lubrication of the tube...the stainless makes sense..and is a good value......also the saltwater graphics on cowling are in blue instead of red....incidently, the replacement cost for ex on the 115hp EFI 4 stroke versus saltwater model varies by about 30 bucks...same decal different color 30 bucks for the words saltwater in white...geeeesh

my expience with the 115 opti..is that it is as quiet as my 4 stroker....idles very smooth...{like an electic lawnmower..hahahaha} by the way....the opti is DFI {direct fuel injection} not EFI {electronic fuel injection}


heres some food for thot...more like a fantasy...I was just thinking....what about a 25 inch 135 opti set up on a 3 ft jackplate/setback platform...yeah buddy!...k-planes or trim
tabs would be a must.....okay...a guy can dream can't he?


take care
from oregon
things look different here!

tabasco posted 03-15-2004 05:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for tabasco  Send Email to tabasco     
Aquanut-
As it seems that you and I are the only ones with a Montauk 170 with the 115 EFI 4 stoke motor. I am curious what prop you are swinging on your rig. I myself am using the original Vengence which came with my 90 HP 4 stroke. If you have any better suggestions, since you are a rigger, please let me know.

Thanks,

Ray

AQUANUT posted 03-15-2004 07:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for AQUANUT  Send Email to AQUANUT     
hey ray,


I have three.....a stainless three blade..vengeance 14p...this is a great launch...and makes the 6000 rpm manageable due to the slower speed on the distant end...
I also have an alluminum...15p and a 17p...what hole on the bracket are you in....
I got the reducer for the water preasure gauge and hooked it up
also did an indash hour meter...a matching mercury blue face speedo...oceanus vhf in white/blue..and a sony xmradio/cd in white with 4 120 watt kenwoods in the console
read many of your post...how ya liking your decission to go 115hp 4 stroker?

Uncle Pug posted 03-15-2004 09:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Uncle Pug    
Personally I like the 90 hp four stroke. It is just perfect for me. With two divers + scuba gear + 2 underwater scooters (65# each) + full fuel we are able to hit 40 mph and burn < 2.5 gph average for the trip. In fact I don't think I would really want to go faster.

Barney posted 03-15-2004 09:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
I agree. The 90 4-Stroke is just fine. Jim
tabasco posted 03-16-2004 08:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for tabasco  Send Email to tabasco     
Hey guys I think a lot of readers have miss read my reason for upgrading TABASCO to the 115 HP motor. It was NEVER about speed. It was all about the smooooooothness of the EFI. Once you have felt the EFI you will never want to go back. Especially at idol and low speeds,,,,,,,,,very smooth. Granted the extra HP is nice for pulling out multiple skiiers and for pulling two tubes but the real reason is that it is so smoooooooooth.

Had whaler offered a 90 HP motor with EFI I would have never taken this road. I still feel that whaler has made a mistake not uping the HP to 115HP. It really is the ideal engine for this boat.I never have regreted my decision. It is in NO WAY overpowed with the 115HP motor.

Just my personal input.

AQUANUT posted 03-16-2004 10:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for AQUANUT  Send Email to AQUANUT     
I agree ray....the EFI makes a big difference on start up...its turn the key and go,,,no more push to choke,,,or coughing that goes with it on a cold day..also,,,if you operate at different altitudes...from sea level to 5500ft...some people here actually have to re prop due to the issues with the atmosphic differences in air density.

the EFI ADDRESSES THAT FOR YOU.....the same performance at any altitude

divefan posted 03-16-2004 12:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for divefan  Send Email to divefan     
Uncle Pug:

Your comments are comforting to me. Just bought my 170 with a 90-4 stroke. I admit all the talk about the 115 EFI has had me worried. I will be using the boat almost exactly as you do. Divers, scuba gear, ocean use, etc. So with your numbers I feel like I did make the right choice. Thanks for the reassurance.

BEACHPANDA posted 03-16-2004 01:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for BEACHPANDA  Send Email to BEACHPANDA     
I've posted an appropriate liability response on another CW link

http://continuouswave.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/001194.html

That deals with the responsibility and costs of overpowering. The downside is a lot more than voiding a warranty. It could potentially cost you everything you have in the event of a boating accident.. regardless of whose falt it is.

Just my 2 cents.

BEACHPANDA

Uncle Pug posted 03-16-2004 11:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Uncle Pug    
Divefan... that is exactly why I posted.

It wasn't to call Tabasco into question for going with the 115hp (personally I would love to have had EFI on the 90.)

Folks buy a BW because they want the best. They spend $$$$$ and opt for the premium priced 90hp 4 stroke. Then they read a thread like this and start feeling like they have an inferior package.

Well if you have a Montauk 170 with a 90hp 4 stroke you have an excellent machine!

I have been trying to come up with a name for mine and UPB4UGo was the front runner until we used it at WOT in some chop the other day. Now I'm thinking Frequent Flyer or Touch & Go... and that was carrying a load.

BTW... I posted a thread on Scuba Board describing how I am setting up my Montauk for diving. I've been posting pictures there.

AQUANUT posted 03-17-2004 10:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for AQUANUT  Send Email to AQUANUT     
bottomline is.....use what you feel comfortable with....what ever floats your boat....regardless of power options...the 170 is a remarkable boat....have own brand spankin new sea rays to 32 ft..and a new hatteras @ 47 ft...
both were awesome vessels....quality built owned by brunswick....whalers with mers are no different...enjoy
divefan posted 03-17-2004 03:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for divefan  Send Email to divefan     
Uncle Pug:

I think Mr. Tabasco did a great job modifying his new 170. I guess anytime we see someone with "more" HP or something more "trick" we get a little envious. :) Anyway, it was nice to hear from someone who is using the boat in the same manner as I am giving real time opinions. You hit the nail on the head with your comments.

Btw, I checked out your post on Scuba Board where I am a member too. I will post follow-up as I progress in outfitting my boat for diving on that site using your thread as well.

If you haven't already seen it check out Chuck Tribolet's thread on his Montauk dive boat. He did a real nice job.

http://www.garlic.com/~triblet/whaler/

Uncle Pug posted 03-17-2004 07:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Uncle Pug    
I did check out Chucks webpage! Most excellent.
boxers posted 03-17-2004 07:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for boxers  Send Email to boxers     
I would put the 115HP motor on back but change the engine graphics to read 90HP. A good graphics shop that makes signs ect. could do that at the same time they put the name on your boat (and they can match the stock look perfectly). Its nice to have reserve power so your not running the motor hard all the time. Just my .02
Barney posted 03-17-2004 07:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
I like my 90 4-Stroke alot. For those thinking about one don't be afraid of the it. More discussion on this subject here: http://continuouswave.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/002124.html

Jim

divefan posted 03-27-2004 06:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for divefan  Send Email to divefan     
Just came back from the Palm Beach Boat Show. Spoke at length to a factory guy about this question. He asked not to be quoted by name on CW but here is what the unnamed source said about more HP on this boat.

BW will not be putting more HP on this boat now or in the future because it would not be keeping within the safety parameters and the family image that this model represents.

They have tested this boat model with all sizes of engines. They have concluded for the general use of their customer base the 90 HP engine moves this hull simply as fast as it needs to go.

Yes, EFI will be coming to the 90 as we all know. But, the 115 will not be seen on this boat at anytime in the future.

All sounds reasonable to me. Can't argue with safety or a safe family image.

James posted 03-27-2004 10:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for James  Send Email to James     
For What It's Worth:

It is against the law in New Jersey to exceed the boat's capacity plate in any form. Add the California and Florida prohibitions mentioned above and you have eliminated a lot of usable coastal U.S.A. water, by exceeding the HP rating.

James.

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