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Brunswick to announce "revolutionary" engine
|Author||Topic: Brunswick to announce "revolutionary" engine|
posted 01-29-2002 07:36 PM ET (US)
In today's investor's conference call, George W. Buckley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, announced that Brunswick will unveil "revolutionary" new engine products at the Miami Boat Show.
Speculation includes announcement of a new high horsepower 4-stroke Mercury outboard based on the General Motors 6-cylinder "straight" block.
CEO Buckley also announced that 2002 would see introduction of new boat products which were "completely new approaches" and would appear later in the year.
He stated there had been "huge" growth in Mercury (engine) sales outside the US, which for the first time in company history exceeded domestic sales volume.
Also mentioned was an important new contract with GENMAR to supply all types of engine products, outboards, stern drives, parts and accessories, for five years. The contract represents a "sizeable" percentage of GENMAR's volume and a "significant jump" on what Brunswick had sold them earlier. The contract begins in July, 2002. No other details were disclosed.
posted 01-29-2002 07:52 PM ET (US)
I think my brother's '52 Chevy "Custom-Cab" pickup had that same block...(grin)
posted 01-29-2002 11:52 PM ET (US)
The straight-6 has been a popular and powerful engine block design for decades, but I don't think the one Mercury might debut will have much resemblance to the cast iron in that old 1952 pickup.
Brunswick did not give any hints about what they would roll out in Miami, but just characterized it as "revolutionary."
posted 01-29-2002 11:58 PM ET (US)
Regarding the acquisition of Hatteras Yachts, CEO Buckley characterized it as one of two premium brands that they had been coveting for some time. Hatteras sales had been slumping, but with Brunswick's now world-wide sales outlets, he thought there was great opportunity for growth of Hatteras sales, particular overseas.
He further commented that boat company acquisitions were pretty much complete. In particular he indicated there were no plans to acquire more "small fishing boat" companies. He did not rule out further boat builder acquisitions if attractive companies at good prices became available in the current down market.
posted 01-30-2002 12:15 AM ET (US)
This could be good news, but it could also be marketing hype. I have no idea where George W. Buckley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer cut his licks, but I have a sneaking suspicion it was in marketing. Would not a straight six be tough to fish over? They are inherently very smooth, and they have produced them in 2-smoke variants in the past. What ever it is, you can bet it will end up on the transom of a new Whaler, and be the recipient of numerous “in my day” criticisms here. I won’t hold my breath, but I hope they did not shop at the same designers as Suzuki and Yamaha. Leave the spoilers for someone else. I will look forward to their new stuff. This is a great time for hardware geeks. Warm up the multi mega pixel cameras Florida Whaler fans and pass along some photos! Like it or not, we are interested.
posted 01-30-2002 06:45 AM ET (US)
posted 01-30-2002 06:50 AM ET (US)
George W. Buckley -- came from Emerson Electric Company, where he served as president of the Electric Motors Division. Before joining Emerson, Mr. Buckley was with British Railways Board, GEC Turbine Generators Ltd. and Detroit Edison Company. He has a Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Southhampton, U.K.
posted 01-30-2002 08:31 AM ET (US)
Things are looking up already. An engineer in charge. This is good news. Hopefully it will at least meet expectations. Can't wait. Thanks for the background on G.W. Buckley.
posted 01-30-2002 11:24 AM ET (US)
Mind your enthusiasm. He did his doctorate in engineering in the UK! That means his interships would likely have occured during the 60s or 70s at those engineering bastions, Jaguar or Rover. Ugh! Well, look at the bright side, at least it wouldn't have been Peugeot!!
posted 01-30-2002 11:38 AM ET (US)
My Jeep Wrangler has an in-line six, and it's a strong, tourqey motor. One advantage the straight six configuration in an outboard motor would be on twin engine applications. A pair of tall, slim powerheads would be a better fit on the transom of a classic Whaler than a pair of fat V6s. In theory, there would be more fishing room on the corners, easier access for maintenance, and less interference with swim platforms and boarding ladders on the stern.
posted 01-30-2002 11:50 AM ET (US)
Don't mix British Engineering with British Manufacturing. Two different animals. There are many very capable engineers in GB. But, that said, on occasion their execution (manufacturing) leaves allot to be desired. No sense detailing the poor manufacturing quality. I am still hopeful for MM.
posted 01-30-2002 05:21 PM ET (US)
The new GMC Envoy has a 275 HP six in it with great miliage for an SUV it get 23 mpg highway........what will it get on the water?
posted 01-30-2002 09:12 PM ET (US)
I don't know how many of you guys have actually even seen any of the larger 4 strokes from Merc. but 75,90,and 115 are 100% Yamaha powerheads bolted to Merc. midsections.Even their smaller motors have a combination of Merc and Yamaha components.So I wouldn't be surprised if any 6cyl motor was the same as Yamaha's
posted 01-30-2002 09:25 PM ET (US)
While the Merc rep was in our booth at the boat show I asked him about larger Merc 4 strokes and if the rumor about an in line 6 was true. He said that he had heard nothing about an in line 6, but there was a V-6 4 stroke undergoing tests at Lake X.
I would guess a Yamaha power head. If they are looking at the new GM 6 it may be for the I/O market.
posted 01-31-2002 11:19 AM ET (US)
I would hardly state that repackaging a V6 Yamaha one year after it's original release is "revolutionary". I hope that we are reading this incorrectly. But, as I have mentioned before, I fear that traditional N.A. outboard manufactures will loose their design and manufacturing expertise. Mercury could become a marketing front-end for outsourced products.
posted 01-31-2002 11:50 AM ET (US)
Dick, I received information from a very reliable source last summer Mercury was testing a biggie 4 stroke at both Lake X and offshore. In fact that source is a highly regarded member of this forum ;)
As far as engineers running companies, thankfully Buckley is running the corporation not the divisions is all I can say.
That straight 6 GM has going makes sense for an I/O more than an outboard. Though your rep Dick may have been sworn to secrecy.
posted 01-31-2002 01:05 PM ET (US)
With my experience in this industry I learned long ago that Reps will tell you only what they want to or is to their benefit. I've known this guy for years so I think he is pretty straight.
Hope if it is a big V-6 that it would be a Mercury designed power head.
I haven't seen one of those straight 6s in a vehicle but I'll bet it probably isn't much bigger than the old Merc in-line 6s.
Guess we just have to wait for the announcement to get the facts.
posted 01-31-2002 09:02 PM ET (US)
I don't pretend to know or understand all the details, but in regard to straight-6 (I-6) engines there were some reasons having to do with pollution control which caused automotive engine designers to leave the I-6 block on the sidelines for a while. Now that 4-stroke pollution control systems have evolved to very high refinement, the I-6 block is being revived.
Also, General Motors has had a long relationship with Mercury Marine, including having very high-performance aluminum V-8 engines for their $80,000 Corvette special ZR-1 cars built at a Mercury Marine plant (in Oklahoma).
Perhaps from these previous cooperative ventures we can speculate about aluminum I-6 blocks. When is that Miami show?
posted 02-05-2002 07:33 PM ET (US)
Jim - You're understating Mercury's relationship with GM! Mercury's huge contolling market share of the sterndrive industry is all based on GM blocks!
Regarding this "revolutionary" comment, previously Buckley has said that this new 4-stroke will be a 250 HP engine, which would make it more powerful than the Honda or Yamaha offerings, and that it will be "a whole generation ahead" of what Honda or Yamaha is offering. Skipping a "generation" on the brand new EFI Honda/Yamaha 225 four-strokes could be interesting, to say the least. This could be "hype" or it could be true. If true, indeed it should be revolutionary. Maybe the GM in-line 6, maybe a direct injected (Optimax) 4 stroke, maybe a no-camshaft engine, maybe a combination of all? Who knows, as it seems to be a pretty good secret? But I did hear that availability of this engine is 1 or 2 years away. Who will be able to afford it anyway?
But one thing is for sure, if it IS revolutionary, Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki will be be quick to bring out their copies.
posted 02-06-2002 09:43 AM ET (US)
Maybe its not an inline or a v-6....just maybe its a rotory engine!! That would be sweet! 15000 rpm here we come!!
posted 02-18-2002 10:40 PM ET (US)
RUMORS persist that this new Merc 4 stroke 250Hp engine is indeed an in-line 6. The display at the Mercury exhibit shows an engine taller and thinner than the Honda or Yamaha V-6's. Evidently Mercury's still not talking. I'm amazed at how good they are at keeping this secret.
None of this is going to have much effect on most of us, since only a few have Whalers that can run either single or twin 250's. Filling the 4 stroke gap from over 115 to 200 is still the big problem, weight and size wise, and of most interest here.
posted 02-18-2002 10:57 PM ET (US)
There was a very interesting Large Merc at the Mia boat show. It was up high in the air spinning slowly. The cowl was very "wild" looking. Actually it looked futuristic almost. I assumed it was a 4 stroke. I was more interested in the 2.5 promax sport. 280hp for a 20 outrage sounds like fun!!!
posted 02-19-2002 08:16 AM ET (US)
quoting from page 38 of the March 2002 Boating Magazine:
"Mercury Marine has been spotted testing its big 225-hp four-stroke outboard on the Fox River in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Sources confirmed that the motor-slated to debut as a 2003 model-will be spercharged to boost its power output and will have a better power to weight ratio than the current 225-hp two-stroke outboard. A prototype displayed at a dealer meeting appeared too narrow to be a V-6. We think the new motor will be an inline-4 of less than 3.0 liters. Stay tuned"
posted 02-19-2002 09:03 AM ET (US)
I can't say for sure, but I saw that big Merc at the Miami boat show, and the shape certainly does look like an inline 6. The motor is tall and the size (width & length) of the cowling continues almost all the way down into the lower unit. I mentioned this rumor to the guys at the Merc booth, and they were sworn to secrecy. Good sources here in Detroit indicate this is a Vortec 4200 block...and yes that block will be used for I/O applications as well.
posted 02-19-2002 10:10 AM ET (US)
So, in reality, there was no real announcement? It was an announcement to announce at a future date.
posted 02-19-2002 11:11 AM ET (US)
Yesterday they did announce that they will be producing the All-Star 708. Sounds like an awsome engine.
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