Fantastic motor terrible steering
For 15 months now, Mercury Sydney has been trying to live up to their claims that their hydraulic steering they force on buyers of the 250 Optimax is as good if not better than Sea Star steering. The steering get very noisy after 15 minutes of using, has locked in centre on 7 different occasions, after 3 different attempts the steering will not turn at speeded over 35 knots. The sydney team are now saying the vessels concerned should not be driven over 40 knots that is why the mercury steering stops at 2 turns to starboard and 2.5 turns to port out of 5 turns either way at idle.
First question. Why has it taken 15 months to date and still no solution.
second question. Is this steering second grade handed to Australia from the US.
third Question. Stop blowing wind and correct the problem or replace the steering with sea star steering, at least you will know is the vessels concerned turn over 40 knots or is it a design fault.
April 24th 2018 Update: The hydrologic steering
After 16 months the steering has not been fixed or for that matter a reason has not been given for the stiffness, the constant grinning or the steering locking in place. Mercury has lost any future sale of a possible 40 units to the company i work for. Sad really as the motors are very good after 1500 hours.
Bad product with horrible service, be ware!!
Before deciding on buying an outboard please read our experience with Mercury Marine.
We received 2 brand new Optimax 225's at the beginning of 2016.
Both motors had breakdowns from the first working hour.
Both motors exploded at 37 and 41 hours only!!!
The second motor exploded while Mercury mechanic is on board trying to fix an ignition problem.
Mercury Marine has taken over a month to investigate the problem.
Mercury Marine have refused the warranty on both motors. Even on the second motor which exploded while their Mechanic is troubleshooting a problem.
Mercury Marine have refused to provide any reason for revoking the warranty and refused to provide any report. The only answer we received from the GM of the company was that they can not consider the warranty as they found no fault in the motors. The motors exploded!!!!
It is very bad that outboards explode after 37 and 41 hours. But what is worse is the treatment we got from Mercury marine service and their GM. No one even cared about our $36000 loss, they did not answer emails that were sent to their service office. Only the GM answered our email and refused to provide any report or reason for why motors have exploded and why they refuse the warranty.
I hope no other customer will have to go through this again.
First trip out of Biscayne with 250
Wow! Repowered with two new, 250 25" Opti's and splashed the boat from TNT Marine in North Miami in early October of 2013. Motors are the latest version as Mercury does not designate for model years. They are hung with Mirage Plus 23" props on a 1996 33' Ocean Hawk center console. This hull is the same one Cigarette licensed in 1997 to use and brand as the CIgarette 33 Cafe Open. An outstanding boat in all respects and built like a tank though not overly heavy but just right. An excellent rough water boat that tracks true and is very easy to predict and handle.
Initial start and warm up of the engines was flawless and once we fueled, one of the lead techs at TNT and I headed out the canal and into the northern end of Biscayne to play a bit. I was immediately taken by surprise at the power these engines have to pop the 33 footer out of the hole and up on plane. This hull has a 250 gallon fuel capacity and we had put 110 gallons into the tank on top of the 25 or so that were already in. The engines were much quieter than I expected as Mercury has done an outstanding job of shaving around 6db off of the sound signature the last version of the Optimax's had. More of a subdued hum than a sharp two-stroke note. Very tolerable and very smooth.
Once we had made a few passes up and down Biscayne we hit the cut and entered into the open Atlantic. Seas were moderate at around 2 to 3 feet with the wind out of the Southeast.
We ran the motors which of course were in break in mode to only around 4000 or so on the tack but the seat in your pants pull and mid-range punch of these new 250's is nothing short of athletic. In numerous throttle changes the engines never exhibited any stumbling, search for another rpm or anything that would be considered less than predictable. At 30 or so mph on the speedo the fuel meters on the SC1000's were sitting on right around the 9.2 to 9.8 Gph mark for each engine. Not bad and after a few hours of run time we headed back in and they idled and ran like new sewing machines. Very nice and I look forward to being able to put some more hours on them and bring them out of the break in cycle. I suspect based on what I observed with these motors that they will have no trouble getting this boat to stick it's nose into the low to mid sixty range. LOTS of punch for standard 250 Optimax's!!
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