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Author Topic:   Repowering our Ventura
bluewaterpirate posted 04-09-2009 09:56 AM ET (US)   Profile for bluewaterpirate   Send Email to bluewaterpirate  
After much research and thought we've decided to go with an 09 225 Opti. We considered Yamaha, Zuke, Verado, and ETEC (the dealer network is very sparse for ETEC in my area). The deciding factor was the power, torque, and reliability of the Opti. We've been absolutely astounded with our current Opti and it's performance. Should be in sometime next week. We are changing some gauges on our helm to Smart Craft.

Will keep you posted.


mattrix posted 04-09-2009 11:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for mattrix  Send Email to mattrix     
I look forward to hearing about how it goes. What kind of numbers are you looking at if you don't mind me asking. Also why are you doing the repower?

I am sure you will be taking pictures/video of the work :)

Sal A posted 04-09-2009 11:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sal A  Send Email to Sal A     
Congratulations Tom. I think the reliability of that engine, given the long trips you take, would sway me to the same choice.

20dauntless posted 04-09-2009 12:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for 20dauntless    
I'd also like to know why you are repowering. How many hours do you have on the original engine? I've been toying with the idea of repowering my Dauntless, but it's tough to justify based on the number of hours I run on that boat.
bluewaterpirate posted 04-09-2009 02:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
My current OPti has 3257 hours time it's still running strong but the distances I travel offshore it's time to move on.
Feejer posted 04-09-2009 02:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Feejer  Send Email to Feejer     
Holy cow!!!

You should have no complaints about that engine. I'm sure you have taken very good care of it also. Good luck on the next one.

Buckda posted 04-09-2009 02:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Congratulations on the new power. It is almost like getting a new boat.

The great thing is you won't have to change rigging/controls either.

More than 3200 hours on a salt-water use motor is really good service. When you have a moment, can you let us know some of your habits that you do to your motor (i.e. maintenance, flushing, regular service intervals, etc). Also - assume you're using Mercury DFI oil as well.

Congratulations again - I know you're excited. I'm always jealous around mid-winter when you're posting photos and videos of fishing offshore while all the water up here is solid. (...but don't let that stop you from continuing to post! Helps us get through the winter.)

bluewaterpirate posted 04-09-2009 04:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
I do the normal things that all of you do:

1. Water pump every 500 hours (used strictly in bluewater) I changed it every 300 for the first 1000 hours but found there was little wear and tear on the impeller)

2. Plugs every 300 hours (new plug wires every 1000 hours)

3. Quickleen every other fueling

4. Used Mercs DFI Opti oil from day one

5. Changed the lower unit oil every 200 hours

6. Changed the fuel/water seperator (filter) every 100 hours as well as the small inline oil filter

7. Take the cowling off after every underway period to make sure every thing is as it should be and checked all hoses and clamps. Wipe the inside it down with fresh water sponge and towel (clean thoroughly)

8. Changed the belt every 500 hours and adjusted the belt tensionor

9. Fresh water flush after every use ... if I don't get to use it for two or more weeks I run it in my horse trough for about 10 minutes just to keep everything moving

10. Greased and inspected the proshaft every 200 hours and replaced the shaft seals every 1000 hours

11. Run the motor ar least 10 minutes on every trip ... my normal cruising rpm is between 4250 - 4500. The Ventura 210 is a beast fully loaded around 5200 lbs. At cruise rpm's I can run 32 calm sea (fully loaded) and around 35 - 37 after a days fishing. WIde open at 5375 rmps 46.6. I use a Mirage 17 pitch prop.

I had one issue at 1553 hours had a compressor bearing go bad. Merc replaced the compressor under warranty total down time three days.

It's been one strong running motor for sure. I was real concerned when I first purchased my Ventura in 2002 (no choice of power except Merc) ... I had been a Yamaha man up to that point. Eight years later ...... I've been Mercized (new word).

Here's a short video returning from offshore last November along with some picturers at 3100 hours.

About one minute into the video the scene changes to the Opti ..... she's running at 4500 rpm's about 36 mph. My Opti will run all day long between 4200 - 4500 rpms

Horse trough ...... video 4892322_2159335_31001323_WebSmall_3/ Image-4892322-31001323-2-WebSmall_0_34b077d5a768c6a98994655b2e6760dd_1 4892322_2159335_31001337_WebSmall_3/ Image-4892322-31001337-2-WebSmall_0_77f174c162a93d5e932c2efb29f5ab1d_1 4892322_2159335_31001374_WebSmall_3/ Image-4892322-31001374-2-WebSmall_0_767926b1c20c39d08f768dc424d5f0c3_1 4892322_2159335_31001395_WebSmall_3/ Image-4892322-31001395-2-WebSmall_0_9652ee6d3ba51ac01426f911eacb7bdd_1 4892322_2159335_31001637_WebSmall_4/ Image-4892322-31001637-2-WebSmall_0_a02b7ab3497f2aa7a173681e496ba750_1 4892322_2159335_31001730_WebSmall_4/ Image-4892322-31001730-2-WebSmall_0_1eed26ae9e4f38e44245bbf1626c30b7_1

I'm having a new Sea Star Steering System installed along with the new Opti.


20dauntless posted 04-09-2009 05:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for 20dauntless    
Wow, 3257 hours. That's very impressive, I wonder if there are any other owners on here who put more hours per year on their boats than you. Enjoy the new engine, it sounds like you made a good choice based on a very good experience with your previous Opti.
Mambo Minnow posted 04-10-2009 03:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow  Send Email to Mambo Minnow     
Nice to see a good news story on the Optimax for a change. Have the same whaler hull and a Opti 200. Just proves in my mind that how you care for your motor, especially as they get more complex determines reliablity.

I don't have Smartcraft either, so I will be very interested in seeing Tom's great video on electronics installation.

Let us know in the summer if the newer motor is any quieter...much debate on that point concerning Gen 1 and Gen 2 Optimax.

Any deal on the price in this economy?

tombro posted 04-10-2009 07:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for tombro  Send Email to tombro     
Tom, best of luck with the new Opti! Thanks for the maintainence schedule, which is pretty much what I've been following with my Verado.
She's only a baby, though, with 465 hours thus far.


Phil T posted 04-10-2009 07:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for Phil T  Send Email to Phil T     
Tom -

3200 hours +, that is a LOT of fun time! I'm envious. Looking forward to seeing the photos/video.

Another testament to the longevity of an outboard motor if it is well maintained.

jimh posted 04-12-2009 04:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Based on my engine hour time logged over the past four years, I only average about 60-hours per season. In order for my engine to accumulate 3,200 hours of operation, I would have to run it for over 53 seasons. I think it is simultaneously wonderful that you can get that much time on the water, and that your Mercury OptiMax has served you so well. Congratulations on both accounts.
glen e posted 04-12-2009 05:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
Congrats Tom - what smartcraft are you considering?
1. vesselview?
2. new Merc monitors?
3. SC1000 tachs and speedo?

paddyt111 posted 04-12-2009 09:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for paddyt111  Send Email to paddyt111     
Very impressive amount of hours on that engine! What is more impressive is that your wife seems to like the water just about as much as you do! I know I speak for most men when I say that that is a rarity. Great videos as always. Can you pass along the name of the camera bracket you used.

Your choice of an opti seems obvious given the work-out you've given your old one. I've got the summer bug and am back checking the posts, we'll stay in touch. Paddy

bluewaterpirate posted 04-13-2009 09:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Sorry I haven't answered your questions sooner ... it was quite a weekend for our family. We celebrated my parents 72nd wedding anniversary along with my Mom's 95th birthday. Mixed in with the celebration was my Dad's health issue (he a had a stroke two years ago). He bounced back nicely and was getting along famously until three months ago. The damage caused by the stroke is taking it's toll ... dementia is an insidious disease. Like some of you we had to make some tuff decisions in regards to my Dad's care. But life goes on for us ..... we celebrated my parents lifes and all the wonderful experiences they've enjoyed. Life has been good to our family in so many ways 4 children, 9 grand children, and oh so many great friends and adventures. I've been blessed and fortunate in so many ways.

Let me see .....

Total cost of the Opti, Sea Star steering, Smartcraft gauges (SC1000) for Glen, and labor came to $16851.00 (the Smart Craft gauges were ordered by someome else but never used).

Paddyt .....

I've got a wonderful wife for sure, anyone that could put up with me all these years is something special for sure. One of things we share a passion for is offshore fishing/boating. We've been very fortunate to be able to have the time to fish when we want to (semi-retired) and the where with all to afford to do it. Our kids helped is out by getting thru college in four years and helping out with scholarships for their masters.

Here's some info on the camera bracket I use.


themclos posted 04-14-2009 10:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for themclos  Send Email to themclos     

A 72nd wedding anniversary and a 95th birthday! What a wondrous and joyful event for all involved. What a blessing for you and your entire family to be able to share these milestones with your parents.

I am sorry to read about your father's condition. We'll keep you and your family in our prayers.


Jordi posted 04-14-2009 12:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jordi    
You seemed to venture offshore very often with a single outboard. Some of the old salts in Florida have the mindset that offshore should only be done with twin outboards. Your numbers are impressive and the care of your outboard is worth emulating. (Most of us do) I hope to report some similar numbers on my Verado, (I have a lot of fish to catch!!)… in about 20 yrs…

20dauntless posted 04-14-2009 01:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for 20dauntless    
Tom, sorry to hear about your fathers stroke, but a 72nd wedding anniversary and a 95th birthday are great!

What do you carry aboard in terms of spare parts for your engine? Can a towing service get to you easily if you have a problem you cannot fix?

bluewaterpirate posted 04-14-2009 02:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
I don't carry any spare parts for the Opti it would be almost impossible to work on in the ocean. I do carry extra DFI oil and steering fluid. I use both Sea Tow and Tow BoatUS they will come get us out to 75 miles. I always fish with a buddy boat(s) .... we look out for one another. I fish so much I know just about everyone who goes offshore on a regular basis.

Before I leave the inlet I always check my radios with Sea Tow, file a float plan with them, and check my radios again with them after I get to my offshore destination. Both Sea Tow and Tow BoatUS provide outstanding coverage and services in my area.


paddyt111 posted 04-14-2009 07:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for paddyt111  Send Email to paddyt111     
Tom, I have finally decided to add a kicker for safety sake, no sea tow off Newfoundland, I'm afraid.

I have decided to add a 4 stroke merc to match my Verado. My only question is whether to purchase a regular 9.9hp or a 9.9 pro kicker.
- I don't plan to use it as a trolling motor, just an safety auxiliary motor.
- If I order a larger propeller for the regular 9.9, I wonder if that will do the same job?

Mambo Minnow posted 04-14-2009 08:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow  Send Email to Mambo Minnow     
One nice feature on the new Optis is the lightweight cowl.
The original fiberglass cowl in the first years is very heavy to lift off, especially when you are afloat.

I will be curious if you notice any sound decibel difference. There is much speculation, unsubstantiated that new Optis are quieter than the original.

Look forward to your feedback on the new motor. Your reports are always very thorough and comprehensive!

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