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Author Topic:   190 OUTRAGE: Power Choice
gnann posted 11-27-2005 11:26 AM ET (US)   Profile for gnann   Send Email to gnann  
I just ordered a new 190 OUTRAGE (nee 190 NANTUCKET) for delivery Spring 2006. I can select the 135- or 150-HP Verado or the 150-HP OptiMax. I am interested in learning about the comparative fuel economy of each as well as other performance comparisons such as noise, reliability, features, etc.
jimh posted 11-27-2005 01:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[This article has been moved to this area. The POST-CLASSIC area concentrates its discussion on the newer Boston Whaler boats.]

Your question lead me to spend five minutes checking the Boston Whaler factory website for performance data on this boat with the various engine combinations. Just as I expected, the factory has tested this boat with all three of the engines you mention. Like they do with all their boats (as much as possible) they have presented this data in a well-designed brochure with several charts and graphs. See:


In addition to speed and fuel consumption data, the factory test results also include noise measurements.

The difference in features between the two Mercury engines is well covered in the literature from Mercury. You also get a great deal of information from the Mercury website. A good place to start browsing is: [Hyperlink:] .

As for reliability, I am afraid there is no good source of data, and you will have to rely on anecdotal reports. In the case of the OptiMax engine, there is a lot of history. However, the 2.5-liter V6 two-stroke block used in the 150-HP model is one of the best outboard engines ever made in the opinion of some folks. It has a history of strong performance and reliability, and it was the basis for several other models of Mercury outboards, most of which are no longer in production . The fuel induction system of the OptiMax is provided by Orbital and uses the Orbital Combustion Process (OCP™) system. Although the 150-HP has been comparatively successful, the larger versions of the OptiMax engines (225-HP) have had a very mixed history, included a halt in their production and a class action lawsuit filed by angry owners. There has been some hint that production of the OptiMax engines will move to a more limited basis in the future, and that they will be re-positioned in the Mercury line of engines as high-performance outboards for racing and other high-speed applications.

The 150-HP Verado is a completely new engine and was just introduced in the Spring of 2005. There is literally no history available for this engine as it is just beginning to become available and to be sold. Its distribution is limited almost exclusively to boat builders owned by Brunswsick. Assessment of its reliability would have to be based on its big-brother engine, the six-cylinder Verado. Those engines have been available for about a year or so, and to date there does not seem to be an alarming number of problems reported with them. The most significant problem with the larger Verado seems to be related to its very unusual engine mount. This does not apply to the smaller Verado because it uses a more conventional mounting system.

My recommendation would be to choose a 150-HP engine in preference to a smaller one.

If cost is not a concern, the Verado offers advantages, particularly in low noise operation and more modern electronic controls.

sosmerc posted 11-27-2005 02:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for sosmerc  Send Email to sosmerc     
I would just like to say that I think JIMH did an excellent job of answering your question...and pointing you to all the best sources of information.
It is true that the new 150 Verado does not yet have a track record. But with the warranty period provided and the quality of your new rig, I wouldn't hesitate for a moment to select the Verado 150. And I have always felt it is best to choose the highest horsepower possible so that you will NOT have to run the engine hard to achieve the mid-range cruising speed you desire.
You are really going to like the DTS and the SmartCraft system!
gnann posted 11-27-2005 06:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for gnann  Send Email to gnann     
jimh - Thanks very much for your very comprehensive reply. I was not aware that Whaler posted the performance data that you referred me to. Ordinarily, I would agree that it is best to order the higher powered engine,however, based on the data, their is very little difference between the 135 and 150 Verado on the 19' Outrage. Also, I believe that I will opt for the Verado technology over the Optimax in spite of the fact that the 150 Optimax has a great track record and fuel economy and the Verado is new and not tested in the market. I believe it is about time that I made the switch to 4-stroke technology and the controls on the Verado are much better.
Sal A posted 11-27-2005 07:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal A  Send Email to Sal A     
Also see this thread, in which there is an embedded link to a reference article on this site talking about engine choices for the 190 Nantucket, which is exactly the same boat as the new 190 Outrage. In addition you will find some numbers from my Yamaha F150.


I had a 2004 190 Nantucket with a 2005 Yamaha F150; it was my creation, and a fine boat/engine combination. Today your standard package has the 135 Optimax, which is really a bargain. I say this because the 135 Optimax's numbers are very close to the Verado 150's numbers. I think you would be happiest with the 135 Optimax, the 150 Optimax, or the 150 Verado, and would shy away from the 115 EFI 4 stroke, and the 135 Verado.

You can also see my former gem of a boat in this link:


Kencvit posted 11-28-2005 08:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kencvit  Send Email to Kencvit     
I have the 135 saltwater optimax 2004, 3 star emissions.
We fish , ski and cruise, always a minimum of three adults. The 135 has lots of power, great hole shot and plenty of speed for me. I like to cruise at about 27-30 mph although I could do close to 40 if I had too.
It ran perfectly this first season, gets great mileage, has low emissions, Smart craft gauges ( via my Navman 4380, I have standard gauges).
But...I find it to be loud. I now find myself thinking al a Sal A and switching to a 150 four stroke, not for power , but for quiet. I know sal needed the power as he had the 115-4. Everything else is great with the Optimax so its hard to justify the switch.
If you have the option get the 150 verado right from the start, or 150 yamaha if you can swing it, verado wasn`t out yet when I bought.
Otherwise, a great boat. Ken

swist posted 11-30-2005 07:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
Ken mentions a significant (for some people) factor that was not mentioned in Jim's original analysis - noise.

All the Optimax engines are loud - in fact louder than their equivalent old technology 2-stroke carbed engines. Something about about the fuel injection pump as I understand it. Powerboat Reports has actual decibel data in their engine comparisons, so I don't think this is anecdotal.

jimh posted 11-30-2005 09:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
To quote myself: "...the Verado offers advantages, particularly in low noise operation..."
swist posted 11-30-2005 10:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
I did see that, but I was just making the additional point that, while one might always expect a 4 stroke to be quieter than a 2-stroke, in the case of the Optimax it's *much* quieter since the Optimax is so loud.
LHG posted 11-30-2005 01:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
I just saw a new 190 Outrage/Nantucket with a 150 Verado.
Very sharp, and similar in appearance to the Mercury racing "Darth-Vader 300 EFI engine, with it's vertical midsection that goes straight down to the tip of the anti-ventilation plate. It's what I would go with. Design-wise, the 135-175 Verados have got to be the sharpest looking engine on the market today. Look for the others to start copying it's shape. Size and weight wise, it's about the same as the 225 Optimax.

My guess is that the Verado equipped Outrage will more than hold it's value long term. 10 years from now, would you prefer to buy a used Whaler with a 4-stroke Verado (or any 4-stroke for that matter), or an Optimax? (if anybody even remembers what those were!)

Incidentally, I was just quoted $10,600 for a new Verado 150, unrigged (I do my own rigging)

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