Mercury Marine introduced this year their 7.6litre V12 Verado outboard engine with 600 horsepower.
The outboard is the most powerful package released by the Brunswick Corporation's renowned engine brand.
Designed to be attached outside of the transom, outboards contain the engine, transmission, and propeller, or jet drive, and Mercury Marine's new offering is set to change perceptions of what is possible from an outboard set-up.
Pitched by Mercury Marine as the world's first V12 outboard, it includes several industry-first features for "a wide variety of applications".
The 600hp engine features a naturally aspirated, large displacement, quadcam powerhead. The torque generated is designed to get even the heaviest boats on the plane quickly, allowing quick acceleration and rapid speed, and optimises engine rpm according to workload.
It is also the industry's first two-speed automatic transmission for an outboard. Recent tests showed that shifting from first gear to second gear should see 20 per cent increase in output, allowing for substantial acceleration after switching seamlessly between efficient cruising and full throttle speed.
Another first is the outboard's steerable gearcase that can pivot independently underwater while the engine's powerhead remains fixed, designed to save space.
This will help operators while steering and manoeuvring into tight spaces either at the dock or in tight waterways. It also allows for various engine configurations and a wider steering angle for agile handling.
Owners can mount several to the back of their boats, and it is expected that these newly produced engines will be offered in twin, triple or quad installations.
The use of Mercury's next-gen Advanced MidSection (AMS) mounting system reduces noise and vibration to make the outboard operate as quietly as possible.
Its 7-blade contra-rotating dual propeller provides more power and torque enabling the V12 Verado outboard to deliver better fuel economy and range, as well as a smoother ride.
Like most Mercury engines, the V12 was built to run reliably, and ensures easy maintenance is still a major focus, with flip-up cowl hood for easy access.
Mercury Marine President Chris Drees said that the V12 Verado outboard came about from boaters' demand for a more capable high-horsepower engine to match the growing size and performance needs of boats on the market.
"Using our advanced engineering and design capabilities, we completely redefined outboard performance," Drees says.
"This engine makes boats easy to manoeuvre near the dock and provides superior handling at all speeds.
"It's incredibly fuel efficient, so boaters can go farther and stay out longer. It's so smooth and quiet that you can have a conversation while the engines are running. It's durable, reliable and easy to maintain."
Owners will be equipped with a brand-new digital throttle with integrated digital display. From the control panel, active trim can be controlled with a simple push-button, and will monitor key engine data to monitor the setup.
Since 2008, Mercury Marine has invested more than $1.5 billion into their research and development department, and have expanded their manufacturing capabilities, making the development of the V12 Verado outboard possible.
"We've dedicated substantial investments and years of effort toward enhancing our ability to turn highly creative ideas into practical, functional and dependable solutions," Tim Reid, Mercury Marine vice-president of development and engineering, says.
"That work has positioned us well to anticipate and respond to shifts in the marketplace."
The Mercury Marine V12 Verado outboard will be launched later this year in the Northern Hemisphere, but there has been no word yet when it will be available in Australia.
Bar Crusher has added to its lightweight XS centre console range, announcing the introduction of the 505XS, set to be the smallest boat in the range.
Labelled as a pocket rocket by the Victorian boatbuilder, the trailerable 505XS is built for freshwater, estuary and inshore fishing. It features a central console for all-round access, a bow plate for mounting an electric trolling motor, an alloy bait board with three rod holders, and teases an 80hp Suzuki outboard.
It is not yet known whether Bar Crusher is testing the waters with this smaller offering, or planning to introduce it as a production boat.
WORTH THE WAIT
After four years in the making, Jeanneau Yachts has unveiled its 60-footer. The Jeanneau Yachts 60 was due to be revealed at the Dusseldorf Boat Show in January, but the new design was unveiled instead via a virtual launch.
Design-wise, it's built to be handled with minimal crew. The chine in its hull will dig in to fight heeling, while buoyancy at the bow and stern reduce pitching. Twin rudders provide balance on the helm and an integrated bowsprit makes the launching of a big reaching sail an easier task.
One of these new yachts will be arriving in Australian waters soon.