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ContinuousWave: Whaler Performance
Factory/dealer Engine Mountings
|Author||Topic: Factory/dealer Engine Mountings|
posted 07-06-2003 02:22 AM ET (US)
One topic that seems to continually be the focus of attention is the propeller and engine height discussions.
I watch users post questions regarding poor performance and engine efficiency. I am becoming surprised by the frequency of users that ask the same question.
Baring ones' purchase of a used boat or one that has been altered by a previous owner, why do all of these boats need to have their engines raised a notch or two and change the stock prop? It seems to me, that a company with such high standards as Boston Whaler would research and correct any negative performance aspects regarding the engine height and proper propeller applications before the boat was even given an official model name and sent to the showroom floor.
posted 07-06-2003 10:31 AM ET (US)
Boston Whaler does extensive testing of their boats and publishes the results which are passed on to the dealers. Prior to the Mercury only rule the boats were tested with various brands of motors. I have test repports from both eras, the latest ones not only listing the correct prop but how high to mount the engine.
Since we do not live in a perfect world there are variables.
Did the dealer mount the motor as specified by Whaler?
Did Whaler run their tests with the boat loaded as I do?
Did Whaler run their test with an SS prop or aluminum?
Did the dealer install the corect prop?
In my case I know that I run my Montauk much heavier than the tests Whaler ran, as most do. Performance was OK but with the addition of a 4 blade SS prop and raising the engine one more hole it improved.
The same applies to the vehicle you drive, it does not come from the factory set up for optimum performance. My F-150 is a good example, off the dealers lot it was great. With the addition of a K&N intake and a Borla exhaust systems it is much better. Ford wasn't wrong I just wanted more.
I think I am starting to ramble a bit but I get tired of unjustified critisim of the best boat builder that there is.
posted 07-06-2003 11:53 AM ET (US)
[Transplanted this article from the META-Forum where is was originally posted--jimh]
posted 07-06-2003 12:34 PM ET (US)
Dick, my posting was not to bash Whaler but, simply wonder why Whaler doesn't give their dealers better guidelines regarding engine mounting and prop useage. I have to admit that most of the posts are related to older Whalers. You made the comparison to your truck but, I am not saying that the BW owner buy an aftermarket engine performance parts to make the performance better. I doubt there are many things that you can do to your new F-150 that will increase performance without buying additional parts. I have yet to find anything I can do to mine.
Sal most always recommends, "raise the engine two notches and try a ? sized prop." From my reading I think that he is probably the most knowlegdeable and well spoken contributor to this site. I went back through and searched the topic and found that regardless of ones' useage there is some amount of agreeance that it is worthwhile to raise you engine. It seems relatively simple. That is the point of my post, why doesn't Whaler do it and instruct their dealers to do it?
I was simply making a noteable observation regarding an increasing amount of posts on this site that involve the recomendation that engines be moved and props be changed. I think that has little to do with the quality of the boat. If you chose to think so that is your choice.
posted 07-06-2003 12:46 PM ET (US)
I find that this article raises a very interesting issue: the packaging of pre-tested motors and propellers with a boat versus just selling the boat.
In the past, Whaler just sold a boat. The selection of the motor and the propeller and their installation was left to the dealer and ultimately to the buyer. Even if the boat was ordered with pre-rigging for a particular brand (typically only OMC or Mercury), there is no way to guaranty that the engine would be mounted in accordance with the instructions provided by Boston Whaler. Nor is there any guaranty that without extensive testing by the dealer and the customer, the most optimum propeller could be chosen.
According to reports from others, Whaler supplied their dealers with information on how to properly mount the engine, generally specifying a relationship between the hull bottom at the keel centerline and the height of the engines anti-ventilation plate.
As for recommending a propeller, the factory would have to test the boat with dozens of different engines to determine the proper propeller for each one. Engines have different lower unit ratios, and this makes a big impact on the propeller pitch that give best results.
The testing would have to include hundreds of different propellers, too. Should the factory only test OEM propellers? What about all the aftermarket propellers? Was there a real expectation that the factory--whose business then was selling boats not motors and propellers--purchase and have on hand dozens of different motor brands and hundreds of different propellers FOR EACH MODEL OF BOAT IN THEIR PRODUCT LINE?
Of course the Boston Whaler factory did not test their boats with every brand of engine and horsepower, and of course they did not select a propeller for all of these combinations. They left that to the dealer and the customer to work out. They told them where to mount the engine, and after that the dealer and the customer were on their own.
Did the dealer ignore the instructions and mount the motor improperly? Yes. We've had reports of engines mounted too low, engines mounted off center, engines mounted not square to the transom top surface. Sorry, but that is shoddy work by the engine installer and not something Whaler failed to do.
Did the dealer just slap on a propeller that was not optimum for the boat? Yes. Maybe he told the customer that he needed a $500 Stainless propeller instead of the $99 aluminum one that comes with the engine. Customer did not want to spend the money. Whose fault is that? Whaler? Hardly.
Now, we turn to the present. The Boston Whaler company now sells boats and motors as a package. They install the motor right on the boat. One would think that they mount the engine in the position they think will be best for the typical user of the boat. I assume they sell it with a propeller, but on many larger horsepower engines the propeller might be optional. On smaller boats they definitely haved tested and found the best propeller. That comes with the engine. (Unless the dealer takes it off and tries to begin a new profit center.)
What do they get for all this trouble? They get complaints from people who want to buy just the boat.
It seems to me to be hard to hold Boston Whaler responsible for poor installations and bad propeller selection on boats which they did not sell as a package with boat and motor. That covers about 99-percent of all Whalers in use right now.
posted 07-06-2003 12:50 PM ET (US)
posted 07-06-2003 01:26 PM ET (US)
Don't blame the chicken for the rotten egg.
I understand that it would have been impossible for Whaler to test every engine and prop combination for every boat and recommend how to acheive the best performance. Maybe that is why we can only get a BW with a Merc. It is my understanding that Mercury has helped BW with some R&D over the years.
posted 07-06-2003 01:35 PM ET (US)
On a second thought, I cannot remember the brand but, at the Seattle boat show there was a ski boat manufacturer who made a bass/ski boat. The salesman had a list of props for each motor option and a recommendation of prop useage for the boat useage. The boat was had options for four different motors.
It had a list went like this,
X prop with X motor= pulling skiers and having extra passengers.
X prop with X motor= fishing alone, top speed
X prop with X motor= cruising long distance for pleasure
posted 07-06-2003 03:34 PM ET (US)
The folks at Nauset Marine in Massachusetts recalled how Dick Fisher stopped by once a week to check on how his boats were being represented back in the earliest days (1960) of Boston Whaler. After he got more dealerships, he probably could not give them all this level of attention.
As for dealers and what they were told by Whaler, I think they probably liked to keep some of this information close to the vest. If a customer can walk over to a rack and pick up detailed literature about recommended engine and propeller combinations, that make the customer about as smart as the dealer. But if the customer has to ask a salesman about what engine is recommended, then the salesman can pull out something from the inside pocket of his suit coat and act like the has all the answers. Giving all this information to the shopper might lead the shopper to discover that the boat runs better with an engine that this dealer doesn't even sell.
Now it makes more sense if Boston Whaler would publish any test results they may have observed. I don't think they are available at the dealership any more easily in 2003 than they were in 1963. They could put them on their website. (Other makers do this.)
By the way, the engine test results and recommended propeller information I included in my article last year about the 170-MONTAUK came from Boston Whaler. But I have not seen that data elsewhere. I don't know if they have a flyer that includes it, and I can't find it in the catalogue. In fact, when a buyer took delivery with a 170-MONTUAK that had the wrong propeller on it, he said the only way he knew something was wrong was because of that article. Maybe there could be better distribution of test data like that.
Now we just need to figure out if the factory really wants to distribute the test data or not. There may be other factors that affect that decision.
posted 07-06-2003 04:31 PM ET (US)
Maybe, we could get Dick to give us a overview of the test reports he has from BW regarding engine mounting and prop data and let others induse their practical knowledge of the engine and prop workings on the BW hulls. The 17 Montauk seems to be a Whaler everyone here is knowledgeable about so maybe Dick could give us an overview ot the info he has on the 17' and the guru's of engine mounting and prop selection can follow with comment.
I would like to see if the BW test data is "in line" with the advise of the practical knowlegde boaters. I like to hear what the real world guys have to say vs. what a scientific test platform has to say.
I suppose that would be a mini-test to see if the advise of BW was followed by the dealers or the dealers just ignored BW standards and ill fitted props and motors.
Jim, in regards to your comments about salesman pulling, "something from the inside pocket of his suit coat...", I couldn't agree more. For a dealership, it is neccessary for the salesman to know a little more than the customer. Otherwise, they have no sales pitch and come across as if they lack credibility when the customer has more knowledge than the dealer.
I came across a thread about how a BW dealer almost refused to mount a motor the way a customer wanted because he read it here on continuouswave. It was probably almost a put down to the dealer that the continuouswaver knew a little more than the dealer. Probably took a "little wind out of his sail" and reduced the dealers credibility, salesman hate that and will rarely admit when a customer knows more than the salesman/dealer/mechanic.
posted 07-07-2003 10:45 AM ET (US)
Here are the reccomended mounting specs for the 17 Montauk. Remember these are reccomended from testing the boat motor combination, in most cases with a light load. These specs may not work for you if you run heavy. If the dealer had any brains they would adjust the engine height and prop pitch to the customers needs instead of sending a boat out set up for a 500# load rather than the 1500# that the customer will run it with.
From Boston Whalers reccomended engine mounting instructions dated 5-14-99.
The reccomended specs worked OK on my Montauk but as I stated earlier I run fairly heavy and wanted better.
I was chastised for comparing this to my F-150. Both came from the dealer performing as designed, I wanted more and the modifications to both were not free. I have no regrets on the bucks spent on either.
posted 07-07-2003 12:51 PM ET (US)
Dick, thats a wierd comparison as theres the same prop on the 75, the 90 & the 100 & only a difference of 25 hp, then you drop down from the 75 to a 50 - 4 strk a diff of 25 hp & theres over 2" less diameter diff & 7 inches less pitch.
I realize theres a diff gear ratio but wow, big time difference in prop size.
As far as the dealers rigging a boat wrong, I think they rig them to fit all applications with "fair" performance such as cruising, sking, & off shore fishing.
It's up to the indivigual who wants top end speed, who wants hole shot, who wants to pull 220 people up on a single ski with a deep water start etc.
Most people want top end speed & cruising fuel economy.
For my application I personally prefer top end performance, as I sometimes travel long distances to fish off shore & top end usually gives you the best fuel economy at cruise.
My engine has over 600 hours on it & "less" then 4 minutes at wot, the majority is trolling at 45% & cruise speed between 3,000 & 3,500 rpms at 49% according to the computer.
posted 07-07-2003 12:55 PM ET (US)
Dick, I didn't mean to come across as if I was chastising you about your truck, if I came across that way I appologise. I was simply making the point that raising the motor and getting the correct pitch, stock prop shouldn't be an additional cost to the new owner. If you want a SS trick prop to get a little more gain I would consider that to be like you buying a K&N air filter for your F-150. How did that help your performance by the way? I have thought about getting one for my '98 F-150.
posted 07-07-2003 04:07 PM ET (US)
To be fair, I had this discussion with Whaler Tech support (CHuck Bennett). He told me that whaler recommends 0-3/4" up from bottom of the boat, but that 'You will need to vary this depending on how you use the boat.' Good advice, I think.
It is a science project - you will need to tweak your boat to your application and whaler says so.
posted 07-07-2003 04:53 PM ET (US)
John, I totally agree & everyones application is different to fit just their needs.
posted 07-07-2003 11:21 PM ET (US)
Sal, I was hoping you would chime in on this thread.
I understand that everyones' useage is a little different. I was just noticing that your advise to most is, to raise their engine and change the prop.
I understand the value of a correct prop and have used and ruined many a prop in my young life. I have been Whalering since I was 6. I am 28 now and still have the same Whaler. I will NEVER sell her. How many of you guys here, can say they have had the same Whaler for 22 years?
Anyways, the threads that keep appearing and your advise is the same for most all applications except, the exact prop pitch and motor combination.
From my reading, it seems there is an agreement that, if you raise your motor, you will get better performance.
I have read one thread that you posted regarding raising your motor too high. I can only find one. The thread was something about running in the ocean and having a little prop spin out in chop.
posted 07-08-2003 12:31 AM ET (US)
It may be a wierd combination but those are the reccomendations on the rigging sheet from Whaler.
Sorry I got my hackels up.
Trucks, boats or anything that is powered in most cases can be tweeked to make you happy. Thinking of putting a blower on my Honda mower, so the wife can mow the lawn faster.
posted 07-08-2003 12:57 AM ET (US)
Duckin, congrats of the 22 years with the same boat, your kids will problay keep it .
The reason I lower my engine when fishing the Pacific ocean is, I wouldn't be able to run anywhere near wide open & the high pitch prop 21p will have the tendency to blow out in real rough water, so I drop back to a 19 pitch [ hangs on far better then the 21p in bad water ] & lower the engine down to the second set of holes so the prop is lower in the water allowing better control in real bad water, like 12 ft waves breaking on top.
When running these waters & they can be horrible while fishing salmon, the water conditions just don't allow any real fast travel & the main thing in that type of water is just plain brute power to power you up & over these big seas in a following sea & the engine performs better when it's deeper in real bad waters while going into the weather as the stern can come completely out of the water.
Thats the reason Ilower my engine & advise others to do the same.
When i'm done fishing the ocean for Salmon & bring the boat back up the Sacramento river, I am able if I want, to run 60 mph on the right water, & up goes the engine & on goes the 21p prop because we don't get big seas like the ocean & I can run her hard if I need or want to.
You try & prop the engine for the type of water you normaly run & all applications are different.
I don't suggest raising an engine all the way up & putting the highest pitch prop on the engine if it can twist it.
If you normally run very bad seas, you surely won't need optimum speed on those waters, you need something like a tractor to hang on in very rough seas.
Hope I didn't confuse you.
posted 07-08-2003 05:36 AM ET (US)
Ohh Yeah, It is the same engine too. 1972 BW, (I think a 1972-1974 Merc)I must admit it is starting to get weak and I am getting worried about going out too far.
This little boat with the Merc on it has spent more time waiting to launch than most guys have spent on the water. I have run from Anacortes to Henry, Anacortes to Center, Bellingham to Lummi, Lummi to Orcas, Everett to Point No Point and about every mile on the Columbia from Colville to Umatilla. Come launch time, usually, I have always been the one at the helm waiting immpatiently for the guy before me to get out of the way, My Dad has trusted me with this task since I was 8.
I have an interest in the topic because I am working on buying a '84 15' C/C. My best friends Dad owns it and it is PERFECT. He has had it for 12 years and it has a 70hp Yamaha on it. I have always been able to smoke him with my 13' with a worn out 50hp merc. He has never been able to keep up with me and my Dad when we have gone out on Boeing Salmon derbies and other fishing trips together.
I guess it just proves the point. The proper set up is of most importance.
posted 07-08-2003 12:49 PM ET (US)
A little off the subject, but you asked who has had the same whaler for 22 years? I've had my 16'7 for 34 years.
posted 07-08-2003 01:22 PM ET (US)
Sal the reason why the props are the same on 3 Mercury engines is because of the way merc designs them. The 75 will redline at "say" 5200. The 90 at 5500 and the 100 at 5800 so the increments of HP just enable the prop to reach a higher redline. OMC usually had the same redline for every engine they made so if you had a 70hp you ran a 17", 90 ran a 19", & 115 ran a 21", etc. Not sure who is correct but Merc seems easier to find the correct prop than OMC. I have always had to tweak OMC props to get the right performance.
posted 07-08-2003 01:31 PM ET (US)
I got you beat by 22 years!
And I don't think you'll catch up either :)
posted 07-08-2003 01:32 PM ET (US)
I've had the opportunity to review some of the factory test data on the 240 Outrage and the 220 Dauntless. In both cases, a reasonable load and equipment were specified for the test conditions.
For example, the 220 Dauntless had four or five adults on board, a Bimini top, full fuel, and gear. I can't recall the details of the other set of data, but it was performed in a like fashion. The positioning of the individuals on the boats was also varied from test to test, simulating what would be commonly seen on a day of recreational boating.
The probability of optimal performance from a factory-tested set-up is good under these circumstances. Overall, I think that Boston Whaler tests its boats thoroughly, as evidenced by the detail in the reports I reviewed. Almost every variable I'd considered, in addition to many I hadn't, were factored in. Engine height was just one of the many variables. There was also a brief narrative from the individuals performing the tests relaying their overall "seat-of-the-pants" impressions.
In every boat my family has bought, regardless of manufacturer, some tuning was necessary to achieve the performance characteristics we considered important. For the general public, assuming little knowlege of boating, the factory's setting up a boat and motor combination for safety and stability in a wide variety of conditions probably takes priority over higher performance. I'd imagine that this is particularly true with regards to Boston Whaler, "The Unsinkable Legend."
posted 07-09-2003 02:16 AM ET (US)
Sorry, I got off the subject a bit too, I had a few cold ones that night and my mind was wondering.
posted 07-09-2003 03:25 AM ET (US)
I have had the same whaler since I was 13, and I feel the same as you, I will never give that boat up. However, I have failed to add to my Whaler stock - and that is pretty sad. I am still dreaming however.
I wish I was 28, but I am 46 (so I have had the boat for 33 years).
I am glad I can learn from the postings on this forum. Otherwise I would never have tested props, bought an engine monitor and a GPS. That too is pretty sad, especially as an adult. My god, as a kid I spent more time fiddling with my Aurora AFX HO cars, than I have spent fiddling with my boat, cars and motorcycles as an adult - until I started reading this forum.
So, thanks too for the automobile advice that has come up!
posted 07-09-2003 09:27 AM ET (US)
BS, i'v always felt that Merc props are far superior then OMCs.
Your right about having to tweek the OMCs.
Woke up this morn to go fishing Salmon, the bouy said, 6 ft every 6 seconds & steep.
Guess i'll stay home.
posted 07-09-2003 10:14 AM ET (US)
The nice thing about the Merc setup is if you have a 75 and repower with a 90 or 100 you do't have to spend a few hundred on a new prop.
posted 07-09-2003 05:02 PM ET (US)
Duckin, i'v spent alot of time in Anacortes, stored my boat right next to the Coast Guard station, [ forgot the name of the yard ] , had a boat built in Bellingham in 79 at Weldcraft, [ North wind ].
Ended up I had to sue the SOB, as I gave him $50,000 "DOWN" & he ran an experiment on some goofy type of bottom that I didn't order.
Spent alotta time in the Watacome County courts in Bellingham.
Dick Nelli from Blaine was my attorney, his was Carl Rule from Bellingham.
We won the case but it was a real bugger.
I saved a guys life from Anacortes, as we were both running from Seattle to Anacortes in tandom & he caught on fire, tried to jump from his boat to my bow as I was moving to get him off, & he hits the bow straight on with his head, knocked him out & he weighed about 230 lbs & i'm along & about 5 ft of freeboard.
I tied him along side & hooked his belt with my a tow line on my hydrolic reel in the stern & pulled him up like a dead salmon over the stern roller..
His name is Steve Francis.
Fished in Alaska [ 30 years ] with a guy named Volly [ called him Wally ] from Anacortes, he's a slavonian guy, good buddy but never knew his last name.
posted 07-10-2003 03:40 AM ET (US)
There are some wonderful stories from the Anacortes area. My old neighbor,(almost like my second Dad) Dick Teigen,(now deceased) was head of sales for Bayliner and later Seaswirl. He was out on a friends' new go fast and jumped a wake at night and landed ON a barge. He was fine but, friends sustained some injuries.
I'm taking a wild guess and figuring they were drinking Bacardi and coke, Dicks' favorite. I'm sure it played a part. I was young and don't remember the whole story except bits and pieces.
posted 07-10-2003 05:56 PM ET (US)
The name of the storage where I dry stored my commercial boat is Capsana.
Man oh man, I came through deception pass one morning in my 32 x 14 commercial boat & got in a monster whirl pool that spun me around & damn near sucked me down.
Ended up coming out right where I went in, going in the opposite dirrection.
My slavonian buddy [ Vally ] boat was called the "King Tomislave".
Theres a bunch of guys either in Anacortes or Bellingham that call them selve the oak harbor boys that absolutly hate the Italians & one day in Alaska, we were parked 6 boats abreast & I was the outside boat.
My crew went up to the bunk house & I took a nap on the boat, I could hear these guys saying what they would like to do to my boat, [ not knowing i'm inside ].
I came out & theres 6 guys [ oak harbor boys ] sitting on the boat next to mine.
I came out [ I'm kind of a big fella 6' - 230 lbs ] & confronted the 6 & told em i'd break their necks if they even stepped on my hull.
They didn't say a word & I called em everything under the sun & I was alone.
They are the scabs of the bay that make a deal with the fish buyer before the season to get what we settle on after we strike but they don't strike, just fish from day one while we sit tight to get a decent price.
One of the Oak harbor boys came after me with a rifle & I told him he better put it away or i'd stick it where the sun dosen't shine, then beat the hell out of him.
posted 07-10-2003 09:33 PM ET (US)
Sal - might that be Cap Sante Marina? - http://www.capsante.com/ (Everyone has a website these days!)
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