Why Buy Yamaha Outboards? Yamaha Innovations and Developments

Yamaha Outboards is a division of Yamaha Motor Company, a Japanese manufacturer of marine engines and recreational products. Yamaha's history of outboard motors dates back to the 1960s when the company introduced its small two-stroke engines.

Since then, Yamaha has become a household name for boaters; Yamaha has continued to innovate and expand its line of outboard motors, offering a range of four-stroke and high-performance engines for various boating applications. Today, Yamaha is one of the leading manufacturers of outboard motors, known for their reliability, performance, and advanced technology:

Yamaha Online Parts is proud to offer a broad range of inventory, including a plethora of OEM Yamaha outboard parts for sale. However, to truly understand why 40% of all global boaters choose Yamaha outboards for safety, fun, and reliability, we’ve compiled an overview of Yamaha’s role in the industry.

In this guide, we’ll look at Yamaha’s role as an international innovator for outboard motors, as well as the company’s recent innovations transforming the experience of boating and boat ownership.

History of Yamaha Outboard Motors

History of Yamaha Outboard Motors

Early Years

Torakusu Yamaha established the Yamaha Corporation in 1887 in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. The company started by manufacturing musical instruments, including producing organs and pianos. This legacy is still honored in the company’s logo, consisting of three interlocked tuning forks - tools used for tuning pianos.

During the post-war years, several Japanese companies began looking to diversify to make up for lost time and repurpose war-time manufacturing machines. At the time, the company president decided that the musical instrument factory would start producing small engines for motorcycles and later marine engines with the debut of the Yamaha P-7 outboard in 1960.

However, the P-7 was far from perfect, and many joked they could tell the motor was made by a music manufacturer because of its loud sound. Yamaha engineers listened to the customer base and created the much more refined and well-received PC-3. This started a tradition of engineering focused on the desires of their customers that are still ingrained in the company today.

Continued Expansion—the Birth of the WaveRunner

The company continued to expand in the 1980s. After decades spent being a motorcycle manufacturer, the Yamaha Motor Company sought to enter the all-terrain vehicle market and the personal watercraft market. They changed the marine powersports game in 1986 with the creation of the WaveRunner 500. Yamaha soon became known as the leading contender in this market while still holding a steady position in other markets for motorized land vehicles and outboards.

Over the years, Yamaha has introduced many important innovations in outboard motor technology, including electronic fuel injection, variable camshaft timing, and digital engine control systems - setting the trends for all other engine manufacturers to follow. (See Recent Innovations from Yamaha Marine below). Today, Yamaha offers a wide range of outboard motors to meet the needs of boaters in various applications, from small dinghies, to large offshore fishing boats, and everything in between.

Yamaha Outboards News

Yamaha Outboards News

Yamaha regularly publishes news and developments to keep their customers in the know. Whether you’re interested in the consumer side of things or their entire business dealings worldwide, check out the Yamaha Newsroom.

Yamaha Outboards Social Media

To stay in touch with their vast customer base, show off their latest products, and offer helpful videos for outboard owners, Yamaha offers an active social media presence:

Yamaha OEM Parts for Year-after-year Reliability

Yamaha OEM Parts for Year-after-year Reliability

Yamaha OEM parts refer to the original equipment manufacturer parts designed specifically for Yamaha vehicles, including motorcycles, ATVs, outboard motors, snowmobiles, and more. These parts are manufactured to the same high standards and specifications as the original parts that came with the vehicle, ensuring optimal performance and reliability. Yamaha OEM parts are the best choice for anyone looking to maintain or repair their Yamaha vehicle, as they offer a perfect fit, consistent quality, and the assurance of the Yamaha brand.

Additionally, Yamaha offers a wide range of OEM parts to suit various needs and budgets, including essential maintenance items, complex engine components, and stylish upgrades. As an authorized Yamaha dealer, Yamaho Online Parts offers a complete catalog for all supported engine models and years:

To learn more about Yamaha OEM Parts, visit Yamaha OEM Parts - Selection Guide.

Yamaha Schematics

Are you looking for boat parts by serial number, or do you need a Yamaha outboard parts lookup?

Yamaha generously offers a complete schematic database (Snap-On Electronic Parts Catalog powers Yamaha Marine Parts Lookup) for all Yamaha outboard engines.

This Yamaha outboard motor parts lookup offers easy-to-use search options for finding Yamaha outboard parts by serial number or by simply selecting your specific engine model/year. With this interactive database for outboard Yamaha parts, it’s a cinch to order what you need to keep your engine running smoothly with Yamaha Online Parts.

Yamaha OEM Outboard Parts - Industry Studies & Comparisons

Yamaha OEM Outboard Parts - Industry Studies & Comparisons

Don’t just take it from us - Yamaha has received plenty of accolades for its commitment to quality. 

Several studies and comparisons of Yamaha OEM parts have been compared to aftermarket parts, particularly in the marine industry. Here are a few examples:

  • A comparison conducted by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) in 2015 found that Yamaha Genuine Parts and Accessories outperformed aftermarket parts in several key areas, including fit, finish, and overall quality.
  • An independent study by the boating magazine "Boating" in 2018 compared Yamaha OEM propellers to aftermarket propellers. The study found that Yamaha OEM propellers outperformed aftermarket propellers in speed, acceleration, and fuel efficiency.
  • A study conducted by the marine industry research firm JD Power in 2020 found that Yamaha outboard motors ranked highest in customer satisfaction in the 200+ HP outboard engine category. The study considered several factors, including engine performance, reliability, and quality of OEM parts and accessories.

Overall, while there are many high-quality aftermarket parts and accessories available on the market, studies have consistently shown that Yamaha OEM parts and accessories tend to outperform their aftermarket counterparts in terms of quality, durability, and reliability.

Recent Innovations from Yamaha Marine

Recent Innovations from Yamaha Marine

Yamaha Outboard Motors has continuously improved its technology to provide customers with high-performance and reliable outboard motors. In addition to the Yamaha Outboard New section above, here are some of the most recent engineering developments for Yamaha Outboard Motors in the past several years:

  1. V6 Offshore XTO: Yamaha introduced the V6 Offshore XTO in 2018, the first 425-horsepower outboard engine in the industry. It features a direct fuel injection system enhancing fuel efficiency and reducing emissions. It also has an electric steering system, which provides precise and responsive control.
  2. Helm Master EX: Yamaha introduced the Helm Master EX in 2020, an advanced boat control system. (See the section below for a full overview.
  3. 4.2-liter V6 V MAX SHO: In 2019, Yamaha introduced the 4.2-liter V6 V MAX SHO, designed for high-performance boats. It features a new engine control module and a new lower unit, which improves its speed and acceleration - living up to its Super High Output (SHO) name. 
  4. Digital Electric Steering (DES): Yamaha introduced DES in 2021, a new electric steering system for outboard motors. It provides precise and responsive control and is designed to work with the company's Helm Master EX system.
  5. Shift Dampener System (SDS): Yamaha's SDS technology reduces the shock and vibration during gear shifting, making the operation smoother and more comfortable.
  6. Variable Trolling RPM Control: Yamaha's Variable Trolling RPM control allows the operator to adjust the engine speed in 50 RPM increments while trolling, giving more precise control over speed and fuel consumption.
  7. Dual-channel Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI): Yamaha's Dual-channel EFI provides precise fuel delivery to each cylinder, improving performance and fuel efficiency.

Note: These are some of the recent innovations by Yamaha for their outboard motors. Please note that availability and specifics of these features may vary by model and region.

Yamaha Helm Master EX

The Yamaha Helm Master EX is a boat control system developed by Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA. As an improvement to the original Helm Master control system, it is designed to provide boaters with a more intuitive and precise way to control their boats, especially in challenging conditions.

The system includes several features, including joystick control, autopilot, and fine-tuned shift and throttle response. It also has a range of sensors and cameras that provide real-time data on boat performance, engine conditions, and more. The data is displayed on a central touchscreen display, which allows the operator to easily monitor and adjust the boat's systems.

The joystick control feature is especially useful in tight quarters like marinas or crowded waterways. With the joystick, the operator can maneuver the boat in any direction, including diagonal movements, by simply pushing the joystick in the desired direction.

The autopilot feature is designed to help boaters maintain a steady course, even in challenging conditions. The system uses GPS data and other sensors to make automatic course corrections as needed, allowing the operator to focus on other tasks.

Overall, the Yamaha Helm Master EX is a highly advanced boat control system that can improve the boating experience for novice and experienced boaters. It is available on select Yamaha outboard motor models and can be retrofitted to some existing boats.

MyYamahaOutboards App

Everything has an app nowadays - and your Yamaha outboard is no exception!

The MyYamahaOutboards app is a mobile application developed by Yamaha exclusively for boat owners with Yamaha outboard engines. It allows users to access a variety of features related to their Yamaha outboard engines, including:

  1. Maintenance reminders: The app can keep track of maintenance schedules and send reminders when it's time for routine service.
  2. Fuel management: Users can track fuel usage and receive notifications when fuel levels are low.
  3. Performance data: The app can provide real-time performance data, including engine speed, temperature, and more.
  4. Location tracking: The app can track the location of the boat and provide alerts if it enters or leaves a designated area.
  5. Digital manuals: Users can access digital versions of their engine owner's manual, parts catalogs, and other related documents.

The MyYamahaOutboards app is available for free on both the App Store and Google Play, and it is compatible with most Yamaha outboard engines manufactured since 2006.

To learn more about the MyYamahaOutboards App, visit our overview page.

Smart Boats: Yamaha and Siren Marine


Smart Boats: Yamaha and Siren Marine

One key reason for Yamaha’s year-after-year market dominance has been the company’s continual integration of innovative new technologies to enhance the overall boating experience. With the advent of interconnected devices and systems to enable data sharing and automation on boats, “Internet of Things” technology (or “IoT”) is now used to create a "smart" boat that is more efficient, safer, and easier to operate.

Since 2020, Yamaha has partnered with Siren Marine to offer Yamaha customers enhanced remote monitoring and control capabilities for their boats. Specializing in marine telematics and connected boat technology, Siren Marine is a company heavily invested in the IoT for boats.

As part of this partnership, Yamaha integrated Siren Marine's Connected Boat technology into its CommandBlue digital network. This integration allows Yamaha boat owners to remotely monitor and control their vessels through a mobile app or web portal.

Siren Marine's Connected Boat technology provides a range of features, including:

  • Real-time tracking of the boat's location 
  • Monitoring of key systems and sensors
  • Remote control of devices such as lights, pumps, and air conditioning

This integration with Yamaha's CommandBlue network gives boat owners even greater control and convenience.

Overall, the partnership between Yamaha and Siren Marine aims to enhance the boating experience by providing advanced technology solutions that improve safety, security, and convenience for boaters. Expect recent innovations like Siren Trident, an industry-first IoT software for marine engine maintenance and system compatibility, to hit markets in select models starting in 2024.

Learn More with Yamaha Online Parts

Learn More with Yamaha Online Parts

Yamaha Online Parts offers plenty of resources for DIY boaters to install, replace, and repair their outboard motor with Yamaha OEM Parts. Search our blog, or start with the following to learn more about everything you need to know about your Yamaha outboard:

Yamaha Outboard FAQ

Are Yamaha outboards the oldest brand of outboard motors?

Yamaha is not the oldest brand of outboard motors. Ole Evinrude invented the first commercially successful outboard motor in 1909, and the Evinrude brand continues to be a leading manufacturer of outboard motors today.

Is electronic steering for Yamaha outboard maintenance-free?

Electronic steering systems for Yamaha outboard motors typically require less maintenance than traditional hydraulic steering systems. However, they are not entirely maintenance-free.

Electronic steering systems use an electric motor to control the boat's steering rather than hydraulic fluid. This means there are no hydraulic lines or pumps to maintain, which can save time and money in the long run. Additionally, electronic steering systems typically have fewer moving parts than hydraulic systems, which can reduce the risk of mechanical failure.

However, electronic steering systems still require regular maintenance to ensure they operate correctly. For example, the electric motor and wiring connections must be periodically inspected and cleaned to prevent corrosion or damage. Additionally, the steering angle sensor, which detects the position of the boat's steering wheel, should be checked and calibrated periodically to ensure it provides accurate data to the control system.

In general, electronic steering systems for Yamaha outboard motors are designed to be low-maintenance and reliable. However, like any boat system, they still require basic maintenance to operate safely and effectively. Be sure to consult the owner's manual and follow the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule for your specific model of Yamaha outboard motor.