Mechanical or digital shift

Hi guys, am looking at one of the new 200hp v6 mercury engines, and looks like I have a choice between mechanical or digital shift. I have never used digital shift before, and have little understanding of the difference so was just after people’s thoughts on whether it warrants the additional cost? From what I understand it’s supposed to be smoother? Any thoughts as to which would be more reliable? 

Any advice greatly appreciated!!!


Posts: 351

Date Joined: 26/03/17

Also, any thoughts on

Fri, 2019-11-08 12:43

Also, any thoughts on hydraulic or power steering? 

scubafish's picture

Posts: 663

Date Joined: 15/08/12

Just suggestion

Fri, 2019-11-08 13:18


Posts: 351

Date Joined: 26/03/17

Thanks mate! 

Fri, 2019-11-08 14:02

Thanks mate! 

Posts: 414

Date Joined: 19/06/14

Fly by wire all the way

Fri, 2019-11-08 15:50

I've got  FBW for my two Verados . I'll never go back to mechanical, nuff said . 


 My wife understands why I clean my rods n reels in the shower....


Posts: 3933

Date Joined: 01/02/10

 Digital is lovely if you

Fri, 2019-11-08 16:00

 Digital is lovely if you have it. Well worth the initial extra outlay. 


Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

Darren253's picture

Posts: 394

Date Joined: 23/07/16

What is the cost added? 

Sat, 2019-11-09 12:29

What is the cost added? 

Posts: 351

Date Joined: 26/03/17

Think it’s about 2k. If it’s

Sun, 2019-11-10 07:02

Think it’s about 2k. If it’s a better option I’m happy to pay it, my biggest aim is to get what is most reliable as hate the thought of breaking down, as whole point in upgrading is to be able to head out further and potentially to more remote spots. 

Posts: 414

Date Joined: 19/06/14


Sun, 2019-11-10 07:49

I'd be more worried about losing a motor versus losing FBW . These days when something shits it self it's usually a sensor / something that can't be fixed in the middle of no where . My tub is set up so both sides are completely independent, lose one side ,the other should get me home . It's well worth the extra loot , just make sure you use docking mode!  


 My wife understands why I clean my rods n reels in the shower....


Posts: 351

Date Joined: 26/03/17

Good points. Unfortunately

Sun, 2019-11-10 09:23

Good points. Unfortunately will be single engine setup. Will put a bracket in for a smaller outboard for remote trips in case limp mode fails, but dual engine wasn’t really an option for this boat . 

Posts: 61

Date Joined: 13/02/17


Mon, 2019-11-11 21:28

 I purchased a boat last summer with my first fbw and its like having power assist on your throttle controler. Its awsome. They are so smooth you actually got to feather the lever to make sure your in gear.

Ive never tried to fix one and not yet had problems so i hope it stays that way. If you got the coin go the fly by wire

Posts: 156

Date Joined: 28/11/16

An interesting question

Wed, 2019-11-13 07:50

An interesting question though. Which is more reliable mechanical or electronic. I would guess mechanical. Easy to fix if you’re in the middle of nowhere but of course the digital shift is much smoother  

Coastrunner's picture

Posts: 265

Date Joined: 25/10/14


Wed, 2019-11-13 09:19

My understanding is the new Mercs with either mechanical or FBW have a solenoid in the gearbox for F/N/R so they are not totally mechanical gear shift.

You put your faith in technology and the FBW is much smoother to operate, its the way to go.

FBW (or DTS in Merc speak) on a 200Hp Merc is $1,500 if optioned new, over twice that to retro fit.

Jackalchub's picture

Posts: 467

Date Joined: 10/03/12

 You'll never go back from

Wed, 2019-11-13 09:23

 You'll never go back from electronic throttle once you have it, superior control 

sea-kem's picture

Posts: 11805

Date Joined: 30/11/09

 Most aircraft are FWB these

Wed, 2019-11-13 11:22

 Most aircraft are FWB these days far superior set up less chance of mechanical failure. 


Love the West!

scuttlebutt's picture

Posts: 422

Date Joined: 24/03/06

 What am I missing?  Will be

Sat, 2019-11-16 15:50

 What am I missing?  Will be looking to repower in a year or so but can't see the value in the fly by wire.  Tried it on a mates boat and it was so light (suzuki) I bumped it into gear and nearly fell over when the boat took off.  Usually when I  go somewhere I set the speed and leave it alone.  I've still got my old opti and the gear shift isn't rough enough to bother me, I  certainly couldn't justify $1500 to 2k to make it smoother.  Everyone with it seems to rave about it though so I must be missing something 

Posts: 156

Date Joined: 28/11/16

I have digital but I don’t

Sun, 2019-11-17 20:10

I have digital but I don’t see the big deal either not a huge difference if you have decent cables without tight bends etc