Outboards Everywhere-Report from Newport

September 24, 2018

While YachtGuide is a brand-new site, we have been participating in various online forums for the past several years. And one trend we saw coming from a distance was the move towards more outboards. We had started hearing rumors that SeaRay was going to dramatically change their lineup to include more outboards, even on the larger Sundancer models, and we just felt it was inevitable for others to follow. 

Having having recently returned from the Newport Boat Show, it's safe to say that outboards are everywhere, and getting a lot of attention. Back Cove introduced its first-ever outboard, the 34O (naming crisis here, I think) and it was packed with visitors from the opening at 10 am Thursday. This photo was taken just minutes after the show opened when most of the rest of the show was still nearly empty. The 34O is powered by a pair of Yamaha 300's, with an option for 350's. This new model comes standard with a 5kw diesel generator powering cabing HVAC, which shows that despite the outboards, this boat is built to criuise. See more details on the 34O at https://www.yachtguide.com/yachtbase-detail.cfm?y=1128.


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Also making their outboard debut was Hinckley with their new Sport Boat series. While the range will be two models, Hinckley chose to display the center console 40C at the show. We got to spend a few minutes on the 40C and while lthere is almost no teak, it's clear that this boat was built with the same, traditional Hinckley quality. The cabinet doors felt like bank vault doors and alignment was perfect. Of course, for the price of a Hinckley, you would expect that. Standard equipment is triple 300 hp outboards, with an option for twin 627's from Seven Marine. Speeds are high, as expected, in the high 50's with standard engines. 

Clearly, modern outboard technology has made this the path forward for many manufacturers. The benefits are obvious from ease of maintenance to enormous storage areas where inboard engines used to be. And, as manufactuers design hulls around outboards, we expect to see some truly innovative uses of all that space. 

As always, Newport was a treat. It's a small, easily navigated show, albeit so compact that getting decent photos of anything larger than a steering wheel is difficult. Most yacht manufacturers were respresented by their dealers at this show, while at Fort Lauderdale next month expect all the manufacturers to be present with extensive displays. We will be there to report on all the yachting news.