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Toward Larger Outboards

Technical advances lead to bigger models and global market recognition

After building a strong base in the commercial-use outboard market, Yamaha took on the challenge of developing larger horsepower models for recreational use, but it was no easy task to catch up to established U.S. outboard manufacturers. What Yamaha then did in 1974 was to market the jointly developed 55A model, powered by a liquid-cooled 2-cylinder 760cc engine. It featured new and exclusive technologies that included a fully carburized one-piece crankcase, 2-piece (assembled) connecting rods and capacitor discharge ignition (CDI). This became the base from which Yamaha’s new lineup of large-horsepower outboards would be developed.

The year 1982 saw the subsequent release of the 200A and 220A models that pumped out over 200 hp. Then in September 1983, after the dissolution of Yamaha’s tie-up with Brunswick Corporation, the company launched a full lineup of Yamaha-brand outboards at one of the world’s largest marine trade shows in Chicago, U.S. This event on American soil signaled Yamaha’s entry as an outboard maker in the North American market. The strong reliability that Yamaha had acquired through its years in commercial-use markets globally led to its outboards also being well received in the world’s largest outboard market of North America.


The 55A became the foundation for Yamaha’s move into the large-horsepower category. Its liquid-cooled 2-cylinder 760cc engine had several unique technologies like a fully carburized one-piece crankcase, 2-piece connecting rods and more

Yamaha Outboard Stories

Beginning of Outboards‘ Development
Building the Primary Foundation
As the Global Brand
The long-selling "85A"
Becoming the World’s Top Brand
For Reliable and Rich Marine Life
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