Improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions highlight changes for 2017
With the US economy once again firing on all cylinders, new product announcements in the boating industry have been coming at a rapid-fire pace, and nowhere is this more evident than in marine power. The latest new boat engines offer unprecedented power, performance and fuel economy, whether we’re talking tiny outboards for the dinghy or massive inboards for the largest yachts.
Here’s a look at some of the highlights for the 2017 season.
Although they were introduced last summer, the 2017 boat shows represented the first time consumers could get a close-up look at Evinrude’s all-new E-TEC G2 150, 150 HP, 175 and 200 horsepower models, which join the higher-horsepower G2 models up to 300 hp that came out in 2014.
The new 150, 150 H.O., 175 and 200 horsepower models are said to deliver up to 30% more torque, up to 15% greater fuel efficiency, and up to 75% fewer total regulated emissions than competing four-strokes. All are available with integrated Dynamic Power Steering and i-Trim, Evinrude’s intelligent trim system, and digital shift and throttle. The new engines will be offered in all current G2 colours, including new Ice Blue and Mossy Oak camo finishes.
In addition to the new G2 engine line up, BRP also unveiled a new 60 horsepower Evinrude H.O. model for the 2017 season, built on the same inline three-cylinder platform used in the company’s 75 to 90 horsepower E-TECs. Available in 20-inch and 25-inch shaft lengths, the new 60 will fill a void between the existing E-TEC 60 and 75 models, making it ideal for high-thrust applications such as pontoon boats.
Focusing on its portable new boat engines this year, Honda comes into the 2017 model year with all-new BF4, BF5 and BF6 outboards available with either a short (15-inch) or long (20-inch) shaft. The engines utilize a new internal fuel tank and mounts for quieter operation and extended range. The engine power head is now physically separated from the tiller handle to virtually eliminate handle vibration.
Indmar Marine Engines greets 2017 with its all-new Raptor 460, a watersports engine that is said to generate a healthy 453 lb-ft of torque.
Based on the Ford 6.2L 16-valve SOHC V8 engine with dual-equal variable cam timing used in the F-150 F-Series Super Duty truck line, the new Raptor 460 features a high torque intake manifold and high horsepower throttle body that give it outstanding torque and an excellent power-to-weight ratio.
Mercury puts a major push on its big power options for 2017, in both its stern drive and outboard product lines.
On the stern drive front, Mercury’s new QCv4 860 features a 9.0L naturally aspirated block, Mercury’s Digital Throttle and Shift (DTS) control, automatic throttle synchronization and runs on 89 octane fuel. The big brother QCv4 1750 Competition model generates a whopping 1,750 horsepower on 117 MON VP C16 race fuel from its twin-turbocharged, 9.0L V8 block, making it the most powerful engine ever produced by Mercury Racing. Interestingly, both of the new engines come in a choice of 12 colors.
Also new for 2017 is the MerCruiser Diesel 6.7L, offered in 480, 500 and 550 horsepower versions. Available with the Mercury Zeus pod drive system. it’s fully compatible with Mercury’s full SmartCraft control and gauge lineup, including joystick control for one-handed docking.
The big news in outboards is the all-new Verado 400 Carbon Edition, which is essentially a new look to the existing 400R. According to Mercury, the new engine is “an exotic high performance Verado outboard, featuring contemporary layered surfacing sculpted out of lightweight carbon fiber composite. Carbon Edition 400Rs share all of the industry leading performance characteristics and creature comforts of its Phantom Black and Cold Fusion White 400R siblings, while providing an even higher level of luxury with this bold, aggressive visual treatment.”
Suzuki’s DF150AP and DF175AP outboards now use the same 175-cubic-inch displacement block as the company’s venerable 200-hp 4-stroke, giving these two engines the greatest displacement in their class. Both operate with Suzuki’s digital throttle and shift, and feature the company’s Lean Burn technology to deliver outstanding fuel economy.
The company has also released a new matte-black version of its DF200, now with SS graphics and a new cowling to improved air flow and engine cooling.
The cowling of Tohatsu’s all-new 9.9 horsepower MFS9.8B and 8 horsepower MFS8B follows the modern styling cues introduced with its updated MFS40, giving the engines a fresh, contemporary look. Both new boat engines share the same two-cylinder, 209cc engine block, the same 6 amp alternator and an identical engine mounting bracket.
Volvo Penta offers a pair of new V8 stern drives for the 2017 model year, with the launch of its all-new 6.2L 380 and 430 models. Based on the General Motors Gen-V all-aluminum block, the big new boat engines boast an impressive power-to-weight ratio and direct fuel injection for maximum power and efficiency. Variable valve timing is said to optimize torque across the full acceleration range, while the lighter aluminum block makes these new engines 110 pounds lighter than the previous models.
The 380 is said to be up to 25% faster and 11% more fuel-efficient than the engine it replaces, while the 430 offers up to 15% more speed and 10% better fuel consumption than the previous model.
After focusing on its high horsepower engines for the past few years, Yamaha has shifted focus to the mid-range for 2017, with all new versions of its F75 and F90 four-strokes, along with all new F25, F8 and F2.5 portables.
The new F75 and F90 are lighter, faster and more powerful than the older engines they replace. Both are built on a new 1.8L block, and feature SOHC four-valve-per-cylinder designs that increase volumetric efficiency while cutting weight by 13 pounds over the previous models. The 90 is also available in a 25-inch long-shaft version that will better suit some deep-V fishing boats and pontoons. Variable trolling technology and a higher alternator output (with 35 amps of power) make them perfect for multi-species aluminum fishing rigs.
The all-new Yamaha F25 has been redesigned from the skeg up to be the lightest 25 horsepower outboard on the market. In fact, at 126 pounds, it’s an absolute featherweight, yet it still manages to pack in exciting new features like battery-less EFI and an optional electric start kit.
On the portable front, the redesigned F8 now features microcomputer Ignition that adjusts timing for optimal performance, economy and power under all conditions. Manual-start models feature an easy grip starter knob with a built-in decompression device.
Yamaha’s all-new F2.5 model is now certified with three stars from the California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board (C.A.R.B.) for ultra-low emissions, while a new oil leak prevention system allows the outboard to lie flat when not in use.