Powered by twin outboards
Yellowfin's new 34 bridges the gap between the company's highly acclaimed 31- and 36-foot models. Because it falls squarely between the two previous Yellowfins, it offers a little of the best of both. Like the 31, it can be easily powered by twin outboards, but like the 36, you can also hang triples on it. More choice is always a good thing.
The 34 shares another important attribute with its siblings, too: It comes with the fast, soft, dry ride that fishermen have come to expect of Yellowfin, all wrapped up in a stylish package that exhibits exemplary fit and finish. The 34 represents yet another chapter in Yellowfin's rapid rise in the hard-core center-console marketplace.
Like all Yellowfins, the 34 features a stepped-hull design with a stern pad to provide lift. Its two steps provide aeration and decrease drag, and this shows in the boat's performance numbers. We ran a 34 off Sarasota, Florida, on an admittedly calm day, but there was enough chop to get a sense of what the 34 can do.
Twin 275-hp Mercury Verado four-strokes brought the 34 on plane effortlessly, with just a little bow rise. The boat settled onto a level running attitude almost instantly, and the Verados provided very impressive acceleration on this hull. When the helmsman hits the throttles, you had better be hanging on to something.
Yellowfin President Wylie Nagler — a former boat racer — likes to go fast, whether it's on the racecourse or in a king mackerel tournament. The 34 delivers here as well. The Verados pushed the big center console to a cruise speed of 40 mph at 4,400 rpm while burning a miserly 23 gph. Push the throttles forward a little more and you've got 45 mph at 4,800 rpm at a 28-gph burn rate. Fast cruise is 50 mph at 5,200 rpm, with a 42-gph burn. Wide open, the 34 hit 56 mph at 6,100 rpm. Want to go faster? Hang triple 275 Verados on the transom, and the 34 reaches a blazing 67 mph.
The 34 cut down whatever chop we could find (at 50 mph!), and the hull had a very solid feel to it. You don't hear creaks or feel shudders when this boat takes on a wave, and like the other Yellowfin models, it is amazingly dry. I've fished on Yellowfins quite a bit and have many times braced for a saltwater shower that never came.
The hull throws water down and away and moves fast enough that when the spray eventually blows upward, you're already past it. I consider this one of the driest boats on the market with exemplary handling, as well. The 34 tracks like it's on rails, and even when maneuvering at high speeds, it always feels safe and predictable.
It would be a mistake to portray this as simply a go-fast boat, however, because it's really a well-designed fishing boat that goes fast, fishing being its primary mission. It comes with several livewell options, including a standard 55-gallon well in the transom. Yellowfin locates six upscale, vertical Gemlux rod holders (an option) there also, three on either side of the well.
If you order the twin-engine boat without the extra fuel option, you can also get a second, 70-gallon well installed beneath the cockpit sole. If you do want the extra fuel or if you order triples, you can get an optional leaning post that contains a second 50-gallon above-deck well. Our test boat sported this arrangement. The leaning post also contained 12 tackle drawers, as well as the boat's batteries and battery switches. Yellowfin provides lots of choices, allowing you to customize your boat to suit your personal needs.
Forward, storage boxes abound. You'll find a 530-quart macerated fish box underdeck, and our boat was fitted with the optional above-deck coffin-box arrangement. Three more subdeck boxes can be used as fish boxes if necessary, but these will most likely be used to stow all the extraneous gear fishermen accumulate. Not enough storage for you? Yellowfin now offers a forward-seating option with integral storage spaces. The forward seats actually provide a handy step-up to the bow for cast-net throwing or anchoring duty. Both the open and forward-seating layouts are easy to fish, with wide walkaround spaces and a clean, level deck.
Design and Construction
Nagler laminates his boats with Core-Cell, which provides excellent strength while keeping weight down. Everything on the boat exudes quality, from the gelcoat to the hardware, and the aforementioned fit and finish adds to that overall impression. Take the console, for example; it contains a cavernous head compartment that also provides access to wiring and electronics. Yellowfin protects the huge vertical surface for mounting electronics with a clear acrylic cover that disappears into a recess underway.
I found the optional T-top equally impressive, with a double powder-coated finish that ignores nicks and scratches and a molded fiberglass hardtop that contains recessed stereo speakers, an overhead radio box and three spreader lights. Or you can order a new "Key West" console, with a modified T-top that narrows toward the front and comes with numerous vertical rod holders installed along the side of the console.
A large lazarette in the cockpit contains all the boat's pumps and fuel filters, and like every hatch on the boat, its lid is finished on both sides, gasketed and opened on gas rams. From the carpeted, undergunwale rod racks to the tilt-out bait trays, also under the gunwales, Yellowfin designed and executed everything superbly.
Yellowfin has, in a relatively short time, become a major name in the large-center-console market. While it's still a small, factory-direct company, products like the 34 give Yellowfin standing with the best in the business. If you're in the market for a large offshore center console, you owe yourself a long look at the Yellowfin 34