A Marriage Made in Bass Boat Heaven
The folks at Skeeter tell us that the new FX series, which includes two boats, the FX 20 and FX 21, are built from the keel up to run specifically on Yamaha’s new “game changer” VMAX SHO four stroke engines. (See BoatTEST.com article...) So, at least as far as the FX series is concerned, your only choice of power options will be horsepower... 200, 225, or 250. For years Yamaha has been trying to break into the large and lucrative bass boat market with limited success with its two-stroke engines. A number of years ago during the engine company boat buying frenzy Yamaha bought Skeeter and G3 in order to jump start bass market penetration.
Four-stroke engines from all brands have been pretty much shut out of the bass boat and multi-specie freshwater fishing boat markets due to weight, low-end torque and performance issues.By designing both a boat and a four-stroke engine that married together could perform toe-to-toe with conventional two-stroke bass boat rigs would be a huge advancement. Time and testing will tell if the Yamaha engineers and designers actually accomplished their goal. Skeeter techs tell us that hole shots are quick and top-end speeds are over 70 mph. As yet, we haven't been asked to test the boat to see for ourselves.
The war of outboard engine companies buying transoms in order to assure sales seems to be over, the last such buy being Brunswick’s acquisition of Triton. The last couple of years the word floating around the industry was that outboard makers had decided to make their sales in the future the old fashioned way – by earning it. By designing a boat around a specific engine series, it certainly shows that Skeeter is trying to earn its sales with superior performance in a way that a boat built for all brands and engines types can not.
The Bottom Design
To get the performance it was looking for Skeeter increased the size of its sponson area in the after one-third of its chines to give a greater planning surface and to add greatly to high-speed stability. It also provides more buoyancy for a heavier engine. Next, Skeeter designed wider and sharper strakes along the running surface to provide added lift for more speed and better control at speed. These design aspects should lead to a dryer and more stable ride and less backwash. Further, Skeeter tells us that the design also gives fishermen the coveted holy grail of fast hole shots -- better get up and go in shallow water, the Achilles heel of four-stroke engines.
The Skeeter FX 21 comes packaged nicely with a host of features. Since it’s Yamaha powered, Yamaha multi function gauges are standard as is the DMS (Digital Multifunctional System) Command Center that runs a new boat security/alarm system with the i-Force Latch/Locking System, and also serves as a command center that controls Yamaha’s multifunction gauges.
The cockpit comes standard with a single console, and a dual-console as an option. Also standard are a tilt hydraulic steering, driver and passenger glove boxes, custom grab handles, side panels, and upholstered full-flex seating with an under seat 30-quart ice chest. A foot-throttle and pro tilt and trim behind the new custom-made performance steering wheel are also standard.Standard electronics include a Humminbird 788 Fish Finder at the console and a 728 Fish Finder at the bow w/transducer, temp probes, GPS antenna & interlink system. There are both Humminbird and Lowrance options offered. For silent running, a Minn Kota Max101F, 101 lbs. thrust, 36V, 42” Shaft Troll Motor.
SHO stands for Super High Output 4-stroke technology, and one big advantage over two-strokes is that there is no oil reservoir under the back deck. However, a 4-stroke engine has more parts than a 2-stroke. Historically, all of these parts added weight, making both the first and second generations of four-stroke engines far heavier than the two-stroke engines they were trying to replace. Yet a quick check of the specs of the new Yamaha VMAX SHO engines reveals that these outboards are as light or lighter than most 2-stroke outboards. This is a huge advancement, and one that could make life tough for a couple of its competitors.
The Skeeter FX 21 has a LOA of 20’10” (6.34 m), a beam of 7’11” (2.41 m). and a draft of 16” (40.64 cm). Her dry weight is 1,860 lbs, and she carries 50 gallons (189.3 L) of fuel.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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