Boats, Bands & Fans: Racing’s Unprecedented 450R Product Launch

This gorgeous photo captures the vibe of our unprecedented launch of the 450R in Music City – Nashville, Tennessee.

Whew. That was a rush.

Our June 18th launch of the all-new Mercury Racing 450R FourStroke outboard in Nashville, Tennessee, was unprecedented on so many levels. In my 30 years of service at Racing, this three-day event was off the charts in terms of scale, quality and  exposure.

Media Buzz

Mercury Racing General Manager Stuart Halley addresses the media with details regarding the all-hew 450R outboard.

Activities began June 17th with a reception and dinner for select global marine-industry media at Blake Shelton’s Ole Red restaurant bar. Racing General  Manager Stuart Halley and Mercury Marine President Chris Drees addressed the group upon the unveiling.  Needless to say, gasps from the  crowd were audible upon the drop of the drapes. The crowd was then subdued  – listening intently as Stuart presented details of the new product – the result of three years of development by the Mercury Racing engineering team.  Stuart concluded his presentation with a video that highlighted some of the boats the media would experience the following morning.

Media Demos 

450R engine graphics were kept “under wrap” during the media demos on Tuesday. they remained covered until the 8 pm unveiling that evening.

We dodged inclement weather for the most part to get all the demos in. To say the least, all 450R-powered boats – from the sporty cats to the six-engine Cigarette Tirranna – made huge impressions.

Following the mid-afternoon departure Tuesday of our media guests, we switched gears to prepare for the arrival of our boat-builder partners and their guests. Product displays at Ole Red were moved to the main level where Stuart would share the stage with The Royal Hounds – Racing’s outstanding house band for this iconic global launch.

All The World’s A Stage

Kendra Sommer prepares for her live stream coverage of the 450R unveiling on the Mercury Racing Facebook page.

Kendra Sommer, star of Cruisin’ With Kendra,  transmitted all of the excitement of the launch via a live stream on the Mercury Racing Facebook Page.  The crowd went wild upon the unveiling and, like the night before , listened intently as Stuart listed and explained the product details. The  energy in the room was palpable. I don’t think there was a single individual who didn’t get his or her picture taken with one of the the three 450R product displays.  We couldn’t wait for our builders and their guests to experience the product.

The city of Nashville skyline was the backdrop of where the boats were docked prior to the start of the poker run.

Mercury product integration personnel drove the  boats up the Cumberland River for an on-water display in downtown Nashville Tuesday evening.

Steve Miller addresses poker run participants at the mandatory safety meeting.

Wednesday morning,  guests were shuttled from the hotel to the river for breakfast, where Steve Miller, director of Racing’s  marketing, sales & service, presented a mandatory safety meeting  prior to their departure.

Waiting for the water to rise in the Old Hickory Lock.

The first 15-mile leg  included “locking through” to Old Hickory Lake where we stopped for lunch at Blue Turtle Marina.  A mini poker poker run took place afterward, during which participants on all nine boats made stops to capture collectible Mercury Racing poker chips.

And the Winner is…

Operation Stand-Down Tennessee representative Karen Fitzhugh, Steve Miller and Formula Boats president Scott Porter proudly display the $5,000 check to the veteran’s services organization. Formula Propulsion Specialist Brian Smith displays Mark Tysinger’s commemorative 450R launch event poster.

Formula Boats guest Mark Tysinger collected the winning hand for the poker run. Mark redirected his $5,000 winnings to Operation Stand-Down Tennessee, a nonprofit veteran’s  services organization. Mark also received a framed Nashville 2019 450R commemorative poster.

We want to thank Tennessee Powerboat Club representatives Justin Lucas  and Chad Collier for all of their help in organizing our poker run. They were an immense support, volunteering their time in ensuring it was the great success that it was. We want to also thank TPC members who provided their boats and time for our designated poker chip stops.

We enjoyed our time in Nashville. It was great to see our media friends, boat-builder partners and their guests enjoy themselves as they experienced the all-new 450R in music city.  I have many memorable moments in my career – this one  tops the list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lead the Charge with the All New 450R Outboard

Greetings from Nashville where we just revealed the all-new 450R outboard.  Developed for discerning performance boating enthusiasts demanding unmatched power and performance, the 450R delivers outstanding power density at 450 propshaft horsepower from an outboard weighing as little as 689 pounds (313 Kg).

Literally hundreds of pounds lighter than the nearest competitor, the new 450R delivers industry leading power-to-weight in a compact, efficient and sporty package.  Best of all, the Mercury Racing 450R delivers all of its performance on readily available 89-octane (95 RON) pump fuel.

Supercharged Performance

The carefully considered design and placement of the new supercharger and charge-air coolers allow the 450R to use the same slim-line cowl as the 300R model while incorporating higher flow intake vents.

The 4.6-liter V8 FourStroke powerhead is boosted by an exclusive Mercury Racing supercharger to produce 450 peak propshaft horsepower and 40 percent higher torque than the powerful 400R.  The carefully considered design and placement of the new supercharger and charge-air coolers allow the 450R to use the same slim-line cowl as the 300R model while incorporating higher flow intake vents.

The 4.6-liter V8 FourStroke powerhead is boosted by an exclusive Mercury Racing supercharger to produce 450 peak propshaft horsepower and 40 percent higher torque than the powerful 400R.

Like all Mercury Racing outboards, the 450R accommodates 26-inch center-to-center mounting on multi-engine transoms, perfect for optimizing use of transom space on new boats or re-power installations.

Inspired Engineering 

The exclusive Mercury Racing Advanced MidSection (AMS) features heavy-duty stainless steel guide plates and stiffened engine mounts that stabilize the outboard and enhance high-speed handling.

An optional rear tie-bar bracket integral to the AMS provides a strong, ultra-light mounting point and uncluttered installation for catamaran and other high-speed applications.

Gearcase Options

From single-engine performance runabouts to multi-engine catamaran sport boats the Sport Master – in the correct application – will enhance boat handling, speed and efficiency.

The surface-piercing Sport Master gearcase, designed for boats capable of speeds in excess of 85 mph, features low water pick-ups and a crescent leading-edge for maximized efficiency, and for the 450R application, a stout new one-piece 1.25-inch diameter stainless steel propshaft.

From single-engine performance runabouts to multi-engine catamaran sport boats the Sport Master – in the correct application – will enhance boat handling, speed and efficiency. The available cambered skeg counteracts prop torque for improved performance and handling in single-engine applications.

The 450R is also available with the 5.44 HD gearcase for lower-speed and traditional submerged applications. All 450R gearcases have a 1.60:1 gear ratio for enhanced acceleration and speed.

Mercury Racing Propellers

On the new 450R models, the popular MAX5 and Outboard CNC Cleaver props are required for use with the surface piercing Sport Master gearcase.

Mercury Racing propellers are designed to maximize boat performance and handling in any application. Our artisans handcraft each propeller to precision-tuned works of art, customized for specific boat types and performance goals. Each individual propeller is then zero balanced and measured to ensure consistent performance every single time.

On the new 450R models, the popular MAX5 and Outboard CNC Cleaver props are required for use with the surface piercing Sport Master gearcase.  For 5.44 HP gearcase applications, Mercury Racing’s Bravo I FS, Bravo I LT, Enertia ECO XP, and Rev 4 XP are excellent options.

Intelligent Technology

Adaptive Speed Control with a custom Mercury Racing calibration automatically holds engine rpm regardless of load or condition changes – such as rough water, tight turns, tow sports and lower speeds on plane – to maintain boat momentum with less-frequent throttle control adjustment

Mercury Transient Spark Technology applies pre-programmed timing advance to optimize torque output for stronger hole-shot performance. Adaptive Speed Control with a custom Mercury Racing calibration automatically holds engine rpm regardless of load or condition changes – such as rough water, tight turns, tow sports and lower speeds on plane – to maintain boat momentum with less-frequent throttle control adjustment.

Digital throttle and shift technology enhances the high-performance boating experience by providing smooth shifting and instant response while eliminating cable rigging and maintenance

The 450R is compatible with Mercury Racing Zero Effort Digital controls or any Mercury Marine digital control system, which can throttle up to six outboards with a single lever in some applications. Digital throttle and shift technology enhances the high-performance boating experience by providing smooth shifting and instant response while eliminating cable rigging and maintenance.

Optional Joystick Piloting for Outboards (JPO) is available for boats rigged with two to six outboards and provides intuitive, fingertip 360-degree boat control for docking and maneuvering in tight quarters, plus the convenience of Skyhook® sea-holding features and integrated auto piloting.

VesselView also enables Advanced Sound Control, a dual muffler system that can be toggled between an ultra-quiet mode and a deep sport tone with a stirring growl on start-up

An available Mercury VesselView offers more systems information and engine data than with any other display system in the boating industry. VesselView can simultaneously monitor the RPM, speed, fuel flow and efficiency, temperature, trim and more on up to six outboards on an intuitive seven or nine-inch touchscreen display.

VesselView also enables Advanced Sound Control, a dual muffler system that can be toggled between an ultra-quiet mode and a deep sport tone with a stirring growl on start-up.

Unmatched Reliability

The 450R is backed by a 3-year factory warranty and up to 5-years of Mercury Product Protection coverage.

Designed to thrive in the abusive environment of high-performance boating, the 450R was tested, tested and tested again – in the lab and on the water – in a never-ending quest to exceed the highest expectations of the most-demanding customers. Run Wide Open with confidence.

The Mercury Racing 450R outboard is backed by a three-year limited factory warranty and a three-year limited corrosion warranty. Extend that coverage for up to five additional years with a Mercury Product Protection factory-backed extended service plan.

 Color Options

Devil Red Eye, Graphite Grey and Carbon Fiber accent panel kits are available to custom-match a 450R outboard to a boat color scheme.

The Mercury Racing 450R is available in Cold Fusion white and the legendary Mercury Phantom Black. Cold Fusion White models are finished with Devil Red Eye cowl accent panels with a white Advanced MidSection (AMS) and gearcase. Black models are finished with Graphite Grey cowl accent panels and matching Graphite Grey AMS and gearcase. Devil Red Eye, Graphite Grey and Carbon Fiber accent panel kits are available to custom-match a 450R outboard to a boat color scheme.

Production of the all-new 450R is underway and customer shipments have begun.

 

 

 

 

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Race Inspired Robotics

The success of any business starts with the people who work there. That is particularly true here at Mercury Racing.  Our employees are highly skilled, extremely passionate and dedicated to their work. We rely on schools that provide technical training to secure a skilled workforce for the future.

Aidan Keiler and Oscar Lopez making last minute repairs to defective sensors and motors between competitions. The tournament structure requires efficient teamwork in making adjustments and repairs in order to be ready for the next match. Photo courtesy of Chris Keiler.

One such program that caught our eye is the Lomira Robotics Club, in Lomira, Wisconsin. Established in January of 2017, the club provides students hands-on training to gain a better understanding regarding robot construction. To enhance their experience – the students elected to enter their projects into a robotics tournament. Competition accelerates student learning and provides them exposure to students from other schools and their associated robotics programs. Two middle school teams and one high school team, each comprising of four students were entered.

Aidan Keiler makes adjustments to the robot’s programming code while preparing for competition. Variations in field conditions and surfaces create a need for ongoing adjustments. Photo courtesy of Chris Keiler.

The season began in June 2018.  All team members participated in a five-week summer school program to develop a greater understanding of programming and engineering design. Robot construction to build prototypes and develop code began in September.

Oscar Lopez, Owen Binkelman and Aidan Keiler modify the ball intake cage on the robot to increase efficiency. Photo courtesy of Chris Keiler.

Turning Point, the theme of the 2019 Robotics games, requires robots to flip and raise caps, turn flags by shooting balls, and climb platforms. VEX Robotics has over 20,000 teams representing more than 50 countries competing around the world. All three teams from Lomira qualified for the Wisconsin VEX Robotics Championship, March 3-4 at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Master Minds: (L-R): Jaye Zingsheim, Oscar Lopez, Owen Binklman, and Aidan Keiler. Photo courtesy of Chris Keiler.

The Master Minds, consisting of eighth-grade students, stood out in the skills competition for their programming and driver performance. Their 11th place finish qualified them for both the U.S. Open Robotics Championship and the World Championship. In the general game, they reached the quarterfinals of their division with their robots placing in the top three for the state of Wisconsin. 

Mercury Racing supported the program with a $4,000 donation to assist with expenses associated with the VEX World Championship tournament. 

The Master Minds get ready to compete in the first elimination round. They won this close match by a score of 18-14 to allow them to move on to the quarter finals of their division. Photo courtesy of Chris Keiler.

The Master Minds had a fantastic run at the VEX World Championship Tournament, April 24-27 in Louisville, Kentucky. Their 11-3 overall finish placed them in the quarterfinals for their division and in the top 32 middle-school robots in the world. 

“The tournament was filled with great opportunities for our team to network with outstanding engineers from middle through collegiate levels, representing bright minds from across the world,” said team mentor Chris Keiler, Lomira School District director of pupil services. 

The competition requires communication and networking with teams from around the world. (L-R): Oscar Lopez, Aidan Keiler and Jaye Zingsheim network and strategize with a team from Bangkok while overcoming language barriers. Photo courtesy of Chris Keiler.

Lomira Middle School Science Teacher Blake Bogenhagen, who also serves as a team mentor said, “We are proud of the hard work, dedication, and accomplishments of all of our robotics teams, and appreciate the partnership from companies like Mercury Racing to help make these real-world experiences happen.”

Mercury Racing was glad to be involved in a supporting  role.

“Mercury Racing is proud of the Lomira Robotics Club and their accomplishments, particularly because it’s such a young program,” said Mercury Racing General Manager Stuart Halley. “We support these programs in hopes of attracting the talent to support our business and the surrounding communities in the future.”  

 

 

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