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8 Examples of How Mercury Boosts Fuel Economy

Reducing fuel consumption is key to our sustainability initiative

8 Examples of How Mercury Boosts Fuel Economy

As the world leader in marine propulsion systems, Mercury is redefining the future of boating, setting the pace and establishing new standards as the marine industry moves forward with contemporary low-emissions technologies. Mercury has long recognized the importance of sustainability in preserving and enhancing the environment we enjoy through boating.

“We recognize that improving sustainability in our manufacturing operations alone isn’t enough,” said Scott Louks, Mercury sustainability manager. “It is imperative that the Mercury products used by boaters every day are as friendly to the environment as possible. The people who use Mercury products enjoy some of the best moments of their lives or make their livelihoods on the water. We share their vested interest in doing what we can to preserveour natural marine environments.”

Consider these eight examples of ways Mercury is reducing marine engine fuel consumption as people play and work on the water.

1. Two vs. Three Outboards

It may seem counter-intuitive that a 7.6L V12 600hp outboard could contribute to fuel efficiency, but the Mercury 600hp Verado® outboard offers that benefit on select boat installations. In sea trials conducted with a 22,000-pound, 43-foot day boat, twin Mercury 600hp Verado outboards outperformed the top competitor’s triple 425hp outboards – even at a 75hp disadvantage – in acceleration and top speed, all while logging 20% better fuel economy at identical cruise speed and 24% better fuel economy at top speed. Contra-rotating propellers, an industry-first two-speed transmission and an advanced fuel system combine to enhance performance and efficiency while extending range.

2. Advanced Range Optimization

To squeeze more power from less fuel, many Mercury outboards feature Advanced Range Optimization. This proprietary closed-loop fuel control system utilizes electronic sensors to precisely adjust the fuel mixture for the best possible efficiency at cruise.

3. SmartCraft Fuel Consumption Monitoring

Boaters can use the precision of Mercury SmartCraft® technology to monitor many engine performance parameters, including fuel economy. This allows you to adjust throttle position to achieve the best cruising economy. Information generated through SmartCraft technology can be viewed on a Mercury VesselView® display, on a mobile device through the wireless VesselView Mobile® app, through the compact MercMonitor gauge, or on a compatible multi-function display with the addition of a VesselView Link or SmartCraft Connect module.

4. Advanced Hydrodynamics

Advanced hydrodynamic designs help minimize drag of the gearcase and other submerged components.

“The use of CFD (computational fluid dynamics) also allows us to shape a new gearcase to generate lift,” said Tim Reid, Mercury vice president of product development and engineering, “which both helps lift heavier boats on plane and, at speed, carries some boats higher in the water, reducing hull drag significantly, which contributes to improved economy.”

5. Lightweight Designs

Mercury engineers are experts at using finite element analysis, or FEA, and other computer-aided design tools to develop lighter-weight engine designs, resulting in many Mercury outboards being the lightest in their class. Opting for a lighter engine can improve fuel economy and almost every other aspect of boat performance.

6. Electrification

Mercury is advancing on its commitment to be a leader in electrified marine propulsion with the introduction of the Avator™ 7.5e outboard, the first in a series of Avator electric outboard products that will be introduced in 2023 and 2024.

Avator outboards make boating possible with no fuel or exhaust fumes and zero direct emissions, and of course these new electric motors can be used on waterways where internal combustion engines are not permitted. Each electric outboard is also crafted with many components that are recyclable or reusable.

7. Propeller Innovation

No other marine propulsion manufacturer brings more experience and expertise to the design of propellers than Mercury, including models designed to enhance efficiency in specific applications. For example, the Enertia® ECO is an innovative propeller designed to optimize fuel economy when paired with Verado and other high-horsepower outboard models, especially when powering offshore angling boats at cruising speed, the engine rpm range where boaters spend most of their time. A combination of 16-inch diameter, an extra-large blade area and a high progressive rake for increased bow lift can produce up to 7% savings on fuel costs with no compromise in performance.

These lessons were also applied to the Revolution X propellers designed specifically for the 5.7L V10 350 and 400hp Verado outboards, with 35% to 50% more blade area than props popular for the 2.6-liter Verado models that preceded them. Blade area provides thrust to push heavy boats on plane with authority and hold them there at lower speeds where fuel efficiency peaks.

The Mercury Prop Selector tool, and the expertise of a Mercury Authorized Dealer, can help you zero in on the most-efficient propeller options for almost any boating application, from a bass boat to a multi-engine offshore center-console.

8. Mercury Active Trim

Mercury Active Trim is an integrated GPS speed-based automatic engine trim system. It continually and automatically adjusts trim based on changes in boat speed to improve performance, fuel economy and ease of operation. Adjusting the trim changes the boat’s attitude, or the angle of its bow into the water, which can help dial in the best ride by compensating for vessel load and sea conditions. In most cases, properly trimming also enhances fuel economy and top-end speed by reducing hull drag in the water. The Active Trim system is compatible with most Mercury SmartCraft-capable engines.

Committed to Sustainability

From product design to manufacturing, Mercury has built sustainability into every aspect of its global operation, and it has become part of the Mercury DNA. Read more about our vision in the Mercury Sustainability Report.

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