My New New Boat – Yamaha Vs Mercury

I bought a new boat in 1995, it was a 1994 16′ mirrorcraft V-bottom, with nice trailer and came with mercury 56# thrust trolling motor, and 50 hp mariner with tilt and trim and electric start. The boat had a bilge pump, electrical panel, running lights etc. I paid $6000 for it new at M&M marina. I got good use out of it, it made dozens trips to lake erie and the Mississippi River. It was pretty wore out when I ran out of oil and instantly blew the motor. I had electrical wire problems on the motor at lake erie and the warning buzzer quit working, and so it cost me the motor. I sold the motor for $500 for parts and sold the boat and trailer for $1000, nothing in it really, lust the bilge pump and lights and the old original seats. These days you can’t touch a boat like that for under $10,000. I finally replaced it in 2010, I bought an old 1995 alumincarft on ebay for $1800. I swapped the trailer from the mirrorcraft, didn’t like the roller trailer even though it was like new.. I bought a 2008 60 hp 4-stroke merc. I really like this boat even though it has small leaks and the transom is weak.

I also have a flatbttom that I first bought in 1978, sold it to a guy who let it sit for 6 years and then bought it back from him. It leaks so bad I worry it will sink so I have been looking for a new boat for some time and let a lot of good deals slide by because I was too busy fishing. By the time I got serious there wasn’t much available. I did buy a new flatbottom though. It was a catfish boat. I paid $3,600 for it and paid too much I think. It didn’t come with much of anything but it has a nice galvanized trailer and an old yamaha motor. I am making a deck and adding a trolling motor and everything. It’s pretty much an empty oat and what’s in there I have to remove. I have spent the last two weeks working on it and no where close to being able to go out fishing. Its a 2000 boat and trailer and the motor is a 1997 45 hp jet drive. I was shocked to find the motor didn’t have electric start or tilt and trim. I almost walked away from the deal but he came down $1400. Its a 17.5′ boat, but is ribbeted so it’s light weight. I had tyo add a swing tongue on the trailer. Those are really nice and was able to gain about 30″ of room in my garage. I added guides on the sides. I still have more work to do on the trailer but too busy working on the boat.

I cannot believe the difference between a 50 hp 1994 mariner and a 45 hp 1997 yamaha. Yamaha are supposed to be the best, and even the old motors cost a fortune. If my oil warning hadn’t gone out I’m sure that motor would have ran for a long time. Well this yamaha doesn’t even have a warning. You can’t even see the oil tank, it’s under the hood and you have to remove the hood to check it and fill it up where the mariner had a cap on the hood and a gauge you could see. This is going so far backward, it is primitive. What a pain this is going to be. I imagine I will do away with the injection system later and just add oil in the gas.

OK I can live with that, but so much for yamaha being better than mercury mariner. Now to start the motor I look for the primer. There is no primer! Even my old 1994 mercury jet-drive has a primer! And it starts first pull! Well not this yamaha. You have to pull on it a few times to prime it!. A 45 hp isn’t so easy to pull and I have a bad back, bad wrists and bad elbow. I checked into getting an electric start and they want $1200 for the kit and its really hard to install. Hardly worth it.

And last, there is no trim and tilt. This motor weighs a ton, it is a back breaker to lift to put in shallow drive. I just hope by putting it in reverse it will help lift itself.

I did try to start it and after a few pulls I figured out the throttle was stuck and when I managed to get it on full throttle it started right up. I hope this motor works out. Otherwise I will be looking for a new motor and jet drive are becoming obsolete. Everyone is going with the nud runners but they cost a fortune and are a pain to trailer. There is a motor just like mine on ebay with a propped lower unit and they want $4000 for it. That’s too bad, it has electric start and trim and tilt, I could swap out the lower unit but since they are rare you can’t find one for a decent price. If you ask me, yamaha sucks compared to mercury.

About Dave Tackett

Dave Tackett is from Sterling Illinois. An avid fisherman since childhood, he has fished all over the Midwest, mainly the Mississippi River pools 8-19. His home waters are pools 13 & 14. After fishing Bass tournaments for many years, he gave it up to fish for Walleye year round. He now guides and fishes for fun. He likes to take photos of the scenic places he visits on the river and likes to keep a video camera running to get footage for his Walleye DVDs. Photography is now where he most of his time working, using professional DSLR cameras and lens. These photos include landscape around the Mississippi River and the Rock River, river birds like eagles heron, egrets etc.
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