For the launch of new Mercruiser 4.5L 200 HP, a slightly downgraded version of the 2014-launched 250HP, the Brunswick Group installed it on a 6 meter Sea Ray 19 SPX. Probably a bit too much…but we’re in Dubai, and too much is never enough…
The rather small Sea Ray 19 SPX is normally coupled with a “quiet” Mercruiser, 3 liters and 135HP. With much extra power I expect this test to be pretty thrilling, especially in a sea that doesn’t put many boundaries to the exuberance of boat and pilot.
Sea Ray 19 SPX
The bowrider layout of this boat is not the first choice in some markets on the Med, maybe because the look is not as sleek as a closed deck. But once aboard the extra versatility of the fore cockpit prevails on the little comfort of a narrow and hot cabin.
A passage through the windshield leads to that extra space, that can be a very safe solarium (it’s recessed) or a conversation area with two benches and the typical “Yankee” cup holders.
Once the tilting part is closed, the windscreen protects well from the air, if the pilot is seating. In front, the analogue gauges of the dashboard are easy to read and cool to look at. On the opposite side there’s a car-style glove box which is handy to put your mobile when going for a fast stint.
To aft, another bench sits three and leads to the back solarium, that lays above the engine room. I notice that the engine hood leaves space for two smaller lids on the sides, very practical to store gear and fenders in the compartment without moving the whole part.
The swim platform is almost oversized, as is the steel roll bar that holds the bimini and the hook for towing skiers and gliders. I can’t say I like it, but it’s useful and adds versatility.
Mercruiser 4.5L 200 HP
The 4.5 liter inboard with 200HP and sterndrive is designed and built at the Mercury Marine headquarters in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin (USA). It’s based on the250HP V6 introduced last year: some innovations, like the long intake manifolds and the high displacement combined to a simple construction, set new standards in terms of performance, thanks to the high torque and power-to-weight figures.
It’s a very quiet unit, thanks to the new, back-facing throttle valve, then low-noise intake, insulating cowling, anti-vibration mounts, light flywheel. Then again, integrated fueling module and integrated oil tank help for an outstanding reliability.
It boasts an Adaptive Speed Control (ASC) to automatically maintain the desired speed regardless of the condition of the moment such as variation in load, displacing ride before the plane, turns, … It gives a sportier feeling and saves a constant action on the throttle lever.
Mercury Marine featured the Mercruiser 4.5L 200HP with an excellent anti-corrosion system: resilient cast-iron for all the parts in direct contact with the water, and aluminum for the other parts. Last in the list, all the sensors used in the unit are digital and not analogue.
It’s pretty easy to get into plane and reach for the top speed. 40 knots, onto these large channels that lead to the Gulf waters, are an easy pace. It’s a good time to evaluate the real performance of this US match. Such a pity there’s no fuel consumption indication, as this would have been a very important parameter (not in the Emirates!) to fully understand the efficiency of this engine.
The feedback is very good, in particular for the low noise at every speed. The power is always sufficient, I actually can’t think what I would do with 50 extra ponies. The boat herself supports the engine exuberance with a balanced setup: the nose goes high up in the first seconds, then the 19 gets into plane and rides safely across the waves, steady in the sharpest turns. Calm waters, but many wakes and many boats around are a good proving ground for the hull (and the helm), but never there’s a trouble, or a concern in facing the taller waves. By adjusting the trim I gain half a knot on the top speed, reaching 44.4, while time to plane is under four seconds and to 30 knots stays within 9 seconds. That is an impressive acceleration, and I have already forgotten there’s a similar unit with those famous extra 50 HP.
Minimum plane speed is as low as 10 knots, a 2000 rpm, and I regret that missing fuel figure which could have confirmed the very good marks obtained by these two Americans. Which is better then? I wish a tie were always this good…!
Length overall 5,94 mt (19ft 6in)
Beam 2,54 mt (8ft 4in)
Displacement 1237 Kg
Draft 0.86/0.43 mt (34in / 17in)
Engine 200 HP
Fuel tank 113 lt (30 US gal)
Calm sea, temperature 32° C (90° F), clean hull, fuel 60 lt (15 US gal), passengers 3
HYPERLINK “http://www.mercurymarine.com/” Visit Mercury website
HYPERLINK “http://www.searay.com” Visit Sea Ray website