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4.5L 200hp vs 250hp

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    4.5L 200hp vs 250hp

    Hey everybody,
    We are buying our first ever brand new boat and are very excited about that! We are coming out of a 1992 Kayot 200 limited with a 5.8L OMC Cobra, that boat was great to us but it was also a tub. She topped out around 45 and would pull me out of deep water on a slalom ski without too much exertion. We have landed on the VR5, we loved our deckboat and the interior layout/functionality is really what sold us on the VR5. In the process of choosing options, I am struggling with the 200hp vs the 250hp. I'm getting older and less enthusiastic about being drug for a bit to get out of the water on a slalom ski. I'd like to be able to have a few people in the boat and pull a couple of large tubes easily. I can't say that the price tag is not an issue, but I don't want to dislike the performance of this boat. We live on a relatively small inland all-sports lake in MI and this boat will be used almost daily in the Summer. Any input regarding the performance of either of these motors would be greatly appreciated.
    2021 VR5 250hp on order
    1992 Kayot 200 Limited 5.8L Cobra

    I am a slalom skier and I am over 50.
    I weigh 175.
    My body is not like when I was 25!
    I have the 200. Remember....the 4.5 is only a V6. It is not a stump puller during a hole shot. Even with the trim set "down" the bow rise is noticeable.

    Here are ways to improve hole shot without trim tabs.....

    - try a 4 blade prop same pitch
    - try a 4 blade prop different pitch (you will pay a small/modest fuel cost for this choice)
    - get the 250

    I had a fixed budget and was able to deal with a 4 blade, small pitch prop.

    When there are other adults with us I put at least two up in the bow for slalom starts.

    The VR 5 is not a lightweight boat basically has a complete fiberglass liner and I believe the i/o version of the boat weighs about 3500 lb. I could be wrong on that as I am on vacation and don't have info in front of me.
    Present Boat- 2018 VR5 4.5/200hp Mercruiser
    Last Boat- 1998 Capri 1950CL 3.0 Mercruiser


    • sdavis048
      sdavis048 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for the input! I know I'm not buying a tournament ski boat, I just don't want to end up wishing I had gone for the 250hp. We are planning on keeping this boat for many years and my kids are little now but, someday, we will have a bunch of teenagers on tubes behind this boat or, hopefully, they will enjoy slalom skiing as much as their old man. I keep justifying the investment by telling myself that this boat is going to be with us for a long time so we should just go for it.... I wish money grew on trees so these decisions weren't so agonizing!

    My buddy is a better then average slalom skier but he's in his later 30 (maybe) and fit, no issues getting on top with my spitfire 4 blade 17 pitch. The issue is like mentioned above, the VR5 is NOT a light weight boat hence makes larger wake then another similar length vessel and so in order to reduce size of wake he had me going near 30mph (IIRC) if not over and that in itself introduces other issues to the skier I guess I'm no skier.

    I also strongly believe the only real difference between the two engines is actually simply rev limiter and so regardless what engine you get you would still have the same results at the end.

    At the beginning and "end" of my boating season I run the stock Blackmax 3 blade 19P prop since I often do not have many passengers on board but rather couple family members and or my fishing buddy. But during the summer with pretty much loaded to max and doing water sports I swap out props.

    I've pulled 3 (2pers.) tubes at once, knee boarding, wake boarding and skiers (slalom) without any issues with my 4.5L (v6) 200hp 2017 VR5


    • sdavis048
      sdavis048 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for the input! I wasn't even considering upgrading the engine when we were first talking about a vr5. This forum is where I learned that quite a few people were swapping props to get the holeshot and I'm not interested in that if it's avoidable. I'm not used to skiing behind a mastercraft, my last boat (Kayot 200 limited, a 20' deck boat) weighed in at ~4000lbs dry and had a 351 Windsor block in it. So, I'm used to a less than ideal wake and taking a couple of seconds longer than desired to get out of the water on a slalom. We opted to upgrade the motor from the factory. I thought about chipping it and propping it but I'd rather not stress the motor like that as we plan on keeping this boat for many years. I hope we made the right choice, as it wasn't a cheap decision!

    I’ve never heard ANYONE say “Gee, I sure wish my boat had less power.” I’d opt for the bigger engine and enjoy the extra pulling power when your single skiing. You’ll burn a little more fuel but not THAT much more.
    Jim Gandee
    1989 3888
    Hino 175's
    Fire Escape
    [email protected]
    Alamitos Bay, SoCal


    • sdavis048
      sdavis048 commented
      Editing a comment
      We went for it! I hope it was the right choice as it was not a cheap decision. Thank you!