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September 30, 2010

Yamaha claims Innovation Award for VMAX SHO

The Innovation Awards program is one of the marine industry's most prestigious honors.

LOUISVILLE, Ky.- The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Boating Writers International (BWI) honored Yamaha Marine Group with its Innovation Award in the outboard motor category for the Yamaha VMAX SHO during the 20th annual International Boatbuilders' Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

The Innovation Awards program is one of the marine industry's most prestigious honors. It recognizes products that demonstrate innovative distinction from other products, with tangible benefits for both consumers and the marine industry. The Innovation Awards judging committee is comprised of BWI members who perform product testing throughout the year and have specific expertise in marine OEM products and equipment.

"We are delighted with this honor," said Ben Speciale, Yamaha Marine Group President. "Innovation is a necessity if you want to break paradigms, and that's what we did with the VMAX SHO. We have a four stroke with breakthrough weight that out performs two strokes in many ways and provides best-in-class acceleration."

Very seldom in engineering does adding one material to another result in a decrease in weight and an increase in efficiency, but that's what one innovative new process does in the Yamaha VMAX SHO. Its powerhead uses plasma fused sleeveless cylinders instead of steel sleeves.

Not only does the process reduce the overall amount of powerhead weight, the resulting material - which measures about 0.1 mm thick - takes up less space in the engine block than a conventional steel sleeve, which means there's more room for the pistons themselves. It is in this way that displacement has been optimized in the new 4.2-liter powerhead.

The process has allowed Yamaha engineers to gain the greatest displacement from the least amount of mass in the engine block, which also reduces overall weight. At the same time, it yields a surface that is 60 percent stronger than a steel liner for greater durability. In addition, the sleeveless cylinders result in better heat transfer between the cylinder walls and the cooling system, which means cooling is more efficient.

The VMAX SHO models all use a lightweight cowl. Made of an advanced composite, it is nearly 15 percent lighter than a cowl made of more typical fiberglass.

In addition, the VMAX SHO uses a lightweight composite engine pan. Made of sheet molded compound (SMC), it is 59 percent lighter than an aluminum counterpart. SMC also provides greater protection against corrosion. Its mounting bracket is designed to be strong yet light. Specifically designed for the rigors of bass and flats applications, it is over 15 percent lighter than the bracket used on the VMAX® Series 2.

Finally, compared to its predecessor, the new outboard has a lighter exhaust system, lower unit and alternator. Overall, the VMAX SHO® is 34 pounds lighter than its two-stoke predecessor.

IBEX is the largest boating industry gathering of 2010. For boat builders, marine industry dealers, aftermarket suppliers and buyers, designers, repairers, surveyors, and boatyard/marine operators, IBEX is the single source for the latest boatbuilding technologies, tools, and materials. It is owned and produced by Professional BoatBuilder  magazine and NMMA.

Yamaha Marine products are marketed throughout the United States and around the world. Yamaha Marine Group, based in Kennesaw, Ga., supports its 2,000 U.S. dealers and OEM partners with marketing, training and parts for Yamaha's full line of products and strives to be the industry leader in reliability, technology and customer service. Yamaha Marine is the only outboard brand to have earned NMMA's C.S.I. Customer Satisfaction Index award every year since its inception. Visit www.yamahaoutboards.com.