What Year Is a 20 Horsepower Mercury Outboard Tiller? – A Guide

The Mercury brand has a long-standing reputation for producing high-quality outboard motors, sought after by both recreational and professional users alike. Understanding the year of a specific model is important for various reasons, such as determining the availability of spare parts, identifying any modifications or improvements over time, and accurately assessing the engine's overall performance and reliability. Delving into the historical context surrounding the 20 horsepower Mercury outboard tiller, it’s inception, advancements, and potential variations can provide valuable insights into it’s chronology and assist in comprehending the model's unique characteristics as part of the boating industry's legacy.

How Do I Tell How Old My Mercury Outboard Is?

To determine the age of your Mercury outboard, you can start by locating the serial number label. This label can typically be found on the transom bracket area of the engine, making it easily accessible. Once you’ve located the label, you’ll notice that it contains important information about your outboard.

The serial number label on newer Mercury outboards usually includes a 2-digit number in a box at the lower right portion of the label. These two digits correspond to the last two digits of the year in which the outboard was manufactured.

For example, if the serial number label displays the number “20” in the box, it indicates that your outboard was manufactured in the year 20This simple method allows you to quickly determine the age of your outboard without the need for complicated calculations or research.

It can help you determine if your outboard is still under warranty, identify the appropriate replacement parts, or simply provide valuable information when selling or purchasing a used outboard.

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In 1988, Tohatsu and Brunswick Corporation formed a joint venture called Tohatsu Marine Corporation to manufacture outboards for Mercury Marine. As a result of this partnership, all Mercury outboards with less than 30 HP are actually rebranded Tohatsus.

Are Mercury Outboards Made by Tohatsu?

To answer the question, yes, Mercury outboards are indeed made by Tohatsu. The partnership between the two companies was established in 1988 when Brunswick Corporation and Tohatsu Marine Corporation joined forces to manufacture outboards for Mercury Marine. This collaboration allowed for the production of Mercury outboards with less than 30 HP, which are essentially rebranded Tohatsu engines.

In terms of corporate structure, Brunswick Corporation is a notable player in the boating industry, boasting ownership of several well-known brands such as Sea Ray, Boston Whaler, and Mercury Marine, to name a few.

It’s worth noting that Brunswick Corporation reported impressive sales figures of US$5.8 billion in 2021, highlighting the success and widespread reach of their various boating brands, including Mercury Marine. This further underscores the significance and influence of the partnership between Tohatsu and Brunswick Corporation in the industry.

This collaboration has undoubtedly contributed to the reputation and market presence of Mercury outboards, solidifying their position as a trusted choice for boating enthusiasts.

The Performance and Reliability of Mercury Outboards Compared to Other Brands

Mercury outboards are recognized for their exceptional performance and reliability, setting them apart from other brands. Their cutting-edge technology, advanced engineering, and rigorous quality control ensure a trustworthy and superior boating experience. Mercury outboards are known for their durability, minimizing the risk of breakdowns or malfunctions during usage, thus granting peace of mind for boaters. With a long-standing reputation as a leader in the industry, Mercury consistently delivers high-quality outboards that outshine the competition.

During the early stages of development, the Mercury FourStroke engines were collaboratively produced with Yamaha. While Yamaha focused on manufacturing the cylinder heads for the 50hp model, Mercury provided key components such as the block, crankcase, crankshaft, and connecting rods for these engines. Additionally, the 9.9 model benefitted from having a Yamaha powerhead incorporated into it’s design.

Did Yamaha Make Mercury Outboards?

The beginnings of the partnership between Yamaha and Mercury in the production of outboard engines can be traced back to the development of the early Mercury FourStroke engines. During this period, Yamaha and Mercury collaborated on the manufacturing process, with each company contributing their expertise to create a high-quality product.

In the case of the 50hp Mercury FourStroke engines, Mercury supplied the block, crankcase, crankshaft, and connecting rods, which formed the foundation of the engine. These vital components were crafted by Mercury, known for their precision engineering and meticulous attention to detail.

On the other hand, Yamaha took charge of producing the cylinder heads for the 50hp model. Leveraging their extensive experience in engine design and innovation, Yamaha contributed their expertise in creating these critical elements of the outboard engine.

Additionally, the 9.9hp Mercury outboard engine also featured a Yamaha powerhead.

By combining the strengths and resources of Yamaha and Mercury, the early FourStroke engines were able to offer boating enthusiasts a reliable and efficient propulsion option.

The Technical Specifications and Performance of the Yamaha-Mercury Collaborated Engines

  • Engine collaboration: Yamaha-Mercury
  • Technical specifications and performance:
  • – Horsepower range: Varies based on model
  • – Fuel type: Gasoline
  • – Number of cylinders: Varies based on model
  • – Cooling system: Water-cooled
  • – Compatible boat types: Various watercraft including runabouts, pontoons, and fishing boats
  • – Ignition system: Electronic
  • – Starting system: Electric
  • – Shaft length options: Varies based on model
  • – Propeller options: Varies based on model
  • – Weight: Varies based on model
  • – Fuel capacity: Varies based on model
  • – Warranty: Manufacturer’s warranty applies
  • – Performance characteristics: Efficient fuel consumption, reliable power delivery, smooth operation

During the early 2000s, Mercury utilized Yamaha engines for their four stroke powerheads, ranging from 40 to 225 HP, excluding the Verados. However, this partnership reached it’s conclusion in March 2006. Following this, Mercury intended to introduce four cylinders for their 75 to 115 HP models, designed with the Verado engine block but lacking supercharging and intercooling capabilities.

What Years Did Mercury Use Yamaha Engines?

Mercury, a renowned manufacturer of outboard motors, had a noteworthy collaboration with Yamaha for a considerable number of years. Specifically, in the year 2006, Mercury introduced a range of models featuring Yamaha engines. These engines varied in power, with options available from 40 to 225 horsepower, excluding the Verado line.

To create these four-cylinder engines, Mercury chose to derive their design from the highly acclaimed Verado engine block, which had garnered significant attention for it’s impressive performance. However, the new models wouldn’t incorporate features such as supercharging or intercooling, distinguishing them from the Verado series.

It’s important to note that the decision to develop these new engines in-house marked a significant shift for Mercury.

With each new introduction, Mercury aimed to offer a range of options that catered to varying power requirements and fulfilled the demands of an ever-evolving market.

The Role of Design in Mercury’s Decision to Use Yamaha Engines

Design played a crucial role in Mercury’s decision to use Yamaha engines. When considering engine options, Mercury carefully evaluated the design aspects of the Yamaha engines, including their power, performance, and reliability. By leveraging Yamaha’s well-designed engines, Mercury was able to enhance the overall performance and efficiency of their products. The design considerations encompassed various aspects, such as fuel consumption, emissions, and durability, ensuring that the Yamaha engines aligned with Mercury’s quality standards. Ultimately, the decision to incorporate Yamaha engines into Mercury’s product line was heavily influenced by the impressive design features and capabilities of Yamaha’s engines.

The weight of a 20hp Mercury tiller is a crucial factor to consider when choosing the right outboard motor for your boat. In this case, the 20hp Mercury tiller has a dry weight of 99 lbs or 45 kg. This lightweight design allows for easier handling and maneuverability, making it an ideal option for smaller boats or for those who value portability. With it’s remote tiller steering and various shaft length options, this outboard motor offers versatility and performance on the water.

How Much Does a 20hp Mercury Tiller Weigh?

The weight of a 20hp Mercury tiller is around 99 lbs or 45 kg, making it one of the lightest models available in it’s class. With a power output of 20 EFI HP or 14.7 kW, this tiller is capable of delivering sufficient power for various boating activities. It’s remote tiller steering allows for easy maneuverability and control, providing a seamless boating experience.

The shaft length of this Mercury tiller is available in two options: 15 inches or 381 mm, and 20 inches or 508 mm. This allows for flexibility in mounting the tiller on different types of boats, depending on their design and requirement. The gearcase ratio is 2.15:1, which ensures smooth and efficient power transfer from the engine to the propeller.

With a weight of only 99 lbs or 45 kg, it offers great portability and ease of installation.

Furthermore, this tiller is equipped with advanced EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection) technology, which ensures better fuel efficiency and cleaner emissions. With EFI, the engine performance is optimized, providing smooth acceleration and reliable operation. This technology also contributes to lower maintenance requirements and improved overall engine longevity.


Overall, determining the specific year of a 20 horsepower Mercury outboard tiller can be a challenging task without resorting to listing specific details. However, it’s important to note that Mercury has been manufacturing these outboard engines for a significant period of time, with numerous advancements and model variations over the years.

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