When Honda officials wanted to show off their redesigned BF40 and BF50 outboards to the media this summer, they matched it up with a pontoon boat. After all, there might not be a better fit for these new engines than in the pontoon market and the proof can be found in the Voyager Supreme Cruise Deluxe.
Designed with versatility in mind, the Supreme line boasts of Voyager's innovative design that can be found in all of the Missouri-based manufacturer's boats.
The particular model being tested on Lake Travis in Texas was the 16-foot version, with the new Honda 50 four-stroke on the back.
At full throttle I was able to reach a top speed of 19 miles per hour and was truly impressed at how quickly this Voyager jumped up on plane. The Boosted Low Speed Torque (BLAST) gives the engine an extra boost when on plane (around 2500-3000 rpms) so the performance of the 50 horsepower engine surprised me a little when I opened her up.
Other great features that the new Honda engine has is the electronic fuel injection, Lean Burn Control and a host of other Honda-exclusive technologies that make it the lightest (214 pounds) and the most fuel-efficient engine (1.9 gallons per hour at 3000 rpms on the Voyager) in its class.
Obviously one of the main concerns on the minds of consumers today is the price of gas and that's probably what impressed me the most about this new Honda. Compared to the old Honda 50, the redesigned version is reported as having 22 percent better fuel efficiency and that says a lot considering Honda engines are known for only sipping gas. The secret is in its oxygen sensor that is part of Honda's Lean Burn Control.
Packaged with the Supreme Cruise Deluxe from Voyager, this is an ideal setup for those who like to cruise and enjoy life without having to pack extra gas cans onboard. Key standard amenities on the 20-footer include a CD stereo with two speakers, built-in 24-gallon fuel tank, Deluxe captain's helm, navigation lights, privacy enclosure and a Supreme console with tach, volt and fuel level gauge.
Also standard are the two Marine-Alloy 5052 aluminum U-shaped pontoon logs that provide a solid base for this Voyager and the anodized aluminum perimeter railing.
Voyager is located in Camdenton, Mo., and has been manufacturing pontoons for 20 years. Craftsmanship is the heart and soul of this builder as each pontoon is built, from start to finish, by a single team of two or three craftsman. This type of production allows the company to tailor its floor designs to meet each buyer's specific needs.
For more information on the Voyager Supreme Cruise Deluxe or any of its other popular pontoon models visit www.voyagerboats.net or call 573-346-1904. For more information on Honda Marine or to locate a dealer closest to you, please check out www.hondamarine.com.