• Mercury Verado Lost During Sea Trial - and Recovered!

    A Spectacular Recovery Set In Motion by a Rigging Error

    In relation to boating, this is probably one of the most fascinating series of events captured on video that I have ever seen. This is an ongoing situation and I will be following up with many more details and developments. For now, have a look at what I feel is an incredible story of events.

    Today I spoke with Alfred Montaner, who owns Luxury Rib Tenders, which is a company based in Miami that specializes in restoring rigid inflatable boats. His scope of talents covers seemingly every type of RIB, from yacht tenders to very high-end law enforcement types. He was taking a 36-foot Fluid 10M "Black Betty" RIB for a sea trial, which involved running the boat in the kind of conditions it was designed for. The Fluid 10M being trialed is powered by two 300HP Mercury Verado outboards, however the boat is designed to handle triple outboards, if required.

    120-feet down, the Verado is lifted from the bottom

    Montaner was testing the Fluid 10M for Sirocco Marine, who rigged and owns the boat. While running the boat fast over some moderate chop, the port engine became de-mounted, which I think is probably the worst kind of nightmare for most of us. The engine mount itself did not fail - the transom mounting bolts sheared their threads. This was the result of not using the Mercury-supplied engine mounting bolts, rather, mounting bolts from a Honda 250-horsepower engine were utilized, with severe consequences. To the uninitiated, both engines are six-cylinder, four-stroke designs, and it could be assumed the bolts to mount them would be of similar strength. But that is not the case.

    Heading out, just minutes before the loss of the port engine

    The outboard hung by its steering bar, but the decision was made to detach the hanging engine, so the remaining Verado could power the boat home. Once safely back, it was realized that two bolts on the remaining engine were also beginning to sheer off. That engine was probably minutes away from the fate of the first engine.

    Montaner met with Sirocco Marine president, Boyd Tomkies present his plan to recover the outboard, which was in 120-feet of water. Tomkies offered to pay for the recovery, and Montaner organized the operation to recover the big Verado with Underwater Services, a company that specializes in underwater recovery. The complete operation was captured on video, and is some pretty spectacular footage of something we rarely see. The recovery was a complete success, and the Verado is being serviced for future use.

    The port engine hangs by its steering rod and bracket

    "The people from Fluid Watercraft were very bold in allowing me to post this video", states Montaner.

    "Easily it could have been swept under the rug. Once the incident happened, Boyd Tomkies and I both felt that this video can help bring awareness and insight to help others from having this happen again."

    I want to also make very clear that the failure of the engine mounting bolts was not due to intentional negligence on the part of the riggers. It does however highlight the very serious consequences of that rigging error, and the need to strictly use the required parts without substitution. A Montaner feels the videos he posted to his YouTube page would serve as a very graphic warning to other riggers about making sure the manufacturer-supplied mounting bolts are used.

    The Verado is currently being serviced and we'll probably see more news on that on Montaner's channel.

    I encourage you to have a look at the Luxury Rib Tenders website and Alfred Montaner's YouTube channel, because there is a lot of incredible content there.

    This is a developing story, and an additional article will follow with more details, as well as the condition of the recovered outboard.

    This is a collage of several videos and shows an overview of events:

    Loss of outboard:

    Recover of outboard (full dive video):

    Damage assessment:

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Mercury Verado Lost During Sea Trial - and Recovered! Incredible Videos started by Scream And Fly View original post
    Comments 24 Comments
    1. RSWORDS's Avatar
      RSWORDS -
      Quote Originally Posted by RING21E View Post
      Even the stainless steel transom bolt kit from mercury racing used back in the days on XR2 extend within 2 races, note the grade 8 is not a stainless steel material. And the bolt resistance is far away the original stainless steel one's.Using stainless steel capscrew and stainless steel nut could seize the nut on bolt...
      Quote Originally Posted by RING21E View Post
      thanks for giving these added files with upgrade, but there is other service bulletin and engine installations manual where they ask to install verado 300 with 4 bolts, not amazing the guy who install the engine choose the faster procedure, not the best i agree. Cast a glance here,
      Page 6 / 13 90-8M0070751
      Installing Outboard
      ! WARNING
      Failure to correctly fasten the outboard could result in the outboard propelling off the boat transom resulting in property
      damage, serious injury, or death. Before operation, the outboard must be correctly installed with the required mounting
      Have your dealer install your outboard and related accessories to ensure proper installation and good performance.
      The outboard must be secured to the transom with the four 12.7 mm (1/2 in.) diameter mounting bolts and locknuts provided.
      Install two bolts through the upper set of holes and two bolts through the lower set of holes.

      there is all over the world so many VERADO 300 installed with 4 bolts....

      the grade 8 bolt is an American spec and far stronger than the mercury requirement.
      Check property here=
      Yep, required and reccomend are two different things. Any tech rigging a boat (notice I said tech. Not "rigger") should understand what that boat was designed to do and gone with the recommended procedure.

      Also grade 8 would last about 6 months in salt water.
    1. RING21E's Avatar
      RING21E -
      I'm using mercury racing engines, and even the prop shaft doesn't resist very long to rust, the previous drive shaft were also poorly chromed and rust very fast, till water came inside the SM gearcase due to corrosion at seal lips area.. In my application 250XS, Grade 8 or even Grade 5 is the best I've tested, all my friends using 250/300XS on fast boats use grade 8, and prefer to replace bolts often than engines, as the season is not 6months here and boats are stored on trailers after use. look at here the effect of the verado weight on a big rib boat.
      Attachment 439515
    1. powerabout's Avatar
      powerabout -
      Quote Originally Posted by RSWORDS View Post
      Here. Straight from mother merc in the manual. Brass nuts and reccomend6 bolts for 300 and up (I said 350 earlier)
      Attachment 439513
      Attachment 439512
      80,000 psi/80ksi and brass doesnt seem to fit together, thats an alloy I think
    1. flabum1017's Avatar
      flabum1017 -
      I have always used SS lock nuts with either grease or TefGel..... Galling usually occurs on dry threads.
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