Please come back tomorrow and vote again
New Boat Engines for 2013
Mercury TDI SmartCraft
Who Wants It? Boaters seeking relief from ethanol worries associated with gasoline engines.
Importance? High efficiency, high performance and high torque in a small footprint.
Yamaha Helm Master
A new digital outboard control system that includes a joystick will debut this spring. Offered for twin- or triple-rig F350 V-8 and all 4.2-liter V-6 Saltwater Series outboard models, Helm Master will be available only as an original installation on boat models certified by Yamaha. Helm Master components include a digital helm (steering), an electronic key switch, a new digital remote control, power hydraulic steering pumps, the joystick and a new Command Link Plus 6Y9 5-inch color LCD instrument display. Helm Master syncs and holds engines at any rpm, with a toggle to adjust speed in small increments. The Trim Assist feature senses engine rpm and trims the motors to a preset program determined by the builder, but adjustable by the owner. At wide-open throttle, trim should be optimal for speed. And when the boat is throttled off plane, the motors return to the full-down position. The joystick has two power settings, with “high power” available when wind or current conditions demand extra thrust. The Yamaha system powers and steers all three engines in a triple-rig application, with the center engine most often working to provide reverse thrust as needed. During my demo, I was impressed with its performance on a Contender 35 ST with triple F300 motors — because the power of the center engine seems to make joystick operation more responsive — in gusty wind and strong current. Boatbuilders will determine Helm Master’s retail price, and Yamaha has not released pricing information.