Ask David Rothwell of Carefree Boat Sales what a difference it will make an extra 50 or 100 horsepower and he will read the book to you. In early December, Rothwell brought together outboard and propeller manufacturers to elucidate the matter.
He says this is the question that manufacturers and the nautical media have been asking for years. And the results will help consumers looking to buy engines.
“When you compare outboards from four different manufacturers of the same horsepower, all on the same model of boat, you’d be surprised at the difference,” said Rothwell, who also owns the Carefree Boat Club, based at Lazy Days Marina. Depending on the brand, you may get better handling or less noise, greater fuel efficiency, faster acceleration, or top speed. As Carefree Boat Sales performed each round of testing, this also affected the overall weight of the boat. After completing the traditional two-person, weight-limited testing, the testers put six people on board and then 12 people on the boat to reflect the people who use their boats.
“We wanted to test four of the best manufacturers against each other and quantify these and other questions. Are people really willing to pay more for an extra 5-10 miles an hour or better fuel economy when they buy a boat? This is, among other things, what our trials will tell us.
The trials took place over two days in early December at Big Creek on Lake Lanier in front of the Holiday and Lazy Days marinas. Using a slalom course set up for the event, certified pilots took control of 12 all-new Premier Tritoons. Each was fitted with a 250 hp, 300 hp or 350 hp engine supplied by Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha and Mercury. They also tested several twin-engine configurations up to 700 horsepower.
The weather was crisp and clear both days. Drivers pushed the engine to its limits, documenting handling, fuel mileage, acceleration and other data. “People don’t understand how much it costs to go fast,” says Rothwell.
“Now that we’ve completed these tests, boat and engine dealers will have more data to share with consumers when they shop. The full results will be published in Pontoon and Deck Boat magazine, a national publication reporting on current events in the boating industry.
For more information, contact Carefree Boat Sales at 678 725-3749 Where carefreeboatsales.com.