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Author Topic:   Boat Speed
Drydock posted 07-12-2002 03:59 PM ET (US)   Profile for Drydock   Send Email to Drydock  
I recently purchased a 1999 Ventura 18
with a 135 hp Optimax engine (with Doel Fins). Had an outboard shop perform a tune up and check things over. I would really appreciate some feedback on a couple of questions. 1) How long a delay should there be after engine start before I see water flow out the back of the engine indicating adequate cooling. I have a small Honda outboard and the flow starts right away. The big Merc takes a 10 count or so before I see anything. Is this consistent with what you old hands see?
2)What kind of speed should I be seeing in smooth water? GPS is showing 32 to 35 mph at 4000 rpm
Bigshot posted 07-12-2002 04:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Both sound about right. It takes a lot longer to fill a V6 with water than a 10hp.
TRAFFICLAWYER posted 07-12-2002 04:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    
I HAD the same boat, abeit a 1998 version.
Same Motor (term used loosely). Speed sounds right, although water comes out relatively quicker than what you say. Maybe impeller needs change. In any event get it checked out and have the merc tech put the computer on it to get the motor history.


JBCornwell posted 07-12-2002 05:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
If you are only seeing 4000rpm at WOT you have a prop problem.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

Drydock posted 07-12-2002 07:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Drydock  Send Email to Drydock     
I have heard there may be some problems with these Optimix Engines and the boat was used. Engine hours appear to be 200 (if it is reliable). I do not have an engine operating manual yet. I have several things written down from the prevous owner but do not know what the RPM limit is on the Engine yet. I am trying to be a bit cautious until I get some more knowledge and confidence in this piece of Iron. So I have not taken it to Wide Open Throttle yet. I have learned that It doesn't ride very well on plane with anything other than full down trim.
I have also learned just how expensive spark plugs can be.
TRAFFICLAWYER posted 07-12-2002 09:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    
WOT should probably be around 5200-5500 rpm, you may check the merc site for the info. The 98 model should be the same.If all you get is 4000 JBCornwell is probably right.

I remember the plugs for that motor cost me about $18.00 each installed (platinum) from the dealer. One other reason I'm Yamaha powered.By the way Merc makes a special TCW oil synthetic for OPTI and EFI use. May save you plug fouling.

dauntlass 18 posted 07-13-2002 05:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for dauntlass 18  Send Email to dauntlass 18     
Bigshot is right on it takes a count of ten to fill block and get water to teltale. 30 to 32 mph @ 4000rpm is about right my 18 Dauntless performed about the same.I had a 150hp Optimax on my boat wot was 5200 rpm ,per gps app.52 mph.I also added Dole fin it brought the rpm to get boat on plane down lower and with dole fin I could cruise boat at lower rpm setting all day.I would use Mercury Optimax oil only not there efi oil they make both oils.The plugs are expensive but they do not burn the center electrode you can clean and regap them and get 300plus hours use out of them.
jimh posted 07-13-2002 07:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The difference in time it takes for the confidence stream to appear may be due to different designs among engines.

Some engines have the confidence stream port located at the end of the water jacket path. On start up the pump has to fill the whole engine with water before it starts to come out of the stream hole. Other engines located the stream hole at the head of the water path, so as soon as the pump is turning water begins to stream out.

After the engine has warmed up, sample the stream water for temperature. If it is warmed, then your confidence stream is probably at the end of the water path. If it is lake/sea temperature water, it probably comes from the head of the path (and thus has not been heated by the engine).

The 135-HP Mercury Optimax has been spoken of rather highly by owners in this forum. I don't recall a single complaint about that engine. It is also regarded as a strong engine, probably actually more than its 135-HP rating.

TRAFFICLAWYER posted 07-13-2002 10:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    

You dont recall a single complaint, Hmmmmm!

Let me be the first, Thats why I am YAMAHA powered on my Whaler!

Mine blew after 20 hours, THERES your complaint.

jimh posted 07-14-2002 09:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
TRAFFICLAWYER has written briefly about his experience with a Mercury OptiMax outboard, but the particular model year, horsepower, etc., have not been mentioned.
jimh posted 07-14-2002 10:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
As mentioned above, an unspecified model year and horsepower Mercury Optimax engine was reported to have failed after 20 hours.

I have a 26-year old Mercury engine that functions perfectly has required no major service or rebuilds.

From these two anectodal reports you can draw these inferences:

--Mercury outboards will work flawlessly for 26-years, or

--Mercury outboards will fail after 20 hours.

Either conclusion is equally supported by the evidence that has been presented.

The validity of either of these conclusions is not made greater by reciting them over and over again.

Clark Roberts posted 07-14-2002 01:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
I put 2170hrs on a 1995-96 Merc 90hp (ran it on three separate boats) and it never missed a beat not even once and was NEVER in the shop! I sold it and replaced with a 135 Optimax on which I put almost 400hrs (never missed a beat and never in shop except for computer diagnostic each 100 hrs and never an error code... I am running a 115 Merc EFI 4 stroker (merc rated 3 star and yAmaha's 115 rated at 2 star EPA)... Does the 2170hr 90hp prove/suggest that Mercs are indestructable/better than any other brand? Certainly not! BTW I bought a brand new/in the box Yamaha pro-50 in 1990 and put it on my 15 Whaler and it siezed a piston (middle one) in about 30hrs. G&G Marine in Oak Hill rebuilt it under warranty and it gave good service after... does this prove that a Yamaha is inferior... no! Couldn't resist reply... TRAFFICL
Clark Roberts posted 07-14-2002 01:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Oppps, hit key too soon... Happy Whalin'.. Clark .. Spurce Creek Navy
bsmotril posted 07-14-2002 04:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
On my pair of 1998 135 optis, it takes a good 15 seconds or so to get water out the telltale hole. This is with brand new impellers installed last month. Your WOT should be 5600 rpm at which point the rev limiter will kick in. Your dealer can dump the motor's memory and tell you how much time it spent at each rpm range (1K increments), the number of seconds it ran overheated, the number or times it bumped the rev limiter, and total time run. With the correct prop, you should see RPMs in the 5000-5600 range. 300 hours so far on a pair of 1998 135's with no problems.
TRAFFICLAWYER posted 07-14-2002 07:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    

With the specificity you desire, my personal experience with the 1998 OPTIMAX 135 HP should not be construed under any circumstance to be a condemnation of the MERC product line. [I'm aware of your sensitivity on this issue]
Im glad to hear about your 26 year old MERC engine still performing, I also have an 18 year old Briggs & Stratton 3.5 h.p. on my TORO which performs flawlessly, SO WHAT!
The post inquired as to Optimax 1998 135, I HAD one and speak from firsthand knowledge you did'nt!.

TRAFFICLAWYER posted 07-14-2002 07:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    
I was neglectful to mention I also HAD the 1998 Ventura, Since I did not have a good experience with my specific product, I'll spare all you Whaler commandos the negativity you may perceive.

However, the 2001 21' Ventura is the BEST Whaler product I have ever purchased
and with 110 hours on the motor, boat performs FLAWLESSLY!!!

Drydock posted 07-15-2002 12:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for Drydock  Send Email to Drydock     
Thanks so much for all the info. Good or Bad I've got a "Post Classic" Whaler and a 135 Merc Optimax. I don't want to get rid of either. I wish to take care of them both and make them last as long as possible whether that be 300 or 3000hrs.
I really appreciate the feed back. Let me know if my posts are not in the correct topic. I'll let everyone know if I have any bad experiences with either boat or propulsion that are not due to my own stupidity.

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