Yamaha Outboards has released the first dates for its 2011 Demo Tour, events held across the country that allow consumers to go out for a ride in a boat powered by the new Yamaha V Max SHO or Yamaha V6 Offshore outboards. The first events on the tours were held last week at the Miami International Boat Show and at the Bassmaster Classic in New Orleans. If you missed those, there are four more stops scheduled on the Offshore tour, and 11 stops on the V Max SHO schedule.


This could be you riding in a hot new Yamaha-powered boat, if you attend one of the company’s Demo Tour stops.

All take place in conjunction with a fishing tournament, so there will be lots of other things to do and see as well. And Yamaha division marketing manager Dale Barnes said the company will be adding many more events to its Demo Tour schedules during the boating season, so check back again if there’s not currently an event listed for your area.

View the V6 Offshore Demo Tour Schedule

View the V Max SHO Demo Tour schedule

At both sites you can sign up to take a ride, and Yamaha has a special offer for the first 100 people who do make that appointment at each event: a voucher good for one free year of Yamaha Extended Service coverage, valued at $1,500, if you buy a new motor from an authorized Yamaha dealer. All of the fine print details are available on the website.

Notice that I said you’ll be taking a demo ride. You don’t really think Yamaha is going to plop you down in the helm seat of an 80-mph, 250-hp bass boat, do you? No, you’ll get to ride along with a professional driver at the wheel. At the offshore demos, the boats will be appropriate for the event, probably provided by a boat company that is sponsoring the tournament. At Southern Kingfish Association events, for example, the demo boats will be Yamaha-powered Contender models. At the bass tournaments, expect to get a ride in a new Skeeter FX model, boats that were designed specifically for the Yamaha V Max SHO motors. Skeeter Team Demo Drivers will be on hand to show you boat features and handle the driving chores.

They might even lend you a pair of goggles, to keep the bugs out of your eyes.