Powerboat Forums at SpeedWake banner
1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
713 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After reading some post in another thread I thought it would be great to see what everyone thinks. Which one Merc or OMC.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,762 Posts
I've owned both.

I had chronic shifting issues with the OMC Cobra. This was back in the 90's and it was hard to find knowledgable OMC techs in my area back then. The fact that they don't make them anymore says something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
713 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Super24 said:
I've owned both.

I had chronic shifting issues with the OMC Cobra. This was back in the 90's and it was hard to find knowledgable OMC techs in my area back then. The fact that they don't make them anymore says something.

good point :p:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,508 Posts
I've never owned an OMC boat but I have a few friends with Libs and the cone clutch King Cobra. Those drives are BEEFY and not a single one of them have had any problems. Knock on wood.

A cone clutch KC is a stronger drive than a Bravo IMO.

I friend of mine owns a marina and their ratio between Merc and Volvo boats is about 50/50. But their drive repairs are about 10/90 in favor of Volvo!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,417 Posts
VOLVO sx cobra or DP is a better built drive than mercs comparable....They are built with higher strength material and precision tolerances are alot tighter. This is fact. They are not mass produced, as is merc. Merc is a great product, but so is a chevy, but most would say a lexus is built with a higher standard.

Higher performance, merc hands down obviously!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,431 Posts
The reason they arent built anymore is becasue Volvo bought the newer King Cobra (when omc threw in the towel) and calls it an SX. The early Sx drives are part for part the same as the King Cobra...maybe still. You dont need to get parts for the KC, just get parts for the Volvo and put them in. The older KC drives had shifting issues but after the redesign in 90-91??? they were bulletproof. Better then a Bravo...I dunno...but a good drive for sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,762 Posts
Are we talking about OMC or Volvo here? I know that the Cobra was absorbed by Volvo. That was approx. 1995.

When somebody says OMC Cobra or KC, I think pre-Volvo. Those are the drives found on mid 80's-early 90's boats. I had a '92 Chris Craft w/OMC Cobra. That was before Volvo had anything to do with the Cobra.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
809 Posts
A good friend of mine is a boat mechanic and his saying is "If it ain't black, then it don't belong in the back".

In other words, Merc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
337 Posts
There is NO debate....I know first hand. OMC parts are HARD to come by and trying to find a mechanic to work on them is next to impossible.

I was buying a Libby- Went to pick it up and there was a mechanical problem. Took it to the one mechanic 80 miles from me (and I live in in Michigan) and he couldnt get to it for 2 weeks. He than said "if I can find the parts you are looking at August before I can get it back to you" again this is Michigan...

OMC is harder and harder to find. I am SO glad my Libby deal fell through. That's great if you know the lake you are on and don't EVER hit anything on the bottom but if you do you are SOL.....

:dead:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,878 Posts
My 1st choice would be Merc.
BUT I have had a King Cobra and would not be nearly as scared of them as most of what is said here!!!
I also own a Volvo SX Cobra currently. It is a FAR nicer smoother drive than any of my Mercs were. Only sitting behind a V-6, but by far best operating/shifting unit I had so far.
As said many times, HI-HORSE, I'd be silly to go anywhere's besides Bravo, but if I found a deal on an older King Cobra equipped rig...I wouldn't run away just because of the drive.
Not trying to be an OMC sales guy, as 1st choice would be Merc if I was buying new and had an option (mainly due to resale)but I don't see them as TABOO as many others. And most of that opinion came after owning them.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,826 Posts
I had an 88 Liberator 211 with a 460 KC. Replaced the 460 with a 625 hp 540 and ran it three seasons , no mech problems. Did have a shift problem but replaced the ESM and that fixed that. replaced the 460 and sold it in 2000...It's still running ;)
Parts may be a problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,157 Posts
I vote Merc because of the ease of parts. My dad had a mid 70's Sea Ray and had a OMC on it and that thing could turn on a dime! Docking was so easy! When he got rid of it he got a Merc Alpha and thought he had lost a step because it was much harder to maneuver.
 

·
Speak English Or Die!
Joined
·
1,622 Posts
snopro1108 said:
There is NO debate....I know first hand. OMC parts are HARD to come by and trying to find a mechanic to work on them is next to impossible.

I was buying a Libby- Went to pick it up and there was a mechanical problem. Took it to the one mechanic 80 miles from me (and I live in in Michigan) and he couldnt get to it for 2 weeks. He than said "if I can find the parts you are looking at August before I can get it back to you" again this is Michigan...

OMC is harder and harder to find. I am SO glad my Libby deal fell through. That's great if you know the lake you are on and don't EVER hit anything on the bottom but if you do you are SOL.....

:dead:
Well, then I WILL debate. ;) I have a '92 Liberator with the cone clutch King Cobra. My mechanic is 30 minutes from here and he works on OMC's all the time. He has very little problem getting me or others parts. This area also had two OMC dealers in the '80's who still work on them.

The cone clutch King Cobra has been bullet proof and shifts considerably better than the Mercruiser Bravo I I had in the past. I haven't gotten my new (to me) Scarab III in the water yet, so maybe these Bravo's will shift better, but I doubt it.

So, for me, it's not as bad as your case. I have also found new parts on the internet with a quick search.

I'm going to vote for OMC King Cobra *cone clutch* drives. I am not a fan of the dog clutch one's. IF the debate comes down to trying to SELL your boat, however, goodness knows you don't want any stern drive with O-M-C on it, you ain't going to get scratch for it.

After that, I prefer Volvo Penta. This is not counting the performance Mercruiser stuff out there now.

My $.02, lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
150 Posts
You would think that if OMC King Cobras had a lower resale value that whatever parts (and used drives) are available would not be too expensive, since it [seems] that few people want them. That doesn't count the new Volvo drives and parts that you could use.

I guess my first choice would be Merc, but if I was working on a "project" boat, I wouldn't be averse to using a KC cone-clutch drive.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top