Engine Choice

 mercury engine choice 3

Choosing your engine 

There are a number of points to take into consideration when selecting the correct outboard engine for your boat. The following information is intended as a basic guide only and we would advise that you contact your local Mercury Authorised Dealer who will be able to assist in choosing the correct engine for your boating situation. Please visit the Dealer Locator on the website to find details of your nearest Mercury dealer. 

Where will your outboard be used? 

The first thing to consider when choosing a suitable outboard engine is where is the outboard mainly being used. Running offshore and in coastal waters will have different requirements than on rivers, canals and lakes. For example lake trolling would call for smooth and quiet operation whilst going offshore would call for speed, acceleration and top-end performance.

Mercury engine choice 2 

Mercury Four-Strokes

  1. Inherent fourstroke characteristics include quiet, smooth operation and exceptional idling
  2. Superior corrosion protection provides longer life
  3. Precision engineered shift system for an improved driving experience
  4. Consistent, easy starting
  5. Outstanding fuel efficient economy
  6. Clean running engines for ultra low emissions
  7. New range of command thrust engines, an industry first, takes the concept of using a larger gearcase on a smaller base powerhead.
  8. 5 year warranty for leisure use only

mercury engine choice 1 

Mercury Verado

  1. The first ever supercharged four stroke delivers best-in-class torque and acceleration
  2. Verado is the most proven marine power ever produced with more than 25,000 hours of testing
  3. All major structural components specifically designed and built of the Verado for maximum performance and reliability
  4. SmartCraft digital throttle and shift provide smooth, quiet shift engagement and instantaneous throttle response SmartCraft technology with the Engine Guardian System monitors engine functions
  5. An insulated cowl system reduces engine noise plus patented induction muffling chambers and idler relief silencer
  6. Dramatically better torque than any four stroke and most two strokes
  7. 5 year warranty for leisure use only. Excludes Verado 350SCi


Mercury OptiMax

  1. Outstanding fuel economy
  2. Powerful and lightweight for outstanding acceleration and top speed
  3. 5 year warranty for leisure use only
  4. SmartCraft technology - monitors everything from fuel flow to GPS
  5. Exclusive Engine Guardian System constantly monitors over 40 sensors to give you advance warning of possible problems and takes action to minimise their potential impact
  6. Powerful, reliable 60 amp alternator system charge
  7. Exclusive XK360 aluminium alloy providing excellent protection against corrosion
  8. No engine oil and oil filter changes required
  9. Two stage direct fuel injection technology, smooth, smoke free, durable and reliable
  10. Built-in fresh water flushing system

Mercury optimax

Calculating shaft length of engine 

Petrol outboards are mounted onto the transom (stern) of the boat. To determine the correct mounting height you need to measure from the bottom of the boat to the top of the transom to find the correct shaft length. 

Locating Centre line of Boat Transom 

Locate (and mark with pencil) vertical centre line (a) of boat transom 


a – Centre line of Transom 

Outboard Mounting Height

outboard diagram


a - Height of outboard transom brackets from bottom of boat transom.

Calculating Weight and Horsepower 

Information relating to weight and horsepower can be found on the hull number plate which is fitted on the boat. Here you will find the maximum kW/hp/weight recommended for an outboard engine. The manufacturers recommended horsepower rating should not be exceeded. Older boats may only have information regarding maximum horsepower rating and in this case it would be advisable to contact the boat builder for maximum weight. 

quicksilver plate 

Propeller Selection 

In determining boat performance, propellers are second in importance only to the power available from the engine. The boat’s propeller affects every phase of performance, handling, riding, comfort, speed, acceleration, engine life, fuel economy and safety. The propeller is the primary connection between the engine and the water. Which propeller or propellers you select to make that connection is critical to achieving optimum boat performance. Every engine will produce its maximum horsepower at the maximum wide open throttle rpm which is stated for every engine. (This can be found in the Owners Handbook). For every one pitch you change the propeller the wide open throttle will change approximately 250rpm. If the engine is over propped the engine will not reach maximum rpm. This will result in high fuel consumption, loss of power and potential engine damage. If the engine is under propped this will allow the engine to over rev resulting in high fuel consumption and potential engine damage. 

See our Prop Selector, this guide will help you calculate the right prop for your boat type and how to use it. Learn More >

Find a Mercury dealer near you

 Find your nearest Mercury dealer

Learn More

Service & Support

Barrus is committed to the highest standards of customer service.

Learn more

Contact Us

Marketing Services Department,
E.P. Barrus Ltd, 
Glen Way,
Launton Road
Bicester, Oxfordshire
OX26 4UR        

Tel: 01869 363636

Email: customerservices@barrus.co.uk        

VAT Number: GB226662558

Company Registration Number: 148476

Follow Us