We Say: We think it’s about time Yamaha brought out a bay boat. Think of the applications: shallow draft for flats; no prop below the keel to dig up grass flats; and, for the convenience of owners, Yamaha’s one-stop shopping warranty that covers all the components of the boat and power plant.
Our test boat boasted a clean transom with no motor rigging to stumble over and no outboard to snag fishing lines. For casting, the transom platform is uninterrupted and so low that it’s like standing on the water. That’s because the jet pump and 1.8-liter engine are completely contained within the hull and under the deck. Yamaha tapped the jet pump to also provide Jet Wash, its version of a raw-water system to clean up after netting bait or bloodying the deck. That was smart, and there’s no pump to maintain, but if you need it on the flats, you have to run the engine.
The helm station had a surprise: The optional T-top comes off for stowage, which is another smart trick by Yamaha engineers you won’t find on traditional bay boats. And, yes, there is plenty of room for a navigation suite.
The leaning post has a reversible seat back, allowing for aft-facing seating or facing forward to drive. Jump seats flip out of the deck to either side of the skipper to keep everyone comfortable on the speedy run to the next fishing hole.
Who’d Want One: Anglers with kids.
Another Choice: Most jet fishing boats, like the SJX aluminum jet (from $34,500), are for fishing in rocky rivers.
Bottom Line: $31,999 (as tested); yamahaboats.com