VIDEO: Propulsion options keep growing

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What a plethora of propulsion options this year at the Miami boat shows. The Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show and the Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach hosted everything from joystick helm control to electric and propane-powered outboards.

I tested two new joystick systems for outboards — Yamaha’s Helm Master and Teleflex’s (now SeaStar Solutions after a recent name change) Optimus 360 by Sea Star. I had already tested Mercury Joystick Piloting for Outboards at the 2012 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

Click play to check out the engines.

The Yamaha Helm Master functions with its V-6 4-stroke models — the F225, F250 and F300 — as well as the V-8 F350. Teleflex showcased its technology in a marriage with high-horsepower Evinrude E-TEC outboards from Bombardier Recreational Products.

I also ran Yamaha’s new four-cylinder 200-hp 4-stroke, which powered a 23-foot center console, the Sportsman 229. The 487-pound F200 gives giddy-up, for sure, thanks to variable camshaft timing.

The Torqeedo 80-hp Deep Blue electric outboard won me over — quiet, smooth and surprisingly quick. Seven Marine’s 557-hp 4-stroke was back in the mix of things with a large display at the convention center. Mercury Racing unveiled a new 1,650-hp engine — state of the art all the way. So is the Cigarette AMG Electric Drive. The Mercedes Cigarette AMG Electric Drive Concept uses 12 electric motors. The 38-footer can reach 99 mph and it packs 2,221 horses. A new engine from Lehr is also a green motor, but it’s 9.9 hp and powered with propane.

— Chris Landry

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