Yellowfin 39 Review

Between its mammoth size and the ­awesome number of horses on the transom, this boat makes you feel as if you can take on any sea conditions with impunity.

May 2, 2011


As I stepped aboard the brand-new Yellowfin 39 to fish for tarpon one evening in Miami’s harbor, it occurred to me that this boat was also being used during the day to run demo rides for prospective buyers at the Miami International Boat Show. If I were to damage it, scratch it or – heaven forbid – worse, that would prove both embarrassing and exceptionally costly to the manufacturer.

Fortunately, I found a monster of a boat that exhibited not a single idiosyncrasy in handling or performance. And right out of the box, it didn’t even hiccup. Now that’s a rarity for any new boat!

**I admit to feeling pretty indestruct­able when driving this boat. It’s big and stable and blazingly fast. And yet, when maneuvering, it stays where you put it. I squeezed it into some tight places in the marina with inch-by-inch control.


Before dark, I managed some speed runs in the flat water of the cut and was smiling big time when I finished. With quad Mercury Verado 300s, we hit a top speed of 72.2 mph at 6,200 rpm while burning 118 gph. At 40 mph, which felt like standing still, we used a measly 34 gph; bumping up to 50 mph increased that by only 6 gph. With all that power on the transom, the vessel proved remarkably efficient.

The turning ratio and reactions belied this boat’s stepped hull. It carves a sharp arc and leans well into the turn, keeping everyone safely aboard. And of course, the proud bow, knife-edge entry and deep-V all make this a terrific ­head-sea boat.

As you’d expect, with almost 12 feet of beam, the 39 is as stable as a jetty. At an 8 mph trolling speed, I expected much more subsurface turbulence from the four propellers churning at the transom. The white water dissipated by the third wave back. Surface wash proved minimal too.


This boat will typically be run hard and fast through some heavy seas, and the heavily padded bolster helm seats should dampen some of that roughness. I also liked that I didn’t have to open a lid to access the twin 15-inch Simrad displays. They are always accessible.

**I spent several very late nights fishing for tarpon in and around Miami’s Government Cut with an entire film crew aboard. Not once did anyone get in someone else’s way – a testament to the massive work area the 39 provides.

Yellowfin mounts as many Gemlux rod holders aboard as you could want; our boat had them running from stem to stern. If you happen to be a tuna fisherman or other big-food-fish lover, you’ll appreciate the 165-gallon macerated fish box as well as the two livewells: one 72-gallon in the transom and another 80-gallon well in the leaning post. The leaning post also sports lots of storage via side access. Oh, and in case you need even more fish or storage space, the huge in-deck box on centerline in the bow can also be the base for an equally large ­insulated coffin box.


The aft-facing seat lets you watch your trolled lures in comfort yet be a single step away from any cockpit rod.

The hardtop features seven rod holders with the upper center one canted down slightly to make retrieving the rod easier when a fish puts pressure on the long centerline. If those – plus however many you have in your gunwales – still aren’t enough, Yellowfin installs additional vertical rod holders on either side of the console-front seat.

**Design and Construction


Looking at this 39-footer’s profile, you can’t possibly mistake it for anything but a Yellowfin with its distinctive proud bow and dramatically sloping sheer line.

I love the layout of the lazarette on this and all Yellowfins. You can access everything very easily, making any necessary troubleshooting a breeze. In addition, you’ll discover numerous tilt-out bins and spacious storage lockers in the bulwarks on both sides.

You’ll find no shortcuts in the construction of a Yellowfin. Yellowfin uses laminates consisting of 100 percent vinylester resins and CoreCell composite for superb strength without additional weight. The boats are designed and built to run offshore at high speeds – an activity that puts incredible stress on the hull and passengers. Thankfully, the more-than-beefy piping that supports the hardtop has well-laced handholds and a real feeling of security. History has shown that these boats stand up to stress – ­probably better than the ­passengers do.

LOA……39 ft. 8 in.
BEAM……11 ft. 6 in.
DEADRISE……22 deg.
WEIGHT……14,500 lb. (dry)
FUEL……550 gal.
MAX POWER……(4) 350 hp OB
MSRP……$297,000 (w/ (3) 350 hp OB)

Yellowfin Yachts / Sarasota, Florida / 941-753-7828 /


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