Captain's ReportA New PWC Joins the Fleet: Yamaha's FX HO with NanotechnologyBy Captain John B. WenzIt seems that every year Yamaha introduces at least one “Industry First” with the new WaveRunner lineup. It is said by some that PWCs are the future of boating. The Yamaha Motor Corporation seems to buy into this philosophy, and continues to apply significant resources toward that future. The FX High Output is the lowest priced WaveRunner model featuring Yamaha’s exclusive material, NanoXcel. Yamaha - an Industry InnovatorYamaha WaterCraft Group has been a leader in the PWC Industry right out of the blocks. They were first to introduce the two-person watercraft in 1986, and first with a three-person model in 1990. 2002 saw Yamaha introduce the first four-stroke powered PWC, and in 2006 it started the "cruiser" concept along with the innovative instrument package and built-in fuel flow meter. In 2008, Yamaha once again introduced an industry first -- NanoExcel, a lightweight strong material used in its PWCs.
Nanotechnology. Engineering at the molecular levelSimply put, nanotechnology is molecular engineering of raw materials. The application of this process results in huge improvements in the mechanical, chemical, and electrical properties of certain materials. The number of potential and actual uses of this stuff is tremendous and it promises a revolution in the way we live. Yamaha is one of the first manufacturers, and certainly the first in the PWC business, to have put it to use and the results are very positive indeed. Yamaha’s proprietary material, NanoXcel, creates a hull, deck, and hull liner that are up to 25% lighter than those built with conventional laminates; the benefits of light weight are marked increases in speed, acceleration, and responsiveness. In addition, the material is said to be much more durable and the finish seems almost gem-like, uniform and smooth.
Reliability on the InsideClean and quiet, the Yamaha High-Output MR-1 was designed exclusively for marine use. The 1052cc 4-stroke engine delivers all the fun and exhilaration of sportier PWCs, yet it has enough pulling power to pull boarders and skiers or take up to three passengers for an enjoyable ride. A high volume intake box with water repellent air filter, dry sump lubrication, and a corrosion protection system provide the dependability you want for extended cruising and long engine life. Yamaha’s computerized engine management system controls and adjusts fuel and ignition parameters and provides for off throttle steering, and a slant detection switch shuts the motor down immediately in the event of overturning to prevent water ingestion.
More Great FeaturesThe dashboard and mirrors are said to be reminiscent of a touring sports car, yet the entire package is more like a high-end touring motorcycle. A sistership to Yamaha’s FX Cruiser HO, this craft is priced at $12,199. She is 131.5” long, has a beam of 48.4”, a height of 45.7”. She has storage space totaling 26.4 gallons, including a big locker forward, one under the seat, a glove box, and a small waterproof locker for your wallet and/or cell phone. There’s a self-draining beverage holder within easy reach of the operator. A fold-down boarding step and rugged, non-slip surface allow for easy boarding onto the sizable aft deck. Steering tilt is adjustable to keep you comfortable on those long cruises. And, introduced a couple of years back, a low rpm mode limits the throttle range for novices and includes a remote controlled security system and which can be activated from up to 30 feet away.
There’s a comprehensive digital instrument package in easy view of the operator, and on-the-fly trim control offers 24 degrees of adjustment with a twist of the left handgrip; it's especially popular with the offshore crowd. Yamaha’s trademarked “Visibility Spout”, from the rear of the craft, makes all Yamaha PWCs more visible for safety.
The difficult thing to precisely measure when testing PWCs is acceleration. These things take off so fast that the processor used in radar guns struggles to keep up and the readings lag. And that’s true across the board for everybody out there. I will tell you this: by the seat of the pants method, when comparing identical craft, one with NanoXcel and one without, the difference is very clear. The new technology is definitely faster, feels livelier and more “spirited” for lack of a better word. I noticed from my first try that the acceleration was quicker and the ride seems to be on a slicker surface, almost as if there were an oil film on the water. I never thought I’d say this, but it adds a new dimension to PWC riding. I look forward to the advances that Nanotechnology promises. This is truly the wave of the future, and Yamaha seems to have embraced it wholeheartedly on the FX HO WaveRunner. If you have to go out of your way to give this PWC a try, do so. It’s worth the effort. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Yamaha FX HO (2011-) is 63.3 mph (101.9 kph), burning 13.8 gallons per hour (gph) or 52.23 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Yamaha FX HO (2011-) is 45.4 mph (73.1 kph), and the boat gets 6.17 miles per gallon (mpg) or 2.62 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 103 miles (165.76 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x Yamaha 1.8L 1812cc 4-stroke.
- Time from 0 to 30 of the Yamaha FX HO (2011-) is 2.2 sec. seconds.
Standard and Optional Features
1 year limited warranty