The Tracker Targa 2000 is, by itself, a gorgeous looking boat that’s great to fish out of. But it needs the right power behind it to make it fly across the water. That’s what Mercury outboards do. The leader in marine engine technology has taken outboard motors to a new threshold, again, with the introduction of the 200 DFI.
Direct Fuel Injection (DFI) for two-stroke marine engines will change, forever, the way outboards perform in the future. The goal was to reduce outboard emissions in accordance to upcoming EPA regulations by the year 2006. The resulting fuel economy is a benefit of the process. The new DFI engine is characterized by a highly pressurized “plume” of fuel and air injected into each engine cylinder after the exhaust ports are closed. Each plume is made up of tiny droplets of fuel allowing for complete combustion of the mixture. This process is meticulously controlled by a very advanced ECU (Electronic Control Unit). This is basically an onboard computer, more powerful than most PCs. Using four miniprocessors, the ECU controls not only the fuel and air injectors, but also the ignition coil, timing, and the oil injection system which delivers oil to seven different parts of the engine in precise “as-needed” amounts. It does all this while monitoring air temperature, cylinderhead temperature, barometric pressure, throttle position, engine speed and exhaust pressure. The result of all this high technology is an outboard that runs smoother, with better fuel efficiency and a reduction in emissions. Good Bye blue smoke! However, the most advanced marine outboard on the market today does not come without a price. Due to low availability, and thus, increased cost, the 200 DFI lists 22% higher in price than comparable conventional two-stroke Mercury models.
Mercury’s EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection) engines are still highly rated outboards in anyone’s book. On the Tracker Targa 2000s that we run on the Professional Walleye Trail, the Mercury 225 EFI is the choice of power. Top-end speeds of 65 plus mph are a piece of cake. That will get you to any fishing hot spot with plenty of time to catch the big ones.
As great as it is having all that power behind you, it doesn’t do you much good when it comes to actually getting down to the business of fishing. For that reason we rig our boats with Mercury 9.9 4-stroke kickers. The 4-stroke kicker is indispensable for trolling, bottombouncer, and backtrolling presentations. Not only do these motors troll down to the slow speeds we like to use when trolling crankbaits, they run extremely quiet and without the smoking associated with conventional 2-stroke engines. The one-hand operation of the Mercury 9.9 4-stroke allows shifting, steering, throttle and steering co-pilot to be controlled right from the handle. This is no doubt the best kicker motor you’ll ever fish with.
If you’re not sure if you need a kicker motor for trolling, we usually suggest using a kicker on any boat powered by an outboard 90 HP or larger. The boat control and presentation options of a 9.9 4-stroke will help you catch more walleyes…guaranteed.
Another outboard we’d like to tell you about is another relatively new introduction from Mercury. The 50 hp 4-stroke is a fantastic motor from the leaders in outboard technology. On a fishing trip to Canada this past fall, we rigged a new 50 hp 4-stroke on a Tracker Pro Deep V-16, and were very impressed. On our maiden voyage, I jumped in the boat after parking the truck and told Keith to fire up this new 50. “I did…it’s running now” Keith said. I took a double-take, and he was right. The 50 hp 4-stroke runs so quiet, I couldn’t believe it. And we were again impressed with it’s ability to not only push that 16 foot boat out to the fishing spots, but it’s ability to troll was 2nd only to the 9.9 4-strokes we run on the Targa 2000s.
All these motors are available not only from Mercury, but from Mariner as well. The only real difference is the color of the cowling, which is nice when it comes to choosing a motor to match that new boat you buy this spring. No matter what size fishing boat you run, Mercury and Mariner have the right motor for you.