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Published 01.01.2015 | Author : admin | Category : Sailing Skiff Plans

16ft Smittys Bahamas skiff in good working order with tiller Nissan 40hp motor on Continental trailer. 2006 Used Triton 2895 Center Console With used Aluminum Trailer and packaged with Brand New Yamaha Four Stroke 300 Hp pair of engines. I have added a Marine radio, Garmin satellite GPS Map 4212, and sirius satellite stereo system. Anyone who has been in powerboating for at least 20 years likely has some experience with two-stroke outboard engines. Ranger’s RT188 aluminum bass boat, equipped with the new Yamaha four-stroke VMAX SHO 115 outboard.
Yamaha has actually been manufacturing its VMAX SHO outboard line since 2009, but it’s only been in the last three to four years that they’ve begun to gain traction in the bass boat and pontoon markets, which have long been dominated by two-stroke power. Getting ready to lay the hammer down to see if the Yamaha VMAX SHO 115 four-stroke can muster two-stroke thrills. To find out how Yamaha is getting two-stroke performance out of these four-stroke outboards I sat down with David Meeler, Yamaha’s Marine Product Information Manager.
Now sure, that all sounds good—in theory—but I was interested in putting the beans to one of the SHO engines get the real skinny.
Now, in the interest of full transparency, I didn’t have a ton of scientific gear to measure exact planing times, nor did I have the opportunity to fully test the two-stroke competition under controlled conditions.
As we slowly motored the RT188 out of the marina basin into Lake Michigan’s deep-blue waters, the first thing that struck me was how quiet and smooth the VMAX SHO 115 was. The last area I wanted to check out, performance-wise, was not just overall top-end, but also acceleration and grunt in the upper rpm range. One last thing to consider when comparing two-strokes to four-strokes is the hassle factor. That said, Evinrude’s two-strokes do require less in the way of winterization and regular scheduled maintenance, not requiring dealer service but for every three years.
And just in case you think you’re getting things settled in your mind, be aware that Evinrude now has a series of E-TEC G2 engines in larger sizes (200 to 300 hp), that promise not only superior two-stroke performance but better fuel economy and lower emissions. Yamaha Motors will have full 3 year factory warranty + the FREE 3 Year Extended YES Yamaha Factory warranty = 6 years Yamaha Outboard warranty! You probably know about the great hole-shot and top-end performance these engines deliver in a lightweight package.

Well, while four-strokes are definitely an improvement over two-strokes in many ways, they’ve generally lacked the punch and top-end performance that two-strokes are known for. The company is also making progress in the repowering market, tapping into customers with older boats who are looking to ditch the two-stroke oil habit. It turns out that a lot of electronic wizardry is to thank for much of the performance the SHO line packs. I purposely chose to run Yamaha’s new VMAX SHO 115 for this article, because I’ve had a lot of experience with the two-stroke Evinrude E-TEC 115. The gist of my run was to see how the SHO motors felt, performance-wise, based on 25 years of running both four- and two-stroke engines. Hole shot performance was extremely impressive, and I could almost “sense” the electronic work going on under the engine cowling. At around 4,000 rpm and 27 mph, I once again laid the hammer down to see how responsive the VMAX SHO 115 was in its upper power band.
As you likely know, larger two-strokes require regular and fairly expensive topping off with two-stroke oil, either into a remote tank or one that’s integrated under the engine cowling.
If you tally the points, the Yamaha VMAX SHO wins, two to one, despite the two-stroke outboards having better out-of-the-hole performance. But your memories may also contain at least a few visions of hazy blue smoke, messy two-stroke oil, and a desire to wear ear plugs because of the inherent loudness of these engines.
Yamaha is aiming to provide a solution this problem with its VMAX SHO (super high output) lineup of four-stroke outboards. If you’re one of those folks looking to repower your boat, or wondering whether you should tip your new boat with two-stroke or four-stroke power, you’ll want to pay attention; there’s some interesting stuff coming up.
Meeler says, “As far as power is concerned, we use things like variable camshaft timing to provide that ‘push you back into your seat’ snappiness that two-strokes are known for. The platform Yamaha chose for the VMAX SHO 115 was a Ranger RT188 aluminum bass boat, which occupies a market segment that’s right in Yamaha’s SHO crosshairs. Now, to be fair, Evinrude’s latest E-TEC outboards are much smoother than their older two-strokes and produce very little visible smoke. By that I mean there’s still a bit of lag time between when you push the throttle and when the engine spools up—you can almost hear what’s happening as the ECM calls for more fuel and air. Even with the high-tech sensors these new two-stroke engines have to alert you to low oil levels.

As far as four-strokes go, sure, you do have to change the engine oil and oil filter about every 100 hours, but it’s a relatively quick, painless job. But, when you factor in the four-stroke’s smoothness and quietness, lack of smelly exhaust fumes, and not needing to be fed two-stroke oil constantly, that second or two of hole acceleration doesn’t really seem to matter. These engines are designed to deliver potent low-end punch and impressive top-end speed, all wrapped up in a quiet, smooth, and lightweight package. When you lay down the throttle hard, the ECM on our VMAX SHO engines sends a signal to the oil control valve. That said, it took only five or so seconds to get up on a plane, which is comparable within a second or so to performance bulletins I’ve seen from Evinrude on this boat fitted with the Evinrude E-TEC 155. Barely a millisecond of time passed between my heavy application of throttle and what felt like a moon shot to a top end of about 44 mph at 6,300 rpm. Given the amount of money I’ve spent on two-stroke oil over the years—as well as how much I’ve spilled on myself and on boats I’ve run—I really have to give the hassle factor point to the Yamaha SHO. That valve then uses engine oil as a hydraulic fluid to quickly rotate the camshaft, allowing the valves open up sooner and pack in a lot of fuel and air.
When it comes to smoothness, quietness, and exhaust gasses, you have to give a point to Yamaha’s four-stroke SHO motor. Still, the VMAX SHO didn’t have quite the same neck-snapping goodness as the E-TEC 115 I’ve run on similar boats.
Just to make sure I wasn’t imagining things I did it a few more times in different directions, getting the same impressive results. To get the scoop I went to Petoskey, MI, where Yamaha assembled a handful of boats to run, including bass, walleye, multispecies, and pontoon boats.
While I wouldn’t go so far as to say the VMAX SHO was better in this sense than the E-TECs I’ve run, it felt close enough to call it a tie. Be sure to take all the aforementioned factors and your own type of boat usage into account before you pull the trigger.

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