I just finished testing an 18' Jon Boat wit a yamaha 65 at the jet 4-stroke jet on it. The motor is rated for the boat. I took a buddy who knows a bit more about boats than I do. After testing the boat out on a lake, neither one of us were impressed.
The boat/motor were gutless. The hole shot was nonexistent. The overall speed was decent (30mph full throttle), but the entire operation felt labored with only a couple of guys on board. I have very little experience with 4-strokes, and I've heard all the negatives about their power/response but this was ridiculous. Any thoughts/suggestions?
Thank your lucky stars you were able to give the rig a test ride first.
To answer your question, I would go with an Mercury Optimax first or an Etec second. Both are great motors but I do not think the Etec's are worth the extra price they charge for them.
Think Optimax. No oil to change, no valves to adjust, no timing belts to replace. Only negative is you have to buy the 2 stroke oil but these newer motors really sip the oil.