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Old 01 December 2021, 09:14   #1
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New outboard - mariner or suzuki

Hi all, I'm about to repower an old speedboat with a 120 Johnson V4 on the back. I'm getting conflicting advice about what brands/models to go for...wondered if I could take the temperature of Rib.net on the question. I've been offered a 2005 Optimax 115 for £3,500 which seems a fair deal at the moment...but then another mechanic (who I trust) said that I shouldn't touch anything Mariner with a barge pole...he reckons I should wait for a good suzuki or yamaha to come up - probably at a higher price.

Any wisdom?

Thanks!
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Old 01 December 2021, 09:32   #2
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I've heard optimax referred to as optibombs but I've no personal experience. I'd probably agree with your engineer any yamaha 2 or 4 stroke but probably not an hpdi or Suzuki 4 stroke (definitely not a 2stroke suzuki). At that price point your looking at an older engine so any could be a gamble with any make

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Old 01 December 2021, 15:13   #3
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Originally Posted by searider12 View Post
Hi all, I'm about to repower an old speedboat with a 120 Johnson V4 on the back. I'm getting conflicting advice about what brands/models to go for...wondered if I could take the temperature of Rib.net on the question. I've been offered a 2005 Optimax 115 for £3,500 which seems a fair deal at the moment...but then another mechanic (who I trust) said that I shouldn't touch anything Mariner with a barge pole...he reckons I should wait for a good suzuki or yamaha to come up - probably at a higher price.



Any wisdom?



Thanks!
He's right. Yamaha or Suzuki all day long
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Old 02 December 2021, 13:16   #4
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I was in a 3C boat that ran a 200 optimax for a couple of seasons, plus had my own for a while. They were fine, but I also felt inferior to the Evinrude etec design. The V6 had a bracket that failed on the compressor - which wasn't a catastrophic failure & later motors resolved anyway.

Mariner has been mercury for many years. In terms of spares availability and dealer network, they are spot on. So I'd be happy with pretty much any merc/mariner or yamaha. I'd body swerve the Suzi though. Nothing wrong with them, but spares availability and number sold new (which equals old motors being broken for spares now - e.g. if you needed a gear case) starts to become an issue.

But when it comes down to used stuff, age, condition & hours are generally more important than brand.
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Old 02 December 2021, 17:08   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt View Post
I was in a 3C boat that ran a 200 optimax for a couple of seasons, plus had my own for a while. They were fine, but I also felt inferior to the Evinrude etec design. The V6 had a bracket that failed on the compressor - which wasn't a catastrophic failure & later motors resolved anyway.

Mariner has been mercury for many years. In terms of spares availability and dealer network, they are spot on. So I'd be happy with pretty much any merc/mariner or yamaha. I'd body swerve the Suzi though. Nothing wrong with them, but spares availability and number sold new (which equals old motors being broken for spares now - e.g. if you needed a gear case) starts to become an issue.

But when it comes down to used stuff, age, condition & hours are generally more important than brand.
Kind of a weird way to look at things, you say the optimax felt inferior to the evinrude & yet suggest to give the Suzuki a miss when Suzuki made the entire 4 stroke range for Evinrude. Evinrude went to the wall & Suzuki still going strong.


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Old 02 December 2021, 17:19   #6
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Thanks for the compliment

I liked the etec design, it was good. I know nothing about the ‘rude 4 strokes
If I was buying a new outboard tomorrow, I’d buy merc or Yamaha, even tohatsu if looking at smaller sizes, depending on the specifics of my requirement. And if I was buying a performance inboard, merc all the way.
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Old 02 December 2021, 17:36   #7
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Thanks for the compliment

I liked the etec design, it was good. I know nothing about the ‘rude 4 strokes
If I was buying a new outboard tomorrow, I’d buy merc or Yamaha, even tohatsu if looking at smaller sizes, depending on the specifics of my requirement. And if I was buying a performance inboard, merc all the way.
If you know nothing about the evinrude 4 strokes then you know nothing of Suzuki as they are one & the same so why advise against something you know nothing about?


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Old 02 December 2021, 17:47   #8
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Bit grumpy today are we?
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Old 02 December 2021, 18:03   #9
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Bit grumpy today are we?
Not grumpy just dont understand why you'd say avoid a particular make then freely admit you know nothing about them.

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Old 02 December 2021, 19:57   #10
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My vote's for the Optimax. You can get them secondhand and it might not make sense financially to re-power an old boat with a new engine. No personal experience but can't be that bad.
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Old 03 December 2021, 05:16   #11
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I like the etec design - but am not proposing it for the reason you note. In fact, I think it was the direct injection technology that original bankrupted OMC? It was Ficht back then (Or Fitch as all the americans called it), and it wasn't really ready for market when they released it - but were a bit on their knees by then and had to get it out the door. In fact, one rumour I've heard is that a lot of the old OMC guys that moved to bombardier were coming up to retirement soon and so part of the reason bombardier pulled the plug is they had a declining workforce and didn't feel it was worth investing in the next generation. That's not published though, but just a story I heard from a friend in the industry - and to be taken with a large pinch of salt..

The OP is looking at a 16 year old outboard, so number of motors sold originally, dealer network/locality and aftermarket spares all count much more. Arguably, OP should buy whatever his preferred local dealer is best able to support.

I nearly suggested the honda 115s as well, but couldn't quite remember if it was the 115 or 150 they used to run on the honda race class using the Extreme/Ring 21 hulls - a lot of them ended up wet. (ETA - it was the 150). IIRC Honda were very early on the 4-stroke engines - weren't they the dominant 4-stroke engine in the mid noughties? I certainly don't recall seeing many other 4-strokes from other companies out and about at the time, although I know they were making them.

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Not grumpy just dont understand why you'd say avoid a particular make then freely admit you know nothing about them.

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Old 03 December 2021, 05:29   #12
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I think it was the direct injection technology that original bankrupted OMC?
Can't blame the technology. Bad corporate decisions and a competitor-led market killed etec. Must have been some fat brown envelopes passing around.
The Fall of Evinrude Outboards: Innovation, Strategy and Failure
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Old 03 December 2021, 05:36   #13
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That article is talking about the evinrude shutdown by BRP now? I was referring, in this line, back to when OMC were developing the (what was to become etec) ficht technology for the 2-strokes.

Re the shutdown now - I still think it's a shame, even if it's just because I'm a bit nostalgic aboujth johnson & evinrude. Also felt inevitable though. Higher in the hp market, merc have all angles so amazingly well sewn up and in the small to midsize market, there are so many other juggernauts of companies in that space.
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Old 03 December 2021, 05:56   #14
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BTW, just reading that full article now. It's quite interesting.
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Old 03 December 2021, 08:04   #15
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Thanks everyone. I've since spoken to the various guys in Mid-Wales where we'd keep the boat and all have been uneasy about the Optimax...so decided to give it a miss. Will wait on a Japanese engine that I can afford...guess I may be waiting a while!
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