MIBS 2016: Mercury intros new 115 Pro XS, accessories

Mercury rolled out a new 115hp outboard and a bevy of new accessories Wednesday as it builds on its "ecosystem" strategy.

While the company introduced several new products at the Miami International Boat Show, the emphasis was on the company's efforts to simplify boating at a media briefing Wednesday.

"Even if you produce one great product after another, you can still be behind unless you have a great ecosystem around it," said David Foulkes, chief technology officer at Brunswick Corp.

Foulkes explained Mercury's three-step strategy, consisting of building class-leading core products and integrated prop-to-helm solutions to create a "compelling, consumer-centric, connected ecosystem."

Based on the Mercury 115 FourStroke, the new Mercury 115 Pro XS is 16 pounds lighter than the two-stroke engine it replaces and 18 pounds lighter than the nearest competing 115hp engine.

The new engine has several advantages, according to Mercury:

  • Its 2.1L displacement is higher than that of any competing 115hp engine
  • Up to 3 mph faster than its nearest competitor and more than 1 mph faster than Mercury’s standard 115 FourStroke.
  • More than 1 second quicker than Mercury’s standard 115 FourStroke. The ability to
    run lower-pitch props puts the boat on plane quicker, reducing 0-to-20mph acceleration time by 1 to 2 seconds.
  • Higher full-throttle rpm, increasing engine rpm from 6000 to 6300
  • Idle-Charge feature provides up to 48 percent more battery charging at idle speed

Industry-exclusive options for high-output outboard engine models include a 25-inch shaft available in addition to the standard 20-inch shaft and the Command Thrust gearcase that makes the engine compatible with Mercury’s larger-diameter propellers.

Among the other Mercury products introduced or updated this week:

Active Trim

Mercury Marine officially launched Active Trim, several months after its unofficial debut last year.

Active Trim is designed to make boating easier and more enjoyable by automatically trimming outboard and sterndrive engines and is compatible with 40hp to 400hp Mercury FourStroke outboards, two-stroke outboards with SmartCraft, and all gas and diesel MerCruiser sterndrive engines with SmartCraft. The system is also available for retrofitting to engines already in the field.

Active Trim exclusive has five selectable trim profiles that accommodate nearly any boat application, from small runabouts, pontoons, bass boats and cruisers to high-performance applications. Active Trim will be available in mid-March from Mercury dealers and boat companies.

Enertia ECO props

Mercury Propellers introduced 18", 20", and 22" pitch Enertia ECO propellers, joining the four existing 17", 19", 21", and 23" pitches. Available in both right-hand and left-hand rotation, Enertia ECO propellers fit all outboard engines from 135 hp and up, as well as Alpha and Bravo One sterndrives.

Next generation joystick control

The next generation of the Joystick Piloting System for Verado outboards, Axius gas and diesel sterndrives, and Zeus pod drives includes several new features:

  • Updated styling
  • Integrated Precision Pilot Pad functionality designed to make joystick control more intuitive.
  • Mode indicator prominently indicates to the operator Route, Heading and Skyhook modes and shows how to change Heading in 1- and 10-degree increments.
  • New LED light ring changes color to indicate status of joystick operating mode
  • Electronic Steering Helm replaces the electric steering motor, eliminating a 20-amp circuit for the boat builder, and provides the operator more intuitive feedback on boat speed, steering angle, wheel turning rate and acceleration.
  • Enhanced reverse thrust for Verado outboards provides better control in Joystick Piloting for outboards applications.
  • Combined, auto-calibrating IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit)/GPS designed to make
    Joystick Piloting System easier for boat builders to install and configure.

Side Mount Mechanical Remote Control

The new Side Mount Remote Control for outboard mechanical engines up to 300hp – which replaces the previous model that performed well for many years – boasts a redesigned handle with longer grip for improved ergonomics, upgraded shift mechanism to improve shift quality and feel, and advanced anti-corrosion attributes to protect critical throttle and shift components.

VesselView 502 & 702

The new VesselView502 has a 5-inch widescreen display with 16x9 HD aspect ratio. Its multitouch
interface screen has no buttons (although users may opt for a remote display control
interface with rotary dial and buttons). Data for up to four engines can be displayed onscreen.

VesselView502 is capable of interfacing with broadband sonar with CHIRP, DownScan imaging,
and a full-featured chart plotter (operators need to purchase detailed maps for their boating
region). Equipped with a Micro SD card slot on the back of the unit, it comes with internal highspeed,
10 Hz GPS; Wi-Fi; Bluetooth, and it is GoFree cloud-enabled.

The VesselView702 comes with a 7-inch widescreen display with 16x9 HD aspect ratio. Its
multi-touch screen incorporates a keypad and rotary dial. Data from up to four engines can be
displayed onscreen. The unit incorporates two video inputs and a Micro SD card slot. An
Ethernet connection allows it to interface with radar, sonar and chart-sharing (one card, multiple
devices). The VesselView702 also features internal GPS and a full-featured chart plotter
(operators need to purchase detailed maps for their boating region). A GoFree WiFi module is
included as part of the kit.

Both new VesselView multi-function displays are NMEA 2000-compatible and are capable of
interfacing with AIS (Automatic Identification System), C-Zone digital switching and audio
interfaces from Fusion Link or Sonic Hub. Free periodic software updates will be available via
WiFi through the GoFree Store.

VesselView Link

VesselView Link is a “black box” system that integrates a Mercury-powered boat’s SmartCraft data and control system with specific Simrad and Lowrance instruments, providing a fully functional Mercury VesselView user interface on those units' displays.

Available as a single-engine or multi-engine (two to four engines) interface, Mercury VesselView Link  installs beneath the boat's dash. It is engineered to work with the following instruments: Simrad NSS evo2 and NSO evo2 marine processors, and Lowrance HDS Gen 2 Touch and HDS Gen 3 fish finder/chart plotters.

Mercury’s new VesselView Link provides the user with instant access to advanced Mercury SmartCraft features, including ECO mode, Troll Control, Cruise Control, SmartTow tow sport launch control system and descriptive fault text for any potential propulsion issue available in 16 user-selectable

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