Boating Tips FOUR STROKES OFFER ADVANTAGES FOR BASS FISHERMAN Posted 3/2/2009 Fuel Economy is Only One of Them Yamaha Pro Dave Wolak, after only four full seasons as a professional angler, advanced to the final round of the Bassmaster® Classic last week ahead of many well-known, long-tenured professionals. Some might attribute his achievement to the element of chance that is a part of any professional sporting endeavor, but Wolak thinks equipment plays a definitive role in his success. His equipment includes a Yamaha F225 Sport Model, the company's high-performance four-stoke for boats with a 20-inch transom, and a 25-pitch Yamaha V MAX propeller. "Originally, I chose the F225 Sport Model for its fuel economy. Then I realized it has a lot of other advantages," said Wolak. Wolak reports a 25 to 30 percent improvement in fuel efficiency compared the V MAX® 225 that formerly powered his boat. For him, fuel efficiency translates into more time for fishing. "I fish on average four big-water events per season where the runs are very long, and I need plenty of range. I always used to put gas in the tank to get back. Now, not filling the tanks in the middle of the tournament saves me about 20 minutes. That amount of time is a big deal." Another advantage of the four-stroke is freeing up space, not only in the boat, but in the back of a tow vehicle. "I used to load the back of my pickup with oil, because with at two-stroke, I used at least a gallon of oil every day. Switching to a four-stoke has also allowed me to free up room in the boat. I use four Group 31 Optima® batteries, two of them are where the oil tank used to be, and that allows me to use dual Power Poles®. The hydraulic pump for them also fits neatly where the oil tank used to be. "When people consider the weight of a four stroke, they forget that oil tanks add weight, too. A full oil tank weighs about 40 pounds. That means the weight differential between the F225 and the V MAX is only about 60 pounds, which isn't all that much." Even with the additional weight, performance is excellent. "My boat (a Ranger® Z520) has great acceleration. It gets up on plane and goes from 0 to 60 about as fast as anybody else's boat. The climb from 60 to top speed (67 mph) is just a little slower. Add stealth to the F225's list of benefits. "I am really impressed with how quiet the F225 is compared to the two-stroke. I like to fish shallow, but I also use the latest side-scanning technology to study deep structure. Both require stealth, and the F225 is extremely quiet. I don't ever want to spook the fish, and I'm even very careful how I walk on the boat." Yamaha introduced the F225, a high-power V6, fourstroke outboard with a 20-inch shaft in the spring of 2007. It has much of the same proven technology used in Yamaha's venerable F250. In addition to bass boats, bay boats, pontoon boats, and "fish 'n' ski" boats are all designed for large horsepower 20-inch shaft engines. For them, the F225 may offer many of the same advantages Wolak describes for his bass boat. The heart of the outboard is a compact 60-degree, 3.3-liter block. It employs Variable Camshaft Timing, which dramatically increases low and mid-range torque. Thanks in part to proven Yamaha multi-point electronic fuel injection, the outboard delivers easy, instant starts, fast acceleration, and excellent top-end speed. An electronically controlled single throttle valve feeds individual long intake tracks, which increase hole-shot, acceleration, and mid-range performance. Several features, such as Yamaha's closed fuel vapor system, have helped the F225 outboard earn a threestar rating for ultra-low emissions from California Air Resources board (C.A.R.B.) It also meets or exceeds all Federal emissions requirements. View and download the PDF version of Boater's Log - Voulme 1, No. 3.