by Bob Wonders
Although it was released last year, it was only during the recent Miami International Boat Show (February) that I was able to experience first hand the enhanced version of the Yamaha F350, V8 outboard.
How sweet it is... a triple Yamaha F350 installation provides supreme 'grunt.' - Yamaha F350
What made this engine different from its original version was its compatibility with the new Command Link Plus.
Command Link Plus essentially allows for a comprehensive expansion of the current menu via a 5' LCD display.
Cleverly, it has the same height as the current Command Link square gauge to make optimum use of space.
Specifically designed for individual configuration by rhe user, there are numerous display options for the engine and the boat.
The LCD screen can display speed, oil/water pressure, battery charge level, rpm, fuel flow rate, fuel tank content, water temperature and water depth.
In standard form, Command Link Plus can operate efficiently with single, dual or triple engine installations, but a quad set up requires two displays.
Phil Dyskow, Yamaha Marine Group president, has described the F350 engine as 'the jewel in Yamaha’s offshore crown.'
'It’s the ultimate outboard and needs to be compatible with ultimate electronic systems such as Command Link Plus,' he added.
The Yamaha F350 is everything one would want, would demand, in an outboard engine.
Producing 350hp at the propshaft, the F350 is designed to provide massive thrust for even the heaviest blue water powerboats.
I was fortunate enough to try the F350 out in both a single and a dual installation and could only give it the highest marks.
Acceleration and ‘out of the hole’ shot was outstanding and the high displacement design of the engine allows it to develop that 350hp without the strain and internal pressures a smaller displacement engine would suffer.
Yamaha engineers claim the F350 provides up to 45 percent additional thrust that typical 250hp outboard engines and when you stand at the helm of a boat powered by the F350 you’re not about to argue.
This, the company’s first V8 outboard powerhead was specifically designed for the marine environment.
It is a 60-degree V8 with four valves per cylinder and double overhead cams.
Variable camshaft timing optimises the engine’s torque at low and mid-range rpm.
With sequential, multi-point fuel injection, it has eight long intake tracks in the induction system to help optimise power.
Another feature to impress me was the In-Bank Exhaust with Dual Power Surge Chambers, basically a system that greatly relieves pressure in the exhaust ports.
Engineers at Yamaha designed the F350 from the beginning with one aim in mind – to provide efficient power for offshore boats.
This engine employs a number of features designed to enhance its offshore capabilities.
Corrosive protection is excellent thanks to the unique UCP-11 Ultimate Corrosion Protection System developed by Yamaha, an industry exclusive paint process for the aluminium engine block.
It combats corrosion inside and out, protecting the cooling passages and other key components.
This engine is also fitted with an ‘ultra tough’ gear case with dual water inlets for improved cooling.
Within this lower unit, hardened gears and enhanced bearings combine to offer greater offshore durability.
Forged engine mounts and oversized mounting brackets add to what Yamaha calls 'the F350’s portfolio of toughness.'
The F350 is sold with Yamaha’s three-year limited warranty for recreational use and it is three-star certified by the California Air Resources Board and meets other similar EPA requirements worldwide.