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@2005-Mercury Marine
Printed in U.S.A.
90-849250R03 505
The following information is presented in an effort to walk new high performance
through a series of instructional steps to prepare them for the different boat handling
characteristics associated with high performance
Operators Knowledge and Experience
A high performance
boat is not the beginners rig for a new and inexperienced boater. To
the contrary, it should be regarded as the most advanced level of boating that only a
knowledgeable, experienced and skilled boater should pursue.
Yes, it is very easy to get "turned on" to high performance
boating by watching them
perform on television and reading the powerboatmagazines
that extol the thrills of the
Good common sense can easily be pushed
aside by the desire to be a high performance
boat operator before acquiring the necessary basic knowledge and experience.
When you are ready to
this advanced level of boating, select a competent marine
dealer well versed in high performance
boating to guide you in your selection based on
your experience, usage and needs. Ensure that the dealer, or recommended expert you
select, spends time with you during your first high performance
boating experiences. This
expert support and training will help prepare you for safe and enjoyable high performance
Terms Used ln This Booklet
Bow Searching, Hunting - The tendency for a boat to creep into a slight unintended
turn during slow or idle speed operation. Usually associated with deep-V hull designs,
or hulls with a sharp V at the bow.
Bow Steer- Can occur on plane when the boat is running flat or in a bow down attitude.
Usually caused when the outboard engine or sterndrive is "trimmed in" too far. Can
cause unintentional turns which, if uncontrolled, can result in a full spin out.
Cavitation - As a shape passes
through water at an increasing speed, the pressure
that holds the water to the sides and back of the shape is lowered. Depending upon
the water temperature, when the pressure reaches a sufficiently low level, boiling will
begin. This occurs most often on a propeller
at the leading edge of the Blade. lt can
also occur on the side of a gearcase
or inside the water pump. When speed is reduced
and the pressure goes up, boiling will subside.
Chine Walk - An occurrence associated with V-bottom hulls, with or without a pad.
when this type of hull is operated at high speed, only a minimum of "V" or pad is in
the water. Hull wetted area is minimal. In a well "trimmed
out" attitude of the outboard
engine or sterndrive, the hull may have a tendency to roll or fall off of the point of pad
to one side and then the other. This rolling action must be stopped or controlled if the
oscillation appears to be intensifying. Unchecked, the boat may go out of control and
flip over or eject the occupants. lt is controlled by small, properly timed continuous
steering corrections. lt also helps to have a very tight steering system with minimal
crab, crab Angle - An oblong object, such as a boat or gearcase, moving ahead but
not directly in line with its longitudinal axis. For example, the slight angle to the left or
right that the gearcase is moving in relation to the water flowing past it. Most
with an elevated engine installation and surfacing type propellers.
term can also refer to a boat when its bow is not pointed directly in the direction of
travel, such as in a turn or in a strong side wind.
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Cup - When the trailing edge of the propeller blade is formed or cast with an edge curl
outward (away from boat) increasing the pitch, it is said to have a cup. The cup helps
the blades to hold (not break loose) when operating in a cavitating or ventilating
situation. This then permits the engine or sterndrive to be trimmed out further or be
mounted higher on the transom resulting in reduced gearcase drag or a more efficient
hull attitude.
Crisp Cup - Refers to the trailing edges of cupped propeller blades. Crisp, means a
nice, sharp, clean edge on the pressure side of the cup. Not rounded or laid back.
Cupped Skeg - Located under the anti-ventilation plate, the trim tab loses its effect of
compensating for steering torque as the engine (gearcase) is raised higher on the
transom. Some high rake propellers require the trim tab to be removed to provide
blade clearance on some gearcases. To help compensate for the lack of, or reduced
trim tab effect, some gearcases have skegs that are cambered or cupped on the
trailing edge. There are also wedges that can be attached to the trailing edge of the
skeg to serve the same purpose. With the usual right hand rotation propeller that will
"paddle wheel" to the right, the skeg cup will be to the right.
Cushion, or Shock Absorbing Hubs - Propellers with a rubber drive hub surrounding
the drive splines which provide shock absorption during shifting or low speed light
Dampen Out - Used in conjunction with chine walking or porpoising. lndicates the
oscillation reduces or stops without corrective action by the driver.
Foot Throttle - An accessory item that allows the throttle function to be separated from
the combined throttle/shift operation common in the single lever side mounted remote
control. Allows the driver to control the throttle with his foot and keep both hands on
the steering wheel. Provides a means of achieving throttle spring back to neutral but
is subject to unintended throttle action in rough water. A foot throttle is normally used
in sit-down race boats.
Hook A Chine - Chine refers to the edge on each side of the hull where the bottom
meets the hull sides. Hooking a chine occurs when the chine dips down far enough
to dig into the water usually in a turn. This can cause the boat to hook or dig in and
cause the boat to suddenly turn more sharply than anticipated and/or roll up on its
outside edge. ln severe cases, the boat can roll over and/or occupants can be ejected.
Gunnel - The upper top side area of a boat above the rub rail. Most generally a flat
section, sometimes equipped with step pads which are used to step onto when
entering or exiting a boat.
Gearcase Blowout, Propeller Blowout - Water flow around the gearcase and to the
propeller must be virtually undisturbed to provide optimum propeller thrust, steering
control and cooling water intake. Under certain conditions of engine height and trim
angle, a boat speed may be reached where the vertical and horizontal crab angle of
the gearcase torpedo is sufficient to prevent the water from flowing normally around
the sides of the torpedo. A subsequent increasing reduction in local water pressure
near the nose of the torpedo can finally result in the formation of cavitation. As speed
continues to increase, the cavitation bubble stream stretches further toward the aft
end of the torpedo where the exhaust gas is exiting. When this low pressure bubble
stream finally reaches the exhaust gas, the gas can rush into this low pressure area
and almost instantly flood all the way forward to the origin of the cavitation bubbles.
At the same time, the exhaust gas also spreads out sideways into the adjacent low
pressure regions on the side of the gearcase, strut and/or skeg, and are instantly
washed back into the propeller blades. The sudden multiple effects of this action
A loss of thrust resulting in a speed reduction
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An increase in RPM (increased propeller slip)
A loss of bow lift generated by the propeller resulting in a less efficient, flatter
hull attitude.
A sudden change in steering load with the boat usually wanting to veer slightly
to the left.
IMPORTANT: These could result in a momentary loss of control by an unsuspecting or
inexperienced driver.
lntegrated Transom System (lTS) - A sterndrive transom system designed for
sterndrive applications that integrates hydraulic steering and trim systems.
Jerk Tests (Now known by the American Boat and Yacht Council as the Quick Turn
Test) - A series of steering maneuvers performed at progressively increasing boat
speeds with the engine trimmed out for optimum planing speeds. The steering wheel
is abruptly turned 1805 in the direction toward which the torque is pulling the wheel.
The purpose is to find out the nature of the boat reaction to an emergency avoidance
Lanyard Stop Switch - (Also known as an Emergency Stop Switch or Kill Switch)An
ignition shut off switch that is actuated by a lanyard that is attached to the driver's life
clothing or body. The purpose of which is to turn off the engine if the driver is
thrown from or leaves his position behind the wheel far enough to actuate the switch
for any unexpected reason.
Mush or Mushing - Refers to the forward motion of the boat in a bow high attitude at
a velocity
short of that needed to plane the boat off where it will then achieve a
much more level ride. This velocity is generally somewhere between 10 mph and 20
mph. Any boat's greatest wake is generated in the mush condition or operation. ln
some boats, forward visibility can be noticeably reduced during this bow high mush
condition. This very inefficient boat attitude should be passed through as quickly as
Nose Cone - A streamlined addition that can be added to the nose of the gearcase
torpedo. A nose cone adds more rudder area, which in turn will reduce the crab angle,
but most importantly, raises the threshold velocity where serious cavitation can lead
to gearcase blowout.
Non-Through Hub Exhaust - Terminology used to describe a propeller hub style that
allows engine exhaust discharged through the back of the gearcase torpedo to exit
directly over the propeller hub and blade roots. There is no exhaust containing tube.
The absence of this tube eliminates tube drag and can thereby increase top speed,
but this allows gearcase blowout to occur more easily. The absence of the tube can
also make planing off slightly more difficult.
Paddle Wheel Effect - As a rotating propeller is elevated through the surface of the
water, either by
or mounting the engine or drive in a high position, a sideways
force imbalance occurs whereby the propeller in addition to providing thrust, wants to
walk sideways in the direction of rotation. This pull, which can be substantial, can be
felt through a conventional steering system and must be resisted at the steering
Porpoise, Porpoising, Bounce - Terms used to describe a continual rhythmic up and
down motion of the boat bow, not caused by wave action. Usually associated with
over trimming the engine (too far out), weight distribution (center of gravity too far aft)
or hull bottom design (aft bottom surface has a rocker).
Prop Blow Out - Refer to Gearcase Blow Out.
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Rake or Blade Rake - Refers to the blade slant, relative to a plane perpendicular to
the plane of the propeller shaft. Typical rake angle can vary from -55 (forward slant)
to 305 (rearward slant). This angle is unrelated to the pitch angle.
Sharp Leading Edge (propeller blade) - Term used to describe the leading (fonruard)
edge, important for surfacing type propellers. For optimum performance the leading
edge should be sharp (an edge that is between 0.127 mm (0.005 in.)and 0.381 mm
(0.015 in.) thick. Not quite as sharp as a razor blade) not rounded or beveled.
Solid Hub Propellers - The splines to fit the propeller shaft are machined directly into
the propeller hub. Shock absorbing hub inserts are not used. A solid hub propeller is
not recommended for use on units that are shiftable and use the standard dog clutch
shifting mechanism. The shock loads during shifting can be damaging to the drive
Solid or Firm Motor Mounts - Outboard engines intended for general use are designed
with rubber mounts suitably soft to isolate most of the engine vibration from the boat.
On some fast boats where delicate control becomes more essential, it may be
desirable to incorporate mounts with much reduced or no flexibility. Of course with
the use of such alternate mounts comes increased boat vibration.
Spin-Out - Refers to a boat while on plane suddenly turning sharply, often reversing
direction. This is usually caused by a forward area of the hull digging into the water
and veering to one side allowing the aft end of the boat to rapidly pivot around the
bow. This can be associated with starting an intended turn, then compounded by a
bow steer situation, running bow down, hooking a chine, or even hooking an inside
sponson of a true tunnel boat.
Squirrely, Squirreliness - Refers to somewhat unpredictable running characteristics
of a boat that gives the driver an uneasy feeling as to the handling and control at a
specific speed, balance and trim setting. This condition requires the driver's undivided
attention at all times.
Steering Backlash - This term refers to any play or lost motion in the steering system
between the engine steering arm and the steering wheel. lt is always desirable, but
particularly with hi-performance boats, that steering backlash be minimized. Dual
steering cables, correctly adjusted, used with outboards & single sterndrives or dual
hydraulic steering cylinders attached directly to dual sterndrives are excellent
installations for minimizing back lash.
Strake - Strakes are lifting surfaces incorporated most often on the bottom of V-type
hulls. They are placed parallel to and on either side of the V or keel. They may start
at or ahead of the transom, and run fon,uard toward the bow. Depending on the desired
running attitude of the boat, the number, width and length of the strakes may vary
from one hull design to another.
Through-Hub Exhaust - Propellers with through-hub exhaust contain an outer hub to
which the blades are attached. The outer hub is in direct contact with the water. The
inside area between the inner and outer hub, provides the passage for engine exhaust
gases to exit, thus the name through-hub exhaust. This is the most common propeller
design used on outboard engines and sterndrives.
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Tow-ln, Tow-Out - These terms apply to dual outboard engine or sterndrive
installations. The propeller shafts of both gearcases should be parallel to each other
when maximum speed is attained. When counter-rotating gearcases and propellers
are used, the two units should be adjusted with some tow-in or tow-out at rest, so that
at maximum speed the side forces (paddle wheel effect e.g.) will pull the units into a
parallel position taking up the inevitable play in the steering system.
Trim, Engine or Drive - Larger outboards and sterndrive units can be remotely
adjusted in a vertical-longitudinal plane. This feature is referred to as power trim.
Changing the outboard or drive unit angle alters the running attitude of the hull in
relation to the water surface.
common Rererences
that the outboard ensine or sterndrive is
adjusted so that the propeller shaft is parallel to the surface of the water. ln this
position, there would be no steering torque with an outboard (possibly a little with a
Trim-ln, Trim Down, Trim Under, Kicked ln - Refers to the outboard engine or
sterndrive unit being trimmed or moved in toward the transom. This pushes the bow
Trim out, Trim Up, Kicked Out - These terms describe the outboard engine or
sterndrive unit position as it is adjusted away from the neutral position and the
transom. This lifts the bow somewhat. Excessive trim out may no longer hold the bow
up as the prop begins to lose its bite.
Trailering Position - Tilting the outboard engine or sterndrive beyond the normal
running position to maximum tilt up position. Convenient for beaching, trailering, or
idling in shallow water.
Trim Tab - A manually adjustable metal trim device located on the aft, underside of
the anti-ventilation plate on the gearcase. The trim tab can be rotated to either port
or starboard of center as required to help reduce possible steering torque at a specific
speed and engine or drive trim setting. The trim tab is effective only when the outboard
or drive are mounted at a lower or conventional installation height. Once considerable
air gets under the anti-ventilation plate, the trim tab becomes ineffective. Trim Tab is
also a term used for the After Planes or Trim Planes which are attached to the transom
of some boats near the chine and are used to adjust the boat longitudinal and lateral
Ventilation - An occurrence when air from the waters surface or exhaust gases from
the exhaust outlet are drawn into the propeller blades. The normal water load is
reduced and the propeller over revs, loosing much of it's thrust.
Water Pressure Gauge - A dash mounted pressure gauge used to monitor the cooling
water pressure in the cylinder block. Proper interpretation will indicate inadequate
cooling water to the engine and can thus assist in averting engine damage.
Kits Mentioned in this Manual
Description Part Number
Anode Kit 76214Q5
Dual Trim Control Kit 9036243
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