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Mercruiser Alpha One Gen 1 vs Gen 2: Which One is Better?

You cannot think of a better-performing boat without having a good outboard engine. Also for the best fuel economy, you cannot go wrong with Mercruiser Alpha inboard. Now, the widely asked question is which one to go for, Alpha gen 1 or Alpha gen 2.

So, which one is better Mercruiser Alpha one gen 1 vs gen 2?

Both the outdrives have some visual dissimilarities. For example, Alpha gen 1 has a short-lived water pump and gen 2 has a long-lived one. Gen 2 has the gear lube monitor which is not present in gen 1. The lower edge is soft on gen 1 and sharp on gen 2. Finally, gen 1 is cheaper than gen 2.

Are we done with the comparison? Surprisingly not. If you are trying to go for the one, you need to know the differences more elaborately.

Here is the detailed head-to-head comparison for both of the outboards. Let’s dig into it.

Mercruiser Alpha one gen 1 vs gen 2: Key Differences

There is some identical difference between Mercruiser Alpha gen 1 Vs gen 2. It is mostly the difference in functionalities and structural setup.

The most vital difference between Mercruiser gen 1 vs gen 2 the difference in the gear ratio. When it comes to a stronger gear combination, the gear ratio makes the key difference.

The shift lever is another noticeable difference between Mercruiser Alpha gen 1 Vs Alpha gen 2.

The width of the mountain pads is another factor that made a difference between the Mercruiser Alpha gen 1 Vs Alpha gen 2.

The appearance of Mercruiser Alpha gen 1 Vs Alpha gen 2 is pretty much similar. There is three major difference in the outlook feature. There is a size difference between the upper driveshaft housing.

For Alpha gen 1 got the stud above the prop under the ventilation plate. On the other hand, Alpha gen 2 doesn’t have 2 studs and nuts above the prop.

Since we have two motors to talk about, let us make a comparison chart among them.

Aspect Alpha Gen 1 Alpha Gen 2
Water Pump Short-Lived Longer Lasting
Gear Lube Monitor Bottle Missing Present
Trim Cylinder Held on with nuts Connected to outdrive via C-clips
Trim Ram Mount Far from the rear, attached with a nut Few inches from the rear, attached with an e-clip
Lower Edge Vertical skeg with a soft edge Slanted skeg with a pointed edge
Availablity Found both locally and online Found both locally and online
Price Point $600-1000 $2500-3500
Where to Get Order From Amazon Order From Amazon

Now, that’s only a brief comparison. If you want to know more details then read along to the next segments.

Mercruiser Alpha one gen 1 vs gen 2: Comprehensive Comparison

Mercruiser Alpha One

If you are in a dilemma with your decision, then you don’t need to worry. It is very important to have detailed research before choosing. To help you with that, here we have elaborately discussed every aspect of the outboards.

We have got a lot of small detailing for both the outboards. Just go through one by one and make your pick.

Water Pump

Mercruiser Alpha one gen 1 and 2 both will give you kind of identical visual feature. However, they have some internal feature differences. The water pump is one prominent feature you will find in Alpha gen 2.

Both Mercruiser Alpha one gen 1 vs gen 2 has the water pump. But Alpha gen 2 has a longer-lasting water pump compared to gen 1.

It is a very important feature for any kind of outboard to have a better water pump. Thus it varies in performance from the other outboard motors. If your concern is about the water pump, Alpha gen 2 will give you better performance.

Mercruiser ignition coil problem is another outboard issue that might cause you to suffer in the long run. Don’t forget to take precautions beforehand.

Winner: Undoubtedly, in terms of water pump, Mercruiser Alpha gen 2 will give you longer-lasting performance. The clear winner is Alpha gen 2.

Gear Lube Monitor

The gear lube monitor bottle is another key feature difference between Mercruiser Alpha gen 1 Vs Alpha gen 2. You will find a gear lube bottle in Alpha gen 2.

It is very important to monitor the fuel level and gear condition from time to time. The gear lube bottle will work as an indicator of it. Though you will find the gear lube monitor on gen 2, you can set it on gen 1 too.

Another similar issue is the Mercruiser tilt and trim problem, so be careful about it.

Winner: As the gear lube monitor is concerned, definitely gen 2 is the winner. However, you can install it on your gen 1 too.

Trim Cylinder

There is a noticeable difference between Alpha gen 1 and Alpha gen 2. You will notice it in the trim cylinder. If the trim cylinders are connected to your outdrive via C-clips it’s an Alpha gen 2.

On the other hand, if the trim cylinders are held on with nuts it’s an Alpha 1. This is a feature difference that doesn’t add that much of a difference in the functionality of outboards.

Winner: We can see the trim cylinder difference doesn’t make any vital difference in the functionality. So you can go for either one according to your specifications in functionalities.

Price Point

Sometimes budget creates a vital difference in making choices. Considering all the features, we can make a conclusion about the price.

In terms of Mercruiser Alpha gen outboards, Alpha gen 1 is comparatively cheaper than Alpha gen 2.

As you would notice there are some structural and functional differences between Alpha gen 1 and Alpha gen 2. Hence it creates a price difference. However, considering the features, you can go for the Alpha gen 2.

Winner: Alpha gen 1 is comparatively cheaper than Alpha gen 2. So the clear winner is Alpha gen 1.

Which One to Choose?

Alpha One Gen 1 vs 2

So could you make your choice now? If not yet, don’t worry. We are here to help you summarize everything.

If you want to have a long-lived water pump, then you should go for Alpha gen 2. It will take care of you to have a better performance.

Find the best propeller for Mercruiser 3.0 Alpha One for better performance.

Some of us are also concerned about the gear lube monitors. In that case, Alpha gen 2 should be your preference. However, you can still install it on your Alpha gen 1.

Finally, the most vital point came by. Apart from all the features, if you are mostly concerned about price, then go for gen 1. It is cheaper in price and most importantly you can make changes in features too.


How to identify which Mercruiser engine I have?

You can determine it by looking at the last letters of the engine block code. In case, if the serial number is missing, the engine code is there. It will help you to determine the engine model.

Can we interchange Alpha gen 1 and Alpha gen 2?

The drawback of Mercruiser outdrives are they are not interchangeable. So if you have any one of them and want the feature of the other, you have to replace it.

Are Alpha and bravo outdrivers replacable?

You can replace Alpha out drivers with a bravo one. In terms of size, the drives are similar. Also, the height of the propeller shaft is almost the same.

How much HP can an Alpha One Gen 2 handle?

It is designed for boats capable of 65 mph, and gas engines delivering up to 300 horsepower, and diesel engines up to 150 horsepower.

What is the difference between Alpha 1 and Bravo 3?

Alpha 1 is typically used in smaller boats where torque and performance are critical, while Bravo 3 delivers higher horsepower and torque for larger vessels.

You can also find out who is better: Volvo Penta vs Mercruiser

Final Thoughts

That was it from our side about Mercruiser Alpha one gen 1 vs gen 2.

We hope that this comparison has cleared up your confusion regarding choosing an outboard motor. At the end of the day make your choices according to what you exactly want in your outboard.

That is all for now. Have a great day!

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