Happy camper for Mercury

Happy Camper for Mercury

Mercury says that it has a happy customer in the shape of Leon Hodges, who has recently tackled a diesel repower.

The marine company takes up the story: As a serious fisherman and Managing Director of Contract Power - a company which supplies a myriad of power-related goods and services to Australia’s mining industry - Leon is perfectly qualified to judge a new engine.

“This 350hp TDI is exceptional for performance and economy,” he said.

After replacing his older MerCruiser 454 Big Block with the Mercury Diesel TDI engine, Leon set out on one heck of a sea trial.

He chartered Top Gun II, a 21-metre custom built Westcoaster 65 which can sleep 15 passengers. He then filled it with his mates and got it to tow Pig Fish out to the Monte-Bellos islands, 80 nautical miles off the coast of Dampier, Western Australia.

“We were out for four days and while the charter boat stayed in deep water, we took Pig Fish closer to shore and into estuaries - it was fantastic,” he said.

Amid all the fun, Leon took careful note of how the TDI performed.

“The new 350 TDI ran a total of 29.5 hours over the trip and was fully loaded at all times (about 2.7 tonnes).

“We were trawling at 6.5 knots with an instant fuel burn of 4.5l/hr. When on the plane and cruising at 25 knots it was about 27.5 at 2800rpm.

“At 32 knots and 3600rpm the fuel burn was 35 to 38l/hr and at the top end of the range the fuel burn was 70l/hr at 4100rpm and a blistering 40 knots – which is faster than it used to go.

“That’s a very impressive power plant for an eight metre boat.”