The 60R Fourtstroke Outboard Engine
With the new Mercury Racing 60R outboard motor, Mercury racing has answered yet another call from us in the fishing world. We needed a lighter weight shorter engine package that had some guts for our technical skiff applications. I am pretty excited about the results.
No Strangers To Fishing
For many years Mercury Racing has built race-specific outboard motors. Some of that changed back in 1999 when they additionally jumped into the fishing boat world making race-inspired outboard motors for fishing boats. Since then they have developed many different engine platforms that we see every day on the water. Outboard motors that specialized in handling the grueling world of tournament fishing where speed wins. Then to the recreational boater who wanted just a little more performance than his neighbor and wasn’t shy about paying the premium for it. The new Mercury Racing 60r is another one of those “race-inspired” outboard motors made for fishing.
The 60R Physical Differences
Shorter than its cousin the 60 Fourstroke the 60R comes in a 15″ midsection. This is a welcome change for the technical flats fishing skiff market. A technical flats skiffs transom is by nature, pretty short. Because of this often times I see extensions put on them to fit the 20″ midsection lengths of many traditional outboards. This is no longer needed with the 60R. She bolted right to my flats fishing skiff with no adjustment needed. In fact, I run her to the top of the jack plate often when I am on a plane with no issues of cavitation. This allows me also to get on a plane in skinnier waters and not make a mess of the pristine flats that I fish.
Speaking of balance technical flats skiffs are not super beamy so they tend to be a bit tippy. With the shorter 15″ motor of the 60R I welcome the lower center of gravity making my technical flats fishing skiff, more stable keeping the weight of the power head lower to the water. This is great for us “larger” people to be more comfortable on our light weight skiffs.
Sorter shaft can also means lighter weight. Coming in at just under 270lbs the Mercury Racing 60R is perfect on my skiff. When I switched to the 60R I was replacing my 90hp Four stroke that was over 100lbs heavier. This is a huge weight savings for a skiff that weighs less than 700 lbs.
So Thats the physical differences. Lets talk performance.
High Thrust Gear Case Makes A Difference
Mercury Racing uses the high thrust gear case for this package. There are a few advantages here. First is lift. A larger diameter gear case will aid in hole shot just with its physical dimensions. As the gear case starts to move through the water a larger diameter case at 4.25″ will start to create lift immediately putting lightweight skiffs on a plane faster. With the larger gear case I also get to take advantage of a much larger propeller selection to completely dial in my package to perfection and gain the most out of it. This is a win win for me in my application.
Under The Hood 60R Performance
Under the hood of the Mercury Racing 60r is a power head that comes already validated. For over 10 years the Mercury 60 Foustroke EFI 1 litre naturally aspirated inline 4 been working on the back of so many recreational boating and commercial applications with huge success that it has nothing to prove. There are many things that this little motor brings to the table in a big way still keeping it a light weight outboard motor. For starters the single overhead cam helps keep things light. For our energy thirsty fishing boats the 18 amp alternator keeps up with the load of a bait pump and electronics. Mechanical throttle and shift make it super easy to maintain and re-power any boat while still benifiting from the Smartcraft engine monitoring to ensure vitals don’t get hurt. I call that “basic high tech”.
Mercury Racing just put a few little tweaks to an already amazing engine by adding some really sharp looking decals. As mentioned above the 60r has a shortened 15″ mid section that so many of us wanted. Then, they peaked the stable performance of this motor by stretching out the RPM band to widely accommodate a larger propeller selection. Basically they sharpened the knife..
Out The Door With The Mercury Racing 60R
Is this motor right for you? The 60R is a niche application for sure. The boater that wants this engine desires to have the best tool for the job of powering a skiff that has 15″ capability. Wants to float shallower and steadier and have beter performance in hole shot and top end than any other engines in the same horse power class. Plus the desire to have a motor that looks really cool.
Out the door buyers get 3 years of Mercury Racing backed factory warranty with an optional 5 more years extended Mercury Racing Backed factory warranty. Thats a lot of warranty. There is never a reason to shy away from Mercury Racing product because of warranty.
The Real Deal For My Skiff | The 60R
I just love the 60r it for my technical flats fishing skiff. When Mercury Racing was thinking about doing this project I was running a 90hp 20″ Mercury four stroke on my skiff. This motor ran amazing but was heavy and made my boat a bit tippy. With the 90 I was able to get 40 mph before the boat just went out of shape from exceeding its hull speed. With the 90 I was floating in about 9 -10 inches of water and felt I was poling up hill all the time due to the excessive transom weight. Not exactly a great “technical” Flats fishing skiff.
It was May of 20′ and the polished production product Mercury Racing 60r was at my door. I did not hesitate to get her bolted on and run it, needless to say I was super excited. Working with the prop guys we hit the mark pretty well with a good prop and my findings were amazing. Hole shot was impressive with on plane time in less than 6 seconds. Mid range fuel economy was 8.8 MPG at 26 mph. Top end was also impressive at 36.7 MPH with me and another person and almost full tank of fuel.
My ride also improved. This boat rode very well to start with as long as she is kept fully engaged. Not a ton of trim and she will stay dry and split the waves with her bow entry very well. Now this ride got even better. I am able to trim a little more, boat feels lighter and handling characteristics are like she is on a rail. Where she used to get me a little wet, not she doesn’t. All of these were improvements related to the change in engine.
Now.. let’s talk about why we have these boats – To Go Flats Fishing. The first time I got on the platform to pole on the flats the boat felt level as can be with one angler on the bow. My boat did not squat and I could feel how shallow she was floating. Testing her on the flats the boat spun on her middle instead of her transom making her swifter on approaching fish. The glide was improved with the less weight on the transom as well as she is more level due to the less weight. And the depth.. Oh mY. what a difference over the 355 lb 90. This skiff is now a true 7 inch poling depth boat.
As you can see, going to the Mercury Racing 60R checked a lot of boxes for me to fine tune my technical poling skiff, for my Key West fishing charters where hole shot, torque, confidence in mid range cruise speed and shallow easy pole-a-bility are all key features. I am very happy with my set up with the Mercury Racing 60r.
Note.. top end was just 3.3 mph slower than the 90 hp I used to run on this same boat. But my cruise speeds were about the same.
Feel Free to send me emails with questions about the Mercury Racing 60R