Mercury has recently released the absolute latest in four-stroke technology: the all new Verado range of supercharged four-stroke outboards.
With over 25,000 hours of testing before release, the Verado came onto the market with the bugs ironed out, all ready for trouble-free boating. Mercury teamed with engineers from Lotus, Motorola, Cosworth and Porsche to develop the supercharged inline six-cylinder four-stroke outboard, and then built a brand new manufacturing plant to produce the motors. Verados currently come in 200, 225, 250 and 275 horsepower models, with mid range motors to follow in the near future.
Mercury has been at the forefront of outboard technology for over 60 years, and the latest from this outboard icon is a serious piece of machinery. The 2.6-litre six-cylinder 200hp Verado produces 149kW, which rises to an incredible 205kW with the 275hp.
Like all new technology it’s a bit hard to gauge how they compare to other outboards, but the perfect opportunity came when Cairns businessman Sid Caswell, from SC Screens, replaced his twin 250hp Yamaha two-strokes with a pair of 200hp Mercury Verados. I spoke with Sid at Quay Marine in Cairns when he brought his motors in for their first service, and he was all smiles. The big winners in his books were fuel economy, quietness and the ability of the Verados to get his Haines Hunter 800 Grand Sport on the plane.
Sid estimates that he’s saving between 30% and 40% on fuel with his new four-strokes. On his first trip with the new motors he went from Trinity Inlet in Cairns out to Michaelmas Reef, then across to Batt Reef for a trolling session and then home for a total of three hours motoring and used 125 litres of fuel. The same trip would have used between 180 to 200 litres with his old motors, depending on sea conditions.
The quietness of the motors was really brought home to Sid when he thought he had turned the Verados off when they stopped at the reef. He then noticed there was water still pumping from the outboard tell-tale and realised the motors were still running.
Even though Sid dropped 100hp in the changeover to the Verados, his top-end speed is almost identical. The twin 250hp Yamaha two-strokes pushed the Haines Hunter up to a smidgen over 50mph, while the Verados get her up to a fraction under 50mph.
Another significant difference for Sid has been the Verados’ ability to get the Grand Sport up on the plane without having to use the trim tabs to right the vessel. Even though the Yamahas were also fitted with counter rotating shafts, the boat came up on the plane with a list that required use of the trim tabs to adjust. With the Mercury Verados it’s simply a matter of hitting the throttle and out she comes.
Sid has also found the Verados to be very responsive to the throttle and has to warn passengers to hang on before hitting the hammer.
While it’s early days for Sid with his brand new toys, he is more than happy with the Verados and can’t wait to get back on the water.
For further information on the Verado range of Mercury outboards contact Quay Marine in Cairns on (07) 4041 3166.
Propshaft rated hp -200 (149kW)
Cylinders/configuration -in-line six, 24-valve, double overhead cam
Displacement -2.6 litres
Induction system - Supercharged with charge air cooling and electronic boost pressure control
Charging system - Fully regulated belt driven 70-amp (882-watt)
Driveshaft lengths - 20” and 25” (30” available in 225 to 275hp models)
Counter-rotation -Available in 25” and 30” models
Steering system -Electro-hydraulic power steering, with integral hydraulic cylinder
Comparative weight - 20” 288kg (635lb), 25” 294kg (649lb)
Starting price - $______ for the 200hp model