When it comes to Australian boating it seems that 90hp is the magic number for the majority of trailer boats. And it makes sense, too. It’s that perfect amount of power to suit a huge range of boats, not underpowered, not overpowered, just right.
It’s therefore going to make a lot of boaters happy that Japanese marine giant Yamaha has just released an all-new F90 four-stroke. This supersedes the old 100, 90 and 80hp models that are being phased out. A 90 perfectly suits that 4.5 to 5.5m size bracket and within that range there are countless brands and configurations of boat, so I’m sure we will start seeing this engine bolted on the back of countless boats in the coming years.
Light, power, action!
The new F90’s 1.8-litre block offers bigger displacement than the previous 1.5-litre engine that it replaces but is almost 10kg lighter. So essentially, you’re getting less weight, more power and therefore more holeshot and speed.
The reduction in weight and compact size is achieved by Yamaha’s single overhead camshaft design that actuates four valves per cylinder. This is the same design used in the F70A, which is now an extremely popular engine.
Yamaha claims there is a 10 per cent improvement in fuel usage compared with the old 90, which is a huge bonus for small boats with small fuel tanks and adventurous fishermen.
I had the opportunity to test the new F90 with it bolted on the back of a Bar Crusher 535c. The F90 on the back of this vessel would not leave anyone wanting more power. The hole-shot and mid-range power is excellent while the engine is quiet at idle and at speed. We also had the opportunity to test it on a smaller Stabicraft and it was quite the little pocket rocket. Like all Yamahas the F90 presents with class, refinement, power and a feeling of quality and reliability.
The F90 is compatible with Yamaha’s Command Link digital gauges. You have two options of a backlit LCD display and a premium full-colour display. This is great as this size engine will overlap varying boat styles and price points and I can see the two different markets opting for the two different gauges.
Importantly it’s NMEA 2000-compatible, allowing the F90 to communicate with most GPS and sounder units. This is a great advantage for those working with small boats and small dash spaces.
It’s available in long and extra-long shafts so will easily fit on any old or new boat. Whether you’re buying new or repowering, the weight, power and modern accompaniments make the new F90 hard to look past when comparing it with similar-sized engines on the market.
On top of all its features and technical advancements, it looks cool too!