REVIEW: HONDA BF 200

By: JOHN FORD, Photography by: JOHN FORD

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  • Trade-A-Boat

The silver clad Honda is an honest performer for a reputable brand name.

Blackdog -Cat -62

Is a seven-year warranty enough to encourage punters to spend their newly released tax dollars on a Honda engine? From Honda’s point of view it should be, because it says a lot about their faith in their product. As a comparison, most other manufacturers have a three or five year maximum, although some dealers are stretching it to six when tied to a service contract.

THE TECH

The engine of choice on the Blackdog Cat 6.3 WHT is the punchy BF200 Honda and it was a fine match of performance and economy. The 200 is a V6 with a meaty 3471cc, which is the second biggest capacity in 200 territory. In a pissing completion where size matters, the V6 Suzuki beats it with 3614cc, but the rest fall short by a fair margin. Suzuki’s L4 is 2867cc, Yamaha’s L4 weighs in at 2785, the Verado L6 is 2600cc and the two-stroke Evinrude is 2744cc from its V6.

Honda has pumped a swag of technical wizardry into the engine to give it the zing needed to compete in this very competitive sector, which is hotting up even further with Mercury about to introduce a new range of engines.

The BF200 is a single overhead cam, 24-valve configuration with Variable Valve Timing, computer controlled electronic fuel injection, lean burn technology and their Blast or Boosted Low Speed Torque for better power from low revs.

THE PERFORMANCE

BF200-Honda

The Blackdog Cat has a hull weight of about 1200kg and a twin-hull design that presents a lithe profile to the water. The air assistance under the hull had us planing at a respectable 14kph at only 2500rpm and a fuel burn of 12.2lph.

Spinning a three-blade Solas 17" prop, we saw 66kph at 5800rpm from the fresh engine which isn’t bad from a boat that isn’t highly aerodynamic and in conditions on the choppy water that weren’t ideal for getting maximum speed. At WOT, the 92 octane disappeared at 64lph. Hole shot was brisk and mid-range acceleration was impressive, so it would seem the prop is well matched.

Best fuel economy showed when cruising at 4000rpm, we saw 44kph for a theoretical range of 322km from the 220L tanks with 10 per cent in reserve.

The XL version of the Honda weighs in at 277kg, so it’s the second heaviest in class but well suited to the Black Cat, which can easily run the weight of a twin-engine setup. Stated weights can be confusing because most builders quote the engine with the lightest leg, but as a guide, the Yamaha is 222kg, the Suzuki V6 is 229kg, their in-line 4 is 240kg, the L6 Mercury Verado is 288kg and the V6 Evinrude hits the scales at 242kg.

SEA TRIALS

220L fuel tank (calculations using 10% reserve)

RPM SPEED FUEL BURN (LT/H) RANGE (KM)
650 4 1.6 495
1000 5 3.1 319
1500 9 5.7 312
2000 12 9.1 260
2500 (planing) 14 12.2 194
3000 22 17.5 248
3500 26 22 233
4000 44 27 322
4500 52 38 270
5000 58 53 216
5500 64 61 206
5800 66 64 209


*Sea-trial data supplied by the author.

SPECIFICATIONS

TYPE Four-stroke SOHC 60° V6 / 24-valves

RATED HP 200

DISPLACEMENT 3471cc

WEIGHT 277kg

GEAR RATIO 1.86:1

PROPELLER Solas four-blade 17in

Check out the full review in issue #504 of Trade-a-Boat magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest boat news, reviews and travel inspiration.

 


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