Review: Yamaha FT60D outboard

By: Andrew Norton

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  • Trade-A-Boat

The Yamaha High Thrust 60 outboard handles hefty hulls very well.

Review: Yamaha FT60D outboard
The Yamaha FT60D outboard motor is a “high thrust” engine. It is highly suitable for commercial use as well as for houseboats.

Originally published in TrailerBoat #259, July / August 2010

Released on the Australian market in 2004, the Yamaha FT60D outboard motor is a "high thrust" version of the Yamaha EFI F60C. The FT60D was designed more for commercial and houseboat applications so it has the same beautifully-balanced powerhead as the F60C, but is a lower unit with the same gear ratio as the two-stroke Yamaha 70B.

The deep ratio enables engine torque to be converted efficiently to prop thrust. However, due to its lower unit drag at higher speeds, the FT60D is better suited to hefty fibreglass and semi-planing hulls, rather than lightweight aluminium runabouts, for which the F60C, with its 1.85:1 gear ratio, was designed.

 

YAMAHA HIGH THRUST 60

The high-output voltage regulated alternator from the Yamaha F60C has been retained with about five amps used to power the sequential EFI system. As with the Yamaha F60C, this system has a plug-in diagnostic feature that allows for any engine running-faults to be quickly analysed. Not only that, but for boaters who fish high altitude alpine lakes such as Eucumbene, the EFI even ensures the engine maintains the correct air/fuel ratios regardless of barometric pressure. The EFI provides true turnkey starting hot or cold, just like an EFI car, although to be honest the four carbies fitted to the old F60A were relatively troublefree.

The Yamaha FT60D has the same OEDA "3 Star" emissions rating as its F60C counterpart, and the combined Hydrocarbon, Oxides of Nitrogen and Carbon Monoxide levels are 143.8g/kW/hour. These are 80 per cent greater than the DFI Evinrude E-TEC 60, which in my opinion, with its 2.67:1 gear ratio, is the direct competition to the FT60D. However, with its twin-cylinder powerhead, the E-TEC 60 is nowhere near as smooth-running as the Yammie, yet is only four per cent lighter.

 

PERFORMANCE ON THE WATER

The review FT60D outboard motor from Yatala Yamaha was fitted to a 5m Savage 495 Piranha Side Console. The engine was only 67 per cent of the maximum rated power for this hull and 63 per cent of the maximum transom loading. The dealership told me it had concerns that the engine might be inadequate for this hull but because it fitted the FT60D (and not F60C, which really only suits hulls to 4.8m) the performance was much better than expected.

The review Yamaha FT60D started instantly hot or cold and didn’t blow any oil smoke. Providing the antiventilation plate was kept at least three quarters immersed, power astern was very good and no cooling-water starvation occurred. With the leg down, the deep gear ratio and large-bladed prop provided excellent manoeuvrability when coming alongside a jetty, and the boat didn’t need much throttle opening when positioning the hull.

The binnacle control box fitted had an excellent shifting quality and the wide-range power trim/tilt system worked very well, providing rapid hull trimming when needed.

Pushing a total of 750kg including two adults and spinning a 15in pitch Yamaha alloy prop, the FT60D averaged 4.1kmh and 0.8lt/h, trolling at 700rpm with hardly any vibration through the hull structure. Despite being a side-console hull with passenger weight biased aft of amidships, the hull planed cleanly at only 22.6kmh and 3000rpm. Increasing the rev rate to 4000rpm returned averages of 41.9kmh and 7.7lt/h, with the engine remaining remarkably quiet for a 60. No prop ventilation occurred through full-lock figure-of-eight turns at this rev rate.

"Flooring" the throttle lever from 4000rpm produced acceleration almost as good as an E-TEC 60 under similar test conditions out to Wide Open Throttle, and much better than the F60C. At my recommended maximum cruising rev rate of 5000rpm the averages were 51.9kmh and 11.7lt/h. However, due to engine load rapidly increasing from much higher lower-unit drag than the F60C at WOT, the fuel-flow was 19.3lt/h where at 5600rpm the average speed was 57.9kmh. However, even at this rev rate the FT60D was much quieter than the E-TEC 60.

 

MAINTENANCE

Powerhead access on the Yamaha FT60D outboard motor is very good, with the engine oil dipstick, filler cap, fuel filter and canister oil filter easily reached. Only the vapour separator behind the composite air intake manifold tubes was difficult to access.

The recreational-usage warranty coverage is four years if the engine is serviced by an authorised Yamaha dealer.

 

YAMAHA FT60D SPECIFICATIONS

Engine type

Crossflow SOHC four-stroke outboard motor

Cylinders/valves

4 in-line / 8

Prop HP at rpm

59.1 at 5750

WOT rpm range

5500 to 6000

Piston displacement

996cc

Bore x stroke (mm)

65 x 75

Ignition system

CD with electronic advance

Charging circuit (amps)

17 w/voltage regulation

Break-in period

10 hours

Fuel type

ULP 91 RON

Fuel capacity

24lt plastic remote tank

Oil type

Yamaha SAE 10W40

Oil capacity

2.0lt

Gear ratio

2.33:1

Transom heights (in)

20/25

Weight (kg)

115/119

Rec. (longshaft) retail price

$10,155

Spare alloy prop price

$290

Servicing costs*

Year One $678; Year Two $449; 1000 hours $704; etc

* As per manufacturer’s recommended schedule excluding parts. All prices current as of November 2009. Demo FT60D from Yatala Yamaha, Yatala Qld, phone (07) 3807 8299. Prop and servicing prices from Coast To Coast Boating, Morisset NSW, phone (02) 4970 5541.

 

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Originally published in TrailerBoat #259, July / August 2010

 


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