By Dan Durbin
New outboard and trolling motors are pretty sweet for 2021 – and if you really want one by the time open water arrives, the time to order one is now. They’re in high demand, and supply may not meet that demand. Fishing license sales last year were up, so if you want some new horsepower, don’t wait.
Suzuki’s new-for-2021 DF115BG and DF140BG four-stroke outboards are the first in their class to offer all the advantages of drive-by-wire technology. By bringing this technology to its 115HP and 140HP inline four-cylinder models, Suzuki is providing simplified rigging for a wide range of boat builders, along with silky-smooth shifting, instant throttle response, enhanced performance, and superior fuel efficiency.
An upgraded compression ratio of 10.6:1 helps these new 2.0-liter displacement outboards achieve better top speed and acceleration by improving thermal efficiency. Fuel efficiency also has been increased compared with Suzuki’s existing DF115/DF140A models. Tests have demonstrated as much as 5% to 7% better fuel efficiency for the DF140BG across mid-range to high-end cruising speeds. The DF115BG has demonstrated 5% to 6% better fuel efficiency at cruising speed.
Other improvements include a 40-amp alternator on both models that delivers improved output and battery-charging performance at low idle speeds – ideal for today’s power-hungry anglers who spend a lot of time trolling.
Yamaha’s V MAX SHO 200 X-Shaft model expands options to offer more diverse boating applications that carry Yamaha’s trademark performance, power, and reliability.
The 4.2-liter V6 V MAX SHO 200 X-Shaft is the latest addition that has changed the game for high-performance four-strokes. While originally envisioned as bass boat power solutions, V MAX SHO outboards have found a following among other boaters, too.
The X-Shaft models, which include the V MAX SHO 250, 175, 150, 115, and 90 X-Shaft models, feature a 25-inch shaft perfect for pontoon and multi-species boats. Lightweight, fuel-efficient, and quiet, the entire V MAX SHO line boasts unparalleled hole shot and can be easily rigged with the boater’s choice of analog, 6Y5 digital, or Command Link gauges.
Merc’s V8 and V6 FourStroke Pro XS outboards deliver legendary performance and forward-thinking technology. Adaptive speed control maintains a desired rpm regardless of changes in load or conditions without adjustments to the throttle lever position – a first for the outboard industry.
Tests have shown that these engines are quieter and smoother than the leading competitor and are easy to maintain with an exclusive Top Cowl Service Door. Industry-exclusive battery management technology means when battery voltage is low, engines will automatically increase idle rpm to boost alternator output and charge batteries to the proper level, protecting batteries from draining while trolling and operating electronic devices.
Ample charging output FourStroke models feature a robust alternator that delivers 20 amps net of charging power at idle and 30 amps total at wide open. Mercury V8 and V6 FourStroke outboards are the lightest in their respective class by at least 10 pounds and mount on 26-inch centers for broader fitment.
Flagship BF200, BF225, and BF250 motors have improved with a new design, ease of maintenance, and multiple rigging options for more worry-free fishing. Targeting the heart of the boating market, the refreshed Honda BF200, BF225, and BF250 models mark the newest evolution in the company’s product line, integrating innovative design, streamlined maintenance, and expanded rigging options. For weekend cruisers or commercial users, these enhanced V6 motors deliver maximum time on the water.
The technology applied to the refreshed Honda BF200, BF225, and BF250 V6 engines comes from the same technology that powers Honda automobiles such as the Ridgeline, Odyssey, and Pilot, gaining from years of proven engineering, precision manufacturing, and reliability.
MotorGuide is bringing the benefits of its Xi3 trolling motor to kayak fishing with a new 36-inch shaft motor. The Xi3 lightweight design and SecureStep system make it simple to stow and deploy the motor, even in a seated position. Along with its nearly silent operation and wireless remote, it’s a fine addition to any kayak. The unit is now available in two shorter shaft 55-pound thrust options with or without GPS, at 12 volts with 36-inch shafts.
The Ultrex trolling motor changed the game when it combined Spot-Lock and other boat-control technologies like Follow the Contour with power steering in an intuitive and responsive heel-toe foot pedal. Now, in the newest evolution of the proprietary One-Boat Network, Minn Kota has incorporated Humminbird’s MEGA Side Imaging into the Ultrex, resulting in the clearest, sharpest, real-time images from the bow of the boat.
Breaking in with limited availability in 2020, the new Ghost trolling motor is reliable and rugged. The motor lets anglers fish longer, run faster, and move closer without spooking fish because of a brushless motor with the most thrust and the longest run time of any trolling motor on the market. With integrated Lowrance sonar options, waypoint anchoring, and a three-year warranty, Ghost will find a place on bows in the future.