If you had to describe the Scarab Open 195 Fish in one word, it would be FUN! Although plenty of other words come to mind, too, such as versatile, innovative, and safe. This boat doesn’t have one specific mission; rather, it can support many different roles from towing water toys, sandbar relaxing, exhilarating maneuvers, and, of course, fishing. It’s the angling aspect of this boat that separates it from its jet-powered siblings.
The Jet Set
Propulsion is accomplished by a jet pump powered by a Rotax engine. Nothing protrudes below the bottom of the hull. This is much more forgiving than an outboard’s lower unit in unfamiliar shallow water -- that means no damaged props and no broken shafts or gears.
A shaft guard keeps things like weeds and ski ropes from interrupting operation, plus, there’s no propeller for an extra margin of safety when people are in the water around the boat.
Historically, jet-powered boats have had maneuverability challenges, especially at low speeds. The lack of a lower unit or skeg makes some jet-powered craft somewhat more difficult to control in certain circumstances. Scarab has addressed that issue with the use of a newly-designed machined aluminum reverse bucket, which is independent of the jet nozzle. This is an important design and provides the ability to use thrust vectoring for turning and holding the boat in neutral.
Now, at rest, when steering left or right, the bow reacts by pivoting in the same direction as the turn. This is not only a welcome improvement but something conventional prop propulsion can’t do. The fly-by-wire shift and throttle control precisely use just the amount of thrust necessary for station keeping. It is very useful when navigating in current or wind.
- Hinged tailgate with gas shock assist
- Console changing room with room for optional toilet
- Dual tow points, tower and stern
- Bow and Stern casting decks
- Rod holders
- Baitwell and fish box
- Jet power with “Intelligent Neutral & Reverse”
- Affordable price
Removable pads allow for comfortable bow seating and thick closed-cell EVA foam pads provide back support. A center fill-in cushion creates a full sun pad. Stow the pads and drop in the optional fishing seat, and the bow area converts from seating to angling. A trolling motor plug, pre-wired, is optional, but we didn’t see an obvious mounting pad for the electric motor. Below the four hatches are storage, an anchor locker, and an insulated draining fish box.scarab_open195fish_bow1_2017.JPGThe bow casting deck is large and has four hatches that lead to storage plus a fishing seat pedestal base.
Center Console Command Station
At the helm, there’s plenty of room for flush-mounted electronics and a Scarab custom gauge cluster. Tilt steering and a molded-in storage tray are standard as well as a compass, which would be easier to use for navigation if it were mounted along the centerline of the steering wheel.
A single lever fly-by-wire shift and throttle can be adjusted through the instrument cluster to set the boat’s neutral speed for greater control of low-speed maneuverability. When specking out your boat, be sure to opt for the Kicker Premium Sound package, which includes six speakers, a subwoofer, and transom remote control.
Privacy and Convenience
The entire face of the center console swings up, supported by gas shocks. This gives access to a changing room with enough room for an optional head. The console door has a molded seat with cushion for forward-facing seating.
The helm leaner seat is mounted on top of the stern casting deck and can spin 180 degrees to face aft while at rest. An optional fishing seat can be installed just aft of the leaner, which is flanked by twin jump seats that fold flat to extend the casting deck area. Behind the jumps seats are two hatches that lead to systems access and a plumbed baitwell.
Perhaps the most unusual feature of the Scarab Open 195 Fish is its actuating tailgate. In the up position, there’s enough room to sit facing aft with legs and feet between the stern casting deck and the aft gate. A stainless-steel hand rail is for safety.
When deployed, the tailgate extends the stern platform for increased fishing room or to make getting back into the boat a breeze. We were surprised how sturdy the deck was in the open position, and gas shocks kept it from slamming down.
The tailgate should always be up in the closed position while underway.
Exhilarating jet ski-like performance is provided by a 200-hp supercharged three-cylinder Rotax engine. An optional 250-hp engine is available. Either choice incorporates a closed-loop cooling system that will help to extend the engines’ life, especially when operating in a salt water environment.
Our test boat was equipped with a 250-hp Rotax Supercharged engine and had an estimated test weight of 3,250 lbs. We hit a top speed of 41.9 mph at 7900 rpm. Best cruise came in at 6500 rpm where we ran 26.8 mph and burned 9 gph.
The boat jumped up on plane in just over five seconds and hit 20 mph (17.4 knots) in 5.66 seconds and reached 30 mph (26.1 knots) in 8.87 seconds.
Ride and Handling
We tested the Scarab Open 195 Fish on the intercostal waterway in a light chop. She performed well in all our maneuverability tests. Through a series of 180 degree turns as well as aggressive ‘S’ turns, the boat had no tendency to spin out. The handling was predictable, and running across the chop was smooth. At the end of the test, there was not one drop of water on the windshield.
We were most impressed by the low-speed maneuvering, expecting the boat to wander like other jets we’ve run. Around the dock, we could get the boat to “hover” anywhere we wanted her to go. By turning the steering wheel in conjunction with feathering the throttle, the boat can be spun in place and eased up to the dock.
Down the Road
Our Scarab was delivered on a standard custom-built trailer with chrome wheels. For protection and longevity, the trailer was painted with an industrial coating much like a pickup bed liner.
Base: $35,367 with single 200 Rotax 3-cyl jet.
- 250-hp Supercharged Engine
- Premium Sound Package
- Bow Cushions
- Battery Charger
- Marine Mat Cockpit Flooring
- Folding T-Top
- Rod Holders
- Cockpit Table
- Trolling Motor and Wiring
- Wake Board Ballast and Racks
- Bimini Top
If the mission for the boat is watersports, it’s hard to beat the safety factor of a jet drive -- particularly if small children are involved. The ease of control would make this a great platform for a spouse, who may not be very experienced, to gain confidence at the helm. The versatility of the design means buyers don’t have to compromise when choosing a boat that will fit the entire family’s lifestyle. Up to eight passengers can cruise together.
Top speeds in the 40s and the ability to jump on plane in about five seconds will satisfy the kids wanting to be pulled on the tube while the fishing seats and baitwell allow dad to fish with his buddies. Trailering can be accomplished by a modest sized truck or SUV with a towed weight in the 3,500-pound range.
Overall, we think that this is an innovative package that has something for all family members and is a good value.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Scarab Open 195 Fish (2017-) is 41.9 mph (67.4 kph), burning 18.0 gallons per hour (gph) or 68.13 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Scarab Open 195 Fish (2017-) is 26.8 mph (43.1 kph), and the boat gets 3.0 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.28 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 83 miles (133.58 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 250-hp Rotax Supercharged.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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