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  1. #1
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    Default Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    ok, I know almost everyone on this forum will pick the E-Tec over almost any other engine offered.So exactly is soo much better about the E-Tec as compaired to the Optimax?The 90HP E-Tec is $400 more then the 90HP Optimax.The 115HP E-Tec is $600 more then the 115HP Optimax.The Dealer quoted the E-Tec Pricing, the exact same as the Mercury 4-Stroke at the same HP.So that puts the Optimax in the middle for pricing.I don't have a problem spending $400 more if there's valid reason. But if I (as an amature boater) wont know a difference between the E-tec and the Optimax, Then its money lost to me.Thanks,-TheChad
    2006 Lowe Fish & Ski (FS175)
    -Mercury 115HP EFI 4-Stroke
    --Mounted 3rd Hole From The Top (Middle Hole)
    -Mercury Vengeance SS Prop (16 Pitch)
    -Lowrance LCX-26C HD

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    Chad: I'm no expert but I can share my experience with you. I have a 50 hp e-tec and it's very quiet. I've also been around some Optimax motors and have found them loud. As i undestand it, the e-tec is newer (and better) technology. But as i said, I'm no expert. In effect, though, I'd say the etec is quieter. Maybe others have had both and can give you more info. By the way, the e-tec is not perfect. I speak from experience.Good luck, Bill

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    Bill,Thank-you for the Honest answer.I really apperciate a responce such as yours.Thanks,-TheChad
    2006 Lowe Fish & Ski (FS175)
    -Mercury 115HP EFI 4-Stroke
    --Mounted 3rd Hole From The Top (Middle Hole)
    -Mercury Vengeance SS Prop (16 Pitch)
    -Lowrance LCX-26C HD

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    Hi,I'm no expert either, but have done a lot of research prior to my decision on new one, what I discovered from lots of articles, forums like this, and general talk with boaters was...that:-The Etec is very advanced, yes very quiet, super economical, but does lack a little in top end and low end. I also read that at low revs it has 'stratisferic'? combustion, which saves fuel when trawlling, the article did say there was a lag in throttle response as it changed out of this.This all said, is only what I've read etc., if it was cheaper I'd have gone with it for its economy, but I was buying 40hp, I bought Mercury Classic, I didnt consider optimax at all as it wasnt available in my hp.RgdsRon

  5. #5
    Chief Petty Officer ziemann's Avatar
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    Default Re: Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    The troll continues....ala the 2 stroke vs. 4 stroke thread....

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    All things being equal I would take the 2 stroke over a 4 stroke every time because there are simply too many moving parts in a 4 stroke.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    Thanks for the input.I've read enough on the 4-strokes the know the + & - of them.The major Thing i am trying to find out here is OptiMax vs E-Tec.I know ALOT of people on this forum are partial to E-Tec, and will say how great they are, but i've found very little fact's, specs, etc showing how it is better then the OptiMax.Both OptiMax and E-Tec are 3-star rated, both claim fuel economy, both claim theirs is best..But what facts are there to show one better over the other?THanks,-TheChad
    2006 Lowe Fish & Ski (FS175)
    -Mercury 115HP EFI 4-Stroke
    --Mounted 3rd Hole From The Top (Middle Hole)
    -Mercury Vengeance SS Prop (16 Pitch)
    -Lowrance LCX-26C HD

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    Which do you like? I think that is the question. The optimax was around before the e-tec(I belive) and it may of had problems and the e-tec is new. I have neither but I own two Merc. classics(40 and 50) and would not have any problem to buy another Merc. Again, I have read about the E-tec and sounds like a solid motor. I would go with the one that I like, not what somewhat else likes. If I listened to other people I would not of been married for 27 years. Go for yourself.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    In the testing i've read,the e-tec was quieter,had better fuel economy,faster(although Merc used a different hole,that was what there reps decided to use),better acceleration.I am a fan of new design/technology(check out the technical developments for this engine on there website) and i like the fact that BRP designed this engine from the ground up.I'm not sure of the recommended dealer service for the optimax but with E-tecs not needing to be serviced for 3 yrs,alot of money should be saved that would make up for the difference in price.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    Originally posted by telmanmn: Which do you like? I think that is the question. The optimax was around before the e-tec(I belive) and it may of had problems and the e-tec is new. I have neither but I own two Merc. classics(40 and 50) and would not have any problem to buy another Merc. Again, I have read about the E-tec and sounds like a solid motor. I would go with the one that I like, not what somewhat else likes. If I listened to other people I would not of been married for 27 years. Go for yourself.
    That's great input!Unfortunitly, I don't have a 'like' because this will be my first boat/engine. Almost every dealer prices their boats with Mercury's, so obviously there's huge dealer support. But that doesn't mean its the best. However i can't see a dealer pricing every boat they sell with an engine manufacturer that has problems, because when the customer is unsatisfied, they are going to come down on the dealer, not the manufacturer.So to me if soo many dealers are pricing their boats with Mercury's, they can't be as bad as soo many people claim they are. All the dealers I've looked at price their boats with Mercury's, they all sell Evinrude, Johnson, Yamaha, and Mercury, but Unless asked, none of them even give you pricing with any other motor.When I asked the dealer about the Evinrude E-tec, I was told "yeah its a good motor." When i asked about mercury in general i was told "They are good engines, we have been selling them for 2 years now, and have not had any major problems"There was more excitement about the Mercury engines.. Now that could just be higher profits for the dealer, who knows. But i havent really seen anything solid telling why an E-Tec is soo great.I think there is alot of Evinrude love on this forum, and with proof or not, those people will just say how great the E-Tec is.Now don't get me wrong, i have no problem with the E-Tec, again i don't have experience with any of the manufacturers. I just want to try and make the right engine choice for my boat, as i plan on keeping this boat/engine untill it sinks or other wise wears out. So its very important to make the right choice, the first time.-TheChad
    2006 Lowe Fish & Ski (FS175)
    -Mercury 115HP EFI 4-Stroke
    --Mounted 3rd Hole From The Top (Middle Hole)
    -Mercury Vengeance SS Prop (16 Pitch)
    -Lowrance LCX-26C HD

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    i am mercury loyal but have a reason to back this up. i have see t.v ad commercials and have read articals about the e-tec and i would have no problem getting one but, i have owned 4 mercurys over the years from the 60s 70s 90s and a 2005, and have not had a single problem with any of them. My grandpa bought a 1962 dorsett w/ a 1962 mercury 50 brand new in 1962 and still to this dad it run perfectly with no major problems at all. i also have a 1972 mercury 20 h.p that was not taken care of at all, and in my 20 years of owning it i never did one thing for maintance..winterizing, tune ups, nothing, and it still ran perfect when i sold it.(yes, i no, not a good practice at all but that has changed completely.) i know that this may be luck and other people may have problems with their mercurys, but this is the main reason why i am mercury loyal. id bet that every 10 boats i see going down the highway 8 or even 9 of them have mercury outboards on them, and almost every dealer i go to prices their boats with mercury outboards or inboards. to me, that shows that mercury must make a good product or else dealers wouldnt price them on their boats just like thechad said.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    Just one piece of info. One poster above indicated the e-tec was not good on the low end. On mine, the RPMs were dialed down to 650. That gets a fairly narrow boat to troll at 0.9 mph. That's very slow for a 50. The 50 merc 2 stroke i had prevoius would get down to only 1.8 mph. Bill

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    I'm not saying this is the case, but you should consider that a lot of business issues figure into what motors are offered by dealers, in addition to (or sometimes instead of) technical superiority of one motor over another. The fact that Mercs are offered on all of the boats you are looking at could also be a function of Brunswick's control over the hull manufacturers and dealer network. For example, my local Boston Whaler dealer will not offer you a Whaler with anything other than a Merc, since Brunswick owns BW. However, if you ask for it, they will replace the Merc with a Yamaha in a flash, as they are still a Yamaha dealer, and actually prefer Yamaha over Mercs. But they can't say that out loud over fear of losing the BW line.I have an E-TEC 90, and I love it, although I just had the fuel pump replaced under warranty (a freak thing, I've been assured!). I guess if I were to summarize the difference, it would be that you are paying for the no break-in period, the no service for 3 years or 300 hours, the 3 year non-declining warranty, and the new technology. The E-TEC is lighter, but only slightly.I was looking at the Merc Optimax 90 site, and they claim superior fuel economy, speed, hole shot, etc. over the E-TEC 90, but if you look closely at most of the numbers, they are indistinguishable.Maybe the real question is whether blue or black goes better with your hull colors?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    Thanks guys for the great input!All your responces have been very helpfull.Anyone else with input, please share..Thanks again,-TheChad
    2006 Lowe Fish & Ski (FS175)
    -Mercury 115HP EFI 4-Stroke
    --Mounted 3rd Hole From The Top (Middle Hole)
    -Mercury Vengeance SS Prop (16 Pitch)
    -Lowrance LCX-26C HD

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    Here's my opinion, which is not based on fact or experience. I think you should get the one you're more comfortable with design wise. Forget about who beat who by .1s or who beats what by .01mg/hr emissions. Pop the cowl off each and decide for yourself. Frankly, the high pressure fuel pump and air compressor on the Optimax gives me the willies. But that's just me. Someone else might appreciate the more years on the Optimax's design, or not appreciate the big computer bolted to the the e-tec.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    Originally posted by Paul Moir:Frankly, the high pressure fuel pump and air compressor on the Optimax gives me the willies. But that's just me. Someone else might appreciate the more years on the Optimax's design.
    Please Explain. Thanks -TheChad
    2006 Lowe Fish & Ski (FS175)
    -Mercury 115HP EFI 4-Stroke
    --Mounted 3rd Hole From The Top (Middle Hole)
    -Mercury Vengeance SS Prop (16 Pitch)
    -Lowrance LCX-26C HD

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    Outboards, unlike cars or refrigerators, are not sold in enough volume to get statistically significant reliability results until they have been on the market for several years. We won't know for a while if the e-tec is reliable. Early Optimaxes had problems, but that was a while ago.The only concrete thing I can contribute other than that is about the noise. Powerboat Reports did actually measure the noise levels and found the Optimax to be very loud. Noise is a kind of pollution too - not sure I would spend a lot of money on a new technology that hasn't solved the outboard noise problem.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    While both engines are DFI, they FI in different ways. 'Course, you're going to need really high pressures to inject the fuel in a timely manner into the cylinders. The E-tec accomplishes this (to my understanding) by an advanced injector which is fed by a relatively low pressure fuel pump (~30psi I think?). The optimax injection system uses two pumps and a belt driven air compressor to feed it's injectors. The first pump is like a conventional outboard fuel pump and gets the fuel up to the engine. The next pump boosts it up to around 90psi for the fuel rail. I guess this is sort of like a FI car engine at this point, just a little higher pressure. The injector uses compressed air (10 psi below fuel rail pressure) to assist blowing the charge into the combustion chamber.I like the mechanical simplicity of the E-Tec. But you are relying heavily on that big ol' computer with it. Again, this is purely my take on things, and has nothing to do with the reliability or performance of the engines. I just like mechanical simplicity at the cost of electronic complexity.EDIT: I can't entirely agree with Swist there. We all knew the FICHTS had problems by 2000.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    chad, go throw down 500 dollars and get an old used 2 stroke from the 70's and stop asking the SAME F*&^ing question over and over and over.itll run forever and you'll save bandwidth.seriously

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    myoutboards makes a compelling point.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    [quote] my local Boston Whaler dealer will not offer you a Whaler with anything other than a Merc, since Brunswick owns BW. However, if you ask for it, they will replace the Merc with a Yamaha in a flash, as they are still a Yamaha dealer,[/ QB][/QUOTIn a flash for about $2500 bucks...

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    Originally posted by myoutboards:stop asking the SAME F*&^ing question over and over and over.itll run forever and you'll save bandwidth.seriously
    If only people willing to make helpfull posts would reply... Imagine how much bandwidth THAT would save! -TheChad
    2006 Lowe Fish & Ski (FS175)
    -Mercury 115HP EFI 4-Stroke
    --Mounted 3rd Hole From The Top (Middle Hole)
    -Mercury Vengeance SS Prop (16 Pitch)
    -Lowrance LCX-26C HD

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    geeee, chad, how mcuh are you gonna ask. over 20 replies, just to this one thread, i know you have asked before. you even stated that you knew everybody would tell you to get the etc, so what is your question?a VERY small percentage of people on this board own an etec. 99% of the responses will be from people who all the same thing.... opinions(among other things)optis are louder than etecs.etecs get GREAT milage. optis do too, though.ive knever owned either one, but i would get the etec, just cause its newer technology from a newer company, at the outboard business at least, who has something to prove. they are absolutely an IN YOUR FACE kind of company, and they want everybody to know.merc on the other hand, is owned by the same folks who make the bowling alley stuff, brunswick.at least to me, with merc starting to build motors in china, and the fact that they seem to be pushing 4 strokes, and their past reputation for not supporting older stuff, would steer me away from them 110%.i would lay down my cash more likely based on how the company operates than by the product they provided, that tells me MORE about what im buying than ANY tv ad ever could.theres my 2 cents.now go out, throw doen the 500 bucks, get an old 2 stroke from, say, 1982, and take it all apart and put it back together, and see if it still runs you'll get a MUCH MUCH MUCHHHH better understanding of whats going on in there. that way, youll be able to make a more eductaed decision.ok, make it 3 cents.and STOP asking wich is better. they are all great. nobody makes a dud, except maybe if KIA made outboards. its all in what you want it to do for you and how much dealer support youre going to recieve.STOP

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    if you look at the e-tec parent company they build what are considered the finest motors in the world for many other uses than boatsthere is really not a bomb in there wide product linetommays
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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Evinrude E-Tec vs Mercury OptiMax

    Personally, I don't think much of the E-Tec or the Optimax. I think the best bet is a 4 stroke EFI engine from probably any manufacturer.My main problem with the E-Tec is the oil delivery system. A computer controlled squirt of oil here and there system doesn't compare to a pressurized lube system of a 4 stroke for reliability or longevity. I would also like to see a schematic of an E-Tec compared to a 4 stroke and see if there are really that many more parts to a typical 4 stroke.Finally, Evinrude/OMC/Bombardier has been through how many reincarnations of the Ficht motor but now I'm to believe it's a great motor.

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