Almost two decades in the making, wild speculation on when Mercury Marine would release a more-powerful Verado outboard engine beyond its existing 400-hp version officially ended in early February with the release of the Verado 600, a V-12 beast-of- an outboard designed to move heavy boats more efficiently measured in tons than pounds. Yet the true beauty of this 1,260- to 1,334-pound, naturally aspirated creation, which members of the marine media got their first taste of during an event at Lake X— Mercury’s vaunted/haunted test facility in St. Cloud, Fla.—lies not in its power output but in its technological sophistication.
Designed to move heavy loads, the new Mercury Marine V-12 outboard engine platform is a truly innovative creation. Photos courtesy/copyright Mercury Marine.
The most obvious feature of the engine, which also comes in a 500-hp version? Unlike that of pretty much every other outboard on the planet, the entire Verado 600 outboard doesn’t turn—its powerhead never moves. Instead, the engine is equipped with a dual-propeller (contra-rotating), drive-by-wire steerable gear- case. Instead, the engine is equipped with a dual-propeller (contra-rotating), drive-by-wire steerable gear- case. According to Mercury Marine press materials, the contra-rotating props “simplify docking with higher reverse authority.”
The gear-case and fixed- powerhead setup reportedly improves handling, simplifies installation and eliminates boat-mounted components. Those features, plus the V-12 outboard’s remarkably compact footprint with 27-inch centers, enable boatbuilders to mount multiple Verado 600s with less space between them if needed.
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