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November 12, 2008

Yellowfin 32

Yellowfin's new 32 Center Console offers serious performance in a hard-core package.

Although some of my die-hard friends fishing the king-mackerel circuit might disagree, speed isn't the only attribute to consider when it comes to center-console performance. Sure, there are times when you need to go lickety-split - like when a monster lightning storm is bearing down or that monster in the fish bag happens to be 100 miles from the weigh scales. Whenever that happens, it's comforting to know that you can put the hammer down and go. But there are other factors to consider. Range, rough-water handling, livewell capacity and a functional layout are important too.

Wylie Nagler, president of Yellowfin Yachts, understands the run-and-gun mentality very well, because he raced boats before launching his semicustom line of center consoles in 2000. After retiring the original 31-foot mold, he recently introduced a suitable replacement. The 32 Center Console, like its predecessor, is one sleek, serious fishing machine. And oh yeah, it's fast too.

The majority of Yellowfins are rigged with Mercury Verado power, although other engine packages are also available. Factory tests of the 32 with a pair of Verado 300 outboards produced a top speed of 60.9 miles per hour at 6,050 rpm. The fuel rate was 59.8 gallons per hour with two people and 175 gallons of gas on board. During my follow-up run with Nagler on his home waters of Sarasota, Florida, our test boat had a pair of Yamaha F350 V-8s hanging off the transom. With the extra 100 horsepower, speed increased to 65.6 miles per hour at 6,100 rpm. The fuel rate was 68.4 gallons per hour. By slowing down to an effortless cruising pace of 4,000 rpm, the boat ran 41 miles per hour while burning only 24.8 gallons per hour. Nagler says he can bump the speed by a few more miles by tweaking the propellers to offset the factory engine rev limits. I don't doubt it. This craft is made to run.