VTEC, yo, for your boat

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Aug 13, 2022 | Honda, VTEC, Boats, Honda Marine

Photography by David S. Wallens

Something we recently learned: Some Honda Marine outboard engines feature VTEC, with its BF-series currently built around the ever-popular K24 engine. (Before you start thinking about cruising the docks for your next swap, realize that the boat line caps out at 150 horsepower.)

Just before the recent Music City Grand Prix, we went for a spin up the Cumberland River. Even though we’re not boating experts, as you can tell from our incorrect jargon, we found the Honda engines to be smooth, quiet and typical Honda.

[Amphicar: Does the Promise of a Car That Works As a Boat Actually Hold Water?]

Something new that Honda Marine also showed off: its HondaLink Marine app. It can track a boat, monitor its engines, and even keep you contained via geofencing.

The app can also provide virtual anchoring, allowing a boat to basically sit in place. Why would you want that? Perhaps to keep the boat in position while divers work around sensitive terrain, like a reef or a shipwreck.

GRM boat content, possibly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
8/12/22 2:38 p.m.

I can't promise any special prize, but you'd definitely get high marks in my book if you put a Honda Marine engine in a $2000 Challenge car.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/12/22 2:47 p.m.

In reply to Colin Wood :

That would be cool. The marine K24s are dry-sumped, too, I believe. (But the cylinders might be facing the wrong way for a car.)

JBinMD
JBinMD New Reader
8/12/22 2:52 p.m.

GRB?  Grassroots Boatersports?  cheeky

GhiaMonster
GhiaMonster Reader
8/12/22 2:56 p.m.

I just priced out the 100hp version  for an old boat, coming in at around $13,700 before anycontrols. Roughly 7 times the value of the boat currently. With the used market not helping much the Challenge seems a long ways off. 

Now the old 2 stroke 100hp Mercury 4 cylinder under my workbench, that could really make something like an old VW move. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/12/22 3:21 p.m.

In reply to JBinMD :

Maybe? I admit, I did dig seeing the VTEC sticker on the engine cover. 

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
8/12/22 4:01 p.m.

I thought this was going to be about some weird Civic to Bayliner inboard engine swap.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
8/12/22 4:42 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:
 

Something we recently learned: Some Honda Marine outboard engines feature VTEC, with its BF-series currently built around the ever-popular K24 engine. (Before you start thinking about cruising the docks for your next swap, realize that the boat line caps out at 150 horsepower.)

 

Their V6 engines go up to 11. I mean 250.

highpower 

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/12/22 5:28 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

In reply to Colin Wood :

That would be cool. The marine K24s are dry-sumped, too, I believe. (But the cylinders might be facing the wrong way for a car.)

Not all of them...

 

Driven5
Driven5 UberDork
8/12/22 5:41 p.m.

They've been using these automotive based VTEC engines on the marine side for quite a few years now. The V6 is a J35, the 'high-powered' I4 is a K24 and the 'mid-range' I4 is an L15. All are probably more cheaply gotten from their automotive applications.

BoulderG
BoulderG New Reader
8/12/22 5:52 p.m.

I enjoyed these on a tourist ferry boat in Belize. That boat moved right along!

psteav (Forum Supporter)
psteav (Forum Supporter) Dork
8/12/22 6:19 p.m.
Colin Wood said:

I can't promise any special prize, but you'd definitely get high marks in my book if you put a Honda Marine engine in a $2000 Challenge car.

I know it's passe to complain about prices in a $2k Challenge context but.....AHAHAHHHHAHAHAHAHA.   I needed a laugh today

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/12/22 8:15 p.m.

When I lived in Bradenton, I had a client that held the Seatow franchise for Tampa Bay. He said they had done fuel drops, but never towed a Honda. 

triumph7
triumph7 HalfDork
8/12/22 10:57 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:
 

Just before the recent Music City Grand Prix, we went for a spin up the Cumberland River. …

Read the rest of the story

Sounds like you were there the same time that we were!  We rented a tri-toon from Burnside Marina on Tuesday and it did have a V-TEC Honda.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
8/13/22 12:08 a.m.

Don't forget to look for Tohatsu as well. Anything above 115, model number starts with B, is actually a Honda. (Thanks to Sonic for the clarification)
 

So Mercury below 40 (and the last few years of Evinrude too) are Tohatsu, Tohatsu above 115 are Honda. 
 

Yamaha, Honda, and Suzuki are all what they say they are. 

Sonic
Sonic UberDork
8/13/22 11:48 a.m.

Tohatsu has their own up to 115hp now, but you can tell the Honda-hatsus because the model number starts with a B.   Tohatsu makes most of the small motors for Mercury too. 

te72
te72 HalfDork
8/13/22 1:56 p.m.

Isn't the word "canoe" a word for spam around here? =P

clshore
clshore Reader
8/26/22 3:09 p.m.

I wonder what the Honda Marine L15 motors use for an ECU?
I'm doing an L15B7 into a Spitfire.
Got the mechanicals worked out, BMW 323i Getrag 5 speed, Subaru R160 diff conversion, HD racing axles.
But what for the ECU?
Stock box with dummy sensors? Hondata (or similar) box with custom tune?
Viking Aircraft offer an L15B7 for light aircraft, so someone knows how to run standalone.

Viking 195 Turbo Engine — Viking & Valkyrie Power (vikingaircraftengines.com)

Of course, I have my eyes on this, for someday:

2016+ Honda Civic Big Turbo Upgrade Kit | Two Step Performance – TSP Wholesale

Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 UltraDork
8/26/22 6:06 p.m.

You motorboatin' son of a bitch 

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