2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Optimizing the performance of Boston Whaler boats
Wildcat00
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2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby Wildcat00 » Sat Jan 15, 2022 1:04 pm

I'm considering re-powering my 2002 VENTURA 160 dual console boat with a Suzuki DF140BG.

Q1: Is a SUZUKI DF140BG a good option for improving the performance of a 2002 VENTURA 160 dual console boat?

[For any readers who have a Suzuki DF140BG on a c.2002 VENTURA 160] please append your performance data to this thread.

ASIDE: The VENTURA 160 dual console boat was sold with either a Mercury 90-HP or 115-HP engine. This boat is noticeably stern-heavy and slow to accelerate onto plane.

The 2002 160 VENTURA is rated for maximum transom weight of 410-lbs, which almost exactly matches [the weight of a SUZUKI DF140BG, which has been speculated to be between 407 and 418-lbs].

[Moderator's note: this new topic of the repowering of a specific boat with the DF140BG engine has been separated from an archived discussion whose topic was the introduction of the DF140BG engine.--jimh]

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Re: 2002 VENTURA 160 with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby Jefecinco » Sun Jan 16, 2022 11:09 am

We owned a DAUNTLESS 16 which is very similar to the 160 VENTURA you own.

Our DAUNTLESS 16 was powered with a 1999 Evinrude FICHT 115-HP engine, which was a perfect engine for the boat. A 140-HP engine should provide very exciting performance and provide boat speeds one would seldom use in the small 16-foot boat. If you enjoy high performance, a 140-HP engine could be a good choice. I believe the maximum recommended power for the hull is 115-HP.
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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby jimh » Mon Jan 17, 2022 9:41 am

I doubt there will be any readers who have repowered a 160 VENTURA with a DF140BG. The engine was only announced a few months ago in October 2021. Considering the difficulty in finding any new, modern, outboard engines not already on the transom of a new boat, I would expect the DF140BG to be very hard to find as a loose engine for re-power at this time.

If the boat is already stern-heavy, choosing an engine that is at the maximum transom weight recommended is not going to remedy the stern-heavy problem.

Choosing a 140-HP engine for a boat rated for 115-HP will exceed the boat's capacity plate. At one time a USCG website carried this statement regarding maximum engine rated power:
USCG older website wrote:It is not a violation of Coast Guard regulations to install or use an engine larger than specified on the capacity label, but there may be state regulations prohibiting it, and restrictions from your own insurance company regarding this.
This sentence is widely quoted on many boating websites, but is seems to have disappeared from any USCG website. That the USCG no longer publishes that opinion should be given some consideration.

Many authorized outboard engine dealers will refuse to install an engine that exceeds the maximum power rating of a customer's boat. Thus, even if you do find a loose DF140BG, you will need to find that engine at an authorized dealer that is willing to install the engine on your boat rated for only 115-HP.

Further, due to the use of remote electronic shift and throttle (EST) controls (or "Drive-by-wire" controls in Suzuki jargon) on the DF140BG, the engine will most likely need to be installed by an authorized dealer. Adjustments of EST controls usually requires specialized diagnostic software must be used, and such software is unlikely to be available outside the realm of authorized dealers.

Individual states may have explicit boating regulations that forbid operating a boat with an engine greater than the rated power. Check the boating regulations in your state and in nearby states where you may go boating.

Insuring a boat with an engine beyond the rated power will likely require a surcharge, and such insurance may only be available from certain underwriters.

More in the REFERENCE section article at

Maximum Rated Horsepower
https://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/ratedHP.html

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Phil T
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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby Phil T » Mon Jan 17, 2022 10:00 am

Given the lack of inventory of outboard engines available for re-power and the dealer markup being added to engines that are available, this is a terrible time to re-power.

You are looking at $14,000 to $16,000 to repower. Money you will not get back if you sell in the future.

If your engine is in working order, invest $1,000 to $2,000 in service and use it for another two or three seasons. By then inventory shortages will have been resolved.
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Wildcat00
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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby Wildcat00 » Sat Jan 22, 2022 12:14 pm

Many thanks for helpful input from both Phil and Jim.

The boat's current engine is a 2002 Mercury 115-HP 2+2 displacement-on-demand two-stroke-power-cycle engine.

My main concern is engine reliability. I am new to boating and not an engine mechanic.

I agree that 2022 is not the best time to repower.

I have been able to locate both a Suzuki DF140BG and a Mercury 115 ProXS with Command Thrust (to turn a larger diameter propeller). There are authorized dealers willing to install either engine. Installation cost is roughly the same between the two.

The reputable marine mechanic whose shop sells both motors reports the Suzuki DF140BG has no significant mechanical upgrades from prior version (DF140A) other than "drive-by-wire" technology. He says the BF140BG is an "underpowered" motor while the Mercury 115 is slightly overpowered. The mechanic runs a Mercury 115 CommandThust on his boat and recommends the Merc 115 for weight saving and for overall performance.

I appreciate the several other members of this forum who have mentioned the Mercury 115 FourStroke CommandThrus works well for 16-foot Ventura or Dauntless boats of this era.

Given a new motor will double my investment in the boat, I would appreciate advice on the best repower option.

Q2: Is it better to sell "as-is" and find a similar fish and ski boat with a more reliable engine?

Q3: What would a 2002 Ventura 160 Dual Console in good condition, with dry hull, and with a new "optimal" motor would be worth in today's market in Southeast US?

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Phil T
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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby Phil T » Sat Jan 22, 2022 1:30 pm

This is a terrible time for selling and moving on to another boat. Boat prices are high, boats for-sale are few. You may sell the boat and break even before or after a repower. Regardless you will have a hard time finding another boat and will overpay given the inflated market.

Except for owing a boat for the last two years (2020 to 2022), a boat is not an investment, it is a depreciating asset that demands money every year in maintenance.

If you plan to keep the boat for at least more than six years, repower with the least expensive engine. For a shorter ownership, invest in maintaining the current engine, look at proper engine height, and look at propeller selection.

The 115-HP will be fine if installed and propped correctly. Many boats are not rigged properly.

The 140BG is not underpowered. That was a prior version of the 140-HP engine.

If you decide to repower, let us know which one you pick and we can give you rigging and prop advice.
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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby jimh » Sat Jan 22, 2022 1:57 pm

Wildcat00 wrote:...says the BF140BG is an "underpowered" motor while the Mercury 115 is slightly overpowered

I don't think the mechanic said that. He probably said that the BD140BF makes less than its rated power of 140-HP and the Mercury 115 makes more than its rated power.

There is a classic bias exhibited by fans of Mercury outboard engines: they think Mercury outboard engines always produce more horsepower than the decal sticker indicates, and along with this notion, they think that any other brand of outboard engine produces less horsepower than indicated on the decal.

The problem with this notion is that all outboard engines today must submit extensive test reports regarding the amount of exhaust gas emissions they produce at their rated horsepower. While the data for the USA requirements (determined by the EPA) is not printed on a label on the engine, the data for the European requirements IS printed on the label, and the engine power output is clearly stated, although in units of kiloWatts (kW). For conversion to Horsepower, the formula is

1-kW = 1.34-HP

If an engine European certification plate indicates the power output is 100-kW, that engine makes 134-HP.

The choice of what decal to put on the cowling is up to the manufacturer, but because the price of an engine is very, very portional to horsepower, the cowling sticker is going to be affected by that relationship. In general, there is every incentive for a manufacturer to round up the horsepower to a nice even number, because the customer is accustomed to paying more for an engine because the cowling sticker shows more horsepower.

On the other hand, in emission testing, the actual AMOUNT of exhaust gas regulated products produced that is allowed depends ENTIRELY on the horsepower. The more horsepower being produced, the more emission gases allowed to be produced and still be in compliance. For this reason, the measured power output in emission testing is required to be carefully measured. So carefully that even the exact gasoline formulation used to run the engine is controlled. You can be comfortably confident that the engine produces whatever power it says on the emission label. There is no room to round up or down.

Also, because higher power engines can carry a higher price, it makes no sense for a manufacturer to sell an engine that makes 125-HP as a 115-HP engine. Why give away horsepower. In the case of Mercury, this notion of getting a bonus in horsepower is even less sensible because Mercury engines have traditionally sold on the basis of being less expensive. That a Mercury engine would simultaneously be LESS EXPENSIVE and MAKE MORE POWER THAN THE RATED power requires belief in two very conflicting paradigms.

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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby jimh » Sat Jan 22, 2022 2:18 pm

Regarding the somewhat notorious or infamous Mercury 115-HP 2+2 engine: you should read some prior discussions about this engine in the forum archives. I will point you to what I consider the best discussion; it has astonishing pro-Mercury fans supporting the engine and others who are more realistic about it (including me and one fellow who is a professional Mercury mechanic and generally a big fan of Mercury engines).

Mercury 125-HP Two-Stroke 2+2 Motor
https://continuouswave.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/004113.html

Regarding Mercury engines in general, at the time a 2002 160 VENTURA was being produced and sold by Boston Whaler, there was a mandatory tie-in sale of a Mercury engine. That was and still is because both Mercury and Boston Whaler are just brands owned and operated by Brunswick. In 2002 Mercury had very little expertise in the design and manufacture of four-stroke-power-cycle outboard engines, and the few four-stroke-power-cycle engines they were selling were actually Yamaha engines that were being purchased from Yamaha under a contract. The best examples are the 90 FOURSTROKE and the 225-FOURSTROKE, clearly Yamaha product.

I suspect that Mercury, having been making two-stroke-power-cycle outboard engines for five decades or longer, did not really have any in-house experience at making larger, higher-horsepower four-stroke-power-cycle outboard engines. To be able to have something to sell under the Mercury name, they were stuck buying engines from a competitor, Yamaha. Also in 2002 Yamaha did not have the huge market share they have today; they were still building market share in the USA, so they were probably glad to move some of their production to market through Mercury. It was NO SECRET to the customers who made those engines.

To develop a new four-stroke-power-cycle engine with high horsepower and very strong performance, Brunswick went out of the house. They hired a German fellow who worked at Porsche (in racing engines of all things--the ultimate in performance) to head the development of a new all-Mercury engine. The result was the in-line six-cylinder VERADO, a fantastic engine that came to market in c.2004 with enormous build up as "Project-X" and a huge reveal at the Miami International Boat show. I was there, by the way, mainly just to see this new engine revealed.

The VERADO was a seriously good engine, as you might expect from an engineer who worked on Porsche racing engines. The fellow also brought new expectations to Mercury about what QUALITIES an outboard engine in general should exhibit, and this resulted in many other improvements in Mercury outboard engines being introduced in the VERADO and subsequent engines.

The only problem was the VERADO was a very expensive engine to manufacture. It has components that really were race-quality. This was evident because the horsepower range was subsequently expanded higher and higher, to the point of 450-HP coming from a 2.7-liter displacement engine--really unimaginable power-per-displacement in any outboard ever made before or since.

The high production cost could not be made up in high prices because of intense competition, so Mercury was forced to accept rather low margins on the VERADO. But the engine was a complete blessing for Mercury because it demonstrated they could actually make a high-power four-stroke-power-cycle outboard engines. Just one that wasn't low-cost to produce.

The German engineer eventually went back to Germany, and Mercury began hiring some engineers with experience in high-volume four-stroke-engine production from automotive companies. The result was the next phase of the four-stroke-power-cycle Mercury engines, called just the FOURSTROKE models. No more superchargers. No more very expensive long-bolt blocks. No more enormous horsepower from small displacement. The new engines were switched to be MUCH LARGER than normal displacement, with simple air induction, simple throttle body fuel injection, simple cams and valves. And much cheaper to make than a VERADO. The guy that led the development of these new FOURSTROKE engines was rewarded with promotion: he is now the CEO of the entire Brunswick operation.

I mention this because you need to understand that at 2022 the market for four-stroke-power-cycle engines made by Mercury is very much different than it was in 2002 when your boat was made. The 2022 product line from Mercury has made astonishing progress from its state in 2002.

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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby Don SSDD » Sun Jan 23, 2022 8:29 am

If your mechanic is recommending the 115 Mercury over the 140 Suzuki, maybe his recommendation is influenced by him only selling the Mercury and not making profit and future profit if you buy a Suzuki from someone else.

If the installed price for both outboards is the same and both dealers are equal, and if any weight difference in the two outboards can be handled by your boat, it seems sensible to buy 140-HP--but a lot of IF's involved

Suzuki is a solid brand from what I read or hear from those owners who have them. I have heard lots of people speak badly of Mercury outboards, too, but I liked the one I owned and had no troubles with it. I would consider buying either brand if I were to repower.
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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby Jefecinco » Sun Jan 23, 2022 11:52 am

Where we are located on the Alabama Gulf Coast Suzuki is the preferred engine for repowers by professional guides by a wide margin. A few visits to our launch ramps and commercial marinas are indicative of the preference. While on a fishing trip with a local professional guide I asked why he had chosen Suzuki over other brands. He told me his choice for many years was Yamaha but that Suzuki's reputation for reliability and aggressive pricing for the past few years made Suzuki his preferred choice.
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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby Wildcat00 » Sun Jan 23, 2022 11:59 am

Thanks for the input, which was very helpful in weighing a big financial decision. Based on being a new boater with desire for family reliability and what I've read about the 2002 Mercury 115-HP ELPTO 2+2 motor, I have decided to re-power.

The shop I referenced is an authorized dealer for Mercury, Suzuki, Honda, and Tohatsu. I don't know how much the owner makes off of selling each brand. His opinion is that Mercury and Suzuki are now both making very reliable motors. He generally recommends Mercury Pro-XS with the Command Thrust option for performance applications at 115hp. Since Suzuki (and all manufacturers it seems) share design and components across similarly sized engines, he conducted an experiment where he "tuned" a 115A to match the 140A factory specs (ECU, etc) but saw minimal increase in real-world performance on a matched boat (hull, mounting set-up, prop, load, conditions). He also ran the Suzuki 115A vs the Mercury Pro-XS 115 CT and saw significant performance gains with the Merc which is why he uses this configuration on his bass boat. I don't think he is as familiar with performance characteristics of Suzuki 115/140 B generation engines, though he thought they would have similar performance to the A generation. I include his recommendations here for others benefit as "real-world" comparisons are rare. However, his experience may not be directly applicable to Suzuki's B generation of 115/150hp motors, if their performance characteristics are truly improved.

For benefit of future users considering similar repower applications, I have attempted to summarize manufacturer specs comparing the Suzuki DF115B/G or DF140B/G with Mercury Pro-XS 115 or 150 w/ Command Thrust motors:

Suzuki DF115/140BG: Info at https://www.globalsuzuki.com/marine/lin ... mation.pdf.
Weight for B model is 410 lbs with "drive-by-wire" or "Suzuki Precision Control" adding ~4.5 lbs for BG model. Design is DOHC, 16 valves, inline 4 with 2.045 L displacement. Full throttle RPM range is 5700-6300. It does look like the Suzuki B generation was "re-engineered" with gains in compression ratio (now 10.6, up from 9.7) as well as durability improvements (water detection system, cowl air/water intake separation, larger fuel filter, larger fuel pump), direct ignition, and tweaks to simplify oil change. They also have self-adjusting timing chains. These motors weigh a difference of 2 kg (4.4 lb), with the 140B lighter than the 115B (per the spec sheet). With regard to performance characteristics, the B generation appears to have slightly better fuel efficiency, slightly higher top-speed (1.3 mph). Both A and B generations have an "offset drive shaft", which depending on the significance of this design could theoretically help w/ stern "heavy" properties of 16 and 18 foot early 2000s Ventura/Dauntless models. Likewise, the gear ratio of 2.59:1 allows use of a large pitch, large diameter propeller.

Mercury Pro-XS 115 w/ Command Thrust: Info at https://www.mercurymarine.com/en/us/eng ... 115-150hp/.
Weight is 360 lbs, or maybe slightly more w/ larger Command Thrust drive unit. Design is SOHC, 8 valves, inline 4 with 2.1L displacement. Full throttle RPM range is 5300-6300. Mechanical throttle control. Compression ratio not listed. Command thrust gear ratio 2.38 by using lower unit from 150hp engine which also allows larger pitch/diameter prop selection. Not as much information regarding internal motor design which can be objectively factored into durability, reliability, maintenance, etc.

Mercury Pro-XS 150 weighs 456 lbs for comparison and is by many accounts one of Mercury's best outboards but perhaps too heavy and "overpowered" for my application. Including here for other's future reference. For folks repowering Ventura or Dauntless 18/180s, they will likely be looking at Merc 150 (456 lbs) vs Suzuki 140 (410 lbs) in which the Suzuki has the ~50 lb weight advantage.

Given the immense knowledge/judgment/experience of others on this forum, I'm hoping someone might be able to help predict how these engine characteristics and features would translate to real-world ownership and performance differences on 16/18 foot Ventura/Dauntless models.

It seems like the Suzuki 140B has advantages over Merc Pro-XS 115 CT for both advertised horsepower and gear ratio (2.59 vs 2.38). Conversely, it weighs 50 lbs more.

Q4: On this a 16-foot hull, would [a SUZUKI DF140B] result in noticeable performance differences in torque and power for improved acceleration and time to plane under load with total boat weight of 3000 lbs?

I boat on freshwater lakes.

Q5: Would having a higher powered motor on what's known as a stern-heavy boat affect resale value?

Venturas are a bit of a unicorn, but many Dauntless 16 boat are available, so more power may make boat more attractive to buyers.

Q6: Is there any advantage to having "drive-by-wire" on a hull of this vintage for recreational lake fishing and skiing?

My inclination would be to keep things simple and go with mechanical throttle control if that means less risk of problems in the future.

Q7: When repowering, are what other systems are worth upgrading or replacing for a 20 year old hull?

Thanks again to the community--you are a major reason why I bought a used Boston Whaler boat.

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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby jimh » Sun Jan 23, 2022 1:47 pm

Wildcat00 wrote:...Suzuki DF115/140BG...direct ignition...
What is "direct ignition'? I have no idea what your intended meaning was.

Wildcat00 wrote:Q5: Would having a higher power engine on what's known as a stern-heavy boat affect resale value?
Powering above the boat rating may affect some buyers negatively and some other buyer positively.

Wildcat00 wrote:Q6: Is there any advantage to having "drive-by-wire" [Electric Shift and Throttle or EST] controls on a hull of this vintage for recreational lake fishing and skiing?
I do not see any basis for the age of the hull, the nature of the water, and the typical usage affecting a decision to get modern electronic remote controls in preference to mechanical controls. Modern electronic controls are just nicer, smoother, and easier to use. This is a consideration if a boat is operated by someone who is not experienced with outboard engine controls, and not accustomed to the force they need, the inherent sloppy action, and the large dead bands that occur with mechanically linked shift and throttle controls. Also an EST engine control may have some built-in intelligence to prevent high-engine-speed shifts of the gears.

Wildcat00 wrote:My inclination would be to keep things simple and go with mechanical throttle control if that means less risk of problems in the future.
Yes, simpler mechanical control systems may be easier to fix in 20-years, especially if the manufacturer goes out of business or makes a paradigm shift in the way the electrically operated controls are implemented. Many large airplanes still fly with wire rope cable links to control surfaces and to engine throttles.

Wildcat00 wrote:Q7: When repowering, are what other systems worth upgrading or replacing for a 20 year old hull?
Batteries, power distribution, navigation lighting, battery chargers, steering systems, fuel tanks, fuel lines, fuel filters, and fuel primer bulbs are all potential candidates for updating on 20-year-old boats. These are NOT PERFORMANCE related topics. However, if you buy a new engine, you must carefully inspect the boat's fuel system. Bad fuel systems kill new engines.

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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby Wildcat00 » Sun May 15, 2022 10:44 am

Experts on a 160 Dauntless or 160 VENTURA: answer these questions:

Q8: what is the proper engine mounting height for a Suzuki DF140BG on a 2002 160 VENTURA?
Q9: what is the recommended propeller for a Suzuki DF140BG on a 2002 160 VENTURA?
Q10: what effect on performance occurs with a stainless steel propeller compared to an aluminum propeller?
Q11: what effect on durability occurs with a stainless steel propeller compared to an aluminum propeller?
Q12: why does my dealer says [choosing between stainless steel and aluminum propelers]
Q13: what effect does a three-bladed propeller have on performance?
Q14: what effect does a four-bladed propeller have on performance?
Q15: will a four-bladed propeller help performance of a 2002 160 VENTURA with a DF140BG engine?

I conclude MAYBE I should pick a standard OEM 3-blade 14 x 19-pitch or 21-pitch aluminum propeller from the dealer and then experiment further with boat under average load with another propeller dealer willing to swap propellers to find an ideal"] set-up for a steel propeller.

I will post results after I pick up the boat. Thanks all.


INFORMATION FOR DEALER WATER TEST
The 2002 160 VENTURA is a dual console boat. The hull has the same dimensions as a 160 Dauntless:

Boat characteristics:
Length: 16-feet
Beam: 7-feet 1-inch
Dry weight: 1,550-lbs
Fuel aboard: 60-lbs [or about 9-gallons]
Crew total weight: 175-lbs
TOTAL boat weight at test: about 2,200-lbs

Engine:
Suzuki 140BG
Weight: 415-lbs
Mounting height "two holes up"

Propeller
14 x 19-pitch three-bladed aluminum

Test conditions:
Freshwater
Calm seas

The test was performed by the dealer who states
  • the 19-pitch [test propeller allowed the engine to accelerate to the engine] rev limiter at 6,300-RPM; the boat speed was 40-MPH
  • 20-pitch would probably be ideal in stainless steel propeller
  • 21-pitch would probably be ideal in aluminum propeller
  • he does not recommend a four-bladed propeller because a four-bladed propeller would “alter the way the boat rides”

My impression is that the dealer is not inclined to help me dial in the optimum set-up with multiple lake tests, even though he has sold me a new engine

I anticipate the normal operating condition will include
  • added weight to two or three more adults]
  • added fuel weight
  • more gear weight
  • an increase in total boat weight of 500-lbs to 2,700-lbs.


From what I have read on [continuouswave.com somewhere unspecified]:
  • the 2002 160 VENTURA hull l rides stern heavy
  • the usually suggested engine mounting height for a 2002 160 VENTURA boat is “two holes up”
  • a four-bladed propeller is recommended to improve the acceleration from a standing start to plane
  • some suggest engine mounting to be three-holes-up
  • others have posted boat speeds that average 43-MPH when a 2002 160 VENTURA is powered by a Mercury 115 FOURSTROKE engine with a TROPHYplus 13-1/3 x 17-pitch
  • others have used a CommandThrust model with an ENERTIA 21-pitch three-bladed propeller.

I think a SUZUKI DF140BG would at least match the performance characteristics of a Mercury 115. On that basis the boat-engine-propeller configuration has room for improvement.

MOST IMPORTANT PERFORMANCE TO BE ACHIEVED
  • more low end torque for faster acceleration from a standing start to plane when the boat is loaded
  • to gain improvement in both low and top end performance moving to 140-HP from 115-HP
  • optimize current set up to exceed current top boat speed of 40-MPH

There are many propeller designs out there.

To reach optimal performance is quite confusing.

[Others report somewhere other than here on boats other than a 2002 160 VENTURA but boats which are deemed to be similar in size and weight and use a Suzuki 140A] that good performance occurs with swept four-blade stainless steel Powertech OSN4, 14 x 21 x 4. See:
https://www.ptpropeller.com/content-product_info/product_id-9954/powertech_osn4_stainless_propeller_suzuki.html

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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby Phil T » Sun May 15, 2022 1:16 pm

Installing an aluminum prop is like installing the wheels of a Radio flyer wagon on a Ferrari. You have spent $15,000 on an engine and the dealer wants to go cheap on what actually pushes the boat through the water.

The adage of "aluminum is better protecting the motor rather than stainless" is 20th century thinking. Stainless is just as good but more durable and a better prop.

Each model of prop has a different blade design so prop sizing is NOT universal. Prop selection is somewhat complex. Most dealers just carry a few models in select sizes they think work in most uses.

While many Whaler owners with this engine and hull would recommend the 14x20 Suzuki Stainless steel prop with the engine mounted 3 holes up, for the older Dauntless models, Bob has shown through extensive testing that a 4 bladed prop is the best recommendation.

Note the name of the Powertech prop, OSN4, denotes it is a 4 bladed prop. I think a 14 x 21 or 14x20 would be best.

With a 140hp engine, I would expect a WOT of 45 mph at 6200 rpms.

For Powertech, I recommend owners contact/purchase from Ken Reeves at Propgods. He knows whalers and engines. He also has a return policy where-as most dealers do not. http://www.propgods.com
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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby jimh » Sun May 15, 2022 3:31 pm

Wildcat00 wrote:Q8: what is the proper engine mounting height for a Suzuki DF140BG on a 2002 160 VENTURA?
The proper engine mounting height is typically a height that lets the anti-ventilation plate run just at or just above the water when the engine is trimmed vertically and the boat is on plane. This goal does not change with engine or boat details. Too much engine height creates a risk of propeller ventilation in rough seas. If maximum boat speed in a straight course on calm water is the goal, increase engine mounting height as much as possible until the water pressure in the cooling system begins to decrease. Engine mounting height is also greatly affected by the propeller selection. Some propellers will not tolerate higher engine mounting heights, while some propellers are designed for them.

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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby jimh » Sun May 15, 2022 3:33 pm

Wildcat00 wrote:Q9: what is the recommended propeller for a Suzuki DF140BG on a 2002 160 VENTURA?
Any propeller that lets the engine accelerate to into the upper end of the manufacturer's recommended full throttle engine speed range, and which produces appropriate boat speed is recommended.

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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby jimh » Sun May 15, 2022 3:34 pm

Q10: what affect on performance occurs with a stainless steel propeller compared to an aluminum propeller?
Steel propellers have thinner blades and stronger blades. The blades have less drag and do not flex. This improves performance, particularly as engine power increases. The power level when steel begins to show an advantage over aluminum is probably around 75-HP.

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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby jimh » Sun May 15, 2022 3:35 pm

Q11: what effect on durability occurs with a stainless steel propeller compared to an aluminum propeller?
Steel propellers last longer and tolerate minor blade strikes without damage.

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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby jimh » Sun May 15, 2022 3:36 pm

My impression is that the dealer is not inclined to help me dial in the optimum set-up with multiple lake tests, even though he has sold me a new engine
Q12: why does my dealer says [choosing between stainless steel and aluminum propellers] is not a concern?
He wants you to move on and won't do more testing. He thinks that 140-HP is not enough power to cause aluminum blades to flex.

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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby jimh » Sun May 15, 2022 3:37 pm

Q13: what affect does a three-bladed propeller have on performance?
Three-bladed propellers are usually the best all-round propellers, most efficient, and give best speed.

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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby jimh » Sun May 15, 2022 3:38 pm

Q14: what effect does a four-bladed propeller have on performance?
Four-bladed propellers usually have more blade area so they are often used on larger and heavier boats. They also affect the frequency of vibration that is caused by blade shadowing behind the gear case, and in some cases this vibration reduction is very desirable.

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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby jimh » Sun May 15, 2022 3:40 pm

Q15: will a four-bladed propeller help performance of a 2002 160 VENTURA with a DF140BG engine?
All propeller testing is based on comparison of one propeller to another. There may be a four-bladed propeller that gives better performance than some other propeller. The notion that a four-bladed propeller will always deliver the best performance is not supported in fact or practice. Most outboard engine use three-bladed propellers. If a four-bladed propeller were alway the best, then no one would use a three-bladed propeller.

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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby jimh » Sun May 15, 2022 3:52 pm

There is no one propeller that will be the optimum propeller for any boat.

Propeller testing is fun, but it takes time and effort. Once you find a propeller that can let the boat run well, let the engine accelerate to the upper range of the manufacturer's recommended full-throttle operating engine speed range, and allows the boat to reach a boat speed that is appropriate for the power, weight, and hull design, that's all you need to go boating.

You can fiddle around testing propellers for the next ten years.

I have probably tested about 12 to 15 propellers on my boat, with different hubs, number of blades, different brands, different rake angles, and on and on. Generally, all worked well. Some were better at particular elements of performance: some gave higher boat speed, some gave better fuel economy, some gave better grip in rough seas, some had more stern lift, and so on.

The MOST important element in propeller selection is to prevent the propeller load from being too great and keeping the engine from being able to accelerate into the manufacturer's recommend full-throttle engine operating speed range.

Conversely, a propeller whose load is so light that the engine can accelerate until the engine speed hits the rev-limited is not a good choice.

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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby Wildcat00 » Sun May 15, 2022 4:06 pm

Phil - Thanks so much, just the kind of advice I was looking for and I very much appreciate your forum contributions, and I am much obliged.

TO DO LIST
  • regarding mounting height, I'll go ahead and ask my dealer to change the mounting to three-holes-up. Theoretically, this should increase engine speed at WOT..
  • will then ask the dealer to lake test with a 14 x 21 three-bladed aluminum propeller. I don't think this has steel propellers or four-bladed propeller available for testing. From what I've learned, going up in pitch to 21 from 19 should decrease the engine speed at WOT to within the recommended range of 5,700 to 6,300-RPM for the 2,200-lbs test load. If he doesn't have a 21, will have him order the Suzuki aluminum 14 x 21 three-blade.
  • I will ask the dealer if a three-hole-up mounting height is high enough to just ventilate the propeller when trimmed out to the maximum to confirm optimal height.
  • will ask dealer also to evaluate RPM at WOT without trimming all the way out, to allow for increased weight when boat loaded.
  • will call Ken at PropGods as suggested to get his recommendations for a stainless four-bladed propeller.

I would rather not buy two propellers but to PHIL T's point, I definitely want to maximize performance given my significant investment in the new engine.

Q16: does [the To-Do list] make sense?

Q17: is there a better way to adjust for weight difference [than to intentionally not trim the engine all the way out during testing]?

Q18: am I over-thinking this?

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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby Wildcat00 » Sun May 15, 2022 4:16 pm

Jim - Thanks for your help breaking down the concept of propeller selection into its core components. Will post results here as I'm sure other folks will be re-powering the early 2000's Dauntless/Ventura 160 with increasing frequency as the original motors reach end-of-life.

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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby jimh » Sun May 15, 2022 4:47 pm

There is a corollary behavior I have observed with propeller testing:

Once a boater buys a $700 propeller, he will generally always report that performance was improved.

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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby Phil T » Sun May 15, 2022 6:19 pm

Having the dealer perform the water tests may not give you accurate results. Most dealers do not want to do this type of subjective work. You can save yourself the $125-per-hour cost by doing the testing yourself.

Throwing parts on engines is where dealer are happy.

Do not bother testing an aluminum propeller.

When discussing effects of changing pitch, it is only relevant if using the same make and same model propeller, as sizing is not universal.

Propeller testing is typically done AFTER break-in is complete. Prior to engine break-in being completed, propeller test results will not be accurate.

Ken is very good getting the propeller choice right the first time.
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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby jimh » Wed May 18, 2022 8:07 am

Hiring a dealer to do all this propeller testing and evaluation is not a good plan. You will spend more for the dealer's time than you will for a propeller. That the dealer is an expert on propeller evaluation is not certain.

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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby GoldenDaze » Fri May 20, 2022 10:44 pm

I've been staying out of this discussion because while I have a lot of experience with the 160 Dauntless, I have none with this engine. The extra power won't hurt!

Personally I wouldn't set-up the propeller for very-top speed, because how often will you go 46-MPH? I would be more interested in a nice fast jump up on plane when the 160 VENTURA is loaded. With my Mercury (Yamaha power head) 115 FOURSTROKE, essentially a first-generation four-stoke-power-cycle outboard, there is not a lot of low-end torque. Because of that lack, I settled on the Trophy Plus four-blade 17-pitch with vent holes, and it seems like a good solution. I don't know that you especially need that extra low-end help, so a three-bladed propeller might be perfectly fine. I would go stainless rather than aluminum, for all the reasons already discussed.

My other advice would be not to fill up the 45 gallon fuel tank--when do you ever need that much fuel? I run down to 1/4-FULL to 1/8-FULL and then put 20 gallons in to keep the boat light.

Another addition to seriously consider is trim tabs. Those are probably the single best change I made to my boat.

See my post at

Installing trim tabs on a 160 Dauntless
https://continuouswave.com/forum/viewto ... 744#p21744

-Bob
2003 160 Dauntless Golden Daze

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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby jimh » Mon May 23, 2022 6:14 am

GoldenDaze wrote:... I wouldn't set-up the propeller for very-top speed, because how often will you go 46-MPH?
I agree with Bob's comment not to focus the entire propeller selection on obtaining the fastest possible boat speed at full throttle. In most outboard engine applications, the amount of operating time of the engine at full throttle is only a few percent of the total operating time. However, testing at full-throttle is a good way to assess the propeller load on the engine. When testing a propeller, the full-throttle engine speed should be verified to be in the upper portion of the manufacturer's recommended full-throttle operating speed range. If the engine cannot accelerate under load into that recommended speed range, then the propeller load is too high.

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Re: 2002 160 VENTURA with Suzuki DF140BG

Postby jimh » Mon May 23, 2022 6:28 am

Wildcat00 wrote:Q18: am I over-thinking this?

The only real information provided in this thread to this point is that a three-blade aluminum 14 x 19-pitch propeller during a test allowed the engine to accelerate to 6,300-RPM which was noted as being at the rev-limiter. After this test, the engine mounting height is going to be changed.

From this single data point, I do not think that anyone can deduce what propeller will produce the very optimum outcome with this boat and engine combination. The next logical step is to try another propeller, and to report more data. I will stand by for a report on the text performance test.