View Full Version : Utopia 185 200hp or I/O 190hp

04-21-10, 10:15 PM
In the market for a boat and am looking at a few 18' I/O boats with the Merc 4.3 190hp as well as a Utopia 185 200hp Optimax. I had a 2003 Sportster LE and it could barely tow anything very well (tube, wake boarder, skiier, etc).

Will the Utopia pull tubers/etc decently compared to the I/O? I'm leaning towards the Utopia as I'm more familiar with jet drives, but don't want to end up with two people on a tube behind the boat with me at WOT, lots of smoke coming out the exhaust, and barely making headway (been there!).

Anyone have any general experience with similar powered I/Os and similar powered SeaDoos?

04-22-10, 08:07 AM
The Utopia 185 with 200hp will do watersports just fine providing its in good working order and the impeller/wear ring set is good.

In my opinion the I/O powered boat will do it better. If your talking about a 190hp V6 it will actually have more power than the 200hp jet. I think you will feel the torque more on the V6 boat. In addition, the I/O boat will most likely provide a better quality wake so wakeboarding will be more fun. If less wake is important that the jet boat has an advantage there.

Best thing you can do is sea trial both boats and see which you like better.


04-22-10, 09:44 AM
I have a 2001 Utopia 185 with the 200 DFI, I can pull up a 250lbs guy on a wakeboard using just the tow hook with 4-5 adults in the boat no problem.

I can also pull 2 adults on a tube and whip them around at 35mph (I can go faster, but I haven't since even at 35mph it's damn fast on a tube) I'm sure I can hit 50 easy with tubes.

Cruising at full throttle I'm at 55-60mph.

With that said, we do mostly wakeboarding, and I wish it had a better wake, the jet drive just isn't that great compared to a I/O. Also, this engine is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ for parts and repairs.

04-22-10, 10:54 AM
Thanks for the comment... I like cruising in the jet boat and being able to throw people around, watersports are probably secondary but still important. I'm going to sea trial the 185 on Saturday.

04-22-10, 11:41 AM
It's a fun boat to drive in for being a "big" boat compared to the smaller Seadoo Boats.

Try going full throttle, turn the wheel a little to the right then crank that sucker hard left, she does a nice 180degree spin :)

It turns on the water really nice as well when just goofing around!

It also Submarines really nice!:reddevil:

04-24-10, 04:12 PM
Well I got a chance to see the boat (it was about 4 hrs away). It was sitting in a dealer/marina lot and was a lot dirtier than expected, but they said they'd only had it two weeks (photos were immaculate). Mechanically it looked fine (I played with everything and got the flashlight out for bilge and pump inspection) so we put it in the water and immediately after giving it any gas and getting on plane it started beeping. I'm not familiar with the beep patterns, but I figured it was most likely low on oil. We headed back to the marina, the salesperson (who was very nice) ran off and got some Merc 2-stroke oil. We took the boat back out and the problem was still there, only now the buzzer was going off almost constantly. We speculated that it was overheating. He turned off the boat to take a look which was probably a mistake, since we couldn't get it started again! Tried several times - no dice. Every time when turning the key the buzzer would beep on-and-off. Since he didn't bring a phone with him I let him call the marina on my phone and they had someone come out and pick tow us back - a 38' Monterey cruiser as it were. Quite the tow-boat overkill.

They were very apologetic, and seeing as how I needed to make the 5 hour drive back to Raleigh (dealer was off the Potomac in VA) there was no chance I was going to buy this boat. I'm just thrilled that it broke down then instead of after buying it!

The search goes on...