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Author Topic:   Brand new Montauk 190 leaves me stranded
hockeycrew posted 04-27-2009 10:04 PM ET (US)   Profile for hockeycrew   Send Email to hockeycrew  
After waiting all winter to take delivery of my new 190 Montauk, I went for the sea trial on Friday and all went well. Ran the 135-HP Verado at all different speeds and she ran great. Took the boat home and launched on Sunday. Went for a quick 30-minute ride and the motor died. Motor did restart and I headed back to the dock. I did not have the Smartcraft manual--Mercury did not supply one--so I was not sure how to read what caused the problem.

I decided to take it out again today after printing the Smartcraft display manual from the internet just in case the problem happened again. Twenty minutes into the ride and about 6 miles from the dock cruising at 24 knots the boat just stopped and the Smartcraft display showed a "critical communication fault" and shut down all power to the engine. It would idle but I had no power at the throttle. Shut off the engine and I could not restart the engine. Had to call the marina for a tow and have the boat pulled from the water and placed on the trailer. Heading back to the dealer in the morning with my new boat with two hours on it. Not exactly what I expected buying a new boat with a new FOURSTROKE engine.

What do you think a good dealer should do in this case? I have a $500 bill from the marina for the tow and haul out, plus I have to trailer it back to them approximately 40 miles away and then return to pick it up. After spending $35,000 I am hoping they take care of the tab.

hauptjm posted 04-27-2009 10:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
What do you think a good dealer should do in this case?

Fix it correctly, promptly and pay your tow fee. Nothing less! Nothing more!

boatdryver posted 04-27-2009 10:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for boatdryver  Send Email to boatdryver     
Good time to consider joining boatUS or something similar to have tow coverage, even on a new boat. works like triple A.


SC Joe posted 04-27-2009 10:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for SC Joe  Send Email to SC Joe     
Unless you can prove it's a dealer caused problem..I doubt they'll pay for the tow.

You might get something from Whaler, but honestly..I doubt it.

aubv posted 04-27-2009 10:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for aubv  Send Email to aubv     

You maybe pleasantly surprised, Mercury used to include $500 of towing coverage as part of warranty.(2002)

If not you might check your insurance, ours covers $500 towards towing.

Best of luck with the new boat, despite the rocky start.

john10 posted 04-28-2009 08:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for john10  Send Email to john10     
Your expectation from the dealer should be to receive exactly what you agreed to in writing (your sales agreement, any service agreement, any warranty agreement). To expect more than what you agreed to would be unreasonable on your part.

If you wanted coverage for towing, it would have been your responsibility to negotiate with the dealer in advance (unlikely) , or purchase that from an appropriate vendor.

Just as you would not expect the dealer to come back to you and say, "oh, we want more money for that boat now" after the sale, the dealer doesn't expect you to come back and expect more than you and the dealer agreed with.

Brian7son posted 04-28-2009 09:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for Brian7son  Send Email to Brian7son     
I certainly understand your frustration. Buying a new boat with a new motor, you would think that everything is perfect. However, you have to be aware of Murphy's Law.

I'm not trying to give you a hard time, so please dont take this wrong. You had experienced a problem with your new engine, you didnt know what the problem was and you decided to take the boat out again without diagnosing the problem and you didnt have a backup plan.

"Motor did restart and I headed back to the dock....I was not sure how to read what caused the problem. I decided to take it out again today...just in case the problem happened again". I would not have done that.

I hope that the dealer works things out for you. As others have stated, I highly recommend that you join BoatUS. Having that coverage turns a big financial hassle into a minor inconvenience. It's also not very expensive at all.

Good luck with the new boat. I hope everything works out for you.

johnhenry posted 04-28-2009 10:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for johnhenry  Send Email to johnhenry     
Bad luck Dude. You should have notified dealer after the 1st time. Either come clean with them about knowing that there was a potential problem that you were concerned with before taking it out again, or keep quiet. I suspect the 2nd approach may not fly, especially if the whaler dealer peruses this site.
elaelap posted 04-28-2009 12:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
I respectfully disagree with John10. Many states, including my own, impose implied warranties upon products and services, such warranties augmenting written contracts/warranties/covenants. One such implied warranty covenants (guarentees) that a product will perform as intended for a reasonable time. Sounds like that sure didn't happen here, and the motor should be immediately repaired or replaced and the consequential damages suffered by the buyer--in this case tow charges--should be taken care of.

I don't know about Rhode Island in this regard, but it's worth a try in small claims court if the dealer won't step up to the plate. Stuff happens, and we all hope that the dealer will do the right thing after making a $35K sale in these tough economic times, but if he won't...go get him and good luck.


hockeycrew posted 04-28-2009 01:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for hockeycrew  Send Email to hockeycrew     
Boat has been returned to the dealer this morning. As part of the written deal I was suppose to have a free 3 month subscription to Safe Sea. When I was floating around at sea I opened my nice Boston Whaler package to get the Safe Sea phone number and it was not in my package. That was suppose to begin on the day of delivery. Certainly an oversight on my part to not check for the membership card but it should have been provided at the time of delivery. If I had that I would have at least been covered for the tow.
john10 posted 04-28-2009 02:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for john10  Send Email to john10     
"As part of the written deal I was suppose to have a free 3 month subscription to Safe Sea"

given that information, I would expect the dealer to pay for the tow (if, in fact, they neglected to follow through on something, if it was your responsibility to initiate the Sea Tow membership, I would think it would fall back on you.)

What was the dealers position regarding the tow costs when you returned the boat to them?

bluewaterpirate posted 04-28-2009 02:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
I know this is not a pleasant thought but go to the veradoclub website ... there is a complete listing of the fault codes for SmartCraft in PDF. You can print them out and place them in your Whaler red info bag.

You had a 101 or 103 fualt code both require this ......... Image-4892322-67407295-2-Web_0_d648de2b8d9b5fd60a17ca48df800a8f_1


john10 posted 04-28-2009 03:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for john10  Send Email to john10     

but, what if there was no intention to use the "nest"?

reminds me of the manual for the Honda 50 I purchased in about 1966.

SJUAE posted 04-28-2009 03:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE    
Is the engine etc pre-fitted by BW ? and the dealer only responsable for comissioning activities ?

If so there could be dual responsability, depending on fault, in addition to the safe sea cover issue.

I'm sadden for your loss of enjoyment with your new boat, but it will be soon forgotten is the only good news.

It's a shame as 500 sobs is a good 25-30% towards a kicker


Feejer posted 04-28-2009 03:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Feejer  Send Email to Feejer     
I hope you walk away from this incidence feeling good, if nothing else look at what all you learned. It also could have been much worse.

Read, read and then read some more the smartcraft manual

hockeycrew posted 04-28-2009 04:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for hockeycrew  Send Email to hockeycrew     
Dealer called and the motor needs a new "computer" that will be sent from Mercury. Hopefully that will solve the problem and I can get back in the water in a few days. Not the start to the boating season I was hoping for especially after waiting all winter to use the boat. I will NOT be heading out again without a SafeSea membership that is for sure!

chopbuster posted 04-28-2009 11:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for chopbuster  Send Email to chopbuster     
Will your dealer or Merc. pick up the tab on the tow job ?
jimh posted 04-29-2009 08:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
"Dealer called and the motor needs a new "computer" that will be sent from Mercury."

That's what they tell the customer when they have no idea what is causing the problem. Resolving intermittent problems in a complex electronic system can be very frustrating.

swist posted 04-29-2009 10:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
True, but it's also the cheapest for everyone - there is no way all local mechanics can get all trained in the complexities of the smartcraft communications protocols and associated components.
SJUAE posted 04-29-2009 03:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE    

there is no way all local mechanics can get all trained in the complexities of the smartcraft communications protocols and associated components.

Sorry can't agree with this, computer diagnostics has been with our cars for years now and is a good as role model as any.

I don't know about Merc but Evinrude make the majority of info available to the consumer with a laptop and some basic software, let alone what a dealer has access to.

Fortunatly for hockeycrew it should be a warranty issue but if every time you have a problem with comms/engine they just swap out the management system, then we might as well get serviced/repaired at at any 7/11 store.

This is classic western indulgence and devalues skills that the third world simple finds inconceivable.

Sorry off my soap box now,

hockeycrew best wishes for return to water activities and I hope you get some money back.


jimh posted 04-29-2009 08:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Let me share an example from the world of IT. We recently replaced a large number of workstations with new units using much newer, faster, more powerful computers. For several months we had zero complaints or problems with the new workstations. Eventually, we began to see a problem here and there. As it happened, we had some cut backs in personnel who used these workstations, so we ended up with an extra workstation, that is, we had a workstation with no user.

Last week we had our first real problem with one of the new workstations. What did we do? We immediately gave the user a new workstation--the extra one we had--and took their workstation with us for more diagnostic testing.

It did not take long to discover the actual cause of the malfunction the user was getting with his workstation. With the unit on the bench we luckily found the actual cause of the original problem. It was a trivial problem, not really related at all to the new workstation, but actually something external to it. There was nothing wrong with the workstation at all.

I mention this because when we replaced the user's workstation, we did not actually remedy the problem with the new workstation. In the process of replacing it we inadvertently remedied the actual problem without realizing it. But as far as the user knew, they got a new workstation and the problem went away.

This is much like the remedy given to hockeycrew by having the engine control unit replaced. I suspect that the dealer really did not have any evidence or testing that pointed directly to the ECU as the problem; they just replaced it to see if that would fix the problem.

The dealer will probably send the original ECU back to Mercury to have it tested and evaluated. If Mercury finds an actual problem, it would be nice, because that would mean that the original cause of the malfunction has been found and replacement of the ECU was a real remedy.

However, I would not be surprised if the ECU goes back for testing and passes with flying colors. This would leave the real cause of the malfunction still unknown and unresolved.

Andrewdavis34 posted 04-29-2009 10:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Andrewdavis34  Send Email to Andrewdavis34     
Hi all,

I am going to give you a brief story regarding my dealings with Mercury. I own a 2008 170 Montauk with a 90HP EFI. This past Oct after owning the boat for one year, I started experiencing an intermittent non starting condition in which the motor would not turn over. I have had to date the start solnoid, ingition switch, and the complete starter assembly replaced. The first two go arounds with the ignition switch and start solnoid, the technician would not diagnose the problem and just consulted with Mercury and was told what to replace by Mercury. After this second failed attempt to correct the problem the selling dealer decided to order a complete starter assembly. To date I have had a chance to run the boat several times w/o any problems and hope this will correct the problem. The thing that was frustrating to me is that I am not even a mechanic, but I do have a Mercury shop manual and there is a very detailed easy to follow trouble shooting guide that I had a chance to go through with the mechanic that replaced the starter motor. Low and behold the test indicated that if the voltage readings are w/i a specific range that the starter is bad and this was the case. After all was said and done he aggreed with me that this was problem. I am not sure if the selling dealer who has always provided outstanding customer ever was paid for replacing the starter w/o Mercury's permission, but I gave Mercury a piece of my mind on the customer satifation survey.

I am now a happy camper and am regaining confidence in my engine. I think I will too purchase tow insurance as a back up.

Good luck.


dbrown posted 04-29-2009 11:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for dbrown  Send Email to dbrown     
In contrast to your situation regarding your Mercury 90 HP FOURSTROKE, I had the same problem with my 2007 (Manufactured) 90 HP FOURSTROKE, only my mechanic diagnosed the intermittent starting problem as a bad starter almost immediately. Course it helped that it was a known problem (at least to him) on these motors and that was the first thing he checked. No further problems starting since the replacement starter was installed.
swist posted 04-30-2009 07:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
SJAUE - I disagree - yes when the computer is WORKING PROPERLY it tells a mechanic (or almost anybody, as you point out) what is wrong.

But when you are having random problems with the computer's communication system, there is no other computer to diagnose the computer. And it is these kinds of problems which I doubt Mercury can adequately train for, at least not cost-effectively.

Tohsgib posted 04-30-2009 01:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
I would "assume"safe sea might reimburse you. That might be what they do anyway considering I have never heard of or saw a Safe Sea boat. Look into what Safe Sea is, you might get lucky.
SJUAE posted 04-30-2009 03:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE    

I understand your view point in the scenario you note but as in Jim's example, there's many more.

This is all very well if your engine is under warranty, you can have lower skilled mechanics who just swap parts out under Merc's authority.

I don't think we would be so happy if we were footing the bill with several parts replace and no cure or worse still the fault reoccurring later at sea after spending 100's.


Buckda posted 04-30-2009 03:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
The larger question here is not whether your Boston Whaler Montauk left you stranded - it did not.

Either your Mercury Verado Outboard left you stranded, or your actions in relation to erractic engine behavior on previous outings did.

I mean, let's be straight. The Montauk itself performed exactly as expected, didn't it?

....or has Mercury learned the great skill of politicians and figured out how to blame someone else for their own failures?

Just askin......

hockeycrew posted 04-30-2009 04:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for hockeycrew  Send Email to hockeycrew     
You are kidding right. I purchased a complete boat including engine and trailer from Boston Whaler. I did not purchase a Mercury Verado engine and ask the dealer to install it on the Montauk. So to answer your question the Montauk did leave me stranded since it was the "package" sold to me from Boston Whaler by the dealer. I love the "my actions" quote like I went out and drove the boat into a rock pile and I am crying about it not running. You sound like a salesmen not a boat owner!

Buckda posted 04-30-2009 04:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Well, my point is not a critique of you Hockeycrew, it is of the shift of focus that occurs from the bundling of engine/boat together, which is a fairly recent practice in the history of Boston Whaler.

Prior to Verado, outboard motors were not ever considered "integrated propulsion systems" on a boat. It was a bolt-on accessory. In fact, one of the big reasons that outboards were marketed in saltwater fishing markets was the ease of engine replacement once it wore out. Just buy a new one and bolt it on.

So the boat did not strand you - the motor did. Brunswick just figured out a way to divert attention/blame from their bolt-on engine from their Mercury division. Now, we have a problem with a product manufactured by Mercury, which is a separate company from Boston Whaler, and yet, Boston Whaler is being blamed for leaving a owner stranded.

I am not accusing Brunswick of doing this intentionally, but rather pointing out an unintended consequence to their marketing practices which reflects poorly on certain divisions when a different division is the cause of the problem.

That is very interesting.

On the other front, I will say that I do find it fascinating that you are upset for me pointing out the following: You operated this vessel and experienced an engine failure. Rather than determine the cause of this failure, and without making alternative arrangements in case you experienced the failure again, you took the same boat/motor combination away from the relative safety of a marina. The engine failed a second time, this time, several miles from the relative safety of a marina, which required a towing service to get you home. Instead of utilizing the towing service that was provided at the time of sale, you paid additional funds out of your pocket for a third-party tow.

I'm not criticizing you on any of this - it is very possible that I may have made the same errors if in the same situation. But I submit that they are errors that you made. The boat gets blamed again - for errors you made in the operation of a boat with engine problems. The engine problems and your operational/decision making errors are not the fault at all of Boston Whaler as a boat-building company.

...and yet, the Boston Whaler Montauk is blamed.


Again - not a rip on you at all. We all make mistakes and I will be the last one to "judge" you for expecting that a brand new engine should operate normally, and even for thinking that an earlier engine fault could have been a "fluke" and wouldn't occur again. Been there in that mindset. It still doesn't mean that it wasn't a mistake or an error in operational judgment.

I'm glad that Mercury has addressed the problem through your dealer. It is Mercury that is taking ownership of this problem with one of their engines, which illustrates my point that it was a problem with the engine, not the boat manufactured by Boston Whaler.

Buckda posted 04-30-2009 04:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
I'm glad you love the "my actions" quote. I felt it was appropriate too, and am also rather fond of that little contribution to literature on my part. /jk

Lighten up - I'm not throwing rocks at your new boat, but if I was, it wouldn't sink.

Buckda posted 04-30-2009 04:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
I'm curious. If you experienced a flat tire or an axle failure on the trailer which left you stranded on the side of the highway, would you say that your Montauk left you stranded?

I'm just curious if Boston Whaler should shoulder the blame for only items bolted/directly attached to the hull, or items that were bundled into the sale of the hull as a "package"?

Feejer posted 04-30-2009 05:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Feejer  Send Email to Feejer     
Time to break out the pop core. This thread is starting to sound like something over at THT

He was left stranded, boat, engine who cares. Aren't both companies owned by the same parent company anyway???

Feejer posted 04-30-2009 05:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Feejer  Send Email to Feejer     
Thats pop corn.........we really need an edit button
fishinchips posted 04-30-2009 05:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for fishinchips  Send Email to fishinchips     
maybe time to invest in a kicker motor.

Ken (170 montauk / 22 hydrasports wa)

johnhenry posted 04-30-2009 08:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for johnhenry  Send Email to johnhenry     
I have mixed feeling about this; As an owner of an 08 Montauk 170 I do not want to be worried about motor reliability. With the risk of being censored by jimh, when you purchase a new vehicle from a car manufacturer don't you expect to have the battery, tires, and various integrated electrical components to be covered under the new vehicle warranty? These components are not made by the manufacturer of said vehicle.
Why shouldn't BW be totally responsible for Mercury. How many new BW's are sold with any other engine? Does a BW dealer offer a new Whaler with any other engine brand option?
Would I have taken a new boat out knowing that there was a potential of breaking down, maybe. Should Whaler cover this? Yes, for the sake of customer satisfaction. And no, I don't want to be buying a kicker motor unless I am going way offshore. I shouldn't have to.
I am paying a premium price for a boat with a very good reputation. I could have spent a lot less on a boat with more percs, but I didnt. I bought a whaler-my dream, and I would not want it spoiled by poor customer service.
I don't by any stretch think that BW will not take care of this. Everything I have heard and experienced leads me to believe that this problem will be resolved.
TRAFFICLAWYER posted 04-30-2009 08:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    
I thought acronyms were in bad form and would be banned????

""Let me share an example from the world of ""IT.""

What's IT?????

TRAFFICLAWYER posted 04-30-2009 08:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    
P.S. Sign up with Towboat or Seatow!
Dick E posted 04-30-2009 08:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick E  Send Email to Dick E     
IT= Information Technology computer data processing
crabby posted 04-30-2009 09:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for crabby  Send Email to crabby     
For a somewhat similar experience:

Several years ago I repowered my old Montauk with a new engine. My premise was that I was tired of the 18 year old motor and it's quirks and wanted a reliable motor for the fall fishing season. I repowered over Labor Day weekend in 2004 and paid full price for the motor and installation. At almost exactly 10 hours into the life of the new motor it developed a knock, I called the dealer and let him listen over the phone, and he told me to bring it in. Not having towing, I tried to make it on my own power, failed, and called friends to drag me the remaining 10 miles. A week later I had a fresh powerhead. 10 hours after that the replacement powerhead also failed. So I went out and secured a towing package, moved the rig out where they were obligated to tow me (purchasing the towing package was less expensive than buying off my buddies), and went back to the dealer. Once again, a week later I was back in business. The dealer negotiated a little something with the motor's manufacturer to stifle my bellyaching (a full case of oil which lasted me almost two seasons).

Sometimes things happen. I bought a lemon, but everyone involved worked hard to correct the problems. That is what a warranty is all about. I probably have close to 1000 hours on that motor now (it's 4.5 years old) and yes I have had other issues with it they have all been corrected. True, I never had towing insurance until I bought my new motor that was supposed to be more reliable than my old beater but in the long run I still prefer the new motor over the old.

Good luck,


hauptjm posted 05-01-2009 09:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
Mercury's approach to repairing the "computer", is akin to the Timex business model. Remember when Efrim Zimbalist, Jr. used to strap his Timex to an outboard (ironic) and it would take a "beating, and keep on ticking?" Well, when that trusty old Timex would finally stop ticking and Timex promised it would run or be repaired, Timex didn't repair anything.

You sent your watch back to the factory, they removed the guts, dropped in new guts and sent you back your shell, with new workings. The cost to repair said broken internals was double, triple, quadruple, etc. what the cost was to simply give you a new internal works.

Now with Mercury, it may not be financially prudent to throw away the old "guts", but surely more accurate to assess, diagnose and repair on their bench, than with someone turning wrenches not oscilloscopes.

All of this aside, I think jimh nailed it with this:

This is much like the remedy given to hockeycrew by having the engine control unit replaced. I suspect that the dealer really did not have any evidence or testing that pointed directly to the ECU as the problem; they just replaced it to see if that would fix the problem.
hauptjm posted 05-01-2009 09:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
I'm so old, I screwed up the Timex slogan, "takes a lickin', but keeps on Tickin'."
Tohsgib posted 05-01-2009 12:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Timex suck!

Kinda odd that Larry has not made a peep.

swist posted 05-01-2009 12:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
It's not just the Timex business model any more. It's everyone's. I was recently at a large local computer retailer, and next to me I heard a salesman "confide" to a another customer that their repair department doesn't repair anything, they basically give you a new one. (This being I'm sure part of their pre-orchestrated sales pitch to sell extended warranties "if anything breaks, essentially you get a new one").
SJUAE posted 05-02-2009 01:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE    
Out of interest how much is the replacement engine management system on a 135-HP Verado ?

I presume they are only available from Mercury due to identification.

My guess is a bit more than a few Timex innards or a Mother Board of an average PC.


sheikofthesea posted 05-02-2009 03:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for sheikofthesea  Send Email to sheikofthesea     
I own a relatively new 190 montauk. I am glad it didn't happen to me and I do have boat us tow insurance...but i would have towed you back to somewhere if i had seen you.


SJUAE posted 05-02-2009 06:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE    

I towed someone in last week with a nice new Yam 200 on the back. It can happen to us all.

We don't have any tow you in type service here and although the coast guard and customs is very strict they are also very helpful. I've often seen them towing in boats.

If I did live in the US I would still have an axilary in addition to tow insurance.


jimh posted 05-02-2009 09:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
ASIDE--use of acronyms which are universally recognized, like MPH for miles-per-hour is standard and always has been. Use of invented or very obscure acronyms without prior use of the corresponding full phrase is just poor writing, and we discourage it. SK (a Morse code prosign which means, "end of communications, no reply expected.")
jimh posted 05-02-2009 09:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
My impression is Mercury uses a Motorola PCM 555 controller for their Verado motor. I suspect the retail cost of a new controller would be over $1,000. As a replacement part it is rather expensive. There are some Quicksilver brand replacement PCM 555 controllers offered on eBay for $850 with the notation "won't last at this price" that are intended for other engines, but I suspect that this price is indicative of the cost of a Verado unit replacement.

The PCM 555 controller is mention in

which is also quite an interesting article about the Verado. The article gives great detail about the Lysholm supercharger design and manufacturing, which I have not seen mentioned anywhere else before that I can recall.

jimh posted 05-02-2009 09:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The sidebar discussion that Dave has introduced is interesting. In regard to automotive parallels, I do not think anyone would say "the engine manufactured by various GM divisions" left me stranded on the road; they'd say "my Chevy left me stranded."

In a car the engine is integral to the car and not bolted onto the rear deck, so it seems reasonable to not refer to it as a separate entity. In the case of the Boston Whaler 190 MONTAUK, the Verado is bolted on the transom, and I think it is entirely reasonable to refer to the Verado as a separate entity, not an integral part of the assembly we call a 190 MONTAUK.

chopbuster posted 05-02-2009 10:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for chopbuster  Send Email to chopbuster     
The authors question remains; "What do you think a good dealer should do in this case?"

[Changed the TOPIC to begin a discussion of the participants in this discussion and the course of the discussion. In addition we were also treated to a discussion about the use of editing. As I have mentioned so many times I have lost count, introducing into a discussion a discussion of the discussion itself is not encouraged, and, in general, our experience is that it seldom leads to any resolution of the original problem. Accordingly, we have low tolerance for discussions about the discussions within the discussions themselves, and these topics have been removed--jimh.]

jimh posted 05-02-2009 02:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I hope to hear more about how this intermittent engine failure problem with the Mercury Verado 135-HP motor on a new Boston Whaler 190 MONTAUK will eventually be resolved.
fishinchips posted 05-02-2009 02:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for fishinchips  Send Email to fishinchips     
One of the guys on this board had a intermittent problem with his non supercharged verado. I believe the wiring harness was the issue.

Plus, I don't beleive in one motor. Having twins or a kicker is always safer out on the water.


SJUAE posted 05-02-2009 05:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE    

Read the link, thanks

They imply (in 2005) 200hp, 225hp, 250hp and 275hp are only different by the PCM 555 controller software and the price diffrence is 7500NZ or more than the difference between the engines at least, to stop self mods.

Good job hockeycrew is in warranty

I think I read elsewhere the Evinrude do an exchange EMM service in addition to other software updates done by dealers. This is because the EMM records logged hours similar to car speedo miles, which is an offence to tamper or change.


jimh posted 05-03-2009 01:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Steve writes:

"Jim, read the links."

Steve--What links?

SC Joe posted 05-03-2009 01:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for SC Joe  Send Email to SC Joe     
Jimh writes:

>>In a car the engine is integral to the car and not bolted onto the rear deck, so it seems reasonable to not refer to it as a separate entity. In the case of the Boston Whaler 190 MONTAUK, the Verado is bolted on the transom, and I think it is entirely reasonable to refer to the Verado as a separate entity, not an integral part of the assembly we call a 190 MONTAUK.<<

Jim--Have you seen a newer 190 Montauk with any other engine than a Verado? As they can only be purchased in 49 states with a Verado, I think his description is accurate.

Buckda posted 05-03-2009 07:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     

In 10 years, when the first 190 Montauks with VERADO power are beginning to be repowered by their owners, does the boat cease to be a 190 Montauk if an owner decides to utilize a HONDA powerplant for the repower? What about a YAMAHA? These are populare repower options.

18' Outrages were sold NEW with Yamaha, OMC and Mercury power? Is only one configuration a "true" 18' Outrage and the rest posers?

Seriously folks, are we really going to tie the outboard to the identity of the hull?

jimh posted 05-04-2009 12:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I hope to hear more about how this intermittent engine failure problem with the Mercury Verado 135-HP motor will eventually be resolved.
johnhenry posted 05-04-2009 09:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for johnhenry  Send Email to johnhenry     
"Seriously folks, are we going to tie the outboard to the identity of the hull?"
Not necesarily me, but Boston Whaler has. Are there any other engine options offered or available through Whaler for the Montauks? No. How long do you expect to have the same engine on the boat? Me, as long as possible, hopefully 10 years or more. These new 4 Strokes are supposed to last longer.
I beg differ that the motor is not part of the boat. This is when we get into a definition of "it".
Just because the engine is bolted to the back of the boat does'nt mean that the engine is not part of the boat. That engine is tied directly/indirectly to all running systems. Example: What charges your battery to keep all your electronics running? When an engine quits, the boat is dead in the water. How about the new "Smart" diagnostic systems that are tied into the console electronics. What happens to that system when you change engine brands?
bluewaterpirate posted 05-04-2009 10:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Pretty simple ...... you remove your current guage configuration pay an additional cost for the new guages. Bring another thousand.


Tohsgib posted 05-04-2009 12:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
I agree with Buckda but I will say this is a pretty stupid debate. If your steering cable broke would you say the Montauk left you stranded? Chances are you would blame it on the steering which is made by somebody other than Whaler. I believe the same should go for the engine. If my boat broke down I would blame it on the engine, the boat itself is fine and had nothing to do with the engine's failure. Now if the gas tank ruptured, like the steering it came with the boat, but that is kinda different and I would most likely blame the Montauk in that instance.
SJUAE posted 05-04-2009 02:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE    

Steve--What links?

To the propeller magazine article :)

Sorry for the confusion, as you noted some interesting information

S C Joe

Have you seen a newer 190 Montauk with any other engine than a Verado?

Yes, remember export models are not tied to Merc power. The one currently in my dealers showroom is blank awaiting a nice ETEC to be fitted as that’s the dealers franchise. The others he has sold had ETEC's fitted, and my 210.


chopbuster posted 05-04-2009 02:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for chopbuster  Send Email to chopbuster     
[Added more comments which have nothing to do with the discussion but, again, introduce sidebar discussions about the discussions themselves, or in this case, about how his comments have been deleted because they were off-topic. In what has to be the funniest case of irony, his off-topic comments are complaints that this thread is being disrupted or hijacked by off topic comments. Of course, this is a self fulfilling prophesy, as making off-topic comments complaining about off-topic comments is just that--off topic. This is a good example of why I just remove these attempts to disrupt discussions with discussions about themselves. If you can't add anything, sit on your hands.]
jimh posted 05-05-2009 08:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Steve--I am still not clear on what you are referring to. In the article which I cited, and of course I read it, it mentions that the software in the ECU is sold for $7,000. However, I don't think that is the replacement price for a defective ECU. If your Mercury motor with PCM 555 controller needs replacement, I suspect it will cost you less than $7,000.

The price of the PCM 555 hardware is probably in the range of $1,000 to $2,500, I would estimate. I suspect that the OEM cost to Mercury is far less, and that is why they are willing to replace the entire PCM 555 controller as the first step in solving this problem of their under-warranty 135-HP Verado motor failing and stranding the boater with a $500 tow.

I hope we hear more from hockeycrew about the outcome of this repair.

hockeycrew posted 05-05-2009 10:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for hockeycrew  Send Email to hockeycrew     
Just an update that the dealer has replaced the computer and it checked out fine according to the laptop. I will get the boat back in the water later this week for a full test.

Dealer took care of the tow and haul and I am optimistic that I will be back out on the water fishing soon enough.

Feejer posted 05-05-2009 11:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for Feejer  Send Email to Feejer     
Nice to see everything worked out for you.
SJUAE posted 05-05-2009 11:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE    

Fingers crossed all is resolved


Not sure where the confusion is now :) maybe both of us.

I agree with you on a like for like replacement it's probably in the range you note, outside of warranty.

The article you linked implies if you tried to buy another PCM 555 for the sole purpose of getting more HP from eg a 200 to 225 then Merc have made this cost prohibitive.

I think the same applies to ETEC's EMM.

However, on some defects you may have a chance of self repair by re-flashing the ROM on the ETEC's and Evinrude’s exchange service may be cheaper by what I have read.


johnhenry posted 05-05-2009 11:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for johnhenry  Send Email to johnhenry     
Very good. I was hoping they would come through. I really did not expect anything else. Go enjoy
hauptjm posted 05-05-2009 12:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
If someone was so inclined, it seems the Motorola PCM555 could be reworked thusly:

Imagine a 275hp motor for the price of a 200hp motor.

Tohsgib posted 05-05-2009 01:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
True but you need to run 91 octane or else you only get 250hp...which is still not bad for 200 price.
glen e posted 05-05-2009 02:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
a 275 on 87 delivers about 265.
Tohsgib posted 05-05-2009 02:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
News to me...Brunswick rep at a Whaler show said 250 on 87 hence why many are not purchased....just telling what he said.
Liteamorn posted 05-05-2009 04:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Liteamorn  Send Email to Liteamorn     
Glad to hear everything worked out for you. I hope the engine runs trouble free for years to come for you.
Buckda posted 05-05-2009 05:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Excellent. I think Mercury policies are shifting, or they are strengthening their message to dealerships on the business model they are looking for. In this market and the likely future market for boating in this country, customer satisfaction and loyalty are going to pay way more than finding "new" customers.

Conditions warrant bringing existing customers "into the fold" and keeping them happy. I'm glad that Mercury stood by you in this, and your dealer also.

It's a good thing that Boston Whaler wasn't involved, because last time I checked, they didn't have much to do with the design, development and manufacture of Mercury Outboards (unlike automakers, who rule with an iron fist over what accessory makers do to become a supplier for their products).

just sayin.


elaelap posted 05-05-2009 06:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
Good news, hockeycrew, and that's how it should have been handled. Wise decision on the dealer's part, because you can't buy this sort of good will (and it takes years to shake off the bad will caused by a penny-pinching anti-consumer response to a problem like yours; just ask a professional in this field, our own Dave/Buckda). You might want to publish the dealer's name, just for some positive behavior reinforcement, and give him a print-out of this thread.


jimh posted 05-05-2009 09:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Good news on the towing reimbursement. Let us know how the motor runs. That is the real concern--is a new ECU the remedy.
florida1098 posted 05-08-2009 03:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for florida1098    
If the only engine BW offers is a Merc, and it fails, then it is definitely a Montauk problem. Period. The only way you can buy the boat is the PACKAGE, part of the package fails, the whole package is no good. I love Whalers, a bad motor is just that, but forced upon a hull, it is a bad Whaler, boat, package
Buckda posted 05-08-2009 04:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Charlie -

Of course, you know that I disagree with the principle. That was my point. Brunswick has forced this unfortunate reality on an owned company, Boston Whaler. By forcing this situation, they have managed to damage the reputation for two of their companies instead of one.

For what?

To make more money in the 90's and 2000's. The chickens are coming home to roost. Independent companies live and die by what they do, but at least they have control over their destiny.

Here, we see Boston Whaler's reputation getting tarnished by a product that they did not have any control over, and had no say in development, design or the placement of them on the transoms of their boats.

That's a bad trade, in my humble, perception-minded opinion.

Where I Boston Whaler management, I would work hard to distinguish my products, over which I controlled quality, manufacturing and pricing, from the products over which I did not have control.

Accessories would be described by who makes them - Mills Canvas or Taylor Made Canvas, or whatever - unless I had a hand in design/development (i.e. white-labeled manufacture)

So, naturally, my Boston Whaler 18' Outrage is and of itself, a singularity. It is equipped with twin E-TEC engines. Before the E-TEC motors, my 18' Outrage was equipped with a 150 Mercury Black Max motor. Changing motors did not change the type of boat I own/operate.

Likewise, if I bought a 190 Montauk with the requisite Mercury motor, when and if I ever replaced the motor with any other motor, the boat would not cease to be a Boston Whaler 190 Montauk, would it? That is a scary thought for the brand image and brand equity of the name "Boston Whaler." It is also not very strategic in the long-term for Brunswick....but then again, I've argued for a while that Brunswick as a company is more interested in cashing in on the equity in the Boston Whaler Brand than extending the "legend" that gave it that equity.


I'm afraid that I'm hedging around the real topic and starting to peel back the scab on some of the factors that have played a part in the current economic situation we find ourselves in. When the Executive Suites start paying attention - across industries and on a broad basis - things will change in terms of customer loyalty and consumer sentiment.

Until then, someone else at some other boat company will cash in on the original value proposition that was Boston Whaler and is now some other brand. It is the life cycle of many companies.



elaelap posted 05-08-2009 05:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
I totally agree with Dave. So would Thomas Jefferson, I suspect, were he alive today ;-)


Buckda posted 05-08-2009 05:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
A final thought.

What would happen to Mercury sales on Boston Whaler transoms if the company said something like:

"We offer our Whalers standard with quality Mercury motors. The engineers at Whaler and Mercury worked together to provide packages that deliver value, quality and performance to enhance your boating experience. Of course, not everyone agrees - so if you want something different - just say so! Whaler is dedicated to your complete satisfaction."

I would bet you the $100 bill in my pocket that the sales of Mercury would not decline by more than 20 percent.

But, the satisfaction of your customers is less tangible. My bet is also that Boston Whaler just removed all barriers for Yamaha, Honda, Evinrude and Suzuki enthusiasts.

Here's where the big difference is seen: People who don't care will buy a boat with a Mercury and be happy. People who care but not enough to make it change their decision will have a Mercury and be happy. People who, for whatever reason avoid Mercury like L H G avoids Fourdfish will buy a Boston Whaler and put their favorite outboard on the boat and be very happy...but they are fanatics. They are brand emissaries. They spread the gospel. They are the worker bees who build - BUILD brand equity. These are the legend builders - the fanatics who go down swinging in favor of their brand.

Do you really want to drive these people away from your BOAT brand to sell a few more motors? The whole company is set up to sell motors. They have boat companies for one really good reason: to sell motors! Sell more Whalers, spread the legend, sell MORE Whalers with the majority powered by MERCURY motors, spread the legend some more.

No - it doesn't deliver results in 3,6,9 or 12 months like Wall Street demands - but it delivers results over DECADES.

The work that went into building the Whaler Legend in the 1980's is fueling the marketing and consumer sentiment for today's hulls.

This is not complex - it's just not easy to convince a shareholder who demands results this year. Well, perhaps you're answering to the wrong people. Delivering long-term results ultimately will satisfy your shareholders the most.

johnhenry posted 05-08-2009 06:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for johnhenry  Send Email to johnhenry     
SJUAE posted 05-08-2009 07:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE    

A few other things to consider, in long term scenarios.

Unlike cars boat owners don’t tend to replace them every 3-4 years.

A boat may easily outlive its propulsion several times over.

It’s likely in today’s streamlining of companies that the Verado may end up as Merc’s only engine option.

1000’s of older BW owners who don’t have the magical increase in transom capacity of the last few years.

BW brand image and price is probably not a first time boat buyer’s choice.

This leaves us to presume that loyal repeat BW customers are likely to be a long haul game.

Therefore Merc’s repeat business based on a multitude of permutations available to owners once the initial power unit life has expired is not in Merc’s favour when compared to the automotive industry.

Brunswick has to force new sales of Merc’s to increase its chance of repeat business simple by numbers, as it has to compete with all the other engine brands during the life cycle of a BW.

It’s probably this sales profile that conflicts with BW and limits our choice, unlike independent boat builders.


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