So Carl was right again!

Mercury Outboard  general discussion

So Carl was right again!

Postby dave bernard » Tue May 28, 2019 8:08 pm

sent to us by a merc enthusiast

A Tribute to Carl Kiekhaefer

Eighty years ago this year, Carl started what has become the largest marine power industry on earth, and I feel it’s time to recognize his genius (and admit how wrong I was about him).

The excellent biography of Carl’s life, titled “Iron Fist”, reveals Carl’s thoughts upon hearing of the stern drive Dr. Strang had (clandestinely) developed without Carl’s knowledge. The first Mercruiser setup (though not called that yet) was powered by a Volvo 4 cylinder, 80 hp engine. Far from the later, far better (and and still in production) 4 cylinder Mercruiser setup, this was a heavy, low powered and noisy arrangement.  After checking out in his ham-fisted way (WOT only) Carl fulminated over it, saying it was pure crap:  “If you took a V-8 car engine, set it on its (crankshaft) end, on an OB tower, then you’d have something,” his insisted (or words to the effect).

What a stubborn jerk, I thought when I first read that, but Carl was RIGHT! For modern, high-powered 4 stroke OBs are quietly taking over from traditional inboards, including stern drives. At the latest boat show, most of the 30 to 40 foot express cruisers present were OB powered!  The designers, and owners, have learned that OBs take up virtually no space below deck, are much lighter (and more fuel efficient), reliable, and far cheaper to get major services done; and they’re quieter to boot!

So Carl was right again!
dave bernard
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Re: So Carl was right again!

Postby outboard315 » Tue May 28, 2019 10:39 pm

There was a 30' skater at the lake near my house the other day with 2 outboards, they were mercury 400R's. The only way you are going to get that kind of hp is with a big v8 and the only way to make it reliable is twin v8s.
Brandon Cocola
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14' Texas Maid, 12' Sea King, 12' Sea Nymph
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Re: So Carl was right again!

Postby Tom Brockmeyer » Wed May 29, 2019 1:36 am

"The first Mercruiser setup (though not called that yet) was powered by a Volvo 4 cylinder, 80 hp engine"

I believe it was a Renault... Not a Volvo.
Lake Lanier, 30miles North of Atlanta, GA
Old Mercury outboard fan... Especially the fast ones!
Mercury/MerCruiser,  Evinrude/Johnson & VolvoPenta Technician (After my suit & tie wearing career was done!)
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Re: So Carl was right again!

Postby bh/ » Wed May 29, 2019 4:22 pm

Two good articles in this months Pro Boat Builder mag, one on diesel o/b's for commercial and military  use,
and a 2nd  on a multi fuel o/b for the military based on a Tohatsu p/h. Driving this is the navys reluctance to allow gasoline on their craft  
Conclusion is the days of the i/o are over !
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Re: So Carl was right again!

Postby Jeff Register » Wed May 29, 2019 7:00 pm

We have gone full circle. Someone tried to put a Corvair 80 hp on a 700 tower. Didn't get it!! icon_thumbdown.gif
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