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Mercury 15hp vrs 20hp outboard

Discussion in 'Dinghies' started by Blueone, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. yobub

    yobub Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    590
    Jul 29, 2016
    Chicago
    1998 400 Sundancer
    Cat 3116's
    I'm in a similar situation in thinking about getting a larger outboard. It seems like these engines are all receiving favorable remarks. Are there any 15-20 hp outboards that people really don't like?
     
  2. J.Wilt

    J.Wilt Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    919
    Jan 29, 2010
    W. Mich. / Lake Michigan
    420 Sundancer 2005
    Cumming 6cta V Drives
    Highfield 310 , 20hp Suzuki
    We have the Highfield 310 and have been using a Mercury 15hp 2 stroke tiller style the last couple years, lots of power and popped the three of us out on plane right away, I just upgraded it this year and added the steering wheel console and a 20hp Suzuki EFI motor to our 310. While I absolutely love driving the dinghy with throttle and steering wheel, the 20hp is quieter and no smoke but it does take longer to get up on plane.
     
    Keith Zibilich likes this.
  3. b_arrington

    b_arrington Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    AB Ventus 9VL
    Looking for next big ride
    2019 Mercury 15 OB
    I did end up upgrading to a 15 HP Mercury 4 stroke this year. Its heavier and physically larger than the 15 Evinrude it replaced, but so far is doing nicely. Performance is about the same as the Evinrude, with the benefit of being MUCH more quite and using less fuel. The kids can really sneak up on us now. I would likely benefit from some smart tabs due to the heavier transom weight.

    I did consider buying the 20 HP engine because as folks have noticed the 15 is the same as the 20, but detuned. Anyone considering uprating the engine should know that the manual states if you replace certain parts to convert to a 20 HP, the ECU will detect it and shut down.
     
  4. Blue Chip

    Blue Chip Member

    77
    May 9, 2019
    New Smyrna Beach, FL
    2003 Sea Ray Sundancer 420
    "Day Five"
    6CTA 8.3M 3
    How are people dealing with the outboards when not in use? Is everyone keeping the motor on the dink and on davits?
     
  5. Great Lakes

    Great Lakes Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2016
    Lake St. Clair - Michigan (MacRay Harbor)
    2005 390 Sundancer
    GHS Platform
    Dual Raymarine Axiom
    Tracvision
    Bow/Stern Thrusters
    8.1
    I’m in the market for the same highfield with a 15 or 20horse. I’m told they’re all on backorder right now.
     
  6. The Bill Collector

    The Bill Collector Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    1998 450 Sundancer, Achilles dinghy
    3126 Cat's
    24/7 x 365
     
  7. Blueone

    Blueone Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 24, 2007
    Lake Erie, Ohio
    2004 420 Sundancer
    Cummins 6CTA 450's
    The zodiac I wanted was back ordered until October ..... they sold me a bigger last year model for same price
     
  8. b_arrington

    b_arrington Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    AB Ventus 9VL
    Looking for next big ride
    2019 Mercury 15 OB
    Currently I keep it on the dink and tied to the dock. Previously I kept it on a St Croix motor mount attached to the swim platform. The dink used to be on tip up Weaver davits.
     
  9. kevin27

    kevin27 Member

    807
    Aug 8, 2007
    Tarpon Springs,FL
    1989 3600 Convertible. 2017 Scout 175 sportfish.
    2002 Cummins 6BTA 330hp diesel straight shaft.
    Save yourself heartache and money and go with the most hp you can. You will end up in the end with that engine anyway. I have been through several and I now currently run a yamaha 25hp on a AB 9VL. Its rated at 15hp but is best with the 25hp. Place I bought it said no way they would do that for me. I did it myself. Lol liability reasons. Later after I did it they told me a lot if their customers do the same thing. It is the most fun dinghy I have ever been in. Runs 33mph with just me and i can run mid 20s with 4 adults easily. And before anyone says I'm crazy the 9vl and 10vl AB has the same transom design. I looked at both very carefully and compared the two. Only difference is one foot of length. 9 is rated at 15 and the 10 is rated at 25. I run the boat like crazy and it will not break it. Trust me. :D
     
    Boatingnut likes this.
  10. b_arrington

    b_arrington Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    AB Ventus 9VL
    Looking for next big ride
    2019 Mercury 15 OB
    Holy moly. I have a 9VL and the 15 HP does pretty well. I've gotten to 25 MPH easily and it feels like a rocket. I can't imaging getting that dinghy to 33 mph.
     
  11. Blue Chip

    Blue Chip Member

    77
    May 9, 2019
    New Smyrna Beach, FL
    2003 Sea Ray Sundancer 420
    "Day Five"
    6CTA 8.3M 3
    I moved to a 15hp from my 6. With the 6 I was able to simply lift it off the transom of the dink, lay on the swim platform and store in the cockpit when not in use.... now, with the 15, I think the additional 40 or so pounds may prevent that from happening. I find getting the dink onto the platform easy enough - but I'm at the crossroads of spending $5K on a davit like the H3O on a boat that I'll only have for probably another year or so... any suggestions?
     
  12. bobeast

    bobeast Dance the Tide SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 22, 2017
    Isleton, CA
    2002 310DA
    350 MPI w/V-drives
    I believe the Merc engines are identical to / made by Tohatsu in that HP range. The Tohatsu can indeed be upgraded by replacing the ECU. That said, it's cheaper up front to get the the 20 HP, as the ECU runs around $900.
     
  13. Doc O Rock

    Doc O Rock Active Member

    332
    Mar 23, 2016
    Lake St Clair, Belle Maer Harbor
    1999 380 Sundancer
    twin 7.4 Merc
  14. Blueone

    Blueone Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 24, 2007
    Lake Erie, Ohio
    2004 420 Sundancer
    Cummins 6CTA 450's
    I love it when you come home after a weekend at the boat and you have boat presents waiting in the garage.... new motor for the dinghy. :)

    E4B43683-537F-4AD9-8485-1B730D977E09.jpeg
     
    Shaps likes this.
  15. Jaybeaux

    Jaybeaux Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 3, 2016
    Upper Potomac River
    420 Sundancer 2004
    Naught On Call
    Cummins 6CTA-8.3's with V-Drives
    9KW Onan Genset
    Where did you buy it from? I'm looking at outboards for our dink. What horsepower and shaft lenght did you get? <insert jokes here>
     
    Blueone likes this.
  16. Blueone

    Blueone Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 24, 2007
    Lake Erie, Ohio
    2004 420 Sundancer
    Cummins 6CTA 450's
    I bought a zodiac 310 aero... it’s rated for a max 9.9 hp So that’s what I bought.... short shaft...it’s not how long you are.... it’s how fast you can go :)

    I usually buy from onlineoutboards.com but they were out of stock 2 weeks ago.....so I bought from powerequipmentdirect.com.... they were okay to deal with but a bit slow ...but okay
     
  17. Jaybeaux

    Jaybeaux Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 3, 2016
    Upper Potomac River
    420 Sundancer 2004
    Naught On Call
    Cummins 6CTA-8.3's with V-Drives
    9KW Onan Genset
    Gracias!
     
  18. b_arrington

    b_arrington Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    AB Ventus 9VL
    Looking for next big ride
    2019 Mercury 15 OB
    I got mine from Defender during their spring sale. I picked it up, but they have been good to deal with. It came with an extended warranty to boot.

    Unfortunately I've had to use the warranty already. At about 20 hours the shift shaft sheared off inside the lower unit. There is a hole in the shaft for a connecting pin; the shaft snapped at that hole and the motor was stuck in reverse.
     
  19. blaster

    blaster Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    May 23, 2011
    potomac river
    2010 sea ray 205 sport
    F-250 CCLB 6.2 4x4 3.73 rear.
    Mercruiser 4.3 mpi alpha 1.62
    I heard it walks at that speed!
     
  20. b_arrington

    b_arrington Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 21, 2007
    Setauket, NY
    AB Ventus 9VL
    Looking for next big ride
    2019 Mercury 15 OB
    The RIB does ride quite differently with the new Mercury vs. the old Evinrude. The boat is quieter and actually does get on plane faster. But I do have to shift my weight forward a bit to prevent porpoising. Also the ride is a bit squirrely at the top end.

    Frankly, the motor is a bit weird. Where the Evinrude had a very rigid connection, the Mercury seems to have some sort of elastomer in the area between the mount and where it attaches to the actual motor. Maybe this is designed to make the ride softer? The practical effect is that it makes the motor oscillate at higher speeds and wiggles the bow of the boat.
     

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