Home » April 2018 » Engine companies maintain high profiles at MIBS 

Engine companies maintain high profiles at MIBS 

By Tim Hennagir

As more powerful marine engines are introduced, manufacturers don’t miss an opportunity to showcase their muscular propulsion product offerings.

Here’s a quick recap of company announcements from this year’s Miami International Boat Show.

Mercury

Mercury Marine officially introduced its new V-6 FourStroke outboard family and the expansion of its SeaPro commercial line the evening prior to the show’s opening.

The new engine family features 175 HP, 200 HP, and 225 HP FourStroke outboards and a V-6 200 HP SeaPro commercial outboard.

The 3.4L V-6 employs a large displacement, naturally aspirated powerhead and proven mid-section and drive-system designs.

Other innovations on the 3.4L V-6 include a top cowl service door that provides easy oil check and fill and Adaptive Speed Control that maintains RPM regardless of load or condition changes, improving the driving experience. 

At 475 pounds, the engine is the lightest in its class, and is 35 pounds lighter than current product in this range, the company reported.

Mercury Marine President John Pfeifer said the new 3.4-liter, V-6, 4-stroke outboard engine will replace the 3-liter Optimax, and the 2.5-liter and 3-liter Pro XS, along with the company’s L4 Verado product. 

“This engine will address multiple market segments, from offshore saltwater, to bass fishing, pontoon segments, and repowering,” Pfeifer said. “We ran this engine through 23,000 hours of durability testing at Lake X,” he added, referring to Mercury’s secluded Florida testing facility. “We are pretty excited about it.”

David Foulkes, Brunswick’s chief technology officer and Mercury vice president of product development, engineering and racing, said the engine is 12 percent better in low-cruise speed fuel economy and 16 percent better in high speed economy when compared with its nearest competitor and 7 percent better at wide-open throttle.

”This engine is very torquey, and it’s going on bigger boats with a lot of electronic features,” Foulkes said. “We put a huge alternator on this engine. It will produce 20 amps net output at idle, and 85 amps wide open. This engine will power anything.”

Honda

Honda Marine showcased its redesigned and improved BF200, BF225 and BF250 V6 outboards and provided a brief business update Thursday morning at MIBS. 

The three motors sport Honda’s new Progressive V Form design, parts of which were first seen on the company’s 2017 design concept engine.

Will Walton, Honda Marine assistant vice president, provides a product update at the Miami International Boat Show.

The revamped Honda V6 engines feature a number of enhancements for improved reliability and ease of maintenance. Corrosion resistance is improved with a new coating on the surface of engine hardware that utilizes a chemically treated, zinc-nickel plating with a high corrosion-resistant top coat. The number of anodes on each engine’s V bank has been increased from two to four. 

The technology applied to the refreshed Honda BF200, BF225 and BF250 V6 engines is derived from the same technology that powers Honda automobiles.

All three outboards feature multiple rigging options; choices include both Intelligent Shift and Throttle (iST) as well as mechanical control options, said Will Walton, Honda Marine assistant vice president. 

 “We keep hearing from dealers it’s hard to fine experienced technicians,” Walton said. “We’ve made the job of maintaining these products easier by relocating the high-pressure fuel filter and adding a larger diameter dipstick tube.” 

The BF200, BF225, BF250 outboard motors, available in either Aquamarine Silver or Grand Prix White, will be available starting in the fourth quarter of this year.

Yanmar

Yanmar North and South American Area Manager Kevin Harlan leads the company’s press briefing at MIBS.

Yanmar Marine unveiled the latest edition to its family of new generation, common rail diesel engines, the 3JH40 inboard.

The new 3-cylinder engine will enable smaller leisure boat owners and commercial vessel operators to benefit from the efficiency and performance advantages associated with electronically-managed CR fuel-injection technology, said Yanmar North and South American Area Manager Kevin Harlan. 

“This engine achieves our goals of being clean and quiet, and providing interconnectivity,” Harlan said. “It’s ideal for builders of new boats.”

The 4-stroke, water-cooled 3JH40 can also be used for repowering applications, specifically monohull sailing yachts and catamarans up to 45 feet, small motor boats or sloops, and light duty commercial craft.

Yanmar’s common rail engine range is complemented by a choice of Yanmar controls, including the new JC20 joystick system.

Yanmar also introduced two higher-power engines, the 230 and 250 HP. That announcement follows the 2017 introduction of 150, 170 and 195 HP units in the 4LV Series of common rail engines.

“We’re using the same base engine, which gives us a very broad power density,” Harlan said. This engine is very clean burning. We’ve greatly reduced the turbo whine and used a counterbalance in the crankshaft.”

Suzuki

Suzuki’s late Thursday afternoon press conference in the MIBS engine tent focused on the new DF350A and a recap of upgrades to its product line.

The company’s promotional presence included just under 10,000 horsepower on the MIBS docks, said Gus Blakely, vice president and division head, marine, ‎Suzuki Motor of America. 

Gus Blakely, vice president and division head, marine, Suzuki Motor of America, provides a product overview for MIBS trade press.

At 350 horsepower, the V6 4-stroke is the largest, most powerful outboard Suzuki has built to date. In development for more than three years, the engine’s displacement of 4.4 liters is matched by a high-performance 12.0:1 compression ratio, the highest ever for a production outboard engine.

 “While superchargers and turbochargers are an option to make horsepower, Suzuki took a different approach by redesigning the intake system, with a dual-louver system that works like an intercooler, keeping the intake air cool, and making sure no water enters into the engine.” Blakely said.

Yamaha

Yamaha Marine Group President Ben Speciale hosted a day-ending press reception Thursday at the Marriott Biscayne Bay. 

“The show was awesome today,” he said. “We could not have asked for better weather.” Walking through the show, and talking to manufacturers, business is very, very good, Speciale added.

“We are doing very well as a company,” he reported. “The last three years, we’ve had a lot of sales, I feel good and positive about the future of our industry. [However], I don’t think we are selling enough new boats yet, and we’re not back to a reasonable replacement level like it was pre-recession. I think there is a long runway to go.”

Regarding recent launches, Speciale mentioned the V MAX SHO 90 for boaters looking to replace older, two-stroke 90-horsepower outboards, the Yamaha F25 portable four-stroke, and the company’s 300 and 350 V-8 engines.

Seven Marine

Seven Marine unveiled two brand new models, running at 527 and 577 HP, and a redesigned and enhanced 627 HP mode, during its Friday press conference.

The new outboards are built on Seven’s 6.2L supercharged V8 platform with closed cooling, wet-disc clutch transmission and fuel injection. All three models have Seven’s new twin-prop CR (contra-rotating) gearcase option. 

 “The standard single-prop unit is for speeds from 60 to 85 mph, and the twin-prop unit is for heavier boats running less than 60 mph,” said Rick Davis, Seven Marine president and CEO.

Other announced features included new cowl designs for improved airflow, strengthened twin-pinion gear case, increased gear ratio range, an enhanced raw water pump, and upgraded transfer case design. 

The new 527 features an all-new 1.91:1 gear ratio option, which transmits the engine’s torque into high thrust to propel big boats, Davis said.

The company’s existing 557 Seven engine is being phased out and will be replaced by the all-new 527 and 577s models, providing the ability to offer the tailored Seven outboard experience to a greater range of customers, Davis added. 

 

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