More and more runabout manufacturers are jumping on the wakeboard bandwagon. Yamaha’s 212X offers the sport more than just lip service. Want big air? The standard water-sports tower boosts riders to new heights by anchoring the tow rope high above the water. It incorporates board racks to minimize cockpit clutter and collapses for storage. Towers may be a dime a dozen nowadays, but Yamaha also adds ballast and speed control to the mix. Twin 50-gallon water bags pump up the wake with as much as 750 pounds of additional weight, yet don’t sacrifice stowage space when empty. Once the load is dialed in, the 212’s Cruise Assist does a respectable job of keeping speeds steady. I pegged my speed at 22 mph and then let my rider strut his stuff without the annoying surges common to a human hand on the throttle.
Yamaha no longer advertises horsepower, but a little sleuthing reveals the 212’s twin 1.8-liter high-output engines pump out around 360 ponies, the most the company has ever put in a 21-foot boat. You feel it from the moment you punch the throttle, whether you’re trying to pop a rider out of the water or just simply showing off. I noted a blistering 2.6-second time to plane and reached 30 mph in a brief 3.75 seconds. That’s lunge-for-the-grab-bars power. And unlike some jets, those horses don’t lose traction in the corners. I railed the boat through a carnival ride’s worth of hairpin turns only to blast right out the other side without ever blowing out the pump.
For all its focus on fun, the 212X is not just a big kid’s toy. It’s got grown-up style — and manners. Forward, the reverse sheer line and flare open up bow space, contributing to its nine-passenger capacity. Aft, a clever platform design makes a good spot to gear up for water sports as well as creating additional seating for crew while lounging at anchor. The boat’s most mannerly feature just may be Yamaha’s directional thrust enhancer. At slower speeds, it uses the reverse bucket to redirect water flow at a downward angle to quicken up the steering response and reduce low-speed wander.
Comparable model: Sea-Doo 210 Wake
Yamaha Jet Boat Manufacturing – Vonore, Tennessee; yamahaboats.com