New 40, 65 and 105 hp shal­low-water propul­sion

Boating - - FRONT PAGE -

Jet out­boards, like these new mod­els from Honda, have long been fa­vored by boaters who run in shal­low, rocky rivers. From the Snake River in Idaho to the Susque­hanna River in Penn­syl­va­nia to the Mis­souri River in Iowa, jet out­boards re­ally shine in clear, weed-free shal­lows where the chance of strik­ing an ob­struc­tion is high, be­cause un­like out­boards that turn pro­pel­lers, the water jet pro­trudes just an inch or two be­low the bot­tom of some boats — and re­mains above the bot­tom of so-called tun­nel boats. But river-run­ning is not the only use for out­boards that em­ploy a jet of water to pro­pel a boat.

“Use by first re­spon­ders is a great ap­pli­ca­tion for jet out­boards,” says Alan Sim­mons, Honda Marine’s man­ager of field ser­vices and spe­cialty mar­kets. Sim­mons ex­plained how re­triev­ing a vic­tim from the water may be safer when there is no pro­peller. That state­ment prompted me to think of the pos­si­bil­i­ties for ten­ders and chase boats used in sail train­ing pro­grams, the pad­dle­craft rental in­dus­try and other wa­ter­borne ac­tiv­i­ties.

If you’ve never run a jet, you need to know that they pro­vide great ma­neu­ver­abil­ity — once you learn their quirks. Han­dling skills learned aboard prop-pro­pelled boats do not all trans­late di­rectly. You need to an­tic­i­pate di­rec­tion changes even more in ad­vance be­cause there are no prop and skeg act­ing like a rud­der in the water. And the de­sign of the boat hull comes into play. “You can use a jet to op­er­ate a flat-bot­tomed boat or one with a bit of V shape, but they won’t work aboard a true deep-V,” Sim­mons em­pha­sizes.

Sim­mons also notes dif­fer­ences be­tween props and jets that are main­te­nance-ori­ented. The jet pump has a bear­ing, sup­port­ing the ver­ti­cal drive shaft and im­peller, that needs to be lubed after ev­ery use, since there’s no gear case con­tain­ing lube.

Fi­nally, since a jet pump is less ef­fi­cient than a pro­peller, you should be aware that jet out­boards are la­beled with the per­for­mance one can ex­pect rather than the ac­tual horse­power. The 40 Honda jet is pow­ered by the BF60 60 hp prop out­board and paired with a jet pump. Sim­i­larly, the 65 jet is pow­ered by the BF90 90 hp, and the 105 jet is pow­ered by the BF150.

The new Honda jet out­boards fea­ture mul­ti­port pro­grammed fuel in­jec­tion for re­li­able starts and ef­fi­ciency, and are NMEA 2000 com­pat­i­ble, so engine data can be dis­played on a plot­ter, fish fin­der or other net­worked dis­play aboard. The 40 and 65 mod­els ($11,360 and $13,357, re­spec­tively) are avail­able as re­mote-con­trol mod­els with op­tional tiller con­trol. The 105 ($19,264) is a re­mote­con­trolled engine. All three come in a 25-inch shaft length and fea­ture a fresh­wa­ter flush port and high-out­put al­ter­na­tors. Each is cov­ered by the Honda True five-year non­de­clin­ing war­ranty for both pow­er­heads and jet pumps.

These new jet out­boards boast in­no­va­tions and tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances such as twostage in­duc­tion and three-way cool­ing, as well as pro­pri­etary Honda sys­tems such as Blast and VTEC. Visit .com for more in­for­ma­tion.

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