Walleye anglers are tough as nails. They ply large, open waters in high winds with heavy seas—and half the time, they do it in temperatures that keep most anglers sitting by the fire—so Yar-Craft builds the 219 TFX to be tougher. Its high freeboard knocks down seas. Its sharp stem and deep-V bottom cleave waves other boats bash into and over. Its open cockpit provides the right combination of clear deck space and needed casting decks.
Our test of the 219 was atypical for walleye tournaments; a bluebird day in 90 degrees with little to no wind. So, we pressed the throttle forward, popped it up on plane in 3 seconds and passed through 30 mph in 6.4 seconds. Top speed was 67-plus miles per hour with the supercharged Mercury 400 R—proving there was plenty of torque to battle seas and speed to make sure you didn’t have to. We carved double-up wakes, then sliced back through them, simulating the kind of seas that wouldn’t deter a walleye guy; we were pleased with the comfortable crossing.
We were protected in the cockpit behind a tall windshield with roomy helm and passenger consoles. The helm itself is arranged to accept a 12-inch GPS chart plotter. Membrane-touch switches are waterproof. The hydraulic steering wheel tilts. The passenger console has a pair of grab rails if it does get rough—but mostly they serve as a handy way to pull up to one’s feet to attack the next fishing hole.
Two steps to the foredeck conceal dry storage and a cooler. On the deck itself is a large rod locker, ample dry-storage boxes and a pair of compartments ideal for a pair of Engel 19-quart live-bait coolers.
Storage buckets in the aft compartment lift out to access pumps below deck, and the hatches themselves lift off, making access even easier. For secure footing, our nonskid deck was covered in Sea Dek—a good look that also reduces fatigue from standing to fish all day. Our predominantly red-and-white tester gleamed on the water thanks to highly polished gelcoat and judicious use of metal-flake accents. There are thousands of color choices to customize your boat.
⋅A measuring board slides from its vertical rack at the helm; behind it is a slot for stowing a landing net.
⋅Moving from cockpit to foredeck is comfortable and easy thanks to steps with cooler and dry storage.