I've liked Honda outboards for a long time ever since I used to operate a launch with a 90 h model strapped to the back. It was quiet and powerful and started first time every time, the block is based on the Honda FIT car which although not available in the USA is very popular in other parts of the world.
Honda have just announced the new 60 hp model which looks like a winner too. I can't wait to take one out for a spin. I've asked the folks at Honda and as soon as a test model becomes available I'll bring you a review. Unlike the 90 the engine in the 60 hp model is three cylinder 1 liter block and apparently has something called the BLAST system. The BLAST technology advances the BF60's ignition spark timing to within one degree of the knock limit during "hammer down" acceleration, dramatically improving acceleration according to Honda. The Engine Control Module (ECM) also 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 holeshot 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. Available in either long or standard shaft variants it is also comes with the option of tiller steering shown above or remote operation for wheel steered boats.
The BF60 also has a trolling setting which can be set in 50 rpm increments from 750 to 1000 rpm which I suspect may appeal to fishermen. Additionally there is also a 22 amp alternator which should keep the batteries topped up and allow plenty in reserve for running electronics
The Honda also comes with a five year non diminishing warranty so they obviously expect the engine to have few problems in the service department. I've seen a few pictures with the 'hood off' as it were and from as far as it is possible to see all the major serviceable items look easy to get at. I'll bring you further details in due course but I am thinking that this engine could be a good bet for the skiff I am going to be building.