The new Mercury Marine EFI FourStroke 12/20hp engine is the world’s first portable outboard equipped with an efficient tiller handle which can be adjusted for right- and left-hand control. With a displacement of just 333 cc and an overall weight of 45 kg, the new propulsion system is 10% lighter than its predecessor. At the Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) in Amsterdam, where the outboard enjoyed its world debut, John Buelow, Mercury Marine VP of Global Category Management, defined the new product as ” an engine easy-to-start, intuitive-to-operate, lightweight, fuel-efficient, silent, powerful and reliable”.
As already mentioned, the distinctive element of this engine is its multi-function tiller handle which delivers a new level of features and functions never seen before on portable outboards. It can be adjusted in order to provide a more intuitive and comfortable boating experience, regardless of driving-hand preference.
Traditionally, tiller handles are installed on the left side of outboard motors because yachtsmen are generally expected to prefer left-hand operation. However, Mercury Marine’s user research found that a significant percentage of boaters prefer to control the tille handle with their right hand. Consequently, they decided to built an engine which could offer ambidextrous control.
Traditionally, tiller handles are mounted on the port side of outboard motors, intended for left-hand operation. However, Mercury Marine’s user research found that a significant percentage of boaters prefer to control the tiller handle with their right hand.
The advantages offered by this tiller handle go beyond because, unlike conventional outboards, it can now be positioned to the most convenient location to operate the engine. Using hand tools, boaters can adjust the tiller arm’s horizontal angle 18# port and starboard from the center, for a total of 7 different positions. And it can be adjusted whenever you want with the help of just a few tools.
Of course, the throttle grip rotation, too, is reversible: when you speed up, boaters intuitively “open their twist” and therefore rotate the back of their hand upwards. A common possibility for right-handed boaters, this option is now offered to left-handed yachtsmen, too.
Today, boaters lack the possibility to adjust a tiller’s vertical operating angle. Mercury Marine’s user research highlighted this need. In response, Mercury designed an adjustable down stop which allows boaters to quickly change the vertical operating angle of their tiller handle between -5° and +10° for easy reach and relaxed operation. The outboard is also equipped with a tilt lock feature which locks the tilter angle at 73°.
The innovative engine control system is completed by a forward mounted shift lever and a stop button integrated into the throttle grip covered with soft-touch rubber for easy reach and better grip. Some models even include an electric tilting system which allows to raise/lower the engine in shallow waters or when trailering.
From a mechanical point of view, the EFI FourStroke 12/20 hp engine develops from the new outboard platform which sets new standards in the world of marine propulsion systems. The new Mercury outboard features electronic fuel injection for quick, reliable starting. Furthermore, according to the manufacturer, it “offers instant throttle response and better overall performance; it is among the lightest on the market improving acceleration, top speed and handling, and delivers exceptional fuel economy”.
The new motor is also designed with ease of maintenance in mind. Its no-drip, no-spill oil drain system, water separating fuel filter and the practical maintenance guide under cowl makes this one of the most user-friendly outboards on the water today.