After we tested the new Yamaha 210 FSH Sport, I had to analyze my attraction to center console boats. It’s a puzzle because I am not much of an angler, and I don’t live in the warmer coastal region where center console boats are indigenous. What I love about the center console format is standing at the wheel; with my eyes high, I have a better view all around, and on my feet, I feel more athletic and ready for action. You sit in a runabout like you sit in a car. In a center console, you stand at the helm and feel nautical.
The Yamaha 210 FSH Sport combines that attractive function of a center console with some key features — most notably its jet-drive propulsion — that make it a boat suited for not just angling but also a variety of general-purpose boating fun. The 210 FSH Sport is certainly fishy. There are rod holders galore, a 26-gallon livewell, an insulated fish box, a trolling-motor mount, and room for big electronics and even a raw-water washdown system. But the 210 FSH also has bowrider-style seating forward, a changing compartment in the console, and a wide-open transom design that is not only fishable but also swimmable and towable because there’s no outboard in the way.
The fact that the 210 FSH lacks both an outboard and a brand name associated with angling may be a hurdle for some buyers shopping for a center console in this price range. The Yamaha 210 FSH Sport is priced at $44,499 on a painted trailer. With a 150 hp outboard, a comparably equipped Grady-White 191 Coastal Explorer ($58,800) or Wellcraft 222 Fisherman ($52,500) perhaps has an attractive angling pedigree, but the Yamaha 210 FSH is aimed at a different customer. Get this: 70 percent of the owners of the 19-foot Yamaha 190 FSH use the boat for towing kids on tubes. The 210 FSH Sport is likewise an alternative to a runabout for the buyer who doesn’t consider “family fishing” oxymoronic.
There are three versions of the 210 FSH, each based on the 21-foot-3-inch hull that was new last season under the SX210 runabout. A pair of 130 hp Yamaha TR-1 three-cylinder jet powertrains is located below the aft deck. To the base 210 FSH ($39,499), the 210 FSH Deluxe ($41,999) adds wiring for dual batteries, a stainless-steel rub rail, head-compartment curtain, trolling-motor mount and upgraded upholstery. To that list, the 210 FSH Sport adds an aluminum T-top, and Yamaha expects the Sport to account for most of this model’s production.
Like most current center console boats, the 210 FSH provides seating on raised bases in the bow, with removable cushions that can be left on the dock when fishing is the focus of an outing. There’s stowage below the port seat, and to starboard is an insulated fish box (or beverage box) with overboard drain. Abaft each seat base Yamaha adds a cabinet that serves as a fixed backrest for the seat, a tabletop surface, and stowage for small items in shelves built into a door. These cabinets consume some deck space and could impede the fishing action, but they make the bow area a better lounging space.
There’s a doublewide seat on the front of the center console, which lifts open with a zippered canvas privacy curtain, and there’s room for a portable head. We like the molded step that will make it easier for kids to climb in and out of the console.
At the helm, analog tachs flank a 4.3-inch Connext touchscreen display that reports all other engine and performance info. There’s a blank space to the right for owner-installed electronics; our test boat was equipped with a large Garmin EchoMap sv, and it and the Yamaha screen are both NMEA-compatible to send its data to accessory electronics.
The bi-level transom, identical to Yamaha runabouts, is a feature we’ve long appreciated. It’s a great lounge space and also offers unimpeded access to the water for casting and retrieving fish. The transom is enabled by the compact, low-profile Yamaha jet-drive system. The jet advantages include no props to ding, no drives to trim, a draft at rest of just 17 inches, and perhaps of 6 inches on plane — all great for maneuvering through shallow or stump-infested waters.
The 210 FSH planes with no bow rise, and Yamaha seems to have dialed in the running angle of this hull because I never felt the urge to trim the bow up. We might miss trim, however, with four passengers and a load of gear on board. Typical of jet power, 5,500 rpm is required for reasonable cruising speed, and wide-open throttle is a buzzy 7,800 rpm. Yamaha has made real progress in quieting driveline noise in its current boats, but the high-frequency tone of the engines and pumps is still less-pleasant company than a four-stroke outboard. That’s the only real compromise of jet power; its advantages, and a smart center console layout, make the Yamaha 210 FSH a stand-up option for a family that wants to do it all on the water.
- Jet power: less draft, less maintenance and more transom than an outboard.
- Drain channels express water from the console seat cushion.
- Rudderlike articulated keel improves tracking at high and low speeds.
- Anchor locker hatch that opens inboard makes it a pain to reach the anchor.
- Kill-switch lanyard constantly snags on the steering wheel.
- No overhead stowage box on the T-top.
Price: $44,499 (with test power)
How We Tested Engine: Twin 1.0-liter Yamaha Marine TR-1 High Output jet drives Drive/Prop: 155 mm jet drive with stainless-steel impeller Gear Ratio: 1.00:1 Fuel Load: 25 gal. Crew Weight: 420 lb.
Yamaha Jet Boat Manufacturing – Vonore, Tennessee; yamahaboats.com