Captain's ReportAn Experience the Whole Family Will LoveBy Captain John B. WenzDo you enjoy the finer things in life? Do you like good value? If your answer is “yes” to both questions and you’re in the market for a boat in the 20 to 25 foot range, go straight to the nearest Yamaha boat dealer. Ask to see the 232 Limited. It will be a pleasant surprise. This is their luxury model, and it has a not-so-luxury price tag.
Yamaha’s designers were the first to turn the transom of a small boat into a new venue on the boat.
In my opinion, the entire Yamaha boat lineup is a big “sleeper”. They’re darn good boats, loaded with features and value. But the public has yet to recognize the inherent advantages in the waterjet propulsion system nor do people typically compare these boats to I/O runabouts and bowriders in this size range. I see this scenario as somewhat similar to when Audi introduced the Quattro four-wheel drive automobiles. It took a while for people to “get-it”, but once they did, four-wheel drive became extremely popular. The other aspect of this situation is the stigma that was created when the first two-stroke jet boats first came on the market. The first attempt at transitioning customers from inline PWC seating, these things resembled noisy, floating bathtubs. But that description is far from how I would describe the 232 Limited. I recently took a close look. Here’s what I found.About the BoatFor starters, this boat is a complete package. But don’t be fooled -- Yamaha doesn’t give you things like fenders and boat hooks. They leave the “Coast Guard Package” for the dealer to handle. What they do include are things like twin engines and a swim platform. That’s the kind of stuff which is hard to find, even as an option on a boat of this size. The 232 Limited is built on Yamaha’s 23 foot hull. It’s got an 8’6” beam and a 20 degree deadrise, making the hull shape very suitable for the intended use. The draft is only 16”, less when on a plane. That’s great news these days, given the lack of money for dredging, plus the new emphasis on protecting the environment. Take a look on deck and you notice the fine upholstery offering really comfortable seating for ten. The bow seats offer room for me to stretch my legs out, and I’ve got a 34-inch inseam. I’m often cheated when it comes to legroom, but not here. There’s lots of storage underneath the seats, so you can bring everything you need for a day out on the water and it won’t be lying around the deck. There are stainless handrails in handy places, as well as stainless cup holders. For the skipper, they’ve installed a captain’s chair with an adjustable bolster. It’s not the most comfortable captain’s chair I’ve ever sat in, but it’s suitable, and the bolster offered a great view.
The 232 can be used for entertaining as well as watersports.
The instrument layout is efficient and logical; dual tachs on either side of a speedo, with a compass, a depth finder, and a row of rocker switches. It’s all standard, so nothing looks like an afterthought. And since you need to have a soundtrack to your boating adventures, they’ve included a Sony stereo with CD player, Sirius, and an MP3 input. Additional creature comforts are much appreciated- a bimini top, a cockpit table, and a nicely finished head compartment. Don’t look for a factory installed toilet, though. They’ve left it up to the dealer to include as an aftermarket option. That’s a smart idea, given the different ways people use this boat. The finish work on the entire boat is excellent. It’s consistent with the classy little details like the wood-grain dash, the snap-in Berber carpeting, the finished head compartment and the color-matched gel coat in the engine compartment. In fact, the builder’s fine execution of the 232 Limited will force you take a second look at the price tag.
Under the seats in the raised swim platform is a good storage area and access to the pump impellers in the water jets.
The Entertainment Center
The best part of this boat, for my money, is the swim platform. It’s the center of activity on the 232 Limited when you’re anchored at your favorite beach or cove, and rightly so. The deck surfaces are covered in what they call Hydro-Turf mats, and backrest cushions are integrated in the design. There’s a mount for the cockpit table, so you can enjoy refreshments at the water’s edge. A freshwater shower and a remote for the stereo complete the details, and the platform lifts to provide storage underneath. The design offers a smooth transition between being in the water and being in the cockpit. Think about it; when you spend the day with your family on a boat like this what do the kids want to do? Anchor so they can get in the water. This boat offers the perfect platform for that kind of family fun.
Jet drives are not only safer but they also give superior acceleration performance.
We cruised around one of the lake systems in Central Florida to do a little sightseeing. The connecting canals offered shallow, environmentally sensitive wetlands to cruise through. The water jet propulsion systems didn’t appear to affect the fragile plant and animal life at all. In terms of performance data, I was impressed by what I saw. We rocketed up out of the hole in 2 ½ seconds, and reached thirty in 4.8 seconds. Our top speed was 50.3 MPH, and we figured that we could cruise for 171 miles at 28.4 MPH on a tank full of gas.
A Class Act
The 232 Limited is as good looking as she is functional and durable. It will serve your whole family well for a long day on the water. When the day ends, this is a classy ride for the adults to take a harbor cruise or go for a nice dinner at that waterfront bistro across the bay. I was fortunate to have my wife along for this test ride, and she loved this boat. I’m sure you will, too.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Yamaha 232 Limited (2009-) is 50.3 mph (81 kph), burning 21.0 gallons per hour (gph) or 79.48 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Yamaha 232 Limited (2009-) is 28.4 mph (45.7 kph), and the boat gets 3.78 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.61 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 171 miles (275.2 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 160-hp Yamaha HO.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
5 year limited