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150 Sport with 60-HP Bigfoot 4-stroke
|Author||Topic: 150 Sport with 60-HP Bigfoot 4-stroke|
posted 09-14-2004 11:51 AM ET (US)
We took delivery of [a 150 SPORT with a 60-HP Bigfoot 4-stroke] in late August. The discussions on the forum of this website were very helpful in my investigation. I lurked through many posts and reference pages.
The boat is excellent and everything we expected. The Bigfoot motor performs very well. but it is not everything that was expected. My experience with 4stroke enginess has been two Honda 25-HP models and a Yamaha 40-HP. In comparison the Bigfoot 60 seems much louder at speed.
The package we received has the Stainless Steel Vengeance 14-inch prop. When we test drove the boat I was concerned with the clutch rattle in slow shifts out of neutral. The dealer said they'd get rid of it, but when delivered the excuse [for it still being there] was that Mercury and Boston Whaler both said it was normal. Presumably it is because aluminium propellers run in a rubber hub and the SS propellers do not. When I read the owner's manual it states that the engine should not be used with a SS prop, as this is will cause excessive clutch rattle, although it will not be detrimental to the engine or prop. Hmmm...
My solutions seem to be to re-prop with an aluminum Black Max, or in looking at the Mercury website, I can retrofit the Flo Torque II? I am further confused as the website also states that the Flo Torque comes with the Vengeance prop. The boat is currently on the other side of the country at our cottage so I can't check.
Can someone tell me if the Whaler package includes the Flo Torque hub? If not, will this solve my rattle or should I head to the aluminium props?
The other problem with the engine is a high pitched whine/whistle that comes and goes at various RPM and in various volumes - sometimes quite loud. I called Canadian Customer Service and they told me the whining/whistling noise has been reported by several customers. They have "checked with engineering" and "it is part of the nature of the unit - it's just the way it performs."
So is this a great performing, loud, rattling, whistling, 4-stroke? I'm very happy with the way it performs and it is a great match for the hull--it just doesn't seem very refined relative to the smaller Honda and Yahama motors.
Thanks for a great forum, I appreciate your input
posted 09-14-2004 12:12 PM ET (US)
What year is your 150 Sport??
posted 09-14-2004 12:18 PM ET (US)
The Mercury. 4-stroke 60-HP is in fact for all intents and purposes a Yamaha head!
posted 09-14-2004 02:32 PM ET (US)
I had some prop problems with my 150 that have some similarity to yours. Without going into all the sordid details; Initially in the 2003 production cycle the Bigfoot engines were fitted with an "old style" prop ( I think it was a Flo-Torq 1 without a separate rubber hub). Sometime during production they made a switch to the "newer style" prop, Flo-Torq II. In order to be in sync with the owner's manual language about the proper prop for the bigfoot, the Flo-Torq II is the correct prop.
I am not sure how much better the Bigfoot will perform with a SS prop, or if it is really necessary. I did notice at a boat show that a dealer had put SS props on a number of smaller Whaler models that were on display. This may have just been a way to increase their profit margin. I also think that sometimes a factory prop may get lost in shipping or otherwise used for service with another engine in a dealership. If the original factory prop gets separated during life on the sales floor, they may just put on whatever is available.
I get the rattle and chatter regardless of which aluminum prop I have on my engine.
If you get too much of a runaround from a dealer, contact Boston Whaler Customer Service direct. They can quickly get you the correct information and provide great assistance when the dealer won't.
posted 09-14-2004 02:40 PM ET (US)
Chopbuster is mistaken. Like this fellow's Mercury built 40 HP Yamaha he is raving about, this powerhead is also sold to Yamaha by Mercury for the 60's. These are 100% Mercury made engines. Until the 2005 model years, Yamaha put carbs on them, and Mercury put EFI on theirs. You can decide which you'd rather have. Obviously, some people prefer carbs over EFI. Since I am told Mercury is phasing out all carbs for 2006, Yamaha can now also get the engines with the Merc's EFI.
posted 09-14-2004 06:10 PM ET (US)
Thank you for setting the record straight.
I was thinking of the 4-stroke 90hp Mercuyama :)
posted 09-14-2004 06:11 PM ET (US)
I hope I'm not raving :) The boat and motor are brand new, both built this year, June and May I believe. I understood from reading an earlier post on this setup that Boston Whaler changed to the SS prop during the current production year.
I have talked to Mercury customer service but they could not answer my rattle question, although they did tell me the part number for the Flo Torq II that could be applied. I am confused at to whether this is already on the engine, or what the dealer told me is accurate and there is no rubber dampening and the rattle is metal to metal contact.
The rattle does disappear as soon as increased throttle is put to the engine. Quick throttle application from neutral results in a "thunk" instead of a rattle.
posted 09-14-2004 08:36 PM ET (US)
Don't "ease" the motor into gear. Shift from neutral to forward/reverse as quickly as possible on any outboard (or inboard/outboard). The "clunk" is better than the "rattle" from a slow shift. I believe the rattle is the clutch dog trying to engage the forward or reverse gear, the teeth are just "skipping" across each other until they finally engage. You will tear up the clutch dog with slow shifts. The rattle is metal on metal wearing on each other. There are teeth on both the gear and the clutch dog that engage. It is not like an automobile clutch in design, you cannot "slip" these into gear. The "clunk" is the clutch dog engaging the forward or reverse gear, that is normal.
The quicker the better on shifts. No finesse needed here.
posted 09-14-2004 11:10 PM ET (US)
The whistle isn't normal. A whistle is most likely a leak, usually an intake leak. Check the gaskets and seals by shooting some oil on them. If it's a squeal, it could be something rubbing.
The aluminum props for the 40-60HP 4-stroke BigFoots are silver painted special ones with a pressed in, soft rubber hubs to prevent rattle. It appears there's a Flo-Torq III hub designed to reduce rattle on these engines using props with the replacable hubs.
Click on the link "outboard and sterndrive propellor"
Enter your Zip Code in the Dealer Locator
Select a Dealer in the Dealer Locator
Click on Propellor Hardware and Accessories
Click on Flo-Torq II, III, & HD Hub Kits
Click on Item 3, which should be part number 835257K_9 (Flo-Torq III Hub Kit)
Flo-Torq III 40-60 HP FourStroke Bigfoot 90-115 HP FourStroke (Aluminum or Stainless steel props, reduces prop rattle)
Hope this helps,
posted 09-15-2004 01:06 AM ET (US)
Certainly the quick shifts cut out the rattle, but it seems I need to be around 1100-1200 RPM for the prop to be fully engaged. I can't idle forward. As a result the slowest the boat goes is not real slow - too fast for trolling and a little to quick for docking.
Moe, the part number you've quoted is the same as the part number given me by Canadian customer service. I've followed your links and that sure looks like it will do the trick.
I will follow up the whistle next summer. The gasket leak sounds like as good a place to start as any. The only other suggestion I've heard is the fuel pump.
posted 09-15-2004 08:44 AM ET (US)
My former 50 Merc 4 stroke emitted a sound that might be described as a whistle, but it sounded more like a high-pitched whine on my motor. At first I thought it was an alarm, but the dealer demonstrated the alarm when I brought it in, and assured me the 'whine' was normal at mid and high rpm..
posted 09-15-2004 09:28 AM ET (US)
The fact that you have to advance the control to a point that throttles the motor to 1200 rpms to fully engage in gear leads me to believe the problem is related to the adjustment of the shift cable or throttle cable, shift mechanism or remote control.
The hub certainly may cure the rattle while the motor is engaged in gear, but I don't see how a different hub or style prop will cure a gear engagement problem.
A properly adjusted shift cable should engage the boat in gear at idle rpms before the throttle cable increases motor rpms.
posted 09-15-2004 09:43 AM ET (US)
The Orlando dealer told me some months ago about the new Flo-Torgue III. Their "prop man" believes this hub will allow 60 Bigfoot owners with the 03 grey props the option to move to the stainless steal Vengeance that some 150s are being delivered with now. Don't know if the upgrade is worth the money yet but nice to know that Whaler is on the job by providing the option.
Moe: I read you have gone with another boat and may be selling the 150. Terrible loss for me and other 150 owners. I have been a relatively silent follower of this Forum for 2 years. While there is a lot of great info on this site for us, there is no question in my mind that you are the one best reference source anywhere for us 150s. Yet to be seen if you can actually part with it! Good Luck.
posted 09-15-2004 10:49 AM ET (US)
I've come to the conclusion, especially after last weekend's Whaler rendezvous in Pensacola, that we need to keep the 150 Sport for at least another 1-1.5 years. It really is the perfect trailerable, garagable boat for us.
It remains to be seen whether sailing, much less trailer sailing, is for us. It's going to take twice as long at the ramp, stepping and unstepping the mast, and once on the water, hoisting the sails, etc. If we have to do that every time, we may use it less. On the other hand, if we put it in a slip, we may use it a lot more. I think it's worth trying though.
So I'll still be around CW, at least in the immediate future, trying to help the growing number of 150 Sport owners.
posted 09-15-2004 11:00 AM ET (US)
Good to see that you are sticking around. I saw a MacGregor sailboat over labor day. It was in platte lake in northern Michigan. They were motoring around using a combo of the sail and motor as there was very little wind. The lake is shallow in many areas and the boat launch is can be a bit challenging for rigs of 20ft or more. They seemed to launch ok and moved around the lake about anywhere they wanted to. I guess the water ballast and keel make it ideal for this type of boating.
posted 09-15-2004 02:27 PM ET (US)
Moe, glad you're hanging on to the 150 for a while. Over and over I hear folks say "I used to have a little Whaler, I never should have sold that boat". I have never heard anyone say "I really regret hanging on to that little Whaler for so long.
A few years ago, we sold my old '72 Sport 13 that had resided at my folks' cottage on the Cape for many years. The boat was in good shape (I restored it many years earlier) but the trailer was getting rusty and the Merc 40 on the back was a cranky little money pit. My dad purchased a Dauntless 16 to replace it, and that has been a terrific boat so far. All that said, I wish we kept the old 13 in the family for use as a flyfishing boat, low maintenance beach shuttle and a future skiff for my kids when they are old enough. You won't regret keeping your Whaler, I'm sure of that.
posted 09-16-2004 04:22 PM ET (US)
Thank you all for your responses. Shift cable adjustment is something I will check. The whine something we will live with.
I will also say I'm glad Moe is keeping his 150. I have read a number of your posts and looked at a number of your diagrams on your layout and floorplan comparisons. I admire your thoroughness.
Have you considered putting up a webpage that provides links to the various charts and diagrams spread around these posts?
posted 09-16-2004 09:03 PM ET (US)
The adoption of a universal hub approach by Mercury in their new propeller products is sold to the customer as an advantage. The advantage to the customer is a limited one: he can replace the plastic hub on those occasions when the propeller happens to strike an underwater object and break the plastic. Of course, there is no guarantee that when a propeller strikes an underwater object that the only damage will be to the plastic hub. If you are lucky, and you carry a spare plastic insert around, you could replace the hub in the field and get back underway. More likely if you have an impact that is severe enough to shatter the plastic, there might be other damage, too.
The plastic hub part is about $12. The whole hub kit is about $40. I don't know how many people with these Flo-Torq hubs are carrying around a spare plastic insert, but my guess is not all that many.
In comparison, making the propeller as a universal item and fitting it to different engine brands and models by method of a hub/adapter has quite a bit of advantage for the manufacturer. They can make one propeller and fit Mercury, OMC, Yamaha, and Honda. This has to save them manufacturing and inventory costs. It seems like an excellent idea from a manufacturing point of view.
The downside for the customer with the Flo-Torq hub style propeller is precisely what we are hearing here: they CLUNK into gear, maybe even rattle a bit. These hubs definitely make more of a CLUNK when shifting than the classic, traditional, outboard propeller configuration using a rubber coupling between the propeller hub and the propeller shaft. The rubber not only provided a break-away protection device in the event of a hard propeller strike against an underwater object, but it also seems to provide some cushion to the shifting. Just as reported here, without the rubber hub the shifts can be noisy.
If you think the shifts are noisy and make a clunk on a little 60-HP propeller, wait until you try a big, heavy, 4-blade stainless steel propeller designed for 200-HP and more. They really CLUNK!
The fact that there apparently is a different style of Flo-Torq hub which includes some rubber coupling is a good indication that Mercury is aware of this problem.
In general, I have to wonder if an expensive stainless steel performance propeller is warranted on a boat with a 60-HP engine that probably only goes 35-MPH. The standard aluminum propeller will be about one-quarter to one-third the cost, it won't CLUNK on shifting, and it will probably provide performance within a few miles-per-hour of the stainless steel propeller.
posted 09-16-2004 11:55 PM ET (US)
Apparently Boston Whaler had some motivation to start specing the SS prop. It does seem strange to ship an engine/prop combination that the owner's manual warns against. I agree that I'd probably happier with an older style quiet aluminium prop
posted 09-17-2004 09:21 AM ET (US)
I have a 75 hp merc 2-stroke. When I changed from a Black Max to an SS Vengeance prop I did get marginal improved performance however it also came with the annoying prop rattle at low speed in forward gear. As back pressure increases on the prop with increasing rpms the rattle disappears. My aluminum prop and SS prop both use the same flo torq II hub. My conclusion is that the increased momentum of the much heavier SS prop is the cause. At low speed idle there is not enough back pressure to prevent it from "outrunning" the speed of the drive train gearing and so it "chucks" back and forth within the clearance of the gears in the drive train and makes a rattle. I have no experience with the older rubber hub styles but the rubber probably absorbs some of the instantaneous shock load of the gear teeth and reduces the noise.
Moe: I used to trail a CAl 21' sailboat and during the first year of dealing with the, I docked the boat permanently. You will be amazed at how many launch sites have electrical cables running in front of the launch ramps and how mych longer it will take you to launch and retrieve. Don't get rid of that Wahler, you'll be back!!
posted 09-17-2004 01:31 PM ET (US)
Whaler went to the stainless Vengeance prop for one reason... it's the only 14" pitch prop available for the 60HP BigFoot. Besides this, there are other reasons aside from performance why folks want stainless props... resistance to damage from sandbars and wood debris being one.
The 150 Sport originally came with the cushy hubbed aluminum 15" Black Max prop. It's a good prop for this boat with a light load and no drag from a bimini, putting max rpms at the lower end of the 5,500-6,000 rpm WOT operating range. However, with the bimini deployed, and a load of 3 people or more, and their gear, the maximum rpm can drop to 5,400 rpm, or less. With me and Barb, and our gear, and the bimini deployed, the maximum rpm varies with the location of the 50-60 lb cooler. With it in the stern area, the maximum rpm is 5,400 rpm with a top speed of almost 34 mph. The motor is trimmed up slightly past perpendicular to the water surface. However, with the cooler tied down just behind the bow locker, the maximum rpm is only 5,200 rpm with a speed just under 32 mph, and the motor has to be trimmed way up past perpendicular to the water surface to get max rpm and speed.
Yes, with the cooler forward, the boat is too bow-heavy at that speed, and the motor has to be trimmed up to try to lift the bow and get more of the bottom out of the water. But most of our running is at lower speed, especially in heavy seas, and the cooler forward helps the bow cut through the waves rather than launch off them, not to mention lowers planing speed, both of which would otherwise require trimming the motor down past perpendicular with the water surface. We balance the boat for the lower speed we operate at, rather than for maximum speed.
The next size down in the Black Max line is the 13" pitch. With the above configuration, including cooler forward, the maximum rpm jumps from 5,200 rpm to 6,000 rpm at the same just under 32 mph top speed. I haven't tried the 13" prop with the cooler in the stern area, but I suspect the max rpm would be close to the 6,250 rpm rev limit. This is a huge difference in max rpm, roughly twice the 200 rpm per inch of pitch rule of thumb.
Given that it takes about 3 minutes to change the prop, we can have a smooth-water, lower rpm cruising configuration with the 15" prop and cooler aft (even though it's slightly below the max rpm range at WOT), or a heavy-water (or tubing/skiing) configuration with the 13" prop and cooler forward. However, most owners want a one size fits all single prop, and the 13" is WAY too little pitch for a lightly loaded 150.
Hence, the 14" Vengeance, an uncupped, almost identical profile of the aluminum Black Max props, is Whaler's only choice. Clearly a cushy hubbed prop, either a 14" Black Max or a special fixed hub version of the stainless Vengeance, would be optimum, but such aren't available.
I agree the noise problem is the added mass and intertia, not only of the larger prop even with aluminum, but especially of the denser stainless, compared with the low mass and inertia, and torque, of the small flywheel and small displacement motor. This MAY be compounded with greater lash in the 2.33:1 gearing that MIGHT not be as great on the 1.87:1 small foot.
Hope this helps,
posted 09-17-2004 10:42 PM ET (US)
Thanks guys that does explain it and give me some options. With a lightly loaded boat the SS vengeance hits about 5400 with the engine fully trimmed in and rises above 6000, easily 6200, as the engine is trimmed out. At this point the boat is FLYING :)
Seems like the answer is to add a 15" black max as our use is almost always lightly loaded, rarely WOT, and a quiet boat for fishing.
The vengeance can come out for tubing days with a crowd.
No need to pursue the hub option, and I'll get ear plugs for the WHINE! This seems appropriate as my childhoob buddy had a whiny mecury thath I lusted after. So the bigfoots whine is strangly comforting!
posted 09-18-2004 06:32 AM ET (US)
I would really be curious as to what a 16" Vengeance would do lightly loaded. If a lightly loaded 14" Vengeance allows the same rpms as a heavily loaded 13" Black Max, I wonder if a lightly loaded 16" Vengeance would all the same rpms as a heavily loaded 15" Black Max?
Perhaps someone here has a 16" Vengeance you can try.
posted 09-20-2004 11:25 AM ET (US)
Whats the reason for using a Bigfoot on a 150 Sport?
From a forum member I've learned that on a small boat like that a standard lower unit will perform a LOT better due to the reduced drag of that narrow lower unit, makes sense to me.
posted 09-20-2004 08:50 PM ET (US)
In the first place, the 150 Sport isn't a "small" boat, in the sense of its predecessor, or small aluminum boats. In overall size, it's about the same as the pre-170 Montauks, weighs almost as much, and has a wider bottom in the water on plane. As one owner here says, "It's the biggest 15 foot boat I've ever seen."
Only Boston Whaler's engineers know the actual reason why the smaller Whalers come with BigFoots, wherever possible. The only instance I recall where this isn't the case is on the 130 Sport, where its 40HP 4-cycle is a lighter, 750cc 3-cylinder "smallfoot." The 40HP BigFoot is the same 1000cc 4-cylinder as the 50 and 60HP BigFoots, and the 130 couldn't carry its weight. I have to believe Whaler's engineers know what they're doing, that they actually do test their boat designs with different motors, and that they've found the BigFoots to perform better.
To my knowledge, they haven't shared this reason with anyone on this forum, so I can only surmise that while the BigFoot's wider lower end and larger diameter prop may provide more drag, its lower gear ratio (2.33:1 vs 1.83:1) and larger diameter, greater pitch prop probably more than offset the drag at the 35 mph or so maximum speed 60HP can push this boat regardless of what prop is on it.
posted 09-29-2004 09:46 PM ET (US)
When I was shopping for my 150 sport this summer I water tested a 60 fourstroke bigfoot with the ss prop (2004) and experienced the same clunk when going into gear. I actually posted the question here on the forum and got about the same answers. I wound up buying a 1 year old boat (2003) with the same engine and the grey alum. prop. -No clunk. I am very happy with the setup. The motor starts up instantly everytime and is extremely quiet in comparison with the 2 stroke. I have not had any experience with other four strokes so I can only offer what I have gotten from my merc. No squealing or whining at higher rpms eihter. Hope this helps, enjoy your new boat.
posted 07-04-2008 04:55 PM ET (US)
i have a 2007 150 sport with a 60hp 4 stroke merc. the oil alarm in the throttle was going on extensively on our last run. engine has less than 5 hours of moderate work. i dont think there is anything wrong, and it may be a false positive. how can i check this out.
posted 06-29-2009 09:07 AM ET (US)
I have a 2004 Sport 15 with a 2004 Mecury 60 hp 2 stroke standard (No big foot) On GPS I can easily get my boat going 37mph fully trimmed with 12 gal of gas a 40lb cooler in back and me at 200lb and my wife at 105 lbs..........I can also drive around all day with 5 people in my boat adults with gear almost 1000 pounds just over max load....I think my light weight motor is great compared to the four strokes. It weighs about 100lbs less and seems to be faster top end than the BIG Foot...Also two strokes still have a great hole shot....Also 305 is the max weight motor you can put on the boat model year 2000 - 2008 I think a 90 hp Yamaha two stroke motor would be great 261 lbs .....Max hp for the motor weight..............Local state laws and insurance would be a problem...also may hurt future resale of boat...
posted 06-29-2009 02:18 PM ET (US)
Your 60 weighs 204lbs and the 4 stroke is 247-260. You are nowhere near 100lbs lighter than a 4 stroke.
posted 06-29-2009 06:39 PM ET (US)
I own the same 2008 150 Sport. I have resolved the very annoying rattle from the original 14 inch prop via a Flo-Torq III hub kit. Completely stopped the rattle. Any remaining clunking is not a big issue.
Your original prop is equipped with a Flo-Torq II. See your ENGINE owners manual in the changing prop section. Take yours off and look and all will make sense (it's good to learn to do this anyway). Order a III kit and install it. It's worth it unless you can get one for free after the Deal!
DO NOT TORQUE THE III KIT TO 150LB! There is some mention on this board to do that but that spec is for a different kit. Read the correct section of the kit instruction sheet and compare that with the illustration in your engine owners manual. Don't hurry...make sure you are reading the correct section for your engine.
I also noted with the 14 inch Vengeance, top engine RPM's were substantially over 6k trimmed and just me at 200lb, a full fuel tank and normal items like anchor etc. Because I wanted to reduce WOT RPM's and needed a spare prop, I picked up a Black Max 15 inch. Still just pegs the tack at 6k trimmed out but a safer WOT in my opinion.
Note that the Specs on the BW Web Site for the 2009's use a 15 inch Vengeance, I bet to bring the RPM's down a bit. The engine protection system never did activate while I was screaming down the lake but I'm sure it was close. I also gained a bit of top end with the Max 15inch. It may be more prone to cavitation during sharp high speed turn etc but haven't fully tested or seen that yet.
One responder to a previous post suggested the 16 inch Vengeance. I think that would be a great choice if the load is always just me and/or I didn't mind changing props for different applications. For now, if I spend any more money on props I will likely spring for the Vengeance 15 as it might be the best one for overall general use and produce an acceptable WOT RPMs with light loads. The Flo-Torq III kit can also be transferred to any of these props as needed.
I'm happy to provide part numbers if needed and hope this helps. Getting to the bottom of things can sometimes drive one nuts!
posted 06-29-2009 08:23 PM ET (US)
Since my original post on this thread ~ 5 years ago, I have been through several props on my 150 fourstroke 60 hp. As stated above the solution lies in the Flo Torq III hub, once I went to that hub I was able to go to several different pitched props for the engine as the situations dicated without any rattles or clunks. I still own my 150 and love the boat motor combination. I have found the limitations of the motor can be overcome through switching out the porps as needed. Not sure how much longer the 2003 Merc. 60 will hold out but I have also wondered how the 90 hp. Yamaha 2 stroke would perfom on this hull. It seems that it would be a great match. I wonder if anyone has ever given it a try as the orginal 150 sports are now entering 6-7 years of service.
posted 07-18-2011 11:03 AM ET (US)
My experience with the 60HP Bigfoot and Stainless prop has been very good. I experienced an increase of 3 mph in speed and a ~5% fuel efficiency boost.
The Flow Torq II kit sometimes has a little rattle at ultra low RPM though...but adding a bit of throttle for an extra 100-200RPM will smooth everything out.
With 6200RPM on your 14pitch Stainless prop, you should be able to go up one more pitch = max speed and fuel efficiency!
What are your GPS speed readings with your prop now?
posted 07-19-2011 06:19 AM ET (US)
I had the boat out last night with the 14 pitch Vengeance ss prop and got 29.8 mph at wot-5800 rpm. The boat had 4 adults, two fuel tanks and two batteries on board. I have noticed a substantial loss of power over the last couple of years that I attribute to ethanol in the fuel; as a result I have been using the 14" prop much more now than the 15, I even use the 13" when the situation dictates.
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