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View Full Version : 'nuther newbie - 2001 Utopia 185



jshaley
07-07-09, 08:51 AM
I've poked around and learned a lot at this forum, thanks. I am new to Jet Boating - actually transitioning over from sail boats (kids not really digging the 3mph tubing experience).

The 2001 was apparently owned by a little old man who took it out on only on calm Sundays (yeah, right). The dealer is boasting that it looks like it still has the original plus. He thinks that means low hours, I worry it means no service.

A few questions:
- It is the 210HP carb'd Mercury. So I am pleased that it is a Mercruiser, should find plenty of mechanics familiar with it (learned from this forum that Seadoo places may not be the best). Any comments on this engine? I know I can expect more smoke and poorer mileage but what about reliability.

- With other boats, I have heard it said that the Fuel Injected versions of the engine are more reliable, but harder to fix once they go. Where you can actually tune a carb on the water if need be. Is this valid?

- I know that the intake is a hungry beast and will eat anything you put in front of it, is this true at idle? Is the suction proportional? Like if I go slo in shallow areas or ramp do I still have to worry as much. I have heard stories of "softball sized rocks" being sucked off the floor in 4'. Does the 1st attempt at cleaning a fouled intake mean you are under the boat or can you just hop in and reach it from the stern?

- From this forum I know I want a compression test and will do a close inspection of the impeller and intake area looking for damage. Any other tips?

- What are your best Preventive Maintenance tips. I am thinking if I pick this up I will change oil (there is a suggestion on teh forum about type of oil), plugs, etc. Generally spend a bit of money now to avoid a larger bill later.

- Are people changing the intake> Did I read that the HyrdroSurge mechanism should be tossed?

- I still see old boats in good shape. Like From '85 and such. Not true with the jet boats, but this must be because they did not really get popular until the late 90's. I know any boat will last as long as you take care of it, but I am also reading that the turbo models more or less have a scheduled rebuild linked to hours of usage. Is that true for the none turbo or even carbed models? Or should I plan on a $6k rebuild in the next few years.



Thanks in advance!

John

Craigmri
07-07-09, 09:48 AM
John,

Welcome and thanks for the chuckle about your kids not digging the 3 mph tubing experience.

Aaron has the identical boat and hopefully he will provide incite for you. I know he has said time and time again that he loves his boat!

What I can offer is this....Make sure you know a good mercury mechanic if in the event you need one and in the worst case event be prepared for a large bill if your engine goes south.

Craig

jshaley
07-07-09, 09:59 AM
Craig,

Thanks for the response. Are you saying that because of this engine combination or just in general. Like are you saying the rotax or even fuel injected Merc's are better?

Reason I ask is there is a 2004 Utopia 205 for sale as well but it is significantly higher (2001 185 is below $9k, 2004 205 is above 15k). But I know that the operational/repair costs can go up with older boats.

John

Craigmri
07-07-09, 11:18 AM
John,

The common consensus within the Seadoo community is the way to go is the newer rotax 4-tec engines. From my understanding, if a mercury engine goes bad it can be a several thousand dollar replacement. I've heard six to eight thousand for a new motor. Of course thats worst case scenario but you are buying used and you just never know.

My philosophy is you buy a boat for recreation and get to use it very little. The times your out on it you dont want be be dealing with a bunch of issues. Not to say you cant have problems with a new boat. You certainly can but I like newer stuff.

The rotax 4-tecs are wonderful engines. Some are equipped with superchargers to up the power but require special maintenance. These newer 4-tecs are closed loop cooling, fuel injected and are very reliable.

Craig

rookie101
07-07-09, 09:33 PM
John, like you and Craig mentioned make sure you have a Mercury repair shop near by for service. Sea-Doo wont have a clue if you show up with this boat, but at the end of the day there are a whole lot more Mercury certified mechanics than Sea-Doo shops.

The main difference with the 210 and the fuel injected engines is the 210 will smoke more and be harder on fuel than it's more modern counterparts. As far as changing the oil goes, like all two-strokes there is no engine oil, it gets all its lubrication with the oil that mixes with the fuel. There is however some drive train oils that you need to change at least once a year. They are the Stator and the gear case. Use Mercury high performance gear oil for both.

Be sure to have an inspection done by a qualified Mercury shop and you should be good to go. Also as far as cost to replace the engine should the worst case happen, you can get a rebuilt power-head from almost any Mercury dealer for about 3200.00. Most people seem to think that is outrageous, but the 4Tec Rotax even from SBT is over 2800.00 so I really don't see any huge difference. The problem you run into is a lot of service centers just want to treat the M2 like an outboard and drop a brand new unit, pump and all in for the cost of about 13000.00 . Just ignore prices like that and go with a rebuilt, just like anyone with the 4Tec would.

In regards to the pump suction, yes it is proportional to the amount of throttle you are using. If you are idling in two to three feet of water you are fine. But by the same token if you are trying to power load the boat in an area with a lot of gravel you may find it getting expensive.

Aaron:cheers:

jshaley
07-08-09, 08:11 AM
Thanks Craig & Aaron for the great responses. What about this hydrosurge thing? A design flaw that should be replaced?

John

rookie101
07-08-09, 11:03 PM
Sorry, I forgot to answer that one. Yes the Hydrosurge should be replaced with a fixed grate. What happens is over time, the tines can become weak and break off. That in its self would be no big deal, but they tend to get sucked into the pump, and can do some expensive damage.

Check this thread for part numbers of replacement grates.

http://www.seadooforum.com/showthread.php?t=10926


Aaron:cheers: