Honda Marine has always been known for their quality outboards, but they’ve never made it beyond the 250 horses and six cylinders — until now. After several years of development they’ve introduced the all-new BF350, and we had the chance to check it out in person when it was introduced at the Annapolis Boat Show last fall.

The most striking attribute of the BF350 is the very same thing that has made Honda’s outboards a favorite among many through the decades: it was whisper-quiet and uber-smooth. In fact, we filmed while sitting right next to it as it idled the entire time, and you couldn’t even hear that it was running. A number of modern four-strokes are similarly quiet at idle, but most get a bit growly when you hit the throttle. Not in this case. Running at 4500 rpm we could talk to each other at the helm in a normal conversational tone rather than yelling. But don’t take our word for it, crank the volume all the way up as you watch the video and listen in for yourself.

The BF350 is a single overhead cam, 32-valve engine and is rated to run on 86 octane fuel. Dry weight is 765 pounds for the 25” shaft model and 776 pounds for the 30” shaft. Controls are digital and data is transmitted via NMEA2000 protocol, so you can pull it up on just about any brand MFD display. The system is also compatible with Dometic Optimus 360 joystick controls for rigs up to quad engines.

honda bf350 350 hp outboard engine
The Honda BF350 outboard has a number of features boaters will be interested in.

A few nifty perks are in store for those running a BF350. The 93-amp alternator senses how much power your boat needs, and if it’s falling short at idle, will automatically pull up rpm by 100 to increase its output. You get cruise control in 50-rpm increments all the way up to 6000 rpm. And Honda claims a fuel efficiency advantage of 17 percent as compared to the competition.

Some serious tech came into play from Honda’s automotive side during the development of this outboard. The 60-degree offset crankshaft gets borrowed from the Accura NSX sportscar and is fully balanced to eliminate the need for counterbalancing while reducing vibrations. Friction is reduced via plateau honing on the cylinder bores, and piston rings are ion-plated. We can’t say just how big a role these tech-touches play in making the BF350 so dang smooth and quiet. But we do know one thing for sure: whether you’re idling through the harbor or nailing the throttle, with a big new Honda on the transom you’ll be talking instead of yelling.