Fred’s Window on the Miami Show

Cigarette 38 Top Gun 90+ MPH: Update of a classic and first installation of 565’s.
Demonstrating the 565 in Nor-Tech's 420 Monte Carlo, the author with a prospect, Rex.
Demonstrating the 565 in Nor-Tech’s 420 Monte Carlo, the author with a prospect — my personal friend, Rex.

What a couple of weeks! For me, the Miami Show is about the best activity one can still call work. We rolled out Racing’s new, 8.7 liter, digital throttle and shift, 565 hp propulsion package. That gave me plenty of excuses to hang out with customers of Mercury, Cigarette, Dave’s Custom Boats, Formula and Nor-Tech.

The abundance of new boats powered with 1350, 1100, 700SCi, 525EFI or 350SCi’s didn’t spoil my attitude, either.

What better way to cap off a successful Miami International Boat Show than a poker run with Stu Jones and his Florida Powerboat Club to Islamorada? That’s some great folks with whom to share time!

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Breakout Show!

Fred with the all-new 565 sterndrive. Photo courtesy of Charles Plueddeman -
Even competitors came by to check out our new products.

My first indication this was going to be a breakout Miami show was first thing Thursday. We had a huge gathering of media and trade professionals  for our 10:05 a.m. press conference.

Kevin Grodzki was first up to unveil the Mercury 150 Fourstroke outboard for its debut appearance at the world’s largest boat show. Fred Kiekhaefer followed with his unveiling of our all-new 565 sterndrive. Both engine’s were very well received. From that point on – the show was a non-stop-go.

We had two free-standing static 565 engine displays at the show – one in the Mercury booth and one in Dave’s Custom Boats (DCB) booth.

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Lovin’ Up Our Classic Big Block

These are some of our people who made the 565 happen.
Color optioned Super Silver valve cover caps Racing's exclusive aluminum 2-valve cylinder head.

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.


Zero Effort digital throttle: the ideal way to control this powerhouse!
Top mounted PCM, TCM and electrical connections makes installation easier.

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.

Managing operations is a new controller for this engine – the same Propulsion Control Module used on our 1350.

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Bravo I FS

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 more

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Team Mercury – Part 3: Earl Bentz

Earl in the "Big Bore T-4" powered Seebold. Photo credit:
Photo from 1980 Popular Performance boat magazine feature on Earl.

“My racing days hold many fond memories for me. Being part of the Mercury Racing Team made it possible for a young country boy from South Carolina to go places, do things, and meet people from all over the world that would have otherwise never happened.” wrote Earl Bentz, regarding his time driving for Team Mercury.

Earl credits his uncle, D.F. Jenkins [Jenkin Outboard, Charleston, SC]. for getting him into racing. He ran his first race at age 16 on Lake Murray, South Carolina. “Blue Goose” was the name of the boat, a 100 h.p. Mercury-powered deep-vee.

“My uncle bought me my first tunnel boat over the Winter of 1968-69. It was a Galaxie tunnel boat powered by a stock V-4 Johnson that qualified me for Sport J class. One of my all-time favorites was the ‘Wild Geechee’. It was a kneel-down tunnel with a ‘crash’ throttle. We probably won 80% of the races we entered. One year in particular, we won 20 consecutive races in classes from Sport J all the way to U and S class [unlimited single engine outboard],” said Earl.


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