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Engine selection in new build

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Looking at a new build for a 21 SSI.  Volvo seems to be a tad more money than Merc for equivalent HP output.  Assuming local service is readily available for either, any reason I would want to consider paying up for a Volvo?

Not looking to zip thru the local lake but I hope to have enough juice to pull a wake boarder with 4-6 adults on board. I assume 250hp sufficient.  Is wake surfing not possible without a boat outfitted with trim tabs and bags.  I think surfing may be doable while holding a leash. I was hoping to do both but don’t want a surfing purpose boat.





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I've had Volvo and Merc.  Both have their cons and pros.  The thing that might lead me towards Volvo in you case is this.  Around 2015-2016 GM stopped production of the 4.3L, 5.0L, and 5.7L engines that all marine power packages were based on.  So Volvo and Merc had 2 choices: 1. Make their own engines 2. upgrade to the more modern GM engines as a base.  Merc made their own based on the pervious GM engine with their own modifications.  Volvo went the the more modern LS based GM platforms.   So if you have a Merc, gone are the days of using GM parts or GM blocks in the case of an engine failure.  You will need to buy most of that stuff from Merc with their markup.  

The 250HP engine will pull wakeboarders but you will need the correct prop.  The Merc High5 is the one you want for that.  With the right hub kit it can be used on either a Volvo or Merc outdrive.  It if you can swing it upgrade to the duo prop drive. 

No wake surfing on an I/O or outboard.  It's a good way to kill someone.  If that's what you want to do get the 21 Surf with the Volvo forward drive as it's much safer.   

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