Texas Heat: Repowering an Original Mirage with a 250R
Since Wave to Wave started, we have been really fortunate to gain so many readers and followers. The performance boat community is alive and well, and especially the single engine performance boats we like to talk about. Vintage performance boats are popular, restorations, new boats, and this is good news for the industry. Recently, a reader sent me some information about repowering a very cool boat, with one of Mercury Racing’s latest engines. Chris Lamont has a beautiful Collins era Mirage that he has kept in excellent original condition.
Chris was running a Diamond Marine ported 280 Mercury Racing engine, with a 1.87 Sport Master. With a 26” Chopper, the Mirage could get 102 to 105 MPH. But, the engine was getting old, and after a failed cylinder, Chris knew he needed to re-power.
Although there are some skeptics of the new four stroke technology, Chris liked what he saw from the new Mercury Racing platform, and he absolutely wanted the new technology. The new 250R is based on the new 4.6L V8, and is basically the little brother of the 300R, with less configurations, nevertheless, it is actually an excellent option for most sport boats. For new power, the 250R is class leading in that horsepower range. You get solid mounts, a sport master 1.75, mechanical controls, and is tuned to rev to 6,200 RPM. There is no other 250 horsepower outboard on the marke with those credentials. It’s not light, but you do get amazing turnkey operation, simple maintenance and a 3 year warranty. This engine was priced and designed as a great re-power option.
So far, Chris is very impressed. He told me for the Mirage, he loves high speed river running, and being able to cruise at the front of the pack. The Mercury Racing 250R lets him do that easily. In fact, with 12” of setback, a lab finished Bravo 1 prop (15.125 X 35.5) with a cut down barrel, has run 100 MPH at 5700 RPM. Keep in mind, Chis is taking it easy while the engine breaks in, it’s pulling hard at that RPM, and at 9% slip, figures he can get to 110 MPH. That should put him at the front of almost any pack. He wants to test some other props in the future as well.
What is more amazing is that not only will the 250R outperform the older 2.5, but the it’s so easy to operate. Chris mentioned being able to speak over the engine, smooth shifting, and with the 3 year warranty, there isn’t much to worry about. Notable things done to the Mirage are the new 22 gallon fuel tank, a reinforced transom, and the battery was relocated forward, to help offset the added weight. Additionally, Chris is running a NEMA 2000 network, Mercury NEMA 2000 gateway, 4-way junction box , Simrad Engine Monitor, Optima D31M battery, and SeaStar Pro Steering.
There is no doubt the new tech in outboards is outperforming the old tech in every way. Chris proved it with his beautiful Mirage re-power. Chris also mentioned the great support he received from his local Mercury Racing dealer in Texas.