Yellowfin 42 Review

I never thought I'd see an outboard-powered boat this size. I'm pleased to say that it works better than I ever imagined it would.

November 2, 2007

Sitting on a 5th-wheel trailer with two axles and four tires on each side, the Yellowfin 42 with its four 300-horsepower Verados hanging on the transom brought one word immediately to mind: mammoth. This is a big boat and a big ticket. When you tow it, you must be aware of tree branches, power lines, low bridges and street signs.

Yellowfin president Wylie Nagler drove us from the public ramp in Sarasota, Florida, out to the open Gulf of Mexico while I sat forward of the console – something I rarely do aboard center-console boats. I admit it proved an otherworldly sensation sitting up toward the bow underway, where the loudest noise was the wind past my ears rather than the engines. It’s funny: The Yellowfin 42 struck me like the new breed of dishwashers. You walk into the kitchen and hear something but don’t know what it is. Mechanical, but it’s so silent. That’s the way it is sitting on the bow in the 42 with the engines running while underway.

The 42 constitutes such a massive platform that you feel secure even running up-sea. In fact, it’s a little hard to judge the sea state on this boat; it felt like it was 1 to 2 but was actually 2 to 4.


Going 50 mph felt like we just loafed along. At 40 mph, we only turned 3,800 rpm. But at that speed, rest assured, you can pretty much run through anything. Of course, this 42-footer uses a comparable amount of fuel to many convertibles. For example, at about 40 mph, we burned 40.8 gph. But we were, after all, doing 40 mph! Top end of 67 mph (6,050 rpm) drank 113 gph – obviously not a speed you want to see too often. Remarkably, it gets up on plane instantly, contrary to what you might expect from such a behemoth.

Cruising along at 40 mph, I cranked the wheel hard over. Not only did it turn with complete control, it exhibited virtually no centrifugal force and carved a 180-degree turn in just over one boat length – probably 50 feet. Totally amazing! Up and running, despite the fact that it’s 42 feet, the Yellowfin handles like a slot car.

With 21-inch props, the 42 might get up on just two engines, but with 23-inch wheels, it needs at least three. However, with those three, it’ll run at 55 mph wide open.


Idle speed (about 5 mph), produces an absolutely clean wake. At 11 mph, there’s considerable subsurface turbulence stretching back quite a distance, and a lot of surface turbulence right by the engines. You get no actual trolling alleys to speak of.

If you want to spin the boat using the engines, it moves pretty fast; kick in the standard thruster and it’ll make you dizzy.

Drifting offshore, I got all five large guys aboard over on one side and generated all of a 3-degree lean: hardly measurable. However, though its roll moment is short and gentle, like all stepped hulls, this 42 makes some noise as it rolls. So bottom- fishing and slow-trolling will be comfortable. But it’s not as if you’ll be scaring the bones or reds in shallow water.


I found storage on holders, a rocket launcher and racks for a total of 28 rods just around the cockpit. That doesn’t count belowdecks or forward boxes where additional racks lurk. Other fishing features include a big livewell in the transom seat, insulated fish boxes port and starboard, a tackle center, as well as additional tackle stations.

Truthfully, you can customize this boat any way you wish. Add cutting boards, sinks – heck, you can install a full barbecue grill to cook that fresh fish if you want. And you won’t even make a dent in the myriad storage places aboard. For example, the 42 has a large dry box on each side of the huge fish box in the sole on centerline. Forward seating provides more storage. The anchor locker has a molded-in hanger and is deep enough to handle hundreds of feet of rode.

Design and Construction
Optional equipment includes a unique molded-in bow thruster, and a huge hardtop all ready to mount; an upper control station comes standard as does a proud bow and handsome sheer line. If you wish, Yellowfin can install a generator under the leaning-post seats.


This boat – more like an express than a center console – provides belowdecks access just to the left of the helm. From an angler’s perspective, I love the fish-around concept. It combines center-console utility and all-around access, yet offers the creature comforts and living space of an express or cuddy-cabin boat. Bottom line, I love being able to fight my fish all the way to the bow without having to climb up onto a foredeck.

Below you’ll find a V-berth with shelving above, a head inside a curved Lucite shower stall and a really nice interior. Of course, you can see right through the stall when somebody is in the head so you would have to close the main hatch to the deck for private functions.

Yellowfin builds all its boats using the most state-of-the-art techniques and ingredients. Strictly 100 percent vinylester resin prevents osmotic blistering. Baltek core in the running surfaces (with solid fiberglass surrounding thru-hulls), Core-Cell everywhere else throughout the boat and biaxial and triaxial fiberglass assure ballistic-class hulls. Yellowfin builds in a massive box stringer system consisting of two layers of 24-ounce woven roving and injected foam. Special bonding putty unites the liner, deck, stringers and hull. Then it all gets glassed and tabbed all the way around as well. Finally, Yellowfin thru-bolts the entire hull liner and deck joint every 6 inches with quarter-20 bolts. At the high speeds that Yellowfins can run, structural integrity simply cannot be compromised.

I’ve also found (not just in Yellowfins) that the fish-around design runs better and more balanced than straight center consoles in the same hull.

LOA……42 ft.
BEAM……12 ft.
HULL DRAFT……1 ft. 11 in.
DEADRISE……22 deg.
WEIGHT……13,100 lb. (w/o engine)
FUEL……575 gal.
MAX HP…… **(4) 300 hp OB
$325,000 (w/four 300 hp Verado 4-Strokes)

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


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