The 40th Southampton boat show sees a number of new engines and drive systems

 

Southampton has seen launches from some of the biggest names in outboards.

Yamaha (stand D18) has a new F250, incorporating the fly-by-wire controls from the bigger V8 engines. It also has a new F225C Sport, which is said to offer the kind of performance seen on the old two-stroke motors.

Suzuki (stand E071) has been busy replacing outboards that were already pretty good. The new DF70 and DF90 are on display, together with a brand new DF80, Suzuki’s first ever 80hp model.

Cummins MerCruiser (stand E41) seems to be finally getting the Zeus pod drive system into boats with the new Sealine SC47 sporting a pair, connected to 425hp QSB5.9 engines. The exciting Axius drive system, launched last year, is now available on diesels. This system gives owners of twin outdrive powered boats joy stick control, similar to that offered with Zeus and Volvo’s IPS.

On the subject of new drive systems, I was led into a darkened corner and shown a document marked ‘Confidential’. I am not allowed to say too much for now, but hopefully by the time the November issue goes to press we will have some exciting information to share with you. Basically, it involves a different take on traditional sterndrives. The project is backed by some big names and the system promises a number of advantages over current drives.

Another new system that seems to be appearing in decent numbers is the diesel-electric hybrid, such as Mermaid Marine’s Hybrid drive. The drive is capable of providing 7kW of propulsive power, and 5kW of generating capacity and can be seen on stand G33.

Picture: Suzuki’s new 80hp model and Mermaid Marine’s Hybrid drive.