We are now emerging from one of the roughest economic times in our nation's history, and Mercury believes folks are looking for ways to have fun as families again. There may not be that many recreational activities to fit that bill these days, but spending an afternoon on the lake is one of them. "We're continuing to introduce new products that are designed to make it easier to own and maintain an engine, in order to maximize your time on the water so your focus is always on quality time with friends and family, whether it is cruising or hard-core fishing," says Steve Miller, brand manager for Mercury's large outboards.
Fishing enthusiasts who prefer four-stroke technology as compared to two-stroke, or those who just want a more advanced and refined experience from a performance engine, can find what they're looking for in Mercury's 300hp Pro FourStroke series-the newest addition to an already impressively comprehensive lineup of performance outboards.
The engines-great for performance pontoons-especially for three-log versions-are pleasingly quiet and virtually vibration-free, despite their almost shocking ability to jump out of the hole and to provide strong mid-range acceleration and top speed. If you're headed to a specific location and want to get there first, this new outboard should be on your list, especially if you want to get there using state-of-the-art technology.
The new Pro FourStrokes are engineered to deliver the enhanced performance (acceleration and top speed) of other Mercury Pro Series engines including the OptiMax 250 Pro XS, the most successful and most popular engine on the professional bass circuit. And they do it with sporty new graphics packages.
Mercury is especially proud of its Advanced Midsection mount system. The AMS is designed to eliminate vibration transmission to the boat, as the powerhead itself is surrounded by mounts in a perimeter style, as opposed to the classic upper and lower mount system.
"Even at full throttle you can still have a conversation without shouting over the engine," Miller says.
From a handling standpoint, the Pro FourStroke includes full power steering like a car and a digital control system, which makes shifting and acceleration smooth, precise and effortless. This means every millimeter of throttle movement means something and the Mercury Pro has no dead spots or places where you have to force the handle through a rough spot.
The fuel grade for the Pro FourStroke is the same as Mercury's 300hp Verado engine (91 recommended for maximum performance under all conditions, but it will run fine on 87 octane without compromising reliability or conflicting with warranty coverage).
The Pro FourStroke features Digital Throttle and Shift and electro-hydraulic power steering; both are ways these engines provide automotive-like ease and precision handling.
"With the Pro FourStrokes, you get the added performance, but you still get it in a well-mannered package that is fun and downright addicting to drive," Miller adds.
A handy benefit for bass anglers is the optional DTS Hot Foot, which provides the ability to transfer throttle control between the foot pedal and the DTS panel control with the push of a button-essentially if you want to keep both hands on the wheel during high-speed runs. This also gives you the convenience of conventional panel throttling for docking and loading/offloading.
The Verado Experience
When Mercury set out to engineer the ultimate outboard engine, they questioned everything: every number, every scenario, every detail. In the end, they came up with Verado, a highly reliable and advanced propulsion system. The six-cylinder Verado delivers an amazing driving experience, superior reliability, jaw-dropping power and acceleration, and the quietest, smoothest ride ever produced by Mercury.
Verado's supercharged technology allows precise, programmable control over not only the fueling strategy, but the air intake as well. The degree of precision at which the intake is controlled is highly impressive, and all thanks to Verado's computer-controlled boost.
The Verado series also features the SmartCraft Digital Throttle & Shift (DTS) System, just like the Pro FourStroke, and delivers automotive-like control, instant throttle response and smooth shifting by eliminating the hesitation of traditional mechanical cable systems. More than 50,000 hours of testing and nearly a decade of consumer use make DTS the most rigorously proven control system on the water.
Precise Handling & Quiet
The six-cylinder Verado features a unique Cradle-Mount Design with four oversized, calibrated elastomer mounts surrounding the powerhead to isolate and cancel vibration for an incredibly smooth ride. The (AMS) design incorporates the new steering-to-engine-axis geometry that greatly improves handling at higher speeds by eliminating the "crabbing effect" felt in large displacement four-stroke outboards. In addition, Mercury's exclusive Power Steering system replaces the steering torque often felt with competitive outboards with a precise steering feel unique to Verado.
The Verado multi-chambered Intake Sound Attenuator not only reduces overall noise by up to 14 decibels, it also tunes the engine sound to a more pleasing tone. Acoustic foam lining along the upper cowling and lower cowl absorbs high-frequency engine and driveshaft noise for a hard-to-match sound rating.
Tough And Reliable
Verado's unique Long Bolt Engine Design provides ultimate durability by keeping the powerhead in a constant state of compression. The extra-long bolts (which pass through the bedplate, block, and cylinder) are supported by rubber dampening elements to minimize the effects of engine vibration.
Unlike many competitors' four-strokes, Verado's durable valve train stays maintenance-free for life, thanks to a unique and robust overhead cam design.
The Verado gearcase was built to withstand high torque and speed, with impressive impact protection. Only Mercury features Dual Water Inlets, including its patented low water pickup located on the front tip of the torpedo, ensuring a consistent flow of cooling water. The location of competitors' pickups can prevent their engines from receiving a strong flow of cooling water due to weeds or air pockets.
An enhanced power train gives you increased fuel efficiency and power without sacrificing reliability. Its robust design features forged pistons, precision-machined oil dams, eccentric grooved crankshaft main bearings, a unique intake cam profile, and an enhanced PCM (power control module) calibration. The intake cam provides better top-end power by significantly improving airflow, allowing the engine to produce more power while working less.
Mercury has many more models suited to `toon and deck boat lovers, such as small and mid-sized Bigfoot models with larger gearcases and larger diameter propellers, all the way up to the previously highlighted Pro FourStrokes for the performance crowd.
"Most of our outboards can be rigged with SmartCraft instrumentation which has advanced features to allow operators to monitor fuel efficiency and with the new, Mercury-exclusive eco-gauge, you can actually dial in your highest fuel efficiency speed for your individual boat," Miller says.
In all, Mercury offers many great features and innovations to improve the boating experience.
Add in their servicing dealers all across the United States and across the globe, and no matter where you live or where you're vacationing, service support for Mercury products is always close by.
Mercury is dedicated to continuing their devotion to quality and innovation, so look for them to make even bigger splashes in the future.
For more information on the Pro FourStroke or Verado engines from Mercury, visit www.mercurymarine.com.