Category Archives: Uncategorized

Built for Speed

Speed-Run Pontoon Ideas Trickle Down to Consumer Models

It’s likely the first pontoon boat race occurred the day the second pontoon boat was built. That’s the nature of competition. But the notion of going very fast in a pontoon might seem a bit counter-intuitive. If you want to go fast, why not just start with a faster boat? Maybe that would be too easy for people like Brad Rowland, a 51-year-old plumber from Sullivan, Ill., who holds the pontoon speed record, a blistering 114 mph run at the 2013 Lake of the Ozarks (LOTO) Shootout speed trials.

“You know when you are really cookin’,” said Rowland. “It gets real smooth because you are barely in the water.”

Rowland set his record with the 25-foot triple-tube South Bay pontoon “Tooned In” rigged with triple Mercury Racing Pro Max 300X outboards with 1.75:1 Fleet Master gearcases. In 2016 Rowland matched that record speed in a new 25-foot South Bay powered by the same trio of Mercury Racing Pro Max 300X motors, and claims to have seen 117 mph in private testing.

Rowland and other speed-seeking pontooners run with the deck fencing in place and even retain the stock seating.

“It’s basically a box on the water,” says Rowland. “I will open the front and rear gates to let some air flow through the boat, but I’ve found reducing weight has no effect on speed. The aerodynamics are so bad to start with.”

Rowland ran the South Bay to 112 mph at the 2019 LOTO Shootout, which is now on a course shortened from a mile to ¾-mile since he set the record. A steering malfunction hampered his run, or he feels he might have beat his own best speed.

“It’s a hairy deal running that fast in a pontoon,” says Rowland, who thinks pontoon speed may have hit a wall. “I’ll shake the hand of the man who goes faster.”

Photo Credit: Playcraft Pontoons

A handful of pontoon manufacturers – South Bay, Playcraft, Manitou and Avalon are examples – offer production models designed for speed and handling performance with potent single and twin outboards, including motors like the new Mercury Racing 450R outboard. The fastest production models are capable of speeds exceeding 70 mph.

“Nobody needs a 300-hp outboard on a pontoon for day-to-day use,” said Rusty Kucher, Brunswick Category Director – Pontoons, including the Harris Boats brand that offers the Mercury Racing 450R outboard for its Grand Mariner and Crowne series. “But there’s a segment of the pontoon market that wants to run as fast as possible, and enjoys having the biggest motor available. The owner who bought a boat with a single or twin Mercury Racing 400R outboards a few years ago now wants to move up to the 450R.”

Tri-tube pontoons designed for more than 200 hp and to run over 50 mph typically feature heavy-duty construction, with stout cross members placed on 16-inch centers, and pontoon tubes made of heavier-than-standard gauge aluminum. Triple tubes are generally required for boats rigged with more than 200 horsepower. Some builders make this center tube slightly larger in diameter than the outboard tube, or mount it slightly lower, so that at speed the boat rides primarily on the center tube but can also heel slightly to carve cleaner turns than a twin-tube pontoon. A number of design elements are added to the round tubes to increase performance. The tubes may have added bulkheads, and may be filled with compressed air or foam, so they maintain shape at high speeds. Some have a flat bottom surface added aft to promote planing, and all will have lifting strakes on the inboard and outboard tube surface that are designed to capture the energy of water displaced by the tubes and use it to lift the entire boat to reduce drag. The strakes are also designed to improve boat handling. A final element is a skin of aluminum attached to the underside of the cross members to reduce aerodynamic and hydrodynamic drag.

Add some serious outboard horsepower and props from Mercury Racing and you’ve got a performance pontoon, a boat that’s the antitheses of the traditional “go slow and enjoy the view at sunset” pontoon experience. Of course, a performance pontoon can always be throttled back for that sunset cruise, but can also offer an exhilarating burst of speed and cover longer distances more efficiently.

Share Share

What is a Technical Skiff Anyway?

Unless you’re an avid angler who works the flats of the Gulf Coast, Florida Keys or the Caribbean, you may have never seen a technical flats skiff. These compact, ultra-light boats are designed to get a light-tackle angler into the skinniest water, where bonefish and permit may be lurking. In this world of flats fishing a technical skiff – from builders including Hell’s Bay Boatworks, Yellowfin Yachts, Ranger, and Beavertail Skiffs – is truly a high-performance machine, not in the traditional sense of performance gauged by high speed, but rather in terms of the extreme focus of its design. The new Mercury Racing 60R outboard was developed to complement the absolute functionality of the technical skiff by offering strong hole-shot acceleration in a compact and lightweight package. The Mercury Racing 60R is also the first outboard in this class to be offered with a 15-inch length that is a perfect fit on the low transom found on the most-compact technical flats skiffs.

Capt. Steven Lamp of Dream Catchers Charters in Key West, Fla., has been guiding on the flats since 1994 and consulted on the development of the Mercury Racing 60R. His 17-foot Elite skiff is typical of the breed.

“My boat weighs just 590 pounds without the motor,” says Lamp. “With a Mercury 90-hp outboard on the transom and a customer in the bow, I draw about 8 to 9 inches of water. With this new Mercury Racing 60R I’ll draw 6 to 8 inches.”

Lamp is a big guy for a flats guide, at 6 feet 5 inches tall and over 200 pounds, and he often puts diving ballast in the bow of his boat to offset his weight in the stern, and keep the boat resting flat in the water.

“The hull of a technical skiff has no rocker,” said Lamp. “It’s designed to lie level in the water at rest, with the bow deep so that it’s easier to control in the wind and also easier to spin quickly so I can get the customer in the best position to make a nice presentation.”

Technical skiffs range in size from 16 feet to 18 feet in length and every element of the design influences its shallow draft. The bottom has little or no deadrise at the transom, the interior is quite Spartan, and most examples are built using the latest in sophisticated, ultra-light/ultra-strong composite materials.

“You’ll never see a trolling motor a technical skiff,” said Lamp. “And I’ve seen owners remove the rub rail to make the boat 20 pounds lighter.”

The shape and attitude of the hull limits the top speed of Lamp’s skiff.

Spitfire XP

“My boat will run about 41 mph with a 90-hp outboard, and it will run about 41 mph with a 60-hp outboard,” said Lamp. “The 60 is a lot lighter, but the 90 had the torque to get me quickly on plane. A key advantage of the Mercury Racing 60R is its 4.25-inch gearcase and the new Spitfire XP propeller, both of which contribute to strong hole shot.”

Lamp explains that while he may be fishing in less than a foot of water, when it’s time to move he’ll pole to a deeper hole.

“We are all very concerned with preserving the flats and never want to tear up the bottom,” said Lamp. “I want about three feet of water to get the boat on plane, but that deeper hole might only be six to 10 feet long. So we need to plane off almost instantly.”

Stealth is key to approaching fish in very skinny water, and technical flats boats are designed to be very quiet at rest. To minimize the sound of water slapping the hull, chines and strakes are positioned to be either well below the water line or above it when the boat is at rest.

The guide or one angler poles the boat from a platform over the outboard. Motor height on the transom dictates the height of that platform, and until the debut of the Mercury Racing 60R the platform had to clear a 20-inch outboard. By designing the 60R with a 15-inch midsection, Mercury Racing has achieved a number of benefits, according to Lamp.

“These boats have very low freeboard to reduce windage as much as possible, and they really have a 15-inch transom,” explains Lamp. “So to mount a 20-inch, 60-hp motor, for example, requires either designing a raised transom or rigging with a jack plate, both solutions that add weight to the boat. If I can ditch the jack plate I’ve saved 30 or 40 pounds. The lower motor also lowers the boat’s center of gravity, which improves handling when running. And I can use a lower poling platform, saving more weight and making the boat a little more stable at rest.”

The popularity of the technical skiff is growing, according to Heath Daughtry of Yellowfin Yachts, and that growth is spurring further development of the boat type.

“Customers still want to fish shallow water but they also want to get across longer stretches of big water to get there,” said Daughtry. “Our next designs will seek to preserve the boat’s poling performance while shaping the entry to improve the ride so the angler can run 20 or 30 miles across Florida Bay, for example.”

Yellowfin Yachts helped found the Florida Skiff Challenge, a 40-hour, 1,300-mile non-stop race around Florida from Pensacola to Jacksonville in specially prepared technical skiffs. Daughtry says the Challenge has been a valuable exercise for Yellowfin, which has built boats for the event to test new laminate concepts and to demonstrate the endurance of its 17 Skiff model. The sixth annual event is scheduled for April 2-5, 2020, and benefits Captains for Clean Water and its efforts to restore the flow of clean, fresh water to Everglades National Park and Florida Bay.

It seems even technical skiff owners can’t resist the temptation to run Wide Open.

Share Share

Mercury Racing Rocks Miami Boat Show

450R Wins Innovation Award and the 60R Debuts

Mercury Racing introduced its new 60R outboard and other key new products at the Miami International Boat Show (Feb. 11-15) and received a prestigious award at the annual event. The all-new Mercury Racing 450R high-performance outboard model was awarded a 2020 Innovation Award by the National Marine Manufacturers Association in the Outboard Engine category. The Mercury Racing 450R was introduced in 2019 and impressed judges from Boating Writers International with its combination of unrelenting performance, technology features and styling, each intended to enhance the performance boating experience.

“We are honored to win an Innovation Award for our new 450R outboard,” said Stuart Halley, Mercury Racing general manager. “The team at Mercury Racing has created a new benchmark for outboard performance, one that might have seemed unreachable just a few years ago. Clearly the Innovation Award judges recognized the technological innovation and sophistication built into the 450R.”

The Mercury Racing 450R was featured on boats available for demo rides at the Miami in-water display area, including the NorTech 452 Superfish, Fountain 32 Thunder Cat and Mystic 4200 center console . Fans of sterndrive power had a chance to take a 150 mph blast aboard the MTI RP 48 powered by twin Mercury Racing Dual Cal 1550/1350 engines.

New Mercury Racing 60R Outboard

The new Mercury Racing 60R is only outboard in its class with a 15-inch midsection designed to fit perfectly on the transom of technical flats skiffs, and offers the added benefits of a high-thrust gearcase. This lightweight, compact outboard is a powerhouse tuned and geared to deliver amazing hole-shot acceleration for instant on-plane performance in skinny water.

The 60R outboard features a four-cylinder, 1.0-liter long-stroke powerhead tuned for torque by Mercury Racing. The WOT range is extended to 6300 rpm to maximize acceleration and enable more propping options. A single overhead camshaft cylinder head keeps the powerhead as light and slim as possible for less intrusion on the transom. A powerful 18-amp alternator is designed to maintain battery charge on boats equipped with angling electronics and baitwell pumps. The 4.25-inch diameter, high-thrust gearcase accommodates a robust 2.33:1 gear ratio to handle up to 20 percent more prop-blade area than a standard gearcase, and is shaped to provide added lift aft to further boost hole-shot performance and confident handling at speed. The Mercury Racing 60R fits perfectly on a 15-inch transom. Compared to competing 20-inch motors the Mercury Racing 60R offers a lower center of gravity for better boat handling and stability. It can accommodate a lower poling platform while eliminating the need for a jack plate or flared transom.

New Mercury Racing Propellers

Four new high-performance propeller options from Mercury Racing introduced at Miami are designed to maximize boat performance and handling in specific applications, and broaden a range of performance propellers that is unmatched in the marine industry.

The new Mercury Racing Spitfire XP propeller, designed to be the ultimate prop for the new Mercury Racing 60R outboard, can also offer outstanding performance on Mercury outboards up to 115 horsepower equipped with a 4.25-inch gearcase. The Spitfire XP has a four-blade design and long barrel that combine to deliver extra stern lift for lightning-fast hole shot, a key advantage in skinny-water applications. This precision-tuned Mercury Racing Pro Finish propeller is crafted in Mercury-exclusive X7 stainless steel alloy. It’s offered in 12-inch to 21-inch pitch in half-inch increments to dial in optimal RPM at wide-open throttle.

600-HP-CNC_Cleaver_Sterndrive

The new Mercury Racing 600HP-Rated 5-Blade CNC Cleaver propeller is a surface-piercing design engineered with the optimal blade thickness to deliver unmatched top-end speed and handling on performance hulls powered by Mercury Racing 520, 525, 540, 565 and 600 SCI engines paired with a Mercury Racing Bravo XR Sport or Sport Master outdrive. Prop slip is dramatically reduced to an average of 4.5 percent at WOT in Bravo XR Sport and Sport Master applications. Available dimensions are 14.75- to 15.50-inch diameter (0.25-inch increments), 26 to 40 pitch (1.0-inch increments) and 15-degree or 18-degree rake.

Mercury Racing adds a new 12-degree rake option for its CNC Cleaver high-performance propeller line already available in 15-, 18-, and 21-degree rake designs. Intended for use with shaft drives and some Mercury Racing M6 and M8 sterndrive applications, the new low-rake profile generates the minimal lift desired for hulls that have substantial lifting characteristics at speed, such as Unlimited-class offshore race boats. The 12-degree rake Mercury Racing CNC Cleaver propeller is offered with five or six blades, in a 700-hp to 1,800-hp rating, in 15-inch to 18-inch diameters, and 28-inch to 37-inch pitch. All Mercury Racing CNC Cleaver propeller models are now available with rounded blade tips for boat owners that prefer that design.

New HD Steering Pump

The new Mercury Racing HD power steering-pump and High-Flow Helm deliver a new level of high-performance steering for boats powered by multiple outboard motors, including the Mercury Racing 450R outboard engine. The new pump enables high-performance boat builders to assemble a complete, validated steering system for almost any application using components from Mercury Racing. The HD power steering pump delivers 1,800 psi of pressure and a flow rate of 7.5 liters per minute, capacity designed to address the demands of high-speed, dual-engine catamarans executing extreme maneuvers. The new 80cc High Flow helm reduces lock-to-lock steering input on dual-engine catamarans for more-responsive handling, and reduces the ratio on boats powered by triple, quad, and more outboards that use more steering cylinders. The HD pump also can be used with Mercury 40cc and 50cc helms, but the 80cc helm requires the HD pump to meet its flow requirement. The increased pressure and flow of the HD pump can also improve the power assist function on boats running multiple non-surfacing engines, including multi-engine pontoons. The HD steering pump fits in the same mounting space as the Generation B pump, and retrofit hose adapters will be available for use when replacing a Generation B pump with the new HD pump. Mercury Racing steering components are engineered to work as a system, and feature quieter operation than competing systems.

Share Share
600-HP-CNC_Cleaver_Sterndrive

Introducing the 600HP-Rated CNC Sterndrive Propeller

600-HP-CNC_Cleaver_Sterndrive

With all the buzz surrounding the latest and greatest outboard power, it is easy to overlook the great sterndrive packages that boat builders are producing. The West Coast continues to be a stronghold for lightning fast sterndrive-powered catamarans and vee bottoms, typically equipped with 502-cubic inch based power plants.  These diehard customers demand superior handling and top speed from their propellers.

Mercury Racing is pleased to introduce the 600HP-Rated CNC Cleaver propeller rated for up to 600 horsepower. Featuring 1.25 inch broached splines, it is designed for Bravo XR Sport and Sport Master drives with Mercury Racing 520, 525, 540, 565, and 600 SCi power. For high-speed applications, this new development gives Bravo XR users the opportunity to run our most advanced propeller technology, which was previously only available for M6 and M8 drives. 

Designed, developed and manufactured by Mercury Racing in-house, the 600HP-Rated CNC Cleaver is produced on the same state-of-the-art CNC machines used to mill Mercury Racing’s M6 and M8 drive Cleavers.

The first two boats to feature these propellers are a DCB F29 equipped with twin Mercury Racing 525, and an Outerlimits SV29 equipped with a single Mercury Racing 600 SCi. Both applications have reported significant improvements in mid-range acceleration and top speed gains of 5 mph above standard cast propellers.

DCB F29
Outerlimits SV29

All 600HP-Rated CNC Cleavers are to be custom ordered through Mercury Racing Sales via a registered Mercury dealer. Available dimensions are 14.75- to 15.50-inch diameter, 26 to 40 pitch, 15- and 18-degree rake. Every CNC propeller is delivered in a Mercury Racing Propeller Case.

For more information, visit https://www.mercuryracing.com/boat-propellers/sterndrive/600hp-rated-cnc-cleaver/.

Share Share

Up For The Challenge

Meet Mercury Racing Director of Engineering Jeff Broman

Mercury Racing Director of Engineering Jeff Broman is a home-grown talent. Born and raised in Fond du Lac by parents who happened to be Mercury Marine employees, schooled at St. Mary Springs Academy and the University of Wisconsin, Broman was almost destined to return to Mercury with his engineering degree in hand. Now 41 years old and already 20-year veteran at Mercury, Broman is leading a team of elite engineers at Mercury Racing, from an office just down the road from his high school.

“I’ve been involved in a number of challenging projects at Mercury,” said Broman, who accepted his position at Mercury Racing in early 2018. “Here at Racing we face the challenge of deciding what to do next. We have many ideas on the board but need to devote our resources to the best ideas, those that will have the biggest impact with our customers.”

Broman has been a witness to a tremendous shift in technology at Mercury. As a summer student intern he was assigned to a team tearing down two-stroke Mercury OptiMax test engines and after joining the company full-time helped develop the second-generation of OptiMax direct-injection technology for V6 and later L3 motors. He next worked on teams developing the game-changing six-cylinder four-stroke supercharged Verado outboards, and later the four-cylinder Verado models. In 2007 he was assigned to a team working on a advanced engineering project that would apply exhaust catalyst technology to four-stroke outboards to reduce emissions.

“That catalyst project was a joint effort with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and it was a very valuable exercise,” said Broman. “We were able to work collaboratively with regulators, rather than in an adversarial relationship.”

Broman advanced to the role of technical manager for the all-new 2.0-liter outboard family, and next spent four years as a technical manager on the team creating the all-new 4.6-liter V8 and 3.4-liter V6 outboard platforms. In that role, Broman collaborated with the engineering team at Mercury Racing.

“This was part of an effort pushed by David Foulkes, who was then Mercury Chief Technology Officer, that the Mercury Racing product should be developed alongside our mainline outboards,” said Broman. “So Racing was consulted as we were creating the first templates for the 4.6-liter platform, and the supercharged version that became the Mercury Racing 450R was designed right alongside the Mercury Verado 300.”

The move to Mercury Racing has put Broman in a much more intimate working environment.

“The scale at Racing is much tighter,” said Broman. “We’ve got 30 people on the engineering team at Racing, compared to more than 400 down at the main facility, which means we always are working in a very collaborative manner, and that everyone at Racing wears a number of different hats. We all have to have a wide range of expertise, and so this is a staff with a lot of tenure and experience.”

Photo credit – OffshoreOnly.com

Broman arrives as Mercury Racing  aims to meet the elevated expectations of today’s high-performance boating customers.

“Twenty years ago it was ok to sell a 2.5-liter two-stroke outboard that was noisy and smoky and maybe not very reliable, as long as it was fast,” said Broman. “All the customer expected was fast. Today our Racing customers still want fast, but it has to come with the same warranty and reliability Mercury offers its mainline customers. Today’s customers expect a high level of sophistication along with performance, just as they experience with their automobiles. Mercury Racing is to Mercury Marine as AMG is to Mercedes, taking a premium base product to a higher level of performance demanded by a very select customer.”

Share Share

Mercury Racing/Pro Marine Team USA Crowned King of the Beach

Mercury Racing 450R outboards power a big King Mackerel tournament win

The Mercury Racing/Pro Marine USA fishing team led by Capt. Jim Naset won the prestigious Old Salt Fall King of the Beach kingfish tournament on Nov. 9 in Madeira Beach, Fla., with a 40.67-pound King Mackerel. The open tournament attracted 488 entries in five divisions. The four-person Mercury Racing/Pro Marine USA team (co-captain Kevin Hannon and crew Brain Brandano and Rick Cook) won a total of $94,578, including the $60,000 prize for first place in the Open Class and additional winnings in side tournaments.

Capt. Naset runs a 2010 Yellowfin 36 boat recently re-powered with triple Mercury Racing 450R outboards.

The team faced rough conditions on tournament day, with rain falling and five-foot seas offshore fueled by an approaching cold front.

“We cast off at 4:15 a.m. and planned to run about 85 miles offshore, but the seas were big and building and we realized we’d be running four or five hours just to our spot, which would leave us very little time to fish and get back,” recounts Capt. Naset. “So we changed plans and ran to an inshore spot on Tampa Bay, where we had one bite all day long, at 9 a.m. That fish was the winner.”

Like freshwater bass and walleye anglers, competitors in kingfishing tournaments operate under tight time constraints. For the Old Salt Fall King of the Beach event, there was no check-out time but anglers could not drop lines to the water until 6 a.m., and had to be in line for the weigh-in at R.O.C. Park in Madeira Beach at 5 p.m. That weigh-in deadline can make boat speed a critical factor simply because less time spent running to and from the fishing grounds gives the anglers more time to fish, and more opportunity to catch the winning fish.

“We often run 100 miles to the fishing grounds in five-to-seven foot seas, which may take three to four hours,” says Capt. Naset, who has been tournament fishing for 20 years. “This leaves us just about 90 minutes to fish before we need to start the run back. With these new Mercury Racing 450R outboards on our transom, nobody can out-run us in flat water. We’ve got a top speed of about 82 miles an hour loaded. Some of the bigger boats might be faster in rough water, but they are running quads and use a lot more fuel, and sometimes have to load fuel bladders on deck to have enough range. We average about 0.9 mpg in a tournament, compared to 0.6 mpg for the quad boats. This boat with the Mercury Racing 450R motors gets its best fuel economy at around 4500 rpm and 60 mph, which is pretty amazing.”

Capt. Naset previously powered this Yellowfin 36 with triple Mercury Racing 400R outboards, and has realized a dramatic upgrade in performance after installing the triple Mercury Racing 450R package.

“Mercury Racing says the 450R produces 40 percent more torque than the 400R outboard, and we can really feel that power,” says Capt. Naset. “Over the course of a day our boat weight can change by 5,000 pounds. With less torque and a narrower powerband, we’d have to prop the  400R outboards for our heaviest load of fuel, ice and gear. But we can prop the 450R motors for top speed with a light load and still get the loaded boat on plane effortlessly and have the mid-range punch we need to throttle wave-to-wave when it’s rough. We are running 2.5 inches more prop pitch with the 450R motors, which has improved our fuel economy from 0.7 mpg to 0.9 mpg (29 percent).”

The Mercury Racing/Pro Marine USA boat is currently running 25-pitch Mercury Racing Revolution 4® XP props, “but we are still playing with the props as we’ve got about 400 rpm left in the motors,” says Capt. Naset. A set of Shaun Torrente Racing manual jackplate brackets lets Capt. Naset run the motors a little higher than standard transom height.

Capt. Naset also counts on the reliability of Mercury Racing outboards.

“This is really rough duty for any outboard,” says Naset. “We can run 100 miles at 70 mph and then slow troll for hours, running one, two or three motors and constantly shifting them in and out of gear to follow the fish. Many days the motors are never shut down until we get to weigh-in. We rig our boat like a race boat and maintain it like a race boat, and the Mercury motors have never disappointed us.”

Share Share

Prop School Part 7: Barrel Length

The obvious function of the barrel, or outer hub, of a propeller is to be the attachment point for the propeller blades. What is often overlooked, however, is that the length, diameter and shape a propeller barrel can have a direct effect on boat performance.

Mercury Racing propellers currently have three barrel sizes. The smallest-diameter barrel is found on solid-hub props with broached splines like the Mercury Racing CNC Cleaver model. Barrels also come in different lengths and some have a flared trailing edge.

Mercury Racing offers different barrel lengths and shapes on the Bravo I, Maximus, and MAX5 propeller families. The longer and wider the barrel, the more stern lift the propeller will generate. Adding flare to the aft end of the barrel also generates stern lift; a long barrel with a flare acts as a miniature trim tab, providing lift and improving hole shot. This is why, for example, the Mercury Racing Bravo I XC has a longer barrel with a flared trailing edge – both features help fishing boats used in the Texas Gulf Coast market plane off quickly in very shallow water, and hold plane at lower speeds as anglers sight fish.

Maximux ST versus LT barrel length

The different barrel length options for the Lab Finished Maximus LT and ST propellers have been a used for years to fine tune stern lift on boats powered by twin sterndrive engine.

A long propeller barrel can negatively impact top-speed performance in many fast boat applications when stern lift created by the barrel causes the boat to run too flat. The Mercury Racing Bravo I FS, Bravo I XS, Bravo I OC, MAX5, MAX5 ST, and Maximus ST all feature shortened and tuned barrels to dial back stern lift. The Bravo I OC and MAX5 ST represent the most extreme versions of this treatment, featuring very short barrels that perform especially well when an ultra-lightweight boat is paired with high-horsepower outboard power.

If you are up to speed on our previous Prop School Blogs, you will know that the barrel is not the only part of the propeller that provides lift. But if a propeller is generating too much lift due to diameter or blade count, the barrel is often the first part of the propeller to “hit the chopping block.”

MAX5STThe MAX5 ST is suitable for lightweight bass boats and catamarans featuring the 250R, 300R, and 450R outboards.

The Bravo I OC is specifically designed for twin engine two stroke powered catamarans.

 

Share Share

Builders take hurricane relief to new levels

When Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas, its impact was felt throughout the industry. On a mission to help, Mercury Marine created Hurricane Dorian t-shirts with 100% of proceeds going to the relief efforts in the Bahamas. Our friends at Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats took it a step further and challenged other boat builders to purchase shirts and share photos of their employees supporting the cause.

Team Nor-Tech / Hurricane Dorian Relief

“We’re based in Florida and we’re familiar with persevering through devastating storms like Hurricane Dorian,” explained Trond Schou, president and owner of Nor-Tech. “We know what it’s like and we felt it was important to show our solidarity and support our friends, clients and the Bahamian community affected by this storm.”

Team MTI / Hurricane Dorian Relief

Team Cigarette / Hurricane Dorian Relief

While the Nor-Tech team initiated the effort, there were many other builders who participated including MTI – Marine Technology IncDCB Performance BoatsOuterlimits Powerboats, Fountain Powerboats , Cigarette Racing Team, and our friends at SpeedontheWater.com .

Team Fountain / Hurricane Dorian Relief

Mercury Racing is proud to work with boat-builder partners who step up and help out in times of hardship for their communities. If you’re interested in joining the cause, you can purchase Hurricane Dorian relief shirts at the Dockstore.

Team DCB / Hurricane Dorian Relief

Team speedonthewater.com / Hurricane Dorian Relief

Share Share

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.

Share Share

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.

 

 

 

 

Share Share

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.

Share Share

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. 🙂

 

Share Share

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.

 

Share Share

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!

 

 

 

 

Share Share

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

Share Share

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

Share Share

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.

Share Share

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.

Share Share