YFollowing in the wake of their very successful superlight F25G in 2017, Yamaha have launched a lower-powered version, the F20G. The 56kg F20 brings genuine portability to a lively and relatively punchy outboard engine. Before the F20 and F25, such an impressive power-to-weight ratio was only possible with the previous 50kg 25hp 2-stroke outboard engine, which emission regulations made redundant in 2006. Apart from having a power-to-weight ratio unmatched by any comparable engine, the F20 shares many of the F25’s key technologies, and of course at a lower price.
Having extensively tested the F25 as well as having owned one of Yamaha’s old-school 25hp 2-strokes in the past, I can vouch for this engine’s impressive performance, as well as its host of very effective features. For example, portability and storage are a breeze, thanks not only to the relatively light weight, but also to the comfortable new carry handle design and the conveniently placed resting pads on the powerhead.
Maintenance is simple too. An easy-access hose connector on the lower cowling allows you to flush salt and dirt from the waterways without starting the engine, although if you can, flushing with muffs always gives a slightly cleaner wash. Easy starting, even after long periods ashore, is ensured by the battery-less electronic fuel injection (EFI) system – no problems with having a blocked carburettor from dried fuel residue, something that modern portable outboards without EFI suffer from when left unused over time.
Even on a tiller-steered version of the F20, there is a choice of electric, manual or electric/manual starting options. This engine provides an even smoother ride as a direct result of the new wide-span motor mounting system. Unusually for a 20hp engine, power trim and tilt are available. Having a battery for the electric start option enables full compatibility with Yamaha’s Digital Network System, providing displays and gauges that offer the helmsman a comprehensive selection of running data and engine performance information, as well as a more precise level of control.
A multifunction tiller handle is another attractive option as it brings a forward-mounted gear shift control within easy reach of the driver. It has a long tiller, so there is no uncomfortable reaching back to steer the boat, and a large easily gripped throttle twist grip provides for comfortable steering and handling. This I found an outstanding feature on the F25 when using the boat for a four-hour stint. The integral VTS (variable trolling speed) system not only provides a lower-than-normal idle speed but also means you can control your trolling speed in simple 50rpm steps – ideal for fishing. This handy new advantage is standard on tiller handle models and an option on remote-control models of the F20. With its new graphics and cleverly designed water-draining air intake duct, the latest one-piece top cowling completes the picture.
- Engine type: 4-stroke, 2-cyl, 4 valves, SOHC
- Displacement: 432cc
- Prop shaft output: 20hp at 5500rpm
- Full throttle operating range: 5000–6000 rpm
- Gear ratio: 2.08 (27/13)
- Fuel induction system: Electronic fuel injection (EFI)
- Ignition system: CDI
- Lubrication system: Wet sump
- Oil pan capacity: 1.1 litres
- Alternator: 12V – 16A with rectifier/regulator
- Starting system: Manual (MH), manual/electric (WH), Electric (E, EP)
- Controls: Tiller handle (MH, WH), remote control (E, EP)
- Trim and tilt: Power tilt (EP) (option), manual tilt (MH, E, WH)[FB1]
- Shallow-water drive: Standard – 2 positions
- Recommended boat transom height: S: 429mm, L: 556mm
- Dry weight with propeller: 56kg (E version)