Yellowfin Yachts designed the 26 Hybrid to deliver a big-boat feel when trolling for tuna offshore and still be nimble to venture into shallow waters when an owner wants to fish the flats closer enough to home or when he wants to hang out with the family at a sandbar.
She can be powered by single or twin outboards up to 400-hp total and her stepped bottom design and construction help give the boat a range of 325 statute miles at cruise. To deliver the fishing goods, she has a large bow casting deck and coaming pads around the perimeter of the cockpit, and she comes standard with a total of 19 rod holders, a 40-gallon (151 L) livewell and an insulated fishbox in the bow.
We tested her with a pair of Evinrude E-TEC G2 200 H.O. outboards turning RX4 four-blade stainless-steel propellers through 1.85:1 reductions. As mentioned above, she has a 8’8” (2.64 m) beam, had a tested weight of 7,250 lbs. (3,288 kg) and has a 20-degree deadrise at the transom. The boat hit a top speed of 62.5 mph at 5500 rpm and burned 34.3 gph. Best cruise came at 3000 rpm where the boat ran 29.7 mph and burned 9.7 gph, giving the 26 Hybrid a range of 325 statute miles with 10% of the boat’s 118-gallon (447-L) fuel capacity in reserve.
The twin Evinrude E-TEC G2 200 H.O.s are 2-stroke outboards and these motors are known for delivering plenty of torque. As tested, our Yellowfin 26 Hybrid weighed in at 7,250 lbs. (3,288 kg) and she planed in 3.9 seconds and continued on to 20 mph in 5.6 seconds and to 30 mph in 6.5 seconds. When we decelerated over flats and along sandbar edges, she settled quickly.
We conducted our evaluation in calm conditions and when we put the 26 Hybrid through maneuverability tests, she turned smoothly in each direction. The boat has 20-degrees of deadrise at the transom, which means she’s designed to take offshore seas and when we pounded the boat through wakes she felt solid. Additionally for drift fishing, Yellowfin designs the boat with as wide a beam at the chines as possible. The manufacturer wouldn’t provide a specific dimension, but we saw a good illustration of her stability at the docks. Four adult men were sitting on the same side of the boat and she barely listed at all.
Built for Efficiency.
Yellowfin president Wylie Nagler raced offshore powerboats in a class made up of 28’ to 30’ catamarans all powered by two 2.5-liter Mercury Racing outboards that couldn’t be modified. As the boat’s throttleman, he learned firsthand how to get the most out of the motors’ power and how to wring the most out of a gallon of gas.
The 26 Hybrid’s efficiency
comes from three major sources: 1) The single-step bottom design helps the running surface break adhesion with the water’s surface, reducing drag. 2) The boat is built with 100% vinylester resin and Corecell foam coring in the bottom, hullsides and deck and the laminate is vacuum-bagged, which saves weight by eliminating excess resin. The transom is also composite. (Many center consoles in this size range are built with a solid fiberglass bottom, which creates a heavier boat.) 3) The twin Evinrude E-TEC G2 200-hp engines are remarkably fuel efficient as demonstrated by this test.
Now let’s take a look at the 26 Hybrid’s features and amenities starting in the bow. There’s a large casting platform with full coaming panels and deck to gunwale height is 28” (78 cm), which should be comfortable for adults when fighting or landing a fish. Recessed stainless-steel rails are in comfortable reach and keep the decks obstruction-free. The single bow cleat is a pull-up model. The large in-sole forward fishbox is insulated and equipped with a gulper pump. We liked the snap-in canvas cover over the in-gunwale storage trays. These would be good for lifejackets and fenders.
The Anchor Locker.
The 26 Hybrid’s anchor stores in a dedicated locker in the forepeak. The hatch is hinged on the forward side and the latch is aft. This configuration is most likely used so that the onrushing air would help the hatch stay closed at 60 mph. The downside to this configuration is that the rode can’t be deployed from within the locker and have the hatch closed completely over it.
On the forward side of the 26 Hybrid’s helm console is a seat with a full height backrest. On each side of the bottom cushion there are rod holders and cup holders. The whole seat structure opens on twin gas struts to reveal space for a portable head and access to the house battery and switches and the helm rigging. The sole of this compartment is covered in teak and holly decking.
Outboard of the console on each side there are lockers in the gunwales that open towards the center with space for tackle and other gear. Aft of these lockers are racks for rods and landing equipment. Courtesy lights under the gunwales come standard making it easier to find a lure at night.
Continuing aft, the 26 Hybrid’s helm is compact and well-organized with a compass on top. The large vertical section of the dash has space for two 12” (30 cm) chartplotter/fishfinders. The steering wheel is to port so that two people can actually share the leaning post. Just to the right of the wheel is the Evinrude 7” (18 m) ICON touchscreen. The binnacle-style shift/throttle controls are a comfortable reach and if an owner opts for trim tabs, the switches with built-in indicators are just ahead. Just outboard of the controls are two cup holders ahead of a small grab handle for the companion.
The Aft Cockpit.
Abaft the 26 Hybrid’s leaning post in the stern, there’s seating for four people on a bench seat that spans 6’6” (1.9 m). Each outboard bottom cushion raises on a hinge to reveal a cooler and a double-wide center pad provides access to bilge and livewell pumps and other accessories. Our test captain felt that this cushion should raise higher to make it easier to perform routine maintenance. Just ahead of the outboard jump seats we found large in-sole fishboxes. In the center of the aft cockpit deck, the 40-gallon (151-L) livewell is beneath a removable hatch.
Yellowfin offers a 5-year transferable hull warranty.
Options to Consider
The Yellowfin 26 Hybrid lives up to her name. She has a stepped deep-V bottom with 20 degrees of transom deadrise that can handle offshore conditions and Yellowfin designed her with many features from its bay boats that make her work equally well in flats and shallow water.Because of that versatility, we feel that this boat could be a good choice for a tow-behind tender behind a large yacht.Not all boats in this size range are offered with twin outboards so fishermen who like to head offshore will no doubt appreciate the peace of mind that comes with being able to get home on one motor in the event of a problem.Lastly, we could not fail to be impressed with the fuel-efficient 3.06 mpg at 3000 rpm and 29.7 mph of the rig powered by the twin Evinrude E-TEC G2 200 H.O.s. We think the Yellowfin 26 Hybrid and these engines are a good saltwater combination.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Yellowfin 26 Hybrid (2015-) is 62.5 mph (100.6 kph), burning 34.30 gallons per hour (gph) or 129.83 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Yellowfin 26 Hybrid (2015-) is 29.7 mph (47.8 kph), and the boat gets 3.06 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.3 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 325 miles (523.04 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 200-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2 200 H.O..
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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