It seemed almost ironic that, just days after receiving information about the new Honda Marine jet-thrust outboards, the deluge that was Hurricane Harvey swamped the Gulf Coast and created the perfect venue for jet outboards. Honda has added three jet drive outboards to its model range; the Honda 40 Jet, 65 Jet and 105 Jet each replace the propeller drive with a jet pump that propels the boat with high-pressure water thrust. Because there’s no gearcase or propeller extending below the boat hull, a jet outboard can maneuver in minimal depths and over rough bottoms, underwater obstacles or in other low-water conditions that would challenge a prop-driven outboard. Jet-propelled motors have many recreational, commercial and rescue applications.
Jet have long been popular with recreational boaters in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, where they are used to navigate through very shallow rivers. In fact my only experience with a jet outboard took place in Alaska, where a guide used a jet motor and a flat-bottom boat to skim over the gravel bars of a river in only six inches of water.
The new Honda Jet models are based on existing Honda outboards and simply replace the gearcase with the jet drive, so they also offer all of the standard features of Honda outboards and are fully covered by the transferrable Honda True 5-year non-declining warranty. As is the case with jet outboards offered by other outboard brands, the rating of the jet outboard reflects its performance with the jet drive, which is less efficient than a propeller at transferring engine power to the water.
Honda 40 Jet (BF60J)
The Honda 40 Jet outboard is built on the three-cylinder, 998cc Honda BF60 powerhead and features a single overhead camshaft design and Lean Burn Control that improves fuel economy by as much as 21 percent.
The Honda 40 Jet motor also offers:
- NMEA 2000® open architecture electronic protocol allowing the operator to see engine data on a GPS or fish finder without additional gateway devices
- Multi-Port Programmed Fuel Ignition for quick starts, instant throttle response, powerful performance and low fuel consumption
- High Output alternator (22 amp/17 amp charging)
- Engine Alert System that helps protect the engine by alerting the operator of conditions such as overheating, low oil pressure and over-revving
- Freshwater Flush Port for easy and quick engine flushing
Honda 65 Jet (BF90J)
The Honda 65 Jet outboard is built on the four-cylinder, 1496cc Honda BF90 powerhead. Like the 40 Jet, this model features a single overhead camshaft design and includes Lean Burn Control™, NMEA 2000®, Multi-Port Programmed Fuel Injection, High Output 44 amp alternator and an Engine Alert System.
The Honda 65 Jet also includes additional performance features:
- VTEC® Technology (variable valve timing) for peak engine performance at all speeds
- BLAST™ System for getting the hull on plane quickly
- Dual Stage Induction, enhancing power and efficiency through superior combustion
- 3-Way Cooling System for longer durability by keeping the engine running cooler
Honda 105 Jet (BF150J)
Rounding out the new lineup is the most powerful of Honda’s jet-powered outboards, the Honda 105 Jet. This model, based on the four-cylinder, 2354cc Honda BF150 powerhead, features a dual overhead camshaft design and includes Lean Burn Control™, NMEA 2000®, Multi-Port Programmed Fuel Injection, High Output 55 amp alternator, Engine Alert System, VTEC® Technology, BLAST™ System, Dual Stage Induction, and the 3-Way Cooling System.
The Honda Marine 40 Jet and 65 Jet models are available at Honda Marine dealers now, with a starting U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $11,360 and $13,357, respectively. The 105 Jet outboard will be available by the end of 2017 and pricing will be announced at that time.
For more information, visit Honda Marine.