Mercury 350 or Yamaha 350 for a Bennington 23RFB?

David G

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If the deal falls through on the 24 Bowrider I will order one. You guys tell me your favorite motor and why.
 

The Hillbilly Barge

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I don't think there's a nickel's worth of difference between them, I believe Yamaha, Mercury and Honda are all great engines. I think Suzuki is probably on par with them now and the only downside for Suzuki is resale. I would probably focus more on finding a reputable dealer for service after the sale than the particular brand of the engine, but that's me
 

CLDave

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I'm a Merc guy and very happy with my 350 Verado. Had a Yamaha 115 on our last Benny and it was fine and reliable. Do you like black? Merc. Gray/silver? Yammy. Most important: What does your dealer support?
 

David G

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I'm a Merc guy and very happy with my 350 Verado. Had a Yamaha 115 on our last Benny and it was fine and reliable. Do you like black? Merc. Gray/silver? Yammy. Most important: What does your dealer support?
Dealer prefers Yamaha, but Yamaha dont show the white one and Mercury does, on the build sheet.
I want a 350 though. Last Benny had a 250 Vmax and it was a beast, but going to 300+ they dont make that model.
 

Vikingstaff

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For clarity, does your dealer prefer Yamaha, but services both….OR do they prefer Yamaha, as well as only servicing them?

I agree with the above comments whole heartedly (although I like giving the Yamaha guys grief about their lack of a Mercury on the back…only because I like my Merc. Verado Pro). Hillybilly and CLDave took my words.

Now, if you want to get nit-picky, you could look into the features and trade-offs between them. Maybe one of the options/subtle differences between them will appeal more to you and your boat use? Things like throttle features, motor noise, alternator amps, torq, gear ratios, motor weight, fuel consumption, color options, aesthetics, etc…. Little trade offs between them in these areas, but again no major differences IMHO.

What you can get most easily serviced is probably the wised option to go with mechanically. They all will likely treat you very well and preform excellent.
 

Potomacbassin’

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I would add to check on other boating sites what the track record of each is. Some high-HP Yamaha models have known issues with them that may effect not only service interval but also resale. An example below:


Mercs and Zukes also likely have some nits (the DF's had issues with their lowers) and for sure there is a lot of hearsay out there, so do a lot of research before committing to a $30k motor!

No engine will be perfect but for me the best would be 1) closest dealer/service support 2) least amount of known issues and 3) cheapest cost. If I had a Suzuki dealer nearby I would have gone with their 250 hands down. Great reliability at an unbeatable price. Merc V8 was next on the list but lead time was many months out, cost 15% more than the Yamaha and service was further. I have an F250 and it's been fine, no complaints.
 

Jack M

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Mercury , because of my past experience with them . My next one will have a Verado . ( my dealer sells and service's both ) Besides a white , you can also order a Mercury with primer for custom paint
 

The Hillbilly Barge

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After some comments on here I did a little research and there are some very disturbing articles about the yamaha 350hp, it seems they have had some real problems with them and I don't understand why a company like yamaha wouldn't redesign this engine.
 

Potomacbassin’

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After some comments on here I did a little research and there are some very disturbing articles about the yamaha 350hp, it seems they have had some real problems with them and I don't understand why a company like yamaha wouldn't redesign this engine.
I'm guessing some bean counter is making the argument to keep it alive, even with some extra warranty costs. Keep riding it until the wheels fall off, suffer through the customer complaints then design a new one down the road after the tooling is paid off.

I've seen car manufacturers do the same with flawed designs (Dodge Hemi engines, Ford Explorer rollovers, Honda 9-speed transmissions and distorted windshields etc.) and they always seem to just keep on selling even with the added customer pain. I'm sure it's a tough call to just throw out a ton of investment and start over, but if this happens enough eventually your reputation ends up in the bilge.

Yamaha needs to step up or Merc is going to rapidly swing market share for large OB's back their way, if it isn't there already.
 

The Hillbilly Barge

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This is a eye opener for me, I came very close to buying a boat with a 350 and never looked past the yamaha badge on it, normally I'm a research fanatic but had complete confidence in the brand. Scary, the amount of money paid for these boats is a big investment for me and if I had to come out of pocket for a large repair bill it would be a real hardship.
 

lakeliving

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Tons and tons of guys here running Yamaha 350’s on their center consoles. I haven’t heard of any issues.
 

Ishoot308

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If the deal falls through on the 24 Bowrider I will order one. You guys tell me your favorite motor and why.
I have had the following motors in recent years on my pontoon boats and the following comments...

Evinrude Etec 250 HP Manitou Pontoon
Mercury 250 Verado Premier Pontoon
Yamaha 350 Bennington Q series Pontoon
Mercury 400 Verado Bennington QX Sport

The Etec was a powerhouse. Unfortunately I blew a piston in the first year and BRP replaced entire motor. Then had many injector issues. Since BRP no longer makes the Etec, its a moot point...

Next boat was a Premier with a 250 Verado. Great motor! Super quiet! I honestly could not tell if it was running unless I looked at the tachometer. No issues with motor at all but did not like boat so traded it in...

Next was the Benny Q series with Yamaha 350. This motor was a beast! Very big and powerful with a definite growl to it. Had no issues with the motor but definitely not nearly as quiet as the Verado. Had no issues with motor only thing I didn't like was Yamaha's trim control as it was not very smooth.

My current boat is a Benny QX Sport with Yamaha 400 Verado. Again the Verado is ultra quiet and the power is excellent. Trim control is super smooth as well as their power steering mechanism. There is nothing about this motor (or boat) I dislike.

So I guess my personal favorite would be the Verado at this point....

Dan
 
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