- —John Tiger Jr.

Outboards are the marine power of choice for many new rigs and even repowered sterndrive and inboard rigs today. Outboards today are powerful, quiet and efficient, and lighter in weight than their sterndrive and inboard brothers. How much do you know about these “clampons,” as they used to be called? Let’s take a look.

1. Your best boating buddy spent his youth working at outboard dealership­s. He claims that outboards today are overrated and don’t make the horsepower they claimed to. Is he correct? A. Yes; outboard builders are in the practice of overrating engines to better compete with each other.

B. No; in fact, outboard horsepower ratings are largely governed by the National Marine Manufactur­ers Associatio­n to be within 10 percent of claims. In addition, outboards have been rated at the prop shaft since the early to mid-1980s, which more accurately reflects true power available to the consumer, as opposed to the powerhead ratings used previously.

C. All outboards are underrated; they actually make more power than advertised.

D. None of the above

2. You are considerin­g replacing your 1997 two-stroke Johnson 150 with a new engine. What are some careful considerat­ions that should be made when choosing your new outboard?

A. Older outboards are typically lighter than newer ones, so added weight on the transom could be a problem for some hulls. Compare weights of your engine and your desired new engine, and be sure the boat can handle the added weight. B. It’s likely most service will have to be done by the dealer. Make a careful evaluation and look at service reviews; pick a dealer close to where you boat and make service a priority.

C. Steering and rigging accessorie­s may also need to be upgraded or replaced; this will add significan­tly to the tab.

D. All of the above E. None of the above

3. In studying up on new engines before repowering your hull, you notice claims of improved fuel economy compared to older outboards. What claims are true, and which ones are likely bunk?

A. Newer four-strokes are 100 percent more efficient than older two-strokes. B. These claims are not true; older carbureted two-strokes are simpler, lighter, and therefore more efficient than newer engines.

C. Newer four-strokes are typically 30 to 40 percent more efficient than older traditiona­l carbureted and EFI twostrokes, from idle speed up to about three-quarters throttle. At full throttle, they’re about 10 percent more efficient.

D. None of the above

4. You just replaced your old 1992 twostroke Mercury V-6 200 hp with a new 2022 four-stroke Mercury V-6 200 hp. In checking over your new engine, you discover that it’s vastly different than your old Mercury one. What are some of the obvious difference­s? A. Changing the engine oil and filter is impossible for the consumer; it must be done by a dealer.

B. The engine is much larger and heavier than your old engine.

C. The cowl lifts off easily with one latch at the top, and checking the oil is easy with the dipstick located right at the top under a quick-release access door. D. Thanks to digitally controlled EFI and ignition, the engine starts much easier than your old engine, with no priming or choking. E. B, C and D

F. None of the above

5. Your old sterndrive hull is in for major surgery; it’s getting new stringers, a floor and a transom in anticipati­on of hanging a new

250 hp four-stroke outboard on the stern, with a setback bracket for clearance. What issues might you need to consider?

A. The balance of the boat will be decidedly different; you may need to relocate the fuel tank, batteries and other rigging.

B. The new transom should be much stronger and span the entire width of the stern, with reinforcem­ent knees to tie it into the stringers to handle the extra leveraged weight of the outboard.

C. Your trailer may need to be modified or even swapped out for a new one, due to the added length of the rig and the extra leverage of the 500-plus-pound outboard and bracket hanging off the stern.

D. All of the above E. None of the above

6. Your dealer is back-ordered on new 150s until next season. Your tired, old 1999 150 has seen better days, but it could be rebuilt.

At a cost of roughly $5,000 for the rebuildÑco­mpared to a cost of about $14,000 for the new engineÑmig­ht you consider simply having your current engine rebuilt?

A. Sure, it’s a costwise decision; even though the new engine will be about 40 percent more fuel-efficient from idle to midrange speeds, the difference of $9,000 between the two options buys a lot of gas.

B. No way; that old engine will continue to break down. It will never be worth it.

C. If you get a good warranty with the rebuild (one year on parts and labor is typical), and your engine was reliable throughout its life, there’s no reason you can’t get many more seasons of good performanc­e from it with a fresh rebuild.

D. A and C

E. None of the above

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