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I'm considering buying a 18.5' DC Sea Fox boat with a 125 Mercury engine. This would be a new purchase. I'm concerned with the Merc engine as I've not heard good things about it.
Any input good/bad on the boat or motor would be greatly apprecitated.
I think that two major advantages to buying Mercury is their propeller selection and their awesome transom setbacks. Do you need a special prop? I use Mercury's "high 5" five blade design for skiing and fishing and it is wonderful. Also, look into getting a 6" setback for the 125 motor. It makes a big difference in performance on a small boat. If you don't care about these things, then the Mercury is just another motor.
Oh, one other thing. The 125 has an unsurpassed lower unit in terms of low drag and efficiency. Small plus.
Merc's are awesome and have a well desreved good reputation. Then again, the outboard business, especially in the mid to high end range, is so competitive that they're all good.
OMC had some problems and went into bankruptcy. Bombardier from Canada has purchased the outboards, Evinrude/Johnson. and is keeping the best they had and adding to it. They should be excellent, based on Bombardier's rep as an Aerospace manufacturer. I don't like a lot of French Canadian stuff or attitudes, but that company definitely has it all in one sock.
Yamaha builds a good motor, but they're awfully expensive for unnecessary bells and whistles.
Honda's are fantastic, but way too expensive and heavy.
Suzuki is also good.
Personally, Mercury/Mariner. No contest. IMHO the best there is, especially in bang for buck. Play with hieght and setback and definitey with props.
Not terribly up to date on the Sea Fox boat line. However, going to their web site and having a look around, and, reading a couple of boat reports from the ‘glossy’ industry mags--it seems the Sea Fox product gives you what you pay for in terms of a fairly sturdy boat. The fiberglass stringers, the aluminum plate buried in the transom, and some of the closed cell floatation is in the deck instead of all in the bottom of the hull… Maybe it will float right side up, instead of turning ‘turtle’, if the boat were to flood. I also like the moderate deadrise through bottom of the hull. What you give up in ultimate rough water speed, in this small boat, you make up for in less bow in the air at moderate speeds as the Fox tries to get on a plane.
The biggest ‘problem’ I see in the modern small power boats is the harsh deep ‘V’ bottom shape that does not allow these boats to travel in the mid-displacement speeds--12 to 20 mph--without the bow reaching for the sky, and, the helmsperson standing up to see over the bow deck. When one gains some boating experience one enjoys these ‘slower’ speeds to gunkhole or just to cruise looking around enjoying the sun, sky and water--with out having to concentrate myopically on the water ahead to stay out of trouble due to excessive speed. Most short length deep 'V' hulls have 2 speeds: Slow and fast.
As to the big Mercury OB… At the Seattle Boat Show there was a noticeable lack of factory outboard displays. With Johnson and Evinrude now under the Bombardier banner and not represented at all, the products of Yamaha & Honda were the most prevalent with Mercury, Tohatsu and Suzuki pulling up the rear (pardon the pun). I own a Tohatsu and have found it reliable to a fault. It seems if you are going to invest in a big outboard my counsel would be to invest in the best warrantee, most reliable engine you can afford. To be out on the water and have the motor go down, with out a back up kicker, your looking at maybe trying to paddle this high sided vessel—a very difficult job in any kind of wind, current or wave… Spend extra money on the engine. Your boat has no other way to generate motion—no sail, no ability to set up a rowing station--it really is the only way this boat is going to move through the water!
Hope this is a bit helpful and good luck on your purchase.
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