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Capt. H (Ret.)

Optimax or 4 Stroke

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Capt. H (Ret.)

I am thinking of buying a new 115hp Mercury for my boat. The boat is a Alumacraft 175 Trophy which is used for fishing and has remote steering. I am looking at the 115 Optimax and the 115 4 stroke. What is your preference and why??

Thanks for your input.

Capt. H

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PerchJerker

On that setup with that size motor I would probably go with a 4-stroke, basically because it's quieter (until you get to 4000 or 4500 rpms). It's a tough choice though and depending on what you want from the motor the Opti might be a better choice.

I've never priced those motors but I assume the Opti is cheaper??

The Opti would have a little more punch out of the hole and a little more on the top end, but would be louder and require seperate oil. Fuel economy is going to be identical or perhaps a touch better in the Opti. The Opti will troll down slower, especially if you go with the SmartCraft Tach that lets you adjust rpms. But even though the edge goes to the Opti in many of these categories, they are very close and if you want the 4-stroke I see no reason not to get it.

I assume you are not going with a 4-stroke kicker motor on the boat, but if you are going with a kicker then I'd definately go with the Opti instead of the 4-stroke 115.

With the boat I have now I was going back and forth between the 175 Opti or Verado, went with the Opti and am very happy with it. One of my friends had a 17 foot Crestliner with a 115 4-stroke and that was a really great setup too, although it trolled too fast so he eventually added a kicker). Good luck.

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Capt. H (Ret.)

I have a 2000 model year 115 on the boat now. It is one of those 2+4 engines that goes from 2 cylinders to 4 depending on rpm's. I think it is too noisy plus I don't care for the extra cylinders kicking in at 2000 rpm's. I bought this motor new and have taken care of it but I think the technology on the newer engines is appealing.

My boat dealer feels the 4 stroke is what I need/want and I trust his recomendations as this will be the 3rd new motor I have purchased from him.

The Opti is about $700 cheaper. I do not have a kicker but looked at them to. The 9.9 Pro Kicker 4 Stroke is about $3,200 installed. I would like to have one of them but the wife is pretty observant and I am sure she would notice the extra motor.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Capt. H

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PerchJerker

The 2+2 motors were great motors but technology has come a long way, either the Opti or the 4-stroke will be a huge step forward.

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Sutty

I was making this same decision a few months ago. I ended up going with a 135 opti. Either way I was going to get a kicker at some point and I wanted to save the weight on the back. So far I like it alot. I don't have many hours on it though.

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JDM

I have a 2006 115 Optimax. I really like the motor. It is quiet. In my opinion, there is not much difference in noise between the Opti and the 4 stroke. The Opti is also good on gas. The extra oil is not really a big deal. It takes about 30 seconds to fill it on every tank of gas. It is also a very easy motor to winterize. The Opti is also lighter than the 4 stroke.

I did end up going with a 17 pitch prop instead of the 19 that came with it. I lost some top end, but my hole shot is much better and my trolling speeds went down.

In reality, you probably would love either motor.

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Tim Ellis

I agree with JDM. I have an '06 optimax 115 and love it! No smoke and great on gas. Also i have a kicker so the lighter weight than the 4 stroke helps out too.

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