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Need Opinions-30' C'mate w/twin 2.5 merc racing O/Bs

Old 01-28-2010, 05:23 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: long island, new york
My Boats: 99 checkmate 259
Posts: 2,707

I dont have any experience with outboard powered Checkmates. However, I do have a little knowledge of how my '99 259 runs. I run the south shore of Long Island all the time. For those that dont know what that means, it means the Atlantic Ocean. My power is in the 750 hp range. While I am anal and take care of my equipment, I certainly dont baby it. I run the ocean as hard as I can , as often as possible, for many miles on each trip. I have not seen any stress cracks that are worth mentioning.
Maybe you guys are running harder than me? Not sure, but I can say for sure that I run as hard as I feel safe to.
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:58 PM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Norway
My Boats: Phantom 25 (1985) w/Verado 400R
Posts: 600
Default Twin 2,5 EFI's


I hope you are well.

I had a Promax 300 on my Phantom 25 for 7 years, and did have a lower unit breakdown, powerhead failure, etc. Rerigged to a twin 2002 Merc 2.5 EFI SS with Brucato PCU boxes. Absurd enough the engines idles better (due to the the PCU's) and the fuel consumption is up only 20% compared to one 3 litre engine. What suprised me was the power of these engines, pitch and sound. Great fun.

Micheal Werner, a 6 time world champion in F1, told me: The promax 300 is a lazy fishing machine with a nice cowling and a bad ass midsection. The 2.5 EFI is a strong engine if taken care of. Its the ultimate outboard. Its a very simple design.

However, they need good synthetic oil, good quality gas and regular maintance. According to JSRE you can run them 140 hrs each before tear down. Check the leakdown once in a while, and clean the injectors each spring.

A friend of mine swapped from 2 x 2.5 EFI engines to 2 x 250XS engines. They use less fuel, they smell less and they a more quiet. However, the engines have been teared down three times in 2 years.

I have decided to keep my 2.5 EFI engines. I have began to learn them. By careful simple maintaince, they will run like hell day out and day in.


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Old 01-28-2010, 11:19 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Saginaw, Michigan
My Boats: Checkmate Senator
Posts: 1

Well, I am not about to say that anybody is "wrong" but I had a 78 Checkmate up til about 3 years and that boat was rock solid. Yes it was 30 years old and I kicked the $hit out of it every weekend, that boat could take a beating. It was red with silver metal flake and drew a crowd at the sand bar every weekend. I sold it, bought an 89 Checkmate with a car motor, after a summer I sold it. Went back to the outboards, now I have a 91 Check, that is MINT. This boat gets as much if not more attention on the water than any other boat. I am sold on the Checkmate quality and would buy one again in a minute.

I think its kinda funny that people walk past much more expensive boats to take a look at a 91 Checkmate.
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:33 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Englewood, OH
My Boats: 96 Superboat 24/BBC
Posts: 634

I have an old 88 o/b Exciter that has been holdin up fine for 22 years. I think that CM builds a great boat and the gelwork is second to none. I also think they are some pretty tough boats and I wouldn't hesitate to run one in the rough.

If I remember right, SweetAddiction runs his 26ZT in the Gulf- that boat still looks like new!
There is a guy with a 30' mate thats been running with twin 300s for a while and no problems.

Last edited by ndaniels; 01-28-2010 at 11:45 PM. Reason: zt
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:14 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 149

I had a 1997 checkmate 253 that i ran for years off the south jersey coast and Delaware Bay. ran her hard but never abused the boat , never even had a hairline crack. just bought a new zt240 and have 30 hrs on her so far, but so far so good , im mostly in the chesapeake bay now. i have a friend with a 2000 259 and he has some hairline cracks along the rubrail, there no big deal , ive seen tons of boats with the same hairline cracks you have to really look for them and some disappear with compound and wax. I do fully understand that the Long Island builders make a great boat and the one big area is that the hull and deck are glassed together, the checkmates are not. I would guess Checkmate has produced more boats than many of those builders combined so im sure a few misused boats are out there. New Checkmates come with a 10 year hull warranty, and if your looking to finance the boat the nada has values listed, its harder to borrow on some of the other boat brands .
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:40 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 34

Originally Posted by bimini run View Post
And I know first hand, they do have penchant for stress cracks, from my own experience and brother-in-law, who has a 21 foot enchanter. That had a wicked crack along the top of the gunnel, and I remember when it happened. We were racing friends in a 30 foot Baja in 2 - 3 footers in Moriches Bay.
Enchanters have not been made for nearly 20 years, so to compare the strength of that boat to a 30' boat built in 2006 (never used) is a little unfair.

Also, racing a 30' boat with a 21' boat in 2-3 footers will test the strength of any SOB even by today's standards.

I took my old 21 CM Starliner into the sound many times and the boat never had so much as one stress crack. I went through some pretty heavy stuff too.

Are Checkmates better "lake boats" than true "offshore boats"???...ABSOLUTELY!

Will they fall apart after use offshore???... ABSOLUTELY NOT, and any boat will start to show signs of wear if you beat the crap out of it. I have been on some expensive "bullet proof" boats that start to rattle after several hard runs off-shore.

My opinion is that the gel work is better than some of the other boats mentioned. But, some of the other boats are of the highest quality in many other areas. You have a tough decision.

Good luck, I don't think you would be disappointed with the CM.
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:33 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1

I've owned two checkmates with latest being a 1983 Enforcer w/ a 250HP rude hanging off a 24" gil bracket. Both my mates didn't have stress cracks, they're some of the best made boats on the market. Good Luck!!!
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:54 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
My Boats: Checkmate 251 Convincor(sold),Checkmate 253 Convincor(sold), 50 gibson, 21 Eliminator Daytona, 25 Sportcraft Center Console
Posts: 4,393

I have had several friends with checkmates, I have had my 251 for about 4 years..never seen a stress crack in any of them..don't know about the outboards but few boats out there will run faster with compariable H/P...
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:35 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Cudjoe Key, FL USA
Posts: 961

Originally Posted by PURPLE HORNET View Post
Everybody that's claiming Checkmates are bad for cracking is full of BS. I have owned 3 Checkmates and never once had a stress crack anywhere. Stress cracks are far and few in a Checkmate. The only time I have seen cracks in a Checkmate is from a well abused boat that was left outside in the rain for years and never covered.

Checkmates are known for a quality build and free of stress cracks.
Indy's talking about my 259. It was a great fast lake boat. Then I ran it on the Sound. The boat had no stress cracks before or after the Sound. It just made giant cracking noises. I ran it about twice on the Sound, was afraid it was going to break in half, and bought the Powerplay. Never heard cracking noises again, so I was happy. Progression, Activator, PP would be my recommendation.
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:39 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 149

JROMY, thanks for checking in. im sure a 33 powerplay would handle LI sound , where a 259 might let out a sound every now and then. Checkmate owners are a pretty loyal group, for the money there a very nice built boat.
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