Since Sea-Doo left the jet-boat business, its engines have been showing up in many new jet-boat designs, including Chaparral, Glastron and now Scarab, the foremost name in performance boating. Scarab’s DNA in forward-thinking style and high-tech boatbuilding comes through loud and clear on its new 255 Impulse.
A head-up display gives touch control to engine systems, stereo, ballast and more, and is used to program rider profiles for wakeboarding or surfing. Throttle control is enhanced by iNR, an industry-first intelligent neutral and reverse system. Bump up the throttle settings or drop them back at the tap of a button. You can customize the amount of touch adjustment you want from approximately 1 millimeter of throttle travel to about 15 millimeters. Five millimeters of travel gives approximately a 1 mph adjustment. With it, you won't be ham-fisted or too light on the throttle either. Set it for your particular feel.
When you do hit the throttles, jet pumps push this boat forward, and crew and ballast drive it down, making a sizable hole in the water that pushes up a big wake as the water returns to fill it. Rotax jet-pump impellers are all internal, shielded from contact, which is reassuring to swimmers hanging out off the broad transom platform — they won’t bump their shins against sharp prop blades. And the pump nozzles are tucked up under the platform, safely away from wakesurfers.
A central transom walkway gives a convenient path to the cockpit that can be shaded with a fixed Bimini top under the wakeboard arch. Inside the cockpit, seating for a huge 13-man crew is found on port and starboard L-shaped lounges with a convenient walk-through to the transom. Need more seating on the transom and less in the cockpit? Flip the seatbacks forward and the swim deck seating opens up for casual reclining while at anchor.
The upholstery of Scarab’s spacious cockpit and foredeck seating plan is sports-car firm, with enough flex to soften bumpy waters.
It’s luxury and both watersports- and family-friendly all at once.
* SeaDek mats on the platform give style and convenience for booting up on the board.
* Head compartment is more spacious than in some boats with more length and beam.
* Touchscreen display is unusually bright in full sunlight.
* Forward seating is wide and roomy thanks to its beam-forward design.
* Like most jet boats, resonance of the jet pump bolted hard to the hull creates cockpit noise not experienced in outboards or sterndrives.
* Jet boats are incredibly maneuverable, but prop-drive skills don’t apply; the internal drive mechanism offers no rudderlike assistance.
Yamaha has been building its engines and boats for decades, and the 242 Limited S ($62,499) is the result of that experience. Its Connext touchscreen interface, ballast control, and articulating keel for better tracking and control aren’t duplicated in other brands.
Price: $76,069 (with test power)
Available Power: Jet Drive
How We Tested
Engine: Twin Rotax water jets 250 hp
Impeller: Stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.00:1
Fuel Load: 20 gal.
Crew Weight: 550 lb.
Scarab Jet Boats - Cadillac, Michigan; 231-775-1351; scarabjetboats.com