Fred’s Window on the Miami Show

Cigarette 38 Top Gun 90+ MPH: Update of a classic and first installation of 565’s.
Demonstrating the 565 in Nor-Tech's 420 Monte Carlo, the author with a prospect, Rex.
Demonstrating the 565 in Nor-Tech’s 420 Monte Carlo, the author with a prospect — my personal friend, Rex.

What a couple of weeks! For me, the Miami Show is about the best activity one can still call work. We rolled out Racing’s new, 8.7 liter, digital throttle and shift, 565 hp propulsion package. That gave me plenty of excuses to hang out with customers of Mercury, Cigarette, Dave’s Custom Boats, Formula and Nor-Tech.

The abundance of new boats powered with 1350, 1100, 700SCi, 525EFI or 350SCi’s didn’t spoil my attitude, either.

What better way to cap off a successful Miami International Boat Show than a poker run with Stu Jones and his Florida Powerboat Club to Islamorada? That’s some great folks with whom to share time!

Vic Porter, the patriarch of the Formula family, enjoys bilge time with a pair of 565s in a Formula 400 Super Sport.

I split my five show days about evenly between the Convention Center and Sea Isle Marina. At Sea Isle, I was educating show goers on the benefits of DTS and torque – mostly on Nor-Tech’s new 420 Monte Carlo (That’s a perfect boat for the 565!), but also on Skater Nation’s 44 (a real hot rod with 1350s). Nils Johnson of Nor-Tech says the twin 565 Mercs get fuel economy as good as the Yanmar diesels in their first Monte Carlo, but at a much better price. Nor-Tech has made the 565 the standard package. Further, I helped with Verado demos aboard Deep Impact’s Monster Energy sponsored fishing boat as well as Donzi’s center console. Hey, somebody’s got to pull the tough duty.

1350s power the 48 MTI Phantom which was inspired by both the Rolls and the play.

Indoors, Cigarette unveiled dual 565s in their updated 38 foot 90+ mph Top Gun. Twin 1350s found a home in a beautiful AMG Black Series inspired 50 Marauder. They showcased five Verado 350SCi’s and four 300’s on two new Huntress party platforms. The list goes on. Impressive display.

Taking center stage at MTI was the incredible Phantom themed 48 catamaran. Interior detail is beyond imagination. As usual, every MTI looked spectacular – and will run that way, as all were Mercury Racing powered.

DCB M35 with 1350’s. We know this will rock!

Dave’s Custom Boats display was dressed totally in Mercury Racing Blue – boats and engines – one could not help being impressed. (Only bright orange CAD renderings of DCB’s upcomming 41 cat accented the theme.) The free-standing Mercury Racing 565 engine/drive display felt right at home as the standard base engine for all DCBs.

Grant Bruggemann and this Skater 444 showcased Mercury Racing 1350’s at our in-water exhibit.

The best thing I can call work? Going on a well produced poker run – especially when you get to run with Derek Wachob, his delightful family and friends aboard his brand new Cigarette Huntress. Derek took delivery on Wednesday after the show and invited me along for its initial poker run. More on that run in my next blog.

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4 thoughts on “Fred’s Window on the Miami Show”

  1. Hi,

    Amazing video of the new Nortech 420 Monte Carlo. 86 mph with ease and in style 🙂 We norwegians are very much proud of what our guys have managed to achieve “over there”. Look forward to see the boat over here in the summer, a classic piece of craftmanship – both boat and engines. Congrats!


    Toffen Gunufsen

  2. Hi

    What are your thoughts about the new LSX based Ilmor MV8 570 with VVT, compared to the normal style Merc 565 seen from an innovative standpoint? It just had me thinking, shouldn’t Merc be focusion on creating new engines utilizing the technology available today, like you did with the DOHC engines, instead of improving the old technology, so to speak? What I’m getting at is, that besides the digital part, it’s still just a 565 hp BBC. Also, when introducing the new engine, have you had any thoughts about a drive that will fit in between the XR and NXT, that will actually stand up to the 525, 565 and 600SCI engines? These are just some thoughts based on my experience and what was introduced in Miami.



    1. With engine technology: There is a place for innovation. There is a place for evolution. Technology for technology’s sake delivers no value; it has to satisfy a need and be affordable. When we address needs, like improving engine and transmission management plus boosting power for a better customer experience, there is always a cost component and targets for durability and reliability.

      Because we have a proven platform with the GM big block based 525, we were able to evolve without incurring huge development costs to mitigate the risk of applying a new platform in a hostile marine environment. Many of our 525’s marine specific components required little or no modification. As a result, we were able to deliver digital throttle and shift plus more displacement, power and torque without having to more highly stress a smaller displacement engine.

      Our 8.7 liter evolution is perfect for its target market segment — powerful, reliable and well mannered. You’re right, it is a digital big block. And there is nothing wrong with that. Check out my earlier blog:

      As for drives, we are always assessing total packages. We have many at sea. In most applications, the packages in our product line are trouble free. Our data backs that up. There are always people who chose to modify what we work so hard to get right. That leads to trouble. In some applications, a different engine/drive choice should have been made. For example, in offshore racing competition, some teams chose to race 525’s mated to Six drives with great success.

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