The Outboard Expert: New F25, F75, and F90 Outboards from Yamaha

Lighter, faster, quieter outboard motors from Yamaha include a new F25 with EFI, an F75, and an F90. And there’s Yamaha prop news, too.

This article originally appeared on Reprinted by permission.

New outboard engines from Yamaha promise to deliver more power with less weight. The new F90, F75, and F25 outboards are each aimed at anglers and according to Yamaha, offer improved performance and economy with quieter operation.

Offered in 15” and 20” lengths, there are eight variations of the new Yamaha F25 outboard.
Offered in 15” and 20” lengths, there are eight variations of the new Yamaha F25 outboard.


This all-new motor features an EFI system that does not require a battery and should improve starting, fuel efficiency and over-all operation compared to the previous F25, which uses a carburetor. The lightest version of the new F25 weighs just 126 pounds, according to Yamaha. That’s a whopping 66 pounds–25 percent–less than the previous F25, and 46 pounds less than the EFI Mercury FourStroke 25.

The new F25 features a 432cc twin-cylinder powerhead, a little less displacement than the previous 498cc F25. The F25 features the Yamaha variable trolling speed feature, which can be activated with a button on the Multi-Function Tiller Handle, through a Command Link display, or a new remote switch on models with remote controls. The variable speed feature permits adjustment of the engine speed from 750 to 1050 RPM in 50 RPM increments. Alternator output is increased by 14 percent to 16 amps. The new motor has improved carry handles and is more compact than the previous F25.

These new 1.8-liter in-line four-cylinder models will replace the previous 1.6-liter four-cylinder F90 and F75 outboards.
These new 1.8-liter in-line four-cylinder models will replace the previous 1.6-liter four-cylinder F90 and F75 outboards.


Yamaha’s 1.8-liter powerhead is also used for the F115 models. Despite the 13 percent increase in displacement, Yamaha says weight decreases by 13 pounds, from 366 pounds to 353 pounds. Competing 90 HP outboards range in weight from the 320-pound 1.3-liter Evinrude E-TEC 90 to the 341 pound 1.5-liter Suzuki DF90 to 359 pounds for the 1.5-liter Honda BF90 and the 2.1-liter Mercury FourStroke 90. The 1.7-liter Evinrude E-TEC 90  H.O. weighs 390 pounds.

Yamaha claims more top-end power and bottom-end torque from the new powerhead (compared to the previous 1.6-liter engines), and I would expect an improvement on the bottom just from the increase in displacement. This should help the motor perform better on heavier boats and pontoons. Charging power is also improved, from 25 peak amps to 35 peak amps, with about 28 amps available at just 1000 RPM. The new motors can be equipped with the Yamaha Multi-Function Tiller Handle (sold separately) that incorporates engine start/stop, emergency stop, gear shift, power trim and tilt operation, and a variable trolling switch. Walleye anglers will appreciate that variable trolling speed feature, which can also be activated through a Command Link display or a new remote switch, and permits adjustment of the engine speed from 550 (200 RPM below idle speed) to 1000 RPM in 50 RPM increments. These motors are also compatible with Yamaha Shift Dampener System (SDS) propellers.


Yamaha will now offer its V MAX SHO 115 and V MAX SHO 175 outboard models in a 25” length in addition to the standard 20” shaft. The longer length will fit more pontoon boat applications as well as many deep-transom aluminum fishing boats.

There also a number of new outboards props coming from Yamaha, all featuring the Yamaha Shift Dampener System (SDS) with a special cushioned hub that eliminates the “clunk” sound of the drivetrain take-up when the motor is shifted into gear.

  • Saltwater Series II SDS propellers for Yamaha F200 through F300 V6 outboards feature a large blade area and progressive rake angle to provide great acceleration with excellent load-carrying capacity for large boats, and are available in 17” through 23” pitches as well as 13” and 15” pitch.


  • Reliance Series SDS propellers for Yamaha four-cylinder motors in the F150 through F200 range are available in 13” through 21” pitch, in right- and left-hand rotation.


  • The new Saltwater Series HS4 SDS four-blade propellers are intended for Yamaha 200-to-300 HP four-stroke outboards and when compared to three-blade propellers deliver improved acceleration and low-rpm planing. The Saltwater Series HS4 SDS propellers are available in 21” through 23” pitches, in right- and left-hand rotation.
This exploded-view image of the Yamaha Talon GP SDS prop shows the components of the Yamaha SDS cushioned hub system.
This exploded-view image of the Yamaha Talon GP SDS prop shows the components of the Yamaha SDS cushioned hub system.
  • The new Talon Pontoon and Talon GP SDS props for pontoon applications have significantly more blade area for outstanding thrust and reduced ventilation in turns. Talon Pontoon SDS Propellers polished stainless steel. Talon GP SDS propellers are aluminum. Both Talon lines fit Yamaha T50, T60 and F70 through F115 four-stroke engines. They also fit 60 HP through 130 HP two-stroke Yamaha outboards.


Regal 29 OBX: An Outboard Powered Regal Bowrider?

Outboard engines are extending their appeal to different genres of boats, and with the 29 OBX Regal introduces their second outboard-powered boat.

This article originally appeared on Republished by permission.

Anyone following the new boat market has surely noticed that outboard engines are encroaching into what was historically stern-drive territory, as we examined in detail in Outboard Engines on Bowriders: A Match Made in Heaven? The latest evidence: the Regal 29 OBX, following closely on the heels of the 23 OBX Regal introduced last year.

The Regal 29 OBX represents a serious departure from the norm for this builder, which is known for stern-drive boats and has been around since 1969.
The Regal 29 OBX represents a serious departure from the norm for this builder, which is known for stern-drive boats and has been around since 1969.

If you haven’t encountered the 29 OBX yet, there’s a good chance you missed it because the boat was overshadowed a bit by Regal’s introduction of the 2100 RX Surf, which made headlines as one of the first boats ever to be fitted with Volvo Penta’s Forward Drive. There was also the introduction of the Regal 35 Sport Coupe, a slick, innovative cruiser. If one thing’s for sure, it’s that Regal isn’t resting on its laurels. They’re rolling out new models at a rapid pace, which makes it easy for one to get lost in the shuffle. But if you’re looking for a large bowrider and you find outboard power intriguing, you won’t want to let the 29 OBX escape your attention.

The attraction of outboards on bowriders can usually be chalked up to a cost savings. When EPA regulations requiring a catalytic converter on stern-drives went into effect, the pricing advantage this power system traditionally enjoyed disappeared. In fact, in most cases outboard versions of the same boat became less expensive. But let’s be real: on a 29’ boat with a price tag that’s well over the six-figure mark, no one’s going to try to save a grand here or there by choosing a different power system. As it turns out, however, there are some other outboard advantages Regal makes use of.

Outboard powerplants on a big Regal bowrider? You bet.
Outboard powerplants on a big Regal bowrider? You bet.

First, consider weight. A pair of twin Yamaha F200 outboards weighs in at 974-lbs. The 380 HP MerCruiser 8.2L V-8 with a Bravo III drive (found in the Regal 2800 Bowrider) is almost 300-lbs heavier—and delivers 20 fewer horses. Along with that horsepower-to-weight ratio advantage comes some extra speed. The 2800 and 29 OBX post the same dry weight, but the 29 reaches a top-end about 2.5 MPH higher, easily breaking the 50 MPH mark. The down-side, on the other hand, is a slightly higher fuel burn.

Then, there’s cockpit design to consider. Stern drives require an enginebox, which on runabouts usually creates a natural sunpad at the stern. The absence of this sunpad will, to some buyers, be seen as a disadvantage. But Regal has creatively used this space by mounting a pair of loungers with swing-down backrests on an electric-actuated sliding fiberglass deck plate. In the seating position the whole affair slides back 10” to boost cockpit space, and in the sunpad position you have at least as much room as you would on a traditionally-designed stern drive motorbox, though you’ll recline in a fore and aft position instead of across the beam.


  • Length: 29’1″
  • Beam:  9’0″
  • Draft: 1’7″
  • Deadrise: 19 degrees
  • Displacement:  6,550 lbs.
  • Fuel capacity:  148 gal.

Up forward in the boat you won’t find anything radically different from stern-drive bowriders, though the 29 OBX certainly does take full advantage of its relatively large LOA. The passenger’s side console has a roomy head with a sink, cherry trimming, and a choice of a portable MSD or electric commode. One beef, here: the opening port is an option, not a standard feature, and we’d consider it a must-have on any head compartment.

The bow has the expected flanking seats, plus swing-down arm rests, a large filler forward, and a mount for a removable dinette table. Stainless-steel cup holders and blue LED mood lighting abound.

One thing about Regal—they don’t do things cheap, and it shows in the standard features. The stereo, for example, is a six-speaker 200-watt Fusion system. Grab rails are stainless-steel instead of the more commonly seen plastic. And hatches are RTM (resin transfer molding), which creates lighter, stronger pieces that are fully finished on both sides.

If the past couple of years are any indication, we’re going to see more and more of these outboard powered bowriders hitting the water. No doubt, manufacturers like Regal will find new and inventive ways to take advantage of hanging eggbeaters on the transom instead of shoe-horning iron horses into the stern. And if you’re in the market for a new bowrider, you’ll want to pay close attention to these boats—don’t let one like the 29 OBX escape your attention.

Other Choices: The sterndrive-powered Sea Ray 280 SLX will be a natural competitor, as will the Crownline 285SS. If those outboard seem too attractive to pass up you may also want to look at dual console boats like the Edgewater 280CX, which in truth are extremely similar to bowriders.

For more information, visit Regal.



Seven Marine 557 Outboard: In-Water Debut

It’s alive! Seven Marine has breathed life into its 557 outboard. The monster motor — powered by 6.2 liters of supercharged Cadillac V8 — was in the water at the 2012 Miami International Boat Show, and I got a ride. Ask me to describe the experience in a few words and I’d choose smooth and sophisticated. The V8 hums under the cowl, the ZF transmission shifts silently, and the powerband feel seamless. This is not the kind of motor that’s going to snarl and give you a kick in the pants when you drop the throttle. It’s more like a locomotive, churning away with unlimited, unabated thrust.

Seven Marine’s 557 powers a Sea Hunter 29 at the Miami International Boat Show.

We laid out the premise of the Seven Marine 557 when it debuted in a static display at the 2011 Miami show . Since then Seven Marine has put together several examples of the motor to use for development and endurance testing, which was conducted last summer and fall. Successful on-water testing generated support from investors that will finance the creation of production tooling and an assembly operation in suburban Milwaukee, Wis., with a goal of delivering the first motors to customers in June or July of this year. The motors will be built in batches of 25.

Read more on the Boats Blog

Outboard Expert: $500 Upgrades

Editor’s Note: Outboard Expert Charles Plueddeman shares a few inexpensive upgrades that will improve your boating.

Just because this wasn’t your year for a new outboard doesn’t mean next season you can’t have a better boat. Here are some affordable upgrades you can probably handle yourself.

This Mercury ECO-Screen reports fuel use in miles per gallon and can be used to optimize your boat’s economy.

Install a Remote Fuel Filter
A 10-micron remote fuel filter is your best protection against water-contaminated fuel and injector-clogging gunk, both symptoms related to the ethanol-blended fuel that is getting harder to avoid. All of the outboard manufacturers offer remote filter kits and the replacement filters, or you can order a Racor filter kit from West Marine. Prices for the kits start at about $90 and go up to $140 for larger filters. The replacement filter elements cost about $20 to $30, and you want to keep a spare on board. We went through the installation process in a previous Outboard Expert column.

Read the rest of Outboard Expert: $500 Upgrades on

Diesel or Outboard Engine Maintenance

I was aboard a friend’s boat the other day when suddenly his small inboard diesel starting sending up plumes of white exhaust. We looked over the side and saw that there wasn’t any cooling water coming out of the exhaust. Clearly the engine was overheating, but why? Once we shut it down, my buddy checked the sea strainer to see if it was blocked by debris. It had some debris in it, but not too bad. After cleaning it out, we restarted the engine again and this time slightly more cooling water was exhausted, but it still wasn’t normal. We suspected that either the through-hull intake was blocked or the impeller on the water pump was broken. Not having diving equipment or the courage to pull the hose off from the through-hull and risk sinking the boat while we poked around, we opted to check the impeller first. To my amazement, he admitted it hadn’t been changed since he purchased the boat 6 years ago. His philosophy was that it was working fine, why mess with it. Granted he had tools and spare parts onboard, but I was dumbstruck by the laissez-fair attitude toward engine maintenance.

Whether your boat has twin turbo diesels, an inboard kicker, or outboard engines, there are simple maintenance tasks that you can do to help keep your engine(s) dependable, your costs down, and your time adrift to a minimum. I recommend that you become familiar with your engine by referring to the owner’s manual. If you are a bit more adventurous, purchase and review the shop manual. Either will give you the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance tips while orienting you to where and what things are. Even if you have a pro maintain your engine, the basic knowledge in these publications will serve you well when talking to your mechanic.

My suggestions toward engine maintenance are straightforward and proactive. Keep the engine and engine compartment clean so you can see if you have any obvious leaks. Keep appropriate tools and spare parts aboard. Visually check your engine for clean and tight battery connections, cracked hoses, worn belts, rusty fittings or other signs of age. Keep your fuel clean and check your Racor or other fuel filters regularly. Check the engine oil level and ensure that coolant water is exhausting in proper quantities before leaving the dock.

My preference and a practice we followed in the boatyard when laying a boat up for any extended period is to run fuel stabilizer through the engine and top up fuel tanks to reduce condensation. Flush coolant water and replace with anti-freeze in cold climes. Change oil, filters, zincs, and yes, water pump impellers, annually and follow manufacturer’s recommendations on the rest. Unlike my friend, an ounce of prevention will keep you from being adrift at the worst possible moment.