The Latest Outboards & Fishing Electronics
September 28, 2010
With faster and more efficient motors, plus an ever-widening assortment of electronics, anglers have better tools than ever. (February 2007)
Anglers always crave the latest and greatest -- anything that can provide an edge on the fish and the competition. If you fit this mold, let us help you get a handle on some of the hot new products now available or coming soon. Here's the rundown on the latest crop of outboard motors and marine electronics.
For 2007, Evinrude has expanded its E-TEC engine line with the addition of two new models, the E115DBX and E150DBX, in its 115- and 150-horsepower line-up. These new blue engines have 25-inch shaft lengths for deeper boat transoms, making them a perfect fit for the boats used by most walleye fishermen in America's Midwest.
These compact, lightweight V4 and V6 engine platforms deliver the advanced features of all E-TEC engines, offering excellent fuel economy and strong performance while providing cleaner emissions than 4-strokes, scheduled dealer maintenance for three years or 300 hours of use, quality components and unique styling. Contact Evinrude at (847) 689-7090 or online at Evinrude.com
Honda Marine's BF90 and BF75 4-stroke outboard engines were redesigned for 2007, offering boaters two new models that provide immediate response coupled with powerful acceleration and fuel efficiency. The BF90 is available in 25-inch and 20-inch shaft models, while the BF75 comes in a 20-inch shaft length. The single overhead camshaft design uses dual intake valves to deliver an optimal air/fuel mixture for maximum torque and combustion efficiency. A multi-port electronic fuel injection system controls ignition timing during start-up, providing optimum overall operation. The ultimate benefit is smoother, quieter operation with instant throttle response and performance. Contact Honda Marine at (800) 426-7701 or HondaMarine.com
The latest from Mercury Marine is a new direct-injected outboard, the OptiMax 250 Pro XS, available in 20- and 25-inch models. The OptiMax two-stage fuel-injection system uses a charge of fuel and air to atomize fuel droplets directly into the combustion chamber. This superior atomization process results in outstanding fuel economy and lower emissions. Mercury's primary target market is bass boats. Bass boaters typically prefer the excellent power-to-weight ratios of direct-injected engines. Hole shot is always a major concern, and OptiMax DI engines provide superb hole-shot power. The 250 Pro XS also features improvements in noise, vibration and harshness control. Contact Mercury Marine at (920) 929-5040 or online at MercuryMarina.com
Suzuki Marine's new-for-2007 DF300 is a powerful 4-stroke outboard that's also lightweight, compact and streamlined, making it an ideal power choice for bluewater center console boats, offshore tournament boats, express cruisers and power catamarans. This 300-horsepower outboard is the highest output production engine Suzuki has produced. At 4.0 liters, it offers the largest displacement of any V6 outboard. It has plenty of low-end torque to power heavily loaded offshore boats out of the hole. And with a target weight of 604 pounds for the X 25-inch shaft model (or 615 pounds in XX 30-inch shaft), this 4-stroke weighs about the same as other normally aspirated 250-horsepower models and considerably less than any supercharged 4-stroke 200-horsepower and up. Features include push-button starting, new easy-to-use cowling latches, and front and rear freshwater flushing ports. Contact Suzuki Marine at (714) 996-7040 or online at Suzuki.com
Yamaha's new F20 and F15C outboards are good choices for owners of inflatables, sailboats and other small boats. Under the one-piece cowling, Yamaha has engineered a large-displacement, 2-cylinder, 4-stroke powerhead with a single overhead camshaft to maximize power while minimizing weight and size. A large-volume air intake silencer and streamlined intake manifold combine for more direct airflow into the engine, minimizing noise and maximizing power. An accelerator pump in the carburetor provides the extra fuel needed during rapid throttle advance, ensuring responsive acceleration. And getting these outboards started is made easier with a light-load manual starter that features a short-throw starter rope with a comfortable contoured handle. Both models are available in 15- and 20-inch shaft lengths. Contact Yamaha Outboards at (800) 88-YAMAHA or online at YamahaOutboards.com
Among Eagle Electronics' new products are the full-sized FishEasy 250 DS and the compact FishEasy 245 DS. Both produce wider and deeper fish-finding coverage than many of Eagle's other models. Sounding at user-selectable frequencies of 200 kHz or 83 kHz, these dual-search models deliver excellent target detail and separation in shallow water and to depths of 800 feet. Each employs a compact dual-beam Skimmer transom-mount transducer that produces coverage of up to 120 degrees with 83 kHz, and up to 60 degrees with 200 kHz. The easy-to-install transducer delivers sounding performance at higher speeds and travels smoothly through the water at boat speeds up to 70 mph. The FishEasy 250 DS has a 4.5-inch diagonal display with 240 x 240 pixel resolution, while the FishEasy 245 DS offers a 4-inch diagonal display with 240 x 160 pixels in a space-saving case design. Both are packed with impressive sonar features including Advanced Signal Processing for hands-free operation. The FishEasy 245 DS is also offered in a complete, just-add-AA batteries portable package. Contact Eagle at (800) 324-1354 or online at www.eaglegps.com.
Garmin's latest models, the GPSMAP 378 and GPSMAP 478, are the world's first portable GPS navigators that come pre-loaded with a comprehensive set of land and sea maps, making them highly useful whether you're sailing coastal waterways, boating on inland lakes or driving across North America. With optional XM WX Weather capabilities, these portable units can also let mariners and motorists know what kind of weather to expect during their trip. The GPSMAP 478 features built-in Marine Detail Charts of the U.S. coastline, including Alaska and Hawaii. For inland boaters and anglers, the GPSMAP 378 boasts 10-meter resolution for more than 3,200 lakes. Most of these high-resolution lakes also include depth contours. For road trips, both units come pre-loaded with MapSource City Navigator NT detailed street maps of the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. The database features more than six million points of interest, including hotels, restaurants, gas stations and marinas. Each unit comes with a marine mount and automotive kit that makes it a snap to transfer the unit from boat to car. Contact Garmin at (913) 397-8200 or online at Garmin.com
Humminbird has broadened its offering of Side Imaging fishfinders with the introduction of the 797c2 SI Combo. Anglers who want Side Imaging technology, but don't have the space needed to mount a big-screen model, will find the 797c2 SI Combo gives them the technology in a more compact package with an ultra-high-resolution color display. Side Imaging sonar provides detailed, picture-like images over a wide 160 degrees of coverage to reveal structure, fish and topography across up to 480 feet of bottom at once.
The 797c2 SI Combo is also a full-featured traditional graphing unit with DualBeam PLUS sonar, which provides wide coverage and better structure and bottom detail. The 5-inch color screen features "hemispherical viewing" for excellent readability from any angle and a leading edge 640 vertical x 480 horizontal display resolution. Humminbird offers a high-resolution screen with internal GPS on the 787c2i Combo that plots position on a built-in 30-meter resolution UniMap of U.S. inland lakes, rivers and coastal areas, or on optional Navionics Gold and HotMaps Premium charts. Contact Humminbird at (800) 633-1468 or online at Humminbird.com
Boaters using Raymarine's E-Series multifunction navigation displays now can receive detailed weather forecast information from SIRIUS Satellite Radio. Using the new Raymarine SR100 satellite weather receiver module, boaters have advance forecast information right at their fingertips, including the weather radar, storm tracks, sea surface temperature, wind, surface pressure, wave heights, lightning and more. In addition, the powerful E-Series multifunction navigation interface enables users to view and animate weather forecasts in a full screen or within a window alongside radar, chartplotter and fishfinder functions. A monthly SIRIUS Marine Weather subscription is required to receive forecasts onboard. Contact Raymarine at (800) 539-5539 or online at Raymarine.com
Vexilar's new FL-12 flasher has the largest flasher display ever developed and offers another Vexilar exclusive, a flat face design that won't trap rain or snow and increases the fisherman's viewing angle by more than 50 percent. This increased viewing angle gives an angler better sight lines from anywhere in the boat. The unit shows depths to 200 feet but also offers a new 20-foot range option so you can fish in shallow water and get a very clean signal, even in weeds. All the popular Vexilar transducers will fit the new FL-12, including the family of Vexilar transducers called the Ice-Ducer. Contact Vexilar at (952) 884-5291 or online at Vexilar.com
The new iWay 600c portable GPS from Lowrance Electronics is an in-car GPS that can easily be removed from a car dash and mounted in a boat. In turn-by-turn mode, it's an easy-to-use in-vehicle GPS navigation system, showing the motorist the way to any destination across town or across the country. When the destination is selected, the system displays the best route in a colorful pathway, and provides turn-by-turn directions with visual and voice prompts. In marine mode, the iWAY 600c switches to traditional straight-line navigation with up to 100 savable and retraceable plot trails in a choice of colors. Additional features include a large, high-resolution color touch-screen display, 30GB hard drive, built-in stereo MP3 player and full-spectrum FM transmitter. Navigation and music can be configured with a few simple touches of the screen. Contact Lowrance at (800) 324-1356 or online at Lowrance.com
New from Magellan this year is the compact, color eXplorist 500 LE handheld GPS. This is the first color handheld product in its class to offer a choice of AAA batteries or a rechargeable Li-ion battery pack. When used with MapSend Topo 3D, the user can hit the trails with a comprehensive view of contours, elevations and detailed terrain to find sights and services along the way. With MapSend Lakes, the GPS delivers highly detailed Fishing Hot Spots and Lakemaster maps with shoreline and depth contours, bottom composition, aquatic vegetation, boat ramps and more. MapSend Lakes USA software is included on pre-loaded, ready-to-use SD cards. The unit also provides fishing and hunting times and a sun and moon calculator. Contact Magellan at (800) 707-9971 or online at MagellanGPS.com