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dav_atl

Power for 227 SSX

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I am considering purchasing a used 2018 227 SSX with 25 hrs. Unbelievable I know. Original buyer decided boat wasn't for him and purchased a pontoon boat. The boat is of course in pristine condition, but I'm concerned the engine won't provide enough power. It is equipped with a MerCruiser 4.5L Alpha I 250 HP. I intend to use it for family cruising and also for water sports (wakeboarding, knee boarding, tubing, etc.). When pulling a teenage skier/wake boarder the boat would be loaded with another 7-8 people (adults/teenagers) plus gear. Does anyone have a similar set-up and do they find they have enough power, especially at the start? Any input is greatly appreciated.

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I have a 224 with the 5.0gxi motor - 270hp I believe - mare than enough power for wakeboard, towing etc.

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15 hours ago, dav_atl said:

I am considering purchasing a used 2018 227 SSX with 25 hrs. Unbelievable I know. Original buyer decided boat wasn't for him and purchased a pontoon boat. The boat is of course in pristine condition, but I'm concerned the engine won't provide enough power. It is equipped with a MerCruiser 4.5L Alpha I 250 HP. I intend to use it for family cruising and also for water sports (wakeboarding, knee boarding, tubing, etc.). When pulling a teenage skier/wake boarder the boat would be loaded with another 7-8 people (adults/teenagers) plus gear. Does anyone have a similar set-up and do they find they have enough power, especially at the start? Any input is greatly appreciated.

I'm going to take a slightly different stance. Given your description of how you plan on using the boat, I would look for a 227/237 SSx with 300 hp - preferably the Volvo 5.3 V8-300 Dual Prop version. Going to give you IMHO the best performance and fuel economy vs the MerCruiser 6.2L simply based on power to weight ratio and technology. Volvo is using the GM Marine LS  series 4.3L/5.3L Gen V engines that are all aluminum vs cast iron with the Merc options, in addition to having variable valve timing and direct injection.

NOTE: MerCruiser makes their own engines - the 4.5L V6 is a near clone of the GM old style Gen 1e 262/4.3L V6, while their current 6.2L is a near clone of the venerable Gen 1e 350/5.7L  Volvo's current V6-200/240/280 hp models are from the GM Gen V 262/4.3L V6 which is a totally different engine than the Gen 1e 262/4.3L V6 version even though they're the same displacement.

V6 options will work too on that boat, but should you go this way, I would HIGHLY recommend getting the Bravo 3/Dual Prop versions vs single prop Alpha 1 / SX-A. Difference  in favour of Bravo 3 / Dual Prop is akin to having 4 wheel drive in winter conditions. In my experience with boats this size, the V8 with Bravo 3 / Dual Prop will be very close in fuel economy in real world scenarios with the V6 single prop. (cruising speeds will be a little higher with V8 vs V6 too)

 

https://www.gmmarinepower.com/products.html

 

Comparison of MerCruisers 4.5L V6 vs their old 5.0L V8

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBvqvGB3b4Y

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBvqvGB3b4Y

https://www.gmmarinepower.com/products.html

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On 1/13/2019 at 9:26 PM, dav_atl said:

I am considering purchasing a used 2018 227 SSX with 25 hrs. Unbelievable I know. Original buyer decided boat wasn't for him and purchased a pontoon boat. The boat is of course in pristine condition, but I'm concerned the engine won't provide enough power. It is equipped with a MerCruiser 4.5L Alpha I 250 HP. I intend to use it for family cruising and also for water sports (wakeboarding, knee boarding, tubing, etc.). When pulling a teenage skier/wake boarder the boat would be loaded with another 7-8 people (adults/teenagers) plus gear. Does anyone have a similar set-up and do they find they have enough power, especially at the start? Any input is greatly appreciated.

 Let me start by saying our boats are very different but should be about the same weight they’re close to the same length.  So there are some similarities. My boat rides deeper and has a true V all the way to the transom which requires more hp.  Your boat has I believe the wide tech hull which has a flat spot on the bottom at the transom giving you more lift Which requires less power.  My boat is stubby, yours is slimmer with same girth and another foot or so in length.  Stubbier needs more power.  Mine has a curry, which is heavy, but also helps balance weight better than a lite open bow.  You get the point.

my boat is 2135 cuddy with 250hp 5.7L MAG 4bbl v8.

your boat, 227 bow with 250hp 4.5L lite weight all aluminum engine with MPFI.

i don’t know the tourqe either make, but I’m thinking we would be pretty even taking it all in.  Although I personally prefer a v8.  But it’s such a premium that I would give pause.  Because the V8 they offer is tiny and heavy and old.  New tech is desirable if properly proven.

I do 47.8 mph with a tower.  Prior to the tower I could break 50mph.  I can pull anything and anyone’s arms off, even fully loaded.  However I rarely have a guest want to slalom, but if memory serves it never struggled.

I’d bet your boat will out perform mine, with your longer length, lite and wide tech hull combined with the new 250hp.  I’d think you’d be a happy boater.Would I like a big block.  Yea!  But I’d be buying it just to have it.  I don’t think Chap under-powered their boats like many value series brands. 

 

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On ‎1‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 2:09 PM, Shepherd1 said:

I'm going to take a slightly different stance. Given your description of how you plan on using the boat, I would look for a 227/237 SSx with 300 hp - preferably the Volvo 5.3 V8-300 Dual Prop version. Going to give you IMHO the best performance and fuel economy vs the MerCruiser 6.2L simply based on power to weight ratio and technology. Volvo is using the GM Marine LS  series 4.3L/5.3L Gen V engines that are all aluminum vs cast iron with the Merc options, in addition to having variable valve timing and direct injection.

Very interesting.  So Mercury forges and casts its own blocks now and they don't use the GM blocks anymore, but they're cast iron blocks vs the Volvos which are essentially GM aluminum blocks?  Did I understand that correctly?

If so, you would think there is a considerable weight difference between the Merc cast iron blocks vs the VP aluminum ones.  Would it be significant enough to make a difference in performance?  The best thing to do is test the exact boat with the same size engines of the two makes and settle it.  Plus I would think that aside from better performance due to weight, there be a much greater benefit to building a marine engine out of aluminum than cast iron.

Not sure if that's been done, as opposed to testing a Merc GM block vs a new Merc forged and casted block like in that video.  You can definitely see a difference in just the hole-shot.

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12 hours ago, Duane2135 said:

your boat, 227 bow with 250hp 4.5L lite weight all aluminum engine with MPFI.

MerCruiser's 4.5L V6 and 6.2L V8 engines are actually cast iron vs aluminum like the Gen V GM engines Volvo uses.

 

2 hours ago, Hatem said:

Very interesting.  So Mercury forges and casts its own blocks now and they don't use the GM blocks anymore, but they're cast iron blocks vs the Volvos which are essentially GM aluminum blocks?  Did I understand that correctly?

If so, you would think there is a considerable weight difference between the Merc cast iron blocks vs the VP aluminum ones.  Would it be significant enough to make a difference in performance?  The best thing to do is test the exact boat with the same size engines of the two makes and settle it.  Plus I would think that aside from better performance due to weight, there be a much greater benefit to building a marine engine out of aluminum than cast iron.

Not sure if that's been done, as opposed to testing a Merc GM block vs a new Merc forged and casted block like in that video.  You can definitely see a difference in just the hole-shot.

Correct, Volvo uses aluminum block, heads and exhaust while Mercury uses all cast iron. The reasons I was told according to a Mercury sales rep are no need for closed cooling as standard, reliable process and durability. Volvo to my mind went for power to weight, proven to be tough, better fuel economy and latest technology. 

I have not driven a 227/237 SSx but have driven a Cobalt R3 which is essentially the same sized and a direct competitor in its class. As soon as a person drives that model with a Volvo V8-300 5.3L Gen V engine, you'll feel the power difference vs older  Gen 1e MerCruiser and Volvo engines. There's still power on tap at 4/5 throttle and the engine is eager to rev to WOT - older Gen 1e stuff is a little lackluster in this regard and the latest MerCruiser stuff just doesn't match up very well IMHO to GM Gen V product. 

Do not mean to knock Mercury - their latest V6 and V8 outboard 4-stroke products are simply stunning, silent, powerful and fuel efficient. And their Racing stern drive division QCV4 engines are certainly high tech and tough. Was really hoping that Merc would have made a smaller engine based off their 9.0L/ 552 cid DOHC V8 Racing engine (say a 6.0L version) but alas that was not to be. They do make a 7.0L based on GM's LS small block but they add their own 32 valve DOHC heads that they install and call it the SB4 - makes 750 hp naturally aspirated on pump gas. Automotive crate engine application only though...

 

https://www.enginelabs.com/news/sema-2016-mercury-racing-releases-750-hp-32-valve-ls-crate-engine/

Image result for mercury sb4

 

Image result for mercury 300 v8 verado

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The weight savings are meaningful for sure, but I believe the real gain is from the ECM/map. Volvo is more aggressive and gets more out of less displacement. The test that would be interesting, albeit a fantasy, is same engine and outdrive, but swap heads and ignition/ECM. 

P.S. Volvo’s current generation uses direct injection and variable valve timing. 

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19 hours ago, Shepherd1 said:

Correct, Volvo uses aluminum block, heads and exhaust while Mercury uses all cast iron. The reasons I was told according to a Mercury sales rep are no need for closed cooling as standard, reliable process and durability.

I must be reaching a mental block, Shep, because I don't understand that concept whatsoever.  How could it possibly be that a cast iron block would not need (and in fact be conditional) a closed cooling system?  Wouldn't a non-corrosive antifreeze/coolant be absolutely necessary for a corrosive metal like cast iron as opposed to aluminum?  That reasoning would seem much more logical for an aluminum block.  Am I missing something?

19 hours ago, Shepherd1 said:

I have not driven a 227/237 SSx but have driven a Cobalt R3 which is essentially the same sized and a direct competitor in its class. As soon as a person drives that model with a Volvo V8-300 5.3L Gen V engine, you'll feel the power difference vs older  Gen 1e MerCruiser and Volvo engines. There's still power on tap at 4/5 throttle and the engine is eager to rev to WOT - older Gen 1e stuff is a little lackluster in this regard and the latest MerCruiser stuff just doesn't match up very well IMHO to GM Gen V product.

I think this applies to previous generations as well, not just Gen V Volvo TBH but this is my personal feeling which is not like anyone here is surprised by it.  :haha-7383:

19 hours ago, Shepherd1 said:

Do not mean to knock Mercury - their latest V6 and V8 outboard 4-stroke products are simply stunning, silent, powerful and fuel efficient.

 I don't think there is any argument with that at all.  Besides the joystick capabilities of Merc outboards and how amazing that technology is, what impresses me the most is how silent they are, like you said.  I can't believe how quiet those outboards are and it's a travesty that they can be that quiet while enclosed in what is essentially a tiny box but not only that, it's OUTboard.  It's outside of the boat and to be 3 times quieter than inboard engines is crazy.

19 hours ago, Shepherd1 said:

Was really hoping that Merc would have made a smaller engine based off their 9.0L/ 552 cid DOHC V8 Racing engine (say a 6.0L version) but alas that was not to be. They do make a 7.0L based on GM's LS small block but they add their own 32 valve DOHC heads that they install and call it the SB4 - makes 750 hp naturally aspirated on pump gas. Automotive crate engine application only though...

That's crazy.  Hard to believe that thing is actually quiet like he said.  750HP can't really be that quiet, can it? :lol:  And who doesn't love any of the LS series engines?  All Corvettes, Camaros and of course, Transams equipped with those and I can attest to that with the first of the series in my 2001 TA with the LS1 which is a blast to drive.  The original 350HP LS1 with the plastic intake manifold and I remember when I was at the dealership ready to buy this car and looking at the engine and the first thing I notice is the plastic intake manifold and I was like WTF?! loool.  I had to do a bit of research before making that decision and turns out it was perfectly fine.  This was really at the time when we were still getting used to aluminum blocks and then to see a plastic intake manifold was another big step to get used to LoL.  Not sure if they changed it in the later series or not, but it's been great on the TA.  I believe this engine is a single overhead cam unlike that crazy asss SB4 with double the HP.  But they're definitely legendary V8 engines.

b56df15a0cc9d7db1ecd448897055b66.jpg

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2 hours ago, Hatem said:

That's crazy.  Hard to believe that thing is actually quiet like he said.  750HP can't really be that quiet, can it? :lol:  And who doesn't love any of the LS series engines?  All Corvettes, Camaros and of course, Transams equipped with those and I can attest to that with the first of the series in my 2001 TA with the LS1 which is a blast to drive.  The original 350HP LS1 with the plastic intake manifold and I remember when I was at the dealership ready to buy this car and looking at the engine and the first thing I notice is the plastic intake manifold and I was like WTF?! loool.  I had to do a bit of research before making that decision and turns out it was perfectly fine.  This was really at the time when we were still getting used to aluminum blocks and then to see a plastic intake manifold was another big step to get used to LoL.  Not sure if they changed it in the later series or not, but it's been great on the TA.  I believe this engine is a single overhead cam unlike that crazy asss SB4 with double the HP.  But they're definitely legendary V8 engines.

b56df15a0cc9d7db1ecd448897055b66.jpg

All LS and Gen V engines from GM are old school OHV of course - work really well though as you say.

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Go as big as you can afford. If you question this now, you will always question it. Its very little  a matter of fact but a matter of your own happiness. 

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I have the 186 SSIs.  Both with 5.0L carbed engines 2002 .  With  stock Alpha & 3 blade aluminum I was + 50 gps.

But then the prop would " blow out " completely from a moderate  take off or floored from on plane. 

The prop SELECTION IS SUPER CRITICAL with full lods of people.

You are SUPER LUCKY that it has the Alpha 1 drive !!!!!!!!

All the props are AVAILABLE for finding the WOT speeds & rip the arms off of a skier.at take off.   Power tech props has a perfect prop for pulling up several skiers at once. My PTC4 prop is so quick to plane that there is 0 0 bow lifting. It just accelerates very fast to WOT.  I change props depending what I use the boat for. A couple of minute in the water.  Done   Enjoy the Alpha 1  flexibility.  

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20 hours ago, Shepherd1 said:

All LS and Gen V engines from GM are old school OHV of course - work really well though as you say.

And speaking of Mercury's outboards and their amazing technology, I'm sure you've seen this latest from them.

Brand new 5 - horsepower PROPANE outboard from Mercury.  Probably the best way to power tenders and small boats.  Propane is so much cleaner than the other types of fuel and would be ideal for marine environments. 

 

DxHbgwIU0AAicx4.jpg

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Pressurized Propane tanks have to be stronger & heavier than vented plastic / aluminum gasoline tanks.  Miles per dollar per horsepower ?  Difference ?

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