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When a quality boat builder puts a company demonstrator boat together he has the ultimate choice of engine brand and models to power his rig. So when John Margetts of Hooker Boats in Cairns purchased a Yanmar diesel for his first ever stern drive, it’s time to take special notice.

The Hooker boat in question also turned out to be the boat that John uses to take customers and friends way offshore on extended fishing trips to demonstrate the capability of the total package.

“I chose the new Yanmar 6BY diesel sterndrive,” John Margetts said. “Over the years we have installed and used just about every brand of outboard on the market but wished to move into stern drive power for our top of the range Hooker 8M Series WRC model. We had the option of diesel or petrol stern drives, but stayed well and truly away from petrol due to safety with electrics and fumes plus we had concerns about reliability. So we selected the finest diesel stern drive available.”

Usually with this model boat customers have opted for an outboard in the 250 hp category, or even dual 150 hp outboards. The Yanmar 6BY installation performed by Hooker Boats was the first 6BY sterndrive engine to be fitted in North Queensland. Yanmar have sold many of the well-proven 4LHA and 6LPA mechanically controlled packages in North Queensland but this was the first installation of the new electronic controlled 6BY Series.

“I opted for a Yanmar diesel sterndrive for my demo boat due to the reliability factor and exceptional fuel economy. I also felt that with customers experiencing the benefits of Yanmar power during the pre-purchase process, customers would actually convince themselves of the benefits of Yanmar.” There are a lot of older and experienced boaties in the big trailerable boat market who subscribe to the old fashioned view of a diesel — heavy, slow revving and smelly. The world has certainly changed with advanced diesel technology encompassed in the Yanmar 6BY — drive by wire control, electronic engine management, low emissions and light weight.

As an offshore fishing machine, the Yanmar-powered Hooker 8m WRC rig is an impressive beast. The 260 mhp (191kW) punched out by the 6 cylinder 6BY-260Z delivers a rapid 35 knots at 4100 rpm swinging a 21” pitch prop on the MerCruiser Bravo 2X leg. In a fully loaded state, cruise speed is achieved at a leisurely 3300 rpm and 26 knots, a fine effort for a boat that tips the scales at a dry weight of 2 tonnes.

With the 600 litre fuel tank fully loaded, the Yanmar powered Hooker package has a very impressive range of 1200 nautical miles. It is easy to sometimes overlook that this boat is legally trailerable, not a large sea going cruiser with massive fuel tanks on board.

For John Margetts a typical fishing day out from his home city of Cairns involves a run out to the reef, some 25 to 30nm offshore. A serious session of trolling ensues and then at days end it’s a comfortable run back home again. “I do this trip on less than 80 litres of fuel — it has to be one of the most economical days reef fishing that anyone could ask for.”

And on the big days it is a run of 120 nm offshore to the outer reef where the big fish live right on the edge of the drop off. Following a day-long session of chasing these fish, it’s then time to head back home with another 120 nm run. Compared to a 4-stroke petrol outboard on the same hull, the diesel torque is simply awesome and guarantees the Yanmar-powered package is first back to the ramp, and last at the fuel bowser every time. “I am totally won over by Yanmar’s reputation for quality and their after market support. The Yanmar 6BY-260Z just hums along under the engine hatch but you can really feel the power surge when you lean on the throttle and hear the turbo whistle come on.“This Yanmar engine is so under stressed, I reckon that it will last forever”, concluded John.

The new generation BY Series which include dual overhead camshaft, 4 valves per cylinder and common rail fuel technology are available in both a 4 cylinder 2 litre variant (150mhp and 180mhp) and the 6 cylinder 3 litre (220 mhp and 260 mhp) model. With a dry engine weight of only 250kgs for the 4 cylinder model and 310 kg for the 6 cylinders, they are already gaining an excellent reputation from owners and boat builders alike for performance, low fuel usage and low noise.


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