BY HONDA MARINE
On Thursday, Honda Marine, a division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., and H2O Sports Manufacturing, LLC announced a new agreement to revive the iconic Blackshear brand boat to be powered exclusively by Honda Marine engines. Honda Marine is a marketer of a complete range of outboard marine 4-stroke engines. H2O Sports Manufacturing is a boat builder of Clearwater Sport Fishing Boats, Cape Craft Sport Fishing Boats and Outcast Skiffs.
According to the terms of the new agreement, H2O Sports Manufacturing will produce a full new lineup of Blackshear skiffs to be powered by Honda Marine engines. The all-new Blackshear boat models will be manufactured with 100 percent new tooling and will incorporate the latest boat-building technology. Initially, the Blackshear lineup will consist of four, V-bottom skiffs: 1800SVK, 2000SKV, 2200SVK and 2400SVK. Production of these models is projected to begin summer 2016 at the H2O Sports Manufacturing facility in Americus, Ga. In tandem, Honda Marine will supply H2O with selected outboard engine models from its mid-range BF Series (BF40, BF50, BF60, BF75, BF90 and BF100) and High Power BF Series (BF115, BF135, BF150, BF200, BF225 and BF250) as original equipment for these new Blackshear models.
“We are excited to launch our partnership with H2O Sports Manufacturing providing customers and dealers great value and outstanding quality in the skiff segment of the recreational boating market,” said Mark DiPietro, senior manager, Honda Marine. “With class-leading performance, outstanding fuel efficiency and the reliability that boat owners value, Honda Marine engines will be power matched for optimal performance for the new Blackshear line of boats.”
Founded in 2014, H2O Sports Manufacturing has a network of more than 30 dealers in the Southeast, with plans to double the size of its network within the next year. In addition, the company is expanding its manufacturing and employee footprint in Americus, Ga. H2O is working with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and local and state agencies to move its manufacturing operations into an upgraded 500,000 square foot facility that puts a rehabilitated brownfield site back into use. The addition of the Blackshear line of skiffs to the current H2O lineup is expected to create 30 new jobs by the end of 2016.
The new Blackshear boats feature wood-free construction (100 percent composite materials with stringers made from coosa and/or three-inch fiber reinforced foam); upholstery designed and sewn on-site and made with Sunbrella UV protecting fabrics; walk-in consoles; a full liner; vinyl ester resin; a spray core; and a lifetime warranty on the boat structure.
“We are proud to be a partner with Honda Marine, which has earned a reputation among OEMs as a highly respected provider of marine engines known for exceptional fuel economy, performance and reliability,” said Chad Roberson, president, H2O Sports Manufacturing, LLC. “Generations of boat enthusiasts recognize the iconic Blackshear brand as a desirable and highly sea-worthy boat, and we are proud to continue that tradition as part of our new alliance with Honda Marine.”
SPOTLIGHT ON HONDA MARINE OUTBOARDS
The BF40 – BF250 range of Honda Marine outboards incorporates innovative, advanced design elements, making these engines the leading outboard choice among today’s boating enthusiasts. Depending on the model, a number of Honda Exclusives are integrated into the design of the BF40 – BF250 range of Honda Marine outboards:
- Boosted Low Speed Torque (BLAST) System improves hole shot and acceleration by advancing ignition spark timing to within one degree of the knock limit during ‘hammer down’ acceleration. The Engine Control Module (ECM) then steps in to increase injector timing, creating a more potent air/fuel mixture. The resulting boost in available torque at low rpm contributes to a strong hole shot to get the boat up on plane quickly. The ignition spark timing is appropriately adjusted under slower throttle advancement, ensuring a leaner air/fuel mix and class-leading fuel efficiency. (BF40, BF50, BF60, BF75, BF90, BF100, BF115, BF135, BF150, BF200, BF225, BF250)
- Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC), a Honda exclusive, utilizes mild cam lobes to operate intake valves at low rpm, then engages a high-output lobe for higher-rpm operation. The design provides a unique blend of power, torque and efficiency at any speed. (BF90, BF100, BF150, BF225, BF250)
- Intelligent Shift and Throttle (Drive by Wire iST) provides electronic shifting via a compact under-the-cowl design. (BF250)
- Lean Burn Control automatically adjusts the air/fuel mix according to speed and load while maximizing power throughout the acceleration range – providing as much as 20 percent greater fuel efficiency in cruise mode (2,000 to 4,500 rpm). (BF40, BF50, BF60, BF75, BF90, BF100, BF115, BF135, BF150, BF200, BF225, BF250)
- 3-Way Cooling System reduces engine heat by allowing the cylinder head to run slightly cooler than the cylinder block, reducing engine wear. (BF75, BF90, BF100, BF115, BF135, BF150)
- 4-Front Corrosion Protection System, a patented double-sealed, multi-layer paint process, fights off corrosion from harsh marine environments. The base is a corrosion-resistant Honda aluminum alloy, followed by a double-sealed treatment, an epoxy primer undercoat, and an acrylic resin metallic coating, finished with a clear overcoat of acrylic. (BF2.3 – BF250)
- Engine Command System accepts input from 18 different sensors to help deliver clean starts, smooth operation, strong performance and excellent fuel efficiency. (BF40, BF50, BF60, BF75, BF90, BF100, BF115, BF135, BF150, BF200, BF225, BF250)