How Outboard Motors Revolutionized the Luxury Center Console Yacht Industry

How Outboard Motors Revolutionized the Luxury Center Console Yacht Industry

By HMY Contributor   January 6, 2022

For the past century, outboard motors have revolutionized the boating experience, perhaps now more so than over the last 15-20 years with their impact on, and growing popularity within the luxury center console segment.

With their continuous evolution and fictitious cap of power and efficiency, the sky seems to be the limit for the new generation of behemoth outboard motors. Whether you are looking for more power with your current boat, or are looking to upgrade to a grandeur yacht, look to HMY Yachts to showcase the latest and greatest models. HMY sold 150+ outboards in 2021 and our new Outboard Boating Center will play a key role in shaping the future of luxury center console inventory. 

How outboards even made it to this point is an incredible story, and likely quite relatable for many avid boaters who began their nautical journeys with small two-stroke engines in their local lakes and inlets and can now affix 600 hp monsters to their transoms.  

Two-Stroke Engines  

The first manufactured outboard motor was developed by Ole Evinrude in 1909. Evinrude had the vision to motorize fishing and rowboats, and it revolutionized the boating experience. It didn’t take long for manufacturers like Mercury, Yamaha, and Suzuki to follow suit.  

The first outboard motors were exclusively two-stroke. They were less complex to manufacture — the piston only needed to complete two movements to complete a revolution — and were also very lightweight and could accelerate very efficiently.

However, two-stroke engines have higher emissions. The earlier versions of the two-stroke engines burned large amounts of engine oil, making them less cost-efficient and harmful to the environment. The two-stroke engines on the market today have been reconfigured to be less harmful but perform best on smaller vessels.  

Four-Stroke Engines 

When Honda entered the scene of outboard motors, they exclusively focused on four-stroke engines. Four-stroke engines have been most commonly used in automobiles, making them widely accepted for boating. These engines are much heavier than two-stroke engines, but are much more fuel-efficient, and better suited for larger vessels.  


When outboards were first introduced, it was difficult to provide an increase in horsepower. As technology accelerated, so did the competition for the fastest motor, with outboard motor manufacturers racing to provide the best engine. In 1956, Mercury could only reach 60 horsepower with its six-cylinder engine. This was until they produced the first 100hp outboard in 1962. Suzuki and Yamaha both introduced outboards with 250hp in 2004. In 2011 Seven Marine blasted onto the scene with a massive 557-horsepower outboard sporting an inverted Cadillac V-8 engine. Recently, Mercury debuted its V12 600hp Verado outboard motor. The highest horsepower for an outboard motor has yet to be found as they continue to evolve.  

Technological Advancements  

Outboard motors have come a long way since the earliest models were invented. Each manufacturer has found its own niche in technological advancements, powering the industry forward with continuous new innovations. These include electronic control modules with input and output data ports and sensors, joystick steering, Bluetooth controllers, and motors that digitally integrate with a vessel's maritime electronics.  

The Latest and Greatest  

While outboard motors were once simply used to push rowboats across the lake a bit faster than human power, they have drastically changed the game for the luxury center console yachting experience. These versatile cruisers and fishing machines are here to stay and HMY is here to help you find the perfect fit for your lifestyle.  

HMY's new Outboard Boating Center is located in North Palm Beach, Florida at 

572 Northlake Blvd 
North Palm Beach, FL 33408  

Stop by anytime, search our current outboard boat inventory, or, for more information about buying or selling a luxury center console outboard boat, connect with our Outboard Boating Center online or at 561-328-1100. 



Additional outboard boating links you may be interested in:

Get Info

Watch Price

Two Oceans E-Newsletter Sign-Up