The Yellowfin 24 CE takes shallow-water capability and puts it in a boat that can run across open water in reasonable condition when needed. The Mercury Verado 4.6L V-8 300-hp outboard gave the boat impressive cruising and top speeds, but even more, this engine is part of a larger system that enhances the running efficiency and performance of the boat in many ways.
|Length Overall||24' 10'' / 7.57 m|
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||4.0 sec.|
|0 to 30||6.6 sec.|
|Props||Enerita Eco 21|
|Load||2 persons, full fuel, no water|
|Climate||80 deg., 68 humid; wind: 15-20 mph; seas: 1|
1 x 300-hp Mercury 300 V8 AMS
Contents of Report
The Yellowfin 24 CE is a bay boat designed to fish shallow water, yet be capable of open-water angling in reasonable conditions. Because of her mission to fish larger water, she’s larger and beamier than a flats skiff. But this is no offshore center console, either. She also has much lower topsides, a flatter bottom, open casting decks protected by a toerail instead of a bowrail, a compact console to optimize fishing space, and more. Yellowfin builds the 24 CE (Carbon Elite) with a proprietary mix of Kevlar, E-glass, and carbon fiber, making her dry weight 2,500 lbs. (1,134 kg) lighter than the 3,050 lb. (1,383 kg) 24 Bay model that preceded her.
Fishing the shallows requires specialized equipment as well, including shallow-water anchors, tackle stowage, a trolling motor mount, baitwells to keep shrimp and pinfish active and happy, and a hydraulic jackplate to raise the outboard. The outboard, a 300-hp Mercury Verado 4.6L V-8, adds substantial power through its best-in-class displacement, but it also offers an additional set of useful features to this sleek hull. The outboard uses electronic throttle control in conjunction with Mercury’s Active Trim, Advanced Range Optimization, Adaptive Speed Control, which the operator can monitor and adjust through Mercury’s VesselView on a touchscreen helm display.
We tested the Yellowfin 24 CE, which is designed for bay and shallow water fishing, with the Mercury Verado 4.6L V-8 300-hp outboard. This boat measured nearly 24’10” (7.57 m) overall and had a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m). The boat has a dry weight of 2,500 lbs. (1,134 kg). With full fuel, gear, and two people aboard we had an estimated test weight of 3,902 lbs. (1,770 kg). The 300-hp Verado was swinging an Enertia Eco 21 stainless steel prop.
We measured top speed at 65.4 mph at 6000 rpm. At that speed she was burning 24.8 gph and fuel economy was 2.6 mpg. Best cruise came at 3000 rpm where the Yellowfin 24 CE went 31.8 mph, burned 6.2 gph, for 5.1 mpg and a range of 332 statute miles with a 10% fuel reserve in its 72 gallon (266 L) tank.
For a faster cruising speed, we saw 44.0 mph at 4000 rpm. At that speed, fuel burn is 11.0 gph and fuel economy is 4.0 for a range of 259 statute miles.
Hole shot times were 4.7 seconds to 20 mph, and 6.6 seconds to 30 mph.
Mercury Verado 4.6L V-8 300-hp Outboard
Much of the innovative design of the 4.6-liter V8 Verado comes from the mandate for the new line: It had to be powerful, have high torque at the low end, and be lightweight, quiet, and efficient. Consider that the 4.6-liter V8 is 2 liters greater than the supercharged 2.6-liter displacement of the inline-6 Mercury and yet it weighs 35 lbs. (16 kg) less. Displacement is one way to generate more torque in a 4-stroke engine, a job that the supercharger fulfilled in the L6 2.6L models. The double-overhead cam design, with four valves per cylinder, combines with an enlarged intake to deliver plenty of air and fuel when it’s needed.
The Fuel-Injection System
The new Verados use two intake valves to charge each cylinder, with the injector for each cylinder positioned between them in the intake manifold. We asked Mercury why the injectors were placed in the manifolds instead of in the cylinders themselves. The answer: “A port fuel injection (PFI) system has many advantages, chief among those being simplicity, reliability, and cost,” says Brian Meyer, category manager for 75+ hp outboards for Mercury Marine. “Direct injection (DI) systems certainly can improve fuel economy and performance of an engine. However, Mercury has chosen to address the performance needs of our customers by optimizing the displacement and efficiency of our PFI engine, while also employing our Advanced Range Optimization (ARO) technology. We believe that the ARO system yields comparable improvements in fuel economy to a DI fuel system at a significantly lower cost.”
Innovative Exhaust System
This is one of the most innovative aspects of the engine because it reduces the width of the engine, reduces its weight, and helps contain engine noise – all with one design. The exhaust manifold is in the middle of the V, instead of being on the outside. It is then routed from the top of the engine, down the centerline, between each side of the V of the engine. This allowed Mercury to keep the cowl width slimmer so that the outboard could be installed on 26” (.66 m) centers – 2.5” (.06 m) less than on the Yamaha V-6.
The exhaust-system design uses a multi-chamber muffler system located beneath the “chaps,” as the manufacturer calls the panels on either side of the midsection. The muffler chambers connect the main exhaust passage to the idle relief port, and include an electronically controlled bypass valve.
Boating is meant to be fun, and sometimes boaters want to hear the throaty growl of a V-8 (or two), letting everyone know they’re there. Mercury designed the Verado to be exceptionally quiet, and never is that more apparent than when using a setting called Sport Exhaust. When this Advanced Sound Control is turned on via the VesselView touchscreen, the system routes exhaust through the idle relief and one of the two mufflers.
Let’s Rumble. Advanced Sound Control creates an unmistakable throaty rumble that’s been tweaked to impress friends and neighbors and call attention to the new outboards – to say nothing of the boat’s proud owner. And when it is toggled off, the outboards sounded even quieter than we initially thought. It’s a system that Mercury says has never been offered on an outboard before.
Lower Unit Gears
The robust 5.4” (.51 m) gearcase is an evolution of the one that has been used on previous Verado models and has proven itself in tens of thousands of hours of rugged use over the last few years.
Top Cowling Service Door
Perhaps one of the more noteworthy features on the Verado is the watertight hatch in the top of the cowling to provide access to the dipstick as well as the oil fill. There’s a decal outlining service requirements along with a QR code to allow a smartphone to link to additional service information.
Under the top cowling service door, there’s a handle that lifts with a red button. Lifting that handle releases the latches all around the cowling, so it can be lifted off easily.
Ease of Maintenance
Once the cowling is removed, many service points are apparent. The oil filter is easy to spot near the fuse box on the port side. The spark plugs are arrayed in neat columns aft and the fuel filter is handy there as well, on the starboard side.
More “Net” Amps than Any Engine in Class
The Verado Series V8 has a 115-amp alternator as standard equipment. But the name of the game is “net amps” – the amps left over from the running of the engine to power onboard accessories, electronics, and to keep the batteries fully charged. At WOT these alternators produce 90 net amps, we’re told. At high cruising speeds they produce 65 net amps. These are high numbers and are important for owners of well-equipped boats, particularly the larger cruising boats that are now being fitted with outboard engines. But, that’s not all…
Idle Charge Battery Management
At idle, the alternator provides 20 “net” amps for the boat. Simply put, the engine-management system detects when the batteries drop below acceptable levels due to increased power draw.
Today’s boats have more electrical and electronic devices on board than ever before, and they all require a flow of clean juice to keep operating properly. Whether the onboard systems are charging trolling-motor batteries, keeping the sound system thumping, or running big-screen helm electronics including a chart plotter, CHIRP sounder, and radar, the system increases idle rpm to boost alternator output, to help charge batteries to compensate for power draw.
When the system detects that the alternator is not providing enough power, the idle level increases incrementally from 600 rpm to around 800, to get to the next level on the curve of the alternator. In this mode, it can deliver up to 30 amps of usable power to the house batteries. While the engine is revving slightly higher, it’s still at a speed where it’s able to shift.
Transient Spark Calibration
For more torque at the low end and better hole-shot times, Mercury is using what is known as a Transient Spark Calibration, which adjusts the timing of the spark during hard acceleration. The company says the system will give the engine 5% to 7% more torque at the low end.
Adaptive Speed Control
This proprietary system maintains engine speed regardless of condition, and Mercury has the system patented. The idea is that the rpm remains constant even when seas are rough, the driver puts the boat into a hard turn, or a tow sport requires steady power. Adaptive Speed Control is a function of the ECU, where operator demand and engine load are measured and the electronic throttle position is adjusted. It is standard and does not need to be turned on or adjusted.
Advanced Range Optimization – Improves Fuel Efficiency
Because the Verado uses a digital throttle control and a wide-band O2 sensor, it can also improve its own fuel economy. It begins when the system detects a steady-state mode, where the driver isn’t adjusting the throttle constantly. Once the operator leaves the throttle alone for a few moments, the digital control tunes the throttle plate and the spark to lean out the fuel burn to maximize fuel economy, optimizing the boat’s range. This feature is also standard and does not need to be turned on or adjusted.
The Verado is rigged standard with SmartCraft Digital Throttle and Shift (DTS), which gives the responsive control by wire. In multiple-outboard installations, Joystick Piloting for Outboards can be made part of the Verado package, offering simple fingertip control around the dock.
A Note About Active Trim
While expert drivers may sneer at the idea of the optional Active Trim, it has been shown to work in our testing, and can even offer something to those who may think their feel for boat trim is more effective than that of a computer. Active trim synchs up the trim of the engines, letting the expert trimmer tune the rig more effectively, rather than dealing with trim motors that adjust the engines at varying rates in a multiple-outboard installation.
The Verado has received a three-star emission rating from CARB, and is compliant to the U.S. and E.U. regulations as well, all on one calibration.
Mercury Marine’s Corrosion-Resistant Aluminum Alloy
Historically, outboard engines in salt water have suffered from corrosion. When electrons flow through dissimilar metals, the weaker metal is eaten away or corrodes. Outboard engine blocks, cylinder heads, gear cases, driveshaft housings and swivel brackets are made out of an aluminum alloy by all manufacturers. But all aluminum alloys are not the same.
Low-Copper Alloy is Key. Mercury's die-cast components, are all made from XK360 aluminum-silicon alloy. The same goes for the new 4.6L block of this outboard platform, which is made with a high-pressure die-casting in a 4,500-ton press, which is among the largest in the world. This process shows significant investment by Mercury and contributes to the weight loss of the new engines.
Mercury is generally regarded to have the best corrosion-resistant alloy in the recreational marine industry.
The new V-8 Verado has been designed to keep its noise to itself. The design starts blocking noise with the cowling – and the Verado has more sound abatement qualities than the other models, we’re told. The entire outboard is sealed to keep engine noise in. The engines all use an air intake that’s baffled to be quieter. Mercury has been using a variant of this design since it introduced the first generation Verado, and it works.
Another way to keep the outboard quiet is to engineer less internal friction into its design. Mercury says its engineers designed the oil-flow scheme and sized the bearings with this in mind.
Mercury looked closely at the mounting system on the mid-section of the outboard and calculated where the vibration comes from on the engine. Engineers determined the vectors of vibrational force, i.e., whether the vibration is moving fore and aft, or athwartships, or some angle in between. The engineers then designed the mounts to offset that vibration at a suitable angle. Because of this analysis, the mounts can be engineered to be firmer, rather than just softer to damp any vibration – and in this way they are also designed to maximize engine performance, says Mercury.
The new Verado has what Mercury calls an Advanced MidSection (AMS). It is a step up from the Conventional MidSection (CMS) used on the other Mercury outboards, and it is a next-generation version of the mounting system initially developed for the L6 Verado. The AMS uses perimeter mounts to damp vibration and contain noise, and it has a multi-piece welded structure that reduces its size and weight. This allows the Verado outboards to have electro-hydraulic steering, and makes them compatible with the company’s Joystick Piloting system in multiple-outboard setups. The Verado outboards are standard with Mercury’s Digital Throttle and Shift controls.
Only the Verado among the new outboard engines that Mercury has introduced as the “electro-hydraulic” steering system. This is part of the outboard engine and is not an aftermarket, vendor-supplied piece of equipment such as the SeaStar hydraulic steering system that we see on most outboard engines in class.
The advantages of this system are that it has been engineered by Mercury for this specific application and is not a one-design-fits-all piece of equipment. It is also made with Mercury’s corrosion-resistant materials, and is smaller than a SeaStar-type unit. Most important, it integrates with the Mercury joystick system.
Choice of Colors
Mercury offers a variety of color choices with the Verado and has three shades of white – Cold Fusion White, Warm Fusion White, and Pearl Fusion White — better to match variations on fiberglass and gelcoat used by boatbuilders in addition to its traditional Phantom Black outboard color.
There’s also an accent panel that comes in four colors – Pacific Blue, Graphite Grey, Redline Red, and Mercury Silver – plus a ready-to-paint accent-panel option that boatbuilders and dealers will use to custom-match a hull color.
VesselView Simrad Electronics Integration
The propulsion system diagnostics are integrated into the Mercury VesselView display, which is a Simrad unit rebadged for Mercury. Some boats will be able to integrate the engines into the Simrad helm electronics and not require a standalone display. The Simrad units have a specific, branded Mercury engine page. Screen sizes run from 7” to 24” (.18 m to .61 m).
The touchscreen unit lets the user tap with a fingertip to open a display window on the left side of the helm screen with a number of data categories which can be set to display consistently across all functions, including chartplotter, fishfinder, and radar displays. Speed data is available and any tap will bring out more detailed information. The display screen also offers analog-looking gauge treatments.
Advanced Features Electronic Control
The Simrad-Mercury VesselView interface allows the operator to set Mercury’s proprietary electronic control features, including Cruise Control, which allows the user to set a speed or rpm and have the engine maintain it, and Troll Control, which will let the engines slow-troll down to 550 rpm. Additionally, the Active Trim system can be set to tune engine trim to optimize efficiency.
Remote Oil Checks
Mercury’s VesselView engine monitor helm display lets the user know the oil level is fine prior to the first startup of the day. The outboard is equipped with an electronic oil-level sensor that measures the oil, and will alert the operator if the level is not correct for safe operation. This feature is standard on Verado V-8 models.
The system only works if the engines are in the down position and the oil temperature indicates the engine is cold, since a tipped-up engine or one that is warm wouldn’t get an accurate reading, so it works for the first start of the day, rather than each time engines are started throughout the day.
Yellowfin 24 CE Features Inspection
Let’s have a closer look at the many features on the Yellowfin 24 CE. Because this is a deckboat, the deck is just 15-½’’ (.39 m) below the gunwales. The covering boards are 8” (.20 m) wide. The deck has walkaround space to either side of the center console, served by grabrails mounted vertically to either side of the console. Casting decks fore and aft are where much time will be spent aboard this dedicated fishing machine. With 72 gallons (273 L) of fuel capacity and a 14” (.36 m) draft (engine up), she’s designed to get fishermen to the fish wherever they may hide, be it in coastal waters in good conditions, along the beach, or in the flats and coves.
The Yellowfin 24 CE is constructed of high-tech materials for light weight and strength, but Yellowfin tells us it’s unlike any other carbon build out there. Yellowfin uses a carbon fabric that is exclusive to them in the marine industry, and the builder has developed a laminate of Kevlar, E-glass, and carbon in a quad-axis form. Because the hull has a dry weight of 2,500 lbs. (1,134 kg) (the builder’s previous version, known as the 24 Bay, used more conventional construction and had a dry weight of 3,050 lbs./1,383 kg).
Bow Casting Deck
The bow casting area has a 3” (7.62 cm) toerail all around and is finished in non-skid for safety. An angler steps up 7-½” (19.05 cm) from the console level to the middle deck and 8-½” up to the forward most area. The bow section measures 5’9” (1.75 m) at the widest point and 4’ (1.22 m) at the narrowest. There’s a pair of in-deck rod holders, each one positioned to either side of a flush-mounted hatch that holds an anchor and rode. The lid to the anchor hatch is notched at the forward corners to allow the rode to pass through without leaving the hatch open. A 6” (15.23 cm) pull-up cleat on centerline is a good choice since it won’t snag toes or fishing lines when not in use. On the starboard bow is a trolling-motor mount.
The in-deck stowage lockers on the foredeck of the Yellowfin 24 CE are numerous and useful. On centerline is a deep box with a hatch in the bottom that opens to a still deeper box. Enormous boxes to either side open to the outboard side to make the most of onboard volume. This position makes it easier to access the contents safely, because it prevents an angler from falling overboard due to loss of balance after bending over.
The step abaft the casting deck has a multi-part livewell with a small round baitwell with a latching clear lid within a larger rectangular well.
The console on the Yellowfin 24 CE is built to accommodate the command center on this fishing machine. With space for a pair of 12’’ (.30 m) multifunction displays as well as the Mercury VesselView display located on the lower dash to starboard, this helm dash will keep the fishfinder and chart data flowing smoothly. A large welded wheel is mounted on a tilt base offset to port. The wired VHF microphone has all of the radio controls on it and connects to a black-box radio installed within the console, the better to make the most of console space.
There was a retro-style Mercury split control with separate shift and throttle levers. We would like to see a compass placed on the console top in line with the hub of the steering wheel, a notably absent feature on our test boat. The console had a pair of large stereo speakers mounted on its aft side. The acrylic, tinted windshield offers shelter for cup holders but not much else, its brief design a sacrifice to the fishability of the side decks and ease of getting around on board.
The forward end of the console has a seat molded into it, and a large gasketed locker opens upward, taking the entire seat up out of the way on two suitable gas-assist rams. Because there is no T-top, there are five molded-in, vertical rod holders to either side of the seat, which makes the seat narrower and also precludes a handy position for a grab handle for the seat, which would meet American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) specifications, though each forward corner beneath the seat have recesses where the occupant can hold on in a pinch.
Inside we see the wiring for all the helm electronics, as well as the controls, battery switches, and the batteries located in the bottom of the locker. The hatch is gasketed to keep moisture out.
The Leaning Post
The leaning post has upholstered seats and a backrest wide enough for two on the forward side, and our test captain found its design and position in relation to the console best suited for leaning rather than sitting. Though if a driver did wish to sit, there’s a molded-in footrest on the aft side of the console and a crossbar between the forward legs of the leaning post. It’s a tubular design with a box positioned beneath the seat for stowing tackle and six vertical rod holders with nylon inserts across the back. There’s room to slide an ice-chest cooler beneath the post. The entire affair is powdercoated for durability.
Aft Casting Deck
There are a pair of livewells port and starboard on the aft casting deck, set into the deck with lift-and-lock latches and tension hinges that keep them open to free two hands without getting a metal ram in the way of the bait. The aft deck is finished with non-skid throughout its entire surface. Abaft the transom seat is a smaller baitwell that’s easily left open: it has a sliding clear lid beneath its hinged lid. The seatback must be folded forward – its stanchions are hinged and held in place with a locking pin. The large wells have gutters that drain aft on deck. All wells are painted a calming light blue inside and have radiused corners to keep bait healthy and happy.
Swim Step. There’s a tubular, welded swim step off the port transom, powdercoated to match the hull color. We would rather see it outfitted with a folding ladder added that would extend 22” (.56 m) downward to meet ABYC specification.
Hydraulic Jackplate. The Mercury Verado 300 on our test boat was mounted on a hydraulic jackplate that allows the operator to adjust the height of the outboard for shallow-water running. It gives the operator another dimension with which to manage the power from the Mercury Verado 4.6L V-8 300 outboard.
Shallow-Water Anchors. The Yellowfin 24 CE we tested was equipped with a pair of Power-Pole shallow-water anchors mounted on brackets to either side of the Mercury Verado 300. These hydraulically actuated devices unfold and stick a fiberglass pole into the bottom, holding the boat in position in calm conditions.
Standard Equipment List
Yellowfin provided us with the standard equipment list for the 24 CE.
- • Dual-axle trailer with electric over hydraulic braking
- • Bob’s Machine all-in-one jackplate
- • One 8’ Power Pole
- • Leaning post with 2 rod holders and storage box
- • 10 rod holders on console
- • 2 cup holders on console
- • Grab bar on console
- • Interior lighting
- • 50-gallon (189 L) pressurized bait well (plumbed with 1,100 gph Sureflow pump)
- • 50-gallon (189 L) release well (plumbed with 1,100 gph Sureflow pump)
- • All titanium cleats
- • All titanium through-hulls
- • Digital switching system
- • 290-quart insulated fishbox
- • Deluxe upholstery
- • Rear backrest
$113,385 base price for boat, outboard, and trailer.
5-year transferrable hull warranty.
The Yellowfin 24 CE bay boat was created for anglers who want to get a little bit more out of their boats. Bay boats are a hedge against getting caught in a flats skiff in the rough stuff or trying to take a center console into skinny water. As such, she doesn’t push into the far reaches of those challenges quite to the level as those dedicated designs do, but she can get much closer to doing it all than many have imagined. And sometimes close does just fine, particularly when you have a capable outboard like the Mercury Verado 4.6L V-8 on the transom. This engine makes the boat more manageable by using its many electronic engine-control systems to let the boat take care of itself. While skeptics will say it will not trim the engine or tune the throttle quite as well as an experienced skipper, it’s closer than ever before. And it may even be close enough that it will help experienced operators get their heads around the idea of not having to do all that stuff all the time. When the boat and engine start to take care of those functions, a young man’s fancy can turn to thoughts of fish. And more of ’em, wherever they may hide.