Since introducing the 425-hp XTO Offshore outboard in 2018, Yamaha has said the engine was designed from the start to work with large boats — and not just in terms of LOA.
The XTO is a good fit for big center consoles, such as the HCB 65 Estrella, but there’s another metric aside from length.
“We felt the trends for longer boats were still continuing, but we also looked at wider boats,” Yamaha president Ben Speciale told Trade Only Today during the Miami International Boat Show. “You can make a boat wider, with the larger propellers and stabilizers.”
Yamaha said it worked with Grady-White on the Canyon 450, one of the beamiest boats in its class. Standard power is Yamaha XTO Offshore outboards.
Other boats at the show with the XTO Offshore include the Regulator 26, which was designed with the outboard in mind, and the Pursuit S 378 Sport, which were introduced yesterday. The Scout 530 was introduced at last year’s Miami show with five XTOs.
Speciale said Yamaha was surprised by the demand for the outboard in the pontoon and single-engine sport boat and fishing boat segments. “The surprises were much higher after the launch,” he said. He said Yamaha has been able to keep up with demand, adding that “there are a lot of boats on the drawing board for the motor.”
Features of the XTO Offshore that were designed for big boats include increased reverse thrust for improved maneuvering around the docks, direct fuel injection and a high-output alternator that produces plenty of voltage at low rpm.
Looking ahead, Speciale believes the marine industry had a strong 2019, and he expects a good 2020. Yamaha tracks about 200 boat shows, and while attendance may have been down at some events, sales have been strong.
Yamaha also is working on advanced engineering systems and is creating career paths for technicians through partnerships with 90 schools around the country.
“We’re passionate about making sure our industry is around for many years,” Speciale said.