How do outboards compare to sterndrives in terms of performance? Our test boat’s twin Verado 350s leveraged the hull onto plane in less than 8 seconds, reaching 30 mph in just over a second more. Top speed was a respectable 53.3 mph. That’s slightly better performance than the 310 outfitted with twin 300 hp sterndrives. The outboards consumed marginally more fuel at cruising speed. Handling remained nimble and precise. Rougher waters did little to keep this boat, with its sizable hull and deep 22-degree deadrise, at the dock. Speaking of the dock, returning there was child’s play thanks to the precision provided by the standard Mercury Joystick Piloting. Controlling this boat was straightforward and intuitive, and it proved most welcome due to the powerful crosswinds we experienced on test day.