While known for offshore performance, Yellowfin is no stranger to inshore boats. With technology advancing in larger craft, an improved flats boat was only a matter of time. Enter the Yellowfin 17 CE (Carbon Elite), with materials and construction that yield a hull 17 percent stronger and 20 percent lighter than the precursor 17 Skiff.
The cockpit, fore and aft raised decks, and the seating are roomy enough for a crew of three to ride and fish and stay out of each other’s way. At the aft end of the cockpit, the bench helm seat is fitted with a contoured cushion that allows easy access to the 35-gallon livewell in the casting deck. Racks on each gunwale carry a pair of rigged. For quicker access, there are holders on the frame of the optional casting and poling platforms. Integrated racks on the console sides carry a flush-mount rod holder and a drink holder.
With an Atlas jack plate and 8-foot Power-Pole, both standard, and the addition of a trolling motor or push pole, the Yellowfin 17 CE makes a competent package for shallow water and flats enthusiasts.
Our test boat sported a flip-up backrest built as an extension of the poling-platform frame, a welcome comfort on long rides. The forward console seat includes an insulated cooler. Three large, in-deck compartments provide plenty of dry storage. The forward compartment has room for trolling-motor batteries, life vests, and a wealth of other gear and a dedicated locker holds the anchor and rode. As in most skiffs, the console is a study in efficient use of limited space. Our test boat carried a 12-inch MFD, a pair of gauges and switches for trim tabs and a jack plate.
Handling and Running
On our test cruise from Crystal River, Florida the Yellowfin showed admirable agility and handling executing a number of turns—at varying angles and speed—with the precise tracking required to safely and efficiently navigate tangled marsh waterways and dodge obstacles spotted at the last second. The new skiff features a single-step hull that improves speed and fuel efficiency, and a slightly steeper deadrise and sharper entry provide a more comfortable ride in open water
Both the 60- and 70-hp engines provides sufficient muscle to scoot around oceanside flats or the backcountry while enabling the shallow draft that lets a pair of husky anglers pole into skinny water after tailing fish and belly crawlers. For covering a lot of ground in a hurry, the 17 CE is rated to 115 hp.
Reduced weight, thanks to vinylester resin, proprietary Kevlar fabrics, E-glass and carbon in a quad-axis weave, results in a high-floating skiff, devoid of hull slap, so you’ll remain undetected when stalking skittish shallow-water game. Integrated splash rails curtail spray when on plane. The Yamaha F70 on our test boat proved an efficient pairing for the 17-footer, which, at 4,000 rpm, easily cruises at 22 mph for the better part of a day. At 6,300 rpm, wide-open throttle, the Yellowfin surpassed 36 mph while burning an economical 6.5 gph.
- Location: Crystal River, Florida
- Weather: Partly cloudy, 85 degrees
- Wind: SE 6 mph
- Sea State: Smooth
- Test Load: One adult, one child, 18 gallons of fuel
Pricing and Specs
|Price:||$57,884 w/ Mercury F60|
Contact: Yellowfin Yachts, yellowfin.com