Innovation is self-evident, and the marine industry has been serving it up in good portions here as of late. From new materials and designs to advanced propulsion systems, the industry has shown some creative spark over the last couple of years, and it’s heartening to see. The new Scarab 195 Open is innovative in a number of ways. First, it combines the elements of a few different kinds of boats to become a different kind of boat unto itself.

scarab 195 open

If you're in search of something new, something different—the Scarab 195 Open takes the cake.

The 195 Open is available as a day boat and as the 195 Open Fish. Considering everything they have going for them, the boats are priced competitively, too. The 195 Open starts at $31,250 and the Open Fish starts at $32,348.

On the 195 Open, you’re going to need a few options to get something worth owning, which is usually bothersome, but even the options are moderately priced. For example, the bimini top is $467. Also, if you order the optional tower for $2,467, the bimini is included. Try to find another tower on the market for $2,000—near impossible.

You’ll also probably want the cockpit table for $307 and the Porta Potty with the pump-out for $313. If your goal is watersports, you’ll want the ballast system for $1,033 and the $600 wakeboard racks. It’s probably a good idea to get the bow-seating package, which turns the bow area into a playpen for $833. While that one seems a bit steep, for less than six grand in options, the 195 Open really takes shape.

On its own, the 195 Open occupies a unique space in the market. It looks like a center-console, but you use it like a runabout or a wakeboard boat. It has a rear sunpad that converts to two jump seats on either side of the doublewide helm seat. Perhaps its most unique feature, a closed transom converts to a swim platform, so you can “tailgate” on the water. When you’re done swimming, pull up the platform and be on your way.

bow of the scarab 195 open

An open bow is definitely a must-have option on the 195 Open.

It’s also unique in that it has a jet-drive system rather than outboard or stern drive power. That means no propeller and a draft of just 12”. This boat goes in water too skinny for most others, yet it has 20 degrees of deadrise—so rougher open water also is doable. In standard trim, the engine makes 200 HP, which should be plenty to push it along. If you want more, you can get the 250 HP engine for about $2,000 more, which again, is pretty reasonable.

If your only exposure to jet propulsion has been personal watercraft, Bombardier has made some advances in jet drives over the years. The 195 Open comes with the Rotax Intelligent Neutral and Reverse technology, which overcomes the compromised low-speed maneuverability present with jet drives. The iNR system lets you adjust the nozzles to achieve a true neutral, which affords greater control.

When you look at Scarab’s new 195 Open and 195 Open Fish, it’s neat to see how the company put together something fresh from an innovative combination of features, options and propulsion systems found in different segments of the marine industry. The result is something genuinely different, and that’s something the market always welcomes. Base MSRP for the Scarab 195 Open is $31,250, which includes a trailer.

Other Choices: You’re not going to find a direct competitor for boat that's this different; the closest in comparison in size and price range is the Yamaha 19’ jet boat range, but these are substantially larger, more complex, and far more expensive. Comparison shoppers may have better luck checking out a premium PWC, like the Yamaha FX Cruiser SVHO or the Sea Doo RXP-X 260.

For more information, visit Scarab Jet Boats.

See Scarab 195 Open listings.
Deadrise20 degrees
Displacement2,730 lbs
Fuel capacity31 gal.

Written by: Brett Becker
Brett Becker is a freelance writer and photographer who has covered the marine industry for 15 years. In addition to covering the ski boat and runabout markets for, he regularly writes and shoots for Based in Ventura, Calif., Becker holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s in mass communication from the University of Central Florida in Orlando.