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Author Topic:   23 Conquest re-power
Lars Simonsen posted 08-28-2007 04:04 PM ET (US)   Profile for Lars Simonsen   Send Email to Lars Simonsen  
I'm looking at a 2000 23' conquest, but if I were to buy it, I would immediately re-power it. It's got a 2000 225 optimax on it now, and although it has low hours, it's had no upgrades, and based on the history of the boat (nearly no use) and the price, I have a suspicion it's been a problem motor.

Probably the cheapest re-power is a new Optimax 225. I like the new optimaxes, and feel that they are good motors all around. However, given that the boat is rated for a maximum of 300 hp, I'm concerned that the boat would be underpowered. Can anyone comment on this boat/motor combination? What's the approximate top speed, how does it plane, etc?

I'm just trying to figure out what it would take to make this boat right if I were to buy it.

Bella con23 posted 08-28-2007 04:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bella con23  Send Email to Bella con23     
I have a 1999 Conquest with a 225 Mercury Saltwater series hanging off the stern. I have no problem with acceleration or top speed. I tow skiers, wakeboard, and tubes. I run offshore fishing pretty often as well.

I often think about how the boat would handle with a larger outboard, but I've gone through well over a thousand bucks in gas and oil so that thought doesn't last long.

I get 38mph top speed consistently and 42mph when the air temperature gets below 60 degrees. I'm running a Revolution 4 an 15x15.5 and it seems to be the ticket for this motor.

Good luck with your decision.

handn posted 08-28-2007 04:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for handn  Send Email to handn     
I had a 23 Conquest with a 1999 225 Optimax. It was a 30 knot boat, 35 mph statute. The boat got up on plane adequately and seemed to be an o.k. performer.
It cruised at 20 knots at 3800 rpm and 25 knots at 4100 rpm. Rarely, in typical blue water boating was more than 25 knots a comfortable speed.
My issues with the boat were rough ride, failure to hold a low speed plane (probably due to the Mirage 3-blade prop) and excessive noise and vibration (Optis are known for this). I thought the performance was acceptable.
Fuel economy was good at 2.3 to 2.5 nautical miles per gallon.
If I were buying the boat, I would spend some time and effort getting the existing engine to perform well rather than replacing it with an Optimax just like it. The problems with older Optimaxes are well documented on this forum and are mostly due to defective fuel injectors. A experienced Optimax Mechanic should be able to tell if your engine has problems and how to upgrade it to a reliable status for a fraction of the cost of a new motor.
If I were going to repower the boat, I would go with twin four strokes in the 130 to 250 range. The hull can carry the weight and two four strokes would solve the lack of low speed planing and the excessive noise and vibration problems.
Mambo Minnow posted 08-28-2007 07:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow    
Similar feedback for my Conquest with Opti power. The Optimax is more desireable power than the 200EFIs that the 1997-1999 model years were often equipped with, for the fuel efficiency.
My mechanic told me Monday that my 1999 is much louder than the current models, due to introduction of a baffle, downline from the air compressor. I had not heard this before and would be interested in learning more. That's one advantage to repowering. Check if you have a 2000 model that is upgradeable to Smartcraft gauges, if it does not already have them. Earlier engines can not be upgraded with this instrumentation.
TRAFFICLAWYER posted 08-28-2007 08:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    
Why bother installing a 2s in a 4s world. I would repower it with a Yamaha F250, same bolt pattern, modern technology and a highly desirable motor for resale.
Lars Simonsen posted 08-28-2007 09:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lars Simonsen  Send Email to Lars Simonsen     
Thanks for all the replies. I've been told by two Mercury master mechanics that the motor's not worth upgrading. Of course, they both might be hoping I'll be buying a new motor from them. Part of my motivation for getting away from the older optimax is that I've already had a bad experience with an older Optimax (1998 135 Optimax that blew its powerhead at 60 hours). I still have the 135 (with remanufactured 2002 powerhead), and I love it, but I don't want to go through the experience a second time. I've found an excellent mercury mechanic, and the current Optimaxes seem to be the best bang for the buck.

Trafficlawyer; I've thought about four strokes, too, but there aren't any yamaha mechanics nearby, and all of the boats I've been on with four strokes have been dogs. And, the new optimaxes are quieter than the early ones, very fuel efficient, and lighter and more powerful than the four strokes. So it's hard to justify spending more for a heavier and weaker motor that doesn't have significantly better fuel economy. However, if I could find a Conquest with twin Suzuki 140s at the right price, that would be very nice!

I've also found a 1984 25 outrage with no motor that has piqued my interest . . .

HAPPYJIM posted 08-29-2007 08:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for HAPPYJIM  Send Email to HAPPYJIM     
Causeway Marina in E City is selling Yamahas now. He has been a long time Johnson/Evinrude dealer. Jerry is an pretty good guy and has good mechanics in the shop.
Just in case you want to consider Yamaha.
Mambo Minnow posted 08-29-2007 12:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow    
Lars - Don't undersell the value of the four stroke quietness. As I posted earlier, the newer GEN 2 Optis have more silencing, but I still rather doubt they are more quiet than a four. For family cruising, that's a big selling point!
Lars Simonsen posted 08-29-2007 01:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lars Simonsen  Send Email to Lars Simonsen     
Thanks, Jim. I didn't realize they sold Yamahas. I'm a very happy customer of DB City Marina (they helped get me a free powerhead from Mercury when my Opti blew up, and they've been very good to deal with). But I'm not absolutely sold on mercs.

Mambo, I agree about the quietness of the 4 strokes. That's probably what I like least about my old opti. It's very loud (like a diesel).

The Conquest 23 I'm looking at has an asking price of $24,000.00. It has no trailer, and few electronics (a combination gps/chartplotter/depth sounder and an VHF radio), and no bottom paint (which I like). It also has a hard top. It's sort of a neglected boat (moldy cabin, salty film on everything, and generally sort of dirty). The hull has a couple of dings in it topsides. But, the price is very low (asking $24K). So it's very tempting. But I'm figuring on investing about $23K more to repower and put a trailer under it. I've been told I could probably get about $3000 for the old Opti, so total investment would be a little under $45K. Still probably a good deal, but more than I want tied up in a boat (plus, my wife would insist I sell my Dauntless, which I'm not thrilled about).

The 25' Outrage I've found is on a trailer, no bottom paint, and has a t-top. It looks like it's in real good shape, but they want $9700.00 for hull and trailer, which sounds a bit high, to me. The boat has the open transom, which I don't really like. I'm figuring the tank will probably have to be replaced, etc..

I'm still in the dreaming stage, but when I find the right boat at the right price, the dream could come true!

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