Scarab hits a homer with its new 285. First, the Rotax propulsion gives this 28-footer an exciting top speed. Second, with the optional surf package, it will create a wake riders will enjoy; third, it’s styled in a crisp way that borrows from techy new automobiles.
The techiest part is the touchscreen display oriented in a head-up position like an Audi Q7. One tap gives you the skier profile page, offering five presets for your favorite riders. Another gives you a visual image of fuel burn so that you can tailor the ride for optimal mileage. Another offers cruise control and another desensitizes the throttle for easier docking. Add audio control and other cool features, and this display sets the tone for an exciting skipper experience. Styling of the dash and console is heavily trimmed in billet aluminum on items such as grab handles, switch panels, a glove-box door and more. Even the passenger has a touchscreen panel that gives audio control.
Seatbacks for the captain and mate flip forward for an aft reclining position to join wraparound seating interrupted only by a starboard-side transom walkthrough. Front seat bolsters flip up for a better view. The platform is wide and low to the water thanks to the position of the engines deep in the hull with jets—not props—extending toward the trailing edge. Rope lockers keep wet gear secure until everything can be hung to dry in port.
It might be the bow seating that gives the 285 its most remarkable features. First, the seating is wide with forward-facing lounges that join beam-to-beam seating, that faces aft.
A filler cushion or cocktail table adds options for enjoying the area. The trick to the forward seating, however, is the portside entry to the head compartment. Instead of swinging the console inward toward the front passenger seat, that side of the console is fixed; rather, the port seat forward of the console raises like a sports car’s gull-wing door to give generous access to a spacious head compartment.
All this wouldn’t matter a bit if it didn’t have performance to match. And it certainly did.
⋅A surf package on the 285 includes ballast and Scarab’s Surf Stream Wake Enhancement to shape the waves.