The Rock Aqua Jays water ski team has repowered its flagship tow boat with triple Mercury Racing 4.6-Liter V8 300R FourStroke outboards for the 2019 season. Founded in 1961, the Janesville, Wisconsin-based team has won 20 national water-skiing titles since 1975. They were the first amateur team to build three-tier, four-tier and five-tier pyramids. They also hold the Guinness World Record for the largest human pyramid on skis.
The new 300Rs replace 3.2-Liter V6 Mercury Racing OptiMax 300XS outboards. The new 300R-powered rig made its debut June 15-16 at the 2019 season opener in Warsaw, Indiana, during the City of Lakes Invitational. The engines delivered – powering a first place overall and a sweep of all box scores. The win was important, as Warsaw will be the site of the D1 National Championship, August 9-11.
Rock Aqua Jays Vice President Kevin Ostermeier is ecstatic with the new 300Rs.
“As expected, the amount of raw power and torque brought to the water is unbelievable,” said Ostermeier. “When pulling 14-plus bare-footers with the OptiMax 300XS outboards, driver Bob Brockman would bring up the throttles a touch more as they stepped off to compensate for increased drag. With the 300Rs, the boat has ZERO hesitation as we all step off.”
“It didn’t take long for us to realize no throttle adjustment is necessary with these stump pullers. As for our large pyramids with bigger loads (40-plus skiers) that we’ve pulled so far, we’ve preferred a slower troll-out speed than normal to start the entire group, knowing the engines can pull us out from the deep with ease. The 300Rs are always hungry for more.”
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.
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.
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, 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.
Mercury product integration personnel drove the boats up the Cumberland River for an on-water display in downtown Nashville Tuesday evening.
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.
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…
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.
Work began with replacing mechanical throttle and shift Mercury Racing Bulldog sterndrives with our 8.6 Liter 540 sterndrives featuring modern Digital Throttle & Shift (DTS) technology.
Mercury Racing Digital Zero Effort Controls signal driver intent – providing digital throttle and shift signals to the potent 540hp engines. Power is transferred to Bravo One XR sterndrives spinning Mercury Racing Lab Finished Bravo I propellers. Integrated Transom Systems (ITS) featuring Integral steering rams provide a clean installation of the robust XR drives. K-Plane trim tabs assist in getting the classic vee -bottom up on plane as well as adjusting hull attitude while underway.
Vital engine and hull data is provided real-time via a touchscreen Mercury 703 VesselView monitor. It has more information and data on boat and engine functions than any other system in the boating industry: rpm, speed, fuel flow and efficiency, temperature, trim, and more.
Project 1080 also uses twin Garmin 7612 XSV chart plotters for engine data display as well as navigation. Stu walks us through the VesselView 703 features in the latest Project 1080 Update video.
Stay tuned for the next Project 1080 update where Stu will run us through the operation of K-Plane trim tabs and provide performance results from updating the Bravo One XR drives with surface piercing Sport Master gearcases.
We are excited to announce the reintroduction of the venerable 700 SCi sterndrive. The supercharged engine was first introduced in 2006 and was a popular offering for single- and twin-engine vee bottom, catamaran and deck boat applications throughout its initial 11-year run.
Although production ended at the end of 2017, demand for the 700hp engine has never waned.
Designed, developed and manufactured in house, the supercharged engine features a CNC-machined V8, 8.2L cylinder block packed with Mercury Racing designed and specified hardware.
The 700 SCi comes equipped with the Mercury-exclusive Propulsion Control Module (PCM) microprocessor. Combining the powerful engine management computer with a screw-type supercharger, roller camshaft, and sequential fuel injection results in impeccable idle quality, instant throttle response and unmatched performance throughout the 4800-5200 rpm engine operating range.
The PCM computer also enables individual cylinder control. The ability to optimize fuel, spark timing and knock control independently for each cylinder enhances engine running quality, performance, fuel economy and durability.
Supercharger boost is variable and automatically adjusted as needed. A boost bypass control valve, electronically activated by the PCM, continuously fine tunes the amount of boost needed to provide consistent horsepower. Under optimum ambient conditions, the boost bypass control valve will open to adjust for the lower boost required to obtain 700 crankshaft horsepower.
When operating in sub-optimal running conditions, the PCM closes the bypass control valve to provide active torque management throughout the engine operating rpm range and deliver the additional boost required to maintain a consistent 700hp.
The 700 SCi’s ability to provide consistent horsepower in any condition or locale eliminates the hassle of re-propping the boat to match conditions and enhances its versatility.
Power to the Water
The 700 SCi comes standard with the Mercury Racing-exclusive NXT1 transmission and legendary M6 surface drive. The innovative transmission design features a Bravo-like cone-clutch mechanism, resulting in smooth shifting characteristics.
The Mercury Racing R-Series line of consumer performance outboards is simply amazing. From bass boats to flats boats, to bay boats and multi-species hulls, to performance catamarans and vee-bottoms, to center consoles and even pontoons the R-Series offers a wide array of models to fit virtually any high-performance application.
No Replacement for Displacement
Every ounce of our naturally aspirated V8 4.6L FourStroke engines is devoted to wide-open exhilaration. And while 4.6 Liters is a massive amount of displacement, power density is a key to high performance, and no marine engine delivers more punch in a lighter package than our 250R and 300R FourStrokes.
The proprietary V8 architecture is enhanced by our Quad Cam Four Valve (QC4) design with double over-head camshafts and aluminum cylinder heads that maximize airflow and power. Mercury Transient Spark Technology applies pre-programmed timing advance to optimize torque output for stronger hole-shot performance.
Low Cost of Ownership
Our naturally aspirated V8 outboards run on 87-octane pump fuel. This provides a lower operating cost and the peace of mind that comes from knowing you will be able to find fuel anywhere you go. To squeeze more power from less fuel, the V8 FourStrokes feature Advanced Range Optimization (ARO), a closed-loop fuel-control system that utilizes electronic sensors to precisely adjust the fuel mixture for the best-possible efficiency at all speeds. The Quad Cam Four Valve (QC4) valve train is maintenance-free for the life of the engine.
The 400R shook up the high-performance outboard world when it was introduced in 2015 and the legend has been growing ever since. This brilliant Verado design launched an outboard performance revolution, and it has become by far the most popular outboard Mercury Racing has ever produced.
The inherently balanced inline six-cylinder arrangement offers smooth operation and a slim profile on the transom, so it’s perfect for multi engine installations. Supercharged induction delivers immediate response and astonishing power, yet it’s thoroughly refined for rock-solid reliability and effortless efficiency.
Don’t Knock It
The 400R requires 91-octane fuel for peak power, but a sophisticated knock sensor system permits the use of 89-octane fuel with only a slight reduction in performance. So you can still boat in areas where 91-octane fuel is unavailable or is unreliable – without giving up any meaningful amount of power, and without damage to your engine.
High-performance midsections and gearcases differentiate R-Series outboards from the typical consumer engine. All models feature stiff mounts which function akin to a sports car suspension – enhancing high-speed handling and drivability.
All R-Series outboards are available with Mercury Racing’s exclusive Sport Master gearcase.
The surface-piercing gearcase – designed for boats capable of speeds well over 85 mph – features low-water pickups to ensure a steady flow of cooling water, and a crescent leading edge to maximize efficiency and speed. The available cambered skeg counteracts prop torque on single-engine installations for improved performance and handling.
The Torque Master gearcase, available on the 300R, is designed to run partially surfaced to carry heavier tournament bass and multi-species fishing boats with maximum speed and control.
The 5.44-inch HD gearcase, available on select 300R and 400R models, comes equipped with a robust gear set for ultimate durability when pushing heavy bay boats and multi-engine performance center console boats that require a more submerged gearcase.
Mercury Racing Propellers
Simply stated, Mercury Racing Propellers are the gold standard in high-performance props, and they’re the perfect match for R-Series outboards.
Cast from proprietary stainless-steel alloys, then hand finished and zero balanced by artisan technicians in our prop shop, Mercury Racing Propellers offer the ultimate in performance and durability.
Choose the precision-tuned performance of a Mercury Racing Pro Finish model or the race-spec perfection of a Mercury Racing Lab Finish® propeller to ensure that every bit of that R-Series power gets to the water.
Mercury Racing R-Series consumer performance outboards are tested, tested and tested again – in the lab and on the water – in a never-ending quest to exceed the highest expectations of even the most demanding and discerning boater. Run wide open with confidence backed by a three-year limited factory warranty.
Extend that coverage for up to five more years with a Mercury Product Protection (MPP) factory-backed extended service plan, and you’ll still be leaving others in your wake – and still covered – long after many other so-called high-performance engines have gone to the scrapyard.
Visit our website to learn more about our R-Series consumer performance outboards.
The 9.0-liter engine features Mercury Racing’s exclusive aluminum four-valve cylinder heads and dual overhead camshaft valve train. The proprietary V8 cylinder block is further packed with Mercury Racing-designed and specified hardware. A Racing exclusive fuel calibration combined with the Quad Cam Four Valve (QC4) valve train enables the engine to produce 1,100 horsepower at 6500 rpm on 89-octane (95 RON) pump fuel. The engine’s 6000-6500 rpm operating range offers unsurpassed acceleration for its power rating as well as unmatched durability and reliability.
Powerboat P1, which produces the single-engine outboard V-bottom Panther/SuperStock race boat series as well as the AquaX personal watercraft circuit, has joined forces with the Offshore Powerboat Association (OPA) to create the APBA Offshore Championship series. The season kicks off May 18-19 with Thunder on Cocoa Beach, round one of the six race series.
Miss GEICO Racing recently took delivery of their handcrafted 1100 engines. They will soon be installed in their 41-foot Victory catamaran. Crew Chief Gary Stray is very passionate about the new series and the 1100 class. “The new engines look amazing. We can’t wait to get these fitted and tested,” said Gary.
The 1100 powered Miss GEICO makes her public debut at the May 4-5 Fort Lauderdale Air Show where it will compete for bragging rights in a drag race with a plane. After that team GEICO will be full on test mode in preparation for Cocoa Beach.
“The 1100s are mechanically sealed from the factory – tamper proofed if you will. And the engine – based on the same QC4 platform as our 1650s – will prove to be extremely durable and reliable with a low cost of ownership and minimal required maintenance. Two of our 1100 catamaran class competitors – 222 from Australia and Victory Team are running identically rigged 41-foot Victory cats so the racing will truly be a test of driver and throttleman skill. Everyone will be on a level playing field which is very exciting for competitors and spectators alike,” said Gary.
We are committed to see the new APBA Offshore Championship series succeed and grow. This year will be proof of the concept for the new 1100 catamaran class. It will only be time before former Class 1 competitors and others realize low cost of ownership combined with a level playing field equates to a formula for success.
We are excited to announce the release of six new 4.6L V8 300R FourStroke outboard models featuring a 1.60:1 gear ratio Sport Master gearcase.
Models featuring the Racing CMS (Conventional Midsection) with a cambered Sport Master gearcase are ideal for lightweight – single engine sport boats, bass boats and flats boats. Rear tie-bar, heavy-duty midsection models are designed for high performance catamaran applications.
Single and multi-engine applications may realize an improved propeller efficiency with the taller ratio.
The new 1.60:1 Sport Master models join our full suite of 300R high performance FourStroke offerings. All 300Rs come with a three-year limited factory warranty with up to five-years of Mercury Product Protection (MPP) available.
The new 1.60:1 300R models are available for order now with shipments beginning in May.
Mercury Racing Propeller Manager Scott Reichow and Propeller Specialist and Project Manager Nick Petersen review our expanded MAX5 propeller offerings.
The Mercury Racing MAX5 propeller, developed and handcrafted by Mercury Racing Propeller artisans, is designed for single- and multiple-engine applications, including the 400R outboard and the 600 SCi sterndrive. The Lab Finished MAX5 provides a measurable reduction in propeller slip (up to 12 percent). In fact, the MAX5 prop is so efficient builders are finding they can run it higher to take full advantage of engines fitted with the race-proven Sport Master gearcase.
Bigger is Better
New 15.25-inch-diameter MAX5 models offer 3-4 percent reduction in slip compared to the 15.00-inch models on select outboard and sterndrive applications that benefit from elevated transom heights. Half-inch pitch offerings enable engines to be dialed-in to their maximum rpm operating range for enhanced throttle response, optimized cruise fuel efficiency and optimal top speed.
The new Mercury Racing MAX5 ST propeller is designed for the 4.6L V8 300R FourStroke outboard with Sport Master gearcase. The shortened exhaust barrel enhances the performance of single-engine bass boats and twin-engine catamarans by keeping the stern planted for a confidence-inspired ride, while the large 15.25-inch-diameter prop stays hooked up at extreme engine heights.
Initial test results are promising. A 300R FourStroke spinning a 31-inch pitch MAX5 ST prop powered a tournament-loaded Bullet 21 XRS bass boat to 97.5 mph with a mere 7 percent slip!
All MAX5 propellers feature the Mercury-patented Performance Vent System® (PVS), which enables the user to fine-tune the amount of venting needed for quick planing.
I recently wrote a feature post on Liberator Boats of Florida and their initial experience with our new 4.6L V8 300R FourStroke outboard. I elected to feature Liberator as company owner Randy Corson had just received his first 300R in June. Randy has extensive experience with our V6 300XS two-stroke. I was anxious to get his feedback regarding our new engine and how it compared with the 300XS it replaced.
Randy provided some initial performance numbers and then compared them with his archival 300XS data:
Both engines featured the Sport Master gearcase. The 300XS had a 1.62:1 gear ratio. The 300R had a 1.75:1 gear ratio. Due to the gear ratio difference, the 300XS ran a 32-inch pitch propeller. The 300R ran a 34-inch pitch prop. The bare hull weight of the 300XS hull is 940 pounds. Randy said it is the fastest 300XS powered 21-foot Liberator he has ever had. The bare hull weight of the 300R boat was 1063 pounds.
“We saw 1.5 to 2 mph faster top-end speeds with the 300R compared to the 300XS with comparable props. At the time, the 300R topped out at 106 mph; that’s 5-6 mph faster than the 300XS when running a 15-1/4-inch diameter – 34-inch pitch Mercury Racing 5-blade CNC outboard cleaver.
Randy ran the CNC cleaver again on Christmas Day and was blown away by the performance – a top speed of 112 mph!
While the top-speed difference is impressive, acceleration is where the 300R really shines. The 300XS accelerates from 40-100 mph in 25 seconds. The 300R boat catapults from 40-100 in 18 seconds! The big difference can be attributed to a 44% advantage in displacement (4.6L vs 3.2L) the 300R has over the 300XS. That results in a 40% increase in bottom-end torque.
Hole shot acceleration is exhilarating as well. From 0-20 mph, the 300R is 25% quicker than the 300XS. Mercury’s proprietary transient spark calibration boosts torque by as much as 7% by optimizing spark timing and fueling to assist in superior hole shot performance.
We are excited to see the performance gains people are experiencing with our new 300R in both single and multi-engine applications.
We’ve recently released the 4.6L V8 300R FourStroke outboards featuring our Racing exclusive heavy-duty midsection fitted with a factory installed rear tie-bar mounting bracket.
The heavy-duty midsection comes with solid mounts and robust, forged transom brackets with single ram power trim and a remote trim pump designed to endure the harsh offshore environment. These models are available with the Sport Master gearcase.
The optional factory installed integrated rear tie-bar bracket enables the installation of a tie bar (an optional aftermarket part) for multi-engine performance cat and vee-bottom applications.
Select rear tie-bar models are available with side steering kits. Hydraulic steering cylinders mounted off the rear tie bar bracket – connect to the steering tube integrated within the transom clamp bracket assembly.
The optional rear side steer kits greatly enhance steering robustness. The tie-bar and rear side steering kit work together to enhance engine stability on high speed multiple engine applications.
Mercury Racing propellers are designed to maximize boat performance and handling in any application, from pleasure boating and fishing to poker runs and competition racing. 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.
Only a small percentage of our propeller line today is designed specifically for racing. In fact, our most popular props, based off the Bravo I are used primarily for recreational boating.
Customer expectations have evolved through time and we have responded. Propeller performance is no longer about top speed. Today, consumers are also looking for the propeller to deliver hole shot, on-plane efficiency and fuel economy under load.
We have made additional tweaks to Mercury’s base Bravo casting to provide a new performance level for a variety of 2-stroke and 4-stroke outboard applications. We also produce a variety of other outboard propellers including the MAX5, Rev 4 XP, Enertia ECO XP, Pro Max and the 5-blade CNC Cleaver.
Dr. William Fox caught the automotive bug at the ripe old age of 6 when his grandfather built him an electric go-cart. He would study cars and call out their unique features when traveling with his parents. He particularly had a passion for classic cars. His personal goal was to have his dream car by the age of 40. He wanted to have something that was unique, had enough room for the kids and was fun to drive.
Dr. Fox reviewed several classic cars, but his criteria narrowed his search to the Chevrolet Chevelle. He was particularly attracted to the ’66 model – a perfect blend of styling that became an icon for the beginning of the muscle car age. “The knife-like front edge screams muscle. It has just enough of an edge to it yet comes across as a family sedan – a sleeper at the stop light,” said Dr. Fox.
Dr. Fox is having a blast in his dream machine. It’s his daily commute to work. It is a conversation piece at traffic lights, parking lots and drive-throughs. One thing he hasn’t done yet – to the chagrin of his son – is to provide him a ride to school so he can be the envy of classmates and teachers alike. Come on Dad – just once?
Our MAX5 is providing top performance in both domestic and international outboard applications.
Nor-Tech Boats came to us for help in establishing a speed record for production outboard center consoles. Quad 400Rs, spinning 31-inch pitch MAX5 props powered their 390 center console to an astounding speed of 101 mph!
“The boat performed outstanding at both top-end speed & cruising,” said Nor-Tech founder Trond Schou. “The fuel consumption was an impressive 1.5 mpg while cruising at 50 mph! We highly recommend this propeller for high-performance boating.”
Kirk Beattie of Preferred Marine recently took delivery of his triple 400R powered 36-foot Invincible center console. Kirk was truly amazed with the MAX5s’ performance.
“The boat not only stays hooked up, the more we trim her, the more bite they provide, said Beattie. “It is a slingshot out of the hole: 0-55 mph in 11.2 seconds with a top speed of 81 mph. They are efficient too; delivering 1.2 mpg at a cruise speed of 50 mph.”
“The beauty of the props is that my fuel efficiency at cruise is not compromised with a heavy load. When I load her up with 475 gallons of fuel, five guys, full coolers and the tackle we still manage to get 1.1 mpg at 50 mph! The MAX5 props are serious!”
Toffen’s MAX5 Experience
Toffen Gunnufsen from Norway is a huge Mercury Racing enthusiast. He has updated the power on his 1984 Phantom 25 hull multiple times. Phantom was essentially an offshore race hull made from 1970 through the early ’90s.
Toffen’s most recent repower entailed replacing a Mercury Racing 350 SCi with our popular 400R outboard. The boat ran 86 mph with a 25-inch pitch Rev 4; a 4 mph increase in speed using the same prop. He gained an additional 3 mph when he updated the 400R with a 25-inch pitch MAX5.
World Champion Propulsion
Francis Notschaele and Alain Coppens piloted their 300XS-powered Skipper BSK hull to win the 2018 UIM Endurance Class S1 World and European Championship. The reigning Class S1 champs switched from Bravo I props to MAX5s to capture their second consecutive championship.
We are excited to see the MAX5 shine in multiple applications – both here and abroad.
Mercury Racing congratulates Adam Leland, winner of our Brand Passion Essay contest. We received several quality stories, and Adam’s winning essay is presented below. We will also share others in future blog posts.
Adam and his dad Fred are lifelong boaters and Mercury owners. You can sense by reading Adam’s essay that he and his dad Fred bleed black.
My love for fast boats and Mercury engines came from my dad. I have fond memories of his 115hp short shaft “tower of power” he bought new and ran for many years on a little Glaspar G3. When I was a small child he gave me a little 10-foot hydro with an old Merc. We called the boat “hiccup” because of the sound that old little motor made.
As I grew so did my love for fast boats. Around the age of 12 I got a 1969 10’ GW Invader with a 1984 Merc 25.
I loved that little boat but I needed to make it go faster. My friend and I decided one day to “borrow” my uncle’s 50hp Merc and throw it on the back. Boy, that was a fun run.
As I got older so did the size and power of my boats. When I was in high school my dad handed down our family 16-foot Checkmate Predictor to me and my brothers. We swapped the 115 Merc for a nice healthy V-6 Merc with a jack plate and a 26-inch pitch prop. That was the boat that truly taught me how to drive.
My dad stepped up and got himself a 19-foot Eliminator Daytona with a potent V-6 Merc. It was highly modified and had a nitrous oxide system installed. That engine was built for raw power – nothing else. We eventually upgraded to our dream motor; a 1997 Mercury Racing 260hp 2.5 EFI outboard. In my opinion, that was the best motor of all time.
We continued to run fast boats every summer up and down the small lake in Maine where we have a cottage. Now a father myself, I look forward to passing down our boating passion to the next generation of Mercury Racing junkies.
Well done, Adam. Enjoy your time on the water with your family.
Check out the latest Project 1080 video. Stu and Performance Marine Trading owner Pat Sullivan discuss the advantages of our Integrated Transom System, an option for the Bravo One XR sterndrive that works well with the Cigarette Top Gun.
The boat was moved from the rigging shop to an aluminum fabrication shop where a custom swim platform will be rigged and built from scratch. While there, the cabin upholstery will be installed as well.
Project 1080 will be on static display in the Cigarette booth at the Key West Poker Run village. The Cigarette booth is adjacent to our Mercury Racing Experience Truck display.
The boat will be flanked with display panels featuring a timeline of the restoration project as well as FPC’s 25-year history along with the history of the legendary Cigarette brand.
Our Experience Truck will be packed with exciting product displays and our factory reps will be eager to talk about them. Be sure to stock up on Official Mercury Racing merchandise – available for purchase at the truck Thursday through Saturday, November 8-10.
We are looking forward to seeing the Resto Mod 1080 Cigarette in Key West.
Our hot new 4.6L V-8 300R has a new fan. Liberator Boats of Florida owner Randy Corson received his first 300R in June. Randy has extensive experience with our legacy V-6 300XS two-stroke. He anxiously rigged his first 300R in anticipation of its performance and he was not disappointed.
The 300R, which is 44% larger in displacement compared with the 300XS, produces 40% more bottom-end torque and provides 25% quicker acceleration.
“The V-8 four-stroke produces so much torque that it demands a larger diameter prop,” said Randy.
“We saw 1-1/2 to 2 mph faster top-end speeds with the 300R compared to the 300XS with comparable props. The boat topped out at 106 mph; 5-6 mph faster than the 300XS when running a 15-1/4-inch diameter – 34-inch pitch Mercury Racing 5-blade CNC outboard cleaver,” Randy said.
The popular MAX5 also ran well with low (9.7%) slip and a top-end speed of 103 mph at 6200 rpm.
Liberator Boats of Florida sales have soared with the release of the 300R.
“The engine has an awesome sound from outside of boat, yet is uncommonly quiet inside. It’s really the best of both worlds for the modern-day outboard performance boater,” said Randy.
Randy has extensively documented his 300R experience on screamandfly.com, a popular on-line forum for performance outboard enthusiasts. Screamandfly.com owner Gregg Terzian will be documenting the performance of his latest 300R Liberator in a video shoot later this month.
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.
Mercury Racing has had a working relationship with Captain Steven Lamp, owner of Dream Catcher Charters, for nearly 20 years. Steven relies on Mercury products to earn a living. His office space is the beautiful waters off Key West. He has been intimately involved in the development of a number of our key consumer performance outboards including the OptiMax 200XS, 2.5XS, 250XS, 300XS, Verado 350 SCi and Verado 400R.
He has also been my go to person for real world feedback regarding Mercury Racing Propeller performance. I recently reached out to Steven for performance feedback regarding our ECO XP propellers.
One of Steven’s charter boats is a beautiful 36-foot Yellow Fin offshore center console with triple 350 Verado outboards. He had been running stock 21-inch pitch Mercury Rev 4 props. I sent him a set of our 20.5-inch pitch Racing ECO XPs to try.
Steven conducted back-to-back tests to compare the Rev 4s with the ECO XPs. The boat load consisted of two guys and 100 gallons of fuel. Water conditions were flat.
He ran the Rev 4’s first to establish a baseline. The Yellow Fin accelerated from 0-20 mph in 4.5 seconds. Acceleration from 0 to 20 mph was 5.3 seconds with the XPs, 0.8 seconds slower than the Rev 4s. However – all aspects of performance – including overall handling – was noticeably improved with the ECO XPs.
Steven was impressed. “I love the way the boat feels. It feels like it’s on rails. The bow lift over the Rev 4s is HUGE! The Rev 4s are slippery; handling is dicey. There is no slip with the ECO XPs. Handling is tight for both right and left-hand turns.”
I am impressed as well. Thank, Steven, for taking the time to provide us this real-world performance feedback regarding the offshore center console performance of our Racing ECO XP propellers.
Our Digital Zero Effort Controlsprovide an intuitive experience for performance boaters and competitors 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. Digital Zero Effort Controls 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 Joystick Pilotingtechnology.
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.
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 silver handles compliment virtually any helm.
Digital Zero Effort controls are backed by a one-year factory warranty and supported by a Mercury Marine’s global dealer network.
A variety of shift and throttle lever configurations available
Ergonomic design features short throw levers for effortless shifting and ultra-fast throttle response.
Robust stainless steel levers for unmatched durability in the offshore environment.
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.
Happy 50th Birthday to Captain Steve Lamp, owner of Dream Catcher Charters. Captain Steve relies on Mercury products to earn a living. His office space is the beautiful waters off Key West.
Mercury Racing has had a working relationship with Steve for nearly 20 years. He has been intimately involved in the development of a number of our key consumer performance outboards including the OptiMax 200XS, 2.5XS, 250XS, 300XS and 400R.
He has also been our go to person for real world feedback regarding Mercury Racing Propeller performance. Steve also provides field testing data on a number of Mercury Marine engines, control systems and props.
Steve and I first met at Lake X for a 200XS photo mission. His passion for boating in general and Mercury Racing was obvious the instant I met him. It’s rare to have a personal relationship with an individual who not only earns a living with our product but one who is such a passionate brand ambassador.
To this day Steve represents Mercury Marine at the Miami International Boat Show. It is in the show environment where Steve’s experiences and extensive product knowledge truly shine. He has a knack for conveying information in layman terms to the public, highlighting product features that are important for their specific needs. In an instant – he can switch gears and carry on a conversation with members of the media regarding a variety of topics and not miss a beat.
When he’s not in the Mercury booth you will find him on the water providing product demos for Mercury as well as Yellow Fin, the builder of his bay boat and offshore center console.
Steve, we are blessed to have you as a friend and a member of our team. We wish you all the best as you continue your adventures from Mile Marker 50. Throttles down…. The Race Never Stops!
Our Pro Finish Bravo I LT propeller, originally designed for single outboard multispecies, bay boat and deck boat applications, is known to provide superior hole shot, on-plane efficiency and fuel economy under a load.
Sam Maisano from Go Fast Charters has enjoyed great success with our Bravo I FS propeller. Sam recently repowered his 32-foot Donzi ZF center console from 300 to 350 Verados. He contacted me to get some guidance on propeller selection. Sam’s boat is often under a load with passengers and gear and thus we thought it may make sense to see if the Bravo I LT could enhance his ride.
We sent Sam a set of 24″ pitch Bravo I LT props. The results have been phenomenal. When compared to the FS, the LT has a longer exhaust tube with a flare at the end. The flared tube provides more stern lift, which settles the bow for a more level ride. Sam and his customers are enjoying improved handling and a dryer, more comfortable boating experience.
The Bravo I LT has allowed Go Fast Charters to utilize their higher-horsepower engines without sacrificing fuel economy and range. At 56 mph Sam uses 40 gallons per hour (gph) with the FS as opposed to 38.8 gph with the LT. Through mid-range speeds, the story is the same. At 4200 RPM, Sam gained almost 3 mph (40.6 to 43.2 mph) while realizing a fuel consumption savings of 1.5 gph.
In addition to better performance, Go Fast Charters has proven the durability of Mercury Racing propellers when they are properly maintained. On his first pair of Bravo I FS propellers, Sam logged 995 hours with zero failures! In 2016 alone, Sam put 555 hours on his one-off set of LT propellers, and continues to use them.
With the advent of the new counter rotation Bravo I LT for dual engine applications, Go Fast Charters will blow customers away with the performance offered by their well-tuned Mercury and Donzi combination.
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.
Mercury Racing® K-Planes® have long been considered the gold standard of trim tab design, durability and performance.
Originally developed to endure the punishing rigors of offshore racing, K-Planes feature a strong, corrosion resistant aluminum casting with large support ribs for enhanced durability.
The Reasons Why More Performance Pleasure Boaters, Racers, and the Military Trust K-Planes over Competitive Brands:
The proven gold standard on the liquid battlefield of the offshore race circuit
They plane boats faster and keeps them level for a safer, smoother ride in a variety of conditions.
Heavy duty, corrosion resistant aluminum casting with large support ribs for unparalleled durability
Double-acting hydraulic trim cylinders maintain position and react immediately to fingertip control from the helm
Elastomer mounts on each end of the hydraulic trim cylinders dampen impact loads, eliminate free play and eliminate contact between the stainless steel pivot points for enhanced durability, trim accuracy and corrosion resistance
Electrically bonded components and large sacrificial anodes further protect the tabs from the corrosive salt water environment
Heavy-duty hydraulic trim pumps, designed specifically for K-Planes, withstand the torture of offshore power boating
Getting on Plane
Trim tabs work in-concert with outdrives when powering a boat on plane. Tucking the drives under and the tabs down forces the bow of the boat down. This brings the boat on plane quicker, without a loss of visibility. Once on plane, the operator first trims the tabs up and then trims the drives out until the most efficient running attitude is achieved.
Tabs, when put in a level position with the bottom of the hull, act as hull extensions or after planes. As a wave throws the bow up, the tabs dampen the boats reaction, leveling and smoothing the ride.
Tabs and drives should be trimmed up when operating in a follow sea. The raised bow will compensate for the waves lifting the stern. Tabs are also used to fine-tune the handling of a boat such as a catamaran that may have a gentle bounce or porpoise when accelerating to optimum running speed in mild water. In this case, the drives are set at their optimum trim. Dropping the tabs, a touch at a time, will dissipate the porpoising while maintaining hull efficiency.
At idle, trimming tabs full down will slow boat speed, reduce the wake size and straighten the boat’s track.
Seaconditions or an unbalanced load may cause the boat to lean (or list) to one side or the other. List may occur in a quarter following sea. The waves lift the stern unevenly, causing the boat to pitch forward and roll opposite the lift. Dropping the tab opposite of the side being lifted will correct the listing for a dryer ride. Similar adjustments can be made for boats listing due to an uneven load. Bumping the tab on the heavy load side down will cause the stern on that side to lift, leveling the load.
Boats equipped with K-Plane trim tabs require a trim indicator that provides the operator an accurate, real-time reference of both drive and tab positions. SmartCraft electronic trim senders are available with 150S, 280S, and 380S K-Planes. The electronic sender provides the option of having drive and tab trim positions displayed digitally on a variety of large, easy-to-read electronic displays available from Mercury’s SmartCraft Vessel View to Simrad and other manufacturers.
Mercury Racing continues to offer a full array of mechanical trim indicators first developed by Kiekhaefer Aeromarine for use with sterndrives, outboards and K-Plane Trim Tabs.
Custom color options enable boaters to color match the tabs to boat graphics and color optioned Mercury Racing M6& M8 sterndrives.
Available for boats 21-feet and longer, K-Planes are available for outboard and sterndrive raceboats, performance boats, center consoles, commercial, and government applications.
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.
A number of boat manufacturers have responded to angler requests for larger and more stable hulls. The changes have resulted with the consoles moving forward, changing the center of gravity and weight distribution. The mounting of trolling motor batteries in the front of the boat affects planing performance and bow lift as well. The new hull designs, while user friendly in terms of fish ability come with a price in terms of overall engine performance.
It didn’t take long before I started getting calls from customers asking for help in enhancing the performance of their single engine outboard powered bay boats and multi-species hulls under heavy loads. Our trusty Bravo I FS was no longer the viable option for these applications. Read more
Brian Huinker called me recently for prop advice on a boat he and his nephew bought together. Brian is a Technical Application Manager for Mercury Marine.
Brian and his nephew Mike Huinker bought an Alumacraft Trophy 195 with a 200 Pro Verado. With his work – Brian travels with an assortment of tools and props to assist dealers and builders in their boat setup. Brian has realized success in the past with the stock, stainless steel 3-blade propeller. He happened to have a 19-inch 3-blade in his support van – so he mounted it on the Verado. Brian mentioned he had heard good things regarding our Bravo I FS. His nephew Googled it and found a variety of information (there’s more to that – read on 🙂
Calm Before the Storm
It was right after Brian had dialed the boat in with the 3-blade that he and his nephew packed their gear and were off to Northern Minnesota for their annual fishing trip on on Lake Winnibigoshish. Their first day out was beautiful. The water was calm and the fish were biting! 🙂 The 19-inch 3-blade turned the 200 Pro Verado 5800 rpm at 50 mph. Unfortunately, the weather turned and the calm serenity of the first day was a distant memory.
The wind stirred the lake into a fury of rough water. Mike was driving – doing all he could to battle the rough seas.
“We were getting pounded and wet. It was a rough day on the water,” Brian said.
The wind picked up even more on the next day. Brian was busy loading his gear – getting ready to head out when he noticed Mike working on the back of the engine. As he got closer he could see he was changing the prop. It was not just any prop. He was installing a 20-inch pitch Bravo I FS.
“Looking at the prop, I looked at him and asked, did you borrow one? No he said.” I ordered it. I’m thinking wow, must have been good YouTubes and other positive news for him to order one,” said Brian.
“My research I found YouTube videos of Steve Miller and Jim Saric discussing the Bravo I FS . Then early last spring another YouTube video of Gary Parsons (professional walleye angler) talking about the FS and I was sold. I had the prop before we took delivery of the boat,” Mike said.
Brian and Mike proceeded to put their rain gear on expecting another rough and wet day on the water. They take off and were about half way to their fishing spot when Brian asked Mike if he was driving the boat differently from the previous day. Mike said no.
“I was able to push the throttle harder and the boat handled so much better in the rough conditions. We were not getting pounded, the boat had a much better ride and we were staying much drier,” Mike said.
“We were impressed with the boat. The Bravo I FS changed everything about it. It made a believer out of us,” Brian said.
Now instead of dreading the day on the rough waters, Brian and Mike are able to enjoy the ride to their fishing spot.
Sometime later they were able to find calm water.
“With the engine mounted at the second hole (same height as with the 3-blade stainess) they matched the 5800 rpm engine speed and 50 mph top speed. Mike then raised the engine up to the third hole while also adding a trolling motor and three batteries in the front compartment. The added weight didn’t affect the FS a bit. The engine turned 5800 rpm’s all day at 50 mph,” Brian exclaimed.
Good stuff. I look forward to hearing from Brian again to see how he and Mike are doing now that the weather is turning nicer and their Alumacraft is dialed in for some serious fishing. 🙂
Happy New Year from Houston. I’m excited to be here to work the boat show.
We are introducing our all-new series of Mercury Racing Revolution 4 propellers. The new props will be the perfect solution for dialing-in select single and multi-engine applications to their maximum potential.
The Pro Finish Rev 4 XP provides “Extreme Precision” when dialing in multi engine, stepped bottom performance center consoles (trip, quad, quint) and single engine bay boats.
Popular with the Mercury Verado 350 and Mercury Racing 400R outboards, The new XP models expand the pitch range of the Rev 4 family from 18-inch to 25.5 inch sizes in one-half inch increments. The one-half inch pitch offerings enable engines to be dialed in to their maximum RPM operating range for enhanced throttle response, optimized cruise fuel efficiency and top speed.
Pro Finished Rev 4 XP Prop Offerings
Our new Pro Finish Rev 4 XC prop, designed specifically for single outboard powered hulls, features an “extreme” amount of blade cup. The Rev 4 XC (15″ & 17″ pitch) complements the Bravo I XC (20″, 22″ and 24″ pitch) as a family of propellers featuring an extreme amount of blade cup with a pitch range of 15″ to 24″ in 2-inch increments.
Eric Simmons, owner and CEO of Simmons Custom Boats said, “When we built the Recon hull designed for fishing the ultra-shallow flats and back-waters of the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida, we needed a propeller that could deliver instant hole-shot grip, stay hooked up while maneuvering in very shallow waters, and still yield great top end speed. I knew Mercury Racing could help us get “Dialed In” with this request. The result was the Bravo I XC. This prop design is based on the Bravo I, what is possibly the best all-around prop used on other SCB models. The XC version is unique with very aggressive cupping,”
“We are finding the that if your currently running a standard Bravo I, and looking for extra grip, you will need to drop 2” in pitch to run the XC version. That’s a direct result of the grip of the prop,” said Eric.
The enhanced cup enables the engine to be run at elevated transom heights – without sacrificing performance. This is particularly beneficial for flats boats running in “skinny” water.
The larger blade area enables the prop to stay hooked up for quick planing and enhanced performance throughout the engine RPM range. The exhaust tube is designed to support planing and stability at lower speeds. The combination of the extreme cup and custom exhaust tube results in enhanced low speed planing efficiency – a bonus for scouting fish in the shallows.
In most of these applications, venting is not required to plane the boats quickly; however, should the need arise, the Rev 4 XP and XC propellers are all equipped with the Mercury® patented Performance Vent System® (PVS). PVS® enables the user to fine-tune the amount of venting, if needed.
Pro Finish Rev 4 XC Prop Offerings
This show is a hoot. Not only is it my first time being here – it is the first time in my long career of working shows that the event will shut down for a day due to a NFL Playoffs game. Being from Wisconsin – I’m a die hard Packers fan. But – since I’m here – and the Texan’s playoff game is Saturday – I’m all in and will be rooting for Houston’s team. Its all good – the Packers play Sunday night. I hope both teams win. 🙂 The Rev 4 XC and XP are winners when applied to the select applications in which they were designed.
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.
The hot news from Hot Springs, Arkansas is our release of five new half-inch pitch offerings for the popular Bravo I® XS propeller. The new offerings debuted this morning at the 2015 FLW (Fishing League Worldwide) tournament.
The new half-inch pitch offerings greatly enhance the application of the XS for single engine outboard applications. The addition of half-inch pitch offerings enable bass boat and center console bay boat owners to Dial-In their engine RPM for maximum power and efficiency. The new models include 22.5″, 24.5″, 26.5″, 28.5″ and 30.5″ pitch sizes – complimenting the expansive 22 inch to to 31.5 inch pitch range.
The Bravo I XS has proven to be one of our most versatile props. It’s a natural for 2-stroke applications and now – with the Mercury patented Performance Vent System®, it is delivering unprecedented performance on single engine four stroke applications as well.
Bravo I XS Part Numbers:
Get your rig Dialed in the XS. See you authorized Mercury dealer today!
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.
I’m excited to share some awesome news regarding our Lab Finished Revolution 4 props. New 20-inch, 22-inch and 24-inch pitch offerings expand the range from 19-25-inch in one inch increments. The new models are producing exceptional results with the Mercury Verado 350 and our Verado 400R outboards. Multi- engine (trip, quad or quint) stepped bottom performance center consoles users are reporting improved planing performance, excellent mid-range punch and awesome top-end speeds.
“Don’t tell anyone else about the new Lab Finished Rev 4s. I would prefer to maintain the distinct advantage they provide for our hulls,” quipped Randy Scism – president/owner of Marine Technology, Inc. Randy personally helped me dial-in the new props.
“We experienced an improvement in both acceleration and top-end speed when running the Lab Finished Rev 4s with Verado 350s and 400Rs on our V-42 center consoles. Dollar for dollar – your Rev 4s provide the best value on the market,” Randy said.
Mercury Racing® Lab Finished® Our propeller technicians are second to none. They hand blend props for peak performance in both outboard and sterndrive applications. In fact – we were the first to provide the custom prop work and deem the process “Lab Finished”; a registered trademark of Mercury Marine.
Four Step Process:
• Blade surfaces are thinned in specific areas
• Modify leading edge
• Tune trailing cup heights
• Zero Balanced for maximum efficiency
Like many of our stainless steel through hub exhaust props, the Lab Finished Revolution 4s feature 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 must admit I was a bit nervous releasing this information about the new Rev 4s after hearing Randy’s plead. At least I didn’t reveal his preferred pitch. 🙂
In our trifecta of Miami product releases propellers are always the unsung heroes. They are often forgotten about in the glitz and glamour of media conferences and product unveilings. However, it is that polished piece of art bolted onto the leg of an outboard or sterndrive that makes or breaks an engine’s performance. Performance propeller guru Scott Reichow gets it and is continually serving niche markets with new props and or enhancements to existing models. He did just that for the Miami Boat Show with the release of the all-new Pro Finish Bravo I XC propeller as well as enhancements made to the popular Bravo I XS and Pro Max props. Read more
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.
My good friend Steve Miller recently bought a 2014 Lund Pro-V 2075. Steve is the Senior Category Manager for Mercury Marine. He was heavily involved with the Verado from day one and also on the ground floor of the 150 Fourstroke launch as well as the launch of its 75-115 siblings. He knows the products – inside and out. Its only natural his 2075 Lund features Verado 300 Pro Fourstroke power. Steve uses the boat for both fishing and family time on the water. Read more