Captain's ReportBy Captain John B. WenzIf you have a “need for speed”- you want a performance boat, but the family’s interested in doing more than just going fast from place to place, do yourself and your family a favor. Take a good look at the Yamaha 212 SS. It’s got some of what you want, and some of what the rest of the crew needs to make for countless days of family fun on the water. I recently went for a ride. Here’s my report. Yamaha’s boat lineup is what I think of as a big secret, waiting to get out. These are really nice boats, and they’re excellent value. Line any one of them up against similar sized I/O runabouts and bowriders in this size range. You’ll find what might be called a complete package. That’s not to say that Yamaha provides dock lines and fenders. The dealer typically does that. But what the factory does 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. Loads of Good StuffThe 212 SS uses Yamaha’s 21 foot hull and adds some aggressive styling to create a functional and fun machine. The low-profile, windscreen and the “Heat Red” color scheme give this a sports car look to complement the outstanding acceleration and handling. It’s got an 8’6” beam and a 20 degree deadrise, which make for tight turns and a comfortable ride. The 16” draft is not only kind to plant and animal life, but it’s also forgiving in those silted-up places, which become more common as dredging becomes more difficult. Gone are the days when you had to get a tow home due to a banged-up prop! Seating for nine is arranged around the roomy cockpit, featuring snap-in marine grade Berber carpet, and the seat upholstery is of a good quality and very comfortable. Storage lockers can be found under the seating, both in the main cockpit and under the bow seats. Under the floor, you’ll find a self-draining cooler, and another big locker, so you won’t have to trip over all the gear a family brings aboard for a day of fun in the sun. There are a bunch of stainless steel details- handrails and cupholders in handy places, as well as stainless pull-up cleats and a stainless rubrail. The helm seat is a captain’s chair, not one of my favorites, but the bolster is sturdy and it gives you a good view. The instrument layout surrounds a comfortable wheel, and the panel adds a performance oriented feel to driving this boat. A pair of analog tachometers surround a speedometer, with a depth finder and a row of rocker switches to make it complete. It looks complete, and there are no big empty spaces for aftermarket options. When you want to crank-up the tunes, the satellite-equipped Sony AM/FM/CD Stereo will serve you well, and the Kicker Marine Speakers will make the music come alive. Of course the audiophile in the group will want to bring an MP3 player aboard, so Yamaha has installed a digital input in a handy little storage compartment. In addition, a bimini top and a cockpit table add a bit more luxury to the experience of being on board. I’m really impressed with the finish work, and I asked about Yamaha’s quality control. It seems to me like management is successful at getting the production floor staff to buy-in to what they’re doing. It shows.The Entertainment CenterThe style of the boat, or the comfort of the cockpit may be a priority for some, but the swim platform is my favorite part of the 212 SS. It becomes the center of activity when you’re anchored at your favorite beach or cove. After all, what do the kids want to do on a boat like this? Anchor so they can spend the day in and out of the water. The design offers a smooth transition between being in the water and being in the cockpit. The deck surfaces are covered with a comfortable, yet durable material called Hydro-Turf, 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, and a remote for the stereo is within reach from the water. This boat offers an unbeatable platform for family boating fun. Our TestThis is the first year that Yamaha has offered their 21 foot boats with the twin High Output engine package. These motors are clean and efficient and they offer the kind of speed and response that adds up to a ride that’s lots of fun. How about 2.9 seconds to plane and 30 MPH in 4.2 seconds? Sound like fun to you? We enjoyed it! Our cruise calculation resulted in an optimal range of 159 miles at 27.4 MPH. I can’t imagine many circumstances where that wouldn’t be sufficient. Underway, the seating arrangement was comfortable whether relaxing or moving about. The men and women at Yamaha are truly in-touch with their market. They continue to tweak their line-up in response to what they hear from their customers. As active family boaters, they enjoy boating themselves. If you put your family in the 212SS, you will too.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Yamaha 212SS (2009-2010) is 52.6 mph (84.7 kph), burning 16.6 gallons per hour (gph) or 62.83 liters per hour (lph).
Standard and Optional Features
5 year limited