MERCURY VERADO 350: REVIEW

By: JOHN FORD, Photography by: JOHN FORD

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

The 350 Verado continues to perform even amongst its V8 competitors.

In news that shook up the boating industry, Mercury recently announced their new engine lineup and the move to big block V8 power. The only survivors of the supercharged generation are the 350 and 400 Verados.

CHRISCRAFT CATALINA 30 FORD907

THE TECH

These continuing 2.6-litre Verados produce their power from an in-line six cylinder block with forced induction technology — a supercharger. This supplies a denser fuel-air mix to the combustion chamber and delivers an increase in energy without the extra weight of a high capacity engine.

Although the Verado range was unveiled in 2004, it wasn’t until 2015 that the 350hp version hit the water. Gradual changes during the model run saw the company refine the process of getting more power out of the design. The 350 uses improved airflow, higher lift cams, bigger fuel injectors, a water-cooled supercharger and computerised injectors to produce the jump in output, over the similar sized engines in the range. Their electronic boost pressure control, monitors boost airflow within the system and automatically feeds excess air back through the intake, for maximum efficiency. Anti-knock sensors allow the use of 91 and even 89 Ron fuel, but for maximum power, you will need 95.

on the water the 350 Verado is a whispering beast

THE PERFORMANCE

On the water, the 350 Verado is a whispering beast and the twin setup on our Chris-Craft Catalina 30 showed why the model has survived the cut. Acceleration from a standstill is scintillating, even with the effort of launching over five tonnes of American fibreglass onto the plane. From the driver's seat, the sound of the motors are muted to a low growl with the accompanying higher note of the supercharger.
Best cruising efficiency was at 4000rpm and 27kts, with a fuel burn of 84lph from both engines, for a range of 216nm with 10% in reserve. Acceleration right through the range is smooth and rapid, and at 6000rpm we saw an impressive 46kts.

Verado-350.php_.

THE WRAP

Verado lives on in the 350 and 400hp models, and they still win the power stakes across the Mercury range. How long this will be the case is anyone’s guess but let's assume Mercury is tweaking the new V8s to compete in this ever more popular sector. In the meantime, the blown engines deliver the fun and exhilaration of a feisty outboard.

TRADEABOAT SAYS

Mercury went out on their own in 2004 to become the only company with a range of production model supercharged outboards. They have been reliable and efficient engines with the 350 and 400hp versions at the head of the pack. They produce enviable power, and their narrow footprint makes them an excellent match for larger boats with multi-engine setups.

QUICK SPECS

  • TYPE Supercharged, fuel ingected petrol straight six
  • RATED HP 350
  • DISPLACEMENT 2600cc
  • WEIGHT 303 KG ( 20" Leg_
  • GEAR RATIO 1.75:1
  • PROPELLER 14" X 19"

SEA TRIALS

749L fuel tank (calculations using 10% reserve)
Four on board, 50% fuel, 14"x 19" props

RPM SPEED (KTS) (Lt/H) RANGE (NM)
500

3.3

5 444
1000 5 10.7 314
1500 7 15.1 312
2000 9 23 263
2500 10 37 182
3000(planing) 14.5 58 168
3500 20 73 184
4000 27 84 216
4500 32

104

207
5000 39 152 172
5500 42 199 142
6000 46 235 131

*Sea-trial data supplied by the author.

 

MANUFACTURED BY Mercury Marine USA
SUPPLIED BY Premier Marine
Sydney Boathouse
Unit 4, Waterways Court
Rozelle NSW 20239
PH. 02 9328 0999
WEB premiermarine.com.au

 

Check out the full review in issue #504 of Trade-a-Boat magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration. 

 


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