This past week, we had the first opportunity to spend some extended time aboard a Boston Whaler rigged with a pair of of Mercury’s new V6 outboards. We broke the news when they were introduced in News Flash: Mercury Marine Introduces New V6 and V8 Outboards, after the Miami International Boat Show this spring. And we were impressed by their specifications, weight, and design. Now, however, we can tell you the rest of the scoop.
The first thing that struck us was that these motors are every bit as quiet and smoke-free as you expect from a modern four-stroke. The big surprise, however, came when we were cruising along at 4000 rpm (in the mid-30 mph range) and then nailed the throttles. One of the big claims to fame of the Verado line was mid-range punch, provided courtesy of a supercharger. So we didn’t expect to feel quite the same power boost. The Mercury 225s did, however, deliver it. With a throaty growl the boat leaped forward, accelerating to over 50 mph in the blink of an eye.
The boating adage “sit down, shut up, and hold on,” will still apply.
What else did we learn? Fuel economy seemed comparable to other four-strokes of this size, so there were no surprises in that regard. Same goes for the digital throttle and shift system, which is far superior to those old cables and binnacle shifters. The pop-open front cowl door is definitely a nice perk, allowing you to check the oil and add some if need be, without having to remove the entire cowl. And if you do need to take the cowl off it can be done from the hatch, so you don’t have to perch yourself on the transom of the boat. Reliability and longevity, obviously, we couldn’t asses from a single day aboard. But if these engines stand up in that regard, Mercury has almost surely got a serious winner on their hands.