Honda has just announced that they're introducing three new jet drive outboards, the Honda 40 Jet, Honda 65 Jet, and Honda 105 Jet. Anglers who focus on running rivers with rocky bottoms, like the Susquehanna, are probably going to be the most interested in these new offerings, since they're the ones most likely to wreck a propeller. They also come in handy for waterfowl hunters who may commonly run through propeller-eating shallows. Since there's no lower unit and propeller below the hull, draft is reduced accordingly. That said, however, jet drives have also become popular among small-boat fishermen who also use their rig for pulling kids on tow-toys, as the elimination of the propeller obviously adds an extra margin of safety.
The down-side of a jet-drive outboard is, of course, a substantial loss of efficiency as compared to the same powerhead swinging a prop. Just how big is the difference? The Honda 40 Jet is a jet drive on a BF60. The 65 Jet uses a BF90 powerhead. And the 105 Jet is a BF150 with a jet instead of a propeller. The other issue to contemplate is weight. Though it's not a huge difference, the need for a bigger powerhead to attain the same horsepower does of course mean more poundage sitting on your transom. As a point of comparison, the Honda BF40 tips the scales at 214 pounds, while the Honda 40 Jet weighs in at 268 pounds.
Like the BF series, these engines all come with power trim and tilt, oil pressure alert, temperature alert, and rev-limiter, as well as Honda's five-year non-declining warranty. They're also NMEA 2000 open-architecture (so you can bring up engine data on your NMEA 2000 compliant chartplotter). All models have Honda's "BLAST" (boosted low speed torque) system, which advances the ignition curve to boost horsepower on take-off and improve hole-shot. The larger of the two models also feature VTEC variable valve timing and lift electronic control, to flatten the torque curve throughout RPM range by varying the lift and duration of intake valves.
These outboards aren't cheap for their size; MSRP for the Honda 40 Jet is $11,360, and the 65 Jet is $13,357. When it comes to the 105 Jet, Honda won't have the model ready until the end of 2017 and says they'll announce pricing for the model at that time.
For more information, visit Honda Marine.