Boat Test: 2024 Scarab Jet 195 ID

The Scarab Jet 195 ID is an adrenaline-fueled thrill ride that also offers a plush, passenger-friendly interior.


Jet boats were once mostly hairpin-­happy thrill rides, with  the reflexes of a slot-car. Today, they’ve matured into hot-selling family models, viable alternatives to craft propelled by propellers. Scarab Jet’s 195 ID proves that buyers can have all the benefits of the latter without forgoing the former’s high-octane fun. Sure, it’s got a broad passenger-friendly bow, cushy seating lining in the cockpit, and convertible aft seating that works while underway or at the sandbar. Our tester also featured 300 supercharged horses in the engine compartment. Crank the wheel, and it turns on the requisite dime. Jam the throttle, and it leaps forward to a near 50 mph top speed. It’s a thoroughly modern family bowrider that hasn’t forgotten its roots.

Scarab Jet 195 ID on the lake
The Jet 195 ID offers a sporty ride and nice wake. Courtesy Scarab Jet Boats

Interior and Accessories

Equip it with Scarab’s Wake Edition package, and it even nails the current trifecta, cranking out a nice recreational surf wave. That’s a tall order for any jet, let alone a 19-footer, but the 195 accomplishes it with a familiar mix. Water ballast bags—split between rear storage compartments and the in-floor ski locker, and plumbed to fill and empty at the touch of a button—add the necessary displacement to pump up wake size for both wakesurfing and wakeboarding. Surfers benefit further from a removable wake-enhancement plate. Deployed on a rider’s preferred side, this adds drag while standing the wake up taller and cleaning up its face. The result is a ­non-intimidating wave ideal for beginner to intermediate riders, with plenty of all-important push. Tweak the ballast load to further enhance the wake on a rider’s preferred side, or fine-tune fore and aft to influence shape and length. Dial-in all of the above functions via a 12-inch touchscreen. Ballast, speed, acceleration and more can be easily reproduced for ­individual riders.

Scarab Jet 195 ID helm
A 12-inch dash touchscreen controls most boat functions. Courtesy Scarab Jet Boats
Scarab Jet 195 ID bow seating
The squared-off bow cockpit is roomy. Courtesy Scarab Jet Boats

Like many Scarab models, the appearance of both exterior and interior is ridiculously customizable. The 195 ID is available in a choice of five standard hull colors, with an additional six options offering the manufacturer’s trademark Impulse graphic. Another variation is available in three-dimensional MarineMat, combining style with scuff protection while docking. The deck is available in a choice of white or black. For the interior, go with neutral white-and-gray or opt for a rich cognac, cool-touch black or the colorful pop of four bold accent colors. As one of ­Scarab’s reps noted, it’s the Burger King approach: Have it your way.

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Scarab Jet 195 ID foiling
A trio of wake-enhancing ballast bags boost the wake’s volume. Courtesy Scarab Jet Boats
Scarab Jet 195 ID aft seating
The center backrest does double duty as a convenient transom walk-through. Courtesy Scarab Jet Boats

High Points

  • Drive Control modes include an eco ­setting, cruise control and tamer-­response docking mode.
  • Intelligent Debris Free pump system provides push-button reversal of the driveshaft to flush weeds and debris.
  • Wake Edition package includes folding watersports tower, board racks, ballast system, removable wake-enhancement plate for surfing, and integrated ­touchscreen controls.

Low Points

  • On the whole, jets are less efficient than prop-driven boats. Noisier too.
  • Keep in mind the target audience. Advanced surf riders might long for ­bigger, better wakes.
  • With threaded attachment points below the waterline, the wake-enhancement plate proves cumbersome to install on the water.

Toughest Competitor

Yamaha’s AR195 (starting at $45,999, with a single 1.8-liter Super Vortex High Output engine) can be outfitted with a wakesurf package. AR195’s interior is not as plush as the Scarab, nor does it offer the Scarab’s array of colors and graphics. 

Scarab Jet 195 ID performance data
Scarab Jet 195 ID Certified Test Results Boating Magazine

How We Tested

  • Engine: Single Rotax Marine 300 ACE
  • Drive/Impeller: Waterjet/161 mm diameter, 13-21-pitch, stainless-steel impeller
  • Gear Ratio: 1.00:1 Fuel Load: 20 gal. Crew Weight: 700 lb.

Pricing and Specs

Price:$61,475 (with Rotax 300 ACE)
Draft (max):1’0″
Displacement:2,460 lb.
Transom Deadrise:20 degrees
Bridge Clearance:3’10”
Fuel Capacity:31 gal.
Max Horsepower:300
Available Power:Singe Rotax 230 or Rotax 300 waterjet

Scarab Jet Boats – Cadillac, Michigan;