Boston Whaler outboards


In the early 1960’s Homelite developed a derivative of the Crosley engine into a successful 4-stroke outboard engine. They increased the displacement of the cast iron block to almost 60-cubic-inches, enabling the engine to be rated at 55-HP at 5500 RPM. All the outstanding features of the Crosley engine were retained, like the integral cylinder heads, which eliminate any potential problems due to head gasket failure, the precise bevel-gear-driven overhead cam, which eliminates timing variations from belt sloppiness, the extra strong five main bearing balanced steel crankshaft, and the lightweight aluminum crankcase casting, aluminum valve covers, and aluminum oil pan.

The Homelite 4-stroke outboard was years ahead of its time, but its marketing was limited by the lack of a recreational marine dealer network. By 1966 it had caught the attention of Dick Fisher, probably by being used on the transom of his own Boston Whaler, and Homelite agreed to sell their outboard manufacturing to Fisher Pierce.

Fisher Pierce Bearcat 55

There were probably many things about the Homelite 55 that attracted Dick Fisher. Like his Boston Whalers, the outboard was unconventional and in many ways superior to the conventional 2-cycle outboards, just as his Boston Whalers were superior to most conventional boats.

Under Fisher Pierce the Homelite engine was re-badged as the Bearcat-55. The juxtaposition of “bear” and “cat” is a bit unusual, like “Boston” and “whaler.” Fisher was fond of such “un-straight” (as he called them) names for his products. Although the name does not dovetail with other Whaler related products, “bearcat” does suggest the potential of great power in small size.

Fisher Pierce produced the four-cycle outboard for six years, from 1966 until 1972…

Seabuddy thanks for info and parts…

Discount Marine Parts
Phone 4524 D Road •  PO Box 98 Fax
906-466-2180 Bark River, MI 49807 906-466-0217

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