Hi-Performance Boat Operation – Part 2: Rigging Fit & Function

The 4.6L V8 300R FourStroke is very popular for single and multiple engine applications.

Spring is a great time for newbie and veteran performance boaters alike to get familiar with their craft. For starters, you should review your owners manuals — really, you should — and review the key components of your new boat.

The 300Rs on this MTI 340X catamaran feature the 20-inch Heavy Duty Midsection with rear tie-bar and side steer. The rear tie-bar and optional hydraulic steering cylinders provide enhanced engine stability for high speed applications. Surface piercing Sport Master gearcases are designed for use on boats capable of speeds in excess of 85 mph.

Performance boats vary widely in propulsion and size. Outboards come in 20, 25 and 30-inch drive shaft lengths to accommodate a variety of applications. Mercury (and other brand) outboards are fitted with a standard gearcase for most applications. Hulls that can take advantage of the high power-to-weight ratio of a 300R may benefit from its wide range of gearcase options. Similarly, Mercury Racing offers a variety of sterndrives for differing power capacities and hull types.

Mechanical control:  performance outboards such as the 60 EFI Formula Race, 250R and selected 300R models are rigged with a shift cable, throttle cable and fuel line.  Sterndrives, such as our 600 SCi throttle and shift is accomplished with cables, but steering is hydraulic.

Digital Zero Effort Controls.

Digital control: Selected 300R models and the 400R are Digital Throttle & Shift (DTS) Compatible.  We also have a full suite of DTS compatible sterndrives; 520, 540, 565, 860, 1100,  Dual Calibration 1350/1100, 1350, Dual Calibration 1550/1350, Class 1 Competition, 1100 Competition1650 Competition and 1750 Competition.  Here – mechanical throttle and shift cables are replaced with a single electronic cable.

Application Specific: Selected 300R models feature a heavy-duty swivel/clamp bracket and trim cylinder to endure the rigors of extended use in rough seas. The trim cylinder is actuated via a remotely mounted pump. A majority of today’s outboards feature trim systems mounted within the swivel clamp bracket assembly. Verado outboards come equipped with integral power trim and steering.  250R and 300R outboards come standard with mechanical steering.

Rear tie-bar 300R models feature the heavy duty midsection with a factory installed tie-bar mounting plate.

Two steering system types are available: Full Feedback and No Feedback. With Full Feedback, steering loads from an outboard or sterndrive are continually transmitted to the steering wheel. This is the preferred system used by tunnel boat drivers for “feel” of their craft while driving at the limit. One disadvantage: steering forces increase as engine or drive height or trim is increased. The steering wheel must be secured at all times to maintain control.

Mercury Racing sterndrive packages are equipped with power steering. The system requires actuation of external hydraulic steering cylinders.  Our Integrated Transom System (ITS) provides external power steering for Bravo One XR, Bravo One XR Sport Master and Bravo Three XR drive engine packages.  Power trim and steering cylinders are integrated in the M-series transom plate that comes standard with all engine packages featuring  M6 and M8 sterndrives.

A close up view of a 300R cat ready model featuring factory installed rear tie-bar mounting bracket and optional side steering cylinders. The tie-bar and side steering kit work together to enhance engine stability.

Performance boats with two or more outboards or sterndrives are rigged with both external power steering cylinders and tie bars. These components work together to minimize steering backlash and enhance drive stability.

The units tied together (outboards or sterndrives) should be adjusted parallel to each other, at rest, where play in the steering can be adjusted to zero. Always be sure to have a qualified professional check to ensure your outboards or sterndrives and all related components are mounted securely.























Share Share

3 thoughts on “Hi-Performance Boat Operation – Part 2: Rigging Fit & Function”

  1. My dad sent the email below to Greg Abbott (TX Attorney General.) We continue to search for non-ethonal fuels. We have gotten down to one last fuel station in Winnsboro, TX. This station stated the refinery will not provide any more Premium (non-ethanol) fuel anymore. What are our options now?

    I have a 2005 Mercury 250XS by Mercury Racing and my father has a 1982 Mercury 200 Black Max. We have taken great pride and spent a great deal of money driving further distances to guarantee using “non-ethanol” fuels in these. We are running out of options. We utilize Quick Kleen and Quick Care on a normal basis and we both have water separators installed. Are QuicKleen and QuicKare the best additives for ethanol fuel? Is there an aviation fuel that would be safe to use? Aviation fuel currently has an exemption from the ethanol requirement. Just trying to preserve my investment in this phenomenal outboard! Thank you for your time. Stephen Kralik

    Email to Greg Abbott:
    Ethanol in fuels across Texas and our nation is costing everyone who drives, 20% less gas mileage, plus the added expense of producing ethanol, plus doing NOTHING for the environment. Ethanol laced fuels kill older 4 stroke (every car) and 2-stroke engines – outboards and all lawn equipment – no warranties anymore. Even though the subsidies have been discontinued (8¢ down to 4.5¢ to 0), oil companies or producers are still receiving tax credits for ethanol. Therefore very few stations are carrying conventional fuel. Most of the general public in the large cities are stuck with this.
    Even though the State of Texas has filed a lawsuit against the EPA (January 2009) for falsifying emissions data, EPA continues to mandate adding ethanol to gasoline. Now nationally they are pushing to go up from 10% to 15%!
    The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has now also filed a lawsuit against EPA to halt ethanol in gasoline because of the destructive effect on all two-cycle engines.

    We need to see non-ethanol fuel readily available in our state and put EPA regs on hold/suspension until their lies can be examined. Stop adding ethanol at our refineries and produce conventional gasoline.

    Recent experience is showing mileage is reduced by about 20% using 10% ethanol fuel, so you are burning more fuel to go the same distance to work or daily tasks you did before ethanol.
    Gasoline produces 119,000 Btu, energy that goes toward spinning your car’s drive wheels. Ethanol produces only 80,000 Btu!
    Therefore, it takes more Ethanol-laced gasoline to drive the same distance.

    Considering the manufacturing cost for ethanol, and reduced mileage, emissions are NOT reduced – as advertised by environmentalists.

    1. Is hydroscopic – it absorbs water from the atmosphere much more quickly(1.5 weeks) than conventional fuels. Once water levels exceed .5% in suspension, the water/ethanol drops out of suspension (phase separation). This water/ethanol mix is then immediately pulled from the bottom of the tank where the fuel pickup is, into the engine’s fuel system causing severe engine damage. Think about lawn equipment that sits idle during winter/off season or vehicles stored for short times…
    2. Is corrosive to fuel system parts – fuel lines, rubber seal/gaskets and fuel injectors – destroying 2 and 4 stroke engines.
    3. Does not produce as much energy as conventional/traditional fuel, resulting in inefficient combustion, decreased performance, and poor fuel economy.

    So, who really benefits from Ethanol?

    1. Stephen, your 2005 OptiMax should run E10 without problem. Your dad is not so fortunate. Water seperators are a good start, but not sufficient – especially for older engines. Water in ethanol will go right through a water seperator. However, a seperator will catch phase seperation gunk.

      Attached is a link to Boat US where they consulted with Frank Kelley and Ed Alyanak from Mercury’s staff regarding older engines and ethanol fuels. Hopefully this will answer some questions:


      Regarding aviation fuel, I think there are some legal implications due to lead content. Also, the additives in aviation fuel are completely different (anti-foaming, etc) than regular gasoline. I don’t know of any data on ramifications of those additives in a 2 stroke.

      I have looked into QuicKleen and QuicKare. (I’m embarrassed to admit I was unfamiliar with these Mercury products before your question.) QuicKleen is Mercury’s carbon cleaning additive. It does a great job reducing carbon deposits, but nothing for ethanol. QuicKare targets ethanol. It helps control corrosion, gum and varnish build-up, and phase separation due to ethanol’s presence in blended fuel. However, no additive is 100% effective against ethanol’s nasty habits. You’ve done the best you can with the fuel you have available. Keep using QuicKleen – and especially QuicKare for ethanol blends. If your dad has avoided E10 blends so far, QuicKare should dramatically extend his engines’ life when he can no longer get 100% gasoline.

      With either boat, on its first load of E10, make it as large a gas tank fill-up as possible. That way the ethanol will pick up and pass as much latent water from the tank as it can. Watch the filters like a hawk. They’ll catch the gunk that ethanol has dislodged along the fuel storage and delivery path and plug up more quickly. And carry extra fuel filters on board. Replace the Black Max’s fuel lines if they’re older than 10 years. Your mechanic may wish to “rich up” the mixture as the ethanol may cause Max to run leaner.

      Thank you for your activism on the evils of 15% ethanol. Your knowledge is refreshing. It is dumbfounding – the ignorance and unwillingness to listen of many of our legislators and regulators on the topic of ethanol fuel blends and the harm they can do. I’ll soon add a blog post on ethanol. Thanks for the inspiration. (It’s already too late for my lawn mower. R.I.P.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *