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Boyne Thunder at Sweet 16

The Stroll the Streets event is on par with the Desert Storm Street Party in terms of traffic and pure enthusiasm for high performance boats.

Nick Petersen and I just returned from the 16th annual Boyne Thunder Poker Run, July 12-13. Nick is our Propeller Specialist and Project Manager. What a spectacular experience on every level!

People were very impressed with the cut away 450R display engine.

The event has grown to be one of the most popular poker runs in the country. Boat count has grown from 85 in 2010 to 120 this year. Activities began Friday, July 12 with the annual Boyne Thunder Stroll the Streets event. Our Mercury Racing Experience truck was front and center at the intersection of Main and Lake Street.  The weather was just perfect. People traffic through the truck was non-stop throughout the evening.  The all-new 450R outboard was the star of the show. The Cold Fusion White Rear Tie-Bar cat model and a cut-a-way display of the same model in Phantom Black were leading topics of conversation and backdrops for social media selfie pics.

Traffic was non-stop at the Mercury Racing merchandise tent.

The most common question was “how much.” When we responded that MSRP ranges from $53K-$64K, depending on the model, the common response was, “that’s what we thought.” Warranty and fuel requirements were also a hot topic. Consumers and boat builder partners were pleased to learn the 450R runs on 89-octane fuel and is backed by a three-year factory warranty, with up to five years of Mercury Product Protection available.

Sterndrive enthusiasts were equally in awe with the Dual Calibration 1350/1100 display engine.

Stu did an outstanding job of driving throughout the event. It was great to see he and his family relax and enjoy all of the beauty Michigan has to offer.

Nick and I got to participate in the poker run on Saturday with Florida Powerboat Club founder Stu Jones and his family in Project 1080, Stu’s Resto Mod Cigarette 38 Top Gun powered by twin Mercury Racing 540 sterndrives. This was a special treat: It was Nick’s first visit to Boyne, and my first time to do the entire run.  We were in the first flight of boats; It was exhilarating to come on plane with a number of like-size performance boats as we progressed down Lake Charlevoix toward Lake Michigan.

Stu’s son Max collects a card on one of the five stops on the 145-mile run.

The 145-mile run includes card stops in Northport, Elk Rapids, Harbor Springs and Bay Harbor, and a lunch stop in downtown Charlevoix.  Lake Michigan served up two to four-foot seas – quite forgiving considering what she is capable of producing.

It was great to see so many of our industry friends supporting the event onsite. Speed on the Water’s Pete Boden was behind the lens, photographing all of the action from a Bell Jet Ranger helicopter. Nor-Tech sales rep Terry Sobo made the trip with a new boat in tow for delivery to an ecstatic customer. American Custom Marine owner and Mercury Racing dealer Mike Knoblock represented us well with the Racing Experience Truck parked in front of his customer-appreciation event Thursday evening, with Racing banners visible for all to see.

Mike Knoblock received this stunning Nor-Tech 390 Sport center console just in time for the run. It was the only 450R powered boat in the event.

Mike capped the event by splashing an all-new Nor-Tech 390 Sport center console with triple 450Rs. The new owner ran with Mike on the 390’s maiden voyage over the Pure Michigan waters. “I can tell it’s fast, Stu said, “that thing passed us like we were standing still.”

It’s always great to hang out with Speedboat Magazine’s Ray Lee and Todd Taylor.  Michigan based Skater rep Tony Cutsuries was impressed with seeing the 450Rs in person for the first time.

Rick Bowling in his QC4 1350 powered Gone Again Talon catamaran. Rick was very impressed with the event.

It was nice catching up with  Dan Kleitz of Outerlimits; he’s eternally  pleasant and upbeat.  Doc Jansen is living the Racing brand – running Wide Open as much as possible in his Dual Calibration 1550/1350 powered Outerlimits. It was fun to see former- offshore-racer-turned-poker-run-enthusiast Rick Bowling and his 1350-powered Gone Again Talon catamaran. It was Rick’s and Ray Lee’s first Boyne Thunder experience, and both were impressed.

Doc Jansen having some fun with an Outerlimits catamaran as they spool up for a run to the next card stop.

The three major benefactors of Boyne Thunder are the Main Street program, Camp Quality, and Challenge Mountain.

The Main Street program’s mission focuses on maintaining a vibrant downtown while preserving its historical heritage and supporting sustainable projects.  Some of the projects that people enjoy are Stroll the Streets on Friday nights, the Farmer’s Market every Wednesday and Saturday throughout the year, a pedestrian and bicycle friendly downtown, and façade improvement grants for local businesses.

Project 1080 at rest during the lunch stop in the picturesque city of Charlevoix.

Since it began, Boyne Thunder has raised more than $500,000 for Camp Quality, a nonprofit organization that provides special experiences and support for children with cancer.

Jackie Jones and the Project 1080 Mascot, Bandit.

Challenge Mountain is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching and improving lives for the mentally and physically challenged through outdoor recreation. All donated dollars to Challenge Mountain go directly to support winter and summer programs including skiing, biking, canoeing, kayaking and sailing.

“What makes Boyne Thunder special is the number of volunteers that pitch in to make the event run smoothly. Most all of the volunteers have a connection to one of the benefactor organizations but come together to work on the event and promote the event’s mission, not their own.  Each of our committee members handle various components of the event and work with those volunteers in their areas and with great communication, we have found this business model works for us,” said event organizer and Boyne Thunder Board Chairmen Bob Alger.

Nick and Tyler Jones pose for the camera as we prepare to enter Lake Michigan for a run to the first card stop.

Mercury Racing is honored to be associated with events such as this, where the entire poker run event staff is voluntary. No egos. No hidden agendas. Just a community event focused on promoting the sport we love which in turn supports a great cause.

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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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Project 1080: Helm with a View

Stu Jone’s restoration of  an epic Cigarette 38 Top Gun  with Mercury  Racing 540 sterndrives has been a resounding success.  Deemed Project 1080, the vintage Florida Powerboat Club pace boat has been completely refreshed from bow to stern.

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 feature short throw levers for effortless shifting and ultra-fast throttle response.

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.

Vitals View 

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.

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Brian’s FS Experience

Brian-Alumacraft
AlumaCraft Trophy 195 with 200 Pro Verado

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

Mike Huinker with his daughter Sammy and son Lukas.
Mike Huinker with his daughter Sammy and son Lukas.

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.

Headwinds

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.

Game Changer 

Mike first leaned about the Bravo I FS online.
Mike first learned about the Bravo I FS online.

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.

Sammy topping off the gearcase with lube.
Master Mechanic Lukas topping off the gearcase with lube.

“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. 🙂

 

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Dominance Down Under!

Photos courtesy of Kim Baldwin.

Mercury Racing dominated the2016 Robinvale-Euston 80 ski racing event.
Mercury Racing dominated the2016 Robinvale-Euston 80 ski racing event.

We recently received exciting news from our friends at Mercury Australia. Mercury Racing powered boats dominated the Robinvale Euston 80 water ski racing event, clinching 11 victories in the Expert classes and an additional six wins in the social classes. The event took place March 12-13 on the mighty Murray River which separates New South Wales and Victoria. Check out race Recap Video.

Don Gulley (driver) and observer Kevin Boylan piloted Merc Force, a Mercury Racing QC4v 1650 powered hull with skiers Jake Tegart and Steven Rowe in tow to take top honors in the Super Class division. It would be the team’s first win in seven years. Ironically, their past win before was also at the Robinvale event.  Jessica Pearse, piloting the QC4v 1350 powered 99 Pyscho Clowns with observer Daniel McMahon and skiers Codie Rigg and Steven Berry in tow, finished a respectable second in Super Class.

“It’s been a long time coming. The last time we won was here in Robinvale. I even think we are a little quicker this time around,” Don said.

Record Setting Performance 

PIG-Arsenal
The Mercury Racing QC4v 1350 was the power behind Pigs Arsenal record setting performance in Unlimited Inboard competition.

QC4v 1350s were the power behind two record setting performances.  Chris Stevens (driver) and Mark Boyer (observer) piloted Pigs Arsenal, with skiers Sean Stevens and Jack Stevens in tow, to win the Unlimited Inboard Competition. They finished a full two seconds ahead of the previous record for the class.

IMG_7993
Merc Force F1 sliced a full 11 seconds off the previous record to capture the Women’s Expert category.

Merc Force F1, with Trent Souwer and Christian Apps driving and observing and skiers Chelsea Blight and Ellen Jones in tow, sliced a full 11 seconds off the previous record to capture the Women’s Expert category.

Clean Sweeps 

MasterForce
Mercury powered boats claimed a clean sweep in the Under 19 Boys Expert event.

Mercury powered boats claimed a clean sweep in the Under 19 Boys Expert event, with Temper 2, Master Force and Superbad finishing one, two and three – with a two minute gap back to the next finisher. SBR and Agent Orange, both sporting Mercury motors, collected Gold and Silver in the Unlimited Outboard competitions.

OptiMax 300XS outboard power swept the F2 class competition with Enforcer, Top Gun F2 and In Strife finishing 1-3.  OptiMax 300XS outboards also scored big in the highly competitive MOC contest with Hardback Racing and Hodge Marine Racing finishing 1-2. An OptiMax 250 SportXS powered Velocity Racing to win the SMOC category.

Mercury Racing also dominated the Under 19 Girls competition with Melt Down and Ballistic Still, both sporting OptiMax 300XS power, finishing 1-2.

Korrupt, sporting Mercury Racing 600 SCi sterndrive engine, clinched the competitive 70 MPH competition while OptiMax 250 SportXS outboards delivered No Cash and Southern Force to claim Gold and Silver respectively in the Sub Junior Girls category.

Congratulations to all of the teams in this very impressive showing of Mercury power. I look forward to sharing more good news from our friends down under as the 2016 water ski racing season progresses.

 

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Mercury Racing Powers MTI to Triple Crown Championship

2015 Superboat Unlimited World Champion. Photo credit. Pete Boden - Shoot 2 Thrill.
2015 Superboat Unlimited World Champions with Bob Bull (driver) and Randy Scism (throttles) Photo credit. Pete Boden – Shoot 2 Thrill.

I couldn’t wait to get in this morning to make some calls and write this post to celebrate Team CMS’s  Superboat Unlimited Offshore World Championship. My first conversation was with John Tomlinson – throttleman in CMS #03, a Mercury Racing 1650 powered 48-foot MTI cat with veteran Jeff Harris behind the wheel.

 

Port engine compartment damage resutling from the Team CRC collision with CMS "03. Photo credit: Speed on the Water
Hull damage resulting from the Team CRC collision with CMS #03. Photo credit: Speed on the Water

“The goal all along was to finish 1-2. Jeff and I placed second on Wednesday (race 1).  We were taken out early Friday (day 2) when Team CRC rode up on some rooster tails and ended up hitting us in turn 1, resulting with a gaping hole on the port side of the engine compartment,”Johnny said.

"The goal all along was to finish 1-2," john Tomlinson - Team CMS #03. Photo Credit: hammer Down Boating.
“The goal all along was to finish 1-2,” John Tomlinson – Team CMS #03. Photo Credit: Hammer Down Boating.

“On Sunday, Jeff and I were third going into the first turn. Bob (Bull) and Randy (Scism) (CMS #3) were on the inside and GEICO  was on the outside. We were pinched in the middle going through the turn. Once we came out into the rough – Jeff punched and we lever looked back,” said Johnny.

Winning Combination 

CMS #03 pilots Randy Scism (L) and Bob Bull.
CMS #3 pilots Randy Scism (L) and Bob Bull.

“MTI and Mercury Racing make a winning combination,” were the first words from Marine Technology, Inc., owner/CEO Randy Scism when we spoke this morning.

Mercury Racing Class 1 Race sterndrives power Ballough and Tomlinson to the 2015 Class 1 World Championship. Photo Credit: Simon Palfrader
Mercury Racing Class 1 Race sterndrives power Ballough and Tomlinson to the 2015 Class 1 World Championship.
Photo Credit: Simon Palfrader

“Triple Crown champs; Superboat Unlimited National Championship, Superboat Unlimited World Championship and Class 1 World Championship. It’s been an awesome couple of weeks,” Randy expounded. This may be the first time in history Mercury Racing has captured the triple crown.

The two boat Team CMS team. Boat #03 with team owner Bob Bull (driver) and Randy Scism (throttleman). Boat #3 with Jeff Harris (driver) and John Tomlinson (throttles). Photo compliments of Marine Technology, Inc.
The two boat Team CMS team; Boat #3 with team owner Bob Bull (driver) and Randy Scism (throttles). Boat #03 with Jeff Harris (driver) and John Tomlinson (throttles). Photo compliments of Marine Technology, Inc.

“We had a great year,” said Team CMS #03 driver Jeff Harris. “We ran every SBI race and the Lake Race at LOTO as well. Throughout the year, the only races Johnny and I didn’t win were the ones Bob and Randy won,” Jeff said.

“The winning boats led every lap. A large part of that is the engines are so darn reliable – lap after lap – race after race. There simply are no issues and thus why the Mercury QC4vs are so dominant,” Jeff concluded.

We’ve Got Your Back 

I couldn’t wait to talk to Bob Bull this morning. As you would expect – he was ecstatic.  “The motors ran great in the ’52 (CMS #3). They had three races on them from the National Championships and we ran them all week in Key West as well. Good to go. No issues. They are super dependable and deliver a ton of power,” Bob said.

The Official Bob Bull - MTI Triple Crown Camp Shirt.
The Official Bob Bull – MTI Triple Crown Camp Shirt.

It was this time last year we launched our new Mercury Racing merchandise program.  One of the shirt designs the vendor came up with came up with features a sublimated design. The first rendering they shared featured race boats – but the art wasn’t representative of the modern offshore performance boat. I went through my archives and found a perfect overhead shot of a CMS MTI. It’s ironic – the design is a perfect tribute to MTI for their historic Triple Crown accomplishment and to Bob and Team CMS for their winning the 2015 Superboat Unlimited National and World Championships!

Randy Scism proudly displays the Superboat Unlimited Championship award with his wife Cherell and the legendary Reggie Fountain at his side.
Randy Scism proudly displays the Superboat Unlimited Championship award with his wife Cherell and the legendary Reggie Fountain at his side.

Congratulations again to Team CMS and MTI for your historic race season. I’m looking forward to catching up with you over the off season to see what you have planned for next year!

 

 

 

 

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Mercury Racing Powers Team Abu Dhabi to Class 1 World Championship!

Mercury Racing Class 1 Race sterndrives power Ballough and Tomlinson to the 2015 Class 1 World Championship. Photo Credit: Simon Palfrader
Mercury Racing Class 1 Race sterndrives power Ballough and Tomlinson to the 2015 Class 1 World Championship.
Photo Credit: Simon Palfrader

American offshore racing veterans Gary Ballough (driver) and Johnny Tomlinson (throttles) piloted Abu Dhabi #6, a MTI catamaran powered by twin Mercury Racing Class 1 Race sterndrives, to win the 2015 Class 1 World Championship! The season finale event took place on the teams’ home waters as part of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the final event for the 2015 UIM Class 1 World Powerboat season.

Abu Dhabi's victory marks the first time in 15 years a V8 powered boat has captured the Class 1 title.
Abu Dhabi’s victory marks the first time in 15 years a V8 powered boat has captured the Class 1 title. Photo Credit: Simon Palfrader.

Johnny and Gary placed third in qualify on Thursday, giving Team Abu Dhabi an eight point advantage going into the final event. They needed to either beat or finish immediately behind T-Bone Station (Luca Fendi and Giovanni Carpitella) to cinch the title. Read more

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Overachiever!

First launch of the Skater 318 with twin Verado 400R outboards.
First launch of the Skater 318 with twin Verado 400R outboards.

I recently experienced Skater’s new 318 catamaran. What a sweet ride! It is the first new Skater to be factory rigged with our hot new Verado 400R ouboards.

Mike Griffiths stops for a pose prior to testing.
Mike Griffiths stops for a pose prior to testing.

Our Product Integration Manager Mike Griffiths invited Skater to bring the boat to Fond du Lac to have it dialed in. The engines are one of the first to be equipped with our factory installed rear tie bar mounting kits. Read more

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Cat Nip!

The very first Skater catamaran powered by Verado 400R outboards.
The very first Skater catamaran powered by Verado 400R outboards. Photo credit: speedonthewater.com

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

Verado 400Rs destined for go fast cats come with a factory installed rear tie bar mounting kit.
Verado 400Rs destined for go fast cats come with a factory installed rear tie bar mounting 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.

A view of a port rear engine mount.
A view of a port rear engine mount.

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.

A view of the starboard engine mount.
A view of the starboard engine mount.

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.

Sport Master

The 400R is the first Verado available with the race proven Sport Master gearcase.
The 400R is the first Verado available with the race proven Sport Master gearcase.

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.

The factory installation process includes cutting custom slots into the AMS covers to allow room for the tie bar wing plate.
The factory installation process includes cutting custom slots into the AMS covers to allow room for the tie bar wing plate.

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.

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Rouen is Black as Day!

Photos Courtesy of Henri Thibault. Click to enlarge.

Defending Champion Philippe Chiappe Repeats in Rouen!

Mercury Racing swept the 52nd annual 24 Hours of Rouen endurance powerboat race. The race concluded Saturday, May 2nd. This was the third consecutive year race organizers diverted from the traditional April 30 start and fourth consecutive year the race was run over a two day period.

 

Close Race  

Defending champ Philippe Chiappe
From Russia with OptiMax Power!
From Russia with OptiMax & Class 2 Title!

Defending champion Philippe Chiappe, with Team Nollet #1  drivers Christophe Larigot, Peter and Nelson Morin won the race overall and Class 3 competition. Chiappe and team drove their Mercury S3000 race outboard powered hull a total of 784 laps to win the event.  Russian team Team New Star 1with Mercury OptiMax 200XS SST power, finished a mere one lap behind Chiappe – providing race fans with one the most exciting finishes in recent Rouen history.

 

Top 5

Team Navikart were an early adapter of OptiMax power and are always top contenders in Rouen.
Team Navikart were an early adapter of OptiMax power and are always top contenders in Rouen.
Bourgeot Racing Team completed 652 laps for a send place podium finish in Class 3 competition.
Bourgeot Racing Team completed 652 laps for a send place podium finish in Class 3 competition.

Team Navakart Racing #35 and Team Navakart Racing #32  finished 759 and 753 laps respectively for 3rd and 4th overall and 2-3 finish in Class 2 competition. Team Bourgeot Racing Team completed 652 laps to place fifth overall and and second in Class 3 competition. Team Pegase Racing Team and Team Autovision & Tullio Abbate rounded out 3-4 in Class 3 competition. All were powered by Mercury Racing outboards.

Class Act

Aeron Racing celebrates their Class 1 victory!
Aeron Racing celebrates their Class 1 victory!
The Mercury 60 EFI FormulaRace outboard dominated Class 1 competition.
The Mercury 60 EFI FormulaRace outboard dominated Class 1 competition.

The Mercury 60 EFI FormulaRace outboard dominated Class 1 competition, powering Arion Racing to victory with 480 laps completed. Team Magaur finished three laps behind to cinch a second place podium finish. Team Marine Inshore, Team Viking DKC and DEFI 24H Esigelec rounded out 3-5. All were powered by Mercury 60 EFI Formula Race outboards.

 

Postcard caption: Wish you were here!
Postcard caption: Wish you were here!

It’s hard to believe its been 15 years since I traveled to Rouen and witnessed Team Mercury’s historic race victory with low-emissions OptiMax outboards. Henri Thibault’s incredible photography makes me want to make a return trip to the magical French city on the River Seine to again experience this one-of-a-kind event.

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