Mercury Marine has introduced of an ultra-lightweight and 15/20 horsepower EFI FourStroke outboard platform and a new multi-function tiller handle assembly that offers ambidextrous operation.
"We are thrilled to bring to the market an all-new 15/20hp EFI four-stroke outboard platform, ‒ an engine that is easy-to-start, intuitive-to- operate, lightweight, fuel-efficient, quiet, powerful and reliable," said John Buelow, Mercury Marine vice president of global category management. "Through extensive consumer research, we identified four defining features that our customers had been asking for, and these engines provide them. The goal is always to deliver an elite boating experience to our customers, and these engines do just that."
The engine will make its U.S. debut at the Minneapolis Boat Show in January 2018 as well as its debut in Canada at the Toronto Boat Show, also in January 2018.
Mercury's new multi-function tiller handle is an ergonomically enhanced control for the company's new 15/20hp EFI FourStroke outboard lineup. The lightweight portable outboard platform starts at just 99 pounds and is 11 pounds lighter than the platform it replaces in Mercury's outboard line.
"Mercury's all-new, proprietary tiller handle is adjustable in ways never seen before on portable outboards," said Jim Hergert, Mercury Marine category manager. "It can be set up for right- or left-hand operation and the vertical down stop is adjustable to accommodate specific boat layouts and body frames, enhancing the boating experience and making it extremely user-friendly."
Designed for anglers, recreational family boaters, and commercial operators, Mercury's new outboard features battery-free EFI for fast, reliable starting, instant throttle response and better overall performance and is among the lightest on the market, improving acceleration, top speed and handling. The ProKicker trolling engine comes standard with a high-thrust, four-blade prop, power tilt and Mercury's patented "kicker straps" that automatically center and lock the outboard in the tilt up position during high speed running to protect the clamp bracket from impact.
Like its siblings in the Mercury FourStroke outboard portfolio, the new 15/20hp EFI is designed with ease of maintenance in mind and features a clean, no-drip, no-spill oil drain system, fresh water flushing attachment, water separating fuel filter, and the under-cowl maintenance guide.
The all-new Mercury's 15/20hp EFI FourStroke outboard is available in Mercury, Mercury ProKicker and Sea Pro commercial variations.
"The user-focused tiller delivers a new level of features, functions, craftsmanship, style and control for portable outboards, enhancing the boating experience," Buelow said.
Traditionally, tiller handles are mounted on the port side of outboard motors, intended for left-hand operation.
However, Mercury Marine's user research found that a significant percentage of boaters prefer to control the tiller handle with their right hand. Mercury's new center mounted tiller is adjustable to optimize left- or right-hand control.
Using hand tools, boaters can adjust the tiller arm's horizontal angle 18 degrees port and starboard from center, at 6 degree increments.
The throttle grip rotation is also reversible to compliment the tiller angle position to provide a more intuitive and comfortable boating experience, regardless of driving-hand preference.
Today, boaters lack the ability to adjust a tiller's vertical operating angle. Mercury's user research showed that most boaters desire this capability, because boat layouts and body frames vary making tillers difficult to reach in some cases.
In response, Mercury designed an adjustable downstop that allows boaters to quickly and easily change the vertical operating angle of their tiller handle between -5 degrees and plus-10 degrees for easy reach and relaxed operation.
Mercury also designed a tilt lock feature that locks the tiller angle at 73 degrees. This feature is desirable for both fishing and trailering, positioning the tiller out of the way.