Mercury Marine is part of the Brunswick group of companies with its headquarters in Lake Forest Illinois, USA, and one of the largest manufacturers of marine engines in the world.
The company’s marine business also includes boatbuilding plants and the manufacture of marine parts and accessories.
Brunswick Corporation markets two-stroke and four-stroke outboard engines from 2.5hp to 300hp under its Mercury and Mariner brands. Mercury prides itself on being an industry leader in emission-control technology. Emission standards are becoming more stringent as governments around the world seek to limit carbon and other emissions deemed harmful to the environment.
Mercury Marine is ISO 9001 certified and recently flew through its triennial audit. The ISO 9001 standard covers every aspect of Mercury’s business to do with customer and service support, along with warehousing, distribution and training.
Optimax 150 ProXS
For the new season, Mercury introduces a new addition to their high performance ProXS range of direct injection two-stroke outboards.
The Optimax 150 ProXS delivers a higher top speed, improved acceleration, and enhanced boat performance in comparison to standard Optimax 150hp outboards. In testing, Mercury claims top speeds for the ProXs that are 4kph faster than Mercury’s standard Optimax 150hp and almost 8kph faster than high-performance engines of its competitors.
The 2.5-litre V6 engine weighs just 195kg, affording an exceptional power-to-weight ratio, and Mercury has managed to squeeze even better fuel economy from the new Opti, despite its enhanced performance. Mercury claims fuel economy gains right across the new engine’s power band, but especially at cruise speed. The 150 ProXs carries a VELS 3-Star rating for ultra-low emissions.
The Mercury Optimax 150 ProXs is available in 20-inch (L) and 25-inch (XL) shaft lengths to suit a wide range of recreational and fishing applications, and is supplied with mechanical throttle and shift to keep re-powering costs down.
Mercury is pitching the new addition to the ProXs range as an ideal re-power option for boats with 150hp-175hp EFI or carburetted engines. According to Mercury, it will provide blistering hole-shots, better fuel economy, and enhanced boat performance overall.
Engines used recreationally (not for racing) are covered by Mercury’s 3 + 2 = 5-year warranty. All engines are protected by Mercury’s three-year corrosion warranty.
The Suzuki Corporation of Japan recently celebrated its 100th birthday. The company began building two-stroke outboards in 1955, pioneered oil-injection in 1980, and manufactured its first four-stroke engines with electronic fuel injection in 1997.
Since then, Suzuki has introduced a raft of innovations and many new models (all four-stroke), including the industry’s first 300hp four-stroke outboard (DF300, 2006), the first outboard with an electronic remote control (DF300) and industry-leading advanced fuel management technology. Suzuki Marine has won numerous international awards for its outboards.
Suzuki Marine announced several new models for this season.
The original award-winning DF300 was the very first 300-horsepower four-stroke outboard. It set a new benchmark for performance and power from a compact and lightweight outboard.
The latest model now features Suzuki’s Lean Burn Control technology, which, together with Suzuki’s innovative Oxygen Feedback Control system, affords dramatic fuel efficiency gains and reduced emissions.
Lean Burn Control, combined with Suzuki’s electronic throttle system, enables infinite electronic control of the fuel flow and airflow, broadening the engine’s controllable revolution range. This improves the fuel economy across a much wider range of engine speeds.
By monitoring the levels of oxygen in the exhaust emissions, the O² Feedback Control System provides continuous real-time adjustment to the air-fuel ratio, ensuring the optimum amount of fuel whatever the RPM.
Suzuki claims a 15% improvement in fuel economy for the new DF300 over the old model.
Other improvements include a new fuel filter that warns the operator of water in the fuel, both visibly on the digital engine gauges and through an audible alarm.
Suzuki designed the all-new DF60 to deliver fuel-efficient operation in a compact and lightweight outboard. Incorporating many of the advancements and achievements pioneered by Suzuki during ten years of designing and developing four-stroke outboards, Suzuki engineers have produced a sleek DF60 that tops its class for compact size and lightness.
The DF60A is an all-new three-cylinder engine with a DOHC powerhead and four valves per cylinder. This high-performance engine is combined with Suzuki’s Lean Burn Control System to deliver high-tech performance with efficient operation and superb fuel economy, claims Suzuki.
Other features include: a maintenance-free timing chain (a first in this class); electronic fuel injection; large capacity alternator; and a new tilt-limit system.
The DF60 joins the DF70, DF80 and DF90 in Suzuki’s new generation four-stroke line-up, providing boaties with excellent power, performance and class-leading fuel-efficiency.
New generation DF40A/DF50A
Suzuki has launched two new fuel-efficient, high-performance, four-stroke outboard motors for the summer of 2010-2011 – the new generation DF40A and DF50A.
These compact, lightweight engines boast a host of technical features that combine to give increased fuel efficiency and performance, along with improved durability.
Turn the key once and Suzuki’s Easy Start System automatically turns the engine over until it comes to life. Suzuki’s advanced Lean Burn Control technology takes full advantage of sensors monitoring engine performance and ambient environmental conditions. Using this input, the Lean Burn Control provides the fuel-injection system with precisely the right mixture of air and fuel, delivering optimal fuel efficiency.
Suzuki’s initial testing has shown a 23% improvement in fuel consumption over Suzuki’s current 40hp and 50hp models, mainly in the all-important cruising range. Performance is up, too: Suzuki engineers report a 6% improvement in top speed and 26% quicker acceleration for the new DF50 compared to the current Suzuki model.
Both outboards are based on Suzuki’s proven in-line three-cylinder, dual overhead cam (DOHC) 12-valve engine. They feature a highly efficient air intake system, which comes into effect in the high RPM range. Displacing 941 cm3 and with multi-point sequential electronic fuel injection, these engines show excellent throttle response, particularly when accelerating from cruising speeds.
Also new this year, the DF40 and DF50 feature maintenance-free oil-bathed timing chains – a first for engines in this class – promising dependable service and longer engine life.
Suzuki portable four-strokes
Suzuki’s new feature-packed DF8 and DF9.9 outboards offer 4-stroke technology in compact, portable packages.
The new engines have identical specifications and are engineered to be lighter, smaller and more fuel efficient, while still providing smooth power and reliable performance. The eight-horsepower DF8 represents a new category in the Suzuki four-stroke family.
Weighing only 39.5kg (manual start/short-shaft models), these new portables are easier to transport and handle. The DF8 and DF9.9 are available with tiller steering and a choice of easy-pull manual or electric starting.
The 208cc engines are new with in-line two-cylinder overhead cam powerheads and digital CDI ignition for smooth idling, crisp acceleration and significantly better fuel economy, especially during low to mid-range operation. Excellent fuel economy means more time on the water from each litre of petrol.
Suzuki’s new DF8 and DF9.9 also feature an innovative new Suzuki-Function Tiller Handle design that incorporates the forward/neutral/reverse shifting, throttle operation and throttle friction adjustment right into the streamlined tiller handle. This allows operators to perform all these functions without removing their hands from the tiller.
Honda was the first company in the world to manufacture four-stroke outboards, starting in 1964, and it has produced only four-strokes ever since.
Honda’s marine division produces an extensive range of reliable, fuel-efficient outboards that meet the world’s most stringent emission control standards – over 60 models from 2.3hp to 225hp.
Honda’s outboard technology draws on the company’s broad-ranging engine development programmes, including corporate jets, motorcars, motorbikes, PWCs and quad-bikes. Honda has a proud history of racing success in cars and motorbikes, and its engines are used by such high-profile drivers as Scott Dixon (Indy cars), Casey Stoner (Moto GP) and Dani Pedrosa (F1).
Honda can cite exceptional outboard reliability, borne out by zero mechanical failures in over 300 races for its 150hp outboard engine in New Zealand’s Formula Honda offshore racing series. Honda outboards have also seen extensive use in commercial water taxis, with heavily loaded boats doing 1000 hours per season and more.
New 115hp with ECOmo
Honda’s latest release is the brand new, ultra fuel-efficient 115hp model. This closely follows the release of a new 2.3hp air-cooled portable, and the all-new 60hp model released last year.
The new 115hp incorporates a range of Honda-exclusive technologies to deliver superior power and fuel efficiency.
The 115 shares many components with Honda Accord/CRV automotive engines and the 150hp Formula Honda offshore racing engines to produce an engine with proven Honda engineering and reliability.
Fuel consumption is down 20% on the old model, thanks to Honda’s lean burn control system. Known as ECOmo (Economy controlled motor), the system activates when engine revolutions are in the middle of the range, the boat is cruising, and the throttle is steady.
In Honda New Zealand’s own testing, a new 115hp engine installed on a Challenger 595 achieved a remarkable three kilometres per litre at cruising speed. Such miserly fuel consumption means boats need to carry less fuel (for less weight) and can expect more sea miles per tank, says Honda.
The new Honda 115hp actually produces 121hp. Combined with BLAST (boosted low speed torque), Honda claims the extra power delivers explosive hole-shot performance, rocketing boats onto the plane.
The Honda 115hp is also NMEA compatible, meaning all engine data, including speed, fuel consumption, cruising distance etc, can be displayed on the GPS screen.
All of Honda’s outboards from 40hp to 225hp now feature BLAST, ECOmo and NMEA 2000 features.
Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP)
Canadian-based industrial giant BRP, manufacturer of trains, aircraft, PWCs and snowmobiles, as well as Evinrude and Johnson outboards, has in recent years continued to expand its range of fuel-efficient, low emission direct-injection E-TEC outboards.
The company has no new outboard models for the new season, but it has begun the rollout of its high-tech ICON electronic control system. ICON has been extremely well received by the world’s boating press, and is now fitted as standard on four each of Evinrude’s E-TEC 250hp and 300hp models.
BRP ICON electronic control system
Evinrude ICON is an advanced, intelligent electronic shift and throttle system for Evinrude E-TEC outboard engines, engineered to fit up to five Evinrude E-TEC V6 outboards at once. No application too big or too small, say BRP’s engineers.
ICON controls support from one to five Evinrude E-TEC V6 engines, including dual station/flying bridge applications. An additional station can be installed with minimal parts and effort.
For non-ICON factory models, an ICON engine add-on kit is available to fit Evinrude E-TEC 150hp through 300hp models 2008 and later. ICON engine add-on kits include the actuators and all necessary installation components.
The all-new electronic shift and control component on the Evinrude ICON control system feature an advanced high-speed network controller that electronically delivers effortless shifting and precise throttle control in a reliable and intuitive package.
Specialised features include: gear position indicators; neutral throttle advance; synchronized engine trim; RPM Tune; and a unique PowerSync control for multi-engine applications. The ICON control system is designed to provide boaters with a more reliable, user-friendly boating experience – features like RPM Tune and PowerSync offer the helmsman more control than ever before.
Evinrude ICON interfaces perfectly with Evinrude I-Command digital gauges. I-Command gauges provide the boat operator with significant information enhancements, such as gear position display, auto-winterising command and enhanced engine diagnostics – benefits that no other NMEA 2000 gauge can offer.
Yamaha Marine has plenty going on and a lot to shout about as we head into the southern summer season, including: three new, high-tech, large capacity, V6 four-stroke engines; a completely new four-stroke 70hp; and new generation 4/5/6hp portables.
Yamaha Motor New Zealand has also introduced the company’s range of premium gauges featuring user-configurable, five-inch, full-colour LCD displays.
The new generation V6 Offshore engines are probably the ones that have caused the most excitement, selling out in every market they have been released in so far. The new Offshore F300, F250 and F225 engines are based on a newly developed 4.2-litre, 60-degree V6 block – the largest capacity in the class – with double overhead camshafts and variable valve timing.
The F70 is a development of Yamaha’s popular F60 and shares the same displacement and stroke, but weighs considerably less – less than any four-stroke or direct-injection two-stroke in its class. The styling is totally new, as is the single-cam head design.
Yamaha’s new portables are compact, lightweight and powerful. All three are low-emission engines and display CARB 3-star ratings – highly unusual amongst portable outboards.
Yamaha V6 Offshore outboards
At 235kg, Yamaha’s new V6 Offshore series is 112kg lighter than their V8s and up to 23kg lighter than Yamaha’s other four-stroke V6s. Indeed, all the new engines are lighter than Yamaha’s 3.3-litre F225. The company also claims a weight advantage of up to 42kg over competitive 300hp four-stroke outboards.
The big-bore 4.2-litre displacement is the result of the marine industry’s first use of plasma-fused sleeveless cylinders – displacement is increased without enlarging the outer diameter of the cylinder.
The engines spin a larger propeller for better hole shots, and the naturally aspirated Offshore 300hp lays claim to the fastest acceleration of any 300hp V6 on the market, instantaneous throttle response, and best-in-class cruise speed at 4000rpm. Variable Trolling RPM Control is standard.
Yamaha also claims best-in-class fuel economy at mid-range cruise speed (up to 17%), the most powerful alternator (70-amp – up to 29% higher than equivalent competitive engines), as well as less noise and vibration.
The 24-valve, DOHC, 60-degree-vee engines feature multi-point electronic fuel injection, variable camshaft timing (VCT), in-bank exhaust and direct coil-in-cap ignition.
The new V6s are fitted with Yamaha’s Lan Digital Electronic Controls, rigging system and hardware. They are compatible with external NMEA-2000-compatible displays or gauges.
Along with many other features that boost the engine’s user-friendliness, a new shift dampener system results in the quietest of shifts, all but eliminating ‘clunks’ as forward or reverse gear is engaged.
Yamaha’s new generation Offshore V6 engines continue Yamaha’s reputation for reliable, powerful offshore engines, but raise the bar in terms of performance and innovation.
Yamaha F70 four-stroke
Yamaha’s new, lightweight F70 four-stroke punches well above its weight, even when compared to the well regarded F60 from which it was developed. Four valves per cylinder result in improved volumetric efficiency – better breathing – allowing safe operation at higher revolutions (max 6300rpm). Top-end performance benefits most, but there are torque and power improvements throughout the rev range.
Displacement and stroke are the same as the F60, but Yamaha’s new mid-range performer features a single overhead camshaft to actuate each cylinder’s four valves, rather than the now conventional dual camshaft, two-valve setup. A single cam results in a lighter head, part of an overall programme to make the engine lighter and more efficient. Fuel economy and torque are both improved.
Yamaha has incorporated all of its latest weight saving and streamlining developments into the new F70, and the curvaceous design should complement the looks of any boat.
Available in short- and long-shaft configurations, with a 2.33:1 final ratio for high thrust via Yamaha’s large diameter propellers, the F70 is backed by a four-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Yamaha F4, F5 and F6 portables
Engineers strive for three things in portable outboards: light weight, compact dimensions and power. According to Yamaha, its new generation portable line-up delivers on all counts.
Yamaha’s low emission four-stroke portables fill a vital horsepower bracket. A 139cc single-cylinder overhead valve engine is tuned to produce 2.9kW (4hp) @ 4500rpm, 3.7kW (5hp) @ 5000rpm or 4.5kW (6hp) @ 5000rpm, at the same time delivering optimum efficiency. All three meet US 2010 EPA regulations, 2008 CARB regulations and 2006 EU RCD marine regulations.
Yamaha portables are fitted with low-vibration rubber mounts between the powerhead and the bottom cowling, along with an additional mount at the base of the tiller handle. The upshot is smoother operation and less operator fatigue.
An ergonomically-designed front grip and rear carry handle combination makes the engines easy to transport, along with an all-up weight of only 27/28kg. Yamaha’s oil-leak prevention system allows storage or transport of the motors on either side, or the front, without oil leaks.
A decompression device ensures easy starts every time, and a three-step shallow-water drive system allows close beach approaches, as well as being handy when negotiating shallow rivers or estuaries.
All models in this range come with tiller handle and manual start, in long- or short-shaft configuration, and a range of propellers is available to suit any application.
This article is reproduced with express permission of
by John Eichelsheim - 2010
Re-publishing elsewhere is prohibited
Originally published in New Zealand Fishing News