WS Holland, Johnny Cash’s one and only drummer. Photo credit: bestdamnshows.com.
WS in his Johnny Cash tunnel race boat. Photo courtesy Krista Holland.
I began my career with Mercury Racing in 1988 as a Product Support Specialist. I traveled throughout the country supporting stock outboard and Formula 1 tunnel boat racing.
St. Louis was the Indy 500 of outboard tunnel boat racing. Racers and fans from around the world would converge on George Winter Park to watch hometown favorites, the Seebold’s, defend their turf. I was working the parts truck one year when Mike Butler (Race Sales Manager at the time) was talking with an older gentleman about tunnel boat races from days gone by and variety of other topics. Mike then introduced me to the gentleman. He was WS Holland, Johnny Cash’s drummer. I had to step back and process who I had just met. I couldn’t believe it! I’m a music lover and drummer as well. The chance of meeting someone like WS at a boat race was very cool and as I would find out later, more than a fluke encounter.
WS checking out the competition while waiting his turn to qualify for a race. Photo courtesy Krista Holland.
Boat racing was a family affair for the Holland’s.
I was impressed at how humble and down to earth this man was. It’s been over 20 years since WS and I have spoken in depth. My impression hasn’t changed. Read the rest of this entry »
Dyno technician, Dave Dins, puts a 1350 through its paces.
OptiMax 300XS powerheads await their turn on the dyno.
We spend a lot of time validating our products. This is because we are responsible for entire propulsion systems – not just independent components. Everything (engines, transmissions, drives and propellers) must work together and be tolerant of each other. This includes oils and lubes. They are the system’s lifeblood.
We validate our engines using specific oil types and weights. Same goes for the drives and lubes. Over the years, our two-stroke outboards have evolved from carbs to electronic fuel injection to OptiMax low-emissions direct fuel injected technology. Similarly, our higher horsepower sterndrives have evolved from traditional 2-valve, push rod engines to a quad cam, four valve engine of our own design. Oil and lube requirements have evolved along with the products. Read the rest of this entry »
The 1100 is the most powerful EU compliant gasoline sterndrive available.
The EU compliant 565 models bring Digital Throttle & Shift technology to the European sport boat market.
The 1650 RACE was the talk of the Miami Boat Show. Equally newsworthy was our release of 565 and 1100 sterndrives certified for use in the European Union (EU). The popular engines, packed with Mercury Racing exclusive components, meet the emissions requirements as set forth in the EU Recreational Craft Directive (RCD).
The certification expands the availability of the 565, 600 SCi, 662 SCi and 1100 sterndrive engine packages to all countries that fall under the EU’s RCD. EU certified models are identified with the CE mark. OEM boat builders must certify that their boats conform to the RCD noise requirements.
Nor-Tech’s gorgeous 420 Monte Carlo equipped with twin 565s.
Nor-Tech’s 477 Super Vee is a natural for EU 1100 power.
I first met go faster.de owner Andy Groeber back in 2004 when we first came out with the 1075 SCi. I would catch up with him over the following years on his annual trek to the Miami Boat Show. Andy is an exclusive Nor-Tech dealer just South of Munich. He has had a lot of success with the 662 SCis. He is excited to have the EU certified 565 and 1100. Andy sees the 565s being popular for the Nor-Tech Monte Carlo and 39-foot sportboats.
“No hassle boating is a key message for both the 565s and 1100s. The 1100s are wonderfully efficient. They have a very good reputation in the field with fewer breakdowns and less maintenance required than anything else in the past,” said Andy. They will open doors to sell high-end cats and vee-bottoms to customers who may not have bought them in the past due to maintenance needs, Andy said. “Customers in this power range would have previously had triple diesels with sub par performance. The big power and torque capabilities of the 1100 will be a natural for big family cruisers as well,” Andy concluded. Read the rest of this entry »
(L-R) Go Fast Fishing Charters Captains Joe and Sam Maisano.
It’s been a year since we introduced the Bravo I FS outboard propeller. It was originally developed for single engine four stroke outboard applications. We’ll, it didn’t take long for the word to spread regarding the prop’s performance. Folks running multiple four stroke outboard rigs started asking for right and left-hand rotation sets of the popular prop.
Twin Verado 300s with 1.75: HD gearcases.
Being the conservative person I am, I opted to first work with a handful of people running various hull types to prove the concept before releasing the counter rotation Bravo I FS models. It took longer than I thought to get feedback from the field.
I grew frustrated because I wasn’t getting any details regarding performance results. All I would get was, “They’re great! Thanks. ” or more often than not – no news at all. It was like pulling teeth. I found out over time the props worked so well that they wanted to keep their performance secret to themselves. Eventually, I got the detailed information I was looking for and I am happy to share it with you here. Read the rest of this entry »
Erik Christiansen (R) and I unveil the coveted 1650 RACE sterndrive.
I just got back from the Miami Boat Show where, in addition to our unveiling of the awesome 1650 RACE sterndrive, we debuted the all-new Pro Max outboard propeller. Some of you may be familiar with the high performance 150/200/225 h.p. Pro Max outboards we produced back in the mid 1990s. I thought the Pro Max name was perfect for our new prop and it’s intended applications.
We needed a prop to help lighter weight hulls get up on plane faster and improve top end speeds. The Bravo I XS is the solution for 2-strokes carrying heavier loads. The Bravo I FS is the prop for four strokes with heavy assignments (single and multiple engine rigs) as well. The new Pro Max fills the gap for OptiMax ProXS and 300XS and Verado Pro FourStroke outboard applications on hulls with natural bow lift.
An Allison XS-2003 GrandSport was used to validate the Pro Max for sport boat applications.
Outboard drag racing veteran Glenn Reynolds, owner of Reynolds Racing and Marine, helped validate the prop for us. Glenn ran it on an Allison XS-2003 GrandSport with the new Mercury 150 Four Stroke. He also provided an OptiMax 250 ProXS powered Bullet 21XD bass boat. Glenn and his team are ecstatic with the Pro Max. “We experienced jacket rabbit acceleration. Both boats were on plane in 1-1/2 seconds!,” exclaimed Glenn. The Allison didn’t realize any change in top-end speed due to the engine height restriction with water pickup location on the stock 150 gearcase.
“The Bullet, benefiting with a high performance Torque Master gearcase, improved on both hole shot and top-end speeds,” said Glenn. “We did back-to-back tests comparing the Pro Max with like size Pro E.T.s as well as a variety of other props. The Pro Max outperformed everything on the ramp. We love it!,” Glenn concluded. Read the rest of this entry »
The all-new 1650 RACE features closed cooled turbochagers.
The 1350 is no longer the fastest or strongest in Racing’s H.P. stable.
It’s hard to believe a year has passed and the 2013 Miami Boat Show is underway. We’ve experienced some major events since our last visit to South Beach. Fred Kiekhaefer has moved on after 22 years of service. With Fred’s departure, Erik Christiansen has been named General Manager. Fred will continue to represent Mercury Racing over the next two years. In fact, he’s at the show. If your there, be sure to stop by the Mercury booth and say hello. Erik and our staff of sales, service and engineering personnel are there to support the brand as well.
I decided to forgo the show this year to be with my son. I’ll miss seeing everyone and the exciting new products being unveiled. Jay Nichols has ensured me he will keep me abreast of the action via his acclaimed photography.
The 1650 RACE features reversed colors from the std. 1350 offering.
Some of you may be aware of the rumor mill started a while back when Powerboat Nation posted a story speculating we were going to release a 1700 h.p. engine. The story featured a dated 1350 model shot. Erik squashed all rumors when he unveiled the all-new 1650 RACE sterndrive. Based on our exclusive quad cam, four valve 1350, this monster features new pistons, larger turbos and requires 112 AKI race fuel.
So there, PB Nation. You were correct in that – yes – we did release a higher power engine based on our exclusive quad cam, four valve engine platform. You were off on the power and color, however. And no, this is not your father’s poker run engine. It is a race engine that is sold, without warranty, to qualified powerboat racing professionals. I’ll make sure you get a press kit:) Read the rest of this entry »
Meanwhile, in the frozen tundra of Fond du Lac, people at Racing and Mercury headquarters are busy preparing for the upcoming Miami International Boat Show. Mercury has a vast array of exciting products to show and talk about. True to our Miami history, Racing will again have a few new things to share as well :-) Read the rest of this entry »
Video highlights from the 2012 Key West Poker Run Presented by Mercury Racing.
Nor-Tech’s 477 Super Vee with twin 1350s.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Mercury Racing. I hope you had a joyous Christmas with family and friends. For those of who may have missed our Facebook Holiday Countdown, Check it out! MercFan has to have the coolest Christmas tree on the planet!
It’s hard to believe 2013 is a only few days away. I’m looking forward to a fresh start. We have some exciting things to share again in Miami and we’ll be sporting some new wheels in time for the Lake Havasu Boat Show and Desert Storm Poker Run. Lot’s of exciting things planned for the new year. In the mean time, I thought you might enjoy some more visuals from Key West.
Mercury Racing honors Fred Kiekhaefer and his dynamic 22-year career.
Guests included Mercury Marine president Mark Schwabero, former Kiekhaefer Aeromarine employees and Mercury Racing employees and retirees.
The timing of our recent snow storm couldn’t have been more perfect. First, we’re going to have a white Christmas. Second and more important, it gave us an excuse to stay home with the kids (school closures); It also provided time for recovery after Fred Kiekhaefer’s farewell party Wednesday evening.
Fred recently announced he will be leaving Mercury Racing at the end of the year. He will continue representing our brand at boat shows, poker runs and other events. He also will provide consulting services for Mercury through 2014. Fred and his wife, Carol, are moving to Colorado where she will continue diabetes research with the Barbara Davis Center near Denver.
Erik Christiansen has been named General Manager of Mercury Racing. Erik, a 15-year employee of Mercury, was our Director of Engineering for the past four years and lead the development of the QC4v 1350 and 1100 sterndrive engine packages.
Fred has many cherished memories throughout his dynamic career. Certainly he is going to miss the daily interaction with his friends at Mercury Racing. Fred said, “I’ve spent more time with you folks than anybody else. You people are my friends. I may be moving on, but don’t think I’m abandoning my friends. Besides, I need you to take care of my investment here!” Read the rest of this entry »