I'm looking to buy a new 18.5 ft Lund boat and I noticed they all come with Mercury outboard motors (I think Brunswick owns both companies). I currently have a 2001 Lund with a Yamaha 80 HP that I will be giving to my son. The Yamaha motor has been great and I would like a Yamaha (150HP) on the new boat. I would like some opinions and feedback on which motor to get. (or if I can even get a Yamaha outboard on a new Lund). I welcome any ideas or opinions, Thanks!
Yamaha vs Mercury outboard
Merc is owned by Brunswick and their global headquarters is in Illinois. You don’t see a lot of Mercs because “it’s a Wisconsin company,” you see a lot of them because of the Brunswick ownership deal. Try buying a new Lund, Crestliner, or Lowe with anything besides a Merc. It’ll be next to impossible because Brunswick also owns those brands. Since this is the case, take a volume Lund dealer who also sells other brands but less volume of that brand...it’s easier for that dealer to go with Mercs on those non Brunswick brands because there’s familiarity. Your typical first time boat buyer isn’t going to be up on all the different brands. He’s going to go to a dealer, find something he likes and make the purchase which, because of the Brunswick stuff, will more often than not have a Merc hanging on it in a showroom. If you go back before Brunswick started expanding their marine holdings you would see a more diversified market on more brands.
A friend of mine is a Merc fanatic...because they are “all made in Fond du Lac. It was comical yet frustrating trying to get through to the guy. So he goes out and gets a new boat, obviously it has Merc power on it, and he was happy for supporting the American worker. Then I popped the cover off of his kicker which said Merc on it but right there plain as day a sticker that said “made in Japan” was clearly seen. The guy almost started to cry. That “Merc” was actually a rebranded Tohatsu. There’s a ton of rebranding that goes on. For awhile certain sized Mercs had Yamaha powerheads. They had Merc lower units but the top was all Yamaha. The point is....do your homework on the rebranded stuff. Why pay more money for a Merc sticker slapped on a Tohatsu when you can pay a lot less for the Tohatsu and it’s the same damn engine.
I have had 3 Yamaha's from 8hp 4 stroke to 115 hp 4 stroke all I can say is they were all GREAT MOTOR'S never had a problem with them. My 115 I have had now for 15 years and never had a problem at all. Use them out on Lake Michigan for hours on end and never miss a beat. Well now last year I bought a 8hp Mercury 4 stroke and all I can say should have bought another YAMAHA!! Mercury starts hard and now it is leaking engine oil. Luckily it came with a 3 yr warranty so it is going in soon.
my father had a merc, had many problems. He actually had a merc kicker as well and that thing had issues, which really is a totally shocker to be honest for the small stuff. ECM issue on the small motor from what i gathered.
He went to Etec about 10 years ago on the big motor and not one issue. He bought a yamaha kicker used, got it last summer.
I too have had a couple not so good experiences with Merc's. Nothing real serious just hard starting, fuel delivery issues. Just enough to make me a little nervous far from a boat landing. Switch to a 115 Evinrude E-tec and love the simplicity, torque and fuel economy. Not to mention no oil changes and I can winterize it with right at the boat landing with a couple moves of the throttle lever.
Do you want the truth or to be lied to? We live in Wisconsin so most around here will say Mercury, Merc is EVERYWHERE. If you have the extra money, buy the Yamaha and never look back. Simple as that.
I made the mistake twice, don't be like me. The boat comes with a "mercury". No sir, rip it off and put what i want on it or I'm going elsewhere.
My Yammy's have been spectacular. My current one is a 2006, never did a single thing to it yet besides lower unit maintenance, oil changes etc. my 115 is bullet proof.
My uncle just blew up his 200 merc last year. He bought a Yammy as well.
Mercury does get a bad rap. there are many that are die hard, say they are the best. So it's a matter of opinion. I've had two bad experiences with Merc. I'm not letting it be 3. I can actually say I don't personally know anyone that complained about their Yamaha. I'm sure if you look hard enough you will find some though.
I ran a 50 horse Yamaha 4 stroke, I think it was a 2003 model. Great engine. Loved it.
Then I started getting bigger boats. I had a 2007 150 Mercury Optimax. And...predictably, it blew the power heads. Replaced under warranty. I was told that I could have an issue there, but there were more issues on the 225+ HP models.
I now run a 2011 225 Optimax. Came with the boat. Starts great, runs faster than other comparable engines. No issues whatsoever. When/if it goes out on me, I'm getting the 225 Pro XS. Easy decision to make.
While I loved my old Yamaha, I've been told that they are tougher to work on than Mercury...and buying local, at least somewhat local, is important to me, so long as quality is there. And to me, it is there.
The engine that I'd avoid, and no offense to guys that run them, is an Evinrude. I've known 4 people that run Evinrude's....3 of them are getting away from that engine. Too many issues. The other one swears by it. I've seen and heard enough from those owners to steer clear.
My Mercury 25 horsepower 4 stroke outboard was stolen in September. Since then, I moved to a place where there is secure boat storage. I am hoping to find a replacement motor, new or used, for a deal, since this was an unexpected event and this was a motor I largely used on a boat to take kids from a mentoring group I work with out on the river. This forum has me convinced that Yamaha might be worth a try. Any ideas out there for where to look and who may be sympathetic to my cause?