Displacement and horsepower aren't the attributes that make the difference in Mercury’s new technological achievement. The two-speed automatic transmission and the steerable gearcase – the powerhead doesn’t move when steering- are the innovative features that will really change the future of outboard engines combined with their less demanding maintenance.
A few years ago no one could have imagined that boats of 45 or 50 feet could be powered by outboard engines. This is exactly why the new V12 Verado was designed, essentially putting a tombstone in the use of the sterndrives engines.
It is certainly not a racing engine, but it is designed to provide tremendous torque, economy, easy docking and low maintenance costs.
By creating this engine, Mercury can handle large and heavy boats without this meaning that the 600hp engine cannot be used in single-engine applications in smaller boats of 30 to 35 feet, as long as they do not affect their weight distribution and ride attitude.
It is also certain that Mercury has raised the bar of competition very high and is radically changing the construction standards of outboard engines. With its steerable gearcase, two-speed automatic transmission, dual contra-rotating propellers and 7.6 liters, V12 Verado offers amazing performance while having the smoothest and quietest operation of any large other outboard engine we have ever tested.
Steering the engines is now very easy as you do not need to move their total 1144 kg - in twin configurations - but just their lower units. In addition, the range of rotation increases as the V12 engines’ lower unit swing 15 degrees more than standard engines.
And of course, because the horsepower does not move the boats and is useless without the corresponding propellers, the propeller shaft is spinning dual, contra-rotating propellers with a four-blade one in the front and a three-blade in the back, having seven blades in the water with all that entails.
The two-speed automatic transmission, developed in collaboration with the German ZF, uses initially a higher 2.97: 1 gear ratio to increase torque helping heavy boats to jump on plane quickly, and then it is shifting into second 2.50: 1 when the load on the engine has been significantly reduced, resulting in better performance at higher rpm.
Prince 43cc is an open-cabin mega-Rib, ideal for tender of luxury yachts, which ensures complete freedom of movement on deck without depriving passengers of the opportunity to spend the night in a comfortable cabin.
The hard nose is lined with teak and offers a comfortable step for our boarding, but it could have the cleats on its side surfaces so as not to pose a risk of injury.
A step, which is lifted and reveals the large locker that houses the windlass and the chain of the anchor, leads to the sundeck of the bow.
In the bow is formed a comfortable dining area that can comfortably accommodate 6 people while it can very easily be converted into a large sun bed by lowering the table to the height of the pillows.
Under the seats there are three independent lockers that can host all the mandatory equipment of the boat as well as several of our luggage.
In the front of the long console is the cabin door which has a built-in seat that completes the bow’s gathering area.
The cabin that is configured inside the console can comfortably accommodate two adults, having a large corridor centrally leading to the independent bathroom area behind the instrument panel thus ensuring the highest possible height for the occupants.
With the corresponding addition to the corridor, a very large double bed is formed under of which there are several storage spaces for the cabin equipment.
The instrument panel is made of carbon and can host large navigation screens, while having the appropriate inclination so that we can immediately inspect their indications either when driving upright or when sitting.
The steering wheel is centrally located while there are three helm seats that are suspended in the front of the large polyester construction that houses the wet bar of the boat.
The outdoor kitchen is fully equipped and at the back there is a large drawer refrigerator, right and left of which there are cabinets for placing appliances.
Further back, in a U-shape, the largest gathering area of the boat is formed which depending on the location of the large electric table can be converted into either a dinette for 8 people or a huge bed of relaxation and sunbathing.
We especially liked the design of the two independent seats of the stern lounge, which have armrests on their right and left, constituting ideal positions during navigation.
Behind the backrests of the aft seats is the large stern sundeck which is lifted by an electric mechanism and reveals the largest storage space of the boat.
The swimming platform is very large for our comfortable movement, while a part of it extends between the engines to receive the catwalk for our boarding.
On the transom of Prince 43cc, the new powerful V12 Verado engines were mounted which were even quite far apart due to the platform that enters between them.
With 572 kg each, a maximum rpm limit of 5600-6400 and a gear ratio of 2.50: 1, they were turning the 27.5-inch Mercury’s dual, contra-rotating propellers.
With 300 liters of fuel and 3 crew members we went out of the port of Genoa where the big waves and the bad weather conditions were a very good opportunity to evaluate the capabilities of the hull of the Prince 43cc.
Our impressions were excellent, as we have emphasized many times for all the models of Nuova Jolly we have tested, with the extremely deep V of the hull giving us very soft riding in every direction of waves.
It is characteristic that we could run at a speed of 46 knots having the wind in our left side, with the waves exceeding two meters in height, feeling completely safe without the spray even reaching the deck.
The Rib showed us great flexibility and very good handling despite its large size, while the incredible power of the new Mercury engines got it on plane directly with 12 knots at 2200 rpm.
At 3000 rpm we were traveling with 21 knots burning 3.4 liters per nautical mile. This was also the most economical cruising speed which gives us a range of 88 nautical miles on the 300 liters of fuel that our tanks had.
At 3500 rpm we were running with 26 knots consuming 4.2 liters per mile, while at 4000 rpm Prince 43cc reached 30 knots consuming 4.1 liters per nautical mile.
At 4500 rpm our speed was 36 knots with a fuel consumption of 4.3 liters per mile, while at 5000 rpm we reached 46 knots burning 4.9 liters per mile.
The numbers we recorded can be seen in the table below:
Due to the bad weather conditions we were not able to open wide the throttles, but according to the manufacturer Prince 43cc reaches 55.5 knots with the engines taking out all their rpm recommended by Mercury.
Taking a closer look at our measurement table, we find out the very low slip values we recorded even at medium rpm, which combined with the fact that the engines are capable of reaching their maximum rpm limit show an excellent set-up.
It is worth noting that the low slip values are mainly a result of the top performance of the dual and contra rotating propellers that offer the maximum possible stern lift, seeming completely indifferent to the loads.
Nuova Jolly Marine
Via Bologna, 3/5 - 20060 Bussero (Milano)
Tel. 02/95334031 - Fax 02/9503235