Yamaha will offer two all-new sport boat platforms and a completely redesigned WaveRunner FX series personal watercraft for 2012. The new products debuted to dealers on Aug. 22, but I had a chance to sample prototypes in Georgia a few weeks ago, and will file full reports in the near future. Until then...
New 19-Foot Sport Boats
Yamaha takes aim at the entry-level runabout category with its new standard SX190 ($24,999) and wake-sports specialized AR190 ($26,999) sport boats. Measuring 19’2” in length over a beam of 8 feet, each is powered by a single 1.8-liter High Output engine and Yamaha jet drive. It’s been years since Yamaha offered a price-point boat model, or one with a single engine, but the company says that 25 percent of the so-called “family fun” boating segment fits in the 18- to 20-foot length range, and aims to appeal to those buyers. Expect to see this boat go up against both economy sterndrives and the new outboard-powered runabouts. My first impression upon stepping aboard was that the boat feels a lot bigger than it is.
Credit the low profile of the Yamaha propulsion package, which does not require an intrusive motor box. This boat is built with a full cockpit liner rather than the cap deck with open (and often carpeted) inwales usually found on a boat in this size and price range. Below the deck is a molded stringer grid that incorporates smooth, finished surfaces for a large ski locker and the pan below the engine. At the stern, the new Yamaha features a step-down design that incorporates lounge seating and a swim platform just above water level. In short, Yamaha sticks to its proven sport-boat formula with this new model.
New 21-foot Sport Boats
The best-selling Yamaha 210/212 series is also all-new for 2012. A 21’ 4” hull is 4 inches longer than the previous 21-series Yamaha, and features a new sheer line that curves to the water aft to give the boat sort of a fast-back look. The standard SX210 and wake-sports AR210 are powered by twin 1.0-liter engines and jet drives, while the 212SS and wake-sports 212X are powered by twin 1.8-liter High Output engines and jets. Many features of the previous Yamaha 21-footers are back but updated on these new models. The bi-level stern area now features cup holders, has more leg room, and the swim platform is closer to the water.
There’s dedicated space for a 38-quart cooler below the aft cockpit seat. The helm and dash areas are redesigned and now incorporate more storage options. The bow area is wider and still offers convertible cushions with multiple seating options. The wakeboard tower on the AR210 and 212X have been redesigned to be easier to fold down, and now include board racks. Pricing ranges from $34,599 to $43,999, including a trailer.
It’s been a decade since Yamaha introduced the WaveRunner FX series, and its flagship watercraft was due for more than a facelift. It’s all new for 2012 with a focus on comfort for the rider and passengers. At 140.2 inches, the new hull is 7.5 inches longer than the previous FX, although that makes it just an inch longer than the Sea-Doo GTX models. About three inches of that added length is dedicated to the seat, while the rest is added to the boarding platform. The FX HO series has the 1.8-liter engine and will be offered in both the standard and Cruiser configuration. Cruiser models have a new “stadium” seat that features three distinct positions for the pilot and two passengers.
The middle seat position is about six inches higher than the pilot seat, while the aft spot is four inches higher still, the point being to give each person a view forward. This seat now also offers comfortable space for three adults – no kidding, we tried it. Cruiser models also have pull-up cleats and more instrument features than the standard FX. FX SHO models also come in standard and Cruiser versions, but with the added punch of the supercharged 1.8-liter engine.
All FX models have a longer reboarding step and a new ski line locker on the aft seat base, shown in two short videos below. They also have a new reverse lever with a positive neutral detent and a drive-by-wire throttle with speed-control features. Pricing ranges from $12,499 to $14,599. No word yet from Yamaha on when these new models will reach dealers.
Watch a short video about the WaveRunner FX trunk
Watch a short video about the WaveRunner FX ladder
-- Charles Plueddeman