Category Archives: Race

Get a Step Up with K-Plane Trim Tabs

K-Plane trim tabs were first developed to endure the harsh environment of offshore powerboat racing.

Mercury Racing® K-Planes® have long been considered the gold standard of trim tab design, durability and performance.

Originally developed to endure the punishing rigors of offshore racing, K-Planes feature a strong, corrosion resistant aluminum casting with large support ribs for enhanced durability.

The Reasons Why More Performance Pleasure Boaters, Racers, and the Military Trust K-Planes over Competitive Brands:

  • The proven gold standard on the liquid battlefield of the offshore race circuit
  • They plane boats faster and keeps them level for a safer, smoother ride in a variety of conditions.
  • Heavy duty, corrosion resistant aluminum casting with large support ribs for unparalleled durability
  • Double-acting hydraulic trim cylinders maintain position and react immediately to fingertip control from the helm
  • Elastomer mounts on each end of the hydraulic trim cylinders dampen impact loads, eliminate free play and eliminate contact between the stainless steel pivot points for enhanced durability, trim accuracy and corrosion resistance
  • Electrically bonded components and large sacrificial anodes further protect the tabs from the corrosive salt water environment
  • Heavy-duty hydraulic trim pumps, designed specifically for K-Planes, withstand the torture of offshore power boating

Getting on Plane

Trim tabs work in-concert with outdrives when powering a boat on plane. Tucking the drives under and the tabs down forces the bow of the boat down. This brings the boat on plane quicker, without a loss of visibility. Once on plane, the operator first trims the tabs up and then trims the drives out until the most efficient running attitude is achieved.

Tabs, when put in a level position with the bottom of the hull, act as hull extensions or after planes. As a wave throws the bow up, the tabs dampen the boats reaction, leveling and smoothing the ride.

Tabs and drives should be trimmed up when operating in a follow sea. The raised bow will compensate for the waves lifting the stern. Tabs are also used to fine-tune the handling of a boat such as a catamaran that may have a gentle bounce or porpoise when accelerating to optimum running speed in mild water. In this case, the drives are set at their optimum trim.  Dropping the tabs, a touch at a time, will dissipate the porpoising while maintaining hull efficiency.

At idle, trimming tabs full down will slow boat speed, reduce the wake size and straighten the boat’s track.

Independent Actuation

Sea conditions or an unbalanced load may cause the boat to lean (or list) to one side or the other. List may occur in a quarter following sea. The waves lift the stern unevenly, causing the boat to pitch forward and roll opposite the lift. Dropping the tab opposite of the side being lifted will correct the listing for a dryer ride. Similar adjustments can be made for boats listing due to an uneven load. Bumping the tab on the heavy load side down will cause the stern on that side to lift, leveling the load.

K_Plane trim tabs feature electronic trim senders which enable the tab positions to be displayed on modern displays such as Mercury VesselView monitors.

Boats equipped with K-Plane trim tabs require a trim indicator that provides the operator an accurate, real-time reference of both drive and tab positions. SmartCraft electronic trim senders are available with 150S, 280S, and 380S K-Planes. The electronic sender provides the option of having drive and tab trim positions displayed digitally on a variety of large, easy-to-read electronic displays available from Mercury’s SmartCraft Vessel View to Simrad and other manufacturers.

Mercury Racing continues to offer a full array of mechanical trim indicators first developed by Kiekhaefer Aeromarine for use with sterndrives, outboards and K-Plane Trim Tabs.

 

The 380S K-Plane in Hulkin’ Green.

Custom color options enable boaters to color match the tabs to boat graphics and color optioned Mercury Racing M6 M8 sterndrives.

Available for boats 21-feet and longer, K-Planes are available for outboard and sterndrive raceboats, performance boats, center consoles, commercial, and government applications.

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Meet the New Boss!

MR ROS in all his Glory!
MR ROS in all his Glory!

This will be a Key West to remember. We just revealed our all-new ROS (Race Offshore) competition outboard, the new boss of the XCAT World Series. The engine is on display for all to see on the Mercury Racing truck in the Poker Run Village.

A sinister relative to the highly successful Verado 400R outboard, the potent 4-stroke racer makes its competition debut next weekend at the Dubai Grand Prix, round five of the 2015 XCAT World Series in Dubai, UAE. XCAT has partnered with Mercury Racing in the development of the engine that will replace the existing fleet of Mercury Racing 2-stroke 2.5L EFI race outboards.

XCAT World Series events are action packed and full of excitement. Photo Credit: XCAT World Series.

Ronan Morgan, CEO of World Professional Powerboating Association (WPPA) said, “All those involved in the XCAT World Series are looking forward to the introduction of the new Mercury four stroke engines. “Not only are these environmentally friendly, they are reliable and provide a huge increase to the horsepower and torque which are essential for an action packed weekend of racing.”

“As promoters of XCAT Racing, the WPPA have had a long-standing relationship with Mercury Racing. We’ve worked closely together in the testing and development of the engine to provide the ultimate in performance and fan experience,” Mr. Morgan Added.

XCAT
The venerable 2.5 EFI 2-stroke Mercury’s have been a mainstay for many years and is still a solid product. Photo Credit: XCAT World Series.

Mercury Racing General Manager Erik Christiansen said, “We are very excited to launch our new Race Offshore competition outboard. The venerable 2.5 EFI 2-stroke Mercury’s have been a mainstay for many years and is still a solid product. The ROS builds on that foundation while using the four stroke technology today’s market demands.”

“We worked with the WPPA to develop a strong, reliable engine that meets the new U.A.E. exhaust emissions requirements. The ROS will be homologated into the Union Internationale Motonautique technical specifications for XCAT. Next season will be a transitional year with the entire XCAT field switching to the ROS four strokes for 2017. I’m looking forward to seeing our new engine compete next weekend in Dubai,” Erik said.

The ROS features the Verado 400R powerhead mounted on a durable billet midsection couble with the race proven Sport Master gearcase.
The ROS features the Verado 400R powerhead mounted on a durable billet midsection coupled with the race proven Sport Master gearcase.

The ROS features the 400R powerhead mounted on an all-new race midsection featuring the competition proven Mercury Racing heavy duty swivel clamp bracket assembly. A Sport Master gearcase transfers the ROS’s massive power to the water. And to ensure every revolution counts, we’ve developed an all-new line of CNC cleaver props specifically for the ROS.

The new XCAT ROS outboards will power the #3 X Dubai boat piloted by Arif Al Zaffain and Nadir Bin Heindi. The race will be streamed live via the XCAT World Series website.

Short in Stature –  Big in Performance

Short in Stature - Big in Performance!
Short in Stature – Big in Performance!

By appearance alone – it is obvious this isn’t a production Verado. In fact – the similarities end at the powerhead. The AMS midsection is replaced with a billet aluminum housing. Mercury Racing developed the new midsection to lower the overall engine center of gravity. The 10-inch mid, coupled with the heavy-duty swivel clamp bracket assembly, brings the overall engine mounting height to 15 inches – matching the current 2.5 EFI configurations. The low CG, combined with solid upper and lower engine mounts, is critical for overall handling at competition speeds – particularly when powering the high perf XCAT catamarans into and out of corners.

Check out the custom lower cowl. Yes - that is real carbon fiber! :)
Check out the custom lower cowl. Yes – that is real carbon fiber! 🙂

The ROS also utilizes a remote dry sump system which holds 8L of Mercury Racing Four Stroke Oil, the same semi-synthetic 25W-50 oil used to lubricate and ensure long life in the high output QC4v sterndrive product line. A carbon fiber lower cowl conceals the transition of powerhead to midsection. The lower front cowl features dual rigging tubes, one each for fuel and electrical systems. To assist in the repower of the fleet, the ROS uses the same high pressure fuel pump, also mounted in the boat, as the existing 2-strokes.

Zero Effort Controls with Digital Trim

Mercury Racing's high styled Zero Effort Digital controls.
Mercury Racing’s high styled Zero Effort Digital controls.

The ROS brings XCAT into the digital age with Mercury Digital Throttle & Shift (DTS). DTS replaces traditional throttle and shift cables with digital precision, resulting in smoother shifting and instant throttle response. Mercury Racing’s ergonomic, high-style Zero Effort® Digital controls precisely signal driver intent to the DTS equipped Mercury Racing ROS outboards.  An integral power trim switch in the throttle handle provides fingertip trim control. The DTS system also features one-touch Smart Start and automatic throttle synchronization.

XCAT Graphics

The XCAT World Series logo is prominently displayed on the rear cowl.
The XCAT World Series is prominently displayed on the rear cowl.

The Mercury Racing ROS features the XCAT World Series logo and color matched orange accent graphics. The custom graphics package is featured as a tribute to the series’ exclusivity in Mercury Racing power and their support in product development.

 

Custom Props

All-new five blade CNC Cleaver propellers were developed to transfer 400 hp to the water!
All-new five blade CNC Cleaver propellers were developed to transfer 400 hp to the water!

With the ROS comes a new line of five and six blade CNC Cleaver propellers. The Lab Finished props, featuring a high performance over the hub exhaust design, were developed specifically for surface piercing applications such as those endured in the rigors of offshore powerboat racing.

MR ROS - The New Boss of XCAT!
MR ROS – The New Boss of XCAT!

The props are rated for 400 h.p. and are available with blade rake angles of 13, 15, 18 or  21 degrees. A variety of pitch sizes are available to dial-in each hull for maximum efficiency and performance.

I can’t wait to see the new engines compete next weekend in Dubai. I expect them to make a statement – both on and off the race course!

 

 

 

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A Case for Prop Protection

The all-new Mercury Racing CNC Cleaver Propeller Case.
The all-new Mercury Racing CNC Cleaver Propeller Case.

I’m excited to introduce our all-new Mercury Racing CNC Cleaver Propeller Case.

We’ve tried prop cases from reputable vendors in the past.  While they served a function – they were not up to par in terms of product protection.

I feel very fortunate to work with a team internally who  developed the case specifically for our five and six-blade CNC Cleaver propellers used with NXT1, NXT6 and M8 sterndrives. Featuring a durable double walled composite construction, the reusable case protects props from shipping damage. All new Mercury Racing CNC props are shipped in the new case.

If you want to protect your current inventory of Mercury Racing CNC props – you can purchase the new case from your local Mercury Racing dealer or OEM boat builder. The part number is 8M0107970. Retail pricing is $368.75.

Safe Travels:

The new case features a durable, double walled composite construction.
The new case features a durable, double walled composite construction.

The propeller is secured in the case by a nylon dowel and receiver. The prop hub sits snugly on a receiver in the center of the base. High density foam, mounted on the dowel, fits between the propeller hub and top cover. The dowel – secured on the top half fits within the receiver to interlock the propeller in place. The top and bottom halves of the case are secured by four steel locking clasps.

Form Follows Function:

The case is stackable thanks to the built in interlocking ribbing.
The case is stackable thanks to the built in interlocking ribbing.

Multiple recessed channels within the composite top and bottom covers enhance impact resistance for protection during  shipments and when transferred from a tow vehicle to the boat.

Embossed ribs on the top cover fit securely into slots on the  bottom cover which enables the cases to be stacked securely. A durable, spring loaded carrying handle retracts into a recessed area when not in use.

I’m looking forward to hear what you think about our new case. I think you’ll agree it is worth the investment.

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