A BoatTEST.com member who is buying a new 28’ (8.53 m) dual console boat asked us what the difference was between the new 300-hp V8 Verado, and the existing 350 L6 Verado – other than the obvious 50-hp difference. This was a good question because matching the right engine to each individual boat model is the most important decision a boat-buying consumer must make. Here’s our answer…
The Question: What is the difference between the new V8 300-hp Verado and the existing L6 350 Verado?
The Answer: The 5.44” lower unit gears are the same, (although the torpedo has been redesigned on the new model), but virtually everything else is different about the two engines, except that they are both 4-stroke machines.
First, the new 300-hp Verado is a 4.6L naturally aspirated V8. This compares to the 350-hp Verado, which is a 2.6L supercharged in-line 6.
So, the two engines are night-and-day different – one relying on the supercharger to pack in air, and the other relying on large displacement. There are many other differences, as well. For example, the 350 Verado has a 70-amp alternator and the new 300 V8 has a 115-amp unit, the 350 needs 89 octane fuel, and the new 300 runs on 87 octane gas, the old 350 is 2-Star CARB rated for emissions, and the new 300 is 3-Star.
Interestingly, the new V8 weighs 600 lbs. (272 kg) compared to 668 lbs. (303 kg) for the in-line 6 supercharged 350. This 10% reduction in weight is, perhaps, the most remarkable achievement of Mercury’s engineers. Generally speaking, we find that an extra 50-hp will add 3 to 5 mph to the boat’s top end, but in this case, with the 68 lb. (31 kg) weight reduction, we’d guess the difference would be on the low end of that scale.
Full throttle RPM ratings: 5200-6000 for the new V8 300 Verado, and 5800-6400 for the in-line 6 supercharged Verado.
Both engines have the Advanced MidSection to reduce vibration and noise, but obviously the new model has the next generation version. The in-line 6 supercharged platform was introduced 14 years ago, and while the 350-hp model is a relatively recent introduction, basically it uses older technology and does not have many of the new features found on the V8 platform.
Consumers need to identify their power requirements and carefully compare the two engines to find the best fit.
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