By Steve Starlo Starling
It’s been claimed in some circles that the four-stroke Yamaha F70 is the most-advanced new outboard engine to be released so far this century. That’s a big call, but Starlo suspects that there may be a little more than a piston ring of truth in it.
As you read this, I’ll be coming to the end of my first full year running one of Yamaha’s new F70 four-stroke outboards on my CrossXcountry Signature Series 4.5 metre foam-sandwich fibreglass boat. Over that time, I’ve racked up well in excess of 100 hours of running time on the motor in salt, fresh and brackish waters right across Australia’s beautiful but unforgiving Top End.
I’ve smashed props on rocky reefs, buried the skeg in oozing blue mud, ploughed furrows across gritty sand bars, banged my way through submerged timber and mown paths across dense weed beds. I’ve towed the rig thousands of kilometres over atrocious roads that turn boat trailers into scrap metal and cake every exposed surface with red, crusty dirt.
The fact is that I’m no easier on my gear than this harsh environment. I expect big things from my equipment and my outboard, in particular, cops a severe flogging. On the other hand, it also gets lovingly washed down and flushed with lots of clean freshwater as soon as I return to civilisation, and is straight into the local dealers (Darwin’s well-credentialed and highly-respected In & Outboard Marine) for a service whenever one is due. So, what’s my verdict after a year of living with the F70 Yammy? Pretty simple, really. As someone who has run Yamaha outboards for the past two decades (from 40 to 115HP) I have no hesitation whatsoever in declaring the F70 the best motor I’ve ever used. Bar none…End of story.
This is one very sophisticated donk, yet it also clearly has miles of guts and grunt, despite being significantly lighter than any other outboard in its class.
It’s been claimed in some circles that the four-stroke Yamaha F70 is the most-advanced new outboard engine to be released so far this century.
That’s a big call, but I suspect that there may be a little more than a piston ring of truth in it. Japanese engineering giant Yamaha has incorporated technologies into the F70 drawn from its world-beating motor bikes and other products, and it seems likely that many of the features incorporated in the F70 will percolate through the rest of the next generation of four-stroke motors from this company.
The F70 really is that significant. At a featherweight 120kg and with just 996cc of piston displacement, it has also closed and, in fact, totally erased the power-to-weight ratio gap that previously existed between two- and four-stroke outboards. In a nutshell, that tired old debate has now been relegated to history, thanks to the F70 and its modern four-stroke brethren.To be honest, I don’t think about any of that stuff when I climb into my little boat, back her off the trailer and head out fishing. All I ask is that the motor starts every time I turn the key (first time, every time, as a matter of interest!), runs all day without missing a beat, doesn’t drink too much (the fuel economy is stunning!) and runs smoothly, quietly and without coughing out smelly fumes. The Yamaha F70 earns a resounding tick of approval in every one of those critical boxes.
So yes, I’m biased. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Yamaha man and always will be. But even I have to admit that there are Yamahas and Yamahas. However, in my opinion, the F70 stands in a league of its own. It’s one right out of the box.
Professional Disclaimer: Steve Starlo Starling undertakes advertising and promotional work for Yamaha Australia and his outboards are provided by them on an extended-loan basis. That said, Steve could easily negotiate a similar promotional deal with other outboard manufacturers, but has chosen to stick with Yamaha.