Many readers might remember the test results article I wrote last year on the Suzuki DF250AP that I had re powered my 7mtr Riptide with. The performance and economy from this outboard was nothing short of brilliant and after a year of use, Jon Eadie from Bayside Suzuki in conjunction with Suzuki Australia gave me an opportunity to try out the all new Suzuki DF350A and put it through its paces also. This 4.4ltr V6 lean burn outboard runs a duo prop set up which is vastly different to what the outboard market has ever produced. Duo props offer exceptional grip/thrust eliminating a huge percentage of slip that conventional props get. This equates to better fuel efficiency and overall performance.
During testing I was blown away by the shear grip/thrust it produced and if you weren’t holding on you’d be out the back in a split second. The DF350A is approximately 40kg heavier than the DF250AP and I noticed it didn’t weigh the boat down in anyway but rather the opposite. The duo prop creates so much lift in the rear which makes it feel lighter and I found myself giving it way more positive trim to bring the bow up compared to single propped outboards I’ve run in the past. Putting a boat into hard turns with normal trim would generally cause cavitation but the duo propped 350 excelled in this area and in fact, I actually couldn’t get it to cavitate no matter how hard I tried. Another noticeable difference was the crazy grip in reverse and it felt like the boat was going to get on the plane in reverse. This can be handy for backing up on game fish or simply getting you out of tricky situations at ramps and marinas. Although duo props were never designed for top end speed it still reaches just under 50 knots at 6300rpm which was surprising considering my hull speed isn’t great due to having a large fairing block in the keel of my hull which houses 3 thru hull transducers just forward of the transom and outboard. When I had this installed, my old Suzuki DF225 lost about 5 knots of speed and noticeably reduced my fuel economy.
Now the big question most want to know, what’s it like on fuel? Well for a big outboard it’s surprisingly good and not that far off the DF250AP I was running. Naturally I expected the 4.4ltr DF350 to use more fuel over the 4ltr DF250AP due to being a much larger capacity engine and the fact the DF250AP was ideally suited to my boat and wasn’t under powered in any way. Fuel usage testing in calm conditions inside Moreton Bay punched out some great figures with its best figures between 3000 to 4000rpm. At 3000rpm, 38kph (20kts), 22.3 L/hr, 0.59 L/km or 1.70 Km/L. At 3500rpm, 46kph (25kts), 29.5 L/hr, 0.64 L/km or 1.56 Km/L. At 4000 rpm, 54kph (29kts), 37.6 L/hr, 0.70 L/km or 1.44km/L. Fully loaded for a big offshore trips carrying 520ltrs of fuel, 300kg of ice and loads of gear it still gets 1.1 to 1.4km/L depending on the conditions and current which is exceptional for such a big outboard. Full test data in the table below.
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