Filling a slot in the Yellowfin Yachts stable between the 24 Bay and the 29 center-console, the new 26 boasts a step amidships and reflects a blend of offshore- and bay-boat features.
An upright 50-gallon livewell behind the helm seating and available twin outboards appeal to offshore anglers, while the elevated aft casting deck caters to inshore fishing enthusiasts.
The Yellowfin 26 handled predictably whenever we brought it about at high speed with the U-Flex power-assist steering. With 20 degrees of deadrise at the transom, the 26 sliced smoothly through the 2- to 3-foot seas outside the inlet.
The splatter-style nonskid sole provides secure footing. Deep gutters channel water aft to healthy-size scuppers in the stern quarters to help keep the deck dry.
An optional T-top with an overhead electronics box features a fabric covering and a rack of five angled rod holders across the back. A powder-coated aluminum frame deters corrosion. A flush-mounted Garmin GPSMAP 8215 (15-inch) multifunction display fits nicely on the helm panel.
The anchor locker in the bow easily holds 300 feet of anchor line. Molded-in recesses allow you to secure a Danforth-style anchor in the lip around the anchor locker opening.
The console of the 26 opens upward from the front, and while there is no room for a marine toilet, this compartment offers easy access to the tidy helm rigging.
A thickly upholstered seat on the outside of the console hatch becomes a comfortable place to take a load off. We used the five rod holders on each side of the console, though interference from the T-top prevented us from using the aftmost holders.
Coaming bolsters pad the gunwales, which measure 24 inches high in the bow and 21 inches in the stern. Beefy, 8-inch pull-up cleats (two in the bow, two amidships and two aft) keep the covering boards clear of snags.
This boat draws 18 inches with the outboards up, and we were able to put the 26 in surprisingly shallow water, even with the engines down.
The twin counter-rotating Yamaha F200 outboards vaulted the 26 to plane in just 3.1 seconds, and we reached 30 mph in 5.8 seconds en route to a top speed of 59.4 mph at 6,100 rpm. The Yellowfin 26 combines performance and quality in a boat that’s versatile enough to fish just about anywhere.