Performance test: Yamaha F70A on a Stabicraft 1600 Carbon

By: Norman Holtzhausen, Photography by: Norman Holtzhausen

The new Stabicraft 1600 Carbon with a Yamaha F70A outboard motor proved to be a superb match.

Performance test: Yamaha F70A on a Stabicraft 1600 Carbon
The Yamaha F70A outboard motor performed admirably on both new Stabicraft 1600 Carbon models.

I recently reviewed two models in the Stabicraft 1600 Carbon Series: the 1600 Frontier and the 1600 Fisher. Both are top notch boats that incorporate Stabicraft’s unique above-water carbon fibre superstructure. Go here to see the Stabicraft 1600 Carbon review.


Yamaha F70A performance

Hanging off the back of both Stabicraft boats was one of the greatest from Yamaha, the F70A outboard motor. This remarkable four-cylinder engine is the lightest four-stroke on the market by a some margin, and weighs only slightly more than their venerable three-cylinder two-stroke 70hp engines. This completely eliminates the weight question when deciding between a two or four-stroke outboards for a new boat.

Built into the completely redesigned F70A outboard is a whole slew of technology unique to this motor, such as the lightweight SOHC 16-valve design, a water-draining air intake duct, a blow-by-gas re-burning system and a fuel vapoor re-burning system. These are proven features inherited from Yamaha’s heritage in championship-winning motorcycles, with their usual legendary reliability and a three-year warranty.

Which leaves the remaining question: how good is it? And the answer is … very good indeed. Despite a modest one-litre displacement (996cc), the Yamaha F70A motor has torque and revs to spare. With a maximum of 6300rpm and a lower gear ratio, this motor can swing a larger propeller than many competitors. This high-revving ability negates the holeshot advantage that two-strokes often have over a four-stroke, while retaining the fuel economy and low emission advantages of the four-stroke.

Out on the water we were blown away by the motor. Acceleration was astonishing, with the motor getting us up and hurtling along quickly enough that you needed to hold firmly onto something before opening the throttle.

Top speed was also excellent, with over 60km/h (33kts) showing on the GPS in the good conditions, and in the Stabicraft 1600 Frontier at least this threatened to blow off hats and sunglasses. Of course achievable speed is based on many factors, and it is seldom that a 5.25m boat would be run at this speed for very long, but it is good to know the motor is capable of it when needed.

Yamaha F70A on Stabicraft 1600 Carbon

The last string in the bow of these amazing new Yamaha F70s is their full integration with the Yamaha Command Link digital gauges. This is the first of Yamaha’s mid-range motors to have this capability, which has been available on its larger output outboard motors for several years. This digital system simplifies the wiring while allowing every aspect of the motor to be monitored, including speed, rpm, fuel usage, temperature, water flow and diagnostics. The digital displays are user-configurable hence the owner can choose which data to display on which screen.

If you are in the market for a new 70hp motor you simply cannot beat the new Yamaha.

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