Although the draw at the shows is always the gorgeous boats, these vessels would go nowhere without the power behind them. Outboard engine manufacturers are continuing to update their models to provide smoother acceleration, improve fuel economy, fully maximize power, and withstand limitless hours in the salt. All the technological advances in engine design are hard to keep up with, but the simple matter of fact is that the outboard engine manufacturers are producing engines that are making it possible for us to spend less time worrying about our investment and more time fishing. Here is a preview of some of the latest models featured at the shows from the major outboard manufacturers.
If power is what you seek, Suzuki has raised the bar for 4-stroke outboard engines by unveiling the DF300, the world’s first 300 horsepower V6 4-stroke motor. Offered in 25 and 30 -inch shaft configurations with available counter rotation, the new DF300 matches well with the larger, 25’ plus fishing boats. In addition to the 300 horsepower the DF300’s 4.0 liter V6 24-valve engine offers the largest displacement in its class. The new, large displacement engine is based on a narrow, 55-degree block and uses Suzuki’s offset driveshaft for a compact overall size that balances better on the transom.
The DF300 is Suzuki’s first outboard to feature an advanced electronic throttle/shift control, called the Precision Control system, which was developed to provide easier rigging, improved safety, and effortless vessel operation. This computerized, fly-by-wire system eliminates the friction and resistance of mechanical control cables so you get smooth, friction-free throttle operation and decisive shifting. Suzuki’s remote control panel makes it easier to precisely operate or synchronize single, twin or triple engines.
The new engine shares performance features with other popular V6 models, including a Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC) powerhead with four valves per cylinder, Variable Valve Timing (VVT), and multi-point electronic fuel. A newly developed streamlined gear case reduces resistance while the boat is underway and contributes to increased top speed. Plus, this engine is lower than previous ones, which increases both top speed and acceleration.
Yamaha’s New F20 and F15C
The online reports this past season have shown that Nor’easters are hitting the flats and canals in their areas with much success. For those of you who enjoy the thrill of shallow water action from small or inflatable boats, Yamaha has introduced their new F20 and F15C. These 15 and 20 horsepower models have a large-displacement, 2-cylinder, 22.1-cubic inch four-stroke powerhead with a single overhead camshaft to maximize power while minimizing weight and size. The cylinders on these models are offset to save space and achieve a compact shape.
When navigating a smaller boat, your constant position next to the engine creates a need for engine that runs quiet, but can still perform. For this reason, Yamaha designed a new large-volume air intake silencer and streamlined intake manifold that allow more direct airflow into the engine, while minimizing noise.
When operating manual tilt models in shallow water, Yamaha’s standard Shallow Water Drive is a necessity. Designed to allow low-speed operation in shallow water, it also allows easy return to normal running angle with the use of a conveniently located release lever. Both outboards feature a waist driveshaft designed to help absorb the forces caused by a strong propeller strike by temporarily twisting at its waist, then returning to its original shape. This helps protect the drive shaft, powerhead, and other engine components.
Corrosion fighting measures include a freshwater flushing device, YDC30 aluminum alloy, ACP-221 multi-layer paint application process and sacrificial zinc anodes. Overheat, low oil pressure, and over-rev sensors protect the owner’s investment in the engine and provide peace of mind. If a problem should occur, such as debris in the water blocking the water intakes, the sensors alert the operator and automatically reduce engine speed to 2,000 rpm to keep the outboard from overheating and being damaged.