• 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. H2OPERF's Avatar
      H2OPERF -
      If you can use the 6 inch bolts they provide, when mounting on brackets they are way too long.. I worked in aviation all my life believe me they will say it wasn't torqued properly or your torque wrench was out of calibration.. if it gets that far your screwed anyway.. we always put 2 in the upper on the v8' merc book i have only shows 4 bolts per assy..
    1. RSWORDS's Avatar
      RSWORDS -
      Mercury makes way more then just 6" bolts. I have a whole shelf of mercury mounting bolts for everything from brackets to super thick transoms for quad setups. And the V8 is only 300hp. Look at a 350 or 400 manual. But regardless they reccomend (as you do) to put two in the upper.
    1. powerabout's Avatar
      powerabout -
      Quote Originally Posted by RSWORDS View Post
      Mercury makes way more then just 6" bolts. I have a whole shelf of mercury mounting bolts for everything from brackets to super thick transoms for quad setups. And the V8 is only 300hp. Look at a 350 or 400 manual. But regardless they reccomend (as you do) to put two in the upper.
      Have Merc ever changed the bolt material since the 80's?
    1. RSWORDS's Avatar
      RSWORDS -
      Quote Originally Posted by powerabout View Post
      Have Merc ever changed the bolt material since the 80's?
      Couldn't tell you. Do they need to?
    1. powerabout's Avatar
      powerabout -
      Quote Originally Posted by RSWORDS View Post
      Couldn't tell you. Do they need to?
      thats what I was getting at, so the bolts will still hold any Merc on?
      Do any models need 4 at the top, so 6 required?
    1. RSWORDS's Avatar
      RSWORDS -
      Quote Originally Posted by powerabout View Post
      thats what I was getting at, so the bolts will still hold any Merc on?
      Do any models need 4 at the top, so 6 required?
      The 350 and 400 verado require 6 and mercury "reccomends" 6 on any high performance/abuse setup.

      Truth be told though, I feel 4 PROPERLY installed would have been OK in this situation. Personally me and my shop would have installed 6
    1. powerabout's Avatar
      powerabout -
      Quote Originally Posted by RSWORDS View Post
      The 350 and 400 verado require 6 and mercury "reccomends" 6 on any high performance/abuse setup.

      Truth be told though, I feel 4 PROPERLY installed would have been OK in this situation. Personally me and my shop would have installed 6
      I wonder what Yam and Suzuki ask for
    1. RSWORDS's Avatar
      RSWORDS -
      Quote Originally Posted by powerabout View Post
      I wonder what Yam and Suzuki ask for
      Yamaha is 6 on the 350. Dont know about Suzuki
    1. big tom's Avatar
      big tom -
      Correct me if Im wrong but i wouldnt have cut the motor loose and let it sink to the bootom. I understand its like 550 lbs but why not tie it off to the transom or tie a line or two around the lower and tie it off to the bars on the back with like a 8ft leed and putt back. I could see dropping it in shallow water, in marina or have the travel lift pick it. I use larger fenders and i could see tying the 4 fenders on it and towing it. Im a big guy and I can float on one. At the least if your cuting it loose hook your anchor on it with a fender on it?.
    1. flabum1017's Avatar
      flabum1017 -
      I would have gone out to 1000' of water and dropped it, let the insurance buy a new one........ unless they didn't have insurance on it........
    1. flabum1017's Avatar
      flabum1017 -
      I'm curious, how did the steering not lose all it's fluid?
    1. RSWORDS's Avatar
      RSWORDS -
      Quote Originally Posted by flabum1017 View Post
      I'm curious, how did the steering not lose all it's fluid?
      Cyl on the other motor
    1. flabum1017's Avatar
      flabum1017 -
      ok, didn't see one didn't have the cylinder
    1. RING21E's Avatar
      RING21E -
      Quote Originally Posted by RSWORDS View Post
      Couldn't tell you. Do they need to?
      The main problem when using four bolts as mercury specify for this setup is the base of the problem, plus the fact they use 1/2 UNF brass nylock nut, which is another weak point, I've almost lost an engine using this setup, and changed all bolts by grade 8 bolt (capscrew) and grade 8 nylock nut, no problem for years, using grade 8 dichromated surface protection doesn't avoid the salt to make some rust on the bolt, but after so many years of hard use, better to replace the grade 8 bolt kit which is not under mercury spec, than call divers for recovery, and tell the insurance guy your mecanic made engines installation correctly and engine lost can occur again... an again...Unless Mercury specify on a service bulletin to use at least 6 mercury bolt kit for these heavy verado, this kind of video should be number one of a long serie ... There is many big boats now fitted with multiple engines at transoms, and in rough condition the size of the boat allow a good handling in these bumpy conditions, BUT the engines installation at the transom doesn't match anymore the hull possibility, and the transom stainless steel bolts start to extend, plus the brass nylock nuts threads start to be extruded.... and the engine (s) start to move, away from the console, sound of engine, slam of waves on the hull, so the pilot cannot hear something bad is going to happen.
    1. RSWORDS's Avatar
      RSWORDS -
      Quote Originally Posted by RING21E View Post
      The main problem when using four bolts as mercury specify for this setup is the base of the problem, plus the fact they use 1/2 UNF brass nylock nut, which is another weak point, I've almost lost an engine using this setup, and changed all bolts by grade 8 bolt (capscrew) and grade 8 nylock nut, no problem for years, using grade 8 dichromated surface protection doesn't avoid the salt to make some rust on the bolt, but after so many years of hard use, better to replace the grade 8 bolt kit which is not under mercury spec, than call divers for recovery, and tell the insurance guy your mecanic made engines installation correctly and engine lost can occur again... an again...Unless Mercury specify on a service bulletin to use at least 6 mercury bolt kit for these heavy verado, this kind of video should be number one of a long serie ... There is many big boats now fitted with multiple engines at transoms, and in rough condition the size of the boat allow a good handling in these bumpy conditions, BUT the engines installation at the transom doesn't match anymore the hull possibility, and the transom stainless steel bolts start to extend, plus the brass nylock nuts threads start to be extruded.... and the engine (s) start to move, away from the console, sound of engine, slam of waves on the hull, so the pilot cannot hear something bad is going to happen.
      I've seen way more people break stainless bolts with stainless nuts do to it gauling before the bolt is torqued and the motor pulled to the transom (few times) vs a properly torqued brass nut pulling the thread (never)

      Note the properly part.
    1. RING21E's Avatar
      RING21E -
      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...
    1. powerabout's Avatar
      powerabout -
      Merc nuts should be bronze not brass
    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 powerabout View Post
      Merc nuts should be bronze not brass
      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
    1. RSWORDS's Avatar
      RSWORDS -
      Attachment 439514

      Here a chart of grade 8 for comparison
    1. RING21E's Avatar
      RING21E -
      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
      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,
      300 VERADO FOURSTROKE
      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
      hardware.
      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=
      https://www.boltdepot.com/fastener-i...ade-chart.aspx
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