Power Your Way Through ’24: New Outboards For The New Year - The Fisherman

Power Your Way Through ’24: New Outboards For The New Year

Last year was considered by many boating industry analysts as a step forward towards normalcy with regards to outboard and rigging accessory availabilities. Yet while we are trending in the right direction again, things are certainly more expensive, courtesy of the inflation cycle the past 12 to 15 months.

Economics and supply chain logistics lessons aside, it’s hard to believe some of the “ginormous” outboard powered craft that are currently on the market, with bigger and better hulls being introduced seemingly with every passing boat show season. One of the most striking craft from the recent Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show was Viking’s Valhalla V-55 center console that sported not one, not two, not three, not four, but a total of five Mercury V-12 600s on its transom! For those without a calculator, that’s 3,000 horsepower, the sum of which will produce a top speed in excess of 73 mph which is totally ridiculous in a completely awesome way!

With even larger outboard craft on the immediate horizon, boat builders are working hand-in-hand in real time with outboard manufacturers to leverage both existing and future technology. With many larger 40-foot plus sportfishers adopting multiple outboards on their transoms, in addition to a growing interest from sport boat manufacturers who are rapidly augmenting their historical I/O and straight inboard setups with outboard power, there’s more demand for larger horsepower engines than ever before from the OEM side of the equation. Individual consumers like us have to wait on line, especially when going down the big block, multi-engine V6, V8, V10 and V12 four-stroke outboard path. Although most engine manufacturers are getting closer to meeting their real-time demand curves with their existing models, there are a few newbies that are being introduced for 2024, so let’s get right into it.


Yamaha F450

Yamaha F450

After speaking with sources at the recent Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, I can tell you that Yamaha has been diligently working on filling the conspicuous horsepower gap between its very popular F300 V6 and F450 XTO V8 four-stroke outboards, which came about with the recent phase out of the F350 V8 from the product line. I uncovered some reliable rumors that there might be a new product introduction at the upcoming Miami Boat Show scheduled for mid-February of 2024. We shall see.

As many Fisherman readers know, for the 2023 season Yamaha upgraded their F425 XTO platform to the new and improved F450. Featuring the same 5.6 liters of big block V8 displacement and long list of popular features from the original XTO 425, the updated XTO 450 improves upon this powerful platform and feeds the industry need for larger and more powerful outboards. To help meet the extreme electrical demands of today’s larger boats, the Yamaha XTO Offshore 450 now boasts more charging power, featuring a three-phase, simultaneous charging system that delivers an incredible amount of net amps at low rpm, where it’s needed most.

Using Phase Angle Control (PAC) componentry to create a super-strong magnetic field, XTO Offshore 450 models produce up to 96 net amps per engine in neutral, which should be plenty of power for today’s popular, high-demand devices such as gyro stabilizers, air conditioning and sound systems. The Phase Angle Control charging system on the new XTO Offshore 450 is so powerful, it can possibly eliminate the need for an on-board generator in some applications. The system also prioritizes charging to the starting batteries, keeping them juiced and ready for action at all times.

Every XTO Offshore 450 comes equipped with Yamaha’s exclusive TotalTilt feature for faster, easier engine tilting. When enabled, it allows complete tilt up from any position with a simple double-push of the “UP” trim/tilt button, or full tilt down (until trim ram contact) by the same double push of the DOWN trim/tilt button. A warning horn sounds just before and during these operations. Movement and the horn can be stopped anywhere in between by pressing the tilt button again. Compared to the F425 XTO, which is still in the product line for now, the new F450 gets 25 additional sea ponies from an increase in the air intake and exhaust volume and like her sister, runs on 89-octane gasoline.

Other refinements of the F450 XTO include an intake silencer that lowers overall dB noise levels, along with smoother shifting in between gears. New raised chrome graphics on the sides, a re-styled panel in back, a new flush-mounted manual flush connection up front and hidden external wiring near the bracket add to the sleek look of this powerful new outboard. There’s also an optional built-in propeller light (rather than transom mount) that illuminates when using Helm Master EX SetPoint features. The F450 is extremely popular with Yamaha’s many OEM partners and is finding its way on the transoms of many 30 to 45-footers in multiple sets.



Suzuki DF350G

Suzuki DF350G

Although there’s nothing new for the 2024 model year as of this writing, Suzuki Marine launched two new additions to its growing lineup of outboard motors back in 2023, the DF350AMD and DF300BMD V6 four-strokes. When I was down at the 2023 Miami Boat Show last February, I had a chance to talk with Suzuki engineers to find out more details about these debutants. After listening to their OEM partners, dealer network and consumers, Suzuki made these flagship four-strokes even better by adding innovative new features that improve performance, durability and ease of rigging on a wide variety of boats. These 350 and 300-horsepower models with contra-rotating twin propellers are the first Suzuki outboards to offer the benefits of advanced integrated steering.

Integrated steering allows for more streamlined rigging of these V6 four-strokes on a range of inshore and offshore boats, while also providing a cleaner appearance in the motor well. Because integrated steering eliminates concerns about interference and clearance issues created by external steering cylinders, boat builders can more easily rig these popular outboards on a variety of hull types in single or multiple engine configurations. Integrated steering also reduces the possibility of the steering cylinder hitting the motor well if the outboard is tilted too far forward.

Suzuki has also engineered a new lower gear case for the DF350AMD and DF300BMD (also available on all five series 350A/300B models), designed to enhance durability, increase top-speed performance, improve fuel efficiency and make maintenance and service easier. The new design delivers superior gear lubrication and maintains the gear oil at a lower temperature, increasing durability and reliability over the long run, even in the toughest operating conditions. The external surface area of this new gear case has also been reduced and reshaped, allowing the lower unit to slice through the water with less resistance, which improves both fuel efficiency and top-end performance. This streamlined gear case has the added benefit of reducing the amount of gear oil required from 3.2L to 2.8L. This new gear case also features a new oil passage that allows users to easily change the gear oil with Suzuki’s gear oil changer without having to haul the boat. This improvement will make it easier for boaters to stay on top of scheduled maintenance.



To say that there is nothing new for the 2024 season from Mercury is a bit of a misnomer. Just about everything in their lineup over 300 horsepower has been new over the past 12 months. And the good news is that they are starting to shorten their delivery schedules. A new 250 ProXS V8 that I ordered last year was delivered 6 months early a few weeks back, and that’s an extremely positive sign that the supply chain is shortening its order-to-delivery timetable.

The latest Mercury twins to take the boating industry by storm are the next-gen 350/400 V10 outboards. The latest additions to the Verado lineup also continue Mercury’s transition to the simplicity of high-displacement, naturally aspirated outboard powerheads. One of the benefits here is simplicity. Shifting to high-displacement, naturally aspirated powerheads provides exceptional durability and reliability across Mercury’s high-horsepower portfolio. The V10 is no different. Its class-leading 5.7-liter powerhead can easily generate incredible power and torque, with low stress on the engine. Additional features such as Advanced Range Optimization and a closed-loop fuel system are now common among all Mercury high-horsepower outboard models. They balance power with efficiency by intelligently managing fuel flow to extend your range on the water.

Like all Verado outboards, the V10 engines are paired with Digital Throttle & Shift (DTS) controls for smooth, effortless shifting, and they feature a variation of the Advanced MidSection (AMS) mounting system, which minimizes vibration transfer into the boat. DTS and AMS also enable compatibility with Mercury’s advanced Joystick Piloting for Outboards (JPO) systems.

To optimize performance across the range of applications, Mercury developed a new gearcase, complemented by a Revolution X propeller line equipped with a new Flo-Torq X hub specifically for this outboard platform. The gearcase features a rugged 6.4-inch diameter torpedo, which enables it to turn a large-diameter prop. Together, the gearcase and prop generate powerful lift to get boats on plane quickly, along with providing exceptional low-speed steering control and impressive top speeds. Other upgrades include a class-leading 150-amp alternator, which can support a large suite of onboard electronics, along with the ability to deliver full performance on 87-octane fuel, offering a substantial savings opportunity when refueling. Even the V10 cowl has been carefully designed to help seal out moisture. It combines with sealed electrical components, an onboard freshwater flush system, advanced alloys and durable corrosion-preventive finishes to provide a powerful defense against corrosion. It’s so tough that Mercury backs every Verado engine used for recreational purposes with an industry-leading three-year corrosion warranty, in addition to the standard three-year limited warranty.

Additionally, V10 Verado outboards will be available with the industry’s first dual-mode 48V/12V alternator. This high-power alternator was designed to pair with Navico Group’s Fathom e-Power System. Fathom is an integrated lithium-ion auxiliary power management system. It enhances sustainability and convenience by providing owners of large boats the opportunity to eliminate an onboard generator system while minimizing reliance on shore power.



Honda entered the big block, V8 four-stroke outboard market with the introduction of their new BF350, which made one of its first appearances at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show back in late October. From what I could observe going over the details of this new 5.0L four-stroke with one of Honda’s design engineers, my initial impression is that they took their time and got it right.

The Honda BF350 is their new flagship outboard and was designed from the get-go as a made-for-saltwater outboard engine. This is not a redesigned or adapted Honda car engine like some of the other inline-fours or V6 outboards in their lineup. The BF350 V8 marks the latest evolution of the company’s product line, integrating a host of exclusive, technologically innovative features and benefits, delivering premium power and performance to the target sector of 25-plus-foot boats. The BF350 has been engineered for both pleasure and commercial/utility applications, featuring a broader, flatter torque curve; smoother power delivery throughout the engine’s operating range; improved ergonomic controls; excellent fuel efficiency; greater reliability; and improved ease-of-use, maintenance, and ownership.

The Honda Marine BF350 5.0-liter, V8 outboard delivers 350 horsepower at the propeller shaft while operating on 86-octane unleaded gasoline, which will save a bunch of money at the pump over its lifespan. With a rated power output of 350 sea ponies coming at 5,500 RPM, the newest Honda Marine outboard provides exciting, high-propulsion operation with a smooth response and exceptionally robust torque. Although the V8 block was designed from scratch as an outboard boat powerplant, some of this engine’s other technology leverages Honda’s overall gasoline motor excellence. Adapted from Honda automotive platforms, VTEC (Variable Valve Timing & Lift Electronic Control) is an exclusive Honda technology incorporated into the design of the all-new BF350 outboard.

Lending itself to improved power, VTEC uses a mild cam profile to operate intake valves at low rpm and engages a high-output cam profile for higher RPM operation. The result is a broader, flatter torque curve and the delivery of smooth power throughout the engine’s operating range (across all RPMs for peak power). In addition, the BLAST (Boosted Low Speed Torque) System, another Honda technological advantage, dramatically improves the performance and acceleration of the BF350 by advancing ignition timing during “hammer down” episodes with your boat’s throttles. The Engine Control Module (ECM) steps in to increase injector timing, creating a more potent air/fuel mixture. The resulting boost in available torque at low rpm contributes to a strong holeshot rapidly getting the boat up on plane. The BF350 will offer an industry-leading true 5-year, non-declining factory warranty that is the same on the last day as it is on the first. Additionally, models will be available in two color options: Aquamarine Silver and Grand Prix White.



Last season, Tohatsu launched a new BFT150D mid-sized, four-stroke outboard. This newbie is essentially a Honda BF150 that morphs into the Tohatsu BFT150D with its blue paint scheme, hence the additional “T” in its model nomenclature. Through a cooperative Japanese business arrangement, Honda currently manufactures Tohatsu’s 150, 200, 225 and 250 outboards, while Tohatsu produces everything else from 2.5 through 140 horsepower with an MFS prefix, including some of Mercury’s lower horsepower four-stroke models under 40 horsepower. It remains to be seen if Honda’s new BF350 V8 eventually migrates over to the Tohatsu lineup.

The BFT150D also features Optimized Fuel Injection, which delivers the precise amount of fuel/air to each cylinder. This insures easy starting and an instant throttle response. Plus, the three-way cooling system provides added protection from overheating. The Maximum Acceleration System improves acceleration and performance at low speeds. When there is a quick movement of the throttle, the system is activated advancing the ignition timing curve quickly. This offers improved holeshot and quicker planing performance. Fuel economy is optimized at cruising speeds by allowing combustion at the best air/fuel mixture. This offers up to 30% less fuel consumption than the competition.

The Variable Valve Timing and Lift Control system provides power where and when you need it. This affords operators a broader, flatter torque curve and smooth power delivery throughout the engine’s operating range. The result is a superior combination of power, torque and fuel efficiency. Multi-port Programmed Fuel Injection delivers the precise amount of fuel/air response with superior fuel efficiency. A patented, “Double Sealed” multi-layered paint process, sacrificial anodes and stainless steel technology, along with waterproof connectors, all enhance corrosion protection. Tohatsu dubs this the “4-front corrosion protection system.” The BFT150D’s high output alternator produces 30 amps of power at 1,000 rpms and 40 amps at 2,000 plus rpms, is available in either a 20-inch (L) or 25-inch (XL) shaft lengths; standard or counter rotation; dual stage induction for improved performance and  runs on 87-octane petrol. The BFT150D is ultra-low three-star CARB emission approved and backed by a 5-year factory warranty.



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