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Merc opti vs 4 stroke


Nova

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I have been looking for a new Merc for an 1890 warrior BT and am hearing that the opti is beating the 4 stroke on fuel economy. Does anyone have any input on how the opti is for fuel economy, noise, and back trolling speed? Thanks for the help.

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Nova,

Not sure what size opti you are looking at (assuming a 115 to 135) but i had a 150 and i can say the fuel economy was excellent compared to a regular two stroke but i believe it was just a touch worse than the four stroke. (My buddy has a four stroke yamaha)Now performance wise there is a big difference. The opti wins hands down.My opti with the smartcraft system trolled down to 450 rpms and stayed there all day.The opti is louder or at least mine was at full throttle.At trolling speeds it was quiet but not as quiet as the four stroke.Top end speed? The opti wins here by about 4 to 6 miles an hour over the same size yammie from what i've seen. They both have their advantages its just a matter of what performance characteristics you favor the most.Myself as long as they keep churning out motors like the new evinrude e-tech , i'm hanging on to my 2 strokes as long as i can, unless of course they can get four stroke top end performance on par with the two's.Don't get me wrong i love the four stroke yammies but i like my performance to much to part with two strokes just yet.

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Thanks for the input. I am looking at the 115hp in a tiller. I back troll a ton so quiet and slow is important. Sure I want to run from spot to spot fast, but that's not the priority. Do they still drink oil by the gallons?

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NOVA,

WE ARE NOT QUITE TALKING THE SAME MOTORS HERE BUT I HAVE A 200 OPTI. IT DOES VERY GOOD ON FUEL. OTHERWISE I AGREE 100% WITH WHAT MUSKEY SAID. MINE DOES LIKE ITS OIL THOUGH!

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i have an '04 115hp optimax on an 1890. so far, the jury is still out... ive only had it in the water 6 times. it had 1 year of use and 140 hours registering on the smartcraft gauge when i got it this spring. as far as troll-down, the first time i had it out was the sunday of opener weekend, out of cove bay. there were 6 to 7 foot waves, too windy to fish for a first time in the boat. the guy i got it from said it backtrolls in 6 foot waves so i tried it. in those waves, it went more than slow enough and was actually a more comfortable ride than going forward into them. however, it will only troll down to about 640 rpm, not the 450 i have been hearing. when i was looking for the boat i wanted a 4 stroke kicker too. as events happend, i ended up with a vantage 80. it was a hard decision, because i wanted the redundancy and no gaps in trolling speed in any situation. i havent had any gaps and have been very pleased with the vantage. for docking the boat, i shift in and out of gear as necessary. the shifting mechanism is another story. a dealer told me the optimax's had a manufacturing defect that kept it from staying in reverse. it had the aftermarket shifter next to the throttle grip. that first day out took care of that...! now i use the stock shifter on the engine. as far as top end, the guy i got it from said it would do 44. the fastest ive got it going by myself is 42.3 to 42.4 on my gps. it will nudge 40 sometimes with 2 people. 38 seems to be a pretty good max for cruising with it. most of the time i cruise between 28 and 36. i talked with a guy running a yamaha on the same boat. he said he gets about 37 with it but i dont know if thats by himself or with 2? i do like the safety features built into the optimax but it took a little to get used to. for one, the engine will shut-down if its over-reved. im not totally familiar with the smart craft gauge yet. for some reason, i cant get the gallons of gas to zero when i fill the tank. im keeping a running total to know where its at versus actually being able to read the manual gauge on the boat. its either one or the other. so far it hasnt seemed like it uses much gas. one thing about it, i dont like, it will start in neutral at full throttle! weird things happened the first couple of times that havent happend since...once while pulling up to the dock, the motor just came out of the water without doing anything to it. another time, same situation, it tried to trim itself against the boat. the dealer suggested it might be the wave guards pressing against the tilt on the side of the engine. i can see that happening when slowing down from a plane, the backwash could move the flaps on the guards...

regards,

minnesotatuff

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Nova are you kidding me. Something must of blown up from the floor of your boat and hit you on the noggin this weekend. All kidding aside. You are fishing 95 percent of the time and running to spots the rest of time. Which motor do you feel has the better performance at low speeds. My vote is the 4-stroke.

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Had a 135 Opti, now have a 200 Yammi 4-stroke. My Opti was a great motor. The 4-stroke is a dream! Gas milage, smoke, trolling speed are all much better! Noise, well, I can have a conversation at full throttle and not have to raise my voice. If it is important to you to go 60 mph as opposed to 57, get the Opti. If not, the 4-stroke is a no-brainer

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Glassguy, here's what I hear about the new opti's. more fuel efficient, slower trolling speed. Now tell me what is not a plus about that for back trolling? This is exactly why we bought 4 strokes, and now the new opti's are better. Why not go back? confused.gif The top end speed is only a bonus.

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I suppose fuel in outboards is a consideration, but I am not sure it should be much of a factor yet. If that type of cost is a big factor I would consider the 20+ bucks a gallon for the opti oil, throw in the $7-9 for the merc recomended quickclean. Yes mine drank oil pretty fast. There is no way that the dfi's are as cheap to run and most are a little louder/rougher at idle. From what little reports I have seen the dfi motors seem to be within a few tenths of a mile on the mpg issue. I had a 135 opti and now a 70 suzuki. I was not that impressed with how often I filled the tank on the opti, it felt like much less than what reports said I should have been getting, but never really checked it. Bottom line is the costs are not much different and they are both pretty similer. I think you will be happy with either one. Thing to remember is neither will troll down for anything. I know some guys like the electric in the back, but I think if you are a serious troller you need a kicker on the tiller rig.

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Nova, this is the same question you posted this spring and all they same nice people gave you great responses. If you can't figure it out by now you've been in the sun to long. By reading your posts from this spring and this one I have to believe you want a Opti Max, so just go by it. Hope you like the smell of 2 stroke when trolling, because they still burn oil.

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Midnite, sorry for the inconvenience, I am getting very close to buying and it's a huge commitment. I wanted to see if anyone new people could give me more insight.

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4 Stroke owner here and would never own anything else. If you have ever taken a ride in someones boat with one of the new 4 strokes,you know what I am talking about. I will beat any 2 stroke out of the hole and 1-2mph on top end who cares. My 2 cents....

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Easy Midnight! I don't know Nova, but he seems like a good guy and has been helpful to many others in the past. I don't think this is anything to get excited about.

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Harpoon, I just sent that to my wife this morning. What a great looking boat. This is what I am looking for. I also just got off the phone with a warrior dealer. Shouldn't be long now. One of these is going in my barn. Thanks for the tip.

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Yikes! I would need to make a lot more money or catch a lot more fish to justify throwing that kinda money around. I love to fish, but thats a lot of coin.

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Bigeyes, it is a lot, that's why I have been kicking it around all spring and summer. You know what they say, "If you want to play with the big boys".....

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THATS JUST A SPIT IN THE BUCKET COMPARED TO SOME!

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that's for sure. Factor in tourney cost and the fish house....that's where all my money goes.

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TRUE, BUT IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT, THEN WHY NOT..........

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Ok,I'll throw my 2 cents in. I'm running my second year with my 1890, 115hp yammy 4 stroke. And I debated this in length as well, but I think it comes down to preference. The 2 strokes will almost always have better performance out of the hole because they can achieve higher rpm's faster, however you can do some things with the prop on a 4 stroke to get a better hole shot, if that's what you want. I did not see hole shot a big issue, but I considered noise, smell, the convience of not ever adding oil, and I have to believe the 4 stroke will have a longer life than the 2. Another issue was the trolling speed, but you can do some things with socks to slow you down if you don't want the kicker added. all that being said, I am quite happy with the 4 stroke. And yes these rigs cost some money, but heck it's only money, can't take it with you!!!

Hey Midnight--chill out!!

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in 6 days of fishing on mille lacs, it used a gallon(?)jug of synthetic oil. i have to check the smart gauge to see how many hours that is. (still having work done to the house to get the boat in back) its not here to check. i carry a spare in the boat and havent had to replace it yet. it doesnt seem to smoke and is very quiet at troll speed.

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I have a 115 4 stroke yami on my boat and i guess i dont have much too compare it too but i love it. Its the quietest motor i've ever seen. And it trolls down great, i usually have too power up because im going too slow. Gas mileage is great. Uses no oil.

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Nova, I've been going through the same thing, trying to decide between an Opti or a 4-stroke. It didn't take long for me to decide on the Opti, but I'm getting a 175hp for a wheel boat (maybe a 150hp if I was going 4-stroke). But I have a 4-stroke kicker that I use when fishing - the Opti is only to get me to and from the spots, and in that scenario it's a better choice than a 4-stroke.

If I was running a tiller boat with a 115hp and no kicker I can promise you I'd put a 4-stroke motor on it and not give the Optis or HPDIs a second thought. The advantages of a 4-stroke really show up when the motor is idling and you're fishing, and that's exactly the situation you'll be in with a 115 tiller and no kicker. The Optis or HPDIs would be good motors, but the 4-stroke would be better. Hope this helps, good luck.

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Thanks guys, great information. I found 3 boats with the opti on them so I was trying to talk myself into one, but I just can't do it. I have a 4 stroke now and you can't beat the quiet, no oil,no smell part of them. I haven't made the decision, but I am leaning towards the 4 stroke. thanks again.

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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the weight of these motors yet. Not sure if there's a big diff in weight between the two(opti 115, 4s 115), but if there is, my personal opinion is look real hard at the lighter motor. Especially on an 1890BT. The ones I see squat pretty low in the rear and hold the bow high at rest or very low speed, ie. trolling. Something to keep in mind.

Best thing I can tell you is drive a few different set ups and choose the one YOU like.

As for the whole 2stroke-4stroke debate/argument, both have their positives and negatives.

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Chub, good point, but I checked that before. The opti is 375lbs and the 4 stroke is 386lbs. Only 11 pounds difference so really not a factor.

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Well, for that kind of money don't try to talk yourself into something if you don't think you will like it. For that kinda chedder I would hope you can find something that you absolutly are thrilled with. Harpon, do you need an assisant or are they hireing where ever you work? LOL. grin.gif

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Nova,

KEEP LEANIN'.., on that 4-stroker!!!! I have a 115, 4-stroke, and because I fish a lot, I have had many "guests" in my boat that own their own boats. To the letter, every single one of them have made one or more comments on how sweet my motor is. (These are unsolicited remarks.., I don't ask people what they think of my motor). Most of those comments come either at the dock, right after start up, up on plane full-throttle while holding a conversation, or while trolling). I am, and continue to remain, impressed by all the good things this motor does for me, and so well. This includes trolling. I troll a lot for walleyes, and a fair amount of this is in shallow water, 10 FOW or less.., and I am amazed at the fish I catch, without having to use boards, even trolling with 60-feet, or less, of line out the back of the boat. I have buddies that swear that they cannot catch fish that close to the boat without running boards. I do.., all the time, and without boards.

Now, I will share that the boys that run 2-strokes, and use a kicker for trolling.., have one advantage that I don't. They have an EXTRA motor, to get them back, if they should develop motor problems. (I miss that security on big water, like Lake Michigan, or even LOW, Mille Lacs, Leech, etc.)

Aside from that..., I LOVE my 4-stroke!!!

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