Mighty ma­chines

Mer­cury Marine’s new V8 out­board is caus­ing quite right around a stir the world, with de­mand in many cases ex­ceed­ing sup­ply.

Boating NZ - - Contents - BY JOHN EICHELSHEIM

Mer­cury’s 300hp V8 out­board on a Tris­tram 701.

That’s the sit­u­a­tion here, even though Mer­cury NZ se­cured a gen­er­ous al­lo­ca­tion of the new model. De­mand, says Mer­cury Marine’s Dean Vil­lis, has sur­prised ev­ery­one: “We or­dered more than we thought we would need, but sales have gone crazy!” Mer­cury has 20 of the new V8s on or­der, of which 18 are al­ready sold.

The new V8 (avail­able in Ver­ado, Fourstroke, Sea Pro com­mer­cial, Pro XS and Mer­cury Rac­ing vari­ants) has a 4.6-litre, 32-valve, dual-over­head camshaft pow­er­head of­fer­ing loads of torque, but also ex­cel­lent fuel econ­omy. The new V8s come in 200hp, 225hp, 250hp and 300hp ver­sions.

Mer­cury’s nar­row 64-de­gree bank, large ca­pac­ity V8 is re­mark­ably lightweight – 240kg in non-ver­ado ver­sions, which is con­sid­er­ably lighter than the 225-300hp L6 Ver­ado mod­els it re­places. L6 Ver­a­dos con­tinue in 350hp and 400hp guises. The V8’s nar­row cylin­der bank an­gle and clever ex­haust rout­ing means a min­i­mal tran­som foot­print.

AD­VANCED MID-SEC­TION

I got to ex­pe­ri­ence the range-top­ping 300hp V8 for the first time in late June. It was the very first Mer­cury V8 bolted to the tran­som of a boat in New Zealand, a Tris­tram 701 Off­shore fresh from the fac­tory in Hamil­ton.

This en­gine is the Ver­ado model with Mer­cury’s ‘Ad­vanced Mid-sec­tion’ (AMS), which in­cludes in­te­grated elec­tro-hy­draulic power steer­ing and four-point perime­ter en­gine mounts. Joy­stick pi­lot­ing is an op­tion and Smartcraft Dig­i­tal Throt­tle and Shift (DTS) is stan­dard.

Mer­cury is now of­fer­ing out­boards in colours other than Phan­tom Black. In the V8s, three shades of white are avail­able in

ad­di­tion to black, along with ac­cent pan­els in four colours, plus a ‘ready to paint’ ac­cent panel op­tion to cus­tom-match the boat.

Out­boards with AMS are iden­ti­fi­able by their sil­ver side pan­els and fea­ture heavy-duty 5.4-inch gearcases. This com­bi­na­tion of tech­nol­ogy is cur­rently only avail­able on Ver­ado mod­els.

AMS fea­tures a mid-en­gine cra­dle that al­lows the mid­sec­tion to pivot as well as swivel, which vir­tu­ally elim­i­nates pro­pel­ler ven­ti­la­tion and im­proves con­trol when turn­ing. Pro­gres­sive rate perime­ter en­gine mounts iso­late the pow­er­head, re­duc­ing vi­bra­tion and noise.

With the in­tro­duc­tion of new V6 and V8 four-stroke out­boards, Mer­cury’s Opti-max two-stroke range and 225300hp Ver­ado L6 su­per­charged four-stroke mod­els have been dis­con­tin­ued.

V8 TRIS­TRAM

The Tris­tram 701 goes nicely with a 200hp V6 ( Boat­ing NZ, Jan­uary 2015), so un­sur­pris­ingly per­for­mance is very spir­ited with a 300hp V8 on the tran­som. But it’s not just the per­for­mance that im­presses: this is a se­ri­ously quiet en­gine, par­tic­u­larly at idle

FAR RIGHT The 300hp V8 bolted to the tran­som of this Tris­tam 701 Off­shore is the Ver­ado vari­ant with Mer­cury’s Ad­vanced Mid-sec­tion (AMS), iden­ti­fied by the sil­ver side pan­els.RIGHT Mer­cury’s new V6 and V8 out­board ranges fea­ture dis­tinc­tive an­gu­lar styling.

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