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Carlton
02-05-2017, 09:56 PM
Looking for some advice. I'm restoring a 1954 Wagemaker Wolverine 14 ft. Runabout. The project is going well, but I need to make a decision regarding restoring/upgrade the motor or purchase something newer. The Wolverine came with a 1959 40HP Mercury. It's a darn good looking motor and would add to the complete restoration. I'm hoping to take this boat to some boat shows. Not really interested in winning awards, more interested in hanging out with fellow boaters.
The Mercury hasn't run since 1992. It has a rope start. The previous owner said he use to start the motor and jump over and up to the steering wheel. I'm not that athletic. The motor has the option for an electric start. I found the parts (starter, choke, selenoid, rectifier, and wiring harness) I need. I have a local guy that I will do the work. However, when I talked to him, he had some big concerns about trying to spend the $$$$ to bring a 60 year old motor up to speed. He suggested I find a later model, maybe 1990's. He asked what my primary intentions for the boat. I told him about the boat shows, but I'm really interested in pleasure boating. He said using the Mercury for pleasure boating would certainly not be very pleasurable. I told him I have a 15hp (tiller) Evinrude 4-stroke on my aluminum fishing boat and maybe I should look at a 4-stroke. He said the 4-strokes are very heavy compared to 2-strokes. Plus, the transom on my wooden boat may not tolerate the weight of a 40 hp 4-stroke. I know I don't need a 40hp motor. Not sure what horsepower would be appropriate.
So I'm at a crossroads with which direction to go. Stay with the Mercury, or find something newer?
Finding something newer (used) can still present it's own problems.
It may be that my mechanic isn't comfortable working on such an old motor.
Surely, there must be some of you that have been in this situation.
I would love to find a newer motor that has a vintage look, but have yet to find anything.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Wagemaker
02-06-2017, 12:43 AM
I'm putting a 1957 Evinrude Lark 35hp that I restored on my '58 Wagemaker Wolverine. The old merc would be cool! With some modifications, one might be able to use an old school cowl on a modern motor??? I personally believe a vintage boat deserves a vintage motor.
WgMkr
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p219/mas421/IMG_3629_zpsuepq4zw1.jpg (http://s129.photobucket.com/user/mas421/media/IMG_3629_zpsuepq4zw1.jpg.html)

skaraborgcraft
02-06-2017, 02:43 AM
Take the old motor when you go to shows, but USE a modern motor. I have a "big twin" motor that has been frowned upon on the local fresh water lake , but it has value to period boats when being displayed.

wizbang 13
02-06-2017, 05:33 AM
A 40 from the day is about equal to todays 30.
For example in the 70's I had a 50 merc on a 14 ' Aristo Craft that went 40mph. Later I bought a new Aristo Craft with a 40 merc that went 50 mph.
Better props, better steering, power trim brackett, and rated differently.
Never take the antique engine into salt water, (I banged 12,000 miles of puget sound salt through my new merc).
So, I might have two different, but switching them out, once hooked up, is not so easy.
bruce

nedL
02-06-2017, 07:33 AM
That 40 Merc must be a bit of a bear to start by hand all the time . Growing up I had a 13'6" OldTown cedar lapstrake runabout (not a world of difference between yours 'boat wise') with a 1964 25hp "Gale" (OMC), and that moved it very nicely (about 23knots wide open, used to waterski behind it).
The Merc is a great looking engine, but they had a reputation (around us) of being fast, but if you wanted reliability get an OMC. Wagemaker's Lark would be more my choice for vintage.
I have Been away from the world of outboards to long to comment intelegently on "new".

Ben Fuller
02-06-2017, 11:38 AM
Reason that the lake folks don't like old engines of course is that engines of that vintage needed I think 10-1 mix in the gas and put a lot of oil in the water. I'd have a look at the weight of the engine and get something that was no heavier. Besides the 4 strokes I think there is a new generation of ecologically friendly two strokes out there.

skaraborgcraft
02-06-2017, 03:13 PM
Ben makes a good point, those new oil injected Evinrudes are really something, and do not have the weight issue of a four stroke. Im sure they have been pretty much tested by know for wear, what with modern synthetic oils and all, and i do not suppose consumption is a big issue over there as it is over here.

Tom Lathrop
02-06-2017, 04:20 PM
Reason that the lake folks don't like old engines of course is that engines of that vintage needed I think 10-1 mix in the gas and put a lot of oil in the water. I'd have a look at the weight of the engine and get something that was no heavier. Besides the 4 strokes I think there is a new generation of ecologically friendly two strokes out there.

Ben,

This is not quite true, well to be more accurate, not close to true. An older OMC engine will run fine on modern oil of 50:1 and it was never close to 10:1 but at 32:1 for most of them. Even the notorious Seagull oil dumper uses 16:1. I have used modern 50:1 outboard oil in my 1980 Evinrude 25 for years. Compared to current oil injected engines like the Etec, that is still a lot of film on the water though.

Wagemaker
02-06-2017, 05:29 PM
Food for thought...I'll be running no greater than 24:1 on my '57 Lark...but then again, I'll only run less than 30 gallons of gasoline all season.

I do not like the oil in the environment...maybe I'll get a hybrid car to compensate!? Still outboard motors represent only a micro fraction of a bigger issue.

WgMkr

Chip Chester
02-06-2017, 06:17 PM
Previously my 16' Carver was sporting these:

http://aomci.org/forum/download/file.php?id=6509

Because I boat in reservoir waters for the most part, I now use a 50 HP Honda 4-stroke.

Thought many times about procuring a vintage head casing and shrouding the Honda with it, but cooling and noise complicates the matter. I suppose if I had a yard full of candidate housings it would be an easier task. Some have gone down that path.

(On edit: I neglected to mention, too, that both those motors are up for grabs (but not free) if someone is looking for authenticity. Stored inside, very good original shape, original throttle/shift box, electric box and Gale dash panel included. 35 HP and 2-ish HP.)

Chip

Ben Fuller
02-06-2017, 07:20 PM
Ben,

This is not quite true, well to be more accurate, not close to true. An older OMC engine will run fine on modern oil of 50:1 and it was never close to 10:1 but at 32:1 for most of them. Even the notorious Seagull oil dumper uses 16:1. I have used modern 50:1 outboard oil in my 1980 Evinrude 25 for years. Compared to current oil injected engines like the Etec, that is still a lot of film on the water though.

You are right; I didn't have my copy of the book that started people looking hard at outboards. I'd just finished fueling my chain saw which is kind of an oil hog. But the point is still that the older outboards use and deposit a lot more oil then modern engines. As I recall kind of nasty when started. The etec and others of that breed make a lot of sense for power to weight.

wizbang 13
02-06-2017, 08:01 PM
A fake period cowling can be a hoot!
https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8701/28572422920_1840bf319e_z_d.jpg

wizbang 13
02-06-2017, 08:08 PM
In FACT, I have this "Mockery" in my archives , a 1962 50 hp, might interest you!
https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8384/28037287454_841c063354_z_d.jpg