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Old 01 April 2004, 17:51   #1
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Country: USA
Town: Los Angeles
Make: Custom Catamaran
Length: 9
Engine: Twin Merc Optimax 225
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8
Engine dilema - repair or replace?

My boat currently has twin 1999 Mercury Optimax 225hp 2-strokes, one of the engines has seized + a host of other problems, the other is in decent shape but 840 hours on it. My dilema is what to do next.

option #1 rebuild Stbd Engine, with remanufactured powerhead, parts, labor about US$10-11,000 (1 year warranty on new powerhead.)

option #2 buy new 2004 Optimax 225, about $14K (on the internet) (they have special right now with 5 year Merc warranty, instead of the normal 2)

option #3 buy 2 new 140/150hp 4-strokes (suzuki/yam), about $17-20K?? - 6K for sale of 2nd opti

option #4 buy 2 new 200-225hp 4-strokes, about $28K - 6K for sale of 2nd opti.

I charter this boat out through a local charter outfit, so reliability is very important. The local mercury guy reportedly does good work and says that option #1 will give me a very reliable engine.

option #2 will leave me with one new and one old engine, do I care? He says that if well maintained the Optimax can easily go 1500-2000 hours, so my second engine should last a while. I've only had the boat for 3 months, so don't have a good idea of how many hours a year it will get used.

He thinks I could probably get $6K for the good engine, so it brings option #3 price to be about the same as option #2. Anyone have any clue how my top speed will change. I never thought of myself as a speed daemon, but when it's flat and you want to get somewhere, it suuuure is nice. Top speed is now a little under 60mph.

I don't have cash burning a hole in my pocket, but don't want to be penny wise and pound foolish. I've already lost charter income for the local whale watching season due to this problem.

Thanks so much for any advice!!!

Mark
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Old 01 April 2004, 18:08   #2
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Country: UK - England
Town: Midlands
Make: Nautique
Length: 6m +
Engine: PCM 5.7l
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,082
Have you priced up a pair of Mercury Verrado's?
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Old 01 April 2004, 18:42   #3
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Country: USA
Town: Los Angeles
Make: Custom Catamaran
Length: 9
Engine: Twin Merc Optimax 225
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8
Have not looked at the verado's....they didn't show up on any of the internet dealer's websites. Too new I guess. A press release I found online quoted around US$18K for a 200hp. Given Merc's reliability problems with the optimax, I don't know why I wouldn't get a Yamaha or Suzuki. Also, a couple dealers I talked to said that Merc is now telling dealers they can't sell across state lines. Which means you end up paying MSRP + sales tax. Shipping from across the country is a lot cheaper than california's 8.25% sales tax. I'm not a fan of campanies that try to restrict competition. Boating is expensive enough already.
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