The SuzukiDF300 will make its public in-water debut at the Miami International Boat Show.

The SuzukiDF300 will make its public in-water debut at the Miami International Boat Show.



I want to make it clear right from the start: I've got nothing against sterndrives. If you want to go around with a cast-iron pick-up truck engine in the bilge or your boat, go for it. But I've always thought a boat should be powered by an engine designed from scratch for marine propulsion, and that it should hang off the transom just as God and Ole Evinrude intended. And so the subject matter in this column will be strictly outboard motors.

Each week we'll present news and information designed to appeal to outboard owners and potential owners, from new-product releases to maintenance and rigging tips, from propellers and accessories to antique motors and history. If it's about outboards, it fits.

Coming at Miami

Right now everyone in the marine industry is ramping up for the Miami International Boat Show (www.miamiboatshow.com), Feb. 15-19, at the Miami Convention Center and other venues in the city. The Miami show is to boating what Detroit's North American International Auto Show is the car business. More than 2,200 exhibitors attract boating enthusiasts from around the world. If it floats, it's on display at Miami, and some of the show is actually in the water. Which means you can get a demo-ride aboard some of the latest outboard-powered boats on the market.

Miami is also frequently the site of dramatic new-product introductions, and I'm anticipating some big news from several outboard manufacturers at this year's show:

Yamaha has scheduled a media event at its booth on the show floor at 1 p.m. on Feb. 15, where I'm betting it will pull the tarp off a prototype of its forthcoming V8 outboard, which may hit the market in 2008. Without revealing any details Yamaha boasted about this project last year, saying a pair of these giant outboards would replace triple 250s on a boat like the Grady-White Express 360 (http://www.gradywhite.com/360/) , which puts it in the 350-hp range. Yamaha was testing with Intrepid in the Keys last summer, and the buzz then was that the powerhead is based on a 4.4-liter V8 block Yamaha manufactures for Ford, increased to 5.0 liters. Optional twin-prop drive would offer the blade area required to move heavy boats.

Mercury Marine will debut two new members of its supercharged Verado outboard series at Miami. Merc's not revealing any details, but one motor is likely a step up from the Verado 275 to keep pace (or pass) the Suzuki DF300.

The Suzuki DF300 comes with a new digital drive-by-wire throttle-and-shift control and digital instruments, variable intake valve timing for a broader torque band, and a final drive ratio of 2.08:1 designed to work with 16-inch-diameter props that are especially effective on heavy boats.

The Suzuki DF300 comes with a new digital drive-by-wire throttle-and-shift control and digital instruments, variable intake valve timing for a broader torque band, and a final drive ratio of 2.08:1 designed to work with 16-inch-diameter props that are especially effective on heavy boats.



The Suzuki DF300 will make its public in-water debut. This 300-hp, 4.0-liter V-6 is the most powerful four-stroke outboard available. It comes with a new digital drive-by-wire throttle-and-shift control and digital instruments, variable intake valve timing for a broader torque band, and a final drive ratio of 2.08:1 designed to work with 16-inch-diameter props that are especially effective on heavy boats. Suzuki says a new gearcase shape reduces drag by 18 percent. I ran this motor in September. Nice power and the fuel economy is outstanding — better than 3.0 mph at cruising speed on a 26-foot center console. Pricing starts at $23,625.

I'll be there to see it all file a full report after Miami.

Editor's Note: Charles Plueddeman is the editor at large for Boating magazine, the nation's largest boating publication.

Written by: Charles Plueddeman
Charles Plueddeman is Boats.com's outboard, trailer, and PWC expert. He is a former editor at Boating Magazine and contributor to many national publications since 1986.
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