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Yamaha F350 - Power Up and Spend More Time Fishing
Jan 28, 2008
by Captain John Luchka

Just when you think you have seen it all, something new comes along, as my dad would always say. Change is inevitable as manufacturers of engines and fishing tackle always look to improve something or distance themselves from the competition. Thousands of man hours go into the development of new products as these developments are deemed necessary to solve a problem, introduce a new innovation, or make a claim to be the best, fastest, or the only of its kind.

I had the opportunity to join a friend this past fall to run his new center console with Twin Yamaha F-350's out of South Jersey to do some offshore Blue fin Tuna fishing. Immediately, I was impressed with the responsiveness and agility of these engines. On days when the ocean is like glass, it makes a trip to the canyons a real joy. Time to get there is shortened by hours which allows you more time to fish and beat others to the prime spots. Having the speed to hit more areas, follow a temperature break, and make that push a little further offshore and back home is something you can feel confident in with these four-stroke workhorses.

Tournament fishermen who are battling against the clock and their competition are looking for every edge possible. The versatility and quietness of these engines give them that opportunity. Charter captains who are considering downsizing and taking a closer look at the larger center consoles are also finding these larger horsepower engines an integral part of their fishing strategy. A captain I spoke to at the NY Boat Show simply stated, “I have the best rods, reels, and electronics and if these engines allow me to be more productive in the long run, it will be a worthy investment”. I know that if I need to cover ground to put clients on fish in a certain amount of time, I do not want to be slowed down in any way.

Yamaha Marine Group unveiled the boating industry's first V8 5.3-liter, four-stroke outboard motor, the Yamaha F350. Producing 350 prop-shaft rated horsepower, it is designed to provide massive thrust for the heaviest off-shore outboard-powered boats and outboard-powered boats the industry has, thus far, only been able to dream about building.

“The F350 will allow our boat builder partners to make outboard-powered boats that could reach 40 feet or more in length,” said Phil Dyskow, Yamaha Marine Group president. “At the same time, it's a great power solution for a lot of existing boats. The F350 will be the choice for anyone who ever wished for more off-shore outboard power and thrust.”

“The development of the F350 was truly an example of Yamaha’s partnership," said Leon Slikkers, chairman and COO of S2 Yachts (the parent company of Pursuit Boats).

“There are situations in which bigger is truly better,” said Dyskow. "No outboard manufacturer has ever designed anything even close to a 5.3-liter, four-stroke V8. Extra displacement helps provide what big boats need most - thrust. At the same time, displacement means the engine makes 350 horsepower without the strain and internal pressures found in high-output, small displacement engines.

Though the Yamaha brand is already known for offshore reliability, the company has deliberately raised the standard with the F350. For example, it is more resistant to the potential for water intrusion. It also uses a number of new technologies, including: ionic combustion sensors that constantly monitor combustion conditions and adjust spark timing; a dimpled outer cylinder sleeve to reduce oil consumption; the new Enhanced Ultimate Corrosion Protection System (UCP-II™) with additional sacrificial anodes; an innovative internal paint process and new-generation head gaskets; and Yamaha's Command Link® Digital Electronic Control system with redundant electronic engine control, automatic multi-engine synchronization and electronic throttle and shift.

The Yamaha F350 provides up to 45 percent more thrust than 250-hp class outboards. The company's first V8 outboard power head was designed specifically for the marine market and features more than 600 new parts. The design is a 60-degree V8 with 32 valves (four valves per cylinder) and double overhead cams. It uses variable camshaft timing to optimize the engine’s torque at low and mid-range rpm. With sequential, multi-point fuel injection, it has eight long intake tracks in the induction system to optimize power. In addition, it features In-Bank Exhaust with Dual Power Surge Chambers, a system that relieves pressure in the exhaust ports.

The F350 was designed from the beginning to power off-shore boats. However, it employs a number of new features designed to even further enhance its capabilities. A component of the UCP-II Ultimate Corrosion Protection System is an industry exclusive paint process for the proprietary Yamaha aluminum alloy engine block. It combats corrosion both inside and out, protecting the cooling passages and other key components. In addition, the outboard uses an “Ultra-Tough” gear case with dual water inlets for improved cooling. Inside the lower unit are hardened gears and enhanced bearings and surfaces for greater off-shore durability. Forged motor mounts and an oversized mounting bracket also add to the F350's portfolio of toughness.

For more on the F350, check out Rob Pavlick's blog on the NY Boat Show. You can reach Rob’s blog from a link the home page of

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