Motor advice for 23RSB with EPS


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Hi everyone,

I'm about to upgrade to a new 23RSB with EPS and looking for advice on motor choices... the options I am considering are:

1. 250HP Yamaha (mechanical controls)
2. 250HP Mercury with DTS
3. 250HP Mercury Verado

The 250 Yamaha is lowest cost by ~$1900 vs. the 250 Mercury DTS and it's also easily upgradeable from what I've researched... but I've read a lot of good things about digital controls so I'm wondering if I should forgo the upgradeability and go with the Mercury 250 DTS or even maybe the Verado. That said, I haven't seen much info on if the Verado is really much different than the base 250 with DTS other than it costs about $800 more.

One more point - the lake I am on is only about 300 acres so besides wanting to be able to take the kids for a fun tube ride or pull a recreational skier or wakeboarder I don't have much need or chance for long high speed runs...

Thoughts? Thanks!

Baja 252

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I have a 200hp Merc DTS with Smartcraft and love it.


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Annandale, VA
You can run a comparison on the Merc website, there are significant differences between the 4S and the Verado, the biggest IMO the gear ratio. See pic below.

I priced out an F250 mech, F250 DEC and 250 Verado V8 for my build and the prices were roughly $15k, $17k and $18k respectively. Went with the F250 DEC over the Verado mainly due to availability - the Yamaha was in stock while the Merc was 3-6 months lead time according to dealer. Personally the Merc V8 would be my preference due to it being a much newer product than the tried-and-true but older Yamaha, and so far the accolades have been pretty universal. The taller gear ratio will allow you to run a slightly larger prop which could be beneficial in your heavier R application.

It also appears the powered-hydraulic steering is standard with the Verado as is the DTS which make for a much more enjoyable experience. The tradeoff appears to be more weight and obviously price.

Another Merc option is the Pro XS which raises the rev limiter over the 4S, but all other specs including gear ratio appear to be similar to the 4S.

Good luck!



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I’m a mercury guy but considering the size of the lake your on I would get the Yamaha and save some money. I don’t believe it will affect resale enough to matter. Most people don’t know or care about the differences as long as it runs good and isn’t a bear to turn.


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Just another fly in the ointment: have you considered the Merc 225 DTS?

With the Simrad GO9 display for Merc digital and Merc power steering, it comes out to about the same price as the Yamaha VF250 mechanical with no digital display and SeaStar with power assist least that's what I'm seeing on the boat builder site.

Can anyone with a newer Merc chime in and give some feedback on my thought process for BrianC to consider?


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I have a 200 Mercury Verado Pro myself. Not the 250 you are looking at, but sharing many similarities. Two great replies above!

I will say I was SKEPTICAL about the increased costs going with my Verado Pro. I kept asking myself if the digital controls and power assisted steering that are baked into would be worth the extra expense?

After going for it, and getting the boat, the answer for us has been a resounding YES, YES, YES. I would NEVER return to non-digital controls again. The Mercury digital controls are fantastic. They also can link to other data systems, Simrad systems, etc... All baked into the motor from the start. They are simply amazing!

Furthermore, and often forgotten about in these discussions, the Mercury Verado DTS docking mode on the throttle is a huge advantage in docking in tight quarter circumstances. It really gives you MUCH MORE finite control of thrust when in tight spaces and docking.

And since I was already going to add power assisted steering, just having it all baked into one system is a distinct bonus.

Finally, the differences in gear ratio really does lead to MUCH better performance (hole shot, power arc, and WOT) than the same HP motors without that advantage. I think hole shot is where I feel the difference being most noticeable in this regard. Again, driving mine and another with same HP without these features was noticeable.

So, is the small increased cost to go with the 250 Merc Verado worth it? I would say YES for my boating conditions, but those are different than yours. Thus, I temper my personal endorsement of the Verado by what DGI said above. If you will never venture off that 300 acre lake, all that extra performance in the Verado may not really be that utilized. I agree that it would be easier to save the $ and forgo some of these advantages given the lake you will boat on.

Knowing what I know about the digital controls alone though, I would recommend at least going with the Mercury with DTS. They are fantastic. If you think you will venture into larger bodies of water over time, do more water sports over time (we do a lot of them) then I’d for sure recommend stepping up to the Verado. However, if you will lartery just slow cruise your 300 acre lake most all of the time of the boats ownership, probably just save a little coin and stick with the regular Yamaha 250 - which obviously is no slouch of a motor at all. It is a very tried and true power plant. Cannot go wrong with that choice either.

I am on a very large lake, about 26,000-27,000 acres. For us, these extra Verado advantages are well utilized. That would not be true for everyone, and maybe not true for you.


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I have a G23, which is the same hull with ESP and have a 250 verado. All around performance is great with top speed of 40 MPH at 6000 RPM 15x15 Enertia prop. Love the merc, super quiet, super smooth. I went with Verado because it came with both DTS and power steering as standard. I wouldn't do anything but digital controls. Forget all those cables that's a 1980's approach. You won't be sorry