Why Yamaha F115 and F150 Outboards are So Popular
Yamaha selling 4-stroke outboards in the mid-1980s might’ve seemed laughable at the time, since back then outboards relied solely on 2-stroke motors.
Fast forward to the present and it’s Yamaha who’s laughing! The manufacturer is now recognized for producing powerful, reliable outboards, and its F115 and F150 models are renowned for being two of the best outboards in the world. How did the Yamaha F115 and F150 outboards gain popularity? Have a closer look at two of the most reputable outboard motors available today.
Brief History of the Yamaha F115 and F150 Outboards
Tightening emissions regulations in the 1990s revolutionized the outboard industry. To make sure their oil-burning 2-stroke motors complied with new laws, outboard manufacturers had to make adjustments.
Under stricter regulations, 4-stroke motors were the way to go, which was good news for Yamaha. By then, the manufacturer had almost a decade of experience designing and building 4-stroke outboards. Meanwhile, other manufacturers like Mercury and Evinrude didn’t have any 4-stroke motors in their catalog, and Yamaha found itself at the forefront of the outboard market almost overnight.
Yamaha unveiled the F115 outboard in 1999, establishing itself as the leader in the midrange outboard market. It then consolidated its position with the F150 in 2005. Since then, the F150 has gone on to become the best-selling 150HP 4-stroke outboard of all time. Today, Yamaha produces F-series outboards ranging from portable 2.5HP units all the way up to the mammoth 350HP motors and beyond.
What Makes the Yamaha F115 and F150 Outboards Special?
The entire Yamaha F-series of outboards is renowned for incredible reliability and longevity. The ubiquity of the F115 and F150 models comes down to their remarkable power and performance falling within the most popular segment of the outboard market.
The F150 is ideal for everything from deep-V hulls to flats boats and pontoons. Its enviable power output is more than capable of handling rough waters offshore, but it’s also quiet enough to be equally at home on inland lakes or rivers.
The more compact F115 is perfect for mid-sized craft such as bowriders, ski boats, runabouts, etc. Despite being smaller than the F150, the F115 is still powerful enough to also tackle rough waters offshore.
The F-series outboards are cleverly engineered by Yamaha without overdoing it. Everything is designed to perform at its peak without overcomplicating the design or compromising reliability. This makes servicing and maintaining a Yamaha F115 or F150 motor pretty straightforward for the DIY outboard repair crowd.
The famed reliability of the F115 and F150 means repairs should be few and far between, plus replacement OEM Yamaha parts are easy to get and competitively priced.
What to Look For in a Yamaha F115 or F150 Outboard
If you’re in the market for a new Yamaha outboard, visit your local Yamaha Marine dealer to learn more about F-series motors fit for your boat.
If you’re shopping for a secondhand motor, take the following into consideration:
The Yamaha F115 underwent a makeover in 2014, including revised intake and exhaust systems. Otherwise, the model remains relatively the same since its 1999 birth. Provided it’s been properly serviced and well maintained, a 20-year-old F115 should perform every bit as well as one made in the last few years. As for the Yamaha outboard warranty, it can be transferred to a new owner, which is great for a unit that’s less than three years old.
The Yamaha F150 also hasn’t changed much over the years. Some cosmetic tweaks and minor mechanical changes aside, there’s not much of a noticeable difference to this outstanding model between the years.