Big-outboard power never seemed so conspicuous — or looked so good. Walking through the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center, I found my eyes drawn to the flashy custom colors on multiple outboards sharing a transom. Not so long ago, outboards were both smaller and much more plain — utilitarian, to euphemize — in appearance. Now, well, if outboards can be sexy, many at the boat show this year seemed to qualify.
Mercury Verado 400R
Four striking monster machines from Mercury Racing, these 400R 2.6 liter outboards grace the transom of a Deep Impact 36. These inline 6-cylinder brutes feature a cool-air intake to feed the engine’s supercharger.
Suzuki Outboard Tree
This eye-catching display shows a range of Suzuki outboards.
Seven Marine 627
Introduced in 2015, Seven Marine’s 627 — the industry’s biggest outboard — offers more than 600 foot-pounds of torque starting at 3,000 rpm in an all-aluminum package.
A whopping 2,508 horses hang from the transom of a HydraSports Custom 53 Sueños.
Mercury Verado 400 Racing
This black beauty, which hangs on a Barker Boatworks 26 Open, should push the boat to a top speed of 65 (E-glass) or 70 mph (carbon fiber).
New from Yamaha is the ferocious 5.3-liter V8 F350C, a DOHC 32-valve powerplant, shown here as a quad on the transom of an Everglades 453CC.
Custom paint and graphics on these 350s leave little doubt as to what brand of boat they’re pushing.
Honda’s 250 VTEC (for “valve timing and electronic control”) outboard is an SOHC 60-degree V6, 24-valve affair that features industry-unique dual air circuits.
A whole herd of horses adorn the transoms of HydraSports Custom center consoles … a herd of 2,800 horses to be exact, among these eight Yammie 350s.
Mercury Verado 350
Plenty of oomph in the form of these Merc Verado 350s will push this Yellowfin right along. The 2.6-liter, inline-6 engines are supercharged with charge-air cooling and electronic-boost pressure control.
Suzuki 200 Cutaway View
If you could see inside an outboard powerplant … it would look like this. At Suzuki’s booth, you can study the innermost secets of the manufacturer’s popular 200-horsepower model.
Yamaha F350C GTB Limited Edition
Another example of how far outboard engines have come aesthetically is this trio of Yamaha 350s. The new 5.3-liter big block engines offer a 5-year warranty.
Two triple Yamaha F300s will make two Grady Whites git up and go. These V6 4.2-liter big blocks pride themselves on being lighter than most 300-hp outboards.
Suzuki’s big boy, the V-6 DOHC 24-valve 300 with electronic fuel injection, is a great fit for bay boats.
Merc Verado Racing 400
The cool custom cowling covers on these Verado 400s complement the blue Deep Impact 36 to which they’re fastened.
If you enjoyed this gallery, check out the Sport Fishing magazine review of the best 2016 mid-range outboard engines.