May 18th, 2012
Mercury Racing World Headquarters - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
The author - Senior Tour Guide and Marketing guy.
“Welcome to Mercury Racing. Nice to Have You Here!” is the first thing most visitors hear upon entering the reception area of our Fond du Lac, Wisconsin headquarters. For over 15 years, I’ve welcomed visitors from all parts of the globe who come for a personal tour of our operations. It’s fun to meet people who enjoy our products. I love to see their expressions and hear their comments. All leave with a better understanding of what we do as a business, the services we provide and products we produce. One of the big things people leave with: an appreciation for the “sweat equity” that goes into all facets of production. Visitors are amazed at the hand-craftsmanship and palpable pride that our people put into our products.
This is the first in a series of posts featuring a virtual tour of Mercury Racing. Text and still photos will be complimented with high definition video shot by John Potts of American Performance Television. Before we begin, we need to review a bit of history. Read the rest of this entry »
April 24th, 2012
The Mercury truck in position at the Lake Havasu Boat Show. Photo credit: Bob Brown.
Mercury Racing M8 drives on the transom of a 1350 powered DCB M-35 Wide Body. Photo credit: Bob Brown.
I just got off the phone with our National Sales Manager, Kevin Skiba. Kevin is on his way back from Arizona after the Lake Havasu Boat Show. It sounds like the show was a resounding success. Kevin and drive technician Dave Vehrs represented Mercury Racing at the show. Other Mercury reps included Brad Hammel from Mecury Repower and West Coast Technical Area Manager Michael Scott.
Lake Havasu is a Mecca for performance boating. It’s only natural to have a boat show and the upcoming Desert Storm Poker Run there. Performance boat exhibitors for the boat show included Advantage, Conquest/Group 1, DCB, Hallett, Eliminator, Howard, E-Ticket, Doug Wright and MTI.
New boats making their Havasu debut included Nordic’s sporty new 24-foot catamaran powered by a single 565 sterndrive and Frisini Motorsports’ new SCX 43 cat with twin 1350s. Read the rest of this entry »
April 12th, 2012
Damage to a boat engine carburetor as a result of ethanol at 10% (E10). Photo courtesy BoatUS.
Mercury Racing has received numerous questions on ethanol fuel in older engines. Here is an article from BoatUS, written with input from Mercury engineers (republished with permission), that covers many of the ethanol issues:
A Shotgun Marriage? Ethanol and Old Outboard Boat Engines
ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 28, 2012 — Ever since E10 gasoline (gas containing 10% ethanol) became widely available several years ago, the nation’s largest recreational boat owners group, BoatUS, has received hundreds of calls and emails complaining about boat engine problems. The majority of complaints concern older outboard motors, those made before about 1990. BoatUS’ Seaworthy magazine asked Mercury Marine’s Ed Alyanak and Frank Kelley, who between them have over 60 years of experience, to find out what’s made these decades-old outboards more susceptible to ethanol’s well-known problems and what owners can do. Read the rest of this entry »
March 23rd, 2012
Spring is a great time for newbie and veteran performance boaters alike to get familiar with their craft. For starters, you should review your owners manuals — really, you should — and review the key components of your new boat.
The OptiMax 300XS is very popular for singe and multple engine applications.
The 300XS on this Hydrostream features a 20-inch mid section and Sport Master gearcase.
Performance boats vary widely in propulsion and size. Outboards come in 20, 25 and 30-inch drive shaft lengths to accommodate a variety of applications. Mercury (and other brand) outboards are fitted with a standard gearcase for most applications. Hulls that can take advantage of the high power-to-weight ratio of an OptiMax 300XS may benefit from its wide range of gearcase options. Similarly, Mercury Racing offers a variety of sterndrives for differing power capacities and hull types.
Mercury Racing Zero Effort Digital throttles.
Mechanical control: High performance outboards are usually rigged with with dual steering cables, a shift cable, throttle cable and fuel line. With performance sterndrives, throttle and shift are accomplished with cables, but steering is hydraulic. These include 525, 600, 662 and 700 Mercury Racing packages.
Digital control: On SmartCraft Digital Throttle & Shift compatible outboards, such as the Verado 350 SCi and sterndrives including the 565, 1100 and 1350, mechanical throttle and shift cables are gone — replaced with a single electronic cable. Steering is either electric (Verado) or hydraulic (MerCruiser). Read the rest of this entry »
March 16th, 2012
A Nor-Tech catamaran boat powered by twin 850 SCi sterndrives. Photo credit. Florida Powerboat Club.
The boys from Sunsation enjoy their time on the water. Photo credit: Naplesimage.
With Spring in the air, the timing is right to review the basics of high performance boat operation to ensure you and your passengers have a safe and enjoyable Summer on the water. We include a Guide to Hi-Performance Boat Operation with every engine we ship. We encourage new and current owners to review the book and then get some in-boat driving lessons from your local high performance dealer. Those who do not have a qualified driving instructor in their area may want to consider Tres Martin’s Performance Boat School.
Our operation guide is packed with general performance boating information including a list of descriptive terms relating to propellers, hull types and overall boat performance. Let’s first review the various performance boat hull configurations.
Read the rest of this entry »
February 8th, 2012
Big four strokes are back as a viable power option for bass boats.
The new Pro Finish Bravo I FS prop was developed for four stroke outboard applications.
I can’t wait for the 2012 Miami Boat Show. I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and talking props with boaters, boat builders, dealers, consumers and racers. We’re geared up to have another big show. Fred Kiekhaefer has another exciting new product to unveil and I have a couple of new things to show as well. In fact, I just couldn’t wait any longer to talk about our new outboard prop.
You may recall my post regarding the Bravo I XS. We took the proven Bravo One sterndrive prop, added big one-inch vent holes in the hub and did some other tweaks to make it a big performer on low-emissions OptiMax outboards. Read the rest of this entry »