I’m still searching for a true Fish/Ski boat for the family. I know there’s a lot of tradeoffs, but it’s the best I can do to get a larger boat. I’m focusing more on an 18 1/2 – 20 foot fiberglass/composite hull from 2000 – 2010, since it will serve as a family boat better than most of the aluminum fish/ski models, and that is my primary need. Looking at Ranger Reata, Triton SF 190 and SF21, Skeeter 190 Fish and Ski, ProCraft 200 and 215 Combo, but I haven’t completely ruled out the more sporty aluminum hull boats. I do know that I want 175 hp minimum, I’ve ridden in a few boats at this size now, and while 200 hp is not completely necessary, it feels right. Could maybe go 150 if I did choose an aluminum hull boat.
From what I’ve seen so far in my date range (limited by my budget) the primary outboard is the Mercury EFI 2 stroke, and I have no firsthand knowledge of them except that they still use oil injection, which had a reputation for not being long-term reliable, and a failure of that system would likely be catastrophic to the entire motor.
What do the great minds here at IDO think of buying a boat with one of these motors that is 15-20 years old? Are they solid? Did the oil injection ever become reliable? What years? What about the Optimax 200 – are they reliable enough to count on 25 years of MN/WI seasons if properly maintained?
I always feel like I ask more than I contribute here at IDO, but the knowledge here is amazing, so as always, I appreciate any help.