Alphas will hold 300-350 hp on smalle lighter boats...
Bravos near 500 on larger craft
wide tolerance on those figures depending on weight, driving style, etc.
(Not Merc approved figures...Just my .02)
An alpha will be faster on a smaller/lighter boat with mild power than a bravo on the same boat. An alpha will hold more power than one thinks on a smaller/lighter boat as well. You just have to run them with common sense! No hole shots, no wide open re-entries, etc. etc. Just my .02!!
my Alpha is 25+ years old and has hundreds of hours and is still alive with a 454 ,
then there are guys that blow up new Bravo drives with stock big blocks .
Like was said a lot is in your style of boating .
With same power Alpha will be faster, its lighter,shorter and
sucks less power but wont take the torque or abuse of a Bravo.
Im about to put a ZZ502 in front of mine,should be good for a laugh or two..
I would not own a alpha with a big block. When Mercury came out with the very first Magnum Series engine in 1986, which was a 330 454 Alpha combination, they soon discontinued it, due to the fact that it was mostly installed in offshore sportboats, which was a big mistake.
It seems that the main differences have been covered pretty well.
What are you considering to compare the two?
I had an alpha in my 87 Formula 242SS with a 454. That was factory mated but the transom plate had some corrossion and there were other problems with the gimbal ring etc so I sold the drive upper and lower on ebay and scrapped the rest for a total bravo drive system.
If you are considering an alpha bbc scenario then I would say run the alpha till you have a problem if there is none now. If you are looking to increase hp with the alpha then deffinately dump it and go bravo. My .02
I have a 454/alpha combo in my Formula223LS. I repowered with a 454/425 hp crate engine. The lower drive had a bearing go bad so I just replaced the lower. Its been 3 years ago with o problems. I am pretty easy with the boat.