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Old 12-31-2004, 12:02 PM
Bruce H Bruce H is offline
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Location: Marion, MA
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New Power For 2005; Ideas Thoughts

Best Wishes For A Prosperous New Year To All Reel Timers. I am planning to repower my blown 200 HP Evinrude on my 24' Robalo and would like to hear your thoughts and or opinions 4 vs. 2 stroke Far East vs. US

Current thoughts are two stroke evinrude 200-225 HP But there's this little voice in my head that screams yahmmie yahmmie. Seems to be alot of mercury's in the magazine pages, and at the shows on boats I still remember always waiting for someone to tow me in with my broken 7.5 HP merc

I know there is never any real deals financially when it comes engines either I just have to get back out there on the water It's killing me......

Please help


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Old 12-31-2004, 12:43 PM
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Soundking Soundking is offline
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Well, you definately have plenty of choices. I have worked with four stroke hondas for the past six years on my Dad's boat from time to time, and have not had a massive problem with them yet, certainly little things have gone wrong but nothing big. He likes them a lot, and they certianly are very very quiet...very usefull for fishing tuna and skinny water. I have heard good things about the suzuki four strokes, they used to have (not sure if it's different now) the best warantee on the market, so that is saying something. I know a few guys who put a lot of hours on those engines and they seem to be fairly pleased with them.

I have a mecury opti-max on my boat and it has not given me on problem yet in five years of hard use. I love this engine, it has great torque for the hole shot and has fairly good fuel economy around 4k rpm. It does roar like a merc, but then again what 2-stroke doesn't? Mercury has gotten a lot better in years past with their salt water engines. I love my opti, great engine and it definately has paid for itself with the greater fuel economy over the mid-level EFI's on the market over the past five years. I have heard a lot about the new Verados, and look foreward to working the Boston show so I can check them out in person. They look like a pretty sweet machine.

I will never own an evenrude as long as I own a boat. I have heard horror stories about those engines (like shot powerheads everytime the engine runs at 2500 rpm for more than an hour) and I refuse to like Bombardier. But then again, there are guys who fish those evenrudes all the time and never have a problem. I know a few guys who fish just as much and as long as I do with Evenrudes and love them, but I have never been one to trust anything French.

I would love to own a yamaha, I know a ton of guys who absolutely love their engines and swear by them. If I don't get another deal from Merc next year, my next engine will be without a doubt be a yammi. They definately have the best reputation in the industry, and I hope to own one someday.
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Old 12-31-2004, 01:38 PM
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Bob Parsons Bob Parsons is offline
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I have the evinrude etec 90hp. Has the power and weight of a two stroke and the quiet and fuel economy of a four stroke. I put about 200 hrs on it this summer and it worked like a charm (it did have a short in wiring harness which they replace when I first got it). They now have etecs in the 200 and 225 hp models.
If at first you do not succeed-sky diving is not the sport for you.

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Old 12-31-2004, 02:40 PM
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SageBoy SageBoy is offline
Never say never....
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Location: MA
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The beauty of opinions....everybody has one.

For me it would be a Verado. I currently have a Merc 125 Saltwater and love it. As mentioned the Mercs have come allong way.

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Old 12-31-2004, 03:26 PM
riptide riptide is offline
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Something you need to think about is re-rigging. Add $1-2000 to the job minimum if you change brands. Verado will add at least double that since they use the fly by wire setup.

I'd stay with Rude, the new E-Tec seems to be bug free and even the Fitch's are rock solid. Right now they are the best 2 stroke plant going.

4 stokes gained allot of popularity do to the hype when they came out. The guys that swapped from old carbed 2 strokes made big gains and helped fuel the fire for 4 strokes. They are the ones that will tell you NEVER AGAIN WILL I USE A 2 STROKE! Most have never used a new DFI 2 stroke since they were introduced about the same time the 4 bangers came out.

Side by side Top of the line 2 stroke (E-Tech or Fitch) against Top of the line 4 stroke (Yam, Honda or Zuke) you will find that the 2 stroke will out perform the 4 stroke in nearly every aspect. Before the 4 stroke guys get themselves in a knot these are the facts.

The 2 strokes are MUCH lighter.
They burn minimal oil and don't smoke enough to notice even when trolling.
MPG is within a few % either way depending on rpm that the reading is taken
The 4 stroke will be more quiet at idle than all but the E Tech then it's a draw.
At speed they are all within about 2 db's of each other.
The 4 stroke will set you back several grand more than the 2 stroke up front. There is NO WAY you will make that back in economy over the life of the motor including 2 cycle oil.

These are the facts when dealing with big motors (200-275) This is not the case if your talking about smaller stuff. So please don't post that your 25 hp 4 stroke is lighter than your old 25 hp Johnson 2 stroke and it smokes like hell and makes a ton of noise.

For motors up to 50 hp I think 4 strokes are the better choice.

50-175 most 4 strokes beat most 2 strokes overall, however the E Tech seems to be changing that situation, but the 4 stroke is still a solid option.

200 and over I can't see that the 4 stroke has many advantages at all and in the overall picture can not compete with a top of the line 2 stroke.

OK flame away, and I'll start digging out the spec sheets to back up these claims. (I really need to save them, this topic comes up allot )
Good Luck,

Capt. Terry Nugent
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Old 12-31-2004, 03:49 PM
riptide riptide is offline
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Two-stroke Conventional Wisdom

Everyone in the marine industry and most of its environmental critics are aware that there are now at least four manufacturers of two-cycle outboards with DFI, direct fuel injection: systems that put the fuel directly into the combustion chamber after the intake and exhaust ports close. Such systems eliminate loss of some of the incoming fuel charge out the exhaust ports along with the scavenged products of combustion that occurs with carbureted or EFI manifold injection systems. Nevertheless, conventional wisdom tells most of the critics of the two-cycle engine that it will never be as clean as a four-cycle engine. For this reason they would eventually advocate banning the two-cycle engine from the waterways on environmental protection grounds.

There are even more manufacturers producing four-cycle outboards, including the same manufacturers that make the DFI two-cycle engines. They must seemingly follow down both roads for self preservation, as part of the outboard market is definitely leaning in the four-cycle direction, driven that way by hype, environmental concerns, and certain perceived advantages. We have already considered the ramifications of the increased engine weight for the four-cycles, the potential effect on boat trim, and the possible inability to float the boat level when swamped, as required by federal regulations for outboard boats less than 20-feet long. Then there is also the increased cost and complexity involved with four-cycle power, to be offset by savings realized in fuel consumed and elimination of smoke and oil slicks.

This may be the price of progress, they say. But, is it possible to "have your cake and eat it, too?" Some recent tests run comparing 2002 model two-cycle DFI outboards with four-cycle outboards of equal power rating, mounted on the same boat, would seem to indicate such things are really possible. Comparison tests of two brands of four-cycle 225-hp outboards were made with a current state-of the-art DFI two-cycle 225. On identical 20'7" boats one four-cycle brand produced a best mileage of 4.7 mpg at 27.7 mph while the two-cycle gave a best 4.5 mpg at 28.6 mph. Very close. But, the two-cycle had a top speed of 59.8 mph against 52.4 mph for the four-cycle. At the same 52-mph speed the two-cycle gave better mileage to the tune of 3.2 mpg to 2.7 mpg for the four-cycle. The two-cycle produced better fuel mileage at every speed from 34 mph up and was also better at trolling speeds of 4-7 mph.

When tested against the other 225-hp, four-cycle brand on identical 24' boats, the DFI two-cycle again prevailed overall, delivering a matching best 3.15 mpg at 32 mph. This outran the four-cycle 49.3 to 45.7 mph, getting better mileage (2.58 mpg) at its top speed than the four-cycle (2.44 mpg) at its top speed. It also produced far better mileage in the trolling speed range from 3.5-8 mph.

A third set of tests compared a 135-hp, two-cycle DFI outboard against a 130-hp, four-cycle outboard on identical 20' boats. The two-cycle delivered 4.25 mpg at 20.8 mph against a best 3.97 mpg at 20.4 mph for the four-cycle. Best economy for the two-cycle was achieved at 27.9 mph: 4.45 mpg. It also bested the four-cycle in the 3-8 mph trolling speed range and beat it in top speed 43 mph/3.54 mpg to 37 mph/2.97 mpg.

"Bah, humbug!" you might say. But there are sound engineering internal combustion engine principles for this surprising result. It is true that the typical four-cycle engine may have an inherent advantage in fuel consumed per horsepower. But not when the engine must be designed to produce very high horsepower per cubic inch of displacement at high engine speeds, as it must to achieve even the already heavier weight seen when compared to its two-cycle competitor.

In order to achieve this high-power output, while firing only every other revolution of the crankshaft, the camshaft valve timing must develop considerable overlap between intake and exhaust valve openings and closings, which means it begins to suffer some of the same raw fuel loss out the exhaust problems as the carbureted or manifold injected two-cycle engine. It only has manifold injection, so the fuel and air must mix in the manifold and enter together past the intake valve into the combustion chamber while the exhaust valve is still partly open. The result is Some loss in fuel economy.

Since the four-cycle engine has the same radical valve timing at low engine speeds, it suffers even more when compared to the two-cycle DFI engine at trolling speeds. The only way to fix this problem in the four-cycle engine is to go to direct fuel injection into the combustion chamber after the valves close, like the DFI two-cycle, or have a system providing variable valve timing with engine speed, conservative timing at lower speed and radical timing at higher speed. Such systems are now being developed for future automobile engines. Such things would add complexity, cost and weight, to an already more expensive and heavier product.

Then there is the factor of acceleration from idle to planing speed. On the 241 boat the 225-hp, two-cycle DFI went from zero to 150 feet in 7.06 seconds while the four-cycle took 7.76 seconds. On the 20' boat the 135-hp, two-cycle DFI went zero to 150 feet in 6.2 seconds while the four-cycle took 8.7 seconds for the same distance. Acceleration from zero to 30 mph on the 20'7" boat for the 225-hp two-cycle DFI took 5.77 seconds compared to 10.7 seconds for the 225-hp four cycle. This demonstrates the better low-end torque and fast-rising power curve of the two-cycle, firing every revolution of the crankshaft. The four-cycles are quieter at low engine speeds, but this advantage goes away at the higher engine speeds.

So, the conclusions are that the state of the art two-cycle DFI outboard can match or beat the four-cycle in fuel economy, top speed, and acceleration. What about exhaust emissions, which brought on the whole move to four-cycle outboards in the first place? These two-cycle engines can match or beat the four-cycles there, as well. It matches pretty much with the fuel economy story. The more fuel the engine consumes at a given boat speed, the more exhaust emissions that come out the other end. With precise microprocessor control and direct injection of the fuel into the combustion chamber after the ports close, the two-cycle DFI can better the most stringent exhaust emission requirements now proposed out to 2007. The four-cycle can do no better.

After more than five years of testing and field experience the 2002 two-cycle DFI outboards have been developed to have quality durability, economy and environmental friendliness to match or beat the four-cycles, and at lower weight and cost. Both can exist and be successful in the marine market but no one should sell the two-cycle engine short on its ability to survive and prosper long into the future. It just has too many good things going for it. You might even see it on some future stern drives.

Ralph Lambrecht is an engineer with more than 50 years of experience in the marine industry and marine safety standards development.

Lambrecht, Ralph. 2002. “Two-stroke conventional wisdom.” Boat & Motor Dealer. April. 34-37
Good Luck,

Capt. Terry Nugent
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Old 12-31-2004, 05:13 PM
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Capt.ChrisLembo Capt.ChrisLembo is offline
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An issue to think about is location. If you trailer your boat it is not really an issue. If your marina only services Yamaha then you should stick with that brand for ease of repair. It would suck to invite your buddies out fishing and find out your motor won't start and your marina does not service it so your day is shot. Usually your marina mechanic will make time to do a quick troubleshoot.

If you trailer it is not an issue.

There are two guys running the big etec's down here. One has triple 250's on his Scarab 36 and the other a single 250 on a 25 Sea Vee. Both love the power and economics and are lifelong evinrude customers. I will tell you they are as quiet as my Honda 225 4 strokes at idle.

Verado's are going to cost you a fortune more than anything else. $20,000 to put one on your boat and the engine is the same for 200, 225, 250 or 275. Almost 700 pounds. You can only get the 275 horses out of it if you use 92 octane. It has a digital shift, throttle and steering so it is $3,000 to set that up plus what your install will cost. My shop quotes an even $20,000 plus tax to set one up. It will come in within $200 of that.
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Old 12-31-2004, 05:44 PM
gf2020 gf2020 is offline
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Hands down, the best values for 200 HP re-powering right now are:

2 stroke: Yamaha 200 HPDI

4 stroke: Suzuki/Johnson 200

I certainly wouldn't buy a big-block ETEC or Verado in their first year. The Evinrude 200 FICHT is a great engine, but it's heavier and more expensive than the 200 HPDI.
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Old 01-02-2005, 10:12 AM
Perch Perch is offline
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I have to disagree about the Evinrude Ficht. I had a new 90 hp for three years, and it was horrible. Finally, the lower unit went (nothing I did), and it became junk. (This is after I had paid Doug Russell Marine $450 to “fix” it.) I’ve also had small, two-stroke Evinrudes on my freshwater boats and not liked them very much. I’ve now switched over to Yamahas; and they are far superior. On my ocean boats I had 115-four stroke and now a 150 four-stroke. Both are fantastic. They are so quiet that guys often forgets they’re on and try to start them when they’re running. (It took me a whole season to break myself of this). With the Evinrude I would blow every striper off this bar I fish. With the Yamaha I can hover over them, and the only time they ease away is when they see the boat’s shadow. The Evinrude Ficht was thrust on the market before they had the technology down. It was therefore a marketing disaster. Dealers cringe at the mere mention of this product. Maybe Bombardier can rescue it, but I sure won’t gamble on that.
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Old 01-03-2005, 07:12 AM
jighead jighead is offline
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Either way, stay away from an installation by Atlantic Marine in Wareham. Lousy post-installation warrantee service. :mad:
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Old 01-03-2005, 11:56 AM
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medburd medburd is offline
sleep is OvErAtEd!!
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.02 too.....

I have a carbed merc....and it has a ton of hours on it and it has been fantastic's an 85' 115 inline 6. I do all the work myself andall the scheduled maintanence stuff. I would love to upgrade the old beast and would elect to stick with a Merc for the controls etc would save a few hundred bucks (if not more). Now I would probably go with an Optimax just because of fuel consumption, cause my old merc loves to eat a hole in my wallet when it comes to fuel. Reputation has something to do with it too..the newer opti's seem to be close with the other DFI from evinrude/bombardier/johnson. I have also heard from the rumor mill that the Yami was a little behind technology wise...for fuel economy minded individuals...but still good and reliable with proper maintanence (still way more fuel efficient than the carbed or EFI (throttle body type) two strokes. The four strokes are fuel efficient but as Riptide put it, not as responsive...but it isn't always about the holeshot...or the best I guess the question I'm asking you is..who will maintain the new still can't beat the carbed motors for simplicity & maintanence costs...or cash outlay up front. Dependant on your usage it might take you a while (years) to see the benefit of DFI or relative costing 4 stroke....

My buddy bought a brend new DFI evinrude (ficht motor) this year..after 30 hours on it, the dealer needed to replace the CPU because it had a short in it...from the factory. After that it has been fantastic...and it didn't leave us stranded out on the water wen it was hurting, it went into a limp mode and we got home safely..thank god......and it uses less fuel than my carbed luck..
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Old 01-03-2005, 03:38 PM
north coast north coast is offline
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2nd honda (moved up) many many many many hours NO TROUBLES for what it's worth.
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Old 01-10-2005, 10:12 AM
steve47 steve47 is offline
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Evinrude Ficht

I have a 2000 Evinrude 225 Ficht on a 24 HydraSports with 400 hours on the motor. You've heard enough technical info but I can tell you I am very satisfied with the motor. Good fuel and oil economy, quiet and so far reliable. Dosen't hurt to change the plugs often otherwise low maintiance. I've had good luck with Eagle Marine in Sagamore Beach with this rig and 2 others. The new ETech sounds interesting also.
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Old 01-10-2005, 06:04 PM
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DaleH DaleH is offline
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Originally Posted by Bruce H
I know there is never any real deals financially when it comes engines either, I just have to get back out on the water.
7-year NON-DECLINING warranty on the new Evinrude E-Tecs thru April 2005. That warranty is UNMATCHED in the industry!

Originally Posted by Soundking
Evinrude … have heard horror stories about those engines.
You must be talking about the 1st generation Ficht and that issue was confined to the 150 & 175hp OBs or late 90s vintage.

All other issues were predominantly dealer/setup caused. When DIs first came on the market, techs set them up and timed them like carb’s models … that doesn’t work. Case in point, Pike Marine in Essex sold a ton of Fichts, even the alleged “problem childs” and had only the rare problem, well within industry percentages, because he is skilled and demanding in his setup.

The lower unit issue alluded was caused because OMC stopped all inspection of its Suppliers at the explicit direction of George Soros, who drove a once proud company into the ground.

Originally Posted by Soundking
I have never been one to trust anything French.
For the record, they are 49-49.9999999% American owned and if you must hate the French (I too hate their government) start with George Soros and stop donating money to Move !

Originally Posted by Soundking
My next engine will be without a doubt be a Yammi. They definitely have the best reputation in the industry …
Are you kidding? You mean they used to, but only because Soros dorve OMC down … for a profit in his pocket too, I might add. they made a concious decision to sacrifice quality for quantity when the "empty transoms" appeared over OMC debacle.

Yummiha is losing its reputation very fast over the 250 & 300 HPDI issues and recalls, the many recalls on their V6 4-strokers (another one on their sticking throttle last week), the “dumping” court case, and the many class action lawsuits from those that bought their OBs. People with their problem HPDIs are being treated worse than OMC customers were ... and that's saying something.

Originally Posted by riptide
Side by side Top of the line 2 stroke (E-Tech or Fitch) against Top of the line 4 stroke (Yam, Honda or Zuke) you will find that the 2 stroke will out perform the 4 stroke in nearly every aspect.
Couldn’t have said it better myself!

Most of the guides on the FL Sportsmen Forums running large V6 motors have switched to the big E-Tecs and are singing their praises all day long.

Factiod: When Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute replaced its older 115hp 2-stroke OBs with new Honda 130hp 4-strokers (only because they had budget $$ to spend), the tenders they were put on would no longer get up on plane . These tenders get heavily laden down with supplies and gear ... a load that the lesser HP 2-stroker used to push with somewhat ease, at least it got the boat onto plane.

My choice?
E-Tec or Suzi 4-stroker, but regardless, go by the dealer for their potential/needed service and not by your final “out the door price!” I could not recommend a Verado, too small a powerplant in displacement for the rated hp, IMHO.

For the record, my 3 brothers and I will have these OBs on the water this 2005 season: 225hp Johnson, 2 C-R 150hp Yummies, 130hp Honda 4-stroke, 90hp Evinrude DI 2-stroke, 70hp Johnson , 40hp Evinrude, 15hp Evinrude, 8hp Nissan, 3hp Honda 4-stroke (it's an absolute dog, BTW). I guess we like OBs .

We've never had a powerhead blow and never have had to rebuild or clean out a carb ... in 35+ years of running OBs.
"Life is too short to own an ugly boat ... !"
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Old 01-10-2005, 07:20 PM
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Capt.ChrisLembo Capt.ChrisLembo is offline
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My Marina being a Merc/Evinrude/Johnson dealer has been trying to sell me Merc Opti 225's for my Palmetto 30 for a few months now. I kept telling them of the great economy of my Honda BF225 4 strokes and they always gave me a wisecrack. Last week I had a few days off so I fished a few days on my buddy's Hells Bay 27 powered with two Optimax 225's.

Hells Bay 27 weighs about 4800 pounds loaded with fuel and tackle. The boat ran at 35 MPH at 4200 burning 24 GPH. That is 1.46 MPG. At 4500 RPM it ran at 40 burning 32 GPH that is 1.25 MPG. Seas were calm with a light wind. Boat does have a full tower with controls so there is windage. During the two days we burned 146 gallons of fuel and about 3 gallons of oil. 146 X $2.23 is $325 plus $39 for oil total of $364.

My Palmetto 30 weighs about 9800 fully loaded with fuel and tackle. The boat runs at 32 MPH at 4600 RPM burning 22 GPH That is 1.45 MPG. If I bumpit up to 5000 RPM I burn 30 GPH at 36 MPH. 1.20 MPG. I have run the same distances as our 2 days on the Hell's Bay and have never used over 100 gallons and no oil.

ON my boat the Optimax would not be a good repower since I would need the higher RPM to get the speed I need and they burned more fuel when it jumps over 4200 RPM's. The difference in weight makes me think that the results of optimax on my boat would be horrible compared to the Honda's. The speed difference is small at the same Gas consumption rates for two boats that weigh very different.

I chose to stay with the Honda's. I can only imagine the performance of Honda's on a lighter boat or a small boat with a single. I am off to check on how they run as there is a Sea Vee 29 with 2 225 Honda's. SeaVee 29 is about 5500 or so pounds.
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