The Outerlimits Experience

Our intrepid editor takes a ride in the world’s fastest V-bottom boat.

The Outerlimits ExperienceOuterlimits

Mercury Marine invited me to a recent media day at the Marine Max location at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan, but I got bumped when the Editor-in-Chief pulled rank and took the gig. The big attraction was a chance to snag a ride in an Outerlimits SV43 powered by a pair of Mercury Racing QC4 1350 engines that could push the SV43 to 160 mph. To be fair, Editor Falvey does live on Long Island and could take the train to this event. I got to go the Mercury gig in Chicago for a ride on a really fast pontoon boat. Sometimes life's not fair.

Mercury Racing 1350Mercury Racing

The very same Outerlimits SV43 holds the V-bottom speed record at 180.47 mph, set in 2014 at a special event on the Pamlico River near Washington, North Carolina. That boat was powered by a pair of Mercury Racing 1650 engines. For the event in Manhattan, the boat was set up to showcase the Merc 1350 engines, which have the same 9-liter (549 CID) V-8 displacement and four-valve quad-cam heads. Boosted by twin turbochargers, this engine is rated at 1,350 horsepower on 91-octane pump gas, which is almost inconceivable. Combined with computer-managed turbocharger control, Mercury Racing's proprietary pulse-separated exhaust keeps the turbos "spooled up," virtually eliminates throttle lag and low-end torque deficit, and delivers the stout torque delivery and quick throttle response you want to carry the bow in challenging seas. An all-new, race-proven heat exchanger routes engine oil and glycol for the closed-cooling system around the engine via a series of tubes encapsulated in a casting filled with seawater, which serves as a coolant. According to Mercury, the new heat exchanger provides a flow rate of 20 percent more seawater for enhanced cooling, when compared to the previous exchanger.

This particular Outerlimits SV43 had the full canopy, but the top sections were removed for the runs up and down the Hudson River. The boat combines astounding performance, technology and luxury, and Falvey reports he was quite comfortable in the leather-wrapped rear seat, with Dan Kleitz and Joe Fiori from Outerlimits at the controls. The boat is just loafing along at 70 or 80 mph, and when the throttles were dropped, the acceleration was instant. Peak velocity was inhibited by the environment; the Hudson is teeming with private and commercial boat traffic, and with other writers waiting for a turn, there wasn’t enough time to run to clear water. So, the boss topped out at a little over 100 mph. Check out his video of the experience here: