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Revolutionary Outboards 
By John Campbell

Gas prices are on the increase!  Without doubt the sportsman can barley afford the gas in his tow vehicle, what will he do with his boat?  Mercury Marine has answered that question with two top of the line revolutionary outboard motors.  The Verado™ is the newest line of high performance 4 stroke engines, the OptiMax™ is a direct injection 2-stroke outboard that has been around for a number of years, but Mercury keeps improving them each year.
Before gas prices increased the concern in the boat industry was low-emission outboard motors. Fueled by an EPA directive to reduce hydrocarbons by 2006, outboard makers have assigned their best engineers to develop new engine technology to meet these requirements.
    Verado ™ represents far more than just a new class of outboard power. It represents the only fully integrated power system of its kind on the water. That’s because in developing Verado™, Mercury engineers teamed with some of the top engineering design houses in the world – Lotus®, AVL®, Motorola®, and Cosworth®– in order to utilize the best technology available. The result is the only integrated control system of its kind anywhere. From the Electro-Hydraulic Power Steering and SmartCraft® Digital Throttle & Shift to the next generation of Engine Guardian self-diagnostic tools, Verado™ provides a previously unheard of level of whole boat interaction. 
A data cable that conveys information between the computer on the engine and the System Command Module under the dash has replaced all traditional mechanical cables. The result is a fully integrated propulsion system that offers a revolutionary degree of control, performance and security.
Mercury didn’t stop there, their extensive sound-lab testing has resulted in several revolutionary noise-canceling systems, including an insulated and isolated cowl system, patented muffling chambers in the supercharger’s air-induction system and a specially designed idle-relief exhaust silencer. The result is an outboard so quiet that at full throttle you’ll hear more wind and water than you will engine. The revolutionary midsection uses an exclusive four-point, progressive-rate, perimeter-mount system to decrease vibration by 50 percent.
The Verado ™ has developed unequalled torque and acceleration thanks to its exclusive supercharged and intercooled design, Verado ™ delivers dramatically better torque and acceleration than any comparably sized four-stroke and most two strokes – from hole shot all the way to wide- open throttle. With a mid-range acceleration that exceeds any other outboard in the world.  Incredibly quiet with dramatically reduced vibration and unmatched reliability. All major structural components such as the crankshaft, connecting rods and bearings – have been specifically designed and built for this supercharged power plant. An entirely new gear case has been designed to provide the maximum in performance and reliability. Verado™ has accumulated well over 25,000 hours of testing – making it by far the most comprehensively proven marine power ever produced.
The term “new technology outboard” refers to the new direct injected 2-Strokes like Mercury’s OptiMax™ models, and also 4-Stroke models.  These outboards have greatly reduced hydrocarbon emissions as well as improved fuel efficiency and operating characteristics.  OptiMax™ is another innovation from Lake X (R &D facility owned by Mercury). It's an engine with a unique direct fueling process that gives you more than just smooth running qualities and reliable operation. It also gives you 10 percent better fuel economy than any other direct fuel injected marine engine in the world. This is very important especially with the soaring gas prices at the pump.  Nowadays the more efficient you can become the more money you will save.  Also, the new direct injected 2-Strokes as well as 4-Strokes, achieve greater than 80% reductions in hydrocarbon emissions, compared with conventional 2-Strokes.  Larger 4-Strokes emit fewer hydrocarbons than most current Direct Injection 2-Strokes, but more nitrous oxides and carbon monoxide.  As a serious angler this allows me to fish longer and quieter and with a lot less hassle than conventional 2-Stroke engines that have a tendency to load up with gas and oil and cause smoky conditions. 
Mercury OptiMax™ features technology that the competition isn't even close to adopting. A high-pressure mixture of fuel and air creates an efficient plume of atomized fuel in the combustion chamber.  A multipoint lubrication system delivers precise amounts of oil exactly when and where you need it. Combined, they lead to a unique engine that runs more smoothly and efficiently than anything you've ever experienced before.
In tournaments, I constantly rely on my two Mercury motors, my 225 HP OptiMax™ and a Mercury 9.9 HP four-stroke, to maneuver my boat. During different situations, I may choose one motor over the other. Here's why: calm conditions or conditions where I want to move my bait slow are two areas where the Merc 9.9 horse motor shines. If I am working a break where I need to move slowly while dragging a bait, my 9.9 horse kicker fits the ticket. It is quiet and can change the boat's course easily when there is no wind trying to push the boat around. 
My Merc. 9.9-horse kicker would also be my choice if I want to back troll using the engine to move the boat in reverse. Back trolling can be very useful if you want to keep your bait in a precise spot. It's always more effective to pull a long object than to push it.
The efficiency of my main engine or my 225 OptiMax™ allows me the freedom to fish where the “good” fish are biting.  In tournament situations I might have to run 12, 20, or 30 miles one way to get to the fish.  I need to have an efficient motor that will use less fuel and get me there in enough time to get on the good bite.  A perfect example of this was just recently while fishing in Pierre, SD on a reservoir. The best fishing was some 50-70 miles away from the weigh-in station.  My OptiMax™ really gave me the confidence that I could get to the fish and back in plenty of time and still have a good supply of fuel left over.
When you are on the water this year, you owe it to yourself to have the most efficient motor that you can run.  Not only do you owe it to yourself, but to the environment as well.  The bottom line on these new technologies is that they will save you money in the long term and preserve our precious environment for future generations to come.  Look into this “new technology” and ask questions about the whole line of Mercury OptiMax™ and the Verado ™ 4-Stroke engines. 
For more information about these outstanding engines look at www.mercurymarine on the web or drop me a line at www.walleye.info.

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