Triple Mercury Racing outboards pulled a total of 80 water skiers for a Guinness World Record for the largest human pyramid on skis. The record was set August 18th in Janesville, Wisconsin by the Rock Aqua Jays water ski team with the help of two additional Wisconsin based teams. Joining the Rock Aqua Jays were skiers from the Aquanuts team from Twin Lakes and the Webfooters, based in Fremont.
A total of 80 skiers in multiple four-tier pyramids traveled 1,148 feet – about twice the distance necessary to officially surpass the existing 64-skier record. About a year of training and practice preceded the world-record attempt, and more than 2,000 spectators witnessed the accomplishment.
The skiers were pulled from the dock area by a pair of tandem boats powered by Mercury Racing OptiMax 300XS outboards. Once the skiers reached open water, the lead boat released; the pyramid then came together and the record run was accomplished behind a single boat powered by triple OptiMax 300XS outboards. All outboards on both boats were equipped with Mercury four-blade 15-pitch Revolution propellers.
“Mercury Racing has a long and storied history of breaking records and raising the bar,” said Steve Miller, director of marketing, sales and service at Mercury Racing. “This was a perfect opportunity to yet again demonstrate what our products and the people who design and build them are capable of.
“We were thrilled to do it all over again with such a wonderful and dedicated group of athletes, and we extend our congratulations on this amazing achievement.”
The skiers initially broke the existing record with a 70-skier pyramid, then added 10 more individuals on a subsequent run to establish the 80-skier record. Guinness officially confirmed the record within two weeks.
“This world record could not have been possible without our friends at Mercury Racing,” said Kevin Ostermeier, who was responsible for putting together the world-record attempt. “The power and reliability are there when we need it, regardless of what they’re pulling!”
The Rock Aqua Jays, founded in 1961, have won 20 national water skiing titles since 1975. They were the first amateur team to build three-tier, four-tier and five-tier pyramids.
“This record shows how passion, talent, and teamwork can come together in a common goal to execute a remarkable feat,” said Ostermeier.
We are excited to debut our all-new 250R and 300R outboards.
Designed, developed and manufactured in-house, the naturally aspirated, 4.6 Liter V-8 four-stroke engines share Mercury Racing’s venerable Quad Cam Four Valve (QC4) sterndrive DNA – complete with aluminum four-valve cylinder heads and dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) valve trains.
The four valve heads and DOHC valve train is integrated with Mercury’s proprietary V-8 cylinder block, packed with high performance hardware. The new platform replaces the two-stroke V-6 250XS and 300XS models.
No Replacement for Displacement
The stout V-8 powerhead provides an astounding 53% increased displacement compared with the 250XS and 44% more displacement than the 300XS resulting in 40% higher overall bottom- end torque compared to the legacy two-strokes.
Transient spark calibration boosts torque by 7% for unmatched acceleration. Advanced Range Optimization automatically adjusts fuel delivery for up to 10% improvement in cruise-speed fuel efficiency. All of this on 87-octane (90 RON) pump fuel while maintaining a comparable weight to the legacy two-stroke 250 XS and 300 XS models. Best of all, the new 250R and 300R models are backed by a three-year factory warranty.
Most Versatile Performance Outboards on the Market
The 300R is highest performing engine in its class. The powerhead features custom Racing intake cam shafts and an exclusive short runner intake manifold. An integrated oil cooler keeps oil temps down throughout the 300R’s higher 5800-6400 rpm operating range.
The 300R is available with either mechanical or digital control systems. In addition, two midsection (Tri-Ram and heavy-duty HD) and three gearcase (Sport Master, Torque Master, and 5.44” HD) options ensure compatibility with any boat that needs to go fast.
Factory rear tie-bar models are available for enhanced stability on high speed multiple engine catamaran and offshore center console applications. An optional side steering bracket kit is also available.
The 250R is available with a mechanical control system. It features the Tri-Ram midsection and the surface piercing Sport Master gearcase. Designed for boats capable of speeds in excess of 85 mph, the Sport Master features low water pick-ups and a crescent leading-edge for maximized efficiency.
An optional Graphite Grey accent panel is available as a kit. A paint-ready kit is also available to custom match the engine to the boat.
This year marks our 45th anniversary. My have we evolved.
For over 20 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 here. Visitors are amazed at the hand-craftsmanship and palpable pride that our people put into the products.
Mercury Racing was first established as a division of Mercury Marine in 1973. Known as Mercury Performance Products at the time, it’s sole responsibility was product development and promoting Mercury’s image through racing.
Racing Through the Years
The ’70s was an era of outboard factory racing where Mercury battled Outboard Marine Corporation (parent company of the Johnson and Evinrude brands at the time) for bragging rights across the globe.
“Those were the golden years of tunnel competition,” said Team Mercury driver Bill Seebold. “Back then, winning prestigious events such as the 6-hours of Paris or 3-hours of Amsterdam had a direct impact on European outboard sales!”
The factory race team was the first to run the all-new V6 Mercury outboard that would become known to the world as Black Max. The engine earned its stripes winning races for a good two years prior it’s 1976 public debut. Mercury Racing would produce a number of competition outboards based off the V6 platform.
It was during this time the nomenclature “XS” was used to differentiate 2-stroke high performance Mercury engines from like power recreational models.
The ’80s was the era of Miami Vice and all things offshore. Offshore racing was experiencing an evolution regarding boat size and demand for more power. Engine, sterndrive and propeller development were taking place at a frantic pace.
When I first started with Mercury Racing in the Fall of 1988, the III SSM sterndrive was being revised with more robust components and released as the III-A. Surfacing shaft drives were starting to appear in both U.S. and European venues. Racing’s answer to the surface drives was the IV SSM drive. A shorter vertical driveshaft raised the prop and, with a longer skeg, made a potent surface drive out of sterndrive geometry. The engines of the day were again overpowering the IV SSM drive’s capacity. Internals were improved and, in 1987, the V SSM was introduced.
Kiekhaefer Aeromarine introduced the Kiekhaefer sterndrive in the Fall of 1988. Known today as the M6, the robust drive was the end-all solution at the time in terms of product design and durability. In many applications, it still is. The M8, which is two inches shorter than the M6,was developed to handle the massive torque of our turbocharged QC4 engine platform.
The Roaring ’90s
This was the era of the tech bubble and what a wild ride it was. On July 20, 1990, Brunswick Corporation acquired Kiekhaefer Aeromarine, a high performance marine propulsion and accessories business. The company, established in 1970 by Mercury Marine founder Carl Kiekhaefer, was known for their quality machining and production of high performance marine engines, sterndrives and accessories (trim tabs, trim indicators, control systems, and propellers).
The two companies were merged and Kiekhaefer Aeromarine owner and President Fred Kiekhaefer, son of the late Carl Kiekhaefer, was named president of the new Mercury Racing division. Mercury Racing was established as a business unit of Mercury Marine in 1992. The Kiekhaefer Aeromarine manufacturing plant was expanded in 1993 and all Mercury Racing personnel, production and supporting departments consolidated to the newly expanded Plant 36 facility in 1994.
The establishment of the independent business unit meant the need to change focus to consumer products for revenue generation. A number of memorable products were introduced including the 2.5 EFI Series outboards, Pro Max 300 Outboard, 500 EFI and 900 SC sterndrives. the company name was changed to Mercury Racing in 1999.
The past eighteen years has seen an exponential advancement in engine technology and the success of our company. SmartCraft technology enabled us to greatly improve the idle quality of our legacy big block engines such as the 1075 SCi and 850 SCi sterndrives; introduced in 2004-2005. While these were game changing at the time – the 2010 release of the QC4 1350 sterndrive was revolutionary.
Erik Christiansen, Director of Engineering and the father of the engine platform, would be named General Manager upon Fred Kiekhaefer’s departure at the end of 2012.
We unveiled the QC4 automotive crate engine at the 2013 SEMA show in Las Vegas. It was a great opportunity to share our revolutionary engine design outside of the marine world and promote Mercury Marine’s rich automotive history. We’ve enjoyed great success over the past five years, culminating with the release of our latest engine, the SB4 and our partnership with our exclusive distributor, Roadster Shop.
The 2015 Miami show was a fun show to be at. This is where we unveiled our two most powerful consumer engines ever; the 1550 Dual Cal sterndrive and 400R outboard. Both were applauded for their power rating and engineering excellence and have since performed above and beyond expectations in the field.
QC4 Family Expansion
The QC4 sterndrive family continues to expand with the 2017 release of the naturally aspirated 860 and the granddaddy of turbo models; the 1750 competition model. The new Dual Calibration QC41350-1100 enhances the versatility of the popular QC4 platform by enabling users to switch to the 1100 power mode on 89 octane fuel (Rec 90) when boating in areas where 91 octane fuel is not available.
Our role at Mercury Racing is to maximize engine and boat performance – regardless of the application – race or pleasure. We are constantly looking to enhance the boating experience by offering specific propeller models custom fit for specific applications.
Having grown up on the water in Oshkosh, Performance Propeller Manager Scott Reichow has a personal knowledge of Racing’s heritage. He has also been responsible for the development of a number of propellers designed for niche applications from bass boats, bay boats and multi-species hulls, to offshore center consoles and multi engine catamarans. Scott says it best when he states, “performance isn’t only about being first to the fishing hole or first to the pin. It’s all about enjoying the ride and replicating that positive experience time and again.”
It’s been incredible to experience the past 30 years of Mercury Racing’s colorful history. It was an honor to work with Fred Kiekhaefer, Erik Christiansen and many of the hard-working individuals who have had a hand in making this the world leader in high performance marine propulsion.
It is with heavy hearts we say farewell to our leader and General Manager Erik Christiansen. Erik is leaving Mercury Racing to work for a privately held company outside of the marine industry.
Erik has over 20 years of service with Mercury Marine. He started his career in the Mercury engineering department where he was instrumental in the design and development of the Verado outboard. He transferred to Mercury Racing Engineering in 2002.
He immediately made his mark by making improvements to Racing’s big block sterndrive family of the day. He transformed the 1050 SCi into the 1075 SCi, 850 SCi, and 1200 SCi consumer sterndrives and the Class 1 competition engine. He also spearheaded development of the 600 SCi sterndrive and Racing’s first dual calibration sterndrive, the 1200/1025 SCi. Erik was also involved with the development of Racing’s first Verado outboard, the 350 SCi .
Erik’s true legacy was the development of the QC4 (Quad Cam Four Valve) sterndrive engine family. The demand for larger, heavier boats with automotive creature comforts such as large screen monitors, high-end stereo systems and air conditioning called for reliable, higher power propulsion.
The automotive based big block engines were limited in producing reliable power output, primarily due to the push rod valve train. The duty cycles for marine engines is incredibly harsh. They are under a constant load at a high operating RPM. Offshore use is even more challenging.
I’ve conducted many tours of the Racing manufacturing floor over the years. I always like to tell Erik’s QC4 story when we arrive in the area of the plant where they are produced.
Erik was passionate about the Verado engine design and its Dual Over Head Cam valve train. The story goes he would spend his lunch hours sketching a sterndrive engine with a DOHC valve train and thinking, “This would make a killer sterndrive.”
The QC4 platform revolutionized the performance boat industry upon its 2010 release. Erik would soon after be promoted to Director of Engineering.
He would again rise within the organization with his promotion as General Manager upon Fred Kiekhaefer’s departure at the end of 2012. Racing continued to release game changing products under Erik’s leadership over the last five years. These included the 520, 540 and 565 sterndrives, the Verado 400R outboard and the dual calibration QC4 1550 /1350 sterndrive. Erik was the drive behind Mercury Racing’s return to offshore race dominance, both domestically and internationally. He also spearheaded the repower of the XCAT series from the legacy 2.5 EFI 2-strokes to the fourstroke 400 ROS.
The QC4 product family continues to expand with the recent addition of the naturally aspirated 860 consumer model and the Torque Monster 1750 competition model.
Erik was behind the wheel in driving Mercury’s 2013 return to the automotive industry with the debut of QC4 aftermarket crate engine. The QC4 1350 is the power within the award winning 1970 Dodge Charger deemed, “Tantrum.” Three years later Erik would again revolutionize a given engine platform with QC4 engine influence. The 750 h.p. SB4 engine features a scaled down version of the durable QC4 valve train on a 7.0 Liter LS cylinder block packed with Racing specified components. The engine is available through our distributor Roadster Shop.
Erik mentioned his main career goal while at Racing was to make an impact and leave the company in little better shape from when he started. Mission accomplished.
Thank you Erik for all you have done for Mercury Racing and the marine industry. We wish you and your family all the best in your new venture.
We are excited to be out of the cold and into the heat of the action at the 2018 Miami International Boat Show. We just launched an all-new QC4 sterndrive and we are expanding selected lines of our high performance outboard propellers.
The all-new Dual Calibration 1350/1100 is the latest generation of Mercury Racing’s exclusive QC4 (quad cam four valve) engine platform and shares many of the features that come with the Dual Calibration 1550 – including the high styled carbon fiber top and front covers.
Passport to Anywhere
Power output is controlled via interchangeable electronic key fobs at the dash. The engine pumps out its advertised one thousand three hundred and fifty horsepower on 91 octane fuel when the 1350 horsepower fob is engaged. Engaging the 1100 horsepower fob reduces the octane requirement to 89 or rec 90 to allow operation in areas where premium fuel availability is unknown. Both fuel calibrations provide maximum torque and efficiency and are designed to optimize engine performance at each power level.
Consumers are responsible for making sure they have the correct fuel grade in their tank when running in 1350 mode. Be sure to review our post “Don’t Knock It!” regarding the importance of using the required minimal octane fuel for your engine.
The electronic fobs work off Mercury’s Theft Deterrent System (TDS). The power specific key fobs provide the operator visual cues via an interactive VesselView display. One key fob controls the horsepower output of multiple engines within the boat. The Theft Deterrent System disables the vessel when an assigned electronic key is not engaged. The net result is a fully integrated control system with unique, switchable engine calibrations.
Available for immediate delivery, the 1350/1100 engine enhances consumer value by offering essentially two engines in one; both backed by a 1-year limited factory warranty. Suggested retail price for the engine packaged with the M8 sterndrive is $216,605. Having the peace of mind to explore new destinations without worrying about fuel availability is priceless.
Our boat builder partner Marine Technology debuted their all-new 43-foot catamaran featuring dual cal 1350/1100 power. It features a new G7 deck and MTI’s world champion hull design. It is available for demo rides for qualified prospects out of slip #223 on the Mercury dock; Pier #2 at the in-water show.
Our role at Mercury Racing is to maximize engine and boat performance – regardless of the application – race or pleasure. We are constantly looking to enhance the boating experience by offering specific propeller models custom fit for specific applications. Our recent work has resulted in the expansion of the popular Bravo I LT, Bravo I OC and Revolution® 4 XP propeller lines.
Bravo I LT
Propeller performance isn’t all about top speed. It entails a variety of other attributes including hole shot, on-plane efficiency and fuel economy under a load. The Pro Finish Bravo I LT outboard propeller provides all of these. Above everything else, the Bravo I LT offers an optimized ride quality. The flared exhaust tube lifts the stern. This brings the bow down for a more level ride. The result? Improved handling and a dryer, more comfortable boating experience.
The addition of new counter rotation models expand the Bravo I LT’s application from right-hand rotation, single engine outboard bay boats and multi-species hulls to multi-engine outboard center consoles. Bravo I LT propellers are available in a pitch range from 19 to 29 inches in both right-hand and left-hand rotation.
Bravo I OC
Originally designed for high powered, twin outboard performance catamarans, the four blade Bravo I OC is enhancing performance of 400R outboard powered flats cat boats as well. A shortened exhaust barrel settles the stern, providing a natural bow lift for reduced drag and enhanced speeds. Four new right-hand rotation pitch offerings (22.5, 23.5, 24.5 and 25.5-inches) expand application of the OC into the niche single engine catamaran flats market in Texas as well. These go-fast cats will benefit from the smooth hole shot and increased top speeds from the Bravo I OC. Right-hand rotation pitch offerings range from 22.5 to 33-inches. Left-hand rotation models are available in 28-inch to 33-inch pitch offerings.
Rev 4 XP
The Mercury Racing® Revolution 4® XP propeller provides extreme precision when dialing in multi-engine, stepped bottom performance center consoles (twin, triple, quad, and quint installations) and single-engine bay boats. The standard length exhaust tube, in addition to reducing the time-to-plane, also provides stern lift for maximum hull performance and an improved ride in a variety of conditions.
New pitch offerings (13-17 inches in one-inch increments) support 150 h.p. to 400 h.p. Verado outboard powered center consoles, work boats and houseboats. The Rev 4 XP pitch range extends from 13-inches to 26.5-inches.
Mercury Racing propellers are available from an authorized Mercury Outboard dealer or Boat Builder. Suggested retail pricing for each of the three models is as follows:
In addition to the awesome 43 MTI – we also have all new 400R outboard hulls in our slips. The Hustler 39 Shot Gun is an all-new hull sporting triple 400Rs. The open cockpit layout provides seating for 10 people and innovative creature comforts such as power reclining seats and a state-of-the-art carbon fiber T-Top.
Nor-Tech’s 452 Super Fish takes offshore center console design to an all-new level with not two, not three, not four but count em’….five 400R outboards strapped across the back. This bad boy is guaranteed to stop traffic all weekend – and that’s a good thing! 🙂
The Miami Boat Show runs today through Monday, February 19. Be sure to visit our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels for updates throughout the show.
Bold new Mercury Racing graphics, emphasizing the horsepower rating and the latest Racing word mark, provide a powerful new look for our classic 250 XS and 300 XS outboards. They continue to show steady demand amongst performance enthusiasts from performance bass to catamaran hulls. In addition, their combination of high power and torque with ultra-light weight make them excellent for repowering older performance boats. Both models are well proven with documented success as performance leaders in their respective categories.
Record Breaking Speed
The 250 XS holds a colorful past. The low-emissions 2-stroke was a game changer the moment it was released. It outperformed competitive 250 horsepower engines in a variety of categories including fuel economy, mid-range acceleration and top speed. The 250 XS also holds an APBA Pro Stock Bass World Kilo Speed Record.
250 XS models come exclusively with the legendary Sport Master gearcase. Designed for lighter weight hulls capable of speeds in excess of 85 mph, the Sport Master features a crescent leading edge housing with low water pickups. This enables the 250 XS to run at elevated transom heights for maximum engine rpm, hydrodynamic efficiency and top-end speeds.
The 300 XS is our most successful 2-stroke consumer performance outboard. Not only does it outperform all competitors at the same horsepower node – it does it no matter what the application.
Models are available in 20-inch, 25-inch and 30-inch mid sections. A custom designed exhaust adapter plate with built-in appendages for mounting after-market steering wing plates enable the 300 XS to be used safely on high-speed multi-engine catamaran and vee-bottom boats. Offshore models come standard with a heavy-duty swivel/clamp bracket assembly and trim cylinder. The race-proven remote mounted trim pump provides a quicker trim-out speed and enhanced durability.
A multitude of gearcase options are available for virtually any application. Models fitted with the 20-inch mid-section are available with the Torque Master II and Sport Master gearcases. Both feature purpose-built housings packed with race-proven heavy-duty components. Applications include single-engine bass, flats and bay boats as well as catamaran and vee-bottom sport boats. The Torque Master II is designed for use on heavier hulls that rely on power trim to generate extra lift.
The Torque Master II and Sport Master gearcases are available with 1.62:1 or 1.75:1 gear ratios. The Torque Master II, designed for single engine applications, is available in right-hand rotation only.
New for the 2017 program year is the adaptation of the 1.75:1, Verado 4.8 gearcase. The gearcase, standard on 25” and 30” offshore models, is designed to withstand the rigors of the tough salt water environment and is ideal for performance center consoles. 300 XS models fitted with Verado gearcases are available in right-hand and left-hand rotation.
Performance Propeller Manager Scott Reichow has a variety of propellers designed specifically for 250 XS and 300 XS applications. Popular performance props include the Pro Max, Lightning E.T., Bravo I XS, Bravo I OC.
The low emissions 2-stroke 250 XS and 300 XS outboards continue to prove their durability and reliability. Both are backed with a two-year standard factory warranty with three years of optional MPP (Mercury Product Protection) coverage available.
The legendary Cowes-Torquay-Cowes endurance powerboat race finished Sunday in what will go down as the roughest in the event’s 56-year history. Thirty two to 38 mph winds stirred up 13-19-foot seas – challenging competitors and equipment.
The 190-mile endurance race was created in 1961 by newspaper tycoon and second world war fighter pilot Sir Max Aitken after seeing the Miami-Nassau Powerboat Race that began in 1956. Sir Max proposed a similar race be staged in England between Cowes and Torquay.
Competitors began their journey on calm waters along the Solent, a 20-mile long strait that separates the Isle of Wright from mainland England. Conditions would deteriorate quickly for the 14-boat field as they left the protected waters for open ocean competition. Gale force winds – stirring up 13-19 foot seas – changed the game. Endurance of crafts and crews would be tested to their limits.
Reigning Cowes-Torquay-Cowes Champion Vector MartiniRosso, a Vector hull piloted by Peter Dredge, Simon Powell, Malcolm Crease and Jason McVicar, succumbed to technical issues after enjoying an early lead. Technical issues forced Silverline, (Drew Langdon and Giancarlo Cangiano) out of the running as well. To make matters worse, their stricken boat was then swamped by a rogue wave and sank. Thankfully, no one was injured. The crew was rescued and the boat was towed to safety.
Conditions continued to take its toll on the field. Italian entrant Tommy Racing (Maurizio Schepici and Gabriele Giambattista) and Hendricks 55 (Miles Jennings, Markus and Vincent Hendricks) were the next two competitors forced to retire. This cleared the way for eight-time UIM Class 1 World Champion Steve Curtis, with team mates Richard Carr and Paul Sinclair to power through the rough in their classic Mercury Racing 1350 powered Cougar aluminum vee-bottom hull. The team averaged 58.42 mph to win the Cowes-Torque leg of the event.
Dorian Griffith, Shelley Jory-Leigh and Will Stevens piloted Blastoff Racing, a Fountain hull powered by twin Yanmar diesels, to finish 47 minutes behind the Mercury Racing powered Cougar with Biretta Due, a Belgium Buzzi RIB piloted by Jean-Pierre Neels, Thomas Vandamme, Marijke D’Hondt and Dmitry Schiller finishing 33 minutes behind Blastoff for a third overall finish. Thunderstreak, a 53 year old hull piloted by Robin Ward and Jeff Hall finished fourth but failed to complete the course within the stated 3 hour 51 minute time limit.
Attrition brought the starting field for the trip back from Torquay to Cowes down to to four. The field would swiftly be reduced to three when an oil pressure loss forced Biretta Due out of the competition.
Steve Curtis carefully throttled the Mercury Racing 1350 powered Cougar through the huge seas and to cross the finish line in what was an emotional victory. The British racer, who had won nearly everything in the sport of offshore powerboat racing, had never won the classic endurance event. Teammate Richard Carr has followed the race since a child. Richard has always dreamed of winning the coveted Cowes event. Blastoff pilot Dorian Griffith, who had been striving to finish Cowes-Torquay-Cowes since 2008, realized his dream – with a second place finish.
To endure such rough conditions is a testament to the competitors and the propulsion that carries them through. This Cowes-Torquay-Cowes victory proves the performance, reliability and dependability built into all Mercury Racing products.
Here’s something to blog about! We are now providing an additional year of Platinum MPP (Mercury Product Protection) coverage Free of Charge in addition to the standard 2-year factory warranty on all 2017 program year Verado 400R consumer performance outboards. This represents a retail value of over $2,000!
Best of all, consumers benefit from having 3 full years of comprehensive factory coverage, which is transferrable to a subsequent owner, making it easier for them to sell their boat and upgrade to a newer one.
Up to 2 years of additional MPP coverage is available for purchase through an authorized Mercury dealer. 400 ROS competition outboards, which are sold without a warranty, are exempt from the program.
Consumers will receive detailed information regarding the extended 400R warranty coverage upon product registration.
We’re pleased to offer this added protection so that our 400R consumers can extend their enjoyment of the intuitive design, revolutionary performance, efficiency, and reliability of our flagship outboad.
There is nothing better than getting a call from a customer who is ecstatic with the the performance of our products. Eli Delany, a longtime customer and tournament angler, called recently to share results he is experiencing with Pro Finish Pro Max props on his OptiMax 250 XS powered 21′ Stroker DC bass boat.
Eli, a seasoned veteran, is a member of the Mercury Pro Team. He has also been a member of a BASS Divisional Championship team in recent years. Eli’s tournament fishing is fueled with passion – not just for the sport but also to promote awareness for Autism – something that is near and dear to Eli’s heart. When I asked if I could share his test results, Eli jokingly responded, “I’m not sure my competitors will believe how fast the Pro Max goes on my rig!”
Eli runs both 32″ and 30″ Pro Max wheels on his rig. The 250XS, fitted with a 1.62:1 Sport Master gearcase, is mounted on a 14″ hydraulic jack plate.
“My rig ran 102.3 mph with 32″ Pro Max fresh out of the box. The boat was under a light load, with the trolling motor, all batteries and electronics onboard,” said Eli.
That is very impressive – given his 250 XS is well seasoned. Eli went on to tell me he is also experimenting with a 30″ Pro Max wheel.
“I just started playing with the 30″ Pro Max. I got in excess of 95 mph under tournament load,” Eli said.
“What I like about the Pro Max is its acceleration! It’s significantly faster than another brand prop I run of a similar pitch. It also carries a load very well,” said Eli.
These are very impressive numbers. Eli credits much of his success to his mechanic Glenn Taylor, a Mercury Master Technician since 1983.
Eli’s passion and enthusiasm is contagious. I admire people like him who share their positive energy, time and talent to promote important causes such as Autism Awareness. We are proud to be associated with his mission.
Jay Leno has the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the most powerful and exotic cars money can buy in his show “Jay Leno’s Garage”, causing feelings of envy and desire among his viewers. The former “Tonight Show” host has turned his passion for cars into the popular web series, which gives a detailed look at the newest European supercars to great American classics.
One of the classics recently featured was a 1970 Dodge Charger, built by our friends at SpeedKore in Port Washington, Wisconsin. The “Tantrum” Charger is the first automotive application of Mercury Racing’s QC4 platform and based on its performance, it surely won’t be the last.
Mercury Racing launched the QC4 platform in 2010 as a high-performance offshore marine engine capable of exceeding the demands of the grueling racing environment. This modern powerplant features dual overhead cam (DOHC) 32-valve heads on top of a 9.0 liter aluminum block. The massive air flow of the heads is increased even further by two 94-mm turbo chargers, delivering upwards of 1650 horsepower on race fuel. After years of success as both a marine racing and pleasure engine, the team at Mercury Racing decided it was time to develop something car guys would crave.
While showing the automotive world our engineering prowess at SEMA, we also laid the foundation for the Tantrum by meeting Dave Salvaggio, builder of the Charger. After nearly two years of working together, the completed Charger was first displayed at SEMA 2015. After winning a Grand Turismo design award at SEMA, the Charger headed further west so the comedian could climb behind the wheel.
Leno was rightfully blown away at the beauty and performance of the QC4 engine, and perhaps a bit humbled by its full potential (It’s not often he relinquishes the key for the show’s customary burnout). The QC4 hits all the right notes for a modern crate engine for high end car builders. It is unique, modern, reliable, attractive and most importantly it provides an answer to every car guy’s visceral desire for more power.
Watch the Jay Leno’s Garage episode below to learn more about the QC4 powered Tantrum and see the QC4 in action on the California roadways.
This will be a Key West to remember. We just revealed our all-new ROS (Race Offshore) competition outboard, the new boss of the XCAT World Series. The engine is on display for all to see on the Mercury Racing truck in the Poker Run Village.
A sinister relative to the highly successful Verado 400R outboard, the potent 4-stroke racer makes its competition debut next weekend at the Dubai Grand Prix, round five of the 2015 XCAT World Series in Dubai, UAE. XCAT has partnered with Mercury Racing in the development of the engine that will replace the existing fleet of Mercury Racing 2-stroke 2.5L EFI race outboards.
Ronan Morgan, CEO of World Professional Powerboating Association (WPPA) said, “All those involved in the XCAT World Series are looking forward to the introduction of the new Mercury four stroke engines. “Not only are these environmentally friendly, they are reliable and provide a huge increase to the horsepower and torque which are essential for an action packed weekend of racing.”
“As promoters of XCAT Racing, the WPPA have had a long-standing relationship with Mercury Racing. We’ve worked closely together in the testing and development of the engine to provide the ultimate in performance and fan experience,” Mr. Morgan Added.
Mercury Racing General Manager Erik Christiansen said, “We are very excited to launch our new Race Offshore competition outboard. The venerable 2.5 EFI 2-stroke Mercury’s have been a mainstay for many years and is still a solid product. The ROS builds on that foundation while using the four stroke technology today’s market demands.”
“We worked with the WPPA to develop a strong, reliable engine that meets the new U.A.E. exhaust emissions requirements. The ROS will be homologated into the Union Internationale Motonautique technical specifications for XCAT. Next season will be a transitional year with the entire XCAT field switching to the ROS four strokes for 2017. I’m looking forward to seeing our new engine compete next weekend in Dubai,” Erik said.
The ROS features the 400R powerhead mounted on an all-new race midsection featuring the competition proven Mercury Racing heavy duty swivel clamp bracket assembly. A Sport Master gearcase transfers the ROS’s massive power to the water. And to ensure every revolution counts, we’ve developed an all-new line of CNC cleaver props specifically for the ROS.
The new XCAT ROS outboards will power the #3 X Dubai boat piloted by Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Heindi. The race will be streamed live via the XCAT World Series website.
Short in Stature – Big in Performance
By appearance alone – it is obvious this isn’t a production Verado. In fact – the similarities end at the powerhead. The AMS midsection is replaced with a billet aluminum housing. Mercury Racing developed the new midsection to lower the overall engine center of gravity. The 10-inch mid, coupled with the heavy-duty swivel clamp bracket assembly, brings the overall engine mounting height to 15 inches – matching the current 2.5 EFI configurations. The low CG, combined with solid upper and lower engine mounts, is critical for overall handling at competition speeds – particularly when powering the high perf XCAT catamarans into and out of corners.
The ROS also utilizes a remote dry sump system which holds 8L of Mercury Racing Four Stroke Oil, the same semi-synthetic 25W-50 oil used to lubricate and ensure long life in the high output QC4v sterndrive product line. A carbon fiber lower cowl conceals the transition of powerhead to midsection. The lower front cowl features dual rigging tubes, one each for fuel and electrical systems. To assist in the repower of the fleet, the ROS uses the same high pressure fuel pump, also mounted in the boat, as the existing 2-strokes.
Zero Effort Controls with Digital Trim
The ROS brings XCAT into the digital age with Mercury Digital Throttle & Shift (DTS). DTS replaces traditional throttle and shift cables with digital precision, resulting in smoother shifting and instant throttle response. Mercury Racing’s ergonomic, high-style Zero Effort® Digital controls precisely signal driver intent to the DTS equipped Mercury Racing ROS outboards. An integral power trim switch in the throttle handle provides fingertip trim control. The DTS system also features one-touch Smart Start and automatic throttle synchronization.
The Mercury Racing ROS features the XCAT World Series logo and color matched orange accent graphics. The custom graphics package is featured as a tribute to the series’ exclusivity in Mercury Racing power and their support in product development.
With the ROS comes a new line of five and six blade CNC Cleaver propellers. The Lab Finished props, featuring a high performance over the hub exhaust design, were developed specifically for surface piercing applications such as those endured in the rigors of offshore powerboat racing.
The props are rated for 400 h.p. and are available with blade rake angles of 13, 15, 18 or 21 degrees. A variety of pitch sizes are available to dial-in each hull for maximum efficiency and performance.
I can’t wait to see the new engines compete next weekend in Dubai. I expect them to make a statement – both on and off the race course!
The Verado 400R has fueled the resurgence of the outboard performance boat market. Multiple outboard (two or more) installations capable of speeds in excess of 85 mph require the use of an external rear tie bar assembly to keep the motors parallel and equalize loading.
Factory Installed Tie Bar Kit
400Rs destined for go fast duty on catamaran hulls are equipped with a custom Mercury Racing designed rear tie bar kit. The factory installed kit includes custom rear engine mounts and a heavy duty, stainless steel tie bar wing plate. The engine mounts feature an addendum for the mounting of the wing plate. A tie bar is not included.
The custom rear mounts are critical for safe and secure installation of the wing plate. They serve a function and – at the same time – maintain the integrity, form and function of the 400Rs’ Advanced MidSection. Most people mount aftermarket rear tie bar wing plates via the powerhead studs. This places a great amount of stress on the studs, engine mounts and the powerhead which could lead to cylinder distortion and possible engine failure.
Verado 400Rs with factory installed tie bar kits are backed with a full warranty. The Mercury product warranty does not cover any damaged related to the use of tie bar kits or other accessories not manufactured by Mercury Marine.
One of the features which differentiates the Verado 400R from all other four stroke outboards is the availability of the Sport Master gearcase. Designed for boats capable of speeds in excess of 85 mph, Sport Master 400Rs deliver fresh adrenaline pumping excitement to the go fast cat world.
We are excited to see our high performance boat builders embrace the 400R. The response thus far has been phenomenal. The biggest kick I get is people seem to be as awestruck by the pure power and torque of the engine as they are its drivability and and overall quietness. People are as excited to be able to carry on a conversation at 80 mph as they are going for the big number. These are exciting times for sure.
We’ve tried prop cases from reputable vendors in the past. While they served a function – they were not up to par in terms of product protection.
I feel very fortunate to work with a team internally who developed the case specifically for our five and six-blade CNC Cleaver propellers used with NXT1, NXT6 and M8 sterndrives. Featuring a durable double walled composite construction, the reusable case protects props from shipping damage. All new Mercury Racing CNC props are shipped in the new case.
If you want to protect your current inventory of Mercury Racing CNC props – you can purchase the new case from your local Mercury Racing dealer or OEM boat builder. The part number is 8M0107970. Retail pricing is $368.75.
The propeller is secured in the case by a nylon dowel and receiver. The prop hub sits snugly on a receiver in the center of the base. High density foam, mounted on the dowel, fits between the propeller hub and top cover. The dowel – secured on the top half fits within the receiver to interlock the propeller in place. The top and bottom halves of the case are secured by four steel locking clasps.
Form Follows Function:
Multiple recessed channels within the composite top and bottom covers enhance impact resistance for protection during shipments and when transferred from a tow vehicle to the boat.
Embossed ribs on the top cover fit securely into slots on the bottom cover which enables the cases to be stacked securely. A durable, spring loaded carrying handle retracts into a recessed area when not in use.
I’m looking forward to hear what you think about our new case. I think you’ll agree it is worth the investment.
I am very excited to share with you information regarding our latest prop offering. The all new Mercury Racing Enertia ECO XP offers “Extreme Precision” when dialing in engine speed for maximized power output and efficiency on recreational bay boats and center consoles. It has been my experience that adding pitch sizes in 1/2-inch increments is helpful for those who need an option when the available pitch range is greater than one inch from one to the next. Being able get the engine to run as close as possible to its max rpm operating range will enhance overall boat performance and fuel economy.
Based on the award winning Mercury Enertia ECO propeller, The ECO XP is particularly helpful in spooling up Mercury Verado 300 and 350 and Mercury Racing Verado 400R outboards to their full potential on recreational bay boats and offshore center consoles.
Our propeller techs customize blade cups to offer 16.5”, 18.5”, 20.5” and 22.5” pitch sizes to compliment the Mercury Enertia ECO line which ranges from 17” to 23” pitch in two inch increments. The ECO XP features the Mercury patented Performance Vent System® (PVS). PVS® enables the user to fine tune the amount of venting needed for quick planing. The standard length exhaust tube, in addition to reducing the time-to-plane, also provides stern lift for maximum hull performance and an improved ride in a variety of conditions.
I’m anxious for you to give our new ECO XPs a spin.
The 1550 features an advanced control system which enables the operator to switch engine power level via an electronic key fob.
The Race key fob turns the engine into a pure bred race machine – pumping out one thousand five hundred and fifty horsepower on 112 AKI race fuel.
The Pleasure key fob is selected when a more leisure ride is in order, creating 1350 h.p. on 91 octane (98 RON) fuel. Both fuel calibrations provide maximum torque and efficiency and are designed to optimize the engine performance at each power level.
The electronic fobs work off of Mercury’s Theft Deterrent System (TDS). The Race/Pleasure key fobs provide the operator visual cues via an interactive VesselView display.
One key fob controls the horsepower output of multiple engines. The Theft Deterrent System disables the vessel when an assigned electronic key is not engaged. The dual calibration enhances consumer value by offering essentially two engines in one; both backed by a factory warranty.
This is not just a “valet key” where the engine is detuned; this is a fully integrated control system with switchable engine control. The technology greatly enhances the boater’s experience by providing the option to switch to pump gas when in areas where 112 AKI fuel is not available or when full race performance is not desired.
Two in One
The dual calibration enhances consumer value by offering essentially two engines in one; both backed by a factory warranty.
The 1550 is the latest generation of Mercury Racing’s exclusive QC4v (quad cam four valve) engine. Designed and developed in-house, the QC4v design has revolutionized the recreational sport boat industry.
The 9.0 liter quad cam four valve (QC4v) cylinder block and head design, combined with SmartCraft Digital Throttle & Shift (DTS), provides big power with luxury-car-like drivability. With the dual calibration of the 1550, you get both a race boat and a high performance pleasure boat.
Power to the Water
The 1550 is available with robust M8R drive and the Pro Finish 5-blade 1550 CNC Cleaver propeller.
Factory Backed Warranty
The 1550 is backed with a 10 hour warranty at the 1550 power level (at 2000 RPM or above) or 1 year, whichever comes first.
We’re back in Las Vegas for the 2014 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show. It’s hard to believe a year has passed since we unveiled our QC4v automotive crate engine here. Since then – we’ve received a lot of interest in the product and its capabilities. Various applications have been suggested – off road racing, drag racing and high performance street rods to name a few. Read more
Our new Zero Effort Digital Controls are the latest generation of an innovative, modular design first introduced by Kiekhaefer Aeromarine in the the 1980s. Kiekhaefer developed them to withstand the harsh environment of offshore racing. Often imitated, the versatile design has evolved through time with advancements in engine propulsion technology. The new controls provide an intuitive experience for recreational boaters and racers alike. Mercury’s exclusive Digital Throttle & Shift (DTS) technology takes the sweat out of boating by replacing the lag and hesitation of traditional throttle and shift cables with digital precision, resulting in smooth shifting and instant throttle response.
Form Follows Function
The high styled controls are tough as nails – and ergonomically friendly as well. We build them utilizing stainless steel for lever, mechanism and hardware strength. The housing material is corrosion-resistant, marine-grade aluminum specially coated for enhanced protection in the extreme saltwater environment. Short throw levers, made of stainless steel, provide effortless shifting and ultra-fast throttle response. Shift and throttle handles are made of an anodized aluminum for enhanced corrosion resistance. The modular design enables the controls to be offered in either two or four lever configurations. Throttles and shifters can be grouped separately or combined into a single unit for maximum control and comfort. An integrated throttle handle trim switch enables trim adjustment while maintaining hands-on throttle control. Black and red shift/throttle handles comply with American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) standards. Optional clear handles compliment virtually any helm.
Zero Effort Digital controls are designed specifically for Mercury & Mercury Racing outboards and sterndrives equipped with SmartCraft DTS technology. They are enabled to provide automatic throttle synchronization and shadow mode for up to four engines (where two levers operate four engines) and go hand-in-hand with engines equipped with Mercury’s exclusive Axius Joystick Piloting technology. Read more
The official start of Summer is June 21. If the volume of blog comments, voice mails and prop orders are any indication, the summer boating season has been under way for a good month already. I, like you, am ready to get some boating in and enjoy the warm summer weather. And – just in time for the season, I’m pleased to announce the official release of two new props that expand the versatility of our popular Mercury Racing Bravo and Maximus propeller lines.
Bravo for Outboard Cats!
Newly released this week is our all-new Bravo I OC (Outboard Catamaran) prop. The Pro Finish Bravo I OC was designed specifically for high powered outboard catamaran hulls. The new Mercury Racing Bravo features a total of eight PVS vent holes for fine-tuned performance.
The Bravo I OC diameter is cut down to 14.75″ and features a pitch range of 28″ to 35″ (even and odd) sizes and left and right hand rotation. A shortened exhaust barrel settles the stern to minimize drag while reshaping the blade maximizes performance with the new diameter. The prop has been tested on 28-foot to 32-foot Skaters, Talon, DCB, Spectre and Doug Wright hulls. It outperformed three and four blade cleavers in both acceleration and top-end speed (medium to heavy loads).
Bravo I OC part numbers and MSRP pricing:
Pro Finish Bravo I OC – 14.75” Diameter
Designed for sterndrives and big horsepower outboards, the Pro Finish Maximus ST (short tube) propeller is available in 24″ to 34″ (even) pitch sizes in both left and right-hand rotation. It too features a cut-down diameter (15.6” to 15.3”) and a shortened exhaust tube for enhanced performance. The Maximus ST is rated for up to 600 h.p. Dave’s Custom Boats of El Cajon, California helped validate this latest generation of our high performance Maximus line. DCB’s Dave Hemmingson and Tony Charimonte liked the STs so much they asked if they could use them for the Desert Storm Poker Run Shoot Out. They installed 32″ STs on Terry and Sandy Everson’s beautiful M29. The boat is powered by twin 565s coupled to 1.35:1 Bravo One XR Short Sport Master drives with Integrated Transom Systems (ITS). Terry and Sandy won their class in the shootout; bumping the rev limiter at 115 mph! Tony said, “the 565s pull so hard – we could have used 34″ pitch STs.” “We really like what Mercury Racing has done with the latest generation Maximus props,” Tony said. DCB is building a new M31 which will again feature the stout 565 sterndrives and Maximus ST props. We’re anxious to get the numbers on that one as well.
Maximus ST part numbers and MSRP pricing:
Maximus ST Propeller – 15.30” Diameter
Maximus ST Propeller – 15.60” Diameter
We’re very excited to offer these two new props. I’ve received a number inquires regarding both. Outboard cat owners are excited to bring new life to their performance hulls powered by our classic 2.5 EFIs or the epic OptiMax 300XS. The Maximus is waking up both four stroke outboards and sterndrives on a variety of applications. I look forward to hearing from you regarding these or any of our Mercury Racing props. Be safe and have a great summer!
Congratulations to Mike Fiore, Brian Forehand, Joe Sgro and Dr. Michael Janssen in establishing all new Unlimited Vee Bottom and SV Single kilo speed records. The American Power Boat Association sanctioned the special event records for Outerlimits Powerboats. I first learned of the initial record via a Speed on the Water post early Monday. Brian (Forehand) drove and throttled the SV 43 Outerlimits, powered by twin 1650 RACE sterndrives, to a two-way average speed of 174.938 mph. The former vee bottom kilo record of 171.88 mph was set by Reggie Fountain and Ben Robertson in 2004. Fountain and Robertson drove a 42-foot Fountain on the same course as used today.
Early this morning my phone lit up with multiple messages – the first being from Mike (Fiore); post this on Facebook right away. I was ecstatic to learn Brian (Forehand) and and Joe (Sgro) made back-to-back passes of 179.500 mph and 181.422 in the SV 43 for a new APBA Unlimited Vee-Bottom kilo speed record of 180.47 mph! Reggie Fountain was top of mind since Monday. His record of 10 years is broken and not by a Fountain. His former employee was behind the wheel for multiple records and all of the action took place in front of his house. I had to call him. Read more
We are excited to unveil our concept QC4v crate engine this week at the 50th annual SEMA show. The A multitude of configurations are possible, fom basic long block form to ready to run engines. The project has to be one of our best kept secrets ever.
This is our first SEMA show and there is a lot to see. We brought an exotic supercar fitted with a turbocharged QC4v 1650 crate engine. The car is complimented with an equally exotic DCB M41-Wide Body catamaran sport boat powered by twin 1350 sterndrives.
An immaculate cutaway crate engine display shows the brilliantly engineered inner workings of the QC4v engine design. That is flanked by a complete QC4v 1350 and 8.2 Liter 520 sterndrive engine displays. A complete QC4v crate engine is featured in SEMA’s New Products Showcase. Read more
It’s been a busy summer. Last week we introduced our new 520 sterndrive and our our new mobile marketing truck at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Missouri. It was developed to provide recreational boaters a low-cost option for gaining access to Mercury Racing’s exclusive group of high-performance sterndrive propulsion systems. By the response we’ve received thus far, the engine package is destined to be the power behind a variety of recreational boating applications including runabouts, sport boats and cruisers. Did I mention pontoons?
Based on the 8.2L cylinder block – the 520’s cylinder bores are punched out to 4.560″ for a total of 8.6L of displacement. The larger displacement, combined with Mercury Racing cylinder heads, multiport fuel injection and an electronic throttle body results with more torque than the 525 EFI and nearly 100 additional horsepower over MerCruiser’s 430 h.p. 8.2L MAG HO. All from 87 posted octane (R+M)/2 or (91 RON) (global) pump gas!
The 520 is our first sterndrive to be backed by a two year limited factory warranty. Robust valve train components including a hardened camshaft are used for enhanced durability. Performance cam profiles, combined with larger valves, pack more air through the engine for greater power and torque. Greater displacement, combined with enhanced airflow, results in unprecedented mid-range punch and consistent pull through the engine rpm operating range. Read more
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 more
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.
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 more
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.
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 more
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.
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 more
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 more
Our high performance QC4v (1100/1350) sterndrive engine packages have been a stellar success. Both models are game changers and have lived up to the promise: Faster. Stronger. Farther. Longer. But as stout and trouble free as they’ve been, even these Torque Monsters will need attention eventually.
Racing’s all-new Factory Fresh QC4v program features a complete engine inspection and refresh by the skilled craftsmen who built them originally. Unique to the QC4v refresh program is the option to purchase either a new long block assembly or a certified refreshed core long block. The long-block core exchange program reduces the amount of time an engine is in for service. Engines receive a complete dynamometer run prior to being sealed and released as Certified Factory Fresh. Refreshed QC4v engines enjoy a limited warranty on all refresh parts purchased by a customer – including the long block assembly. The refresh warranty is the same as Mercury Racing’s one year Parts and Accessories Warranty. Factory Fresh QC4v warranties can be transferred to a new owner if the boat is sold.
The refresh process begins with an inspection of the condition of the engine long-block. This determines the core-exchange value. Once the core value is assessed, the rest of the engine is inspected to determine what is needed. A refreshed long-block is a solid foundation from which our craftsmen work their magic. Every aspect of the upper engine – from fasteners to critical components (fuel, electrical systems and closed cooling systems) – are inspected and updated as needed. The refresh process includes rebuilding of the sea pump, replacing all belts, exhaust gaskets, seals, hoses, spark plugs, fuel filters, oil & oil filter, and other miscellaneous hardware.
Additional parts may be replaced due to corrosion or other factors. These may include exhaust manifolds and turbocharger assemblies. If any of these conditions exist, the customer is informed and provided an estimate of related charges. Read more
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 more
As you prepare for the upcoming boating season, remember to check the condition of your props to ensure they are in good condition and ready to go.
To keep them in good shape, use propeller covers. We’ve developed an all-new cover specifically for Mercury Racing CNC Cleaver propellers. The 18-inch diameter cover features a tough, tear resistant and waterproof nylon shell. Red webbing highlights the outer edge. The silk screened Mercury Racing logo resists absorption of oil, grease and other contaminants.
The interior is lined with a tough ballistics material. The puncture resistant lining encases a marine grade padding to help protect the prop from impact. Read more
New for the 2012 Miami International Boat Show — and enthusiastic performance boaters!
Mercury Racing has updated its core, big block sterndrive! Now, the venerable 525EFI has a digital sibling — 565!
We’ve stroked the block to 8.7 liters (or 533 cubic inches), redesigned the cylinder heads, added a second throttle body to the inlet, broadened the torque curve and increased output to 565 horsepower at 5,000-5400 rpm.
Mercury Racing’s new 565 runs strong on 89 octane pump gas (RON+MON)/2. It employs dual throttle bodies and electronic fuel injection flowing through a new cylinder head which we designed with improved valve angles for better flow and more precise air and fuel distribution.
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 more
“Mercury customers, myself included, want to boat on clean water and in a healthy environment. Mercury Racing showcases our environmentally responsible technologies through powerboat racing and performance boating,” said Mercury Racing President, Fred Kiekhaefer.
Nico Bauduin, responsible for Mercury outboard sales in Europe and the Middle East, represented us in Dusseldorf. “Mercury has worked hard over the past few years to bring industry leading emissions compliant technology to outboard powerboat racing. We’re proud of our racing heritage. We are equally excited to be working with the UIM in the development of low-emissions entry level classes for the next generation of racing champions.”
Nico was referring to the UIM’s new Youth Development Program. The powerboat racing training program is designed to encourage youth, starting at the age of 10, to get involved in the sport of powerboat racing. The program features two classes; GT15 and GT30. Both feature a 12-1/2 foot vee-bottom hull powered by a low-emissions Mercury four stroke outboard. The GT30 boats are capable of reaching speeds up to 62 mph.
UIM president Dr. Raffaele Chiulli said, “There are lots of talented young drivers and we want to provide an opportunity for them to participate in the sport by sponsoring these boats. Also, safety took top priority when the boats were being built.”
The UIM plans to take the boats to various races and power boating events around the world for a multicultural exchange with children from every member nation of the UIM. Tobias Komm is one of the drivers to sign up for the program. The 20-year old from Dinslaken, Germany will enter his first GT30 race in April.
We admire the UIM for their commitment in the future of powerboat racing. We’re proud to be the power behind the Youth Development Program and future UIM champions.
Old Mercury Racing engines never die. They just get recycled. I was going through my photo archives and stumbled upon this special project from a few years ago.
A customer paid to have a cosmetic refresh, but no mechanical work!!??? An odd request, until I discovered why: The only fuel it would see from now on would be through a glass table top — and go down different tubes. I suspect we over engineered the product for this application.
The rest of this room is pretty amazing, too, but I don’t have permission to show it. (I might not be invited back. Then, how would I fuel my tubes?)
Vicki, your comment prompted me to add another photo. This is an adapter I designed to fit my ceiling fan with a WWII target drone UAV propeller. The beautiful wooden prop was made for Kiekhaefer Aeromarine Motors engines my dad sold to Uncle Sam during that Great War. I found several new ones, still in the original boxes, while cleaning out a storage room. This one now swings quietly over my couch — unlike its predecessors, which roared over gunners’ heads.
OK. Chuck sent an interesting photo from his dad’s office — a gimbal ring (wait for it…lamp!) Now, this is fun!
Here we go. The Holidays are upon us. I’ll be busy in the coming weeks wrapping up projects including the 2012 Mercury Racing Wall Calendars (shipments are set for next week), finalizing 2012 marketing plans and attending to other unfinished business.
For me, the Holidays are the calm before the storm. I try to enjoy time with family and friends. One of my favorite parts of this time of year is catching up with dealers, boat builders, racers and consumers. I’m thankful for the many wonderful people I’ve met and become friends with over the years.
This is also my busiest and most stressful time of year. For over 20 years, the months of December and January are etched in my brain as “boat show prep time.” The Miami Int’l Boat Show is our a largest show. It serves us well in terms of connecting with our customers from around the globe. The Los Angeles show enables us to connect with our West Coast customers. Read more
Fort Lauderdale boat show: where to start? First, I spent more time in conversations than taking pictures.
My friend and 1350 customer, Derek Wachob (Black “Z48 Corvette” MTI), was on the performance dock when I arrived. Pier 57’s David Woods was working the Cigarette display. PR maven, Marilyn DeMartini, had Skip Braver engaged in a video interview with Wealth Magazine aboard Cigarette’s new, 39 center console fishing boat.
Cigarette’s European dealer, Marcel, always the gentleman, was politely grilling me about 1350 emissions and noise. “When may I have [QC4v] for the European Union market?” Easy questions; difficult answers: “It is difficult meeting low CO emissions of the European Recreational Craft Directive…blah, blah… But we’re working…blah, blah…” Seriously, we are working to comply with the EU RCD with the QC4v platform, but that’s all I will say for now.
Center consoles seemed to appear everywhere. The trend looks more intended for catching a good time than a big fish. Susan Patterson was eager to show off her new 44 Concept center console fish boat. Concept had (arguably) the most fishable of the new center consoles.
While both Cigarette and Concept center consoles’ lounge areas were comfortable, none had more relaxing ones than Trond Schou’s new Nor-Tech. With a 10 foot beam, the foredeck lounge area can accommodate two people taking a nap — and seven people watching them sleep.
Sunsation’s new 36 vee bottom displayed one of the most beautifully detailed engine rooms – brimming with twin 700 SCi power — whether the hatch was open or closed (through plexiglas hatch ports).
It was a good, fun boat show! Then the sky opened for two days.
There are “tuners” out there that offer supercharger kits for Mercury Racing 525 EFI engines (and others). Some of these kits reportedly boost horsepower and torque as much as 50 percent. They reprogram our engine controller to override its logic and limits. Yes, there is more power to be had – for a time. We program our ECUs to keep engines within their physical limits and offer good power with reasonable reliability and durability.
One tuner just offered a “price reduction.” Their claim is to make power upgrades more affordable. Beware of the sales pitch, “Step right up! It’s on sale!” Alarm bells should be ringing in your head when you hear those words. If you’re tempted by that offer (and your warranty has expired), please proceed with your eyes wide open because just the opposite is the likely result. Here’s why “affordable” may prove very expensive. Read more
Skater soon will. This monster 1350 – lurking in the darkened, after-hours hallway of Racing’s dyno lab – is one of the second “official” pair going Pete’s way this week.
Peter Hleden’s technicians have successfully completed Mercury Racing training and are now T.E.A.M. (Total Engine Application Management) accredited to install 1100 and 1350 packages at the Skater factory in Douglas, Michigan. Two prior Skaters have been rigged at a T.E.A.M. accredited dealer for two of Pete’s enthusiastic customers.
A pair of “Devil Red” and carbon fiber 1350 rockets left Racing for Douglas earlier this week. Next and just off the dyno is this interesting first-time color combination of “Super Silver” and “Dandy Candy Red” 1350’s. This somewhat unusual color pairing will complement a spectacular Skater catamaran paint scheme. I can’t wait to see it – and the look on the new owner’s face when he feels the incredible torque!
Fred Kiekhaefer and I were talking about some of the unique projects Mercury Racing has been involved with over the years. I thought you would find our odd projects and rare products interesting as well.
Turbine. The experimental Mercury turbine outboard was built in alliance with Marine Turbine Technology (MTT) , LLC of Franklin, LA. The engine featured a Rolls Royce Allison 250 series gas turbine (helicopter) engine mounted to a 2.5 EFI Offshore mid section and a Sport Master or Torque Master gearcase.
The 320 h.p. engine was developed in the late 1990s in response to the then pending Department of Defense mandate that all gasoline be removed from ships by 2010. The turbine was light – weighing in at 200 pounds – about the weight of a 2-stroke 50 h.p. outboard. And it was multi-fuel compatible – with the ability to run on diesel, kerosene and JP4 jet fuel. MTT founder Ted McIntyre brought a turbine outboard powered landing craft to the 2001 Mercury Dealer Conference in Orlando, Fla. The boat stopped traffic every time the turbine spooled up to 51,000 RPM as it hauled awe-struck media and dealers around the lake. I went for a ride. I remember it was loud and I distinctly remember the fumes. Read more
UPDATE UPDATE… (January 2012). Bonnier killed PB again. Jason has moved on to join Sportboat Mag and Matt Trulio’s SpeedOnTheWater.com. I’ve had enough of Bonnier. Good people land on their feet. Poor ownership lands on different parts of their anatomy.
UPDATE! Now (June 2011), Bonnier has said they’re relaunching Powerboat. They’ve rehired Jason Johnson. Maybe our collective, misty-eyed recollections brought them to reconsider. Whatever the reason, good call! Bring it back better than ever, OK Jason?
Here’s what I said before their flip-flop:
I will miss Powerboat Magazine. I was reflecting on some of the stories. I recall so many interactions with great people there. Hanging on the wall in my home is a poster of my favorite cover. The July 1993 issue featured my race, with the late Lisa Nordskog navigating, through the Florida Keys against Motor Trend’s Michael Brockman in a 348 Ferrari. (He won the race, but I got 10 pages and a cover in Powerboat plus six in Motor Trend!)
What I didn’t really notice, until after I received “The Notice,” was that the cover boasted, “We Made It!” 25 years on PB’s hour meter. It never occurred to me that this book would end. It’s Powerboat. I expected 50 years on the hour meter.
Yes, this economy has been tough on all of our industry, its current and former employees, and most of our customers. Budgets had to shrink. Activities and people had to be cut. But it looked like PB had made the right, tough decisions in order to survive – including selling itself. Perhaps obvious in hind sight, not all the right ones. It appears the last independent decision was fatal.
It’s as if Off Duty and the 348 had both run out of gas in Marathon.
My childhood experiences of spending summers on the water — and being exposed to Mercury powered boats from an early age — has a lot to do with my long career here at Mercury Racing. If I wasn’t out enjoying the product on the water, I would read (and dream about) the boat I would buy — by reading PowerboatMagazine. The recent news of Powerboat being shelved (with the exception of a special issue or two) saddens me. Not just from my professional relationship with the magazine – but more so from the long, rich and colorful history of this icon.
Bob Nordskog founded Powerboat Magazine in 1968. It quickly earned respect for its timely coverage of the performance boat industry. Performance trials that were honest and accurate. It was unmatched for photography and graphic design. Tech tips and Q & A columns by experts added value and personality. In depth race coverage from all corners of the globe was a unique contribution. PB had it all.
I think Dick De Bartolo may be the lone survivor who was with the magazine from the beginning. I remember reading Dick’s column as a kid – a funny story regarding barnacles sticks in my head. I didn’t realize that he also writes for MadMagazine until I met him years later. Thanks for the laughs and gadget features, Dick.
It’s been interesting for me to have met and become friends with the editors through time; Mark Spencer, Eric Colby, Gregg Mansfield, Brett Becker, Jason Johnson and Vicki Newton to name a few. My former PB writer friends include tech experts Bob Teague, Terry Tomalin (offshore racing coverage) and Matt Trulio (power & propulsion).
Hearing the news of Powerboat being sold – andretired! – brings mixed emotions. Its like losing an old friend. Our thoughts and support go out to employees affected by the transition and we wish you all the best in your future. We hope to see Powerboat again with a special issue — or a rebirth (I can hope). In the mean time — we’ll cherish the memories of a great magazine and continue friendship with the people who made you great.
Outboards. Outboards. Outboards everywhere! Mercury Racing’s factory floor is a buzz of activity. We’re busy with a large build of low-emissions 2-stroke OptiMax 200XS SST (Super Stock Tunnel) and ROS (Race Offshore) outboards. A majority of the direct-fuel injected engines are headed to Europe for race venues in Sweden, Italy and France.
Complete engines and conversion kits are being built. The conversion kits, which include a powerhead, tuner, cowlings and gearcase, are a one-time offer for the 2011 season. The SST and ROS kits are available to racers who want to upgrade from older, naturally aspirated, 2.0 liter SST 120 and XR2 Race Offshore engines.
Both SST and ROS end models feature a 2.5 Liter V-6 OptiMax powerhead which combines components from the OptiMax 2.5XS and the Mercury Racing engineered 175 Pro XS outboard.
The 200XS SST features a 12-inch race mid section and a unique IV SSM gearcase which switches the right-hand engine rotation to a left-hand propeller shaft rotation. This is required for the hard, left-hand turns of tunnel boat race courses.
The 200XS ROS features a 15-inch mid section and a 1.75:1 Sport Master gearcase. Models are available in both right-hand and left-hand rotation for multiple engine applications. Read more
No Miami International Boat Show would be complete without something up my sleeve. This time, it’s the “younger brother” to Mercury Racing’s 1350 engine. (I just could not call this tough fella “little brother.”)
Ta dah!:Our1,100 horsepower, twin turbo V-8 is here! Like the big guy, it’s a 9 liter, all aluminum, close cooled, quad-cam, four-valve engine. It begins production in April.
The 1100’s benefits are pretty straight forward: Compared to our 1075 SCi, it has a little more power and a lot more torque; compared to our 1350, it has a little less of each. However, our new 1100 has over 1,100 lb-ft of torque on tap – in a wide RPM band all the way from 2,500 to 5,250! That’s more torque than our 1200 SCi engine! It delivers 1,100 horsepower at 6,500RPM (red line). It requires less gasoline – less of it and lesser octane: It takes 89 (R+M)/2, mid-grade pump gas (the 1350 takes 91; the 1200 SCi takes 110 race gas!). The 1100 complies with EPA and CARB exhaust gas emissions limits. Maintenance requirements are less frequent, too. This is ideal power for offshore vees and cats.
Even with all its technology, our 1100 is offered at a price favorably comparable to Mercury Racing’s 1075 SCi. As good as our 1075 SCi is, it is out-performed in every metric by our newer technology. Therefore, the 1075 is discontinued. So too, is our 1200/1025 SCi dual fuel engine. Of course, refresh and service parts will continue for our SCi platform. Also, our 850 SCi through 525 EFI will remain in Mercury Racing’s product line.