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Author Topic:   Latest Poll Results????
compounder posted 03-06-2001 08:50 PM ET (US)   Profile for compounder   Send Email to compounder  
I'm shocked at the way the latest poll is going. I would have bet that the conventional two-stroke would lead by a wide margin.

My local dealer says that only about 10% of his sales are four-strokes and he is a Yamaha/Honda dealer. Sounds to me like he sells alot of conventional two-stroke Yamahas!

Most of the four-strokes are way too heavy and way too expensive in my opinion. How about some of you who chose four-stroke in the poll elaborate on your choice.


Dick posted 03-06-2001 09:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
I bought my 1999 Montauk new with a Merc 50 hp 4 stroke. I was working at the dealership at the time and had the oppertunity to test several configurations, this one fit my needs.
I top out in the mid 30s, which at my old age is ok. It is smooth, quiet, has no stinking oil smell and is very easy on fuel.
whalernut posted 03-06-2001 09:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
I veoted for 2-stroke conventional, because of lack of funds. I think I will go with a good used 2-stroke for my Currituck. I would have voted for the 4-stroker, but the way the question was posed, funds had alot to do with my answer. I like the Yamaha 4-stroker, except for the cowling, Yamaha is really going too retro/euro-styling with their motor hoods. Regards-Jack Graner.
lhg posted 03-07-2001 12:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Mercury is saying that they expect 4 strokes to represent 70% of new outboard sales in 2004. I assume the rest will be the large HP DFI engines. I think conventional 2 strokes will not be sold in the US after 2005.
Arch Autenreith posted 03-07-2001 12:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
I'll go for the 4-stroke when the time comes. And it's coming faster than I expect. My current tired old 80 Mariner, I'm convinced, does not have nearly what it did when it was new even though the power head was rebuilt. Also, back in '80 the rating was crank hp vs. prop hp. Do I have that right? Anyhow, even tho it's tired the output is ok for me. After seeing Dick's Merc 50 and then finding out the 60 is identical with carb mods or something and still weights less (235 for the Merc vs. 275 for the old Mariner?) I'll bet that will be more than enough for me. I do an enormous amount of trolling at VERY slow speeds and get tired of listening to the 2 stroke chatter/rattle. And finally I believe the 4-strokes are easier on the environment, but Iím sure that could be debated.
SuburbanBoy posted 03-07-2001 12:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
Weight and cost are the main reasons to condsider alternatives to 4stroke. The motors I don't understand are the mid line two-smokes with fancy injection systems. They weigh as much as 4strokes, still burn oil (less than previously possible) and cost as much. Seems like someone wants to milk a tooling investment, or does not have the manufacturing capability. Many 4strokes are too new to have established reliability records. Imagine if you bought the "Dog" 4stroke. Your $5K to $9K investment could go down the tubes and you might be left with a maintenance nightmare. While many may "vote" 4stroke, the market will still be strong for the classic two-smokes for the next 3 to 5 years. (on the other hand the 50hp, 205lb Honda is quite an achievement!)
CarlRobert posted 03-07-2001 01:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for CarlRobert    
Living in California, with stringent emission regulations governing cars and now outboards (no 2 strokes allowed in Lake Tahoe!), a 4-stroke seems to be the safest and cleanest choice. Check out the current Cabelas catalog. The Nissan and Johnson 2 strokes advertised cannot be sold in California.

4 strokes are heavy and expensive, but I want to make sure I can run my 13' Sport in FRESH and salt water over here.

Orca posted 03-07-2001 02:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for Orca  Send Email to Orca     
I powered my 71-72 Outrage with twin Honda 90's the minute they became available.Three hundred hours later,one hundred hours in saltwater,12,000 miles on a trailer,I love em! My 67 Nauset is powered by a 90 Evinrude but would replace it in a heartbeat with a 4 stroke.I still giggle when I start my Hondas and hear the sound of the pi--er. The good folks at the gas dock don't get it,they think i'm mad at them because I seldom stop.Best boat money I ever spent.
lhg posted 03-07-2001 04:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
What really surpises me from the Poll is the votes for future purchases of OMC Ficht engines. There will be no such engine, except for some leftover 2001's currently being offered by Dealers desperate to get rid of them at as high a price as possible. OMC said Ficht engines had problems which they could not fix, so a purchase of one of those, without warranty, is risky, and probably unwise, at best. Stories continue of failed Ram Ficht engines, mostly 200-225's, but also smaller sizes as well. (Recently read of a 115 which fried a piston after 2 hours!)

Perhaps Jimh's poll instead should show Bombardier's new (presumably to be redesigned) Ficht engines as a selection.

jimh posted 03-07-2001 07:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
What amazes me is the few votes for Merc EFI engines! The EFI's start with the turn of a key, run strong all day, and are much lighter than any 4-stroke/Optimax/Ficht/HPDI engine.

Yes, they are 2-stroke, but they are very refined 2-strokes: they are priced attractively, have excellent weight compared to the others, and are known quantities in terms of performance and reliability.

chrisb posted 03-07-2001 08:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for chrisb  Send Email to chrisb     
I voted two stroke but still feel guilty about it. Having just found this web site 2 months ago, I have become very eager to experience the performance and fun my old 15 sport hull could give with a 70 hp. especially while skiing. The current 1990 johnson 48 does fine for all non skiing stuff. Repowering would be purely selfish, but if the boat is a dog with a 360 lb motor and a thoroughbred with a 230 lb one what choice is there? The tradegy is I'm a near rabid environmentalist on most things but the skiing is soooooo good on my little pond.
kingfish posted 03-07-2001 10:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Thanks for the company, jimh!

I was beginning to think I had forgotten to wash my socks again...

B Bear posted 03-07-2001 10:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
I currently have a Honda 90, before that I had an OMC 115. I choose the Honda becuase of it's proven track record (near bullet proof) and the best warrenty of them all. After the other 4-strokes have gotten some time and miles behind them and proven themselves I would have gone for one with less weight (Yamaha or Mercury). Suzuki only went up to 70 HP when I made my choice.
For me the 4-stroke is;

Quieter, being able to talk at WOT without yelling is a plus to me, this also seems to be less fatiguing making it more of a pleasure to be out on the water.

Does not smoke at all, I know the new 2-strokes are near smokelss now. Yet there is always some unburnt oil that gets discharged in the exhaust so the 4-stroke is is more enviromentally friendly.

Uses regular 10-30 engine oil. Engine oil change is easier than on a truck.

For the Honda there is no special oil filter it is the same one used for the CIVIC.

No seperate oil tank, or mixing.

Uses regular unleaded 87 octane.

It is very economical in terms of miles to the gallon.

I paid the extra money for the 4-stroke over a 2-stroke, to me it was worth it. And I would do it agian.

lhg posted 03-07-2001 10:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Regarding the lower vote count for the EFI/DFI engines, we have to remember the mix of boat sizes represented by the voters also. A large majority have Whalers 17' & below, where the 4 strokes would be most applicable.
The EFI/DFI are 150HP & up, and would be for the Outrage/Revenge models, a much smaller group of owners here.

But the Merc computer controlled EFI's have been, for me, highly reliable engines, with better performance and lower fuel consumption than the same carbureted models. When I bought mine in 1997, I asked the mechanics at the Dealership if the EFI's were worth the extra $1200 (for a pair) over the carbs. They said yes, and "once they leave here we never see them again". This has been my own experience, with over 500 hrs (mixed fresh and salt) and only needing a rectifier replaced on one of them. Yamaha has also introduced EFI's, known as OX66 models. OMC never got their act together with EFI. Now I understand the larger 4 strokes are using EFI and DFI technology to boost HP.

hooter posted 03-07-2001 10:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for hooter    
Ah recon ever one o' us tosses more hydrocarbons into lanfills wif da gahbage each week than mos big two-strokes spew in 24 hours of wad open runnin. Ya'll lef-coasters got som funny idears out der fo' sure. Heck, a mess o' fokes out der'd like to see us all ridin bicycles an' padlin canoes to get aroun. Ah jus hate to see da res o' da country jumpin offa bridges ever tahm the Californy legislature gets ta bungie jumpin out der. TELL me it ain so! Stick wid da tried an tru two for less weight,less bucks, mo certain future at da repair shop, das mah opinion. Those Merc EFI's ARE da ticket now the standard OMCs have gone da way'a da Dodo.
B Bear posted 03-07-2001 11:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
lhg, I think you pick up on a very good point. Most owners have Whalers tht are 17' or less.
I know the largest Honda 4-stroke is a 130 at this time. I am not sure of Yamaha or Mercury, I know they have a 115.
Some day they may be able to get to 200 HP ..... I just can't imagine what that would look like.
bigz posted 03-10-2001 09:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
The Ficht engines under Bombardier contrary to LHG's comments will be with us for a long time to come.

The statement he contributes to OMC has to be taken in context! This was made by the departing management which frankly had to blame this financial mess on something other than themselves. The fact is, just about all Ficht's sold since the introduction with some exceptions, that have had the proper warranty work performed, are doing quit well thank you! Since the 2000 model year very few if any problems have occurred with the Ficht's, according to the engineers that developed them and dealers that sold them that needed any warranty work performed due to malfunctions or needed upgrade parts.

Just to bad sometimes folks extrapolate "problems" on many things not just outboards --- (guess it is the gossip side of the mind at work) -- into something that doesn't quit fit reality.

As reported in another thread Bombardier will honor all 2000 and 2001 warranties, they will in my opinion start production up as soon as the road is cleared, meaning as soon as OMC pays off the Ficht family remaining interest and Bombardier sees that they own the technology 100%. I guess by this statement it is in the works or maybe even a done deal at this time.

It is not surprising that a number of folks mentioned these would be their repower choice! They are awesome engines, quit, smooth, smokeless, and particularly in the larger ones putting out more horse power than the rated specs (according 2 dealers which I spoke to recently). The low fuel and oil usage is hard to believe to boot!

I just happened to be able to take an offshore jaunt in a boat equipped with dual 225 Ficht 2000 models, believe me fantastic performance ---

So when Bombardier can get the production and supply problems worked out (don't mean technological problems those for the most part are solved) the Ficht engines will certainly be a strong competitor to any 2 stroke technology offered by Merc or Yamaha.


SuburbanBoy posted 03-10-2001 07:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
If you combine all of the TwoSmokes they are the majority. Stopped by Wolf Marine in St. Joe Michigan today (3/30). They said that unless someone picks up the warrenty, they will honor all OMC warrenties for items they sold. But they admitted that if you had work performed by anyone else, you would not have a warrenty and that parts are a problem. They also had a small Merc. 4stroke running in a tank to show how quiet and smoke free they are. It (the Merc) did bounce around quite a bit. Not quite what I expected.
whalernut posted 03-10-2001 09:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Sub., I agree, I was at a Boat Show about a month ago and a dealer had a Mercury 9.9h.p. 4-stroker in a barrel. Someone asked to hear it run, so I was curious as to the noise/vibration level. Needless to say, I was very dissapointed-it was louder than expected and shook like the dikkens, I would not purchase that brand/horespower engine in the 9.9 4-stroker. I know a guy on the other hand with a Honda 40h.p. 4-stroker on Whaler `13 Sport and it is very, very, very, quiet and smoke free, and idles beutifully. I know another guy with a Evinrude 9.9h.p. 4-stroker on a `14 Aluminum boat and it is quiet amd smoke free and ides smoothly. I know Dick has a Merc. 50h.p. 4-stroker on his Montauk, and he loves it. Maybee the 50 is much different than the Merc. 9.9h.p. 4-stroker? I know a guy with a 40h.p. 4-stroke Evinrude(Suzuki designed) on a pontoon boat and it runs beutifully. Who knows brand to brand h.p. to h.p.? Regards-Jack Graner.
whalernut posted 03-10-2001 09:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Sub., I agree, I was at a Boat Show about a month ago and a dealer had a Mercury 9.9h.p. 4-stroker in a barrel. Someone asked to hear it run, so I was curious as to the noise/vibration level. Needless to say, I was very dissapointed-it was louder than expected and shook like the dikkens, I would not purchase that brand/horespower engine in the 9.9 4-stroker. I know a guy on the other hand with a Honda 40h.p. 4-stroker on Whaler `13 Sport and it is very, very, very, quiet and smoke free, and idles beutifully. I know another guy with a Evinrude 9.9h.p. 4-stroker on a `14 Aluminum boat and it is quiet amd smoke free and ides smoothly. I know Dick has a Merc. 50h.p. 4-stroker on his Montauk, and he loves it. Maybee the 50 is much different than the Merc. 9.9h.p. 4-stroker? I know a guy with a 40h.p. 4-stroke Evinrude(Suzuki designed) on a pontoon boat and it runs beutifully. Who knows brand to brand h.p. to h.p.? Regards-Jack Graner.
lhg posted 03-16-2001 12:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Another item of interest in the poll is that the Yamaha HPDI has out polled the Merc Optimax. What most don't know is the Yamaha HPDI is 20% dirtier in emissions than the Merc, and not as clean as the Ficht either. (EPA certification tests). This would also probably interpolate to mean less fuel efficient because of the greater emissions. Evidently the very cleanest DFI two stroke is the Merc Optimax 135. It is the only 2 stroke DFI currently made that meets the CA CARB 2008 standards, and is as clean as the best 4 strokes. Mercury also claims this engine gets better fuel economy and will blow the doors off the Honda 130, (certified by independent testing) but maybe they're just prejudiced. But the CARB 2008 rating is for real and can't be corrupted. So in terms of the 3 DFI systems currently out there, at least with respect to emissions, gas mileage and acceleration, the Optimax seems to be the best system.
(Since Merc owns Whaler, I guess it doesn't hurt to give them a boost once in a while - Brunswick, it's new Whalers, and it's CEO have been bashed pretty badly here occasionally).

Also, in the 4 stroke world, the bigger they are, it seems the cleaner they are. In the Mercs, engines 40HP & up meet the CARB 2008 standards, but in 30HP and down, they only meet EPS's 2006 lower standard.

bigz posted 03-16-2001 09:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Evinrude Ficht's meet the CARB 2007 standards as of a year ago!

Didn't realize CA had already added a 2008 requirement.

jimh posted 03-16-2001 09:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It is rather hard to judge the sound level of anything without a sound pressure level meter. While some human ears do have the ability to recognize absolute pitch, I have never heard of a human ear that was well calibrated in terms of absoulute level.

Human ears can tell the difference in sound level between two sources quite accurately. In fact, in order to make comparisons about sound quality it is essential that the levels be matched within very small tolerances, on the order of less than a tenth of a percent difference in amplitude, otherwise the louder sound will be perceived differently.

It has also been demonstrated that humans cannot accurately remember sound for more than 10 seconds. If I play you a sound and then ten seconds later play you a second sound, you cannot remember the first sound accurately. You have to be presented with the two sound stimuli less than ten seconds apart in order to be able to remember the first one to compare it to the second one. For real accuracy, you have to be presented with the sound stimuli comparison several times, back to back, in order to make accurate judegments about the two sounds.

So to describe a certain brand of 4-stroke as being "louder than expected" based on observing it running in a barrel at a boatshow is hardly a valid basis on which to judge the volume of the sound it produces as compared to other brands of engines of similar size, horsepower and number of cylinders.

If someone says they heard a engine run at the boatshow and it was "louder than they expected" then I assign little value to this information.

How do I know how loud it was? Impossible.

How do I know how loud the listener expected it to be? Impossible.

What likely happened was the engine was run and it was louder than the background noise. It was therefore perceived as being "loud."

I was at a boat show and stood next to an engine in a tank and conversed with the sales representative (Mercury) for some time before I realized the engine was running. I had to practically put my ear on the case to hear it.

This allows me to state "Mercury 4-stoke engines running at boatshows are far, far quieter than I expected them to be."

However, there is very little value in the information in either of those statements.

bigz posted 03-16-2001 10:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
You tast testing again James? heh heh --

I guess standing on the aft deck about 3'away from twin 225 Fichts running at 5200 rpm's and the wind blowing about 15 knots we're able to carry on a conversation at pretty much normal voice level --- would this count as a valid statement on noise levels --- They were Darn Quiet motors!

Maerd posted 03-16-2001 11:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for Maerd    
Everyone is different. I love the sound of the 250 Mercury on my 21' Outrage and wanted more. So I bought a product out of Hot Boat magazine. Quarter size holes are drilled above the water line in the back of the lower unit and the item is mounted over them. There is a flap inside that is closed over the holes and causes the sound to go out normally or with flap open the sound comes out above the water line. It has a cable that goes to the console to control it. Vrooooom Also had glass pack mufflers on the 68 Camaro I gave my brother.
lhg posted 03-16-2001 01:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Tom, here's what I know about California's CARB standards. They have a 2 star requirement of 80% reduction in emissions (compared to 2 strokes) for 2004 model years, and a 3 star requirement of 91% reduction for 2008. Mercury claims their 40-115hp 4 strokes and 135 Optimax all meet this 3 star ultra low emission requirement, but larger Optimax's, like all Yamaha and Ficht, only meet the 2004 requirement currently. The CARB evidently requires all outboards to have a sticker on them indicating level of compliance. I've been noticing these lately.

Yamaha has evidently improved the HPDI's for 2001, as they now say all meet the 2004 requirement, as do their 4 strokes. It's curious that Yamaha does not claim the 2008 rating at least for for their larger 80-115 4 strokes, since I assume the Mercs are the same engine. Must be that Mercury has done some additional improvements once the engines come into their plant.

blackdog posted 03-16-2001 02:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
My 2001í 115 Ficht has a 2006 EPA sticker on it. Approved for use on lake Tahoe


bigz posted 03-16-2001 02:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Apparently Larry Ficht's above the 115 hp meet the CARB 2007 standards --- would guess they will at some point also meet the 2008. That little "blip" mainly the OMC bankruptcy might have sort of slowed them down a tad getting the 2008 standard acceptance --- oh well they only have 7 more years to get there ;)!

Interesting article by a 3rd party on the Ficht technology ---

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