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Old 03-05-2019, 07:17 PM   #1
Liquorish
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Default Bennington vs. Harris

Thinking of taking the plunge and purchasing a pontoon. Have it narrowed to Bennington and Harris. Both dealers have great reputations as do both brands. Wanted to hear from owners of both. Looking at the 25 ft range with min 300 hp. What are some options I should consider? Thanks for the help.
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Old 03-05-2019, 07:33 PM   #2
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Currently have a 23í Bennington with 200 Yamaha. Love it. Donít overlook a Berkshire itís a great boat


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Old 03-05-2019, 09:10 PM   #3
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Default Bennington #1

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Thinking of taking the plunge and purchasing a pontoon. Have it narrowed to Bennington and Harris. Both dealers have great reputations as do both brands. Wanted to hear from owners of both. Looking at the 25 ft range with min 300 hp. What are some options I should consider? Thanks for the help.

Bought a new 25' Bennington from WOW Marina (they are fabulous people, Old Channel Marina) with a 250HP Mercury Verado...........simply put, a fantastic boat in every way. Quiet to the point you wouldn't know you were on the water. Solid, stable, dependable and so well constructed..10 YEAR WARRANTY...we put 40 hours on it our first season and can't wait to get her out again.

Good luck with your plans!
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:49 AM   #4
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I assume you're thinking tritoon and not a two log boat..Love my Bennington 24/Merc 300.Bought in 2015 and no problems.
My only complaint about the boat was the horn. It's so puny that neighbors didn't even glance when I pass their homes and gave them a toot.
Replaced with a 120DB electric horn...other than that it's a quality boat.
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:24 PM   #5
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Default Bennington vs Harris

My decision came down to the same question...Bennington vs Harris. That was four years ago. Jason Wylie from the then current Channel Marine took me out for a demo. My criteria for a demo was to take me out in the most windy and large wave conditions. He called me on a December day and said are you ready for the demo ride. I said sure! It was blowing 20 knots out of the NW. I put on my ski jacket and out we went. Cold and blowing. I put the 25' tritoon through many challenging tight turns at WOT. I once drove offshore power boats and I wanted to put this boat through the same conditions I was once use too. I was truly impressed! Not once did it lose a grip and spin out. Never did a drop of water come onboard. I was sold. I ordered the 25' tritoon Bennington with at that time the largest 300 Verado. Channel didn't sell Mercury so I had Bennington factory install it. I actually went to the Bennington factory and watched the boat being built. Very impressive factory production. I am so impressed the Bennington and even more impressed with the Verado. I would today order the Verado 400HP if I were to get another.

However, I am also impressed with the Harris and Melvin Village Marina. Matt and the folks at MVM are great folks to work with. As are the WOW group. Ryan and the family clan are top of their game. It would be a difficult decisions for me today. Living closer to MVM is probably the way I would have to consider. I would have to do another sea trail and demo again. Both sell the Mercury Verado. That I know is an easy decision. Good luck you will love whatever you do!!
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:20 PM   #6
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Default Barletta?

I know it was not the question but a new pontoon boat company as of a couple of years ago is Barletta. They are great looking boats. Irwin has taken them on and is now a dealer. It might be worth a look.


https://www.barlettapontoonboats.com/
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Old 03-06-2019, 08:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Liquorish View Post
Thinking of taking the plunge and purchasing a pontoon. Have it narrowed to Bennington and Harris. Both dealers have great reputations as do both brands. Wanted to hear from owners of both. Looking at the 25 ft range with min 300 hp. What are some options I should consider? Thanks for the help.

Congrats on the new boat buying adventure. From a technical perspective, it always helps to look behind the scenes.

Having spent time crawling around Bennington, the mechanical and electrical neatness was something to be desired in general.

The bodies (some neater than others) on the production lines shift from time to time depending on orders etc, and there are hull numbers that slip through, with any boat manu, with sub-par attention to detail behind the curtain. Donít be afraid to look under the rug 😎
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Old 03-07-2019, 07:00 AM   #8
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I assume you're thinking tritoon and not a two log boat..Love my Bennington 24/Merc 300.Bought in 2015 and no problems.
My only complaint about the boat was the horn. It's so puny that neighbors didn't even glance when I pass their homes and gave them a toot.
Replaced with a 120DB electric horn...other than that it's a quality boat.
Yes, definitely a tritoon, just trying to decide between the two brands, which is difficult!
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Old 03-07-2019, 07:37 AM   #9
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Yes, definitely a tritoon, just trying to decide between the two brands, which is difficult!
They're both great boats but the thing that finally sold me was style.
The "Q" and QX" series Benningtons have the sloped bow instead of the straight up and down design that makes most pontoons look boxy.
The Q series with a sport arch is a slick looking boat that sits a little lower at the stern giving it sporty look.
None of this may matter to you if you're just looking for a family cruiser.
Also,I chose the 300 for water sports as well as making a quick getaway if a storm comes up unexpectedly.My GPS shows 48.6 top speed
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Old 03-07-2019, 07:53 AM   #10
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Saw on TV this morning Winnisquam marine is having a huge open house this weekend with great sales and rebates going on.
Authorized Bennington dealer too!!
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Old 03-07-2019, 08:09 AM   #11
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Would recommend the power steering option on either boat you choose. The hydraulic assistance just does not cut it if towing


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Old 03-07-2019, 09:53 PM   #12
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The decision might come down to location. We worked with MVM because they're right across the water and can get things done the same day, whereas Channel/Winnisquam is nowhere near us.

In our camp, there are three Benningtons and two Harris, and all love their boats. I think it's hard to go wrong with either.

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Old 03-10-2019, 03:06 PM   #13
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Default I've owned both

I bought a 25' Bennington 2575RL tritoon with a 130hp Honda in 2001. It was a fantastic boat and would buy another Bennington. I did have a problem with one of the welds on the log which appeared to be a poor weld though it held for 17 years so I can't really complain. I was downsizing so last year I traded it in for a 22' Harris pontoon with a 90hp Merc at Melvin Village Marina. The Harris is nowhere near as stiff a construction as the Bennington but that is possibly due to the Bennington having 3 logs and under-deck sheathing (extra option). Both boats seem equivalent in fit and finish quality otherwise. Melvin Village Marina sales and service have been superb. I boat mostly on the northern part of the lake now, with smaller passenger load, so the tritoon was not as necessary, but for open-lake boating I highly recommend a tritoon.

Bottom line....you can't go wrong with either make.
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:26 AM   #14
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Bought the 25í Crest Classic late last season...Tri-toon, 250 HP Merc. Power steering package, smart craft, nav....love the boat! Quiet, fast, handles great!....the Crest line is beautiful...it was a competition between the Crest and the Bennington...close call on them as both are awesome!
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Old 03-22-2019, 03:20 AM   #15
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My decision came down to the same question...Bennington vs Harris. That was four years ago. Jason Wylie from the then current Channel Marine took me out for a demo. My criteria for a demo was to take me out in the most windy and large wave conditions. He called me on a December day and said are you ready for the demo ride. I said sure! It was blowing 20 knots out of the NW. I put on my ski jacket and out we went. Cold and blowing. I put the 25' tritoon through many challenging tight turns at WOT. I once drove offshore power boats and I wanted to put this boat through the same conditions I was once use too. I was truly impressed! Not once did it lose a grip and spin out. Never did a drop of water come onboard. I was sold. I ordered the 25' tritoon Bennington with at that time the largest 300 Verado. Channel didn't sell Mercury so I had Bennington factory install it. I actually went to the Bennington factory and watched the boat being built. Very impressive factory production. I am so impressed the Bennington and even more impressed with the Verado. I would today order the Verado 400HP if I were to get another.

However, I am also impressed with the Harris and Melvin Village Marina. Matt and the folks at MVM are great folks to work with. As are the WOW group. Ryan and the family clan are top of their game. It would be a difficult decisions for me today. Living closer to MVM is probably the way I would have to consider. I would have to do another sea trail and demo again. Both sell the Mercury Verado. That I know is an easy decision. Good luck you will love whatever you do!!
After researching all the top pontoon manufacturers, we opted for & bought a new Bennington 23 GSR w/Verado 250HP from Ryan/Max/Evan and the folks at WOW last year. Simply put, we had the best year of boating ever.

The boat is solid, tight, well engineered and exceeded our expectations in every way; the Mercury Verado, as quiet a motor as we have ever heard.......you can actually have a conversation at 35mph w/o yelling!

The entire process with WOW has been outstanding, these are good people and they treated us fairly. At the end of the season there were a few minor issues that needed attention, here again, the service manager Bob went over the entire boat and we left looking forward to summer 2019 .....our second season with this fantastic boat can't begin soon enough.

Thank you WOW, we look forward to dealing with you for many years to come!
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Old 03-22-2019, 05:38 AM   #16
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Default Anticipation......

Suggest you wait until April 23rd @ 1:23 PM. 🐻
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Old 03-31-2019, 06:13 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the input, sure we couldn’t have gone wrong with either the Harris or Bennington, took the plunge yesterday and ordered a new Bennington! Pleasure to deal with Ryan at Winnisquam, just a waiting game now...
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Old 03-31-2019, 07:02 AM   #18
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Thanks for all the input, sure we couldnít have gone wrong with either the Harris or Bennington, took the plunge yesterday and ordered a new Bennington! Pleasure to deal with Ryan at Winnisquam, just a waiting game now...
Congratulations......did you go with the 24' ?
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Old 03-31-2019, 07:04 AM   #19
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Went with a 25 R series, 300hp Merc.
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Old 03-31-2019, 11:35 AM   #20
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Went with a 25 R series, 300hp Merc.
It will be a beast, 300HP.
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Old 03-31-2019, 11:43 AM   #21
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It will be a beast, 300HP.

When it has three of them .................


One of a few top comments. "That Awkward moment your cigarette boat gets owned by a pontoon."

Good luck with your new boat.


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Old 03-31-2019, 12:00 PM   #22
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.... and a 25' Bennington pontoon boat with three pontoons, and a single Yamaha 300-hp outboard ... which is the biggest outboard they make.

... and a good example why Winnipesaukee has a 45mph-day/30mph-night, speed limit.

....and why the 27' Marine Patrol boats have twin 250-hp outboards .... plus no boat can outrun their police radio.
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Old 03-31-2019, 12:11 PM   #23
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It all depends.............. is there a thirty pack at the other end of the lake?

Again, Good luck with your new boat.
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Old 03-31-2019, 12:18 PM   #24
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It all depends.............. is there a thirty pack at the other end of the lake?

Again, Good luck with your new boat.
.... it all depends?

For a 25' pontoon with three pontoons like this boat, a Yamaha 175-hp outboard could get it going 50-mph, so's why the 'want' to go with a 300-hp Yamaha outboard, where the speed limit is 45-mph?

Becuz ..... I wanna get me the biggest outboard made ..... that's why!
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Old 04-01-2019, 06:48 AM   #25
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.... and a 25' Bennington pontoon boat with three pontoons, and a single Yamaha 300-hp outboard ... which is the biggest outboard they make.

... and a good example why Winnipesaukee has a 45mph-day/30mph-night, speed limit.

....and why the 27' Marine Patrol boats have twin 250-hp outboards .... plus no boat can outrun their police radio.
Sorry FLL......300HP is nowhere near the biggest one out there.
Mercury makes a 400 and a 450
Also,Seven Marine makes 557 HP outboard....perfect for your boat.
The 25' Bennington's top speed is under 50mph with a 300
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Old 04-01-2019, 11:18 AM   #26
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.... oh well .... is interesting how fast different boats will go depending their different hull design ....

Apparently, The Dive 24 x 62', two story, floating barge building seems to get blown backwards in a stiff breeze despite having twin 300-hp Evinrude 2-strokes .... can go sailing without a sail ..... yo-heave-ho?
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Old 04-02-2019, 08:28 AM   #27
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Sorry FLL......300HP is nowhere near the biggest one out there.
Mercury makes a 400 and a 450
Also,Seven Marine makes 557 HP outboard....perfect for your boat.
The 25' Bennington's top speed is under 50mph with a 300
Seven Marine also has a larger engine the 627SV.. Outboard power is taking over the market. Outboards surpass I/O power by a wide margin. Most large Center Console boats 40' and above here in Florida carry 4 of the Seven 627's total 2,500 HP. Top speed 89 MPH. Even Hinckley has some of their new CC boats powered by outboards. Who would ever thought.

Congratulations on your Bennington especially the 300 Mercury Verado. You will really love it.
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Old 04-02-2019, 10:00 AM   #28
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Default More Power!

When it comes to outboard power it is the more the merrier! (Until you stop to fuel up)

If you miss summer and boating you can close your eyes and listen to the outboard sound from Seven Marine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM3c_Uc_7ug
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Old 04-02-2019, 12:52 PM   #29
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.....small boats give you a feeling of being close to the water .... that you just don't get with any boat bigger than an 18' v-hull and 90-hp. With anything bigger than 18' and 90-hp .... there's a disconnect .... no bouncing around .... no worries with the wind and waves .... the big boats just power straight through it.
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Old 04-02-2019, 12:59 PM   #30
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.....small boats give you a feeling of being close to the water .... that you just don't get with any boat bigger than an 18' v-hull and 90-hp. With anything bigger than 18' and 90-hp .... there's a disconnect .... no bouncing around .... no worries with the wind and waves .... the big boats just power straight through it.
A noodle will give you an even better feel of being close to the water, esp if you have to swim to retrieve it.
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Old 04-02-2019, 01:36 PM   #31
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Not on a big wave day, but on many days ..... with an 18' center console and 90-hp, you can go from Center Harbor to Wolfeboro, and return, in three hours, plus chill with a 15-minute noodle swim break, mid-way, at Sandy Island.
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:42 PM   #32
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Liquorish, you get your new vessel yet?!

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Old 06-17-2019, 04:56 PM   #33
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When it comes to outboard power it is the more the merrier! (Until you stop to fuel up)

If you miss summer and boating you can close your eyes and listen to the outboard sound from Seven Marine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM3c_Uc_7ug
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Old 06-18-2019, 04:39 AM   #34
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Liquorish, you get your new vessel yet?!

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Actually picking it up this Saturday, Iíll send some pics.
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:10 AM   #35
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Actually picking it up this Saturday, Iíll send some pics.
Right in time for the season--looking forward to seeing it. Cheers!

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Old 06-18-2019, 04:26 PM   #36
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I just sold my Bowrider this past weekend so I'm in the market for a Pontoon but I'm going to take my time. I will just run the Jet ski's for a while and I rented a 25' pontoon for my vacation week.

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Old 06-18-2019, 05:45 PM   #37
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Default Warranty

One thing I will say about Bennington is their 10 year bow to stern warranty can’t be beat and gives you a nice peace of mind. I have used it for a couple of very minor items that no other manufacturer would have covered.

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Old 06-18-2019, 06:18 PM   #38
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One thing I will say about Bennington is their 10 year bow to stern warranty canít be beat and gives you a nice peace of mind. I have used it for a couple of very minor items on items that no other manufacturer would have covered.

Dan
Good to know, thanks Dan
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:21 PM   #39
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I just sold my Bowrider this past weekend so I'm in the market for a Pontoon but I'm going to take my time. I will just run the Jet ski's for a while and I rented a 25' pontoon for my vacation week.

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Well, it took me about a year to sell my last boat, so I had plenty of time to research my new purchase. Feeling confident I made the right choice, even though a toon is a huge departure from what Iím used to!
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:35 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Liquorish View Post
Well, it took me about a year to sell my last boat, so I had plenty of time to research my new purchase. Feeling confident I made the right choice, even though a toon is a huge departure from what I’m used to!
The 25' I rented for vacation has a 250HP Yamaha. We rented it this past Saturday also from Meredith Marine. It did 40mph with 6 guys on board. So that 300 should get you to the speed limit.
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Old 06-23-2019, 06:05 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by chasedawg View Post
Seven Marine also has a larger engine the 627SV.. Outboard power is taking over the market. Outboards surpass I/O power by a wide margin. Most large Center Console boats 40' and above here in Florida carry 4 of the Seven 627's total 2,500 HP. Top speed 89 MPH. Even Hinckley has some of their new CC boats powered by outboards. Who would ever thought.

Congratulations on your Bennington especially the 300 Mercury Verado. You will really love it.
Outboards surpass I/O power? No they don't. The only difference between a stern drive and an outboard is where the motor is mounted. Other than the Evinrude's which are still two strokes. Why outboards have become so popular is because they are cheaper - the stupid government mandate to put a catalyst system (for emissions control) on stern drives made them more expensive than an outboard which ironically was just the opposite prior to this change. I suspect however this will apply to outboards soon enough and that will drive the prices of those up significantly as well. Just a matter of time. The funny thing is with modern day computer controlled fuel injection systems, especially the GDI systems the need for a catalyst is almost completely eliminated. Back in the day when carburetors were the norm, it made a little more sense to clean up what was coming out the tail pipe.
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Old 06-23-2019, 06:58 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by MAXUM View Post
Outboards surpass I/O power? No they don't. The only difference between a stern drive and an outboard is where the motor is mounted. Other than the Evinrude's which are still two strokes. Why outboards have become so popular is because they are cheaper - the stupid government mandate to put a catalyst system (for emissions control) on stern drives made them more expensive than an outboard which ironically was just the opposite prior to this change. I suspect however this will apply to outboards soon enough and that will drive the prices of those up significantly as well. Just a matter of time. The funny thing is with modern day computer controlled fuel injection systems, especially the GDI systems the need for a catalyst is almost completely eliminated. Back in the day when carburetors were the norm, it made a little more sense to clean up what was coming out the tail pipe.
Not to hijack this thread, but,the debate over I/O and outboards is as old as chevy vs ford. Pros and cons to either, no right or wrong, just personal preference for the most part. However, the next debate is going to be electric vs solar!! Can't wait for that one...
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Old 06-23-2019, 07:23 AM   #43
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Not to hijack this thread, but,the debate over I/O and outboards is as old as chevy vs ford. Pros and cons to either, no right or wrong, just personal preference for the most part. However, the next debate is going to be electric vs solar!! Can't wait for that one...
Just the thought of all that voltage on a bucket in the water scares me. What happens when it goes under and your in the water?

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Old 06-24-2019, 08:13 AM   #44
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Hereís a well written article by formula on the the outboard / I.O. Pros and cons.

https://www.formulaboats.com/blog/bo...vs-sterndrive/

For me, being islander, I need and want the long boating season and donít want to deal with freezing / winterizing issues. Also easier servicing gets and keeps you on the water quicker. All my boats have outboards...

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