If the name Scarab makes you think of Sonny Crockett blasting around Biscayne Bay chasing bad guys in Miami Vice, well, think again. This isn’t the big oceangoing 38-footer you might remember: It’s way, way better.
First of all, the Scarab 195 Open has a center console steering station, and second, it’s water-jet-powered. These two features combine to help make this new boat a sport utility for the water: wakeboard, dive, fish, water-ski, tube and just have fun with your family. Easily towed (2,600 pounds dry weight) even behind smaller tow vehicles, the 195 will be loved by all because — ta-da — it has an enclosed head! The Scarab 195 Open clearly fulfills the promise of weekend adventures in a size, and at a price, that will appeal to many a boater.
Scarab Jet Boats (Groupe Beneteau, Cadillac) acquired the tooling for the former Sea-Doo 18-foot-10-inch bowrider hull, but then they redesigned the interior from a blank sheet of paper. Most visible (and most impressive) is the fold-down tailgate seemingly stolen from your Ford F-150.
The tailgate is a brilliant idea because it gives you a buttoned-up transom when you want it, as well as a perfect water-level boarding platform for everyone, from swimmers to wakeboarders.
Not so immediately visible, but a huge bonus, is the enclosed head hidden in the center console. This makes the 195 Open very family-friendly, especially when little ones (and ladies) need a bathroom stop. It’s useful for more than just the Dometic portable toilet: With over 5 feet of headroom inside the console, you have enough space to change out of that wet bathing suit.
The 195 Open has two configurations: Open and Open Fish. Our test boat was the Open, which doesn’t have the fishing gear. We did have the optional watersports tower with high tow point and Bimini top, which hinges for garage storage. Flip-up seats by the helm convert to walkways, and a sun pad is aft.
Standard power is a 250 hp three-cylinder supercharged and intercooled Rotax 4-Tec power train, which gets to 41 mph in a hurry and howls past 30 mph in a mere seven seconds. Twin channels in the hull give the 195 Open straight-line tracking on rails and turns that won’t spin out.
Short take: The Scarab 195 Open is a great boat for all sorts of reasons. You’ll love it.
* A fully enclosed head in a 19-foot boat. Amazing!
* The fold-down transom makes watersports easy, safe and fun.
* Thoughtfully designed, with lots of stowage and wide walkways.
* Good hull form gets rid of any squirrelly water-jet handling issues.
How We Tested
Engine: 250 hp Rotax 4-Tec gas water jet
Drive/Prop: Jet pump
Gear Ratio: 1:1
Fuel Load: 31 gal.
Crew Weight: 450 lb.
Scarab Jet Boats Cadillac, Michigan; 231-775-1351; scarabjetboats.com