Love your boat again. Repower your boat and motor at Vans Sport Center.

Its the begining of a new boating season here in Michigan and you have had it with your outboard. Its loud, guzzles gas, costly to repair, and simply just outdated. You're done with the headaches so you decide to repower your boat with newer technology, possibly making that move to a four stroke. You would like to save some money by going with a used outboard, but buying new isn't out of the question either. You just know you want a dependable motor that starts right up and runs the rest of the day. Either route you take Vans Sport Center has the inventory and experience to help you get what suites your needs.

If buying a used motor seems to fit your budget a little better, Vans has quite the selection. Depending on what we took in on trade from the previous year, our used inventory can consist of multiple different brands at any given time. You can find Mercury, Evinrude, Johnson, Mariner, Yamaha, Tohatsu and Suzuki outboards between the late 1980's to present. All of our used outboards are Michigan fresh water motors that have been gone through and serviced from top to bottom by our mechanics before we put them on our shelf. Our mechanics check things like spark, compression, the lower unit, shifting, tilt and trim, and anything else that may need some attention. On top of that, vans offers a warranty for the first season of use to give you some peace of mind. 

Now lets say price isn't necessarily the deciding factor and you want a motor without any previous owners. Vans can definately help you out with that one as well. Vans Sport Center is an authorized dealer for all of the major names in the outboard industry such as Yamaha, Evinrude, Mercury, Tohatsu and Suzuki. We stock a wide range of horsepower sizes for all brands and if we just so happen to be out of stock for a particular model, we are more than happy to order one for you. The benefit of going new is that you are not ending up with someone elses problems, say as to buying a motor from someone off of Craigslist. Unless you check spark, compress, and the gearcase yourself, you are just taking the sellers word that it is a good motor with no major issues. Also, if you purchase a new motor at the right time of year you can take advatage of the great promotions they offer like rebates or longer warranties. It always feels great to get a little better deal on something you want, especially something as expensive as an outboard.

Changing the propreller after testing the motors RPM range.

So you picked out a new or "new to you" motor and your having Vans install it on your boat. We like to go a step farther than just hanging the motor on there and calling it good. We like to run the boat on the water after its all rigged up to make sure everything is working properly. We also bring a few different pitch propellers with us to make sure that the motor is hitting the right RPM's while factoring in the max load you generally have on your boat. Doing that little extra in the rigging process ensures that you will get the best performance out of your motor when you go to put it on the water.

Tuesday, 02 May 2017 14:24




For the 2017 season, Yamaha completely redesigned their F25 to be the best 25hp outboard on the water. Weighing in at only 126 pounds, the new light weight and compact Yamaha F25 is not only a whopping 25% less than the previous Yamaha models weigh, but it is also the lightest 25hp outboard on the market. That being said, it has a number of different boating applications that it can be used for. From jon boats and inflatables, to deep V fishing boats. All of these styles of boats can now benefit from the F25 which has the best power to weight ratio of any 25hp on the water.

The brand new power head design of the F25 features two cylinders which have two valves per cylinder and a single overhead cam. This design helps keep the weight of the motor down while not sacrificing any of the power. Also new to Yamaha's F25 line is the addition of the Electronic Fuel Injection System. The Multi Point EFI provides greater fuel efficiency as well as minimal starting effort in any condition that you may encounter on the water. To add to that, the Fuel Injection System on this motor operates with out a battery. No battery means even less weight needed in your boat.

Yamaha didn't stop there though, they even updated the tiller handle with improved ergonomics, convenient control location, and a VTS (Variable Trolling RPM Switch) for percise trolling speed adjustments. When using the VTS switch you can control your RPM's from 750-1050 in 50 RPM increments. Thats 150 RPM's under the normal idle speed. For the remote F25 models, you can adjust the RPM's throught Yamaha's Cammand Link Digital Guage or their Helm Mount VTS Switch if you do not want to add the guage. The throttle, throttle friction control, shift lever, key switch, stop switch, power trim and tilt switch (PT&T models only) and VTS Switch are all located right on the handle for easy access.

Most of the F25 electric start models still feature a standard manual pull start option which is a great back-up starting method when out on the water. Yamaha also added a high output alternator producing up to 16 Amps of power. Pefect for charging your battery and then some. Lastly, Yamaha gave the F25 a 45-degree steering angle for turning and navigating the waters better.

With all of the innovative changes made to the Yamaha F25, there's no question that it is the meanest 25hp fourstroke on the market.

Practicing proper boat launch ramp etiquette will ensure things at the launch run smoothly.
With boating and fishing season finally here in West Michigan, practicing proper ramp etiquette will not only ensure things at the launch run smoothly, but it will keep you on good terms with the other boaters at the lake. We have all broke one of these rules one time or another, but hopefully over the years with a little experience and practice you have learned to be more efficient with unloading and loading your boat. But for the "noobies" or the first time boaters this season, here are a couple key rules to follow while using a public launch so that you wont be "that guy" at the lake this summer.
1. Don't use the launch ramp lanes to prep and load your boat. Use the make-ready areas for that.
2. Don't jump ahead of others waiting to launch or load their boats. It could result into something more than just harsh words.
3. Don't use the launch ramp lanes to secure your boat for the ride home. Clear the ramp area as quickly and safely as possible.
4. Don't tie up at the courtesy dock any longer than necessary. Be considerate of the other people at the ramp waiting to launch or load their boats.

All through the winter, technicians at Van's Sport Center make great use of their time by reconditioning or parting out the trade-in marine motors that our store in Grand Rapids accepted during the 2016 boating season.

Our winter work can add up to big savings to you for marine motors and parts that have been run only in fresh water.

So now is the time to start thinking about whether the boat you love should be repowered with a larger used motor or if that tired old 2-stroke you've been nursing for years should finally be retired.

Many of the nation's largest boat shows are launching January through April to get boaters thinking of warm weather after weeks of winter blahs. For boating enthusiasts, a boat show represents the perfect opportunity to gather information under one roof from several local dealers about the latest products and services that make boating even more enjoyable.

Regardless of your locale, here are a few tips to help you get the most from your price of admission.

Van's Sport Center has uploaded hundreds of Yamaha shop manuals for outboard motors from years 1984 through this year so our do-it-yourself customers can easily access step-by-step instructions on how to do anything from changing a spark plug to overhauling a lower drive unit.

Here's the link the service manuals, provided free of charge: Yamaha Shop Manuals.

To find the manual for your engine, first look up the year of your outboard from the 33 years of manuals provided, then your model number. Once you've found your model, double click on the link and wait for the pdf file to load. These are comprehensive how-to manuals with many pages of diagrams, photos and specifications, so you may have to wait a couple of minutes while the file is downloading.

When it comes to the Holidays, our staff at Van's Sport Center and our customers get the real meaning of the phrase: "We are all in the same boat together."

We are constantly amazed and gratified at how everyday people in our area want to share their good fortune with others. A study done a couple of years ago by Grand Valley State University's Johnson Center for Philanthropy showed that individuals in Kent County have a reputation as being generous givers. At the time of the study in 2013, residents of Kent County accounted for about 9 percent of Michigan's total estimated giving by individuals, yet the area made up only 6 percent of Michigan's households.

A good lithium-ion jump starter should be on the holiday gift list of all boat owners who don't run double batteries in their boats, says Scott Quoss, owner of Van's Sport Center in Grand Rapids.

Unlike car and truck owners, boat owners who can't start their engines due to dead batteries may spend hours waiting for help and pay for the assistance.

New lightweight and extremely portable versions of jump starters easily pay for themselves on the first emergency use, and they aren't restricted to marine applications. Today's jump starters can have built-in powerful LED flashlights for emergencies, as well as adapter cables to start cars, jetskis, power laptops and run some AC powered appliances. 

Page 1 of 4