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Author Topic:   205 CONQUEST with OptiMax
lbiwhaler posted 06-09-2006 06:28 PM ET (US)   Profile for lbiwhaler   Send Email to lbiwhaler  
Give me feedback on [some unspecified aspect of the ] the 2005 Mercury OptiMax Saltwater [outboard motor]. I just bought a new--crazy,huh--205 CONQUEST. Please, please, send me some feedback, I need some! And yes, it was a very impulsive buy!
prm1177 posted 06-09-2006 07:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for prm1177  Send Email to prm1177     
After a rocky start in the late 1990's, the big block OptiMax outboard motors now have an excellent reputation for strong power, reliability, and good fuel economy. Their only "needs" are a strong battery (800 CCA, 1000 MCA) and pricey spark plugs. I've had the small block Optimax motor for a few years and like the engine's performance and economy.
Mambo Minnow posted 06-09-2006 08:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow    
What size? 150-, 200-, or 225-HP?

I had the impression most models are getting the VERADO hung on them now.

outrageous21 posted 06-09-2006 08:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for outrageous21  Send Email to outrageous21     
Did [Boston Whaler] make a 205 CONQUEST? I thought they only had a 305 CONQUEST. I don't have an OptiMax, but I have heard good stuff about them. My friend has twins and says one turn of the key starts em up everytime. Reliable.
Royboy posted 06-09-2006 10:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
[The 205 CONQUEST was] formerly known as the 205 Eastport.


jimh posted 06-09-2006 11:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Congratulations on the new boat and motor.
gorji posted 06-10-2006 05:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for gorji  Send Email to gorji     

Congratulations. May I ask how much you paid as I am also in the market for a 2005 eastport. Dealer wants $43000 BM and I am pretty sure trailer.

BTW is that too high??

Sal A posted 06-10-2006 07:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sal A  Send Email to Sal A     
The former 205 Eastport (renamed now as the 205 Conquest) is a nice little cruiser/fisher package. It competes head to head with the Grady White 208 Adventure. I had been on both at the boat shows, and they both are great boats. The only thing I didn't like was the 150 hp motors they put on the back of the 205 Conquest, while the Grady sported a Yamaha F200 or 200HPDI.

I have impulsively purchased a few Whalers in my short boating life. Enjoy your boat. I think if you have more than the 150 Optimax on the back you will move right along, and even if you have the 150 Optimax, it should be fine for where you boat (I assume you will putter around Barnegat Bay....Make sure you inquire about, and head over to, Tices Shoal with your family).

prm1177 posted 06-10-2006 11:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for prm1177  Send Email to prm1177     

According tot he Whaler site the optional Opti package for the Conquest 205 is a 200 Optimax. This would be an excellent package. The boat should fly. Whaler's figures show a top speed of 50 mph at WOT. The perfect day cruiser that can double as a fishing boat or even a ski boat. If you have a family, they should be in heaven.

lbiwhaler posted 06-10-2006 01:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for lbiwhaler  Send Email to lbiwhaler     
sorry not to specify- 200hp...Yes, it's an Eastport, I was in the habit of saying Conquest as it is the same boat, most do not know what the eastport is.
As for price- I traded in a Bayliner and lost some value (so that was rolled into this boat's financing)- I'd say 43k is good- real good. The msrp was $57k for mine and we all know that is a fluff #--- mine has fishing package, complete weather protection, auto flush for porta potti....NO ELECTRONICS! My price was right around 43k.

Thank you all for the feedback now any good GPS/depth/fish finders to recommend??

lbiwhaler posted 06-10-2006 01:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for lbiwhaler  Send Email to lbiwhaler     
btw- no trailer included-- double check that.
Mambo Minnow posted 06-10-2006 03:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow    
CON 205 is a nice boat and I think you made a wise choice with the 200 HP upgrade. I shopped this boat this winter and got a quote on an 2005 overstock in VA around $38K with the 150 HP OPTI to $48K-$53K with a 175HP to 200HP Verado.

In the end, I passed on the new boat, only because the family liked the layout of the older Conquest 21 better...more cuddy, less cockpit for small children and the Euro transom for ease of swimming access. If I was hardcore fisherman, I'd opt for the newer layout, but I was looking for more family time on the water.

I have the 200 OPTI and I am very pleased with the instant start up and the excellent economy. It's typical two stroke loud, but coming from a conventional two stroke, I know nothing different. With the extra canvas, pumpout head and fish package options sounds like you got a good deal.

Enjoy the new boat...Long Beach Island is a beautiful place to boat/fish. I used to fish the inlet/jetties and second Tices shoal as a spot to beach it with the family.
Happy Whalering!

tombro posted 06-10-2006 06:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for tombro  Send Email to tombro     
Welcome to the Whaler world. Nice boat, enjoy the bay. I'm on it every weekend; I'll watch for a new Eastport on Tice's Shoal.
James posted 06-10-2006 11:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for James  Send Email to James     

I have a 2006 205 Conquest with a 175 HP Verado. It is a good engine for this boat. I had an opportunity to purchase a leftover 205 Conquest with the 200 Optimax (which is an awesome performing boat) but the engine noise was a significant negative factor for me. The 175 HP Optimax was an option on the Eastport and you might be able to locate one of those as a leftover. The engine noise for the 175 HP is less than the 200 HP.

The GW 208 is a very nice boat whose design has been around a while and the features have been well perfected. The GW 208 has some very attractive standard and optional features not found on the BW 205 (ie. 200 HP fourstrokes; a larger fuel tank; a hardtop with various rod holder & spreader configurations; more storage areas; tackle storage boxes and drawers; windshield wipers; gunwale toe rails; cockpit lights, etc. However, I suggest that you look at the various boat dimensions a little closer. There is only about 9 inches of distance between the Grady helm seats versus 17 inches for the 205 Conquest. Other boat access dimensions (such as the cabin access door, the control area in front of the captains chair, and the walkaround path) follow a similar pattern. When I took a close look at these boat design features I opted for the Whaler. Good Luck with your choice.


Mambo Minnow posted 06-11-2006 09:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow    
James makes some good points. One of the reasons I went with a gently used Conquest 21 was it came standard with toe rails, courtesy lights, wiper, toe bar, cockpit table, etc. The Grady 208 is a boat I have loved and admired for many years, but I can't justify the new price it commands.

Some additonal ergonomic features to consider: The Conquest 205 has the cabin door to port vice center. This was a drawback to my family. It shortens the port cabin laydown area and is ackward when your companion is sitting in the port helm chair. These are things I did not notice until I took the family with me to "kick the tire" at the winter boat shows.

Conquest 205 is a nice boat and I am glad that Whaler re-introduced this size range....21 is the biggest size I want to trailer.

lbiwhaler posted 06-13-2006 08:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for lbiwhaler  Send Email to lbiwhaler     
Dumb dumb....I feel a bit dumb--- I hope the engine noise of the 2stroke does not question my decision. I went from an i/o (very quiet) to a 2stroke outboard.
I have yet to take it out as it is being prepped, so we'll have to see!!
Thanks for all the insight.
Mambo Minnow posted 06-14-2006 08:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow    
Don't beat yourself up too bad, but this is a good example of why a sea trial is important. One thing you will like about the outboard from an I/O is it is much more easier to beach in shallow water at Tice's shoal. It's fairly quiet at low idle, really noticeable at WOT.
prm1177 posted 06-14-2006 01:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for prm1177  Send Email to prm1177     
Much of the perceived noise of a 2 stroke vs a 4 stroke depends upon how the boat is laid out. I have twin Opti 135s on my Conquest 23. The noise of the 2 stroke is noticeable when I have the weather curtains up as it gets trapped and amplified by the hard top and the curtains. With the curtains down, I don't have a problem with it. Since the 205 has no hard top, I'd personally be inclined to order it with the 200 Opti for the excellent performance and economy.

I think you done good.

highanddry posted 06-14-2006 01:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
"Dumb dumb....I feel a bit dumb--- I hope the engine noise of the 2stroke does not question my decision. I went from an i/o (very quiet) to a 2stroke outboard.
I have yet to take it out as it is being prepped, so we'll have to see!!
Thanks for all the insight. "

Cancel the sale. I think you might be dumb to worry so. Lot's of people really like that boat and ENGINE.

First of all, the OptiMax is the JD Powers winner for this year.

The OptiMax engine is one of the most reliable marine engines avaialble and one of the most advanced.

The OptiMax is extremely fuel efficient.

The OptiMax needs to use only Mecury or Quick Silver DFI oil

The Opti Max also like Mercury/QS Quick Clean additive

The OptiMax is not noisy at cruise and idle, though it may be loader than a stupid I/O. There is a reason almost all offshore boats under 30 feet are OUTBOARDS

The OptiMax is lighter, faster, more efficient, more proven than any new technology engine out there

In the Mercury catalog, get one, you will see that for example the Merc Opti Max 150 gets 16% better fuel economy than the Honda fourstroke 150

The Mercury Opti Max will have much stronger acceleration than any fourstroke including the Verado

The lighter weight may eliminate the need for tabs, for example, since the Nantucket (Outrage 190) began being offered with the heavy Verado I notice they now offer tabs as an option

I/O engines are not especially suitable for offshore boats---look around. Lake boats have the car engines bolted down on a rotting wooden beams--offshore boats have outboard--OUTBOARD engines.

The OptiMax will be noiser and more high pitched than your I/O. if this is a deal breaker than break the deal now.

Besides, some people--including me--find the fearsome growl of the OptiMax pleasing, at idle and cruise it just is not that loud

Our Nantucket 190 gets right at 6 MPG at 24 MPH and gets over 5 MPG at 30 and that is GPS speeds.

Our OptiMax starts like a car, runs smooth, sips gas and oil and pushes the hell out of our Nantucket

If I had a choice, lb for lb, Verado 150 or Opti 175/200 for my Nantucket, I would get the big Opti

I have no doubt that the Opti 150 will outperform the Verado

The Verado will be a successful engine, the OptiMax is a less expensive and better performer in most applications.

Mambo Minnow posted 06-14-2006 07:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow    
I agree with HighandDry. I'd also add that the E-tec is DFI two stroke and is very commercially successful, particularly with many of this forum's owners. Most report the sound levels on this motor are quiet. So a four stroke, is not necessarily the "only" quiet engine. Four stroke is heavier, slower hole shot and many more moving parts for long term reliability in harsh saltwater environment.
Backlash posted 06-16-2006 09:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash     

I'm a firm believer that the newer post-classic Whalers should be maxed out, HP wise, for best performance. The 200 HP Optimax should be a fine performer on that boat. If noise is an issue, I would wait until the sea trial to make that decision.

I think the performance figures posted on the Whaler site showing the 21' Conquest hitting 50.9 MPH with the 200 Optimax is wishful thinking. I ran their figures thru the Boat Speed Calculator and this is what I came up with. I used their test weights and adjusted the boat hull factor to 203 to approximate their 40.3 MPH figure with the 150 Optimax. The column labeled Whaler is what is published on their site.


150 OPTIMAX 3779 40.4 40.3 21' CONQUEST

150 VERADO 3908 39.8 42.3 21' CONQUEST

175 VERADO 3891 43.1 44.1 21' CONQUEST

200 OPTIMAX 3883 46.1 50.9 21' CONQUEST

Good luck with the sea trial!


Backlash posted 06-16-2006 01:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash     
All of my references to "21' Conquest" should read "205 Conquest".
Mambo Minnow posted 06-16-2006 06:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow    
I am not even getting close to 50 MPH on GPS for my 21 Conquest with 200 OPTI. More like 42 MPH at 5200 RPMs WOT.

However, my older 21 appears considerably bigger than 205 Conquest...3500 lbs vs. 2800 lbs. It also has a 92 gallon tank vs. 68 gallon tank.

tesija posted 06-16-2006 07:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for tesija  Send Email to tesija     
Mambo Minnow: What prop are you running on your Conquest?
Mambo Minnow posted 06-16-2006 08:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow    
Tesija - A Mirage Plus 17P. I think this is the same prop you and Dauntless 18 have installed.

I am not sure how accurate the GPS is. I had a Master Mercury tech run diagnostics on ECM when I took it in for 100 hr service. Also had a buddy check out MercNet signs of trouble (overheating, etc.), but the original owner "puttered" not far from the ramp as told to me and run history seems to back that up. The only improvement from Tech Bulletins not previously performed was the newer NGK spark plugs, which I immediately installed

It's a 1999, so I wonder if the early models were not "tuned" as high the later models. I am not even close to the 5500 RPM range. I have trim tabs, but I generally don't play with them. I am not a hot rodder, but any suggestions to ring out a few extra RPMs/MPH most welcome!
Love the boat!

tesija posted 06-17-2006 07:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for tesija  Send Email to tesija     
Mumbo Minnow-I barely get 30 MPH by GPS when fuly loaded with fuel, kids, toys, etc-same prop, motor and boat. Even when running relatively light, it's in the low 30 MPH.
Mambo Minnow posted 06-17-2006 01:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow    
Tesija - Thanks for sharing...I have never loaded the tank more than half way to date and had only two folks aboard when I have gone 38+ MPH. It's a heavy boat - built like a tank! With the family of six, an ice cooler and gear, it's more like 29-32 MPH.
Backlash posted 06-17-2006 07:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash     
Mambo Minnow,

I just checked Tom Clark's Boston Whaler CD collection and the 1998 and 1999 21' Conquests were listed with a dry hull weight of 2400#, while the 2000 model was listed as 3250#. All the other specifications were the same. Was there a major change to the 2000 model?

The only reason I bring this up is because my 1991 21' Walkaround is listed as 2600# and is an actual 21' long with an 8'6" beam, same 92 gal tank and also rated for 250 HP. That being said, I would think your 21' Conquest could very easily weigh 2400#

BTW, I'm running a 17 pitch Mercury Offshore 4-blade prop and with a light load; 2 adults, half tank, radar arch, and fly top up my old 200 Yamaha will hit 43 MPH at 5700 RPM's. I would think your Opti should turn a 17 pitch prop to 5500.


Mambo Minnow posted 06-17-2006 11:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow    
Backlash - The Whaler catalogs of the time had a well documented error listing the weight of the boat, which must have been copied into Tom's CD collection. It's the same hull as the still in production Ventura 210, which is listed as 3300 lbs. The cuddy easily could weigh more than this dual console version. The Ventura is rated for a Verado, I wonder if we could backfit to the Conquest 21?
BYABOATBJAHNS posted 06-18-2006 03:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for BYABOATBJAHNS  Send Email to BYABOATBJAHNS     
I have a NEW 2005 with the fishing package and a swim platform powered by a 150 Merc. Optimax for $37,500 and that includes a 5 year engine warranty. If anyone has interest you can e-mail me at

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