Mercury‘s new supercharged, in-line six-cylinder Verado 350, which debuted in February, is now the most powerful outboard in its model family. Mercury says the 350, which operates on 89-octane gas (though 91 octane is recommended for full performance), provides up to 10 percent greater fuel economy than competitors. At 668 pounds, this Verado weighs 95 pounds less than the nearest four-stroke competitor, the company says. The 350 features a cold-air-intake system designed to collect air from outside the cowl and deliver it to the supercharger. Other attributes include the top cowl’s labyrinth design that keeps the powerhead dry, and a styled vented flywheel cover that facilitates engine-heat dissipation. The Verado 350, which comes in Phantom Black, Cold Fusion White or Warm Fusion White, costs $27,505 to $29,725.
Mercury Midrange FourStrokes
Mercury says one-third of its engine market share goes to midrange products. So it’s no surprise that the company circled back to that range with its new FourStroke outboards, including the four-cylinder 115 (pictured). The new outboards (75, 90 and 115 hp) offer higher output, lighter weight, and lower emissions with lower maintenance costs. Mercury avoids expensive valve adjustments by offering a self-adjusting valve train. The 2.1-liter 115 weighs 363 pounds. Mercury also offers a new gear-case option called Command Thrust. The 2.38-to-1 gear ratio helps boost midrange power. The 115 costs $10,610 to $10,975.
Evinrude E-Tec G2
Evinrudesays its new E-Tec G2 direct-fuel-injected two-stroke outboards, first introduced in mid-2014, deliver 15 percent better fuel efficiency and 20 percent more torque while decreasing emissions 75 percent, compared with leading four-strokes. Beyond performance, the new V-6, 200- to 300–horsepower outboards sport a striking new design and offer customizable styling, using a variety of colorful side panels. Evinrude also built in dynamic power steering, and housed the oil tank inside the engine. The outboards weigh 537 to 580 pounds, and cost $20,395 to $27,950.
Yamaha V MAX SHO 250X and 150X
The 4.2-liter, V6 250 (pictured) and the 2.8-liter, four-cylinder 150 SHO outboards now come in 25-inch-shaft models instead of just 20-inch versions. The SHO family, originally designed for lower-freeboard boats — particularly bass boats — can now expand into a broader range of models and markets. (Note: Other SHO engines, including the new 175 and 115, still come only in 20-inch versions.)
Yamaha acknowledged that it took great care when refreshing the F150 — the company’s most popular model — first introduced in 2004. The F150B now has an eight-tooth dog clutch, replacing the six-tooth version, which improves reliability and shifting. It features internal machining and metallurgical improvements including stronger, better valve guides and valve seats. Yamaha also added variable trolling rpm, which lets anglers adjust trolling speed in 50-rpm increments between 650 and 900 rpm. Beyond that, the updates include a new, lighter cowling and more padding in the powerhead.