By Charles Plueddeman
Yamaha AR192 and SX192 Jet Boats: Sporty and Supercharged
These 19-foot, jet boat runabouts pack a 210-hp punch with a drive-by-wire throttle that enables speed control features.
We have been telling you about the fast-changing jet boat market lately (read New Jet Boats: A Renaissance is Underway), but one thing that has not changed is Yamaha dominance in this segment. And they plan for it to remain this way, with introductions like the AR192 and its sibling the SX192, deluxe versions of the Yamaha AR/SX190 models introduced last year. These lightweight, nimble jet-powered 19-foot 2-inch runabouts are the first to be powered by the 210-hp supercharged version of the Yamaha 1.8-liter marine engine. Both models offer a lot of value and some standard features, including cruising speed control, that are rare on sterndrive-powered boats in this size range.
The AR192 is a tow-sports edition of the SX192, and Yamaha says that it expects about 60 percent of 192-series buyers to opt for the tower-equipped AR version. The 192 series models are priced a few thousand dollars higher than the 190 series boats. In addition to the supercharged engine, upgrades included with 192-series boats are a stainless steel rub rail, pull-up cleats, four Polk Audio high-performance speakers, a vinyl-wrapped dash and port console cap, a sport steering wheel, and soft Hydro-Turf material on the swim platform surfaces.
Assembled in Tennessee, the Yamaha 192 series uses the same fiberglass hull and deck parts as the 190 models. The 1812cc, four-cylinder supercharged engine, which has been offered in Yamaha WaveRunner watercraft since 2008, makes about 30 more horsepower than the 180-horsepower, naturally aspirated version of the same engine that’s used in all other Yamaha sport boats. That extra power is delivered with minimal added weight, and gassed up on its trailer the AR192 still weighs less than 3,000 pounds, according to Yamaha, and can be towed by a mid-size SUV or van.
The added power translates to a significant performance boost. I clocked the SX192 at 50.0 mph at 7700 rpm, about seven mph faster than the SX190. Note that, as is typical of jet-propelled boats, nothing really happens until engine rpm reaches 5000 rpm, a fact those coming from an outboard or sterndrive-powered boat need to get used to. I found 6000 rpm was a nice cruising speed, good for about 32 mph and 3.0 mpg, which was easy to calculate thanks to the fuel-use display in the digital instrument display. See the video below for more detail:
The rpm range of the engine and the fact that the jet pump is mounted within the hull combine to produce significant high-frequency resonance in the cockpit that I personally find to be harsh. We had a dB meter at this test, and the sound level never topped 96 dB-A, so it’s more a matter of sound frequency than actual volume. But even at cruising speed it’s hard to have a conversation in the boat. This has been an acknowledged issue with past Yamaha models, and I’ve been told a solution would add significant cost. Yamaha models are all sales leaders, and perhaps that popularity indicates that owners don’t find noise to be a issue—or at least not a deal-breaker.
|Fuel capacity||30 gal.|
The powertrain does offer some nifty features enabled by its drive-by-wire throttle. The first is Cruise Assist, an rpm-based speed control system that will hold any boat speed with the push of a button, and is great for towing because it allows the driver to focus on the water ahead and the action behind the boat, rather than the speedometer. Once set, you can toggle the button up or down through eight “clicks” to fine-tune boat speed. A second feature, No Wake Mode, can be set at one of five rpm points between 1100 and 2100 rpm (about 2 mph to 5 mph), to maintain a steady speed. It also partially drops the reverse bucket over the jet outlet to create a rudder effect (Yamaha calls Thrust Directional Enhancer) that keeps the boat on course – an idea that won Yamaha an Innovation Award (see NMMA Innovations Awards Big Wins Part 2: Raymarine, Teak Isle, Torqeedo, and Yamaha) at the 2013 Miami Boat Show.
A key highlight of the 192 series – and all Yamaha boat models – is the design of the stern lounge area, which has an easy step-through from the cockpit and a flat seating level with padded backrests above the swim platform. A wet stowage compartment here can hold ski line. The cockpit of the SX192 has a U-shaped aft bench with a pair of bucket seats at the consoles, while in the AR192 that bench wraps around all the way to the port console, and there’s a single bucket seat at the helm. Stowage below the bench seat is carpeted, which can be tough to keep dry, but the surface below the carpet is rough so it needs to be covered. Most horizontal hatches do have water-drain lips. The ski locker is lined with a rubber mesh material that drains well. A wide door in the walkthrough offers good access to stowage in the port console, which extends forward below the bow seat. The squared-off shape of the bow maximizes space forward.
|Test conditions: Calm seas, full fuel, 2 POBs|
Yamaha impresses with a nice level of finish and materials for this price range, and the 192 models feel solid in the water. The snappy power and quick steering make it possible to toss this boat around like it was a big watercraft, but it’s also happy to simply cruise along across the lake. Of course, there’s no prop to ding and no outdrive to maintain. The engine is self-draining so off-season storage is a matter of treating the fuel and snugging down the cover. Yamaha makes boating easy, and these new 192 models are a great addition to its line.
For more information, visit Yamaha Boats.
- Charles Plueddeman is Boats.com's outboard, trailer, and PWC expert. He is a former editor at Boating Magazine and contributor to many national publications since 1986.