The opening day of the Miami International Boat Show is February 16, and the editorial team is busy making plans for our coverage of this event. One of my first stops is going to be at Sea Isle Marina where I’ve set up a demo-drive on the new Honda BF250 outboard. Honda previewed this new outboard at the 2011 Miami show (Outboard Expert March 11, 2011), and then released complete specs and technical details in October. It will make its on-the-water debut at this year’s Miami show, and I’ll be blogging about it for

The new Honda 250 outboard offers new technical features and fresh styling.

The new Honda 250 outboard offers new technical features and fresh styling.

A V6 displacing 3.6 liters (3583 cc), the 250-hp BF250 offers slightly more displacement than the 3.5-liter (3471 cc) Honda BF225, and also introduces a new gearcase that Honda says offers improved durability and hydrodynamics, and will accept 16-inch diameter props. The new outboard incorporates all of the Honda technical features found on the BF225, including VTEC variable valve timing and lift, the Boosted Low Speed Torque (BLAST) system that boosts power on hole shot, economy-enhancing Lean Burn Control.

This motor does have some new features I’ll be checking out in Miami. One is something Honda calls “direct air dual circuit induction,” that separates air entering the cowl for cooling purposes from air directed at the engine’s intake. Air for combustion enters through vents on the top of the cowl. Vents in the front of the engine direct air at engine components, and then through the top-mounted alternator, aided by a fan located over the powerhead. The idea is to send cooler, denser air directly from outside the cowl to the engine, which should boost power.

The second interesting feature, called Amp Plus, is part of the charging system. A sensor detects the actual electrical load demand of the boat’s systems at idle speeds, and when a threshold is reached, automatically increases engine rpm by 100 to produce an additional nine amps of charging power. Published specs don’t say how many amps the motor is making at idle speed, so that’s a question I’ll be asking. I’m also curious to see if a 100-rpm bump is even noticeable.

This is an important outboard for Honda, which has fallen behind its competitors in the outboard horsepower race. Mercury, Yamaha, Suzuki, and Evinrude each offer a model rated at 300 hp or more. I can’t wait to take the BF250 for a spin.

For more information visit Honda Marine.

Also read Simon Everett's Honda BF250 Engine Test: Economic and Powerful at