Well I used to ski behind a 17' boat V- hull.-----A 1966 model 100 HP Johnson.-----It could pull 2 people up on slalom skis from deep water.----So yes , a 115 HP Mercury can pull a skier.----Motor has to be in good condition.
Whereas I agree that an older motor can still run well. That IL6 model hasn't been manufactured in over 30 years. To keep them running, you need to do your own work on them, of bring a mechanic out of retirement.
They are not that hard to work on !!----Most shops won't work on them because folks will complain on seeing the invoice for SKILLED work.------New motors are easy revenue generators and often just require " white gloves " to bring in revenue.
Those motors were great for their time. Light, compact and powerful. They had some vulnerabilities. The cooling system (no thermostat), was designed to just stay ahead of the heat buildup. If the impeller was worn, or the motor was overloaded, it could overheat causing considerable damage. Also, the idle mixture setting procedure is unusual, and most contemporary mechanics are unfamiliar with it. just sayin
Keep the fuel fresh and mixed at precisely 50::1, change the gearoil 1/year, grease her fittings, change the waterpump impeller every couple of years, and she will run very well, for a long time.
Correct -----And folks used to do that.----Today folks do not even want to lift the hood on a car to check the oil !!!------Where I go you see up to 8 vehicles getting gas , never see a hood up.----Note,--- the 50:1 does not need to be precise for the motor to start and run.
Yes, but 50:1 really makes that motor run real well. How many Merc owners lift the cold start lever to start and after it is warm, push it down and put it into gear quickly, to keep it from stalling. A good 50::1 mix cuts that down.
I agree with everything said. I only put between 24 and 30 hours on mine per year and yes I have an hour meter to keep track. ALWAYS run ethanol free fuel, and change the impeller every two years. I have a mechanic that is old school and I dread the day he quits working. With that being said, if anything catastrophic happens I plan on a four stroke Mercury but I hope that never happens.
Grew up skiing behind a really old, and heavy, Double eagle boat, loaded with too many people, because everybody wanted to go for a ride, and it only had an old Chrysler 75 on it. I feel spoiled now, because I mostly ski behind my Jetski, that has crazy acceleration, so I can simply dangle my left ski off the side of the dock, stand on my right leg, yell HIT IT with about 5' of slack left in the rope, and just step off and be skiing. When you put 310 hp into a jetski, things happen fast. Gave my first Jetski to my now GF, and even its 160 hp feels crazy compared to what I grew up around. The day my uncle bought a smaller boat than the Double eagle, and it had a 115 Merc on it, my mind was blown, I was probably about 13.
You should find any well running 115 more than ample. In water test it before buying, ask to bring a rope and ski, see for yourself. Never buy a used boat without a test drive anyway. Actually after making a mistake in 2018, I would not even buy another new boat without a test drive.