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ContinuousWave: Whaler Performance
Ficht Engine Endorsement
|Author||Topic: Ficht Engine Endorsement|
posted 07-11-2001 10:13 PM ET (US)
We have been having plenty of talk regarding engines for repowering Whalers, so I thought I would toss in this data point.
I was taking my usual stroll along the seawall in downtown Detroit this afternoon when I came upon a 22-foot utility style boat anchored just offshore in the Detroit River. They had a diver down taking some Zebra Mussel counts on the river bottom, so I spent a few minutes chatting with them.
At first, I thought they had a big Merc on the transom, as the cowling was a bit obscured (the engine was tilted up all the way), and all I could see was the black lower unit and SS prop. Then I noticed the gold trim, and I discovered the outboard was a 150-HP Evenrude Ficht engine.
Of course, I had to ask the guys how that engine was running for them. They just loved the motor. It was a 2000-model-year engine and it has been running great, no problems.
They were completey enthusiastic about it, and said they had another boat with a similar engine which was running just fine, too. They were sold on the Fichts.
The 150-HP was on the transom of a Okawauka Boats 22-foot aluminum welded utility boat, a flat bottom boat with a custom rigged bow opening that lowered down like the bow of a LST or LCV, permitting the diver to walk aboard from the water. (The diver was not a SCUBA diver but worked on an airhose and tether from the boat.)
So there is a random sample in the great Ficht engine survey. Two commercial boats using Ficht engines and no problems.
I really would like to see the Ficht engine succeed because it is the simplest design of all the 2-cycle low emission engines, and thus it is also the lightest, I think.
In any case, simpler is probably better in the long run. If the Ficht technology can be made reliable in marine 2-cycle engines, it would be a nice option to the more complex 2-cycle engines or the heavier 4-stroke engines.
posted 07-11-2001 11:12 PM ET (US)
It seems like everyone has some problems when they introduce new technology. Is it their fault for putting it on the market to soon or is it our fault for demanding the cutting edge technology yesterday? I think we are both to blame. The OMC thing is sad, had they been able to stay in business the problems would have been solved, as they will be by Bombardier but at a later date. Merc has some Opti problems and they will solve those.
This has been going on in the automotive industry for years and is now only catching up with the marine industry with the new EPA requirements. Reliable outboards were much easier to build when there were no emission standards. Remember the headaches and problems with the old smog pumps on your car.
The outboard industry will solve the problems just as the automotive industry did.
Kind of rambled on but there is no Mariners game tonight and I am in withdrawal.
posted 07-11-2001 11:35 PM ET (US)
Jim - was that Evinrude Ficht black? How dare they invade Mercury's exclusive territory! I think Suzuki's doing it also.
Guess black sells. If it works for Mercury, why not the others?
|Tom W Clark||
posted 07-12-2001 01:14 AM ET (US)
lhg, I believe the Evinrude is a very dark blue, not black. It will be a dark day indeed when a Johnson or Evinrude is painted black, yuk. I think white is the only proper color for an outboard!
posted 07-12-2001 08:37 AM ET (US)
I like black, love white, blue and silver OK too. Johnson did make a dark grey years back that basically was black. They did it on their portables and the GT's. The only problem with white is if you leave the engine down while fishing, partying, etc. It eventually yellows. All my friends bust my chops because I will tilt my engine everytime I shut it down for more than 15 mins. I am having problems with my Yamaha. They only make 3 colors. Dark blue, silver blue, and dark grey. None of these match my 98 inshore. The silver blue is CLOSE but no cigar. Anyone know if Yamaha has better matching paint?
posted 07-12-2001 08:51 AM ET (US)
Johnson did make black motors as my twin 19 115's are black. They are the fast strike model, called that from 95 to 98. My father,s ficht has run great it is a 2000 90 horse, he has been nothing but happy with it. Now if I could only get him to but a 27 gal pate tank instead of the 2 12 gal tempo tanks, but that is another story for a different thread.
posted 07-12-2001 09:25 AM ET (US)
Force were black and they are gone! Think of the colors from days gone bye. Merc had silver and green, then white, then RED, then black. Johnson had white, then brown, green(early 70's,looked like zinc primer)Then brown again, then white,black,white, brownish silver, then silver, then? Suzuki used to be white, then silver, then gold, now black. Evinrude has tried to be blue since their golden years of the 70's. Yamaha has been consistent with their silver/blue since 83 or so. I wish they would just pick a color and change the decals.
posted 07-12-2001 07:51 PM ET (US)
Mercurys have been one color, black, since 1961. They did it because, at the time, the new in-line six looked huge, and black made them look smaller. Tom, a few years ago, Mercury tried doing some white offshore Mariners, and also a few white Sea Ray branded engines - couldn't give them away. That was also the problem with Mariner gray in general. If one was going to to get a Mercury engine, it might as well be black, with a more recognizeable image.
You know what they say - Once you go black, you never go back! (except maybe for these guys with the 225 Opti's!)
I've also seen a lot "yellowed" Johnson white lower units. Oxalic acid based hull cleaner will solve this quickly. So will bathroom "Lime Away". Great way of keeping engines water spot free, caused by rapid & continuous evaporation on the hot engine surfaces. I use it on my Mercs also.
posted 07-13-2001 10:50 AM ET (US)
Most will think I'm nuts, but I wax my engine. I don't do it for the looks, but rather to help keep the yellowing down. First I clean it with oxalic, then follow-up with 3M boat wax. It doesn't eliminate coloring, but reduces it and makes the cleanup easier. Remember, oxalic acid will immediately strip any wax on whatever surface it comes into contact with. At the end of this summer, I plan to shoot a new coat of Johnson white on the entire lower half of the engine to help maintain. This will be the first time since new in '95.
posted 07-13-2001 11:21 AM ET (US)
We recently bought a 25' outrage with twin 150 Fichts (against the advise of many on this forum and others) but a man will do crazy things when he is in love. We have ~30-40 hours on them as of today, as of monday 40-50, and so far (thank GOD), we love them. The are 1997 Johnson's with "2000" upgrades. They are super, no smoke, smooth, very efficient. No complaints.
posted 07-13-2001 01:55 PM ET (US)
Mike - I think the 150 Fichts are pretty good, You probably won't have any problems.
I understand this is the best model, and Bombardier is going to get them in production first.
Jim - I'm with you on waxing engines. We do it all the time, and it keeps them looking like new. It's really the only way to keep the mid shaft areas bright and shiny. My 1985 Merc 115's look like new because of waxing the surfaces. Only takes minutes.
posted 07-13-2001 02:04 PM ET (US)
Ever price decal sets? Not only do i wax the heck out of it, I have engine covers for them. I never understood why people will drive around with a clean boat but the motor looks like an old mooring. Sand it down, tape it off and spray with Tempo paint. Usually the decals can be revived with a clear coat. My 225 Ocean runner gets the foot painted every spring with Factory paint and she looks like new because it is always covered. anyone with a beat up cover should check E-bay. Right now a guy is selling a bunch of yamaha ones.
posted 07-13-2001 10:52 PM ET (US)
What is this "Tempo paint" for outboards. My skeg is a bit rough since finding bottom a few weeks ago and I thought it might look a little better on my trailer with a little paint. 1999 Johnson 70.
posted 07-16-2001 10:50 AM ET (US)
Bigshot, I'm with ya. I am absolutely amazed at the condition of some engines. Other than the obvious cosmetic reasons, I truly believe in the "rubbing theory". Never heard of it??? Some time back, a mechanic/restorer friend told me the guy or gal that takes the time to wash, wax and just generally take care of their vehicle, tends to have a more reliable, better running car/boat. Reason: simple attention. If you're combing over your vessel you'll tend to notice seemingly inconsequential things. His theory is that little things turn into big problems, eventually. Take care of them when they're small, and they never turn into big issues. Compared to the guy that buys a new motor, and never does anything but use it, never cleaning, maintaining it. Statistically, which one's got a better chance of getting the most out of their purchase. Like he said, it's just a theory, but inevitably, the cleaner car/boat is the one that runs and runs.
|Tom W Clark||
posted 07-16-2001 11:21 AM ET (US)
You are so right. I have made this observation myself many times. The "rubbing theory" applies to most other things as well; cars, boats, planes and homes.
posted 07-16-2001 01:31 PM ET (US)
any marine store sells Tempo paint. It is in a silver can an they make justa bout every colorpaint. On Johnsons the Tempo matches well. They also have 2 whites so read label carefully. For metallics, try the dealer unless doing the whole engine. I find the Tempo metallics are close but no cigar. Merc, I use rustoleum.
posted 07-16-2001 03:42 PM ET (US)
Have you ever noticed that there is always one guy that seems to disprove this. I have one in my family. Never maintains anything, generally beats the snot of every mechanical thing he owns. But never seems to have trouble. No matter how much abuse he givies it the thing just keeps plugging along.
posted 07-16-2001 03:44 PM ET (US)
posted 07-16-2001 03:49 PM ET (US)
I wonder if I am wrong sometimes. My brother in law is a great guy but mechanically challenged. Never changed the oil in his motorcycle for like 6 years. Thing would knock at an idle. Changed oil and it went away. My luck would be oil was 1/2 qt low for some reason and poof! Have a couple friend that are either at idle or mashed to the dash. Never blow up anything but also buy new every few years. Why is that I maintain my stuff and service etc but always have some problem. Maybe i should drive it like I just stole it.
posted 07-16-2001 04:55 PM ET (US)
Re: Engine Color. It's a lot like us Cajun Cowboys say; there is no such thing as a bad color on a good horse, dog, or person.
posted 07-16-2001 05:37 PM ET (US)
Another 100+ miles this weekend, less than 70 gallons of gas burned in the 25 with twin 150 fichts. I still love them, I generally run between 3000 and 3500 rpms. She pushed between 21 and 27 knots (GPS). No tuna, but a bunch of big blues (our first trip for tuna for the year and if its nice this weekend, 100 more miles :)
posted 07-16-2001 05:38 PM ET (US)
thats 100+ nautical miles for anyone trying to do math...
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