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Kennneee

Outboard advice

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Hi Guys,

 I am about to pull the trigger on an outboard for my OB 26 and would love any input.  My knowledge of modern outboards is pretty limited and I am sure most of know more than I do about this subject.
Long story short, my choices have come down to a Suzuki 90 or either of 2 Yamahas. Yamaha has a standard 90 and a brand new 90VMAX SHO which is supposed to have more punch that the standard model.  I am leaning towards the Yamana 90 VMAX SHO and would welcome any input.  Fuel economy, quiet and reliability are pretty important considerations for me.  I had a dealer give me a great price on the VMAX which is only a few hundred bucks more than the standard model. The VMAX weighs the same as the standard model.
Thanks in advance.

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I would think you would be good with any of the engines on your radar.   I have been a fan of yamaha for years.   A friend of mine got a 40 2s on his 13' whaler when I was a kid and he blew the rest of us away on speed.  It was also very dependable.  Later I put the same engine on my little whaler and it's been 23 years of excellence.  I have spent some time on boats with newer 4s models and they generally perform quite well, with the exception of the 225 corrosion issues and the 350 fly wheel debacle.

 

On the suzuki side, my dad had a 90's vintage 40.  It was an enormous POS.  Fast forward to spring of 2016, we ended up repowering his boat with a suzuki 250 and it's been a fantastic engine.  Quiet, smooth, powerful, trouble free, economical.  I think it gets 3.4 MPG at 35 MPH, give or take.

 

Most of the time the most popular engine in a region will be the line best supported.  If you feel you need a high touch ownership experience then go for the product with the best support.  If you can handle just about everything that comes up, except warranty work, go with the best value.  Of course, I like speed so I would go with the SHO or an E-Tec. OK, or the suzuki.

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A Yamaha has been on back of every boat that I have owned and the ones my father owed when I was growing up. If I was buy a new motor, those are the two brands that I would be looking at as well. Service as stated above is very important, well supported brands in your area are paramount. I have seen Yamaha's on the back of boats from Singapore, to Mexico and Africa in my travels as a commercial mariner - they seem to be the global standard for reliability. Unless the Zuke is substantially cheaper, I would vote for a Yammy.  

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The motor on my Bluejacket 24 foot cruiser is a Yamaha and it has been good for 18 years now.  Builders of Bluejackets have used Yamaha, Suzuki, Etech and Mercury four strokes and all are proving to be very reliable and mostly equal.  My recommendation is to get the one from a nearby reliable dealer.  You will need some lever of routine or other service at some time and it is far easier and probably better to trail the boat to a dealer close by that you have history with.

 

 

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Awhile back  I owned a marine towing/salvage company in Key West. In nine years we never towed in a boat with a Yamaha on it...

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HI Guys- Thanks for the input.  I am pretty sure I will go with a Yamaha at this point.  I was surprised to find out that I can get the Yamaha for less than the Suzuki.  That is a reversal from the pricing last year.  So here is the remaining question that In am hoping you can guide me on. The choice between the standard 90 and the VMAX.  I have asked the salespeople how that VMAX would compare but they don't seem to know.  The price difference is only about $300.  If the VMAX has more grunt without a big penalty in fuel economy then it is a no brainier.  Top speed is not a bit deal to me but having enough power in headwinds and chop makes sense.  Maybe Tom can chime in on how his Bluejacket 28 responds with a 90 since the displacement is not that different that the OB26. 

Ken

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Ken,

 

Comparing the specs on the two engines, they are identical except that the VMax has a bigger gear ratio and 4 valves per cylinder instead of two. Because you will be pushing a big heavy boat compared to say a bass boat, the taller gear will allow you to have a bigger prop which would be more efficient in your performance range. As you will mostly be operating at around 3500 - 4500 rpm you may not notice the difference with the two extra valves per cylinder.

 

Both motors will do the job well but if the price difference is not too great I would want the bigger gear.

 

As this is a new motor and therefore has no reliability history yet, you will have to trust Yamaha's reputation and their three year warranty. They do have some history with the VMax in the bigger range so I guess that they have it sorted out so you should be good.

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The Suzuki 90 has a gear ratio of 2.59 versus the Yamaha that has a 2.33 gear. Your Suzuki can use at the least a 14 x 17 wheel,  The weight of the 90 Suzuki is 341 versus the Yamaha is 353 20 shaft and 362 for the 25" shaft.  Its important that you have  a dealer close by with a good service department. This way they have parts for general maintenance bits.

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I chose the Bigfoot with the higher gear ratio for my boat as hedge for pushing a larger boat at lower than bass boat speeds.  Because my boat turned out to be easy to push, that was not really necessary but I don't see a downside at speeds up to the mid 20's.  At normal cruising speed of 12 to 18 mph, I think a big foot is likely the better choice.  At higher speed, the big foot would undoubtedly have more drag because of the larger cross section of the gearbox.  I think the standard Yamaha 90 has plenty thrust at any speed and condition for your boat.  A standard Yamaha 70 is more than adequate for the BJ25.5.

 

Graham's 26 has quite a bit more waterline beam (~12%) than a BJ of comparable LOA, so it may require as much power as the BJ28 for the same speed.  While this is just an educated guess, it fits the data.  Homebuilt boats are very often heavier than the designer intended and that factors in to power required.  You don't actually know how a particular boat/motor will perform until a speed/RPM curve is made.  That will also establish which available prop is best for the boat or whether a prop shop can improve things with a bit of pitch or cupping modification.  Experience with a type is also useful and Graham may be able to help with that.

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A little late but my 2 cents worth.

 

For the approx 100 hours I have put on my Yamaha 60 HP on my Marissa 18 'Salty' it has been very satisfactory.  I have had zero problems. Nice smooth quiet power.

 

 

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