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Yamaha Hydra Drive

Old 09-29-2020, 08:48 PM
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Default Yamaha Hydra Drive

My '92 208 Islander has the rarely installed Yamaha Hydra Drive, used a 454 big block coupled to this unique outdrive. This outdrive is frankly phenomenal, the hydraulic clutches provide the smoothest shifting you can imagine. Long story short, Mercruiser ran Yamaha out of the U.S. in the outdrive market, though these drives are extremely popular overseas, often coupled to Yanmar diesel engines.

Now that I've bought my 2000 252 Islander, I've been thinking about selling the 208. But the majority of potential buyers are looking for a Mercruiser or Volvo drivetrain. I wonder if it would be worth it to pull the outdrive off and replace with a Bravo 1? The transom would need modified I am sure. There really is only one person in the world that I know of that is a 'guru' with the Yamaha outdrives and does repairs on them, he's based out of Panama City, Florida.

My thought is that I'd be money ahead to simply sell the boat with the Hydra Drive, after all it is bullet proof and should last for years....the only issue is finding parts. They're out there, you just have to know where to look.

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Old 09-30-2020, 10:13 AM
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Take half the difference of what it would cost for a complete Bravo drive setup and discount the boat by that amount. You will will sell the boat and save yourself half the cost and the aggravation of doing the swap.
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Old 09-30-2020, 01:52 PM
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Its a shame that when someone comes out with with a better mousetrap the pre-existing mousetrap makers have the marketing clout even though their trap is not as good.
Kind of like how Betamax could never get established against VHS
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Old 10-02-2020, 09:20 AM
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You got some pics of this drive? Just out of curiosity. I believe I’ve only ever seen one of them on a boat but not sure.
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Old 10-02-2020, 07:06 PM
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Here's a few...another really cool feature is it has a switch to raise and lower the outdrive on the gimbal housing...so very convenient.


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Old 10-02-2020, 10:01 PM
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I bet some Yamaha affectionato will see it and fall in love.

I've been a Yamaha nut since the 80's. Love their music/stereo equip, dirt and street bikes too. I'm sure the drive is sweet but don't see a way to attach external steering.
If thats the case, it would be a deal breaker for me.
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Old 10-03-2020, 10:17 AM
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Damn clean setup and ride. Would love to stick that in my garage to buzz the river and local lake when not down at LOTO. But divorce would suck all the fun out of it. Or would it?
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Old 10-03-2020, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by zz28zz View Post
I bet some Yamaha affectionato will see it and fall in love.

I've been a Yamaha nut since the 80's. Love their music/stereo equip, dirt and street bikes too. I'm sure the drive is sweet but don't see a way to attach external steering.
If thats the case, it would be a deal breaker for me.
Yes, that is something I realized many years ago, too...the inability to easily (or even at all) external steering. This boat is fairly light and has a 17 degree deadrise so it pushes mid to high 60's, and those speeds, at least to me...are where one starts thinking that external steering is more of a need rather than a want.
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Old 10-03-2020, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Knot 4 Me View Post
Damn clean setup and ride. Would love to stick that in my garage to buzz the river and local lake when not down at LOTO. But divorce would suck all the fun out of it. Or would it?
Maybe once your woman realized how fun it was...she'd be a fan!
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