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Author Topic:   1999 Mercury 200 optimax blue water
58corvette posted 12-28-2006 04:17 PM ET (US)   Profile for 58corvette   Send Email to 58corvette  
Would you buy a Boston Whaler with a 1999 Mercury 200 optimax blue water on it? Considering a 1999 21 Conquest with this outboard. Have read some reviews, which do not sound promising but mostly on the 225 HP. I assume the 200 and 225 are similar. Any experience or comments on the 200 would be helpful.
Mambo Minnow posted 12-28-2006 08:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow    
I have same year setup and recommend it. There are many Conquest 21s on the market right now from 1998 with EFI engines. A fine motor, but a gas hog relative to the Optimax DFI two stroke.

Recommendation: Have a Mercury service friend run the engine serial no. through MERCNET to ensure all updates were accomplished. Mine needed the new NGK sparkplugs vice Champions. Run history on ECM confirmed low RPMs and hours used.

I'd recommend doing same before buying and a sea trial. The 2001 model year was most problematic, not because of the engineering design, but a change in suppliers providing injectors and fuel rails. That resulted in a class action lawsuit and settlement. 1999 did not have these issues.

There are a couple of other CWers with same rig that will likely provide you feedback as well. Good luck!

dauntlass 18 posted 12-29-2006 05:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for dauntlass 18  Send Email to dauntlass 18     
My 21 Conquest is a 1999 model with a 2000 200hp Optimax Saltwater series engine.I have had no engine problems, fuel economy is outstanding and performance is all anyone would want.
tesija posted 12-29-2006 06:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for tesija  Send Email to tesija     
I have the same setup from 1999. Experienced some problems with Optimax alarms showing up, but because the boat's oveseas it's difficult to get ECM checked out by a competent mechanic. Otherwise, it's a great boat/motor combination.
58corvette posted 12-30-2006 12:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for 58corvette  Send Email to 58corvette     
Thanks for the responses
Does this engine have the same difficulty with spark plugs as the DFI engines? How many hours does one expect from a set of NGK platinum plugs on the Opti 200 EFI? All things considered, how many hours can one expect out of the power head and lower unit? Thanks again
Mambo Minnow posted 12-30-2006 02:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow    
I have not put more than 40 hours on my new NGK plugs, so it is difficult for me to answer. Someone else swore they got better rpms with the Champions. At $15/plug x 6, it adds up to some money! I only changed them because a tech service bulletin advised to do so.

I seem to have lost about 200 rpms since I started boating last spring on new plugs and I wonder if it's due to spark plug wear. I will have to inspect plugs when I remove them at next 100 hour service. Some DFIs have a reputation for eating plugs, but I think it was a bigger issue with the Evinrude Fichts.

One other note: I have the "Bluewater" series. In 1999, Merc made a distinction between freshwater and saltwater models. That distinction no longer exists. The main difference appears to be use of a stainless tilt tube shaft in the saltwater model. Since I am in brackish water, and prefer ocean boating I will have to monitor proper lubrication of the motor carefully. I would not let this preclude you from going ahead with the deal if it is in as excellent condition as mine.

dauntlass 18 posted 12-30-2006 03:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for dauntlass 18  Send Email to dauntlass 18     
The Optimax engine ia a dfi engine.I had a set of factory installed Champion plugs which fouled all the time.Mercury installed a set of ngk plugs as a warranty repair in 2001.I have not replaced them since I would guess they have 200hr use.In model year 2000 Mercury per there manual recommended Champion QC12GMC plugs for standard duty and NGK PZFR5F-1 for severe duty.Your first post indicates the engine on the boat you are looking at is a Optimax DFI.
58corvette posted 12-31-2006 02:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for 58corvette  Send Email to 58corvette     
I am not a big Mercury fan therefore I know little about them. Maybe it is because I know little about them that I am not a fan. However it is had to find a deal on a 21 Conquest with anything else on it. I figure if I can get some more years from the 200 than re-build or re-power with a 4 stroke. I presently have a 17 dauntless with a 115 Yamaha 4 stroke. Needless to say it has been flawless.
The 21 Conquest I am looking to purchase at a very good price has the 200 Optimax. The 1999 appears to have been a good manufacturing year, before they had blown power heads and severe plug fowling (2001-2002). Thanks for correcting me on the Optimax. For some reason I thought there was a switch in 2001 from EFI to DFI in the Optimax line.
Mambo Minnow posted 12-31-2006 07:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow    
1999 appears to be the year factory shifted from EFI to DFI installation. I see no reason to expect to repower anytime soon, but let us know if you decide to repower. Whaler still produces same hull as Ventura 210 and has put Verado on it.

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