New Mercruiser Mercury Marine engine stern drive engine 380 Hp to 700 Hp

Seabuddy boat test of the new Mercruiser Mercury Marine engine from seabuddy. First on-the-water boat test.

Mercruiser now owns the tooling to make the former Chevrolet 502 engine. They use this engine in their Mercury Racing division for Mercury Marine Mercruiser Racing engines from 525 Hp, 600 Hp, 662 Hp, and 700 Hp.

Now they (Mercury Marine Mercruiser) have discontinued their two versions of the, made by Chevrolet, 496 engine and offer this Mercruiser Mercury Marine 502 engine in family boat, sport boat power outputs of 380 Hp and 430 Hp.

Thus, Mercury Marine has invented a new family boat engine for 2010. Any 496 Mercury Marine Mercruiser powered boat has a now discontinued engine powering it. There is inventory out there at boat dealers, but that is about it. Seabuddy has not heard of a program to offer extra discounts on the discontinued Mercury Marine 496 inventory yet.

Volvo, still uses their on-hand inventory of Chevrolet made 496 engines at 375 Hp and 420 Hp for 2010 and the foreseeable future. They bought all the on-hand inventory from Chevrolet to keep Volvo in stock on engines. Volvo will have to make a change in the future once their on-hand inventory of 496 engines runs out. But that future change in a boat model year down-the-road is not yet public information.

All new family and sport versions of the 502 Mercury Marine Mercruiser engine require two Catalytic Converters, but  any 496 engine is exempt from needing Catalytic Converters for 2010 except for CA boats. The 525 Hp, 600 Hp, 662 Hp, and 700 Hp Mercury Racing engines do not need catalytic converters as they are over the Hp ceiling (500Hp) that federal law requires Catalytic Converters be used under.

How does she run?

Better, faster,  acceleration from about 2,700 rpms on up. A huge amount of torque that is the reason for continuously pushing speed numbers forward FAST on up to 4,200 rpm for the 380 Hp Mercury Marine Mercruiser and to just over 4,700 rpms on the 430 Hp version with its different, upgraded  internal parts like the camshaft. She is a Smoothy, too, some how the balance of Mercury Marine Mercruiser engine with the Mercury Marine Mercruiser Bravo III x drive and Mercury Marine Mercruiser prop set marry with the 7,500 lb big Cobalt boat and deliver a new level of smoothness to seabuddy.  Not that much else is different by seabuddy seat-of-the-pants.

Yes, she holds her grip on very solid water bite to the props in more violent turns. A big improvement really, but how often does a family boater whip a 30 foot plus boat around a slalom cross type turns? Boat testers do, as we want to see what is either a strong or weak point in a rig under test conditions. Here, it’s the Mercury Marine Mercruiser prop set and the ideal, precise  way the boat builder has dialed in this package.

And the Mercury Marine Mercruiser is quiet. That feature should be attributed to the new Exhaust system using the two catalytic converters. Get a switch able exhaust and the sound gives off that level of sound that  is music to a performance boat owner’s ear.

Top speed was 50 mph in a quick, short run this day, but there should be another mile an hour or two available if you take the time for a longer run on a higher hour Mercury Marine Mercruiser package (say about 50 hours on the engine hour meter). We were three aboard with and some fuel on this day. Add another 12 mph to the 50 – 52 mph in this boat if you buy a twin Mercury Marine Mercruiser package.

Our boat test was a 296 Cobalt bow rider boat that measures 30 feet 2 inches with a 9 foot 5 inch beam for a generous 8’ 8” interior beam in the cockpit. She was a big, roomy bow rider, quick in the water for the helmsman and a luxury soft ride for the passengers.


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