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ContinuousWave: Post-Classic Whalers
Verado Application to Whaler
|Author||Topic: Verado Application to Whaler|
posted 11-15-2005 06:38 PM ET (US)
It appears that Verados have not been well received by a major segment of the CW membership, something encouraged by the E-Tec lobby and anti-Brunswick folks. And besides, many participants are not at all interested in engines of 135HP and more, since their Whalers don't use engines that large. Large size, high weight and fuel consumption only at WOT (of the L6 models), aggravated by supposedly rigged performance statistics by Boston Whaler, are heard all the time as supposedly serious negatives. Many are convinced that they are not a "fit" on an old Classic Whaler, and they have been critized for supposedly high initial cost and rigging expense due to DTS, Smartcraft, power steering, etc (not that you don't get what you pay for). It gets real old after a while.
I think because of this, people who do like them are loath to bring up the subject, not wanting to get continually attacked. And as Jim says, I don't think a single member has bought one for re-power due to their premium price, and probably won't, which can be as much as $500-$1000 over the price of a comparable competing brand 4-stroke or Optimax. They seem to be an engine ahead of it's time, and too costly, for most here. They don't even get any credit here for being a LOT more trouble free than the new E-tec Evinrudes.
There is tons of talk here about re-powering with lower cost Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha 4-strokes, but none on Verado. That's just the way it is. Verado discussion is most likely to appear in the Post Classic section, as people buy new Verado powered Whalers. If CW and old Whalers are a bellwether, Mercury has a problem.
posted 11-16-2005 12:37 AM ET (US)
With over 25 years experience as an outboard technician I've watched with great interest the introduction of many new technologies. I really can't think of anything "new" that didn't have some initial problems and consequently I, like many other potential buyers, are very skeptical when something so "radical" as the Verado comes on the scene. I've been very slow to warm up to the 4 strokes...BUT, I have to admit there have been far fewer problems with the introduction of new 4 strokes. The average boater wants dependability above all else...and I think the 4 strokes are delivering...and like it or not they are here to stay. The early years of Optimax and Ficht were pretty troublesome for many...and early owners will not forget their troubles.
So I'm reserving my judgement on Verado (and all the other big 4 strokes) until I can see what people have to say about them several years from now.
Meanwhile, Merc if you are listening or reading, I'd be happy to do a long term evaluation of a 175 Verado on my 18 ft. Ventura??!!
posted 11-16-2005 07:44 AM ET (US)
Perhaps the rigging cost is a stumbling block to widespread Verado acceptance in the repower market.
Almars, in Delaware, has a reasonable package price on the motor and rigging. Howerver, my local Mercury dealer in NJ told me to budget $5000 to change from a two stroke Evinurude on a 1997 Dauntless to the Verado. Marty D
posted 11-16-2005 09:13 AM ET (US)
What gets old is calling anybody who isn't a Merc fan an "E-TEC lobbyist" or an "anti-Brunswick folk". Name calling is something that should have been left on the playground long ago.
My impression is that the Verado has been a hard sell to the classic Whaler owners due to compatibility problems more than anything else. It seems very few classic Whaler owning folks here are interested in replacing their 450 lb outboard with a 650 lb outboard having a very tall profile on a relatively low profile boat with a notched transom.
I think many are also discouraged by the pricing relative to other competitive motors. The pricing differential appears to be much greater than $500 as suggested. Whaler.com shows about a $4,000 base price differential between a new Whaler with a 225 Optimax and a 225 Verado, or about $1,500 differential between the 150 Optimax and the 150 Verado. Wellcraft shows a $4,000 differential between the 250 Verado and 250 E-TEC and about a $5,500 differential between the 250 Verado and the F250 Yamaha on their 232 Coastal model. Assuming the labor cost is the basically the same to rig any of these motors at the factory, the price differential is just for the equipment. Labor costs to derig the old motor and rig the new Verado in a repower would be on top of the equipment cost differential noted above. There are also practical considerations such as where does one hide the required power steering pump on a 22 Outrage with standard console?
With respect to classic Whalers, the I6 Verado is a bit like trying to fit a square peg in a round hold. The I4 Verado is a little less so since it doesn't require power steering. These are the hard facts of the situation that Merc must have knowingly confronted during the design. It's quite unlikely that any so-called lobbying activities (basically some criticism) have had any impact on any personal decisions as the contraints of the Verado are fairly self evident to anybody who takes a few moments to consider the situation. It would appear that there is a certain market segment that Merc simply chose not to serve by the design.
Thus, I think the self imposed physical and cost constraints that the Verado has is why we see much more repowering talk about Evinrudes, Yamahas, Hondas, Suzukis, Optimaxes and plain Mercury 4-strokes for smaller Whalers than Verados in the Classic section.
Regarding credit for trouble free operation, there is no reported statistics that I know of that reveals the number of installed Verados versus the number of installed E-TECs. However, judging by what I have seen in my boating community, the E-TEC installed base is significantly higher than the Verado installed base. If that were to apply nationwide and if both motors had the same percentage of trouble, one would expect to hear more about E-TEC trouble than Verado trouble.
It is nice that Glen has put a support group together. However, I'm not sure how much use it will be to classic Whaler owners but post Classic owners should be able to make good use.
posted 11-16-2005 12:37 PM ET (US)
i wouold agree with this..The I6 verado is strickly a big boatapplication in my opin. It is heavy and requires specific requirments like room to mount the power stering and although the witing up to the console is less than a cable unit, it requires a battery upgrade and the minimum is 1000 MCA's, and I like 1250 myself.
I think the E-tec is a helluva motor and meets alot of specs that a classic whaler might need. I strictly posted here not to tout the verado, but to aid those that are buying new Outrage type products and have some questions. I feel merc has done a less than stellar job siseminating info to the dealers and customers. Last month, I was asked by merc if they could publish my owners info. We'll see...
posted 11-16-2005 01:31 PM ET (US)
Well I rest my case. And for serious name calling, much worse than an assumption of a business connection with Evinrude, see the Meta Forum these days.
As for Verado rigging costs, what is going to happen with the other brands when they, too, catch up with Mercury and offer their high rigging cost versions of DTS, Smartcraft and power steering? Then, of course, it will be OK, and the costs will not be considered excessive. Evinrude and Yamaha are already bragging they have this stuff in the pipeline, with a whole bunch of boxes that need to be installed somehwere in the boat. Maybe one of these days it will actually show up on the water
posted 11-16-2005 04:04 PM ET (US)
Larry, I typically ignore the META area so I really haven't a clue what name calling goes on there. However, I suppose that if there is any name calling, that its best to keep it there.
Since you're asking -- the big difference between the Verado and the others will be that for the others, the power steering and DTS will be extra cost OPTIONS. Consumers will be able to CHOOSE whether they want these features or not just as they had been able to choose between a DTS Optimax and a plain Optimax. My observation is that there haven't been very many willing to part with the extra cash for the DTS Optimax when given the lower cost option to take the plain Optimax. Maybe it wasn't being marketed very hard?
One other difference that I see is the development of these optional digital controls and gauges forming around standards, such as NMEA 2000, so consumers ideally will not have to invest in a proprietary control system each and every time they repower with a different brand of outboard. Big plus in my book if one decides to keep a boat like a classic Whaler long term but wants the flexibility on repower down the road.
By the way, a DTS control system from Teleflex has been available and usuable with any brand of outboard for several years now if you really need it that badly. I was on a 33 foot Hydrasport two years ago powered by triple Yamaha HPDI 250s that had the Teleflex DTS system. It had the same desirable features as found on the Merc DTS system including the auto-sync and scheme to manage the shifting of the middle motor for triples. To the extent that these controls have been selling points for the Verado, they are not unique to the Verado and really have very little to do with the outboard itself.
I think Glen has it right, the Verado's best fit is in a big (read long, high freeboard, closed transom) boat application where the center of gravity and bouyancy are far from the transom.
posted 11-16-2005 04:16 PM ET (US)
No question that other makers will soon be following with their own versions of SmartCraft, DTS, etc. And you can bet their pricing will be right up there with Verado.
I just hope Merc does not completely lose sight of the re-power market...as there are still many great used boats out there worth re-powering...but the excessive weight of these big new 4 strokes makes them in-appropriate for older boats.
posted 11-16-2005 04:49 PM ET (US)
Actually, disagreeing with all of you, I don't see any Classic Whaler, rated for 135HP or over, that can't be Verado re-powered to very close to it's max rating. I think all this stuff is a myth. The real issue on an old, used boat is the Verado's premium pricing, often more than the boat is worth.
18/19 Outrage: ('82-'95) 135 or 150 Verado
There is ONLY ONE Classic Whaler, the 25 WD, where powering to it's full rated HP of 450 could possibly be a problem (and not even sure of this) with twin 225 L6 Verados (and it would be problem for anybody else's V-6 4-stroke also). There is not one other Whaler that couldn't handle either a L4 or L6 Verado at or near it's maximum rating
posted 11-16-2005 07:09 PM ET (US)
Larry, what is interesting here is that a very generous Verado owner who has set up a support group and a technician with 25 years of experience agree that the weight of the Verado does not make it well suited for all applications. Even Mercury's own advertising with respect to its Optimax line supports this notion. See http://www.mercurymarine.com/229[/url] where Mercury's marketing department states: "Because OptiMax is lighter than comparably sized four-strokes, it’s better suited for smaller and narrow beam boats and handling is better at all speeds." Most of the classic Whalers, with the exception of the 27 Whaler, are narrow beam boats.
Several years ago a gentlemen reported here on CW that he tried a pair of 505 lb Honda 130s on a 22 Outrage WD and found that combination unsatisfactory for safe operation in heavy seas. See continuouswave.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000948.html . I think it is reasonable to presume that a pair of 525 lb Verado 135s would likewise yield unsatisfactory handling in heavy seas.
But since the real problem is only price according to you, I think you ought to take the lead and personally dispell the myth. Take the plunge and replace the 400 lb 200 EFI V6s on your 25 Outrage with a pair of 525 lb 175 HP Verados. That extra 250 lbs won't upset the balance and handling of your boat at all, right? ;)
posted 11-16-2005 08:10 PM ET (US)
Eventually, if I live long enough, I will have to do that when the EFI's give up the ghost. By that time Opti's will be gone, and I will have no other choice. Some factory guys at BW told me the boat should handle a pair of 175's easily. Maybe by then they'll have a 200 HP version of the L4. I'm sure it can be done with the blower and all.
I was having some stubborn carb trouble on the 1988 150 on my 21 Outrage, and thinking I was going to have to get rid of it. A 175 Verado was on my shopping list. But a simple carb take down, ultra sonic cleaning and rebuild solved that problem, and she is running like a brand new engine, so the Verado is on hold.
posted 11-16-2005 11:55 PM ET (US)
Re-powering with Verado engines has also been limited by the dealers authorized to sell them. To become eligible to sell and install a Verado, a dealer has to make a significant investment in training of his personnel and purchase of specialized tools and test equipment. Some Mercury dealers have balked at the cost of this, and they don't sell Verado engines.
posted 11-17-2005 01:34 AM ET (US)
I recall similar concern from Merc when they first introduced the Optimax. But I am confident that it won't be long before a few dedicated independent technicians will soon be rigging "loose" Verado engines....all it takes is the willingness to buy the necessary diagnostic tools and manuals and then find customers wanting to re-power.
As with anything new, there is a learning curve. I sold the very first Merc 200 DFI in the State of Washington. I found out later that this engine was not supposed to leave Oregon. But, I had a customer in the market for a brand new 20ft. Ventura and he wanted the latest and greatest and had the money....I put a package together for him and the dealer sure didn't have a problem taking our money.
I suspect if I had a customer in need of a new Verado, I could probably put something together for him, even though I am not a franchised Mercury dealer. I have already spent money to have all the factory service manuals for ALL the current Verado models...and I am contimplating purchase of the new CDS diagnostic system that will soon be required for all Mercs after 2007. It's a major capital outlay, but if one is going to stay in the game you have very little choice.
By the way, anyone that wants to stay on top of what is happening in the industry and would like to access training should consider joining AMTECH. It is open to anyone and is dedicated to improving marine service and training. We are a growing organization that is finally gaining oem support and recognition. Visit our website at www.am-tech.org (shameless plug)
posted 11-17-2005 06:58 AM ET (US)
sosmerc - just out of curiousity, what is a ballpark figure on the outlay required of a typical dealership which wants to acquire the Verado diagnostic equipment?
posted 11-17-2005 12:42 PM ET (US)
Dealers have a number of options regarding the CDS system...which is purchased directly from a company called SPX.
Dealers are encouraged to purchase the "deluxe" kit, which includes either a pre-loaded and configured Dell or Panasonic Toughbook laptop. The kit price is about $6000 and includes all the test harnesses, breakout boxes, software, and manual.
I do believe it is possible to buy a "minimum" setup for under $3000...but SPX will not offer free support if you have difficulty...they want $80 an hour for technical support...and it could be the support will only be for authorized dealers.
Through my research I have learned that my DDT WILL work with 2006 Verado and Optimax engines for some functions, but no new DDT cartridges are planned after this year...which I read as meaning the DDT will not service 2007 and newer product. Also, the DDT CANNOT be used to setup or troubleshoot the DTS system on a Verado...you must have the CDS system...or you can use the required SmartCraft SC5000 System View guage. This little guage retails for $1212.00!!
So as you can see, for an independent tech like myself, it's alot of money. I'll probably wait until I've actually sold a Verado (or maybe had one come in for service) before I spend the money on the new CDS system. With all the cartridges and harnesses that I have purchased over the past 10 years for my DDT I probably have several thousand dollars into that tool. When it goes extinct I may just leave it hooked up in my own boat. (I have rigged a connection up under my dash so that I can plug my DDT in there to monitor my 135 Optimax whenever I go out boating).
This way I don't have to remove my cowling or string a harness across my deck!
posted 11-18-2005 06:02 AM ET (US)
3 grand?? That's all? - I thought we were talking 10's of thousands....If I had an authorized dealer near me that would not pony up the 3 grand to get the verado, I would assume he wanted to stay in the dark ages and probably not send his techs to training either...I don't know of many franchises that don't demand some type of equiment buy every now and then and 3 grand seems pretty paltry....
posted 11-18-2005 09:42 AM ET (US)
In order to sell and install the Verado, it is my understanding (through what my local Mercury dealer tells me) that the dealer personnel have to become qualified through attendance at training schools.
posted 11-18-2005 02:22 PM ET (US)
Larry, I have to differ with you on your comment, "I don't see any Classic Whaler, rated for 135HP or over, that can't be Verado re-powered to very close to it's max rating."
I contacted BW and asked about repowering my Conquest 23 (twin Opti 135s) with twin Verado 135s or 150s. Their response was that they expected the added weight to contribute to porpoising and the Verados were not recommended.
posted 11-18-2005 02:40 PM ET (US)
PRM - I didn't list any of the Post Classic 23's, since I'm not familiar with those. I was only looking the older Dougherty boats.
But couldn't you put a single 275 Verado on it? That would meet my criteria at least, especially since almost all of the Dougherty boat owners here, under 25', think big singles are the way to go at those lengths.
Am I correct that a 135-175 Verado weighs only 79# more than a 135-175 Optimax. That's not much of a weight penalty for a super quiet running, supercharged 4-stroke. It seems hard to believe that the 23's would be that susceptible to that small of a weight increase. Maybe the boat is already close to max with twin engines? Is the 23, in reality, a 21' boat with an extended transom bracket built in like the current 240-320 Outrages are
posted 11-19-2005 03:29 PM ET (US)
It's true. I didn't think an additional 160 lbs would be a problem, but the Whaler folks were disinclined to make the recommendation. I actually don't need to repower now as the 135s have only 475 hours on them, but I was exploring future options when I bought the boat from Bill Smotrilla. I like the Opti's performance, but with twins would really like something quieter when cruising with the family. The 4 year old keeps telling me the engines are "too yowd".
A single would require a lot of transom work, and I like the handling and flexibility of twins.
posted 11-19-2005 04:24 PM ET (US)
If you want to get down and "dirty", get a leftover super quiet pair of Merc 150 or 200 EFI's for the boat. Only the Verado is quieter. And they weight less than the Opti's.
posted 11-19-2005 07:54 PM ET (US)
Every dealer I talk to in NJ says there are no more Merc V6 EFI leftovers. MartyD
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