This is a question a lot of boaters have about most outboards they consider buying: How fast will it make the boat go at WOT (wide open throttle)? So, we will answer that question along with the one about the new V8 “200-hp” Verado.
Question #1: How fast will the new 200-hp Mercury Verado go?
Answer: Not very fast, because there is no such model. The new 4.6L V8 Verados come in only 250- and 300-hp versions. However, our reader’s confusion is understandable because Mercury has introduced 11 new V-8 models, one of which is a 200-hp engine – the Pro XS, which is specifically intended for bass, multi-species, and bay boats.
Question #2: How fast will a 200-hp outboard-powered boat go? The answer depends on a lot of factors, and that is why BoatTEST.com is in business – to show consumers how boats perform in certain configurations. WOT speed depends on dozens of factors, some of which are obvious, other not so much.
The type, specs, design and weight of the boats are the biggest factors. The prop geometry is another important consideration. Conditions, altitude and temperature also affect top speed as does running the boat in fresh and salt water. A dirty bottom will make a surprising difference, even from one week to the next. And even a small nick in the prop can slow a boat down. That is why the fine-print notations below our test grid are important to read.
Since the prop doesn’t know what brand of engine is turning it, in theory, all 200-hp engines should go the same speed on an identical boat, time and place. But there are other considerations that may have some effect, such as the weight of the engine and its torque curve. However, torque curves generally come together at the top end, making them all similar.
Our testing over the last 18 years seems to bear this out, as engines with the same horsepower have about the same WOT speed, usually within 1-3 mph, no matter what their brand, if total weights are about the same. Fuel consumption is another matter.
Finally, the RPMs at WOT should be noted. Often the RPMs at WOT are different one test to the next, even with the same engine on the same boat a week later. What changed? The bottom, a nick in the prop, added weight, atmospheric conditions? If an engine can’t turn the RPMs in its rated band, it will not develop the rated horsepower. Conversely, if it turns more than its rated RPM range, it will develop greater horsepower and go faster.
In any case, while to speed might be important to the local cowboys, few people spend more than a few minutes there and it is not very important in the overall scheme of the engine. More important is cruising speed and the fuel consumption there. Even trolling speed and speed at idle is actually more important that top speed.
Question #3: How fast twill the new 200-hp Mercury Pro XS go?
Answer: We don’t know, because we haven’t tested a boat powered by this specific engine as yet?
However, we have tested a 250-hp Pro XS on a Triton 21 TRX. The tested weight of the boat was estimated to be 2,812 lb., and the prop used was a 24” Fury. We tested in 15-20 mph wind with a chop on fresh water. The temperature was 74-degrees F, relative humidity was 64%, and we were at near sea level.
The top speed of the boat 73.7 mph, burning 24.5 gph, for 3.0 mpg.