Yamaha’s SHO time

This home-grown bass boat is brimming with performance thanks to the latest Yammie SHO 200hp on its transom. Jason Ehrlich reports.

TOGETHER with Queensland’s Custom Ski Boats, I recently built my very own locally designed fibreglass bass boat. The Reaper is a 5.4m boat sculpted on a Custom Ski Boats Probe hull.

Yamaha’s V-Max SHO range had just hit our shores about the same time I began looking for an outboard. While new to our country, these donks had been winning awards overseas for the past few years.

Pro anglers have traditionally leaned towards zippier two-stroke performance. However, the V-Max SHO boasts the benefits of a four-stroke – quietness and fuel efficiency – while delivering all the advantages of a responsive two-stroke.

Those lucky enough to have experienced a ride with the SHO usually create their own words, like “s*#t hold on”! SHO actually stands for Super High Output.


Unlike some tests where boats are put through their paces straight from the factory, the Reaper was fully loaded with three batteries, electric motor, 120L of fuel, a livewell full of water and fish, two passengers and almost half a store of fishing tackle and outfits.

What really blows me away is the hole shot. Going from a dead slow idle to the boat on the plane takes only one second! It’s fast and almost impossible to measure the time because it’s so quick.

At idle, the boat putters away at 3.3 knots with the motor ticking over at 600 RPM. At this rate the digital gauges read 1.9 km/litre and fuel consumption is at 2.6 litres per hour. That’ll keep you going at a fast trolling speed for over 46 hours based on the Reaper having a 120-litre fuel tank.

Once you give it some revs, the motor produces a deep, smooth growl of brutish power and the fun begins. The Reaper planes comfortably at 2500 rpm achieving a speed of 17.2 knots. While slow by the boat’s standards, it isn’t the most fuel-efficient speed to travel at with consumption around 2.1 km per litre and 16.7 litres per hour. Fuel efficiency kicks in at a speed of 24 knots when the digital network gauges show a usage of 18.8 litres/hour or 2.4 km/litre.

The boat comfortably cruises at 37 knots while the engine hums at 4000 RPM. At this speed you’ll be using around 35.1 litres per hour and travelling 1.7 km per litre.

When you really need to open her up, the rush of wind almost drowns the V-Max noise as the boat pushes past 54 knots.

The sound remains smooth and there’s no better way to describe it than belonging to a tamed beast. At wide open throttle, the revs reach 6000 RPM with the 21 pitch prop. With the motor fully trimmed out to get to this point, the hydraulic steering becomes heavy making the boat track well in a straight line but hard to turn. At this speed, the motor sucks 69.9 litres per hour and manages 1.3 km per litre but it’s a hell of a lot of fun and feels totally safe in the right conditions. As soon as the motor is trimmed back in, the steering becomes lighter and the boat can be thrown around corners and handles well even through chop and boat wakes. At half trim and 5000 RPM the speed drops to 43 knots through tight turns. There’s still plenty of boat out of the water to achieve that awesome sideways glide as you push through tighter turns.

Reaper Bass Boats

Custom Ski Boats and I built the first Reaper Bass Boat in 2012 . With moulds now complete, the boats will be ready for production this year. The Australian designed interior offers massive front deck storage to accommodate a large ice box when fishing for a feed.

Feedback data from the same 200hp motor fitted to Skeeters, Rangers and Xpress bass boats in America show the Reaper Bass Boat performs in the middle of the range when operating between 4000 and 6000 RPM. It needs to be noted that the Reaper was tested fully loaded and those stats are not given on the other boats.

For more info on the Reaper Bass Boat, call Brad or Trish at Custom Ski Boats on (07) 5456 1666. If you’re interested in the SHO, check out

Jason Ehrlich

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