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Author Topic:   190 MONTAUK: New HONDA replaces Mercury FourStroke 115-HP
nemored posted 07-09-2007 12:08 AM ET (US)   Profile for nemored   Send Email to nemored  
[On a new 190 MONTAUK] I got rid on my new Mercury 115! Why you ask?

I gave [the Mercury "FourStroke" AKA Veradito AKA L4NA 115-HP motor] a try on my new 190 Mountauk for 25 hours. [The Mercury "FourStroke" AKA Veradito AKA L4NA 115-HP motor] was fast at top end but it was a motor with problems that I was not going to deal with:

1) Annoying whine that transmits through to my VHF. Tried all the remedies on this site. Local electronic tech related he sees this only in Mercury outboards.

2) Alarm came on after I started flushing the motor out through that new fitting in the head. I had great water pressure and [followed] the directions to a "T".

3) Hole shot was poor (maybe it needed a different prop).

4) The cowling was almost impossible to remove and replace just to check the oil.

I've had three Honda motors before and knew what I was missing. Mercury does not make a motor that can compete with a Honda. For those of you that have owned both, you know what I mean. It is too bad Brunswick forces you to buy a new Whaler with a Mercury on it.

Everything that was wrong is now corrected by buying the Honda. I am lucky I was able to afford the change, but I should not have had to go through this. A great boat needs a motor to match, not a motor that you have to keep taking back to the dealer.

Perry posted 07-09-2007 02:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
What Honda motor did you put on your new 190 Montauk?
WT posted 07-09-2007 02:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
Montauk 190 maximum engine weight is 410 pounds.

The 115 hp Honda weights 496 pounds.
The new 2007 90 hp Honda weights 359 pounds
The old Honda 90 hp weights 373 pounds.

Which one did you choose and how does it perform?



nemored posted 07-09-2007 08:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for nemored  Send Email to nemored     
The new 2007 Honda 90hp (359lbs)

Great hole shot with the new BLAST system (15 pitch prop). Tops out at 35mph with three peope, 60 gallons of gas and a 8hp Honda kicker. My only loss was 5 mph at top end from the 115hp Merc. By the way, the Honda is at least twice as quiet at speed. If you put this motor on the 17 Mountauk it would fly!

If your interested, check out the Honda outboard website to see the video on this new motor.

bkloss posted 07-09-2007 09:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for bkloss  Send Email to bkloss     
alarm coming on when using the flush fitting - You should not be running the motor using the flush fitting, only with muffs. This could cause major problems, now for somebody else. Enjoy your Honda
nemored posted 07-09-2007 11:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for nemored  Send Email to nemored     
Thanks. My dealer told me to run it. I do not have the book anymore to check who is right. I'm would bet you are right since my dealer had never seen this new motor before. I only ran it a few seconds so its not damaged.
highanddry posted 07-09-2007 01:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
LOL, 90 horsepower even if it is a Honda is not nearly enough for a boat that size, especially if used offshore. Good luck.
nemored posted 07-09-2007 06:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for nemored  Send Email to nemored     
To Highanddry

You need the boat and the motor before you can make a comment that holds water. I just can back from tuna fishing last week with eight Albacore at 31 miles.

I notice there are a lot of "experts" on this sites that do not have the boat and motor in question. They guess on how a boat performs by the different equipment they have owned. My comments are for other Montauk 19 owners who know the boat.

Inabanus posted 07-09-2007 07:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Inabanus  Send Email to Inabanus     

You comment about not running the motor using the flush fitting is curious to me I purchased a new Montauk this season and the mechanic who did the "walk through" specifically went over how to flush the engine after each use, and like the manual says he said you should use the flush fitting specifically for running fresh water through the engine with the engine running. I have been doing this after each use since I got the boat and have not had a problem, but if you know of some damage it could be causing please reply.



bluewaterpirate posted 07-09-2007 08:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Lets put the flushing item to rest ..... 21078369/file.jpg


Riverwhaler posted 07-09-2007 09:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Riverwhaler  Send Email to Riverwhaler     
Do NOT run the motor when using hose connection to flush a Honda. It says so in my manual.
jimh posted 07-10-2007 12:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The cowling [of the Mercury 115-HP motor] was almost impossible to remove and replace just to check the oil.

I have been complaining about the fit of Mercury cowlings. I would say I am glad to hear of your concurrence, but ultimately it is not something to be joyous about. Mercury needs to send its engineers out at a boat show and remove some cowlings off other brands of outboard motors; perhaps in this way they could discover how far off the mark theirs are.

andygere posted 07-10-2007 01:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I think it's good news that a boat that many (myself included) assumed would be a dog with 115 h.p. performs well with just 90. I think this in the tradition of the classic Montauk model, which perform satisfactorily for members here with 50 hp outboards and 115's. It's too bad that the 115 Mercury is not getting a great report, but it sounds like Nemored likes Honda outboards, and now has a rig that he really digs, albeit with a few less dollars in his pocket. Nemo, post some photos when you can.
WT posted 07-10-2007 02:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
I'd love to see a picture of a 90 hp Honda on a 190 Montauk too. I'd say it's the only one in existence.


highanddry posted 07-10-2007 04:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
I would consider "tops out at 35 with three persons" per your words for a 19 footer costing near an arm and a leg as quite pitiful. While you might not need more speed or performance and are satisfied to run wide open at what is barely a fast cruise for most appropriately powerd 19 footers does not mean that you can alter physics and somehow have the extra horses needed for the day you have full fuel, four persons and extra gear and the weather goes bad or you need to run an inlet. A zinged out 90 is running hard at 35, a 150 on that boat would be purring at that same 35 MPH effortlessly. It does not take an expert to read the BW site and see that they list a 90 as absolute minimal power, I suppose if absolute minimal performance is sufficient for you then so it is. Why would anyone pay one of the highest prices fo a 19 footer on the market and settle for the least performance? Anything less than a top speed of around 45 give or take indicates to me an insufficiennt reserve power, it is not the speed, it is the reserve of power that allows a boat to be versatile and capable of multiple uses. Boston Whaler underpowers their boats and a 90 on that boat is definitly underpowered.
Royboy posted 07-10-2007 09:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
It's difficult to imagine that 90 hp could be enough power for that boat. Not to mention how difficult it will be to sell that package to someone else. My 17 Outrage weighs 200 lbs less and I can't even imagine what a dog it would be with a 90 hp on the transom, although a 90 was the minimum hp for my boat as well (mine has a 135 Optimax and I couldn't be happier with it). If you like it for whatever reason, that's fine, but don't expect too many people here to agree that you've done anything but make a costly mistake.


Jaybld posted 07-10-2007 09:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jaybld  Send Email to Jaybld     
Nemored, what kind of rigging changes were required. Did you have to replace all rigging or could you re-use anything?
andygere posted 07-10-2007 12:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I think the point is that not everyone uses their Whaler the same way. It may well be that Nemored never fishes with more than 2 aboard, and keeps his boat light and uncluttered. Look at Bodega 17, who regularly fishes some of the nastiest water in the Pacific with his Katama and a a 50 h.p. Yamaha on the back. Many of us would be disappointed with the performance, but for his use, it's great. He's got a bigger smile than all of us as he passes by the gas dock on his way to the fish.

I'm running 200 h.p. on my Outrage 22 Cuddy, which is just 83% of the max h.p. rating. I chose this particular motor because it provided a good combination of power and light weight, similar to what Nemored has done on his Montauk. At 90 h.p., he's at 78% of the max h.p. for the boat. Keep in mind, for ocean boating you may never have conditions that allow more than 25 mph, so 35 at WOT may be just fine. Different strokes for different folks, eh? Perhaps the most important performance measure is that the guy that owns the boat really likes it.

nemored posted 07-10-2007 04:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for nemored  Send Email to nemored     
How do I post a picture(s)?
jimh posted 07-10-2007 06:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The 190 MONTAUK is going to be available with the 135-HP VERADO motor. Customers wanted more horsepower and performance when the boat was loaded.
WT posted 07-10-2007 06:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
If a 135 hp Verado is going to be offered on the 2008 190 Montauk, Boston Whaler will have to increase the maximum engine weight from 410 pounds to over 510 pounds.

The 135 Verado weights 510 pounds. The 200 hp Verado weights 510 pounds too.

Go figure,


andygere posted 07-10-2007 06:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
How do I post a picture(s)?

1) Upload your pictures to a free photosharing website such as

2) Paste the URL for the photo you want to link to into a message reply, with [url]to the left of the address and [/url] to the right, with no extra spaces.

3) Click the Submit Reply button.

Your post will have the web address imbedded in the reply as a hot link to your picture.

andygere posted 07-10-2007 06:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
This link provides more information on how to post links to photos and other web pages.

nemored posted 07-10-2007 09:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for nemored  Send Email to nemored     
I will try to figure it out and post a pic or two in the next couple days. I'll be fishing tomorrow! I hope I don't get passed by a row boat or a sick sea turtle.

I just had a great idea! I will start my 8hp power thrust Honda kicker with my main Honda 90 hp to help my boat go faster! If that does not work, I will throw my new electric Scotty downriggers overboard to lighten the load. I hope I make it back before dark!

highanddry posted 07-11-2007 04:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
Boston Whaler can easily "change" the engine weight capacity of the Montauk 190 in the same way they did when the Nantucket 190 becsme the Outrage 190 and offered the Verado. Boston Whaler purposely under rates and under powers their boats to such an extent that they are well within any applicable regulations and the ACTUAL DESIGN capacity of the boat that raising a horsepower or weight rating requires nothing more than reprinting the capacity plate.
poker13 posted 07-11-2007 10:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for poker13    
highanddry wrote:

Boston Whaler purposely under rates and under powers their boats to such an extent that they are well within any applicable regulations and the ACTUAL DESIGN capacity of the boat that raising a horsepower or weight rating requires nothing more than reprinting the capacity plate.

Yes, but why, why, why? Can anyone give a good reason for doing this? We've had this discussion a thousand times, but I have yet to read a plausible explanation.

contender posted 07-11-2007 12:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
Poker 13 I will bet If you look long and hard it is an insurance issue create by lawyers to protect the company from law suits, Nemored just got back from the bahamas (Guana Cay) found a place on the island that was a mercury grave yard, truth, all the engines were stacked in a junk pile, mercury only.
sheikofthesea posted 07-11-2007 01:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for sheikofthesea  Send Email to sheikofthesea     
I have a Montauk 190 with the Mercury engine 115. Everything has been working fine (outside of some wiring issues that were quickly fixed by MarineMax). I have got it up to 36 knots or so at 6100 rpms. I love how quiet it is, but I am coming from 1997 Evinrude 2stroke. The hole shot is fine with three guys, unless I am loaded with gear and more people. Then it takes a while. I don't hear a whine. The cowling was difficult for me to take off the first few times but now it is more smooth. You hear different things about the reliability of different engines from different people but my mechanic has touted the "mini-Verado" dimensions of the 115 fourstroke saying that it won't run as hot or as hard as other engines ( and he isn't even a mercury mechanic). On top of all that I have a six year warrantee on the engine so that seems to be saying something about their faith in it.

In anycase love hearing other people's reports and you got to love a guy who can go out and buy an expensive new boat and after the fact decide to buy a new engine!

poker13 posted 07-11-2007 02:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for poker13    

If that were true, ALL boat makers would be underpowering their boats. Only BW seems to be doing this. The lawyer/liability fear excuse has gotten a lot mileage, but it's pretty worn out by now.

highanddry posted 07-11-2007 03:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
I don't know why other companies under rate their boats, in fact many do not. Boston Whaler DOES and does so because they don't sell performance, they sell safety. The sunglass wearing hair on fire crowd purchase Contenders and the knitty sweater wearing pipe smokers buy Boston Whalers. Therefore, Boston Whaler over builds their boats and then under rates them--they don't sell performance. Our Nantucket is clearly over 400 pounds heavier than many similar top tier boats as are most Boston Whalers new and OLD. Y'all can argue over it 'till hell freezes over and it does not change the facts that Boston Whalers are heavy, heavily built boats and are sold on the old and nearly worn out UNSINKABLE rant that is somehow not all that special anymore.

The Montauk 190 is a large 19 footer and heavy as are all Boston Whalers. It has a huge square forward bow that will present even more windage to a head wind than the Outrage 190---it looks like a freaking aircraft carrier from above! The Montauk is going to be an enjoyable boat with that 135 and a dog with a 90 on it, especailly a 90 that weighs as much or more than some 135s.

How many print adds have we seen that showed a Boston Whaler charging through an angry and scary sea at full speed throwing a rooster tail, NONE. It is a common theme however for many offshore CC and other similar performance offshore boats. Boston Whaler adds show a child asleep on a soft bow cushion with a soft focus filtered lens. Boston Whalers sells safety, durability, longevity--not performance. That is why they sell boats with minimal horsepower that will barely move them except when lightly loaded, it also helps them with the selling price, being as they are well known to cost considerably more than other quality brands, the smaller engines get them into a price point.

poker13 posted 07-11-2007 05:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for poker13    
highanddry said:

Our Nantucket is clearly over 400 pounds heavier than many similar top tier boats [bold]as are most Boston Whalers new and OLD[/bold].

Whoa! The classic BWs of the 60s and 70s (and even into the 90s in the case of some models like the 13 and the Montauk) were pretty light. It wasn't until the 90s that they started building them like tanks. The classic 13 is nearly half the weight of the current 130.

highanddry posted 07-11-2007 05:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
Nope, they were light in print but not in fact and that also has been argued over forever. People get a older Whaler and then weigh it nad then find out it is a fat pig and then much wailing and moaning and nashing of teeth and finger nail biting begins concerning---wet foam--over and over. Sometime it has been shown that the inferior foam used in the past did absorb some water but in a few cases I am familiar with the foam on thee supposedly wet boats was dry. The boat simply is way heavier than advertized. People lie aboutg weight, especially women who are overweight, you think a boat company that uses a weight inducing process is any different. Additionally, older Whalers are simply smaller, narrower, less hull depth, thinner glass and less freeboard than their modern siblings--good or bad---they were heavy for their size then just as now.
highanddry posted 07-11-2007 05:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
I might add, a "classic" Outrage 18 would pretty much be a dog with a heavy 90 horse four stroke on it.
bigjohn1 posted 07-11-2007 10:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
After owning a Mercury 115efi 4-stroke for 3 years now, I still cannot understand why Mercury continues to manufacture this engine with 2:07-1 gearing. The Honda you replaced it with has 2:33-1 gears hence the better holeshot. I'm glad you like your new outboard, enjoy it.
nemored posted 07-11-2007 11:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for nemored  Send Email to nemored     
Its fun to start a new topic with you guys. I should put a tuna tower or a dive door on next to see what happens ! Maybe I will put twin Honda 90's on it to make Highandry happy (at least for a minute or two).
Royboy posted 07-12-2007 10:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
Now we're getting somewhere:

Maybe I will put twin Honda 90's on it ...

You might want to go with 2-strokes to save weight th


nemored posted 07-13-2007 06:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for nemored  Send Email to nemored     
I will email the photos to anyone who wants them. Phtobucket wants my cellphone number. My email is
jimh posted 07-13-2007 10:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Outboard motors seem to generate a very strong brand loyalty for some owners. Sometimes this seems to border on the irrational. As the old saying goes, "Sobre gustas no hay disputas." (There is no disputing tastes). But people build up strong preferences, and in the case of a recreational pasttime like boating, one might as well be happy with their choices. If it takes selling a new motor and getting a replacement, that is what it takes--even if not an attractive proposition financially.

Electrical interference from alternator whine is probably a symptom of some odd wiring in the radio power connections. It could also be due to a battery that needed a lot of charging. Most outboard alternator systems have about the same number of poles, and I don't think there is anything unique about the Mercury alternator--it is very similar to a car alternator--that would make it tend to have more whine than others. The Mercury may be putting out more voltage (which causes a higher charging rate) and this could lead to more whine. On the other hand, more charging current is an advantage, and one ought to be able to filter the whine out of the radio with a low-pass filter in the power leads, if it proves to be a problem.

I can't offer any explanation about the alarm--apparently an over heat alarm--when running on the hose adapter.

Rate of acceleration from a standing stop is not really the highest priority for most boaters, unless you are a drag racer, and, as mentioned, it is often very much influenced by the choice of propeller. There is a good chance that if the propeller has been picked to optimize cruising speed economy or top speed then the acceleration from a standing stop may not be the best.

As I already concurred, those Mercury cowlings are not conducive to being removed easily, and they could use improvement. I don't know how the HONDA cowling compares. I am basing my assessment on the older style Mercury cowlings, and I would hope that a new style cowling as found on these new motors would be more up to par with expectations.

But good on you for getting the motor you are happy with. No point in getting a new boat and then being upset with the motor every time you use it.

nemored posted 07-13-2007 10:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for nemored  Send Email to nemored     
Sorry Its
Riverwhaler posted 07-14-2007 08:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for Riverwhaler  Send Email to Riverwhaler     
The overheat alarm is simple, don't do it. The Honda manual says do not run the engine using the hose connection on engine. Even using muffs and the water on full the alarm goes off on my 150 after a few minutes with the engine running. Just flush it with the hose running through the side connection and water comes out all the holes, some you didn't even know existed.
highanddry posted 07-14-2007 02:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
Sometimes the anti Mercury phobia takes on a surreal life of it's own out of proportion to reality. To those who must spend more to have less based on a largely phobic paranoia, good luck.
Perry posted 07-15-2007 12:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
Sometimes people have a hard time realizing that maybe Honda or Yamaha or perhaps Suzuki make a better outboard motor than Mercury.

In my case it was a no brainer. When I bought my 190 Nantucket, there were zero factory trained Optimax mechanics in my area. No Verado mechanics either. My dealer offered me the motor of my choice and I took him up on his offer.

Honda Marine makes a good product. I've owned three Honda outboards and have been very pleased with them. So is just about everyone else who owns one, just look at JD power's report. Honda has been number one for years.

highanddry posted 07-15-2007 01:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
LOL, OptiMax also won the JD Powers award. You can search high and low to justify whatever one wishes, even paying more for less.

Perry posted 07-15-2007 03:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
Yea, less noise, less fuel consumption less time at the mechanic, less smoke.............
bigjohn1 posted 07-15-2007 09:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
To each his own, both Honda and Mercury make fine outboards and there is no real difference in "smoke" and "fuel consumption" between Mercury 4-strokes and Honda 4-strokes. Brand loyalty aside, there really are no more "lemons" amongst the crop of currently available outboards. The difficulty in removing the Mercury cowling is way overblown. It is a tight fit which seals very well and that is a good thing especially when you want to keep saltwater off your powerhead and the myriad of expensive electronic components that are part of current outboards.
A little dab of oil or silicone on the cowling gasket will permanently cure the "difficult-to-remove" problem.

The Mercury 115efi 4-stroke (both the former "Yama-Merc" version and the new L4NA version) has a 2:07-1 forward gear. We have seen from numerous accounts on CW and other boating forums where this relatively high gearing requires a prop in the 13-16 pitch range depending on exact boat and how heavy the load is. I personally run a 17P Trophy Plus and am still slightly over-propped.

The author of this thread obviously loves Honda outboards (and I do too to be honest). Only time will tell in this case if resale value will suffer by retrofitting with a minimum horsepower outboard. In any case, you have a great boat with a great outboard. The boat is underpowered however just as highanddry states. Who cares though, it gets you out on the fish and in the end, that's all that matters.

highanddry posted 07-15-2007 01:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
"Yea, less noise, less fuel consumption less time at the mechanic, less smoke............."

Since are talking four stroke 115 Mercury vs 90 horse Honda none of the above is proven or fact in any significant way, certainly not smoke, mechanic--who knows?, fuel consumption--yes because it has 25 less horsepowwr, noise--ho hum.

Don't state opinion as fact.

nemored posted 07-15-2007 01:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for nemored  Send Email to nemored     
If anybody wants a picture of my slow boat to China, send me an email at
Perry posted 07-15-2007 07:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
I said:
In my case it was a no brainer. When I bought my 190 Nantucket, there were zero factory trained Optimax mechanics in my area. No Verado mechanics either. My dealer offered me the motor of my choice and I took him up on his offer.

You said an hour later:

LOL, OptiMax also won the JD Powers award. You can search high and low to justify whatever one wishes, even paying more for less

It seemed to me you replied to my statement saying I paid more and got less. Were you not?

jimh posted 07-16-2007 09:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
A little dab of oil or silicone on the cowling gasket will permanently cure the "difficult-to-remove" problem.

If that is all it takes you ought to telephone Mercury and let them know. They could make a huge improvement in their cowlings for very minor cost. It would work much better for them to apply a dab of silicone at the factory than to have repeated at boat shows all across the land the odd scene of two of their sales representatives heaving and wrestling with a cowling to try to show a customer what's under it.

Whaler_Jack posted 07-16-2007 10:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whaler_Jack  Send Email to Whaler_Jack     
My 190 now has about 25hrs. on it and the Merc 115 has done a very nice job! I have had the warning system go off due to sea weed in the intake, however I just raised the the engine, put it in neutral and the seas weed fell off and I was back in business. My water pump pressure gauge now reads zero but I had the same problem with my 90 4 stroke! I think the sea water crystallizes in the tube to the gauge and it stops it up?? As far as the cowl it's a little cumbersome but comes off fairly easily, it is a big cowl. I've only owned Yamaha and Mercury engines and have not had any experience with Honda engines but they do certainly build quality stuff.
bluewaterpirate posted 07-16-2007 04:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Couldn't stand it anymore. The choice of power for a BW is the owner's choice, whatever they feel most comfortable with. Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Evenrude, or even Mercury.

Now with that said, let me say one thing about Mercury cowling seals and removal techniques. Getting one off is a piece of cake if you know the trick. I'll shoot a video tonight abd demonstrate.

As to the tightness of the seal ..... here's pictures of a five year old Mercury Opti 225 with 1250 + exclusive saltwater hours on it. How do I know the hours .... because it's hanging on the back of my Whaler. I pull the cowling off after each trip to do a visual walkabout to make sure everything is as it is supposed to be for safety reasons. My Merc has been thru some exciting offshore conditions. aspx?username=bluewaterpirate&album_id=347992§ion_id=474715

Bottomline to this is I've been very happy the way the cowling and cowling seal have performed in some very adverse conditions. Pictures are worth a thousand words.
This was my first Merc (didn't have a choice) prior to that I used Yamahas. This Opti has been strong and reliable. Yes, it's noisy but I'm over that.


2manyboats posted 07-16-2007 04:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for 2manyboats  Send Email to 2manyboats     
Cowling ? Do Mercurys come with those , I don't think I have seen one with a cowling on.
bluewaterpirate posted 07-16-2007 07:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
So 2many come on you can do better than that ... tell us your Merc horror story or better yet one you've heard second hand.


2manyboats posted 07-16-2007 09:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for 2manyboats  Send Email to 2manyboats     
Just an old joke, I actually have a Mercury on the 21 ft Revenge and after a power pack or 2 it runs quite well ,we get about 3 mpg and if I was buying a replacement for any of the six outboards , I would not rule out a Merc.
nemored posted 07-16-2007 09:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for nemored  Send Email to nemored     
I would, but I started this stupid topic!
bluewaterpirate posted 07-16-2007 09:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
My humble apology 2many engaged my fingers before my brain nasty day at work. Here is video I promised on removing the Merc cowling ... this technique works with the smaller blocks cowls with the twist handle latch.

By the way, my Opti took some out of water abuse. See the picture ... it took a heavy hit during a hurricane three years ago but the cowling saved the mechanical side of the Opti. Actually cracked the entire cowling from one side to another but it didn't give on inch downward.


Hurricane damage 21632794/file.jpg


jimh posted 07-16-2007 10:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Tom--Excellent demonstration video. I think you've got your OptiMax cowling well seasoned. The ones I encounter at the dealer showrooms or on the boat show floor seem to always be stuck like glue. I do believe that Mercury has improved their cowlings on the newest motors. Thanks for the video.
bigjohn1 posted 07-17-2007 12:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
God bless the Chiefs, great input Tom (as usual).

Ditto for me, the Mahi Mahi season begins here in Guam when the strong tradewind come. Anyone with any ocean time knows well how much saltwater the engine of a 17-foot boat gets drenched with in these conditions. Funny thing is, no saltwater has ever gotten past the cowel in 3 years and 564 hours. I think I will pass on the call to Mercury.

nemored posted 07-18-2007 12:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for nemored  Send Email to nemored     
My cowling was alot different than the video. Good show though, I enjoy his stuff.

My boat is so slow, I was passed by a sea slug today! (I still limited out on rockfish)

jimh posted 07-18-2007 09:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Tom does not like to brag, but I heard he can bench press 600-lbs. This may affect the degree of difficulty in removing those cowlings.


bluewaterpirate posted 07-18-2007 09:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
LOL JimH ... one of those AARP guys .... just tuned 62. After I walked by the camera I collapsed in pain!
highanddry posted 07-18-2007 02:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
To remove our Mercury cowling you release the forward lever and then turn the aft lever and then you lift up. Can this really be considered diffucult and reason to trade one pefectly good and correctly sized engine for another that isn't? No.
nemored posted 07-18-2007 03:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for nemored  Send Email to nemored     

Your right, not by itself. I'm soooooo glad I made the change. I like my hum instead of the whine. Dang! Another sea slug just passed me.

Barney posted 07-18-2007 08:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
nemored, Glad you love your Honda. That will probably my choice when replacement time comes. Jim
highanddry posted 07-19-2007 03:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
nemorad, do you drive in the left lane at 40 MPH in a 75?

You can be all smug until you need to stick that underpowered MonTub on the back of a wave and ride it through an inlet against the tide loaded up. Let's see you be all smug then. I guess when your capsized and the boat is upside down at least you will be able to get the cowling off and you won't have to worry about an imaginary whine on your VHF.

Some people putt, some zoom!


tombro posted 07-19-2007 08:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for tombro  Send Email to tombro     
Tom, thanks for your excellent tutorials, as usual. My Verado cowling is kept from sticking by a light coat of Vaseline periodically, as are my console doors. Just did this maintenance last Monday due to the high winds that kept me in my slip doing things long overdue.
nemored posted 07-19-2007 08:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for nemored  Send Email to nemored     
Dear Hydry

Don't worry, I have plenty of power down low to clime the back side of a wave. I live on the Oregon coast now. We have river bar/ocean crossings here that make most waters seem calm.

By the way I know boats and speed. I've had four Whalers, two Arimas, one Evinrude, one Johnson one Merc., and four Hondas.

As far as driving too slow in the left lane, I retired from the Ca. highway patrol and I used to councel peopls that were going too fast or too slow in the fast lane. Hopfully you were a good boy.

By the way, I'm the only person on planet earth that has run this boat with the new Honda 90. I know, you can only guess. If your interested, come visit, I will give you a boat ride (maybe even let you steer) so you can see the error of your ways. My contact info. is in a post above.

Hydry, since you have never ran this boat with either motor, your just an armchair quarterback!


nemored posted 07-19-2007 12:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for nemored  Send Email to nemored     

Please forgive my spelling. I was having too much fun with Hydry. Hopefully he will give up and agree to disagree.

highanddry posted 07-19-2007 02:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
We can agree to dissagree but the facts are on a good day, the guy with the Merc engine is going to be ahead of you as his smoking, whinning, hard to remove cowling Mercury passes you up and leaves you behind in his wake and especially when they put the Verado 135/Opti 135 on as they should have to begin with.

Comparing perfomrance charts for the Merc 115 vs Honda 90 you can see that the Mercury is making a full 90 horsepower at a fast crusing RPM when the Honda is at redline. Horsepower counts and your down 25 any way you look at it.

Buckda posted 07-19-2007 03:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
I have 180 HP on my 18' Outrage. At 4,000 rpm (5,500 redline), I'm putting out 130 HP and going faster than I ever really need to go. When I'm on the big lake, I'm usually running 2,800 RPM, or about 90 HP.

I guess I really don't need 180 HP on my boat; because the only time I use it is when I'm screwing around or showing off.

Of course, I have E-TEC motors...and everyone knows they actually only put out 85 HP for each...but that really doesn't help the argument...drop it to 120 HP and 80 HP and you make Nemored's argument more clearly. Elaelap really liked his 18' Outrage with (horrors!) 115 HP. I guess he was right, since I never use all 180 of my ponies, really.

The guy is happy with what he has. He hardly ever needs the extra HP and doesn't want it. What is it to you? Would you be so offended if he had replaced the OptiMax motor with a 90 HP Mercury FourStroke (the Darth Vader looking thing)? Is it a HP thing or a engine brand thing?

AQUANUT posted 07-20-2007 05:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for AQUANUT  Send Email to AQUANUT     
bit my tonque long enough on this one..I work at a boston whaler dealership..ten years un rigging/ am a mercury at a dealership that is yamaha/mercury/honda..johnson/ only on the john/rudes...since the banckruptcy in 1999 left dealers and customers holding the bag..kinda makes you hesitant to take that plunge again...soon to be suzuki dealer also.
back in 2004, I personally bouth a new montauk 170, the day it arrived 3000 miles from florida...I unloaded it off the tractor trailer..and installed a new merc 115hp efi 4stroke
At the time..there were 3 of us doing this not sure who was the first. Yes, whaler states their position as whaler being a "family" boat..I always thought of them as a fishing boat growing up in florida as it were.

I ran this boat for about 80 hours the first year in all kinds of conditions...altitudes to 6500 ft down to sea level..temps from 22 - 116 degrees. It was and fun as hell! ran a 15p s/s prop..hauled 9 crab pots and four people..although the 50 mph gale with that cargo was a really tense trip back to port with 10 inches of 45 degree water in the bottom of the boat. I live to remmeber it. great boat!...chin walked it into the wind by myself might have been a 65mph gust on the open water..that was spooky!

now honda verses mercury.stats say approx 100 lbs diff mercury being the lighter of the two...yamaha with its clone of the power head and fuel injection..mercury 1st with fuel inj..yamaha manufactured orig merc blocks..yamahas gear case is bascally their 150hp gear case..meaning its bigger weighs more...bottom line..weight verses hp...every little reduction helps!

performance wise...optimax 115 out performs all others!
read the test studies from the bass boat shoot out magazines///power deckboat magazines..all concur.

boatdryver posted 07-20-2007 12:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for boatdryver  Send Email to boatdryver     
I wonder if Highanddry could be a closet former Naval Aviator. For those lucky chaps any hole shot less than a catapult launch in an F 18 is inadequate and lack of enough reserve power to climb vertically at 20,000 feet per minute is unacceptable. That must be very fun with someone else buying the gas!

Still, there are a few of us bugsmashers around who can be happy with less. With an underpowered craft we don't run the risk of losing altitude (at least not usually) and we can be satisfied with less power and noise.


highanddry posted 07-20-2007 01:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
It isn't anything to me and I am glad he is happy, what got me to digging at him was the bogus made up excuses for taking a brand new excellent engine and trading it for another brand new too small excellent engine. That is Nemoreds buisness, he likes the engine, he wanted the Honda and that is all he needed to say, the excuses for doing it are bogus--the only excuse--reason--that is valid--he wanted to and therefore he did. Therefore I figured to irratate him some for the fun of it, some little jabs to the ribs, no long term harm will result.
nemored posted 07-20-2007 05:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for nemored  Send Email to nemored     
The bogus problems:) I had with the Merc are absent from my new (and old) Hondas. Thats why I know the difference between the two motors. Again, only someone who has owned both makes will know the difference.

Let start a post with all the bad experiences people have had with their Hondas. I wonder if we get many posts on the subject.

The doc says I can take the tape off my ribs soon.

P.S. Hey Hydry

Don't tell anybody, but the real reason I bought the motors is that the dolphins look cute on the side.

chopbuster posted 07-22-2007 11:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for chopbuster  Send Email to chopbuster     
Tom, AKA Bluewaterpirate. Me thinkith you may well be a retired USN Boatswains Mate Master Chief, yes?

Only an experienced, knowledgeable and practical minded USN "Boats" could deduce and solve the problem as succinctly as you have.

Alas, this one video is worth a thousand long suffering posts with no solutions offered.

Thank You for your insight.

One "Boats" to another.


Riverwhaler posted 07-23-2007 08:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Riverwhaler  Send Email to Riverwhaler     
Nemoreds I just wanted to as well. I changed 115 Merc for Honda 150 after trying Merc for a few weeks. Only those that have actually done it can know what we are talking about. My Nantucket turns heads wherever I go. I would be glad to take anybody for a ride anytime. Just ask me!
bluewaterpirate posted 07-23-2007 10:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Chop .....

started out as a Radarman ended up an Operations Specialist. Be kind Boats!

31 years ....


17 bodega posted 07-24-2007 02:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for 17 bodega  Send Email to 17 bodega     
As Andygere points out early on in this thread, whalers with minimum power perform excellent. In my humble opinion, Boston Whaler boats (at least the classic variety) were designed to perform well with minimum power in mind. The newer vessels are awesome, but they are more akin to bass boats in the power department. They are heavier, and loaded down with more and more creature comforts. Great, but quite different from the original inspiration behind Whaler. The new company is a different animal.

The notion that one must traverse a dangerous inlet at over 30 knotts to beat a wave is rather ridiculous. Anyone with any degree of commercial boating and fishing experience knows better. If we break down this thinking it will sink like a hammer in a lake. You're fishing and a 25 knott wave creeps on you and you turn around... hit the throttle and in 1.2 seconds you're up on plane at 25mph with your 19 foot boat with a 150hp four stroke? Don't think so. Ok so then you're waiting at the inlet while the 30 mph breakers crash by... you hit the gas and whooosh, you beat the Hawaii-5-0 wave chasing you in... yeah right (watch some more TV) The minimum power boat will get you in just as safely if you are worth your salt as a captain or have earned your captains license. Most of the boats that fish our dangerous waters max out at far under 20 knotts. I zip by them in my little underpowered skiff.

How about some real inlets with real wave and current data? I mean non fiction too. I've been on the East Coast of the U.S. and the commercial fleets are just as slow. I don't see that they need the dope smuggling engine setups you guys talk about.

I've always noticed a majority of people who post on this website like thier boats with maximum power or more. No problem. I happen to see great wisdom in minimum power in a Boston Whaler. I would even say they are safer overall. Boats with added weight on the transom have reduced their swamped capacity. You gotta do the math. No free lunch. I see a lot of whalers and other boats that have up to 200lbs over the factory maximum not to mention bait tanks, kickers, and other gear. I decline invitations to fish offshore on these boats. There are many theories about what makes a boat safe. I like my boat to imitate a cork on the water. Very light and able to move with the sea.

Another footnote about my 50 horse engine on a hull that normally gets a 90. I have a "high thrust" prop and lower unit which is the same size as a 90. This gives my light skiff incredible holeshot ability and manuverability that larger boats cannot touch regardless of their power. I can vernture closer to reefs, shore, and creep through the shallows where others cannot.

So, I say to the starter of this thread: Great choice. You have wisdom that others do not see. I'm pretty sure you've increased your swamped capacity of your boat.

highanddry posted 07-24-2007 02:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
Let's see, on a 2000 pound hull you really think going from a engine that weighs 399 pounds to one that weighs 360 pounds and produces 25 less horsepower is really going to effect a hul that could proably handle considerably more and is rated for 410 pounds. You thnk thta 40 pounds really matters. I don't. The loss of 25 horsepower will.
nemored posted 07-24-2007 05:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for nemored  Send Email to nemored     
17 Bodega

You hit it on the head. I could have went with a bigger motor but I would rather have the kicker to balance out the transom. If you have both the bigger motor and a kicker, wet deck will not drain. A follinf sea can also send more water into your boat. Thanks, but no thanks. Up here in Oregon you need a kicker as a back up because of the strong river flows and the lack of help. If you lost your main motor, you are going out into the surf or the rocks. It just happed last week here to a boat that sank after hitting the rocks when it lost power (the family was when rescued by the Coast Guard off the rocks). Several times I have been the only boat crossing the river bar with no help in site. I would rather have a safety motor (kicker), than being able to go 5-10 mph faster with a bigger motor. Plus we troll all day and need the kicker to get down to the speeds the Salmon hit in the rivers. The main motor will not troll slow enough unless you have a trolling plate on it or a bucket thrown out.

A lot of this guys drive around in populated areas and don't get what we have here. Some boaters like to look at each others motors and see how much power is on the back. They forget to think about a kicker except when you hit your prop on something or the motor quits from bad gas,etc.

34 mph (with a full load) coupled with a great hole shot and the relability of Hondas are a good match in this part of the country for my Montauk 19.

17 bodega posted 07-24-2007 06:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for 17 bodega  Send Email to 17 bodega     
I'm not knocking your desire for speed and horsepower, but to suggest your boat is safer doesn't hold water, pardon my pun. Ading engine weight and overall vessel weight, just means you need more horsepower to move it. Simple high school physics.

I think small amounts of weight have more effect than you may think. You're assuming that Whaler has under rated the maximum weight and power of their hulls. If you are an aviator, you are well aware of now significant a seemingly small amount of weight can have on performance and safety.

I'd like to hear specifics about these inlets and why 35mph is not enough to make port safely. Something tells me I'm not going to get any meaningful info on this one...


Where are you on the OR Coast? Brookings or The Columbia Mouth? Those are some angry seas up there! Good fishing though!

nemored posted 07-24-2007 09:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for nemored  Send Email to nemored     
Coos Bay, Bandon and Gold Beach are my main ports of departure (nothing like So. Cal. where I used to fish). I used to take my 17' Guardian arcoss the channel to Santa Cruz Island. The big boats looked at me in surprise, but the knowlegable ones knew I was in a boat that would not sink. I had warm ups for this water by fishing out of Morro Bay on the Central Coast of California.

I just talked to my friend who has been commerical Salmon fishing down in Bodega for the last three weeks, you are in for some wind!

Whalers are the best!

WT posted 07-24-2007 10:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
I'm with highanddry on this one, sometimes you need the brute strength. If you're putting around in the ocean sometimes the extra power comes in handy.

I was out fishing for tuna last Saturday out of Santa Cruz, California. We only needed to go offshore about 20-22 miles to get to 62 degree water.

The swells were less than 4 feet but the wind was probably 25 miles per hour. We probably took a couple of dozen waves over the bow. My Mustang bomber jacket and bib were water logged.

We, four overweight fishermen, were in a 21.5 foot center console Cabo with a 225 Yamaha 4 stroke. The boat was loaded with enough ice to build an igloo.

I ran the boat back to the ramp and the power from the maximum rated 225 Yamaha on the 21 was a blessing. I could just power through the rough chop.

It was a blast and I wouldn't hesitate doing it again. Unfortunately, we only caught 2 tuna. :-(


17 bodega posted 07-25-2007 02:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for 17 bodega  Send Email to 17 bodega     
Sure, but don't confuse what you want with what is safer. From what you describe your boat was overloaded weight wise, which demonstrates my point. The weight will also make the boat take more green water.

Many people on this website over power their boats and then try to claim they are safer due to holeshot power. They might be more fun, satisfy hormones, and make wonderful freshwater bass boats, but they are not safer. I'm not saying an UNDERPOWERED boat is safer, just a MINIMUM powered boat. There is an important technical difference.

I bet you guys were trim compared to most of the hard core Tuna chasers out there. Them dudes are like sumos! :-)

I'm not going to change anyones mind here, but I'll patiently wait for some scientific data proving how safe the overpowered boats are at these phantom inlets....

highanddry posted 07-25-2007 04:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
Bodega, I am not talking about my boat, I am talking about the 2,000 pound Montauck 190. Ok, 1900 pounds, it is a heavy hull and equipped it is a heavy boat for a 19 footer to have only 90 horsepower and barely a top speed of 34 MPH only partially loaded. The weight of the Outrage 190 hull is 2050 pounds, I don't think that 150 pounds to be significant and the increased windage of the Montauk it is an even draw. The thing is and Boston Whaler agrees, it needs more power and they gave it that option for 08. I would darn sure hate to have only 90 horses on tap in my Outrage 190, it would barely be able to get out of it's own way. The Verado 135 makes more than 90 horsepower at only 4000 to 4500 RPM. Imagine putting a plate across your throttle and restricting yourself to only 2/3s of the avaialble power or less, most boats would be dogs.
nemored posted 07-25-2007 11:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for nemored  Send Email to nemored     
Maybe I should put a turbo on my 90.

If a White Shark is after me, I will throw my passengers over to pick up some speed!

Whalerdog posted 09-08-2007 08:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdog  Send Email to Whalerdog     
Well only 35 hours on mine and some in rough water with some good bangs. Motor stays tight and clean. Did have one motor mounting cone pop off and drop in the mid section. Motor burns near no fuel or oil and has been great so far. I was leary of 4 strokes nevering owning them before.
dig_unix posted 09-29-2007 11:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for dig_unix    
I really dont mean to add more fuel to the fire, but BW site states max eng weight 530 lbs, a 135 sounds better to me, might not always use the extra ponys but nice to have.

My 2 cents worth ... but its been fun reading :)

katoman posted 10-05-2007 08:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for katoman  Send Email to katoman     

1. maybe needed a differant prop- duh if it was a new motor that is probably the case, differant props for differant sea levels

2. flushing motor alarm comes on. First of all it could not have been a few seconds without damage. the alarm will not come on until the temparture exceeds what is reccomended, which usually takes 30 seconds or more and at the point usually the impellar is fried. And guess what, he will not run right from that point on.

Lastly, I am a big Whaler fan. I am a big American fan also. We have 3 things still built in America. Harleys and Boats, with and without American motors. The beautiful thing Whaler does now is offers a complete package rigged at the factory, not the dealership. Again it is factory rigged, period. Would you buy a Ford Truck with the motor being rigged at the dealership? What if you liked the Ford truck body and preferred to have a Toyota motor instead? Does that make sense? Of course not. The Whaler product as I understand is not built to the motor and not just any motor.The Verado has the Japanese looking real hard at the Mercury engine for the first time in many years. Go American and you cant go worng

katoman posted 10-05-2007 09:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for katoman  Send Email to katoman     
correction: built for that motor. My 1 fingered typing gets ahead of me sometimes
btb posted 10-05-2007 10:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for btb  Send Email to btb     
I had a 15hp Mercury and it purred like a kitten and performed faultlessly - I loved that motor and was sorry to see it go.

I have a Honda Goldwing, do my own work on it, and man, that thing is wonderfully engineered!

"Go figure".


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