BOAT TEST: YAMAHA WAVERUNNER FX HO


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Cruising, skiing, boarding and fishing, PWCs can do them all

BOAT TEST: YAMAHA WAVERUNNER FX HO
YAMAHA WAVERUNNER FX HO

The WaveRunner FX HO is the next cab off the rank as we run down the Japanese giant's PWC model line-up. Like any craft, or product in the marine industry, technology and designs have to change to keep up with the times, and the longstanding Yamaha brand has once again come up with the goods, and "goods" they are!

Take a quick trip back down memory lane and think about the first jetski you rode, or set your eyes upon - it's quite something to see how far technology has come over the decades.

After previously testing a range of PWCs, I was more than obliged to meet up with the Yamaha team at Atkinson's Dam, just outside of Brisbane, to try out the new Yamaha WaveRunner FX HO (High Output). On arrival I was immediately impressed with what I saw, a PWC that's a definite eye-catcher thanks to the aerodynamic, flowing lines and design, and if the performance was going to be as good as the looks, I was definitely in for a treat.

 

 

WEIGHT WATCHER

The Yamaha FX HO weighs in at a mere 360kg (dry weight). Some might think that this is quite heavy for a craft of this size, but it's not, and quite comparable to the weight of a well kitted out 4 to 5m boat.

Getting this PWC on and off the trailer is not a difficult task, even for the novice, whether manually winching them up, or when submerging the trailer to drive on. For the beach launchers, naturally a bit of physical manpower and the aid of some inflatable rollers will have you through the shore-break and offshore in no time.

 

 

UNDER THE HOOD

The Yamaha FX HO boasts a compact and lightweight 1812cc naturally aspirated, high-output motor, which includes EFI (electronic fuel injection) and YEMS (Yamaha Engine Management System), which controls and adjusts a number of functions on the WaveRunner. By creating such a motor far better power and economy has been achieved by Yamaha. Even though this is not a supercharged model, the power in this machine is still something not far from a "too fast too furious machine" on water.

The controls are simple and include smooth and well-positioned steering control, throttle, trim, and function buttons. Being as user friendly as it is, it definitely takes the time out of having to fiddle around getting used to the controls. You're out on the water almost straight away. You don't need to be a rocket scientist, or have a degree to operate one of these - even gran and gramps can do it!

 

 

BLAST OFF

This is another machine that literally blasts off when the hammer is hit. As Imentioned before the FX HO is not supercharged, but definitely packs enough of a punch when it comes to getting "out of the hole" and up to top speed.

The initial power out of the hole is fast, but also smooth, and within a short space of time I had it cranked up around the 115kmh (62.1kts) mark. Now that, apparently, is not the top speed and once worn in you can get a few more legs out of it. But let's not forget that 100kmh (54kts) on water is pretty fast and although it's an exhilarating experience, such high-speed runs should be left for the more experienced.

She also had so much power that having two adults riding and pulling the youngsters around on skis wasn't a problem. Another notable part of the performance was the vessel's handling during the speed tests. The FX HO has a progressive, stepper draft V-hull with an integrated bow spray guard. Basically, what that means is that this design provides better manoeuvrability, stability, handling, comfort, and a dryer ride. These attributes were duly noted when stationary, at low speeds and at high speeds, very high speeds.

Civilised riding on the FX HO was consistent with its smooth, stable, and dry ride. When it came to a bit of free-styling, you can throw this hull around throughout the speed range. But what I liked was the hull's ability to softly slide into tight turns rather than bite, which can be a lot fun if you can keep yourself under control.

Another two functions on the FX HO that contribute to its performance are the quick-shift trim system and cruise control. Just like on a boat, being able to adjust your trim to suit the conditions makes a big difference to the ride. The trim is mechanically operated by the left hand and is either clicked down to lift the bow, or up to lower it to suit.

The cruise control is another great feature to have. Setting it is simple and on long runs fatigue in the hand and forearm is definitely reduced, as well as the constant speed helping to maintain a smoother ride in rougher conditions.

 

 

WHAT'S IT GOT?

Like most new-age, high-tech craft, the Yamaha FX HO has many features to offer in its precision layout. The standard layout includes 89.6lt of storage, which consists of a 75lt cooler, rear storage tub and glovebox. Other features are easy-to-read digital and analogue gauges, dual convex mirrors, four-step tilt steering, comfortable seating, a large reboarding platform at the stern (with a small step-up ladder that makes it easy for the old timers to get on), and Yamaha's trademarked visibility spout from the rear of the craft, which increases visibility.

Also of note for the technically minded are NanoXcel deck and hull, slant-detection switch, multi-function meter, "industry first" remote-controlled transmitter, security mode/low-rpm mode, scavenger-pump assisted wet sump, 155mm hyper-flow jet pump propulsion system - with newly designed three-blade stainless steel impeller and 87mm diameter pump nozzle and stainless steel impeller housing liner high-flow intake duct. For more information on the full specs and features go to the Yamaha website at www.yamaha-motor.com.au

 

 

FISHABILITY

Good power, stability and economy are the characteristics required when it comes to fishing from a PWC, and that's what you get on the FX HO WaveRunner.

As mentioned previously, the FX HO has notable stability, cruise control, and no-wake mode. For fishing, this stability is a necessary characteristic to have when drifting or angling on the anchor, and when you have to move from side to side fighting a fish. When simulating this I did not get the feeling that I was going to fall off at any stage.

When it comes to trolling the cruise control is a handy asset, and helps to maintain constant troll speeds. The no-wake mode, intended for no-wake zones, is set to 4kmh (2.1kts), which is actually a fairly good slow troll speed, and quite suitable for trolling baits.

The benefits of fishing off craft like these are you never have to rely on crew, because the craft are easy to handle alone - they can handle offshore conditions and surf, and are fairly economical. At the end of the day, there are many opinions as to how you should rig one up to suit your fishing style, but a good start would be getting some offshore safety gear, a decent GPS/sounder, a few rodholders, and a fish bag of sorts.

 

 

THE CONCLUSION

The Yamaha FX HO can be used for many applications such as cruising, fishing, skiing, tow-in surfing and wakeboarding. They are easy to handle and tow (even if you have two of them on a double trailer), they can be stored in a garage, and they are well priced for what you get.

But wait, there's more… The other day while fishing the Mooloolaba River, a new Yamaha WaveRunner came past with the father driving, his passengers were his daughter and a large Siberian husky and to top it off, the son was being towed on a wakeboard. Who says PWCs have only limited applications?

 

 

 

 

SPECIFICATINS: Yamaha Waverunner FX HO

 

 

 

HOW MUCH?

Price as tested: $18,975

 

 

GENERAL

Length: 3.37m

Beam: 1.23m

Height: 1.16m

Weight: 360kg (dry)

 

 

CAPACITIES

Storage: 100lt

Fuel: 70lt

Riders: 3

 

 

ENGINE

Type: DOHC EFI four-cylinder four-stroke

Displacement: 1812cc

Bore x stroke: 86mm x 78mm

Compression ratio: 11.0:1

 

 

DRIVE

Jet pump: 155mm Axial Flow

Impeller: Stainless steel three-blade

 

 

SUPPLIED BY

Yamaha Motor Australia

Phone: (07) 3906 7000

Fax: (07) 3906 7099

Web: www.yamaha-motor.com.au

Find Yamaha Waverunner boats for sale.

 


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