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Author Topic:   Mercury 4-stroke 275HP vs Yamaha 2-stroke 300HP.
LHG posted 06-04-2004 08:57 PM ET (US)   Profile for LHG  
Mercury is running a new ad comparing the performance of the above two engines on two different boats, one a bass boat, and one a 31' Fountain. It seems the twin engine comparison on the Fountain would be of most interest here.

On the same Fountain 31 Sportfish Offshore(with tee top), the twin 275HP Verado 4-stroke outperforms the twin 300 Yamaha HPDI in 7 out of 8 categories, even though each Verado engine weighs 100# more and puts out less RATED HP.

Top speed lightly loaded: Verado = 63.6 MPH, HPDI = 61.2

Top Speed heavily loaded: Verado = 61.3 MPH, HPDI = 57.7

Acceleration 0-20 MPH (light): Verado = 4.1 sec, HPDI = 6.4 sec

Acceleration 0-20 MPH (heavy): Verado = 5.0 sec, HPDI = 8.5 sec

Acceleration 0-30 MPH (light): Verado = 6.3 sec, HPDI = 9.3 sec

Acceleration 0-30 MPH (heavy): Verado = 7.8 sec, HPDI = 12.3 sec

Max fuel economy cruising: Verado = 2.1 MPG, HPDI 1.8 MPG

Max fuel economy wide open: Verado = 1.1 MPG, HPDI 1.2 MPG

Even though these are test results performed by Mercury, making them suspicious to some, I think the results are startling, that finally a 4-stroke can outperform the 2-stroke DFI's. The acceleration comparison figures are amazing, the biggest problem with conventional 4-strokes, which can't even perform with a DFI in that category.

It's interesting that 550 HP from Mercury can outrun 600 HP from Yamaha. Although this is nothing new to the performance crowd!!

Peter posted 06-04-2004 10:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
This may not come as any surpise but I don't believe anything that I read from the Mercury Marketing machine. If this were a test done by Power Boat Reports (PBR) that accepts no advertising and has no bias, I might believe it, but this comparison test has less credibility than the fluffy tests done by the advertising rags.

The Verado 250 test results coming from a test done by PBR a couple of months ago on a 320 Outrage were not impressive. Fuel economy was no better, and in some cases, worse than the Merc 250 EFI as tested by one of the advertising rags.

I think that the twin engine test is the most suspect and difficult to compare. Who rigged both boats? Did Mercury have the engine height and toe-in/toe-out optimized on both boats? As you probably know, an incorrect toe-in/toe-out setting can make a huge difference in peformance on a twin outboard boat. Tell us what the bass boat numbers were. Assuming engine heights are the same that would be a much better indication of relative performance, in my opinion, because it takes out the engine alignment factor.

I'm even more skeptical of the Mercury Marketing machine now after trying to take advantage of their "demo" prop program about two weeks ago. Here is what happened. I went to the the local Mercury dealer that is listed by the Mercury website as a Merc demo prop dealer. I ask the parts fellow about the demo prop program and the first response is a little laugh (this is not a little mom and pop shop). After discussing it further, the "demo" prop program with the local dealer here basically works this way: he doesn't have any "demo" props in stock so I have to order and pay for a couple of new props to "demo" (about $1000) and if they don't work out I give them back to the dealer and he charges me a 20 percent restocking fee (about $200. If I try out another set, I have another 20 percent restocking fee to pay if they don't work out. Good thing Ebay exists. For the amount of the restocking fee, I got myself a pair of almost new props to try and should be able to get most of my money back by selling them if they don't work out. (Sorry, I have no interest in financing Merc's and the Merc dealer's demo prop business.)

LHG posted 06-07-2004 02:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
Peter - the only other information they gave regarding the tests is that the Verados were running Mercury Mirage Plus props in 23" pitch, at an operating range of 5800-6400, and that the Yamahas were running Mercury Mirage Plus props in 27" pitch, operating range 4500-5500.

Higher reving 4-strokes almost always use lower pitch props.

I think the point of all of this is not that "my motor's faster than yours", but rather that this is a 4-stroke that can deliver the acceleration, top end performance and fuel economy of the biggest 2-stroke DFI's and conventional EFI's, that we have become accustomed to previously. The other large 4-stroke V-6's can't do this, and have disappointed many of those buyers

Peter posted 06-07-2004 05:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Larry--Very interesting. If 10 percent slip conditions are assumed for both boat/motor combinations, then the prop calculator here suggests that the Yamaha powered boat fitted with 27 inch Mirage props is severely overpropped. If overpropped, it would do poorly in acceleration tests. Let's look at the data.

Using the prop calculator here with a 10 percent slip assumption for both boats, then:

(1) under lightly loaded conditions the Verado (1.85:1 gears) is turning about 6000 RPM to do 63.6 MPH and the Yamaha (1.75:1 gears) is turning about 4600 RPM to go 61.2 MPH; and

(2) under heavily loaded conditions the Verado is turning 5800 RPM and the Yamaha is turning 4400 RPM.

Still think its a credible test?

OutrageMan posted 06-07-2004 08:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for OutrageMan  Send Email to OutrageMan     

Just wondering if this report had been done by Yamaha and the reults had been the opposite, would you believe them? :)


John from Madison CT posted 06-08-2004 08:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for John from Madison CT  Send Email to John from Madison CT     
They should sell boat trailers for those Verado engines, because I don't know of any Marinas that sell 93 Octane gas, which is NECESSARY to run that engine.

Every 275hp Verado owner has to pull his boat to a local land based gas station.

This is an enormous mistake for Mercury....IMHO.

Peter posted 06-08-2004 08:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Larry -- here is some other data which I think shows how biased the Mercury test really was.

Yamaha has performance reports for a pair of 300 HPDI on a 31 Contender Open and 31 Jupiter, as well as a number of other 31 foot boats. The Contender and Jupiter are probably the closest to the Fountain 31 in terms of performance.

The Contender report shows that Yamaha rigged the 300s with 14 1/2 x 21 SW Series props and was able to get the Contender to go 59.8 MPH at 5700 RPM. The Jupiter report indicates that Yamaha rigged the 300s with 14 1/2 x 23 props and was able to get it to go 62 MPH at 5450 RPM.

If Yamaha propped the 300s to the top of the RPM range and never used a pitch more than 23 inches on comparable boats, why on Earth would Merc, the rigging experts that they are, put 27 inch props on the 300s on the 31 Fountain unless they were trying to bogg the engines down to skew the test data in favor of the Verado? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that a pair of 300s capable of 60 MPH with 21 or 23 inch pitch propellers will out accelerate a pair of 300s capable of 60 MPH with 27 inch propellers any day.

Of course, you may not agree with these reports since they are from Yamaha after all but a prop with a pitch in the 19 to 23 inch range for a 31 center console seems intuitively right to me based on my experience with an old fashioned slower 27 Whaler WD hull. Also, Yamaha performance data for Grady-White boats, for example, are consistent with the performance a friend of mine gets with his Grady.

Its one thing to talk about performance, but its quite another to show it with objectively obtained data. Would it be too much to ask Merc to conduct an honest test with the right propellers on the 300s? If the Verados are as truly incredible as the marketing folks make them out to be, then they shouldn't have any fear of running a fair test.

SS17 posted 06-08-2004 11:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for SS17    
That 27" pitch has to be a typo. Most likely 21".
Where is the 27" pitch denoted?
Peter posted 06-08-2004 11:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Larry's comment regarding using a lower pitch prop on high reving 4-strokes suggests this was no typo.
SS17 posted 06-08-2004 01:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for SS17    
Please explain that logic to me.
LHG posted 06-08-2004 01:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
I have no intention of arguing with the Yamaha/E-J people on this website. I'm just the messenger here, and have no idea how Mercury conducted these tests. The ad simply crossed my desk and I thought Mercury owners here would be interested. I would recommend you follow the ads in your own boating magazines, read JD Powers, and draw your own conclusions about Yamaha's superiority & customer satisfaction in outboard design. Also watch for Verados on the water and see how you like or hate them. But be careful running against one.

The single engine test was done on a Ranger 522 Comanche Bass boat, which I assume is not of much interest here. The Verado was running a 25" Tempest Plus prop, and the HPDI was running a 27" Yamaha Pro series prop. The Verado is still shown by Mercury to be faster, although acceleration figures are not as high a differential. I believe there is a 300 HP Verado, and it would be interesting to see how that compares to the 300 Yamaha. At a measly 2.6 liter displacement, there is also probably room for displacement increases in the future?

It could still be that 4-stroke outboards are an evolutionary dead end, and that DFI 2-strokes are the future here, as Bombardier is indicating. In that case, Mercury & Suzuki have goofed up big. But everything I have heard is the opposite, that 3-star is about IT for DFI's, and future EPA regulations will end them, just like the current 2-strokes.

The Verado has capability beyond 3-star. And evidently in 2006, the V-6 Optimax DFI engines will become Mercury's lower priced line, which should give them selling advantages over the E-tec and HPDI, which are top of the line priced in their respective companies, since they have no high performing 4-strokes yet.

But what I really think is that Yamaha, having just put all their money into the 200/225 4-stroke, suddenly realized that for only an extra 50 lbs weight, the 225 was going to get killed by the Verados, and they had no clean alternative above 225. So they put the HPDI equipment on their old 76 degree V-6 225/250 2-strokes, and increased displacement to 3.3 liters, to reach the Verado's HP capabilities, and also stay ahead of Bombardier and Suzuki as well? This should tide them over until they can get out their copies of the Verado

Peter posted 06-08-2004 01:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Larry -- Sorry about challenging the message. However, if you post something like that, you have to expect that there will be some challenging commentary, not all of which may be flattering to the creative Mercury marketing efforts.

I'm curious -- what kind of speed and acceleration were they getting out of the bass boats?

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