Mercury’s new 600hp Verado V12: truly different & surprisingly smooth

Ben Stein

Ben Stein

Publisher of Panbo.com, passionate marine electronics enthusiast, 100-ton USCG master.

13 Responses

  1. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Interesting that Mercury also announced the 500hp SeaPro V12 commercial duty outboard today:

    https://www.mercurymarine.com/en/us/engines/outboard/

    And good to see lots of Verado V12 performance detail, even if the miles per gallon numbers are a bit sick:

    https://performancedata.mercurymarine.com/performance-tests

  2. Tom Andresky Tom Andresky says:

    The engineering in this is spectacular …. like you I’m having a hard time wrapping my feeble brain around all of it. The integration of the Raymarine AP and the Mercury Joy System is really intuitive.
    To think one of those boats had 2400 hp hanging on the transom.

    Thanks …

    Tom

  3. Shorty says:

    Cool technology but wretched excess to be sure

  4. Grant Jenkins says:

    Pretty impressive that Mercury designed its own V-12 from scratch – that in itself is noteworthy. I’ve often wondered as well why two-speed transmissions (or variable pitch props) aren’t more common, especially on planing hulls – which clearly could benefit from a lower gear to get up on plane, and a higher gear for more efficient cruising. I’m curious how much of the price tag is attributable to the transmissions compared to the engines…

  5. We need to come up with a phrase to convey the stage beyond wretched excess for these machines. Mercury does seem to have addressed what to me was a major limiting factor with hanging giant high horsepower outboards on big heavy boats — insufficient propeller blade area. The hull weight distribution resulting from these monsters hanging way aft will be a challenge for naval architects. The builder of my boat, which has twin Diesel inboards, did a triple outboard using the same basic hull design with a bracket added. That boat has a forward water ballast tank. With the fuel tanks full, the weight of the gasoline balances the weight of the motors and moves the center of gravity back towards the middle. As the tanks empty, the center f gravity shifts aft pretty dramatically I was told and the ballast tank can be filled to restore trim.

    I should add that the outboard version is a little faster than my boat and only a little less efficient unless run at the upper end of its speed range when the difference between gasoline and Diesel really comes into play.

    Some day in the not too distant future, I suspect that regulation and taxes will make these motors and the boats they propel into dinosaurs. Diesels may stage a comeback in the form of generators in hybrid Diesel-electric boats, which is inherently much more suited to long-range marine use than pure electric battery powered systems absent a geometric increase in the energy density of batteries..

    In the meantime, the Persian Gulf and South Florida will see a new round of competition from guys who feel inadequate and want the most flashy, highest power 50 foot boat around.

  6. Butch Davis says:

    There is such a thing as simply having fun on the water. Jut because someone has the means to have a large boat with high output engines does not translate to someone feeling inadequate.

  7. Timothy G Befera says:

    Agreed, it’s about what makes you happy. We cannot show disrespect to someone who loves innovation and speed. Some are pleased with a canoe, paddling silently through pristine quiet waters. Besides that, did you ever notice…….the bigger the boat, the smaller the bikini?

  8. Ha, ha, I did not realize what a delicate topic I tread upon. It is my observation that many things besides the joy of being on the water and having fun that motivate people to want a boat with four giant outboards. Some fraction fall into the compensating category, certainly not everyone. So I do apologize to those who may have been offended.

  9. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    PMY’s Charlie Levine was also at Lake X (and contributed the human scale reference to one of Ben’s videos):

    https://www.powerandmotoryacht.com/boats/mercury-600-testing-the-v12-monster-of-lake-x

  10. In the automobile world, V12 means smooth luxurious power, not excess. It’s just an upmarket way to electric-like torque quietly. Anything V8 was unrefined and rough in comparison. These will probably make nice functioning (and expensive maintenance) engines for those that want them.

  11. Will Loe says:

    There will be significant utilization of these large quiet engines for Down East style boats in my opinion. Quiet, fast, can tilt up to get running gear out of the water, and easily serviced. When they eventually break, no cutting holes in the hull or removing fine joinery. I predict they will be seen on Hinckley and MJM yachts soon. Likely with twins and possibly even with sponsons along side as extra flotation aft and serving as nice wide swim platforms as noted above.
    In the fishing world, the large center consoles are a “thing” because one can run fast to far off fishing grounds and come home and sleep in your own bed. Again, in my opinion, these motors will continue that trend and further erode the sales of traditional sportfishers with overnight accomodations.

    • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

      I agree, Will, and I’m also hoping we’ll see fast, quiet single-outboard Downeast cruisers with well-integrated bow thrusters for docking and big swim platforms, maybe even a solution for carrying a tender neatly. But my friends who actually sell such boats say twins are pretty much mandatory minimum these days, so you’re probably right.

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