Boat Review by: Matt Spencer
Immediately as I approached the boat the hairs on the back of my neck began to stand on end. There’s just something about horsepower that will always get me fired up, which is why I’m in this line of work. But when the boat you are going to test has not one, not two, but three, 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2 Outboards producing 900-hp, AMAZING!
The scary part is that’s not even close to the max horsepower rating of the Yellowfin 34 Offshore that these motors were bolted onto, which is actually 1,250! Spoiler Alert! 900 was plenty! If Yellowfin was a person, it wouldn’t be able to buy beer in the US. However in their short time since their first boat in 1998, they have built a strong reputation among serious offshore fishermen and tournament anglers alike. I had often seen them at previous years at the Miami boat show, constantly going in and out taking people on rides I was always impressed by their classic lines and striking styling, making them look much older than they are (in a good way.) The 34 Offshore is nestled in the middle of a strong line up for the Florida builder which features a 29, 32, 34, 36, 39 and 42 - a power packed line-up of serious fish boats. At 34-feet, 8-inches with a 10-foot beam the 34 is an impressive boat with a spacious floor plan. Just stepping aboard you immediately feel like a competitive angler.
The model on display at the Miami show featured an eye catching black vinyl wrap on the exterior, with what appeared to be a large Kraken at the bow, “offshoreapparel.com” midship and a list of sponsors towards the stern. The beauty of using Evinrude G2’s (aside from many other benefits that we will soon discuss) is that you can colour match your cowling to your boat. In this case they went with subtle styling of white side and top panels with a black accent stripe that really brought the package together for a bold, but not overpowering design.
So one of the benefits of the Evinrude G2’s is what’s called “clean rigging” which I will sum up into two elements. First of which isn’t exactly related to clean rigging but it kind of is, is that the steering ram on these motors has been eliminated and built into the actual motor mount. That, and the fact that all the critical engine cables and hoses are rooted through one central tube gives you a clean transom area, actually giving you back lots of space. So in the case of this Yellowfin there was an actual full transom platform complete with SeaDek. This helps with boarding at the dock, but also should you need to land a fish on there, you have plenty of room instead of having to lift it all the way over those tall freeboards.
Yellowfin describes the 34 as a “live-bait fishermen's dream” and with a 55-gallon transom livewell it’s easy to see why! Like with all offshore boats this livewell is finished in an ocean blue paint to keep the bait stress levels down, and you can also find drink and rod holders at the transom. Since this is a serious fish boat there isn’t a convertible bench seat like you might find in other boats, but there were two rear facing seats built into the custom leaning post as part of a fully integrated T-top and console. Basically these seats will be for sitting watching the lines, ready to set the hook at a moment’s notice.
The console on this boat truly is a command center as it featured a double seat, with a true flip up leaning bolster. The controls were mounted slight to the left of center and it had twin Raymarine touch screen graphs that I believe were bigger than the TV’s in my house. There was the dual throttle binnacle, Evinrude’s ICON gauge screen along with auto piloting system from Raymarine. This boat had every bell and whistle at the helm that any serious fisherman could ask for.
Moving around the sizeable console is a breeze with ample passageways, thanks to that 10-foot beam. The topsides of the deck were finished in an non-skid material with pop up cleats and coaming bolsters around the whole boat.
This was very much still a family friendly boat as it featured a double seat forward of the console. This seat had a high back that was quite comfortable and the seat itself was flanked by multiple drink holders. Forward of this seat was a large, trunk style storage bin. This bin was topped with a cushion, as a spot to simply “plop” down for a quick break on your feet, and a few people could easily congregate around it. Inside the trunk was deep storage that could easily handle a day’s worth of gear from your crew.
Up in the bow I was impressed by all the small cruising comforts this boat had, like storage compartments built into the gunnels along with fold down fender holders that makes putting them away a breeze but accessing them even quicker.
This was my last boat review of the day at the Miami show and I knew what we were in for out in the testing waters. It was windy and rough. I had been through it in smaller center consoles and bay boats. They had done well out there, but the body was starting to feel a little beat up, so it was time to exact some revenge.
As we got into the open water the waves immediately began to crash against the bow of the 34, but like a scene in a movie where the underdog punches the bully and he doesn’t even budge, well we were the bully. The Captain of the 34 made sure everyone on board secured any loose items and when given the thumbs up, he put the throttles down.
One thing Evinrude boasts about their G2’s is best in class torque. This is something that really needs to be experienced to believe. Having spent the entire day testing other boats powered by not Evinrudes, it was hands down, no decision which one had the most get up and go. I know there is a difference with 900-hp than a single engine, but even still the power output was immediate.
Even better, when we were cruising along, I asked if we could go faster? The Captain said “Absolutely” and right way the surge of power was noticeable.
Cruising speeds at 3000 rpm were 30.2 mph and 43 mph at 4000 rpm and even more impressive was how I had almost forgotten that it was rough out. It’s clear that “rough water” is a relative term. What’s rough to one boat is certainly not rough to another, and believe me to the Yellowfin 34 Offshore it was a pleasant day on the water.
It was an impressive package overall. The way the Evinrudes complimented the hull of the 34 was awe inspiring and it was all I could do to not try to convince the Captain’s to keep the boat headed towards the Bahamas.
|Dry weight:||8,800 lbs||3,391 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||416 US gals||1575 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Evinrude E-TEC G2 x 3|