The annual International Boatbuilders Exposition and Conference—IBEX for short—serves as a meeting place between the companies that design and build boats and the companies that supply the accessories, electronics, materials, power and tools required to build a boat. While it’s strictly a trade show, it’s also a great place to see some of the latest and greatest engines and gear. Here’s just a glance at some of the products I saw during the 2021 IBEX show, held September 28-30 in Tampa, Florida.
OXE Marine from Sweden offers diesel outboards in five horsepower classes: 125, 150, 175, 200 and 300, but this is first time I ran a pair of the 300 hp models, which feature horizontally mounted diesel engines. To transfer its 600 foot/pounds of torque to the prop shaft, OXE outboards employ a heavy-duty carbon-fiber pulley belt system that isolates the gearbox from shock loading. The 25-inch version of the 300 tips the scales at a hefty 871 pounds, but there’s power aplenty. In my demo, we achieved a top speed of more than 50 mph at 4,300 rpm.
Honda Marine debuted an all new 140 hp outboard at the 2021 IBEX show to replace the company’s venerable 135 hp model. Honda also showcased updated versions of its BF115 and BF150 outboards. All three feature multiple rigging options including both Intelligent Shift and Throttle and mechanical-control choices. Plus, all can interface with the newly introduced HondaLink Marine smartphone app that provides boat owners with remote monitoring capability anytime from anywhere.
Dometic Marine debuted its new Mega Plate electric jack plate, which is designed for outboards rated at 400 hp and up. It comes with 6-, 8- and 10-inch setbacks in two versions: A standard bolt pattern for Yamaha XTO 425 and Mercury 450R engines, as well as a wide bolt pattern for Merc’s 500 and 600 hp V-12 outboards. A Smartstick linear position sensor and the ability to integrate with compatible multifunction displays lets boaters adjust multiple engine heights via touchscreen control. Mega Plate offers the ability to mount Power-Pole shallow-water anchor systems directly to the sides of the plate, eliminating the need for an extra bracket.
Vision Marine Technologies’ E-Motion 180E outboard received plenty of attention at IBEX 2021. The motor is powered by a 60 kW lithium battery and generates power equivalent to a 180 hp gas outboard, making it the world’s most powerful electric outboard, according to the company. Using a gear case from a Tohatsu 140 hp outboard, the 180E is designed for boats in the 18- to 30-foot range (with a single motor) and can cruise for 3 to 4 hours before needing a re-charge. The battery requires 8 to 10 hours to fully charge once drained.
Suzuki Marine used the 2021 IBEX show as an opportunity to demonstrate its unique microplastic filter on the Suzuki-powered L’Lattitude Lindsay water taxi that serves downtown Tampa. Once installed, the device becomes a simple solution in the effort to clean up local environmental micro-pollutants, according to Suzuki. Fitted on a hose for the cooling water intake, the filter collects particles less that 5 mm in size when the engine is running.
Raymarine YachtSense is a scalable and customizable marine digital-control system suitable for boats 35 feet and up. Available rigging on a new boat, it can interface with onboard devices and systems such as lighting, pumps, windlasses, entertainment systems, air conditioning and generators. A Raymarine Axiom touchscreen multifunction display serves as a user interface, and the master module features an integrated keypad for manual override and system diagnostics.