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Difference between Yamaha VMAX SHO and Standard Four Stroke

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Difference between Yamaha VMAX SHO and Standard Four Stroke

Old 03-15-2019, 06:09 PM
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Default Difference between Yamaha VMAX SHO and Standard Four Stroke

At a recent boat show a salt water boat dealer had several boats rigged with Yamaha VMAX SHO four strokes, instead of the standard blue four stroke (ok probably not the proper term, but I think you all know what I mean). I have not seen VMAX's on the water (NJ salt water) and don't recall seeing them on new boats intended for saltwater. I asked why they had freshwater bass boat engines on salt water market/intended boats, the dealer explained these engines are fine for saltwater use. Yamaha website talks about the incredible hole shot, acceleration and top speed. I was hoping to better understand the difference between the two engine types and especially if the VMAX is equally suited for saltwater. Dealer said the price was about the same and the weight for same HP motors, so why choose one over the other? Any thoughts or help on this?

Thanks!
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:25 PM
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There are no saltwater or freshwater Yamaha's. Any model is rated for use in saltwater. Many saltwater bay boats use the VFXXX models. V for Vmax.

Non-SHO models are available with either mechanically controlled throttle/shift or drive-by-wire digital electric control throttle/shift.

With respect to the 4.2 liter V6 SHO models, maximum HP is made at 6000 RPM whereas in the non-SHO models maximum HP is made at 5500 RPM. There are other differences as well. Power trim and tilt unit and lower unit.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:41 PM
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Thanks for the reply, it sounds like that could be a better option for me the VMAX that is, even though I mostly fish there will be skiing and tubing days and it sounds like the VMAX may be optimized for that, especially if weight and price are the same/super close it really sounds like a preference matter.
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Old 03-16-2019, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by David Bell View Post
Thanks for the reply, it sounds like that could be a better option for me the VMAX that is, even though I mostly fish there will be skiing and tubing days and it sounds like the VMAX may be optimized for that, especially if weight and price are the same/super close it really sounds like a preference matter.
As mentioned above, all are fine for saltwater use. Is there are certain model you are looking at? Some SHO models offer a bigger power advantage over the "standard" model than others. Some require 89 octane fuel (for optimum performance) compared to 87 octane for the standard models.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:15 AM
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Only major difference is the ECU flashed for premium fuel, timing advance for rapid acceleration
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by dihrah View Post
Only major difference is the ECU flashed for premium fuel, timing advance for rapid acceleration
89 octane fuel is required for some, but not all, of the SHO models. The 115 SHO does not require premium fuel and it has a nice power advantage. 123hp vs 115. May not sound like much but that's almost 3 mph on a 40mph boat. Personally, I would take the SHO model over the standard in any single-engine application.

Last edited by Ric232; 03-16-2019 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Ric232 View Post
89 octane fuel is required for some, but not all, of the SHO models. The 115 SHO does not require premium fuel and it has a nice power advantage. 123hp vs 115. May not sound like much but that's almost 2 mph on a 40mph boat. Personally, I would take the SHO model over the standard in any single-engine application.
Yes but the 115 SHO offers less Peak Torque, and at higher RPM than a F115. So the Boat that it is going on makes as much difference as the extra (8 or so) ponies. Something easy to get on Step like a Bass/Flats boat yes, a Pontoon/Deep Vee, not so much.
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Old 03-16-2019, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by InCogKneeToe View Post
Yes but the 115 SHO offers less Peak Torque, and at higher RPM than a F115. So the Boat that it is going on makes as much difference as the extra (8 or so) ponies. Something easy to get on Step like a Bass/Flats boat yes, a Pontoon/Deep Vee, not so much.
Yep, agreed. I think it's the only SHO model where that is the case. I seem to recall that they used a higher-lift cam (or maybe larger valves) to achieve the extra power, which is probably the reason for the softer low-end torque.
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:20 AM
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I have never heard 89 octane referred to as premium. But the VF250 SHO, for instance, does call for 89, where the F250 calls for 87. And Alloyboy needs to get with Yamaha and get their website corrected because both the F250 and the VF250 SHO show prop shaft hp at 5500 rpms.......identical.

One of the biggest differences is the weight savings of the 4.2 SHO models if you need a 20" shaft motor, which weighs in at 505 lbs. The F series 4.2L models don't offer a 20" shaft.
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by jeff7y28 View Post
I have never heard 89 octane referred to as premium. But the VF250 SHO, for instance, does call for 89, where the F250 calls for 87. And Alloyboy needs to get with Yamaha and get their website corrected because both the F250 and the VF250 SHO show prop shaft hp at 5500 rpms.......identical.

One of the biggest differences is the weight savings of the 4.2 SHO models if you need a 20" shaft motor, which weighs in at 505 lbs. The F series 4.2L models don't offer a 20" shaft.
The 4.2 SHO is listed at 20 inches but it's actually only 18.5 inches, it's because of that I couldn't consider it on my project.
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Old 03-16-2019, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by jeff7y28 View Post
I have never heard 89 octane referred to as premium. But the VF250 SHO, for instance, does call for 89, where the F250 calls for 87. And Alloyboy needs to get with Yamaha and get their website corrected because both the F250 and the VF250 SHO show prop shaft hp at 5500 rpms.......identical.

One of the biggest differences is the weight savings of the 4.2 SHO models if you need a 20" shaft motor, which weighs in at 505 lbs. The F series 4.2L models don't offer a 20" shaft.
Yamaha make a correction to their data? Shirley, you jest.

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Old 03-16-2019, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by David Bell View Post
At a recent boat show a salt water boat dealer had several boats rigged with Yamaha VMAX SHO four strokes, instead of the standard blue four stroke (ok probably not the proper term, but I think you all know what I mean). I have not seen VMAX's on the water (NJ salt water) and don't recall seeing them on new boats intended for saltwater. I asked why they had freshwater bass boat engines on salt water market/intended boats, the dealer explained these engines are fine for saltwater use. Yamaha website talks about the incredible hole shot, acceleration and top speed. I was hoping to better understand the difference between the two engine types and especially if the VMAX is equally suited for saltwater. Dealer said the price was about the same and the weight for same HP motors, so why choose one over the other? Any thoughts or help on this?

Thanks!
The powerhead in all of the 4.2 Yamaha's are mechanically identical. There are differences in the exhaust and lower units and some have mechanical vs electronic control. The horsepower differences are all created utilizing electronic throttle restriction. The lower HP models only allow throttle opening to a partial percentage based upon their ratings. The "SHO" models also bring in the timing slightly earlier to help with holeshot.

In the bass boat world breaking the 2-stroke barrier with 4 stroke motors was something yamaha wanted to do. Most of the common 2-stroke bass boat motors rode the NMEA line of 10% under rating making them feel like "big" motors. The original 4-stroke yamaha 225's really made more like "208" with somewhat weak low end torque in comparison. The SHO motors all make 8-10% above their rated horsepower. Since the motor is really a 300HP motor with a throttle restriction it makes massive torque on the low end giving the bass boat guys the hole shot they want. A 225 that really makes 245 and has the torque of a 300 HP motor can compete well against a 2-stroker, same for a 250 that really makes 275.

All of the modern motors are rated for saltwater. You will need to make sure you have the proper anodes for your application though. The SHO is used quite a bit on bay boat applications down in the south along with bass boats and pontoons.

As to octane yes some of the SHO's specify 89 and some specify 87. All of them will at times benefit from more octane and generate more HP. Since the higher horsepower models will have higher throttle openings and higher effective compression they are more likely to need the octane. They will all run on 87 but if conditions are right your engine will pull timing and enrich the mixture to prevent detonation. This will lead to a loss of HP and additional carbing of the engine.

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Old 03-16-2019, 10:57 AM
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I bought a new Yamaha SHO 90 last year for a 26 ft boat I am building. Should have it mounted and the boat launched this season. It is the newest in the SHO line. My boat is very light for it’s length with a designed displacement of 3,300lbs. The boat is not designed to be a speedster but a fuel efficient cruiser. I decided on the SHO over the standard 90 in hopes that I could swing a larger prop for low end maneuvering. Top speed is not that important to me. I think it was the right call but would love any feedback on real world performance of this engine. I think I bought the first one in my area amd haven’t talked to anyone that has used it. Here is a link to my boat if your interested. The designer speced a 90hp motor for it.
https://goo.gl/photos/42vU3BKQDsnMxbPp9
Thanks in advance for any input.
Ken

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Old 03-16-2019, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by alloyboy View Post
Yamaha make a correction to their data? Shirley, you jest.

Attachment 1096949
Then they have a discrepancy between their literature. Their website shows 250 hp at 5500 for the 250SHO.

EDIT, Just checked the owners manual for my "2017" 225 SHO owners manual. No mention in the specs for a peak hp at a given rpm.

Last edited by jeff7y28; 03-18-2019 at 05:41 AM.
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by rucus0101 View Post
The SHO motors all make 8-10% above their rated horsepower. Since the motor is really a 300HP motor with a throttle restriction it makes massive torque on the low end giving the bass boat guys the hole shot they want. A 225 that really makes 245 and has the torque of a 300 HP motor can compete well against a 2-stroker, same for a 250 that really makes 275.
This is the theory that we all used to believe in but in reality, the horsepower differences on some of the SHO vs non-SHO motors is smaller than you'd think:
F250--> 266hp @5750rpm; 280 lb-ft @ 4500rpm
250SHO --> 267hp @ 6000rpm; 291 lb-ft @ 3500rpm

The torque gain is apparently facilitated by greater timing advance in the ECU which necessitates the use of 89 octane fuel.
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by kennneee View Post
I bought a new Yamaha SHO 90 last year for a 26 ft boat I am building. Should have it mounted and the boat launched this season. It is the newest in the SHO line. My boat is very light for it’s length with a designed displacement of 3,300lbs. The boat is not designed to be a speedster but a fuel efficient cruiser. I decided on the SHO over the standard 90 in hopes that I could swing a larger prop for low end maneuvering. Top speed is not that important to me. I think it was the right call but would love any feedback on real world performance of this engine. I think I bought the first one in my area amd haven’t talked to anyone that has used it. Here is a link to my boat if your interested. The designer speced a 90hp motor for it.
https://goo.gl/photos/42vU3BKQDsnMxbPp9
Thanks in advance for any input.
Ken

very cool project.
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Old 03-16-2019, 03:11 PM
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Still seems more like marketing, to me.
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Old 03-16-2019, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by stephenson View Post
Still seems more like marketing, to me.
Somewhat, but they don't charge much extra for the SHO models.
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Old 03-16-2019, 03:43 PM
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But, if it is marketing, why would there be any value in the SHO?
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Old 03-16-2019, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by dihrah View Post
Only major difference is the ECU flashed for premium fuel, timing advance for rapid acceleration
Where did you read that? I think its only the decals..
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