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Old 01-23-2010, 06:12 AM
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Default Optimax 250 or E-tec 250 ?

OK guys, I know this has seen some debate, but I have decided to narrow down the playing field a bit ....I have a 22 ft C.C. that weighs 2500 lbs empty ....The hull is very much like a 23 ft SeaCraft hull ....Deep V, same deadrise , etc .... Right now I have an older 225 3.0 Merc motor ( mid 90's ) on it that GUZZLES fuel ....The controls and guages are not all that fancy and they are somewhat dated , so I don't mind going for new controls and gauges .... Fuel consumption and dependability are NUMBER ONE !!!......I say this because I would like to be able to go out a few miles with this boat and fish for Tuna .....I will be ripping this boat apart and checking out the entire boat for any problems ....The 115 gal fuel tank will be pulled, cleaned, and pressure checked and new fuel lines that hopefully Ethanol can't eat ( NASTY CRAP )can't eat, and will probably rewire the boat since I'm basically gutting the boat ... I would like comments on these 2 companies motors only as they are the only 2 strokes light enough to run properly on this boat, and I don't really want to deal with Yamaha 250 HPDI's as the threads that I have read leave them too temperamental ... I dont want to run a stern heavy boat ....The guys I fish with weigh enough to burden this boat already ... Tell me which motor you would choose and why ....Good motor Electronics weigh's heavy too in my decision !!..... If I"m going to do it , I want to do it right .... Thanks for your time ....Jim

After looking at the specs on thiese motors, I am now including the 225 HP models also for fuel consumption issues ....Thanks,

Last edited by synthnut; 01-23-2010 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 01-23-2010, 06:40 AM
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They are both excellent choices although I would go for the Honda 225HP myself
Are you not concerned about using a single engine going out offshore for Tuna fishing?
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Old 01-23-2010, 06:47 AM
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Synthnut

I own an 2006 E-Tec 225 which is carried on a Sea Hunt Escape 220, which weighs about the same as your boat and is 22'. I will tell you the motor is very well suited for this boat, it planes quick quickly and, here at 5,000'+ altitude, we have had it as fast as 48.6 mph on a GPS. We went to Lake Powell the second year we had the boat and checked the MPG on a 120 trip and got over 3 MPG at cruising speed of around 34-38 with RPMs around 3,800 to 4,000. We had some small problem with the motor the first year when it apparently was stuck in weatherizing mode the whole summer and used a bunch, as can be imagined, of oil and caused the motor to "pause" once in a while. Once we got that problem rectified, the motor has been very good for us. Starts on one crank and runs very well and no smoke, since I got the over-oiling problem fixed.

Good luck with your search, I believe both motors are good motors and you would be satisfied with either one of them.
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Old 01-23-2010, 06:54 AM
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The Etec wins on smoothness, quietness, low fuel consumption trolling, and routine shop service required only every 3 years. That said, it sounds like you are building a utility type hard core fishing machine so those advantages may not overriding. They are both fine motors backed up by good companies so buy whichever is cheapest and has the best extended warranty offer.
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Old 01-23-2010, 07:24 AM
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Opti wins on service and parts/oil availability. Especially important if you travel with your boat. Other than that it is the deal on the table, warranty, and dealer you feel more comfortable serving your boat.
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Old 01-23-2010, 08:14 AM
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If high fuel efficiency is very important to you, I would argue that the Opti is the most fuel efficient motor in that power range on the market, 2 or 4 stroke. Every 2 stroke independent comparison test I have seen shows the Opti to be the most efficient, followed by the HPDI, and lastly the Etec. I'm not talking about huge deviations in the data, but clearly the Opti was the most efficient.

The Etec will have a much lower noise level at idle than the Opti. You will hear the air compressor running at idle on the Optis. However, once you’re up and running there isn't much difference in the noise level between the two.

They are both good motors and with minor differences. The choice in power really boils down to which brand/dealer will provide the best available service in your area.
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Old 01-23-2010, 08:26 AM
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Thanks for the input guys .....How about the electronic features ? ....Gauges, connectivity, options, etc ....Smartcraft ? .....E-tec's Gauges ? ......Thanks, Jim

Alman,
There's a good possibility that there will be other boats around when I go for Tuna .....I will also have SeaTow or some other service .... I have been out in much smaller boats than this one with a single on it , and not worried ....Pick the right day, and make sure that the boat can move at a good clip to get back to shore should problems pop up .... If its a matter of twins or don't Tuna fish, and make sure your single is running the best it can and go Tuna fishing , I will opt for the single and running good option ... I would say that when I'm out in various area's in the N.E. , I see just as many singles out there as I do twins .... Jim

If we're talking heavier 4 strokes , the Honda 225 would have been included in the mix, but I am looking at lighter 2 strokes ....

Last edited by synthnut; 01-23-2010 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 01-23-2010, 08:45 AM
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I think they would both be great motors. I have Opti 250's and a friend who has Etec 250's. He had some problems with his Etecs for the first year or so (lower units, one motor wouldn't idle, etc) but his motors were early model Etecs and he seems to be having good luck since they got those problems straightened out.

Don't really think you will notice much if any difference in mpg betwen 225 and 250s in these motors.

One thing the Optis have going for them are the SmartCraft gauges. Nothing else out there that compares IMO.

Here are some real world numbers on my Optis. My boat is 28' and weighs in at 9660 lbs on the trailer with 185 gals of fuel, and I have twins, so take that into effect.

With full fishing load and 4-5 men I can cruise 50 mph (4300 RPM) and get 1.6-1.8 mpg depending on sea conditions, load, tabs and trim. We usually carry 600-900 lbs of ice.

Running in a river with about 25% or less tabs, 4 adults and full fuel these are the numbers I recorded.

RPM………………….MPG………………..MPH
3000…………………..2.3…………………….29.5
3500…………………..2.3…………………….40.5
4000…………………..2.1………………….…45.7
4100…………………..2.0…………………...47.3
4500…………………..1.8…………………….51.4
5000…………………..1.5………………….…56.5
5500…………………..1.2…………………....63.1

Take these numbers and ignore the speed part (you won't be able to run 24" props like me). Double the mpg at RPM, apply that to what you know about your boat and how it runs now at a given RPM and you should be close.
Doubt that the real world differences in fuel economy between the Optis and Etecs would be noticeable. I would say that the Optis have the advantage due to the SmartCraft gauges, but that would be the only real big difference I could think of. Also, if you go Optis, make sure you get a Gen II control set and cables. Much smoother operation than the old ones.

Also, Merc was offering free, full factory, 5 yr warranty a while back. Might be worth checking into.

Bottom line: Don't think fuel economy is going to be the deciding factor between Etecs and Optis.
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:07 AM
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B.I.B.,
Thanks for your reply .....Those are some good numbers on a much larger boat than mine ...If I can see somewhere between 3-4 mpg at cruise I would be happy .... I'm lucky to see 1 mpg now ..... Doing a test one day, I could watch a large Parkay Margerine container get drained with my motor idling !!...

So Smartcraft really is that much better than I-Command ? ....Thanks, Jim
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:16 AM
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I say Opti wins here b/c they'll still be in business 6 months from now..
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:42 AM
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I say Opti wins here b/c they'll still be in business 6 months from now..
lol

i vote opti
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:16 AM
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I'm sure the Etecs are great, but from an availabilty of service and longevity of company perpective, I would give Optmax the edge. By the way I have been very happy with my 225 Optis!
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:48 AM
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I would take the white one in this tough battle, not a fan of anything produced by the Merc folks. Blowing up two merc 200hp motors 20 years ago sticks in my mind.

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I say Opti wins here b/c they'll still be in business 6 months from now..
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:04 PM
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B.I.B.,
Thanks for your reply .....Those are some good numbers on a much larger boat than mine ...If I can see somewhere between 3-4 mpg at cruise I would be happy .... I'm lucky to see 1 mpg now ..... Doing a test one day, I could watch a large Parkay Margerine container get drained with my motor idling !!...

So Smartcraft really is that much better than I-Command ? ....Thanks, Jim
My friend has those guages w/ his Etecs. Not impressed... at least not over my experience w/ smartcraft.

The Optis do EXTREMELY well at idle and low rpm on fuel consumption. I made the mistake of mixing up seafoam in 1 gallon of gas per motor and attempting to run it thru my motors in the driveway. BAD mistake. Ran the idle up as high as I could (the optis have a high rpm alarm in neutral at about 1300 rpm) and I spent hours and hours and hours out there tryig to burn those 2 gallons of gas. I finally gave up and just poured it into the gas tank.

Just guessing (I used to have a 21 Mako w/ a carbed 225 w/ 17" prop) and I would ge somewhere around 1.5-2 mpg on good days. Would think you should see somewhere around 3-4 mpg if you can run at least a 19" prop on your boat. But that's just a guess. my mpg numbers came from a floscan and gps speed calculating in my head. The floscan didn't even come close to being as accurate as the Smartcrft gauges on this boat.

The gas saved will NEVER pay for the investment of a new motor but the increase in range is significant.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:07 PM
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I have owned both; the Optimaxes broke down every one of the 6 years I ran them. They were much louder than the E-TEC's, Mercury gave me terrible support.

My E-TEC's are pretty new and only have 200 hours on them. They are as quiet as a Yamaha F-250 and have never broken down. I did cause a problem once (my big stereo) for them BRP gave me great service.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:53 PM
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Your stereo caused a problem? Anyway no doubt the Etec is quieter then the Optimax, but think that it is a stretch to say it as quiet as Any V6 4 Stroke.


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I have owned both; the Optimaxes broke down every one of the 6 years I ran them. They were much louder than the E-TEC's, Mercury gave me terrible support.

My E-TEC's are pretty new and only have 200 hours on them. They are as quiet as a Yamaha F-250 and have never broken down. I did cause a problem once (my big stereo) for them BRP gave me great service.
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:42 PM
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Thanks again for the info guys .... I appreciate it ...I think that the newer Mercs are a bit better than the older ones.....I would hope that they have learned from their past , and have built a better motor .... Longevity speaks volumes also ....

B.I. B. ,
I'm not really looking for the fuel efficiency to pay me back , but would like to see the range improve in case I get into trouble out at sea .... You mention "on a good day" ...... I rarely see any water that is not at least 2 ft chop and that is VERY rare !!....Most days are pretty calm in the a.m. , but the same waters by afternoon is a very tight 2-3 ft chop .... With a single motor and bad conditions that jump right up on a moments notice , I may have to ride the throttle a little more than normal under those conditions .... Knowing that I will have enough fuel to make it in is a comforting thought ... Knowing now that the Smartcraft gauges are pretty accurate means a lot .... I'm not expecting dead on accuracy, but in a 115 gal tank, I'd like to see accuracy within 15-20 % on the fuel ...If I can't get that , I might as well use a wooden stick !!!.... My C.C. has an 8.6 beam, and it's 22.6 ft long .... Not sure what your Mako was , but I'm thinking 8 ft beam for some reason ..I'm not sure about my motor , but the cowling says 225 Racing on it ....It's a torquey motor and has some power for a 225, but drinks more than I use to and that's saying something !!! ...... Thanks again , Jim
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:51 PM
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Get the opti. You end up using the foot off the etec for an anchor.
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:06 PM
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Wow.. Where are the Etec guys, what is the reason for your disdain for them?

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Get the opti. You end up using the foot off the etec for an anchor.
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:14 PM
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Wow.. Where are the Etec guys, what is the reason for your disdain for them?
lol Its an outboard. They are all good.Find a servicing dealer you trust and buy their brand. I have owned 4 e-tecs and no issues.
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