Last week, I finally bit the bullet and repowered my boat. It was after much deliberation and numerous conversations with Carl Jocumsen and Scott Bilton, that I ultimately decided to go with a new 250HP Yamaha VMAX SHO.
In short the 250HP SHO is a super high output, 4.2L V6 Four stroke, and at only 229kg, is claimed to be the lightest engine in its class. Ian has written about the SHO previously. You can read the official specs and hype and judge for yourself on the Yamaha Australia website or in more detail on the US website.
When I picked up the boat last Friday from Independent Outboards in Arndell Park, the first thing I noticed was the imposing size of the motor. Being quite a bit larger than the old motor, I was really surprised that it could be as light as it is. Now there’s also a bit more room in my bilge, with the old oil reservoir removed. The recommended prop is the VMAX® SHO Series (Ventless) but I was sceptical that the supplied 25″ pitch prop would be large enough.
My weekend commitments meant that I had to wait until Sunday morning to take the new rig for a run. I had planned to do a leisurely morning trip with Chris Stannage. The aim to put in some hours to break in the new motor, and chase some Kingies on fly.
All of the information I’ve read, is that the break in period is crucial for the longevity of this motor, and quite honestly the first 2 hours were excruciating, before I could put my foot on the throttle and give it a good run. I got on the water an hour before I was due to pick up Chris because you can’t run the engine at greater than 2000rpm in the first hour of operation.
Well, we didn’t get any kings – and not for want of trying, though I did spend some time showing Chris (successfully I might add) the finer points of stalking bream on boat hulls with crankbaits.
We spent a bit of time trying to get one on fly as well, with no success.
But when I finally reached the 2 hour mark on the motor, I was able to open it up and experience the hype for myself.
First impressions? Quiet! Yes, we could have a conversation whilst the motor was running, and none of that distinct “growl” of the old motor that I’ve become accustomed to. I didn’t get it to WOT at all, as I found myself adjusting to the change in performance of the boat. Initially I was blown away with the holeshot – acceleration was fast and smooth, and immediately you could feel the power of this motor. Acceleration through the entire rev range was immediately obvious, and without spending any time at all adjusting engine height (I have a hydraulic Jack plate), props and whatnot, I as able to hit the boats previous top end speed, seemingly with ease, and with more power to spare.
The next few months will be an interesting time as I get the setup right. Time will tell if the motor lives up to the hype, but so far, so good.
UPDATE: after a couple of months with the new motor, I’ve written an update here