I recently celebrated my 30th service anniversary with Mercury Racing … and how things have changed as we’ve raced through the years. One thing that hasn’t changed is my passion for this brand. I believe that can be said for my colleagues as well.
In my opinion, Mercury Racing has built its high-performance reputation by enduring the harsh racing environment with durable, reliable products. The vintage slogan, “The Race Never Stops!” conveyed our relentless pursuit to win … at races and within our industry. At the core, our mission is to develop innovative, class-leading products for our customers and shareholders. That hasn’t changed during my tenure.
After thirty years, I still have the same passion for my work and love for the Mercury Racing brand that I had on day one.
I want to know what Mercury Racing means to you! Submit your story here.
For sharing your story, you will be entered for a chance to win a custom Mercury Racing Pelican cooler. See terms and conditions for more details.
Mercury Racing’s new 4.6L V-8 250R and 300R FourStroke outboards are equipped with Adaptive Speed Control (ASC). This Mercury-exclusive feature allows boaters to maintain engine speed (rpm) regardless of load or condition changes – such as rough water, tight turns, tow sports and lower speeds on plane – without having to frequently adjust throttle position, a first for the outboard industry.
You may be wondering how this technology works and how to “dial in” your boat to take full advantage of the improved throttle response and “sportier” feel it provides.
While the system is designed to be intuitive to operate, understanding boat setup and operation with and without ASC will help maximize performance when changing the setup or when running the engine to its limits.
Boating Without Adaptive Speed Control
To get a boat up on plane without Adaptive Speed Control, push the throttle full forward, pulling back once on plane. Trim the engine to lift the hull, reduce drag, and increase engine rpm even with constant throttle. Heavy boats require more throttle to reach the same rpm as a lightly loaded boat.
Prop selection for this scenario is relatively straightforward. Too little pitch will result in engine revving past its recommended rpm operating range. Too much pitch will limit the engine from reaching its peak rpm for maximum speed.
250R & 300R FourStrokes
With Mercury Racing’s new V-8 FourStroke outboards, Adaptive Speed Control constantly adjusts the engine throttle and available airflow to achieve or maintain a given rpm. When the boat’s load curve is within expected limits, getting on plane no longer requires a throttle overshoot or pull-back to maintain speed.
Adjusting trim will still lift the hull and allow higher efficiency, however, engine rpm will be maintained unless helm throttle demand is increased or already at 100%.
Propping for Maximum Performance The largest difference when propping for Adaptive Speed Control is experienced when running the engine at the top of the recommended operating rpm. For example, running a 300R with an under-pitched propeller, on a lighter than normal boat load, or over-trimmed will result with the engine reaching its maximum 6400 rpm operating range without using maximum power. In the past, the engine would continue to climb in rpm until the rev limit was reached.
With Adaptive Speed Control, the 300R Engine Control Unit (ECU) will automatically pull power to maintain the 6400 rpm limit without any indication to the driver. The only way to verify 100% power output at 6400 rpm is to have your dealer run an engine diagnostics test via the Mercury G3 tool. Any rpm less than 6400 (or max rated rpm) with the helm throttle control at full forward or 100% will result with full power output of the engine.
To ensure maximum power and performance with a 300R, we recommend working down from larger pitch propellers until you reach (6350 rpm) at 100% throttle. If the engine is under-propped or the prop leaves the water for an instant, the rev-limiter will activate to prevent engine damage.
Prop Slip and Cavitation
Common in high-performance applications, prop hub vent holes, aerators, or over-the-hub exhaust are used to allow the propeller to cavitate. Cavitation increases engine rpm, which in turn assists in getting the hull on plane. Adaptive Speed Control is not a version of traction control and thus will not reduce power or helm demand during acceleration. Under hole shot conditions, stabbing the throttle will demand 100% power from the engine and continue until the maximum 6400 rpm propping limit is reached.
Propeller cavitation during a partial helm throttle demand, i.e., while getting a up on plane, in turns or because of over-trimming is controlled differently. Where the operator used to pull back on power to prevent engine rpm from going too high, Adaptive Speed Control will reduce power to maintain the set rpm demanded by the operator. This can be experienced by entering a medium-speed turn while leaving the throttle untouched, then slowly tightening the turn until the boat slows and the propeller cavitates. Initially, Adaptive Speed Control will increase power to maintain engine rpm. When cavitation occurs, it will reduce power to maintain the same rpm.
We hope this information is helpful to you in optimizing your Mercury Racing V-8 FourStroke outboard for maximum performance.
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.