The ultimate 10hp outboard engine group test

We pit six of the best 10hp outboard engines on the market against each other for our latest group test

Honda BF 10hp outboardHonda BF10hp outboard

  • Price: £2,210
  • Top speed: 14.8 knots
  • 0-top speed: 16 seconds
  • Noise: (idle/cruise/top) 59/75/90dB(A)
  • Weight: 42kg
  • Warranty: 6 years
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The BF10 mimics the appearance of Honda’s more powerful outboards and those striking looks don’t deceive. The Honda has the largest capacity block here, which at 222cc is 14cc more than its next largest rival.

It also has the highest rated power output of 7.4kW (9.92hp), which it achieves between 5,000rpm and 6,000rpm.

Like all the engines tested, it is a twin cylinder 4-stroke design with a pull start and a remote fuel tank but it is also available with an electric start and remote steering.

Honda 10hp outboard runningBuild quality: 5/5

Honda has a good reputation for building solid, reliable, well-designed engines, and the BF10 certainly fits the brief.

The styling is modern and everything has a well-oiled, solidly engineered feel to it. It is also backed by an impressive six-year warranty.

Performance: 3/5

This has the slowest top speed of the petrol-powered engines – 14.8 knots compared to a best of 17 knots.

Acceleration was in line at dead-on 16 seconds but that doesn’t take into account that its lower top speed meant it didn’t have so far to go.

Honda 10hp outboard - cowling offRefinement: 5/5

This is where the Honda hits back with its exceptionally smooth and cultured nature.

At idle it was equal quietest with the Yamaha, at 59dB, but at faster speeds it trounced the lot, recording at cruising a very quiet 75dB and an impressive 90dB flat out.

Ease of use: 2/5

The reason it looks big is because it is; weighing in at 42kg, it’s around 4kg heavier than most of the others. A couple of well-positioned handholds help, but don’t make up for the extra weight.

The front-mounted gearshift also lets it down compared to the more ergonomic tiller-mounted designs of some rivals.

Honda 10hp outboard - gear shiftVerdict: 4/5

It’s very smooth and refined with low sound levels, but the excess weight lets it down, reducing its speed and portability. It’s also the most expensive petrol-powered, costing over £200 more than the Yamaha.

Fitted permanently to a tender with cable steering and throttle, it would make a very civilised and reliable package, but as a portable, tiller-steered engine you may want to look elsewhere.

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