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Yellowfin Yachts nears debut of 42-foot center console

Yellowfin Yachts of Bradenton, Fla., is nearing the completion of a high-tech, 42-foot center console.
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The 42 Offshore CE will be about 20 percent lighter than the conventional 42-foot Yellowfin.

The 42 Offshore CE will be about 20 percent lighter than the conventional 42-foot Yellowfin.

Yellowfin Yachts of Bradenton, Fla., is nearing the completion of a high-tech, 42-foot center console that’s built with the light and strong materials of Kevlar and carbon fiber.

The Yellowfin 42 Offshore CE (Carbon Elite) will be 20 percent lighter (a savings of roughly 2,500 pounds) than the company’s conventional 42-footer, Yellowfin vice president Heath Daughtry said. The laminate, which consists of a proprietary matrix of Kevlar, carbon fiber and e-glass, is also 17 percent stronger.

The builder’s first boat in its Carbon Elite series was the 24 Bay CE. With a Mercury Verado 400R engine, the top speed is about 70 mph.

The builder’s first boat in its Carbon Elite series was the 24 Bay CE. With a Mercury Verado 400R engine, the top speed is about 70 mph.

Yellowfin launched its first carbon fiber/Kevlar boat at the 2015 Miami International Boat Show with its 24 Bay CE. Since then, the company has built more than 100 of the 2,400-pound bay boats, which are popular with anglers looking for greater fuel economy and a shallower draft, said Daughtry.

Brian Turner will soon take delivery of his 42-foot Yellowfin center console, which is built with carbon fiber and Kevlar.

Brian Turner will soon take delivery of his 42-foot Yellowfin center console, which is built with carbon fiber and Kevlar.

Brian Turner of Bradenton, Fla., is the owner of the first Carbon Elite version of the 42 Offshore, which is powered with triple Yamaha F350s. He wanted the carbon fiber/Kevlar craft for better performance (cruising speed, fuel economy, range) for his multi-day offshore trips in the Gulf of Mexico for big game, he said.

“I’m not looking for a higher top end, but better performance under full load,” said Turner, who previously owned a conventional Yellowfin 42. “The new boat will negate the weight of the extra fuel I take in a bladder — 250 gallons — when I go offshore.”

Turner’s boat has a custom foredeck fishbox to hold ice-immersed big tuna. Trade Only executive editor Chris Landry, who is 6 feet, 2 inches tall, shows just how big it is.

Turner’s boat has a custom foredeck fishbox to hold ice-immersed big tuna. Trade Only executive editor Chris Landry, who is 6 feet, 2 inches tall, shows just how big it is.

Yellowfin has been working on the boat for about a year, Daughtry said. The density of the laminate forced Yellowfin to customize its resin infusion process for this application. “You can’t just throw resin at a unique laminate like this,” he said. “It takes research and precision.”

Yellowfin Yachts uses a laminate matrix of Kevlar, carbon fiber and e-glass to build its Carbon Elite in a vinylester resin infusion process, said vice president Heath Daughtry.

Yellowfin Yachts uses a laminate matrix of Kevlar, carbon fiber and e-glass to build its Carbon Elite in a vinylester resin infusion process, vice president Heath Daughtry said.

Daughtry said innovation takes time and extra effort, but “you have to try and stay on the edge if you want to be successful.”

Triple F350s also powered Turner’s previous Yellowfin 42 Offshore. That boat topped out at 60 mph. This boat should certainly be faster, but its increased efficiency at cruising speeds (about 40-45 mph) is what’s important for Turner.

“I ran through 40,000 gallons of gas in my previous boat, so if I can save 10 to 20 percent on fuel, well, that’s going to be huge,” he said.

The base price of the Yellowfin 42 Offshore with triple 350s is $456,903. The Carbon Elite version adds $58,000 to the price.

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