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#360052 - 11/21/07 12:50 PM VP or Merc?  
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deepv Offline
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deepv  Offline
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Okay I have an Alpha I, Gen 2 but I am not baised on this and think that VP is better. What are your thoughts keeping it based in technical fact and not opinion.

Again, keep it civil so Admin doesn't lock this down.


72% of fatal boat accidents are caused by
boaters that haven't taken a safe boating course.

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#360058 - 11/21/07 01:02 PM Re: VP or Merc? [Re: deepv]  
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seabuddy Offline
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I do not understand. Are you re-powering or re-outdriving?

#360060 - 11/21/07 01:05 PM Re: VP or Merc? [Re: seabuddy]  
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deepv Offline
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Niether. Just wondering. A lot of people swear by one or the other. I just want to know the technical specifics that would make one better than the other, not hearsay or opinion.


72% of fatal boat accidents are caused by
boaters that haven't taken a safe boating course.

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#360062 - 11/21/07 01:09 PM Re: VP or Merc? [Re: deepv]  
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FormulaFanMN Offline
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SE Minnesota
I feel there are many factors that effect what powers your boat.

For many people it's what the boat manufacture uses or what the dealer likes to service or sell.

For me, the decision was VP because our family has had VP for almost 40 yrs powering the boats purchased.

Each company has it's pro/con to each engine/drive option.


2008 Formula 34PC

#360063 - 11/21/07 01:10 PM Re: VP or Merc? [Re: deepv]  
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Play Deep Offline
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Play Deep  Offline
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Northern Land of Lincoln
Definitely VP, no doubt about it, shouldn't even have to discuss it. ;\)

Good discussion for a slow day.


2004 Four Winns 194 Funship VP 5.0GXI DuoProp
2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
2004 Toro 16-38HXL
#360068 - 11/21/07 01:44 PM Re: VP or Merc? [Re: Play Deep]  
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deepv Offline
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That is exactly NOT what I am asking for, though. I desire hard facts not opinions. Getting opinionated will get the topic locked down.


72% of fatal boat accidents are caused by
boaters that haven't taken a safe boating course.

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#360072 - 11/21/07 02:06 PM Re: VP or Merc? [Re: deepv]  
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nyminute Offline
CEO Migraine Distributors
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Lake Wawasee, Indiana
Technical data doesn't compare to owner-user ship of a product. Tech data often becomes a sales support. If those facts really reveal one better than the other wouldn't you think the loser would take down the tent?


Its a matter of degrees from being up on your luck to down on your knees
#360075 - 11/21/07 02:18 PM Re: VP or Merc? [Re: nyminute]  
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seabuddy Offline
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A Bravo II is designed to be the best for a heavy boat using a single engine and a single prop.

Is the boat to be powered to be a heavy for its power like a single engined 24' 26' 28' cabin cruiser would be?

#360076 - 11/21/07 02:21 PM Re: VP or Merc? [Re: nyminute]  
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Philr Offline
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Philr  Offline
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The only one I can think of is that on an apples-to-apples (or as nearly as can be) basis, VP is usually a little less expensive.

I agree with NYM, if there were hard facts to support any significant difference, the other guy would quickly lose market-share. Plus, he'd fix it fast anyway.


'08 Chaparral 246SSi VP5.7GXiDP

My wife says that I spend too much time talking to random people online. What do you guys think?
#360077 - 11/21/07 02:21 PM Re: VP or Merc? [Re: seabuddy]  
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Opus Offline
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NW Arkansas
I prefer MerCruiser. The reason for this is that MerCruiser is by far the dominant brand in recreational boats in this region. I know... that doesn't mean it's mechanically superior. However, it does mean that it is much easiear to find knowledgeable service techs, and in stock parts. Additionally, I have no personal experience with ownership of, or working on, VP systems. I do all of my routine maintenance and basic repair work myself. I feel very much "at home" working on my MerCruiser products.

I recently bought another boat. I spend several months looking for a used 22-24 foot bowrider within 400 miles of me. The majority of the boats I saw for sale had MerCruiser. Although there were quite few with VP.

Out of about 25 boats in the slips around to me, only about 3-4 of them have VP. And, another 3-4 are outboards. The rest are MerCruiser.

As a moderator note; Stating your opinion on this topic will not get the thread locked, provided you do it in a civil and respectful manner.


"If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most".
#360081 - 11/21/07 02:29 PM Re: VP or Merc? [Re: seabuddy]  
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WaterMutt Offline
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WaterMutt  Offline
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Massachusetts
Facts (well as close as I get): For your sized boat, mine too for that matter, I would go with Volvo SX. The cone clutch is a quieter smoother operating unit than the Alpha dog clutches. The better comparison to the SX is the Bravo I, which is a higher price.

As seabuddy mentioned, larger cruisers benefit from a Bravo II, which VP has no match for.

The Volvo DP and the Bravo III are pretty similarly matched in design and operation.

The high performance drives from Merc like the X series and HP (?), Volvo has nothing to offer.

So, Merc has a wider range of products. Everything Volvo has to offer, Merc can match, but maybe not in price.


Personal Experience: I've had two Alpha legs and an SX. I liked the SX better for multiple reasons, and that is a fact as well.

Now to answer your other upcoming questions,

Aluminum over Bubinga
Ford over Chevy (can't believe I just said that)
I/O is better than outboard
Lollipops are better than political discussions


Malibu Wakesetter 23XTI
Bryant 214 Limited (gone, but not forgotten)

"That's my boat..."
-Forest Gump

#360084 - 11/21/07 02:40 PM Re: VP or Merc? [Re: Opus]  
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KCook Offline
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Phoenix
In my view the Merc vs Volvo debates are usually way to generalized. As if Volvo is always better than Merc, or vice versa. Other posts here have mentioned application issues, and I think that's the correct approach. Vee need to peel back the generalizations and consider this choice on a case-by-case basis.

As for Merc Alpha vs Volvo SX drive (both single prop), my last boat had the Volvo SX. Which worked fine. I also got to operate friend's boats with the Merc Alpha. Guess what, it also worked fine. These boats were modest power, so the Alpha was a good fit. The Alpha does have a slight clunk on engaging. But so does any OB boat. As I also have experience with OB boats, no big deal.

In most real world boat vs boat choices, I can find more important things to pick on that whether the power package is Merc or Volvo.

Kelly

#360127 - 11/21/07 04:14 PM Re: VP or Merc? [Re: KCook]  
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Rocnat4 Offline
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The problem with these debates is that the arguments are usually one sided. 90% of my boating experience has been with a Bravo 2 application. The other 10% was my first boat which had an OMC Cobra.

I can tell someone all about my experience with a Bravo 2 but to compare against anything else would be pure speculation on my part.

Even if someone has had multiple brands of outdrives, there are two many variables with hulls which would make comparison difficult. Perhaps ease of maintenance is the exception i.e changing an impeller in an A1 vs SX.

#360168 - 11/21/07 07:11 PM Re: VP or Merc? [Re: Rocnat4]  
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CMJ Offline
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CMJ  Offline
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Oldsmar FL
I have only owned two, a alpha one and a VP DP, the merc worked trouble free as long as I owned the boat and is still doing it's job twelve years later with no problems. A year and a half into the VP DP and no problems there either except for some minor paint problems. I think I like the operating smothness of the VP better, also the ease of impeller swaps, but wouldn't hesitate to go back to Merc.


Take care,
Chris
06 Monterey 248 LS
#360171 - 11/21/07 07:20 PM Re: VP or Merc? [Re: deepv]  
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BillyB Offline
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BillyB  Offline
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you're really trying to stir it up today aren't you deepv? The 2nd ammendment and now this. Heck, why not start a Ford v Chevy v Dodge v Toyota v Nissan light truck thread? That would be a trifecta!

Simply put, few people have owned both, so diect comparision is shot. Some areas seem to only have one or the other as the prevalent choice. And they both must work, cause both companies stay in business. Buy which ever color you like the best!


I'm just happy to be here!



#360209 - 11/22/07 02:03 AM Re: VP or Merc? [Re: BillyB]  
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seabuddy Offline
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If the boat is to be kept at a slip, Volvo has their Ocean series (Composite) drive. Its been in service now for years. Works well, so Merc just brought out their version. They call theirs', SeaCore.

#360210 - 11/22/07 02:20 AM Re: VP or Merc? [Re: BillyB]  
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kenhdog Offline
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kenhdog  Offline
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 Originally Posted By: BillyB
Buy which ever color you like the best!


Phantom Black! ;\)

Too much of a Boating noob to offer any technical feedback on the subject, but I do know my colors.....


2002 Rinker 212 Captiva
Merc 5.7 EFI Alpha
Trail-Rite Trailer
1999 GMC 'Burb
#360225 - 11/22/07 09:22 AM Re: VP or Merc? [Re: kenhdog]  
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BillyB Offline
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BillyB  Offline
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Peoria, Illinois
I've always liked that name "phantom black". But you know, Krylon black looks just like it!


I'm just happy to be here!



#360231 - 11/22/07 09:56 AM Re: VP or Merc? [Re: BillyB]  
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DaleG Offline
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DaleG  Offline
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West Palm Beach FL
I know this has come up before in other discussions on this subject, but I think it is still relevant -- a lot of the decision should have to do with service and dealers nearby-- especially if you are not a DIY person. If there is little Volvo service in your area, and you are a person who has to take your boat to the dealer for all issues, then you will have a lot of inconvenience. I think both are good equipment -- with some better in certain models, and the other on certain models. I had a Mercrusiser Sterndrive for over 20 years-- replaced almost very component in the drive over that time, and a lot of them twice. That boat was used heavily. I have a Volvo DP now and I like it. It is not perfect however and has required its share of maintenance.


thanks
Dale Gange - West Palm Beach
Wow - its been 40 plus years since I was an Ensign -USNA 1970

2003 Four Winns 240 Horizon
5.7Gi DP -- 280 HP
#360279 - 11/22/07 06:06 PM Re: VP or Merc? [Re: BillyB]  
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van Offline
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van  Offline
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DeepV, much would depend on your personal requirements such as if you your own maintenance, if you winterize and how etc. I have owned inboard gas, diesel, outboard and stern drive boats. I do almost all maintenance myself. One particular element of the Merc Alpha which I enjoyed is the pusher type water pump impeller location which the dog clutch in the drive bullet allows. I trailer the boat and the location of the water pump below water level allows it to work better on startup after launch and last longer period. I have owned two boats with Jabsco engine mounted raw water pumps and for my use have seen better life from the drive leg mounted pumps on the outboards and Alpha.

I never found replacing either impeller type to be a chore because on the inboard boats with the Jabsco pumps all you needed to do was remove six fasteners, remove the cover and replace the impeller. With the outboards and the Alpha, as long as the boat is out of the water the lower drive removes pretty easily, every thing is a bit heavier, but you get to stand upright, and if you drop a fastener while working behind the boat, it isnít going to roll into some impossible location in the bottom of the bilge.

Also winterizing likely is not an issue for you, but I am a big fan of the Merc "single point" water drain that the drive leg mounted Alpha pusher water pump allows. Turning a single big blue knob to drain the engine for the last few runs of the season before a forecasted frost is more convenient for me then fumbling around at the end of the day for the multiple engine and manifold plugs on some engines (with a cranky wife and kids waiting in the SUV wondering how much longer before we get to leave the storage lot and go home).

This all factors into the matrix of my requirements. Your requirements and the requirements of others will be different based on many personal preference variables and boat size, type, storage location location, fresh, salt, closed cooling etc. The point Iím trying to make is that there are more factors than "the blocks are the same and a dog clutch clunks but a cone clutch doesnít". Do what blows your hair back, they are both good or they would not both be in business competing for business.


van
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