We Say: Whew! What a ride. The mightiest model in the shortest of the new Scarab jet-boat fleet for 2015, the 250 hp 165 HO Impulse proved nimble enough to turn practically in its own length — at wide-open throttle. That the boat offers ample stowage space and a capacity for five passengers is as remarkable as the driving experience enjoyed from its wide-open cockpit. Sitting tight in two of the three available forward-facing, spring suspension bucket seats for the test, my partner and I fairly flew over the top of the considerable chop that tried to slap us from the sleek, neon-color craft. We made wide-open, downwind runs that topped 50 mph at 8,000 rpm and had us grinning. We gripped the wheel and handholds in anticipation of jolts and jarring that never materialized as the 21-degree deadrise hull creased the waves. The 165 HO Impulse can execute almost scarily tight turns and maneuvers at speed. When it came time to dock the boat in tight quarters, it became apparent that I could use more practice time at the controls of a spirited jet boat that’s raring to go the instant it’s slipped into gear.
Who’d Want One: Thrill-seeking boaters wanting the sharpest-looking 16-footer afloat.
Another Choice: The Scarab 165 HO Impulse owns its segment for jet boats that are under 16 feet. The closest jet-powered sport boat is Yamaha‘s 210 hp AR192 ($32,999).
Bottom Line: $28,067 (with test power and trailer); scarabjetboats.com