Boating Magazine, January 2013: Power Play - Yamaha's SHO

Excerpted from the January 2013 issue of Boating Magazine:

“In a 19-foot sport boat, this supercharged/intercooled, 210 hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder is lightweight, compact and technically sophisticated when compared with available sterndrive power. The Yamaha engine and pump combined weigh 306 pounds. Consider that a small-block V-8 sterndrive like the new 225 hp Volvo Penta V8-225 weighs more than 1,000 pounds with an outdrive. That’s a big advantage for the Yamaha system in a lightweight sport boat, whether it’s on the water or being towed — it weighs less than 3,000 on its trailer. The compact size and low profile of this power train allow Yamaha to design a transom with a low center step-through, two-level lounge and swim platform that can’t be duplicated with a sterndrive.”

“Yamaha’s SHO comes equipped with a digital throttle that enables Cruise Assist, a system that allows the skipper to lock in any engine speed at the push of a button. Through a toggle switch on the helm, boat speed can then be adjusted up or down in increments of approximately 200 rpm to dial in the perfect speed for towing a wakeboarder or the kids on a tube.”

“No Wake Mode can be set to a desired engine rpm in five increments from 1,100 to 2,100 rpm, holding a modest speed in no-wake zones with enough thrust to keep the rudderless boat on course. Set at about 1,800 rpm, it delivers good control for most docking situations and stays engaged as the lever is shifted from forward to reverse thrust. With a little practice you can execute low-speed maneuvers by just shifting and steering.”