The electrification of outboard motors is coming – soon. That is the #1 trend we are following in this segment of the fishing marketplace. Mercury Marine is said to have four fully electric powered outboard motors ready for introduction this year. Now they won’t be able to power your bass boat but Mercury’s Avator line will be more aimed at the small boat owner, but it’s realistic to expect electric options for most freshwater boat within five years. Yamaha isn’t far behind with their electric power outboards either.
Other trends we are following include V12 outboards, digital/joystick steering and
While not all that common to see a Honda on the transom of a bass boat, it’s not unusual anymore. The Honda BF series includes 250, 225 and 200 hp models built on a 3.6 liter, 4-stroke, single overhead cam, 60-degree, 24-valve V6 block that originated in Honda racing and was used in Accuras.
The Honda BF 250 comes in versions that weigh 609-632 pounds. White and silver models are available. At idle, when the engine senses a need for additional amperage, Honda’s AMP+ automatically increases the rpm’s by 100 to produce an additional 9 amps. This helps prevent the draining of critical battery power when using multiple accessories. The charging system features a 90 amp “On Demand” belt-driven alternator with 60 charging amps. This superior design reduces heat buildup and provides outstanding battery charging across the RPM range. www.hondamarine.com
Mercury Marine, a division of Brunswick Corporation introduced the industry’s first V10 outboard with the official launch of its all-new 5.7L 350 and 400hp Verado outboard engines last winter. This winter it’s the new V12 600 hp Verado. Now you won’t be powering your bass boat with this outboard, however, the saltwater guys are going to love.
It features a two-speed transmission, electro-hydraulic controls (imagine the torque this thing generates?), contra-rotating propellers and surprisingly quiet operation built around a block that displaces 7.6 liters and weighs 1,260 pounds.
Mercury’s Pro XS 175-300 hp are by far the most common motor you will find on area angler’s bass boats (except for Skeeters, that come rigged with Yamahas). The V8 outboards (300, 250, 225) are built around a 4.6-liter block and weigh just 511 pounds.
Not much has yet been made public about Mercury’s Avator electric outboards. It is rumored that select dealers may see availability in spring. www.mercurymarine.com
With outboards that range from 2.5 to 350 horsepower, Suzuki is another option area anglers might consider for a repower or small boat.
New for 2023 is a 75 hp four stroke perfect for a wide range of boats. Suzuki says the performance, fuel efficiency and durability of the new DF75 make it an ideal power choice for a wide range of fishing and family boats, from center consoles, flats skiffs and RIBS to pontoon boats, deck boats and aluminum lake boats.
The DF75 is built with a rugged one-piece, forged crankshaft, an oil-bathed, self-adjusting timing chain and Suzuki’s multi-layer anti-corrosion system for strong protection against the harsh marine environment. Built-in technology such as a self-diagnostics system, oil change reminder system and fuel water detection system help boaters maintain their DF75 outboards and keep them running strong season after season. In addition, Suzuki’s Tilt Limit System helps prevent accidental damage to the boat or outboard due to excessive tilting of the motor. The Suzuki DF75 is available with a black or white paint finish, to best match a variety of boats. Suzuki offers the DF75 in Long (20”) and Extra Long (25”) shaft lengths — and the motor can be converted to tiller steering.
The Suzuki SS series of outboards (250, 200, 150 and 115 models) are best suited for bass boats. The 250 and 200 are interestingly built on different blocks. The 250 is a 4.1 liter, 60-degree V6 that weighs in at 578 pounds. The 200 is a V4 that weighs 518 pounds. These motors are not light. They do include a standard five-year warranty. www.suzukimarine.com
Probably the most popular outboard for small boat owners due to price and reliability, Tohatsu now offers a full line of motors capable of powering today’s bass boats. The BFT series consists of 250, 225, 200 and 150 and 115 hp options. The BFT115D is new for 2023 and built on a four cylinder, four stroke that weighs 487 pounds.
The 250, 225 and 200 outboards utilize a 3.6 liter 60-degree V6 that weighs in at 619 pounds. A five-year warranty is standard with these outboards.
Ed Allen’s Boats & Baits on Chickahominy Lake is a Tohatsu dealer. www.tohatsu.com
The line of Yamaha SHO outboards in 250, 225 and 200 hp remain big blue’s top-selling bass boat powerplant. These outboards are built around a 60-degree, 4.2-liter block and weigh 529-567 pounds. A few industry exclusive features worth noting include a new alternator that generates 70 gross amps of charging power. This 40% increase in charging is more than enough juice for anglers’ growing array of on-board tech. The Yamaha SHO outboards can also be equipped with an optional isolator lead to better charge house or trolling batteries.
Designed exclusively for V Max SHO V6 20-inch-shaft outboards, V MAX SHO Series propellers are available in one-inch pitch increments from 22 to 27 inches, for fine-tuning wide-open-throttle RPM for tournament-level performance.
Optional digital SHO backlit gauges provide real-time outboard performance, boat systems and environmental data at your fingertips. Streamlined displays are designed to withstand the elements and are available in square or round style for single- or multi-engine applications.
With a quick double-tap of the trim button, Yamaha’s new, exclusive, TotalTilt® performs a full tilt up or down, until it reaches the trim rams. This makes trailering quick and easy and is handy when a complete up or down tilt is needed.