From Speed to Performance, I Put The Yamaha VMAX SHO Through The Tests

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These days I’m running a Ranger 21 Intracoastal, which is like a bass boat, but with no carpet or console, and the Yamaha 250 VMAX SHO four stroke. This combination is running about three or four miles faster than the same boat with a similar sized HPDI-type motor. I really can’t compare the speed with other motor, because I really haven’t ran anything else.

That being said, my last boat was a Ranger Z520 with a Yamaha 250 HPDI on it and with that boat and motor combination I was running 68 mph with a tournament load. I’ve put the Yamaha Pro Series 25 pitch prop on this boat, and I’m running somewhere around 72-74 mph, and the hole shot is just phenomenal.

I take a lot of customers for boat rides for my local Yamaha/Range dealer, and when they get into the boat and see the four stroke, their first comment usually revolves around the lack of a hole shot. So I fill all the livewells with water, then load up the coolers and all the tackle.

They’ll usually ask me why I’m doing that, and I try to explain that I want them to see the boat perform in the “worst case scenario” of a full load. I’m about 210 pounds, and with the customer, a 36-volt trolling motor and four batteries and a full fishing load, I’ll have that boat up on plane in less than three seconds.

The customer is usually just sitting there going, “wow!”

I like to lean over and say, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

The midrange acceleration on this boat is phenomenal. The engine is instantly responsive to the throttle, which is something you just don’t see in other motors. There’s no hesitation or delay, and so when you give the motor throttle, it’s gone. With other motors, you can give it throttle, and the engine kind of winds up, where with the Yamaha VMAX SHO four stroke, it’s instant, and that’s one of the most impressive things about this motor to me.

Now I fish just south of New Orleans in a town called Mandeville, and in our coastal marshes we run through a lot of shallow water, marsh grass and mud. To make those shallow runs I own a second boat—A 22’ Shallow Sport which is a full tunnel Texas flats boat with a Yamaha 225 VMAX SHO four stroke, and I’m running a 17 pitch prop on it. It floats in 6-inches of water and runs in no water.

I have 15 hours of running in solid mud or matted grass, and I have not had the first hot horn warning, which to me is just amazing. Any other engine, and I don’t care who makes it, when you’re driving in those conditions, the overheat warning horn is going to sound because you aren’t getting any water into the engine to cool it. I’ve tried everything in my power to get that horn to go off, and it hasn’t, and it’s really to the point that I’m wondering if the engine even has one of them on it, even though I know it does.

Between the hole shot, acceleration, and the fact that this motor is running as fast, or faster than the comparable competition’s motors, the motor is very impressive. And having the luxury of running the tunnel boat, I’m really getting a taste of both sides—the fast boat and the shallow, no water performance boat. And the motor is just impressive.

Right now, close to 90% of the saltwater fishing in South Louisiana on my side of the state is shut down because of the oil spill, and it’s changing every day. It’s not a matter of if the rest of the saltwater fishing in the area is going to shut down, but when. It’s to the point that I’m going to have to shift gears and fish either further east or further west. And I’ll tell you right now that Evinrude and Mercury should thank BP for the oil spill and the water closures because that’s the only thing that is going to stop the Yamaha VMAX SHO four stroke from taking over the entire Louisiana boating market.

The Yamaha VMAX SHO four stroke outboard is making a huge impact on the boating and fishing markets in Louisiana, and the only thing that can slow down sales right now is taking everyone off the water. But it’s just a matter of time before everyone in the south takes notice of this motor. It’s not a game changer, it’s an industry changer. This motor will set the standard for the outboard industry, and all the other companies will either have to respond, or lose out.

By: Dwayne Eschete

Courtesy of Yamaha Marine