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Old 07-28-2010, 11:43 AM
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Default Is Mercury mariner really Yamaha?

I have a friend with a mariner 25 and we heard that it was really a yamaha. Is there any truth to this.
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Old 07-28-2010, 11:51 AM
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I do believe that the smaller HP 4-stroke Mercuries/Mariners were made by Yamaha. Also, there was a bunch of litigation initiated by Mercury against Yamaha after their marketing agreement ended, however, I don't remember all of the details. Remember, Suzuki made the Johnson 4 stroke line of engines.
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Old 07-28-2010, 11:51 AM
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I know that in the early 2000's before mercury was able to build their own big 4 stroke that they used yamaha's and just painted them black
I believe that mariner is the name brand Brunswick Corp uses for mercury engines outside the US, the gray mariner verados actually look kind of cool
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:15 PM
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I guess, I should add this, its an older 2 stroke.
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:40 PM
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Mariners from the early days late 80s were built by Yamaha... At least that was rumor back then
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Old 07-28-2010, 01:17 PM
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The following is from "The Legend of Mercury" by Jeffrey L. Rodengen (1998), starting at page 158:

In 1972 (a year that proved extraordinarily busy for Mercury), Brunswick bought a minority interest in Yamaha manufacturing. The plan was to diversity distribution in the United States by adding another brand of outboard engine to cover the market. At the time, Mercury and OMC (with Johnson and Evinrude products) each maintained about 30 percent of the market. The second-brand strategy was meant to give Mercury a second bite of the same apple, even though Mariner would in effect be competing against Mercury engines.

According to the terms of the agreement, Mercury provided Yamaha with second-generation blueprints and taught the japanese manufacturer how to build quality engines, including methods to reduce corrosion (and other metallurgical technology). Under the joint venture, Yamaha and Brunswick owned equal shares in a Yamaha subsidiary, Sanshin Kogyo Company, manufacturer of outboard motors. The subsidiary sold all its outboards to Yamaha, which in turn sold the motors to Brunswick, which then marketed the motors under the Mariner name. For Brunswick, the new outboard was called Mariner to offer, according to Reichert, "an image different than that of the high performance image of Mercury, using the idea of the "ancient mariner" of reliability and durability.

. . . . .

. . . . .

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission eventually ruled that the agreement hindered competition, ordering Brunswick to sell its shares to Yamaha to allow the Japanese Company a foothold in the U.S. market. By 1982, Mercury had become the second largest seller of outboards in the United States, prompting the FTC to rule that as a North American competitor, Yamaha (prohibited from selling under its own name under the terms of the agreement) would increase competition and drive down prices.

Ironically, the reverse actually occurred. . .
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Old 07-28-2010, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Afishinado View Post
Mariners from the early days late 80s were built by Yamaha... At least that was rumor back then
Much earlier.
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Old 07-28-2010, 01:59 PM
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Yes I just sold my 13' whaler with a 1983 Mariner 40, it is definitely a Yamaha, says made in Japan and I could not find the water pump under Mariner I had to buy a Yamaha replacement instead.

Great engine still running good, and many parts still available.

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Old 07-28-2010, 02:47 PM
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The Mariners I hung in the mid to late 90s, 150s to 225s, were Merc motors...
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:52 PM
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The Mariners I hung in the mid to late 90s, 150s to 225s, were Merc motors...
If you read my post above, initially all the Mariners were made by Yamaha, but were of lower horsepower. Later, as more models were added in the higher horsepower range, Mercury started using some of its own product. Ultimately Mercury was forced to sell its interest in Yamaha, and after that started using more and more of its own product. The later year big Mariners were all simply re-badged Mercurys. In the late 80's -- early 90's I was part owner of a Mercury dealership. A friend of ours in a neighboring town sold Mariners. The engines and parts were interchangeable.

Incidentally, anyone interested in the history of Mercury should read the following books: "The Legend of Mercury" and "Iron Fist, The Lives of Carl Kiekhaefer" both very well written by Jeffrey L. Rodengen.
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Last edited by kyjd75; 07-28-2010 at 02:58 PM. Reason: sometimes I can't spell!
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:57 PM
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Just like OMC, Johnson/Evinrude. Hung and rigged a pair of Evinrude 150 OceanPros at Wellcraft, block tested them, finished with the boat. Working on the next boat, my boss comes and tells me the buyer wants Johnsons, as he is "long time Johnson guy". If I could have figured out a way to swap out the ID plates, all I would have had to do would have been to swap out the cowlings...had to de-rig, remove and replace, and re-rig...

At least all the harnessing/cableing was the same.
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyjd75 View Post
If you read my post above, initially all the Mariners were made by Yamaha, but were of lower horsepower. Later, as more models were added in the higher horsepower range, Mercury started using some of its own product. Ultimately Mercury was forced to sell its interest in Yamaha, and after that started using more and more of its own product. The later year big Mariners were all simply re-badged Mercurys. In the late 80's -- early 90's I was part owner of a Mercury dealership. A friend of ours in a neighboring town sold Mariners. The engines and parts were interchangeable.

Incidentally, anyone interested in the history of Mercury should read the following books: "The Legend of Mercury" and "Iron Fist, The Lives of Carl Kiekhaefer" both very well written by Jeffrey L. Rodengen.
You are absolutely correct in all you've said.
BTW, being a little bit also involved with Mercury for a while.
When I was spinning wrenches on Mercs, early 60's, the guy who ran the saltwater test base, then in Sarasota, on Siesta Key, prior to Placida, and originated lake X for Mr. Kiekhaefer, and ran it for five years, thought I was about the most big mouthed, no nothing, young punk he had to deal with. Cant imagine why he thought that? But, I got even and married one of his daughters. Mrs. Kiekhaefer gave us a gift that was a gift to her mother when she married. We cherish it today.
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:14 AM
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You are absolutely correct in all you've said.
BTW, being a little bit also involved with Mercury for a while.
When I was spinning wrenches on Mercs, early 60's, the guy who ran the saltwater test base, then in Sarasota, on Siesta Key, prior to Placida, and originated lake X for Mr. Kiekhaefer, and ran it for five years, thought I was about the most big mouthed, no nothing, young punk he had to deal with. Cant imagine why he thought that? But, I got even and married one of his daughters. Mrs. Kiekhaefer gave us a gift that was a gift to her mother when she married. We cherish it today.
Mike, I would love to have lunch with you someday and talk about the "good ole days" of outboard boating!! I've just turned 60, and remember the outboard wars of the 60's and 70's quite well. As a Mercury guy I can also remember being stunned by the Brunswick purchase. Things were a lot simpler then, and I'm not sure some of these young guys on this board can fully appreciate the emotion of being a "Merc guy" back then. Boy did we love our Kiekhafer Mercurys! Yamaha has taken the place of OMC (and I almost hate to admit I own one) but the passion for Mercury will never fade.
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:35 AM
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So if it says made in japan its a yamaha.
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
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So if it says made in japan its a yamaha.
It's widely unknown the shared engineering, and branding, with Mercury and Yamaha.
The 225 four stroke Merc was a Yamaha, painted black, for a little less money. It was a "Mercaha". Mercury if it was black, Yamaha if it was grey.
Many consumers would absolutely not accept that fact. One was grey, one was black. A Mariner was grey, a Mercury was black.
From a legal standpoint, depending on the agreements as to models and model years, built in the U.S or Japan, who cares. Same motor.
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
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So if it says made in japan its a yamaha.
Or maybe a Tohatsu.
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Afishinado View Post
Mariners from the early days late 80s were built by Yamaha... At least that was rumor back then

only smaller hp motors...definately 115 up were mercs
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:21 PM
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My 1986 Mariner 30 hp was a Yamaha, it even had the Yamaha logo cast into the powerhead.
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