Re: [OMC-Boats] Why the OMC bashing...

From: Lee Shuster <Lee.Shuster@...>
Date: Tue, 8 Sep 2009 14:10:13 -0600


Pg 321

From: omc-boats-bounces@... [] On Behalf Of Dan McCormack
Sent: Monday, September 07, 2009 5:58 PM
To: omc-boats@...
Subject: Re: [OMC-Boats] Why the OMC bashing...

Hi Lee

Included in your stern drive story I saw the reference to Carl Kiekhaefer's "burning at the stake" of an OMC outboard. Do you have any more detailed info on that particular event ie. where was the dealer meeting ? what year ? did it happen at more than one of those meetings ?

Dan McCormack

> From: lks@...
> To: omc-boats@...
> Date: Sun, 6 Sep 2009 09:24:45 -0600
> Subject: Re: [OMC-Boats] Why the OMC bashing...
> It's a long and complicated story. I'll touch only on the highlights
> here.
> When OMC made the decision to add sterndrives to their market-
> dominating outboards (Johnson-Evinrude-Gale) in 1962 there were over
> 20 manufacturers of sterndrives in the market.
> (You don't see any f them being bashed -- cause few if any on them
> survived, beyond Volvo and Mercury.)
> A lot of anti-OMC rumours and general bashing was started in the
> sixties by Karl Kiekhaefer, like when he burned a OMC V-4 outboard at
> the stake an a national Mercury sales meeting.
> OMC Electric Stringers sales grew steadily (as did sterndrive sales in
> general from about 1964 to 1975, when the 1st energy crisis, greatly
> slowed down recreational boat sales.) At that point OMC dominated the
> sterndrive market.
> There was nothing fundamentally wrong or flawed about the electric-
> shift stringer design. But the outboard engineering division really
> called the shots and in the very late sixties they hired Mercury's
> chief engineer, Charile Strang.
> Charlie had secretly invented the modern CV-joint, gimbal mount
> sterndrive and handed the design to Volvo via former employee Jim
> Wynne. see:
> The OMC outboard engineers began moving away from the electric shift
> in 1969. The wanted economies of manufacturing scale and had developed
> the hydro-mechanical. thru-prop exhaust geargease to handle the torque
> of their big V6 outboards. You can look it up but the OMC corporate
> decision to change their sterndrive design ultimately reduced market
> share in sterndrives, yeilding to the market leadership to Mercury.
> These post 1976 OMC drives did more to damage the reputation of OMC,
> IMHO and ultimately lead to OMC filing for bankruptcy.
> The Electric Stringer drive has these know limitations:
> 1) Reliable Torque and horsepower capacity limited to 260 hp @... 5000
> rpm. Thus, the OMC ESS was never designed or capable of handling
> larger Big Block V8's like the 454 Chevy or Ford 460.
> 2) Underwater hydro-dynamics -- This drive really hits it's design
> limit around 50 mph. this is a combination of the lower gearcase,
> exhaust and anti-cavitation plate design. Combine this with no or
> limited ability (in later Inline GM or Ford V8 offerings) to trim unit
> to boat load and running conditions, were seen as a drawback.
> 3) Requirement for using special (proprietary) Type C lube and non-
> industry standard mounting system.
> So laugh when you read all that crap. The more people that "run-away"
> from OMC electric stringers, the more we benefit.
> Lee
> On Sep 5, 2009, at 9:23 PM, Justin DeSantis wrote:
> > I thought this may be an interesting topic to discuss. One doesn't
> > have to be surfing boat sites long before you hear a lot of anti-OMC
> > stern drive talk. You see people caution boat shoppers to avoid OMC
> > outdrives. One person said specifically, "Avoid OMC sterndrives, and
> > if it's a stringer, RUN away." Of course, I didn't read this before I
> > bought mine. But it wouldn't have changed anything, I'd have still
> > bought my Johnson. But my questions is, why? Is it just a matter of
> > part availability? Is there inherent problems with the OMC design?
> > It's not like OMC is some fly by night outfit in the boating. Why the
> > distaste for the OMC stern drive? Seems to me it has some distinct
> > advantages, but I haven't run it long enough to know if they also come
> > with pitfalls. So what gives?
> > _______________________________________________
> > OMC-Boats mailing list
> > OMC-Boats@...
> >
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Received on Tuesday, 8 September 2009

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