“The F90 gripped like a Remora on a Marlin, even trimmed out.”

Yamaha recently invited The Captain’s crew to Couran Cove, near the Gold Coast, to catch up over a rum and test drive their brand-spanking-new F90. Although the responsible chaps at Yammie wouldn’t hand us the keys after a few “refreshments”, we did manage to get out on the water once the hangovers had faded.

Yamaha sure know how to put on a shindig. They supplied a range of rigs for us to test with the new F90, including a Bar Crusher 535C, Sea Jay 490 Velocity Sports, Quintrex 490 Cruiseabout and a Stabicraft 1600 Fisher. We couldn’t walk past the all-black carbon series Stabi without taking her for a spin. The 1600 Fisher jumped onto the plane damn quick. The new F90 isn’t just almost 10kg lighter than the previous model, it also has much larger displacement at 1832cc. According to Yamaha, the F90’s reduction in weight and improved compactness is achieved by adopting a single overhead camshaft design (SOHC), actuating four valves per cylinder. This unique valve-train design was first seen in Yamaha’s award-winning F70A, one of the most popular engines in Australia. This design allows the F90 to achieve the weight savings of a single camshaft while still achieving the smooth and efficient performance only seen in 16-valve, four-cylinder engines of this size.

Performance into sharp turns was also great, the F90 gripped like a remora on a marlin, even when trimmed out. We did notice a touch of torque steer, but that’s a fit-out issue, not an engine one. It was also nice to be able to have a conversation with the person next to you at wide-open throttle. By improving engine rigidity, redesigning the muffler and adding an intake silencer, Yamaha has been able to design an outboard that is not only silent, but powerful.

Not to mention, Yamaha also claims a 10 per cent improvement in fuel economy. Next these damn F models will be refining their own fuel – they’re that bloody efficient! The verdict is clear. If you’re thinking about getting a new boat or repowering in the 4.5m-5.5m class, the new Yamaha F90 has definitely got to be a hot contender for the job.