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Old 06-26-2020, 11:33 AM   #1
scwolfe
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Default Northwest 196 Freedom underpowered?

In my continuing boat search I've come across a 2014 Northwest 196 Freedom. The boat appears to be good for my needs (Lake Pend Oreille, Puget Sound, Bouy 10, no ocean). However it has a 115 HP Honda engine and I'm wondering if that is enough power. The folks at Northwest told me that should be fine, but I'd like to understand it a bit more.

I searched and found a Honda performance bulletin for the NW 196 Freedom with a 90 HP Honda. I attached that. How much might I expect to see speed increase with the extra 25 ponies? I noticed the Honda bulletin was with 15 gals of fuel and 2 people. I think that the boat will hold 60 gals fuel so with 2 more people, a full tank, and some gear one could easily add 800 lbs to what the bulletin test weight was.

I have never owned an outboard, all of my experience is fiberglass boats with I/O. With those boats I usually cruised at around 3300 rpm. Is that typical cruising rpm for outboards as well? Is it unreasonable to expect to be able to cruise at 25 mph in aluminum fishing boats like this one? I like to go fast if it is a glass day.

To make it more complicated there is another 2006 NW 196 Freedom on the used market that is powered by a Honda 135 HP.

Thoughts on which I might be happier with?
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Old 06-26-2020, 11:53 AM   #2
bolen05
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I have a friend with a 19’ NW with offshore bracket powered with a 150 honda. Max speed is mid 30’s and I would not want any less power than 150
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Old 06-26-2020, 05:27 PM   #3
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Thumbs up Re: Northwest 196 Freedom underpowered?

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Originally Posted by bolen05 View Post
I have a friend with a 19’ NW with offshore bracket powered with a 150 honda. Max speed is mid 30’s and I would not want any less power than 150
Woah....I had my 21' NR Seahawk with a 150 Yamaha out Wednesday and had it up to 42mph...just saying....

As for the 115 on the 196 Freedom, I'd take it for a spin. I remember usually seeing a 135 Honda on em.
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Old 06-27-2020, 05:49 AM   #4
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Default Re: Northwest 196 Freedom underpowered?

You said no ocean so coming across the bar riding a big swell would not be an issue, and B10 conditions will keep your speed in check so its more of question how much fuel do you want to burn. It sounds like to me that having that boat in the 25-30 mph range is acceptable 90% of the time, if that boat does that with the engine its a good choice. My boat which larger will top out at 51-53 mph but it typically runs in the 25 mph speed or less for comfort and safety. I enjoy the time on the water as much as fishing so I'm in no rush.
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Old 06-27-2020, 06:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: Northwest 196 Freedom underpowered?

I would look at the plate on the boat to see what max hp is, you should be close to that number. Dealers put small motors on boats to help keep sticker shock at bay and boats leave the showroom under powered. Economy can be lost if a small motor has to work too hard and low end torque is pretty poor. The 150 and larger Honda motors are a whole different motor than the smaller editions.
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Old 06-27-2020, 06:47 AM   #6
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Default Re: Northwest 196 Freedom underpowered?

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Originally Posted by DogZilla15 View Post
I would look at the plate on the boat to see what max hp is, you should be close to that number. Dealers put small motors on boats to help keep sticker shock at bay and boats leave the showroom under powered. Economy can be lost if a small motor has to work too hard and low end torque is pretty poor. The 150 and larger Honda motors are a whole different motor than the smaller editions.

The Northwest 196 Freedom is rated for 150 HP max. I'd like to find one with that, but I suspect most were not sold with 150 HP.
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Old 06-27-2020, 06:51 AM   #7
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Default Re: Northwest 196 Freedom underpowered?

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Originally Posted by bolen05 View Post
I have a friend with a 19’ NW with offshore bracket powered with a 150 honda. Max speed is mid 30’s and I would not want any less power than 150
I did find another NW 196 Freedom owner who had the 150 HP. He indicated his max speed was around upper 40's mph. Not sure what accounts for that large difference.
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Old 06-27-2020, 07:05 AM   #8
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Default Re: Northwest 196 Freedom underpowered?

The 150 is in the high performance category with different tuning, intake, maybe cam shaft and they run completely different than the small motors. This allows for a larger more performance oriented prop and therefore much higher speeds and better hole shots because of better low end torque. The horsepower rating of a motor says little about how the motor actually runs. The bigger motors begin producing useable power as soon as the throttle is cracked unlike lesser rated ones.
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Old 06-27-2020, 08:39 AM   #9
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Default Re: Northwest 196 Freedom underpowered?

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Originally Posted by DogZilla15 View Post
I would look at the plate on the boat to see what max hp is, you should be close to that number. Dealers put small motors on boats to help keep sticker shock at bay and boats leave the showroom under powered. Economy can be lost if a small motor has to work too hard and low end torque is pretty poor. The 150 and larger Honda motors are a whole different motor than the smaller editions.
And like to drain the fuel tank faster but they do have more throatier sound especially the 6 cylinder engines.
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Old 06-27-2020, 11:57 AM   #10
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Default Re: Northwest 196 Freedom underpowered?

Honda’s are heavy beasts.

Keep in mind that 115 weighs about 130 lbs more than most. And that extra weight is all sitting in a bad spot.
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Old 06-27-2020, 02:56 PM   #11
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Default Re: Northwest 196 Freedom underpowered?

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Originally Posted by DogZilla15 View Post
The 150 is in the high performance category with different tuning, intake, maybe cam shaft and they run completely different than the small motors. This allows for a larger more performance oriented prop and therefore much higher speeds and better hole shots because of better low end torque. The horsepower rating of a motor says little about how the motor actually runs. The bigger motors begin producing useable power as soon as the throttle is cracked unlike lesser rated ones.
Thanks, I have a lot to learn.
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:01 PM   #12
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Default Re: Northwest 196 Freedom underpowered?

The 115 Honda and the 150 are same basic motor and weight. About 100 lbs more than a Yamaha 115. In the 150 class I would take the Honda because its a great motor but in the 115 the Yamaha is still a good motor and weighs 100
# less.
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:05 PM   #13
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I would think you would be fine with the 115 and the Honda is a great motor and has a great reputation . I. Sure it's set up for it prop wise and would definitely do the job.

Now if you want to pull skiers that's another story. Good luck
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:09 PM   #14
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Default Re: Northwest 196 Freedom underpowered?

I had a 115 Yamaha on a 19’ Arima and it was under powered. Really had to get into the throttle before boat got under way. Upgraded to a 21’ Arima with the Honda 150. World of difference. Soon as the throttle moved the boat responded.
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Old 06-30-2020, 12:08 AM   #15
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Default Re: Northwest 196 Freedom underpowered?

I have a 115 Yamaha on a 20' aluminum that's pretty close to that NW, I would think. It's not underpowered; I'd say it's adequate. To some, that's damning with faint praise. I mean it more precisely; it gets the job done, the job in this case goin' fishin. As others have said if watersports are on the menu you'll absolutely want more.
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Old 06-30-2020, 12:53 AM   #16
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Default Re: Northwest 196 Freedom underpowered?

I have a 2009 196 freedom with 150 hp Honda on the offshore bracket. We break 40 mph with 2 people on board. Max loaded with 4 people, it tops out at 39 mph.
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:02 AM   #17
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Default Re: Northwest 196 Freedom underpowered?

2008 20' NR Seahawk with offshore bracket. Yamaha 115, On plane quickly with 4 people no issues. Top speed roughly 32-34 mph. Ran past CR buoy, also Garibaldi no problems with handling rougher seas.

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Old 07-01-2020, 08:13 PM   #18
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Default Re: Northwest 196 Freedom underpowered?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DogZilla15 View Post
I had a 115 Yamaha on a 19’ Arima and it was under powered. Really had to get into the throttle before boat got under way. Upgraded to a 21’ Arima with the Honda 150. World of difference. Soon as the throttle moved the boat responded.
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I have a 115 Yamaha on a 20' aluminum that's pretty close to that NW, I would think. It's not underpowered; I'd say it's adequate. To some, that's damning with faint praise. I mean it more precisely; it gets the job done, the job in this case goin' fishin. As others have said if watersports are on the menu you'll absolutely want more.
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I have a 2009 196 freedom with 150 hp Honda on the offshore bracket. We break 40 mph with 2 people on board. Max loaded with 4 people, it tops out at 39 mph.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Labsforme View Post
2008 20' NR Seahawk with offshore bracket. Yamaha 115, On plane quickly with 4 people no issues. Top speed roughly 32-34 mph. Ran past CR buoy, also Garibaldi no problems with handling rougher seas.

Jeff G
Thanks, those are all good real world examples. You are really helping me make an informed used boat decision.
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