The engines that came with the boat are twin 2004 Mercury Optimax 225HP engines. These engines have served me well but I had the opportunity to upgrade to twin 2015 Mercury Verado 300HP engines and I decided to jump on it. The old Optimax 225’s still have good life left in them so I decided to sell them in order to help offset some of the cost of the new engines. The new engines have 18 months left on their original warranty and I can extend this out further if I decide to do so (which I will). The new engines will get much better gas mileage. I was only getting about 1.25 miles per gallon with the old engines. I should get about 2 miles per gallon or perhaps a little better with the new engines. In addition, the old motors were 2 strokes which required that I add the expensive DFI oil to the 2 oil tanks that feed each of the engines. Maintenance costs on the old engines were adding up. Last year I replaced a lower unit, an alternator and some other things which all add up. I can run the new engines for 3 years and I shouldn’t have any maintenance issues besides the normal service. When running 60 miles or more offshore, minimizing the possibilities of having to limp back on one motor is great piece of mind. Add to the equation the fact the new motors are extremely quiet and the value they add to the boat, this upgrade was a no-brainer.

Step one involved removing the old shifter and replacing it with the new shifter. The electronics in this system are pretty amazing. The new shifter looks sleek and it went in relatively easy with only a few modifications necessary. I bought a small piece of starboard and used a router to trim to size. I cut the appropriate holes in the starboard and bolted this on top of the old opening giving it a nice finished look. Adding the Sea Dek on top of the starboard ties in the whole look of the helm.

Original Helm

New Helm (in progress)

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