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Author Topic:   1997 Outrage 20 Re-build and Re-power
Commander Coo1 posted 03-27-2011 05:49 PM ET (US)   Profile for Commander Coo1   Send Email to Commander Coo1  
I bought a 1997 OUTRAGE 20 about five months ago, when I moved to the Bahamas. It has a Mercury 200-HP Offshore motor with carburetors. The motor was in outstanding condition but recently ceased functioning. It has a nick on the top of the #4 cylinder and a matching nick on the head. It appears the motor swallowed something and #4 chewed it up. The cylinder walls are scored and the compression is now 70-PSI, down from about 120-PSI

Keep in mind NADA value for this motor is a little over $,2000 and it is a gas and oil guzzler. My choices are to:

--re-build the engine myself with unknown outcome--haha;

--buy a remanufactured powerhead for $2,700 with a one-year warranty;

--send entire motor out for rebuild [over] $3,000, plus shipping;or,

--re-power for somewhere between $12,000 and $18,000.

The specification for the hull are length 19' 8", beam 8' 4", draft 15", dry weight 2,350[-lbs], swamp aapacity 4,800[-lbs], persons capacity 9, fuel capacity 87[-gallons], maximum HP 225, minimum HP 130, engine shaft 25".

Whaler tells me maximum recommended motor weight is 540-lbs. This means any four-cycle engine over 150-HP is out except for the Suzuki 175. The original 200-HP Mercury weighs 398-lbs for reference

To my best knowledge my only options are:

--175 Suzuki 485-lbs, with largest output for displacement;

--200 E-TEC 433-lbs, with largest output for displacement;

--225 E-TEC 524-lbs;

--200 or 225 Optimax 505-lbs

--200 HPDI Yamaha 475-lbs.

I have heard great things about the Suzuki and E-TEC, bad things about the HPDI, and not so great about Optimax.

I am looking for reliability, low maintenence, and low operating costs. My usual load is half a tank, four people, light fishing gear, freedive and spearfishng gear. My guestimated operating weight is around 4,200-lbs with the above items. The boat also has 12x12 trim tabs.

Is a 175-HP four-cycle engine going to be enough? Similarly weighted boat tested: (low load test weight is similar to my full load and boat size)
3.72MPG 22-nautical miles per hour at 4,000-RPM and WOT 20 nautical miles per hour at 6,200-RPM. Source is

Or, do I need more power? Right now loaded up I cruise at 23 nautical miles per hour at 4,000-RPM and WOT 38 nautical miles per hour at 5,800-RPM. I do not need to go this fast. My [most distant] fishing location is 12 miles away. Speed is nice, but efficiency will encourage me to go out more. Also, this boat will be used at least once a week for as long as I live in the Bahamas. I also will not be able to go to a dealer for installation and service.

Please let me know what your opinions are in my situation. What would you do?

tom976 posted 03-28-2011 08:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for tom976  Send Email to tom976     
If you are handy and like to work on engines, get the powerhead and all needed gaskets.

If you are handy but retired and just want to enjoy life, go for the new motor.

If you use the boat a lot, fuel need to be of concern.
There's a sizable difference in fuel consumption between the old motor and new one.

I can only imagine fuel being more expensive on the islands. In any case the large 4 cycles are heavier. In yammie land you should look into the 225 hp 4 strokes. They are weighing in at 558. (only 18 pounds over which is not much) For some reason the 200hp range weighs in more. I suppose you should also think about how the boat performed when it had its original motor on. Do you need the speed/power or was it overkill. The 150's are good motors too but you might miss the extra 50 horses under the cover when you open it up. The plus side would be that the 150 is probably more fuel efficent and a little cheaper.

As for the 4 strokes, also remember that they need love and attention every 50-100 hrs or so. (oil change at least)

The etecs are a nice choice, simpler overall design motor with no oil changes. Just feed it its 2 cycle motor and away you go. Fuel consumption is pretty good with those motors.

SJUAE posted 03-28-2011 02:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     
ETEC you got the first 3 years with no servicing required before you even start on all the other bits that go with a 4 stroke and a chouce of 200, 200HO and 225HP.

Not that there is anything wrong with the other engines but without dealer support and asuuming for all, that nothing goes wrong, you have a distinct advantage in your case with an ETEC, Just make sure it is set for your local 2 stroke oil supply before delivery if you can only get TWC3.


onlyawhaler posted 03-28-2011 05:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for onlyawhaler  Send Email to onlyawhaler     
Great boat, I have that same hull. Its only senstive point is too much weight on the transom really changes the boat and it makes it propoise and pushs the scuppers too close to the water surface.

The bigger 4 strokes are great, just too heavy for this boat that doesn't like extra weight. In a repower with todays options, I would get the E-Tec on this paticular hull


Commander Coo1 posted 03-28-2011 09:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Commander Coo1  Send Email to Commander Coo1     
I really do like the E-TEC; the price is pretty high, though. I guess I would have to finance all of them anyway.

Do you think the smaller 200 at 433-lbs or the bigger 200 HO or 225 at 528-lbs? Or, whatever is best? I like the power to weight advantage, but worry about the stress on a smaller displacement tuned to the max to get 200-HP as far as wear and tear and long term dependability.

What is your Outrage 20 powered with?

onlyawhaler posted 03-28-2011 11:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for onlyawhaler  Send Email to onlyawhaler     
My 20 Outrage has a Yamaha 225 OX66 (EFI, not DFI) It was made in the year 2000. I believe it is in the mid-500-lbs class. Great engine, pretty simple.

I had a Yamaha 8-HP kicker motor, four-cycle engine in the 100-lb range that I have replaced with an older Yamaha 4-HP two-cycle eigine in the 40-lbs range that balances the boat better. Almost the same push, less than half the weight.

This is a great hull for Whaler in my opinion. Lots of storage, fish boxs, anchor locker, bow locker, but too much weight on the transom with a full tank of gas shows up.

Stay as light as you can

Good luck


andygere posted 03-29-2011 12:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I've been running a 2.6L E-TEC 200 on my classic Outrage 22 Cuddy for several years now. It pushes my rig to 40-MPH, gets great fuel economy, and has terrific acceleration. It would be a great motor for your boat. I'd be much more concerned that a 150- or 175-HP four-cycle engine would be working too hard. My E-TEC replaced a carburetor 200 Mercury, and performance is better with the E-TEC.
phatwhaler posted 03-29-2011 01:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for phatwhaler  Send Email to phatwhaler     
I have the same boat with a 200 Mercury and a 15P prop. My boat planes out about the same as it did back when I had a 150 and a 17p prop. The only difference is I can hit 49mph instead of about 43 with the 150. I think pound for pound the 225 Opti is a good match. It weighs 500lbs and will have plent of torque to get that boat moving with 4 people on board. The bonus is that your steering cylinder and controls will bolt right up. About all you'll need is an adapter for the wiring harness and a smartcraft tach.

The other motors will require all new rigging which will run the cost up.

Jefecinco posted 03-30-2011 09:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     

Like most decisions of this type it usually comes down to resources. In a no resource constraints situation I would go for the new Evinrude solution in the highest output in a weight recommended for my boat.

Worst case I would go for a power head rebuild. However, I would be very leery buying a rebuilt power head at the price point you mention. There are some dishonest shops out there that primarily prey on on-line customers. A1 Outboards and it's several permutations such as Blackbird Industries come to mind. There is a lot of information on that particular operation on www.thehulltruth,com which are worth a read.

I recommend you consider a simple repair of the damaged cylinder by a shop known by you to be reputable.


Commander Coo1 posted 03-30-2011 12:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Commander Coo1  Send Email to Commander Coo1     
sending the motor out would be to and buying the remanufactured head would be from a friend who gets the remanufactured powerhead(from mercury) and can sell it to me at cost ($750 core charge) im pretty sure i will be happy with anything from the 175 zuke to the 225 etec, it just comes down to what i can actually get a reasonable deal on down here.

the good thing about here is there are so many great boating days, but the bad thing is watching them from land because its difficult to do proper maintenance and find replacement parts.

WT posted 03-30-2011 12:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
You might want to buy that engine sooner than later. I'll bet dealers will hold the line on pricing and use the Japan supply chain problems to increase prices.

Just guessing,


Commander Coo1 posted 06-09-2011 03:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Commander Coo1  Send Email to Commander Coo1     
Well i am still working on this same problem... the mercury is in pieces and has bad enough scoring that it needs to be bored out i believe.

i have also started to look at the yamaha f150 mostly because availability and support in the bahamas. its the only brand that there is a technician on my island for. it seems like it wont be much power for the boat.

looking at the performance tests though i see a lot of boats that are the same size as mine that have very good performance stats with the motor ie mid 20's cruise and low 40's WOT (mph)
anyone have any opinion on this? i am trying to stay away from direct injection due to reliability issues. any opinions on this motor on this hull? again, i know i will not be going very fast, i just want to get there efficiently and reliably

phatwhaler posted 06-09-2011 09:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for phatwhaler  Send Email to phatwhaler     
I was just re-reading my earlier post and I want to correct my prop pitch info. I have a 19p prop on my 200 Merc.

Dollar for dollar it's going to be tough to look past a 150 Opti when the time comes to repower.

No need to buy a new steering cylinder.
No need to buy a new throttle/shifter.
There is a relatively cheap adapter that will allow my rigging to connect to the new motor.
I would probably want some type of smartcraft gauge, either a new tach or an add on gauge.

Basically by the time you completely repower with a Yamaha/Suzuki/Etec 150hp, new rigging and all. You could probably do a 225 Opti with your existing rigging for the same money.

To me the upside of the Yamaha is probably better resale, no oil tank, and quieter. Better support in the Bahamas.

The 150 Opti will likely have a little better lower/midrange power and will be cheaper to repower.

Another concern is what type of boating are you doing. If you tend to sit with the engine idling all day then maybe the 4stroke option would make more sense.

SJUAE posted 06-09-2011 09:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     

Just 2 minor points

ETEC's have excellant engine idling/trolling stats

Commander coo1 may be able to get an export ETEC that comes complete with rigging, prop and I-command plus NMEA2000 GPS and tank sensor.


Commander Coo1 posted 06-10-2011 07:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for Commander Coo1  Send Email to Commander Coo1     
I have looked at the opti, i can get one here in the bahamas with all the controls, 2 smartcraft gauges, and a stainless prop at 11.5k for the 2010 175 with a 3 year warranty. great deal, but the opti makes me nervous because they are known to finicky which is not a good thing here in the bahamas where service and quality fuel can be difficult to get. the nearest merc optimax mechnic is 30 miles over water which will cost about $650 to ship the boat there to have work done. i think the yamaha will be ore reliable, last longer, be easier to serrvice at the cost less power i just wish they made something more powerful in the same weight range. (non HPDI)

all the motors i am looking at are the export versions that come with everything. etec, opti, and yamaha all come out to about 14k once rigged (dealers will let me rig the etec and yamaha myself)

SJUAE posted 06-10-2011 07:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     
Commander Coo1

Great if you can get export models, it makes a big difference

Yamaha are great engines and if it's easier for you to get it serviced there than the ETEC etc it's an easy choice.

Would of thought the suzuki to be 1-2K cheaper


Commander Coo1 posted 06-12-2011 02:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Commander Coo1  Send Email to Commander Coo1     
yeah, i also thought the zuke would be much cheaper, maybe its just the dealer.

but you guys feel that the f150 would be enough power? i dont need to go 50 mph, as long as i can cruise at about 25mph without stressing the motor too much i will be happy

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