As a lifelong angler, I grew up fishing aboard plenty of spartan vessels. But the last decade has seen those hardcore center-console designs soften. Family-friendly features now deliver enjoyment and comfort for daylong adventures of all kinds.
So, as I stepped aboard Yamaha’s new 222 FSH Sport E, I noticed numerous hybrid qualities—all wrapped in a sporty jet-boat body. This 22-footer is the premium model of three new center-consoles from Yamaha that incorporate many of the same angling features of the company’s larger 25-foot FSH models.
The 222s replace previous 21-foot models and bring 9 more inches of length and as much as 4 inches in higher interior freeboard. Greater gunwale height promotes increased safety for small-fry family members.
Interior and Accessories
At the bow, anglers will appreciate the insulated fish box beneath the starboard lounger. The port lounger hides dry storage. A removable filler piece nestles between the two perches to create a table for dining or a stable casting platform. Yamaha also extended the port gunwale surface at the bow to more easily mount a trolling motor.
Beneath the bow’s sole, Yamaha dropped in a 64-gallon storage box with a recess perfect for holding a cast-net bucket. Aft of the bow loungers, bulkheads port and starboard create cavernous storage for tackle boxes, safety gear, lines and other larger items.
As a female angler, I must make note of the changing room and head space beneath the flip-up forward console seat. A zippered curtain creates real privacy.
The center console itself reflects a half-tower design. The hardtop is supported on stanchions integral to the structure of the entire helm unit. This eliminates the tripping hazard of support piping that extends to the deck and also creates wider pathways fore and aft. (A fabric T-top is also an option.)
The hardtop frames a glass windshield and features cutouts for the six rods that fit in holders along the console sides. Anglers can store eight more rods horizontally beneath the gunwales and four more vertically in the rocket launcher along the aft hardtop edge. I also found loads of rod holders in the gunwales from bow to stern.
In any kind of sea, the captain and passengers can ride on the bolstered leaning post and the jump seats port and starboard. From that seating, the deck cascades aft to form Yamaha’s trademark stern lounge, flanked to starboard by a 26-gallon livewell.
With no outboard cowlings to negotiate, this wide-open space aft makes it super easy to fight a fish and then board or release it. But it’s also a perfect spot to relax with a cold drink and listen to some music from the Hertz marine sound system at the sandbar.
The performance of this jet boat—with its twin 1.8L high-output motors that generate 360 hp in total—can be described as nimble and smooth. On our test day, the Choctawhatchee Bay off Sandestin, Florida, lay calm. So, while it was difficult to assess this vessel’s rough-seas traits, we could make a series of high-speed turns and various types of accelerations. In turns, the hull carved easy arcs with little lean. In tighter circles, the speed bled off at a reasonable rate.
The 222 charged onto plane in 4.2 seconds with virtually no bow rise. We measured acceleration to 30 mph at 7.5 seconds. But we had to tap 4,500 to 5,500 rpm before finding a fairly efficient cruising speed of 26.3 mph, burning 10.9 gph for 2.4 mpg. However, the most efficient speed was closer to top-end at 6,500 rpm and 33.9 mph, burning 15.6 gph for 2.5 mpg. We hit a top speed of 47.7 mph, turning 7,500 rpm and burning 26.1 gph.
Read Next: Yamaha 255 FSH Sport E
I found the helm ergonomics quite comfortable—a welcome surprise. I’m a petite female who often must stand on a footrest to see what’s ahead of the bow. The helm face rises at just a slight angle, keeping the console compact.
When it comes to competitors (or lack thereof), this 222 is truly in a class by itself. Yamaha is the only builder currently designing jet boats for fishing. Anglers looking for 22-foot outboard-powered options might consider the Scout 215 XSF (starting at $75,170). The Scout’s single-level layout, moderate gunwale height and 20-degree transom deadrise make it a modified-V hull suitable for nearshore fishing. Its approximate hull draft of 15.7 inches is fairly comparable to the Yamaha’s 19 inches, given that the Scout measures 6 inches shorter overall.
Ultimately, the Yamaha shines with regard to its multipurpose design, fun factor and low-maintenance jet propulsion. All of that in a 22-foot package just might be tough to beat.
How We Tested
- Engines: Twin 1.8L HO Yamaha marine engines
- Drive/Prop: Jet drive/160 mm jet pump
- Gear Ratio: 1.00:1 Fuel Load: 35 gal. Water on Board: 0 gal. Crew Weight: 475 lb.
- Expansive and open stern lounge is ideal for working a fish or for swimming.
- Standard hardtop features cutouts for rod tips placed in vertical console holders.
- Hertz marine stereo system and six speakers deliver crisp-sounding tunes.
- More than 450 gallons of storage space over seven hatches and compartments.
- Aft starboard livewell features enough capacity at 26 gallons, but its shape is somewhat triangular, which could inhibit the baits’ swimming patterns.
Pricing and Specs
|Price:||$71,999 (with test power and painted trailer)|
|Transom Deadrise:||20 degrees|
|Max Cabin Headroom:||NA|
|Fuel Capacity:||75 gal.|
|Available Power:||Twin 1.8L HO Yamaha marine engines|
Speed, Efficiency, Operation
Yamaha Jet Boat Manufacturing – Vonore, Tennessee; yamahaboats.com