Honda Releases First V8 Outboard

Honda Bf350 Seavee

At 350 horsepower, the BF350 outboard is now Honda’s highest horsepower offering. 

The announcement of the all-new Honda Marine BF350 five-liter V8 outboard is big news beyond the boating industry. It is Honda’s first production V8 engine and that includes the automotive side.

Honda’s first V8 outboard is rated at 350 horsepower and is the new flagship in the company’s outboard lineup. The BF350 is targeted for 25-footers up to 40-foot vessels with a set of quads.

“I had (a lot of) calls from my auto friends when we launched this engine,” said Jim Loftus, department head of strategic planning for American Honda Motor Co., Inc., later adding, “They’re like, ‘Where’d you get this? How did you get it done?’ I’ve had a lot of those questions.”

It’s easy to see why the naturally aspirated V8 engine that runs on 86 octane unleaded gasoline would catch their attention. The four-stroke, single overhead camshaft engine, boasts incredible speed, superb acceleration and excellent fuel efficiency.

Prior to the release of the 350-hp BF350, Honda offered outboards from 2.3 to 250 hp. Most of those outboards are on V6 platforms, so when it came to designing a V8 platform, the marine division leaned heavily on its automotive counterparts.

“We’ve borrowed a lot of what I call advanced technology from our automotive side with this new engine,” Loftus said, adding, “We’ve been able to draw on the know-how from really both our four-cylinder and our six-cylinder engines for this new application.” 

Thanks to VTEC (Variable Valve Timing & Lift Electronic Control) technology borrowed from Honda’s automotive platforms, the outboard delivers power needed most, creating a seamless, smooth ride across all speeds.

The BLAST (Boosted Low Speed Torque) System adds a dose of adrenaline by fine-tuning ignition timing during rapid acceleration. Translation? Your boat gets up on plane quicker than ever.

Web honda Bf350 Rear Ams Digital
Honda’s new 350-hp outboard will be available in Aquamarine Silver or Grand Prix White.

Performance Redefined

The BF350 boasts Lean Burn Control technology that optimizes fuel efficiency during cruising. It’s like having a built-in fuel-saver, allowing you to explore more without constantly refuelling. The Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) ensures snappy starts and responsive throttle control, so you’re always in command.

Noise pollution is a thing of the past. The BF350 purrs quietly at cruising speeds.

Intelligent Control 

The Honda Intelligent Shift & Throttle (iST) system is your co-pilot, simplifying shift and throttle control with finesse. Whether you’re docking, cruising, trolling or maneuvering through tight spots, iST has your back. Plus, there’s an added layer of security with an immobilizer ignition system that requires a transponder key for ignition.

The system offers Trim Support, Automatic Tilt and Cruise Control. 

Sleek, Strong, and Stylish

The BF350 isn’t just brawn; it’s also got the looks. Its streamlined design effortlessly adapts to various boat styles, turning heads as you glide on the water. Expect a smooth, vibration-free ride, thanks to the 60° offset crankshaft, a feature borrowed from the Acura NSX high-performance supercar.

Under the hood, you’ll find thoughtful improvements for reliability and maintenance ease. An enhanced engine cover design, improved sealing, simplified anode replacement, and clever oil filter design make upkeep a breeze. The materials and finishes include anti-rust painting and anti-rust coating for improved anti-corrosion resistance.

The outboard will be available in Aquamarine Silver and Grand Prix White.

The BF350 features high-charging performance through large power generation capacity, a maximum of 70A with AMP+ for charging at idle, exceeding the needs of typical on-board electronic devices.

Web honda Bf350 Right Profile No Cowling Open Latch Ams Digital
The V8 BF350 is a four-stroke, single overhead camshaft engine.

New Direction?

With Honda releasing a 350-horsepower outboard, it appears that the Japanese company is making a play for the higher-horsepower segment. 

Kevin Mills, assistant vice president of Honda Power Sports & Products, said so much in a press release announcing the BF350 outboard before the International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition and Conference in early October.

“The introduction of the all-new BF350 propels power and performance to the next level and underscores the Honda Marine commitment to serve the ever-changing marine market with all-new products for fantastic boating experiences and the most time on the water,” Mills said in a statement. “Our new high-power outboard also signals that Honda Marine is enhancing our existing lineup with an eye toward developing new models, inspired by Honda automotive platforms, which meet the growing demand for larger, more powerful outboard motors.”

Loftus said that appears to be the direction the outboard market is heading.

“I would say over the last 10 years as we look at the industry the area that continues to grow was that 300-plus,” Loftus said. “It doesn’t matter what the economy is doing, the 300 is consistently growing.”

The BF350 comes with a five-year warranty and will be available starting in early 2024.