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Engine options for H2O and 216 SSi


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I'm researching what to get between H2O 21 or 216 SSi and cant seem to find comparison of pros and cons for Mercury vs Volvo.

From what I read it's mainly service availability for each. So, without stirring Merc vs. Volvo debate, can someone point out the main technical differences between the two?

On H2O side the choice is pretty easy between

  • Mercury 4.5L MPI 1.62 Alpha 250 HP
  • Volvo V-6 Gen V 1.66 SX 240 HP
  • Volvo V-6 Gen V 1.97 SX 240 HP Catalyst.

I like that the new Volvos have closed freshwater cooling system but not sure if 1.66 to 1.97 ratio would warrant going to Catalyst option.

So, why would you chose one over another?

On 216 SSi choses a bit more complicated:

  • Mercury 6.2L 2.20 Bravo 3 300 HP 
  • Mercury 350 MAG 1.47 Alpha 300 HP
  • Volvo V-6 Gen V 1.60 SX 280 HP
  • Volvo V-6 Gen V 1.66 SX 300 HP Catalyst
  • Volvo V-8 Gen V 1.95 DP 300 HP Catalyst 

Would you go with alpha or bravo? I think bravo is a bit too much for 216 SSi which mainly will be use for cruising and watersports. Is Merc 350 MAG older that 6.2L? Should I still consider Bravo 3 even if I keep the boat in water year-round?

 

Your input is appreciated.

P.S. For additional info, I'll keep the boat at my dock, always in the water (Miami).

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Ive had merc and Volvo.  Volvo parts are harder to find and are more expensive at times.  But the Volvo for what I have at least is a lot easier to work on at times.

 

A 350 mag with an alpha unit you would be happy with on a 21ft boat.  I know others will hem and haw, but a bravo really isn't necessary on a boat with 300 or less hp and weighs less than 3500lbs.

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37 minutes ago, MasterT said:

I'll keep the boat at my dock, always in the water (Miami).

If so, an outboard or inboard with prop and shaft is the only option. A sterndrive in the water year round in the warm, salty water down here will have lots of problems, really quickly, I.e. corrosion, barnacles growing on bellows, clogged water intakes from internal growth. Of you want a water sports boat, keep the boat at a dry stack marina and only keep it behind your house for No more than a few days at a time. This doesn't even include all of the manifolds/risers, blocks, heads, anodes, etc. you would go through!

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3 minutes ago, drewm3i said:

If so, an outboard or inboard with prop and shaft is the only option. A sterndrive in the water year round in the warm, salty water down here will have lots of problems, really quickly, I.e. corrosion, barnacles growing on bellows, clogged water intakes from internal growth. Of you want a water sports boat, keep the boat at a dry stack marina and only keep it behind your house for No more than a few days at a time. This doesn't even include all of the manifolds/risers, blocks, heads, anodes, etc. you would go through!

Well, that's not an option. So I work with I have have - wet moorn and because of size limitations (dock and HOA) only up to 22' boats. Outboard will take too much of the length and limits my options severely. I'm aware of the maintenance that is required for IO and wet mooring in salt water, but that's the way we're going.

Any advise on the OP questions?

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40 minutes ago, MasterT said:

Well, that's not an option. So I work with I have have - wet moorn and because of size limitations (dock and HOA) only up to 22' boats. Outboard will take too much of the length and limits my options severely. I'm aware of the maintenance that is required for IO and wet mooring in salt water, but that's the way we're going.

Any advise on the OP questions?

Alright, just be aware that with the amount of money you will be spending to maintain that I/o you could get a bigger boat and Dry store it at a marina. You will be replacing manifolds/risers every 3 years @ 2.5k parts and labor, not to mention divers, scraping, bottom painting, antifouling, anodes, mercathodes, bellows every few years, etc. As a fellow south Florida boater, I am trying to save you a HUGE headache. I too had a nice bowrider, but sold it after battling big seas and never being able to actually use the open bow. How about a 210 suncoast? Too long trimmed up? No way to lengthen the slip? A 21' I/o, open bow, with a non-self bailing deck is certainly not ideal for South Florida. If you are specifically looking for a water sports boat, MasterCraft I believe makes a boat catered towards salt water use. May want to check that out because of the straight inboard. If you are going with an I/o bowrider, go with the cheaper one (h20) because neither will last a long time in this environment full time, so may as well get the cheaper one so you can buy a new one in a few years. Best of luck with whatever you choose. Just trying to save you some pain! I personally Love I/os and have always have them, but this is an application I would rather have oars than an i/o LOL! If I were you, I would get the biggest boat you would want and store it at a marina down in the keys. Its not too far and it is WAY cheaper than maintaining an I/o full time in Caribbean salt or storing the boat in Miami (boating area is very average and overcrowded anyways). Cheers!

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6 minutes ago, cyclops2 said:

 I always wondered how inboards could prevent animals & plants from attaching to their inlets & inside plumbing.    How do they prevent that better than a stern drive  ?

They are tucked underneath the boat and have much larger inlets. Also easy for a diver to clean without fear of damaging gears/shafts.

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