Lean, mean and green are the buzz words that aptlydescribe this season's crop of outboard, inboard and sterndrive engines. With their attention focused on increasing power-to-weight ratios and fuel economy, engine manufacturers are utilizing advanced electronic technology and special alloys to wring themaximum horsepower out of every drop of fuel, and the boating public benefits as a result. So whether you're looking at a new ride or considering replacing the old iron on your trusty craft, here are a dozen of the top choices on the market to get you started.
Capitalizing on technology first developed for the F350 V-8 four-stroke, Yamaha has released the next generation F250. The biggest improvement is the Command Link digital electronic controls. This cable-less system uses an electrical wiring harness to connect the outboard to the throttle and other devices. Benefits include smoother operation and automatic synchronization for multiple engine applications. The control unit is available in several binnacle configurations. Anglers will appreciate the precise throttle adjustments - 50 rpm increments - possible with the DEC upgrade. The powerhead interior and exterior are treated with an anti-corrosion paint, using an electrodeposition process for better protection.
Yamaha F250 DEC
TYPE: Fuel-injected four-stroke V-6 outboard
DISPLACEMENT: 204.6 cubic inches
ALTERNATOR: 46 amps WEIGHT: 609 lbs.
PRICE: $21,690 ? www.yamahaoutboards.com