Nothing beats the feeling of trying out a new engine and having it exceed your expectations.
So, when Ryan Churches pushed the throttle on his new Mercury V-8 4.6L 250hp SeaPro outboard, the power was a very pleasant surprise.
“It was pretty amazing. The hole shot just pushes the boat out of the water awesomely,” Ryan said.
And this is not a light boat.
Ryan operates for Epic Adventures out of Whitianga, specialising in chasing Kingfish off the Coromandel Peninsula, and has recently upgraded to a new Senator RH77O pontoon hull – a specialist charter craft which weighs in at about three tonnes fully loaded.
“I tend to go out all day with four passengers and full live bait tanks so were often at full weight but the 250 SeaPro moves us around with no trouble at all.
“It’s powerful but quiet; incredibly quiet for a V-8. It fooled me the other day – I went to check it was running because I couldn’t hear it on idle.”
A fisherman since he was five, Ryan started running charters so he could spend more time doing what he loves.
“It got to the point where I was spending too much money on my hobby, so I decided it should become my business,” he laughed.
Operating pretty much non-stop during the summer season, Ryan and his clients can cover from 100 – 160 kms a day chasing their favourite fish so the engine-hours quickly mount up.
His previous boat boasted a Mercury 150hp FourStroke which dialled up 3,100 hours before he traded up to his new Senator.
“It was a recreational engine that did a lot of commercial work and I couldn’t fault it so I had no hesitation going for Mercury again, but this time I went with the SeaPro because they are made for this and they have a really good warranty,” he said.
That’s not to mention the new SeaPro’s best-ever fuel economy.
“It’s easy to compare fuel economy because I do the same runs in the new boat that I did in the old,” Ryan said.
“In good conditions I’m only using about 20 litres more a day than I used to. Taking into account that this boat is around 1000kg heavier and the engine is 100hp larger, I think that’s very economical – it’s very good for me.”
With entire months booking out over summer, Ryan’s heading into his busiest period with great confidence.
“The guys at Counties Marine in Pukekohe have done a really great job setting up the boat and the engine so all I’ve had to do is jump in and turn the key. I couldn’t be happier with the package.
“I’m really happy with the SeaPro, my clients are happy as well, and business is very good.”