The hunt for a replacement engine didnít go well. I wanted more power and a much newer engine and reliability is a must. I looked at the few used suitable engines around and decided on a new Tohatsu or Honda 90. Just before I ordered, the new Merc range was released offering a lighter option than the Honda and more sophistication than the Tohatsu. As the Merc 115 was the same weight as the 75 and 90, I though, bugger it, the hull is rated to 120, why not!
It is BIG! It dwarfs the old 75. It is, however, only as heavy as the 75, aux 4.5 and bracket. The aux wonít fit any more so the transom load is the same.
I opted for the Smartcraft upgrade which, after some fitting queries (see my other posts) is now fully working and, although still big, looks good. It tilts with about 5mm free space under the a-frame. The gauges look great and negate the need for separate trim and fuel gauges.
The down side to smartcraft is the mass of wiring in the console. There is tonnes of it with meters of spare harness coiled up in there. Thankfully itís a big space so there is still plenty of storage in the upper and lower compartments.
With the new engine came new baystar steering. That was a doddle to fit. I also re-did the electronics with a new lowrance link 8 vhf and Garmin Echomap 50dv. Hopefully these will play nice and the AIS targets will display on the plotter. I can only check that when I get out on the sea.
I also added a compass and a nice stainless bar to stop sun glasses and other stuff falling off the top of the console. All in all Iím pleased with the look and layout.