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The New 2021 Outboard Engines

From single-engine joystick controls to new outboards and sterndrives, the lack of boat shows has in no way resulted in a lack of new propulsion systems.

Yamaha Helm Master EX

For 2021, Yamaha has moved the Helm Master system into its next generation with the EX. The joystick and binnacle have been redesigned, autopilot integrated, and digital electric steering incorporated. Perhaps most surprising, however, is that Helm Master is now available in a single-engine joystick application. By simultaneously controlling shift, throttle, and steering, it now delivers features like FishPoint, DriftPoint, and Pattern Steer to boats that have just a single engine on the transom. $8,400 to $42,000 | yamahaoutboards.com

Yamaha Helm Master EX Joystick

Suzuki DF115BG & DF140BG

Suzuki DF115BG

One could say Suzuki's DF115 and DF140 outboards fall into the if-it-ain't-broke category, as these workhorse models have proven amazingly reliable and been shockingly popular. But tech moves fast, and to keep up with it, Suzuki gave the 115-hp and 140-hp models a new lease on life with serious upgrades. Most importantly, they're available with drive-by-wire controls (previously available only on 150-hp models and up). In addition, the new BG models boast 5% to 7% improved fuel efficiency, an upgraded 40-amp alternator, compression ratio boost of 10.6:1, and relocated oil filter with spill catcher for easier oil changes. $12,500/$14,200 | suzukimarine.com

Tohatsu MFS75, MFS90 & MFS115

Tohatsu roars into the model year with a trio of new offerings, the single overhead cam four-cylinder MFS75, MFS90, and MFS115. These block-sharing models incorporate Tohatsu's “performance tuned” isometric aggregated exhaust system featuring four equal-length exhaust passages that merge into two, reducing exhaust gas interference. The manufacturer claims that the result is boosted torque and faster acceleration. The 75/90/115 can display data digitally on the TOCS 4.3-inch LCD display via a CAN bus connection. Engine weight is 392/402 pounds, displacement 121.6 cubic inches. $10,286 to $11,643 | tohatsu.com

Tohatsu MFS75

MerCruiser Bravo Four S

MerCruiser Bravo Four S

Watersports enthusiasts will be psyched to check out Mercury's new MerCruiser Bravo Four S drive unit. This is a forward-facing sterndrive intended to fill the demand for watersports boats where safety issues often demand having the propeller well forward of the transom. Volvo Penta was the first to market a forward-facing sterndrive unit (the Forward Drive), but until now, no other company has offered one, and this new contender includes digital controls that coordinate ballast, surf tabs, and propulsion settings to help you shape and craft wakes that are ideal for surfing or boarding. It's designed for MerCruiser 4.5-liter V6, 6.2-liter V8, and 8.2-liter V8 engines ranging from 250 to 430 hp. Price varies by boat and power system | mercurymarine.com

ePropulsion Spirit 1.0 Plus

You want an outboard motor that has as much thrust as a 3-hp gasoline version without the vibrations, emissions, and noise of internal combustion? ePropulsion has announced that the Spirit 1.0  Plus electric outboard is now available in the U.S. It comes with a 1,276-Wh battery that gives it 1.25 hours of running time at full throttle (larger batteries optional). Charge time is 3.5 to 8.5 hours depending on the charger. Motor and battery together weigh just under 44 pounds. $1,999 | epropulsion.com

Introducing Spirit 1.0 Plus | 3HP Electric Outboard

Author

Lenny Rudow

New Boats, Fishing & Electronics Editor, BoatUS Magazine

Top tech writer and accomplished sports fisherman, BoatUS Magazine Contributing Editor Lenny Rudow has written seven practical boating books, won 30 awards from Boating Writers International — many for his marine electronics articles – and two for excellence from the Outdoor Writers Association of America. He judges the NMMA Innovation Awards, and is Angler in Chief at FishTalk, his own Chesapeake-based publication. A great teacher and inspirational writer, Lenny hosts many of BoatUS Magazine’s very-popular how-to videos, which can be found on the BoatUS YouTube channel, or at BoatUS.com