Captain's Report by Capt. Steve
I Need My Space
Yamaha is pretty good at creating space in their boats. The 210's have an 8' 6" (2.6 m) beam that carries well forward for adding space in the cockpit and bow areas. Additionally, the bulwarks of their boats are relatively narrow adding still more room. A modified pickle fork bow allows two people to sit facing each other in the bow seats without knocking knees. And with the low profile engines, which eliminate the need for an engine box, Yamaha can add seating that others cannot.
A quick glance at the capacity plate shows that 9 people can legally come aboard, and looking at the space this boat affords I can easily see that there's more than enough seating for 9, in fact I count 12 seats.
The Lay of the Land
Let's take a look at the layout and see what we get for our space. Starting at the bow, Yamaha fitted the 210's with a sizable anchor locker that includes latches to hold your Danforth in place while sharing the accommodations with a four-step beach boarding ladder. As this boat has a draft of only 15" (38 cm) it's probably safe to say that beaching the boat will be a common occurrence making that ladder a very handy tool.
With that wide beam carrying well forward, I measured an unbelievable 29" (73.7 cm) of space between the two bow seats. “So what,” you say? Here’s what: in the Yamaha 210 series you can actually sit four people in the bow, have them facing each other in conversation, and not be crowded or knocking knees together. There is the usual storage underneath the bow seats, but an unusual feature is that the port seat storage runs well aft into the port console storage. You could put skis and wakeboards here but you'll probably save that for the sole storage.
Heart and Sole
Typically, when you get a 21' (6.4 m) boat, once you load it up with the required quantity of life jackets and a cooler you've maxed out the storage. Not so here. Not only will all life jackets, beach towels, chairs, beach bags… etc., all fit in the bow and console storage, but there's still more space in the sole locker and cockpit seats. Yamaha utilizes the 25.5" (64.8 cm) of space between the consoles to its fullest by cutting the opening of the sole locker right to the sides of the consoles. This gives you a wide open mouth to fill with all kinds of "stuff" including your boards and gear. The hatch is held open by a gas assist strut, the opening is gasketed all the way around, and a gutter channels water away from the compartment.
From the seated position I found I was looking right at the windshield frame (I'm 5' 8.5"/1.74 m), but up on the bolster I was looking well above the frame underway. Because the boat has a 5-degree bowrise I was able to look through the windshield underway while seated. The instrument panel is straightforward and uncluttered, thanks to the dual multi-function digital gauges embedded into the two tachometers. These allow you to scroll through 18 different parameters of information including GPH, distance to empty, water temp and depth…etc. The engine controls are mounted at roughly 45-degrees and I was using my hand palm-up to move the controls forward, and then I'd advance the controls in the normal palm-down style.
Take a Seat
The cockpit is surprisingly spacious for a 21'4" (6.5 m) boat, and I've already touched on the several reasons why that is. Of course the most notable factor is the absence of an engine box which allows another seat to be installed and create an unbroken flow to the "J" seating. The observer’s position can be used either facing the captain or facing aft, thanks to the backrest and the grab handle placement. An open space under the seat screams out for a carry-on cooler and I'd like to see a slide out tray installed for just that purpose. I measured 37" (94 cm) between the seats and the height from the seat to the top of the windshield frame is 28" (71.1 cm), increasing as you move forward.
In the center of the aft seat is the engine box, and if there was an easier opening cover on any other boat brand, I'm not aware of it. Just a pull on the release catch and a gentle lift starts the engine cover on its way to the full open position. Inside is a pair of 1052cc four-cylinder, four-stroke Yamaha marine engines. You'll recall that Yamaha is also a very adept manufacturer of engines as well as boats, and as such these are purpose-built specifically for this application. It other words, these are marine engines, not marinized car engines. You can also appreciate the fact that the company that stands behind the boat, also stands behind your engines.
What Yamaha would be complete without the addition of the award winning aft deck? This is such a great place to hang out and watch the water or the kids swimming, that you may want to just use your 210 only at anchor. Okay, maybe that’s going a bit too far, but it is a great addition to your boat. Two levels of deck with padded backs, drink holders, and easy access to the water with a lower level that's right above the surface. It also makes a great staging area for putting on the boards. Additionally, in the upper level, there's a hatch that allows access to the jet pump clean-out ports. On those rare occasions when you may run through grass or seaweed, the pumps can clog. This used to mean diving under the boat and cleaning them out. No more… now just open the ports and reach in from the aft platform. Opening the hatch also activates kill switches to disable your engines.
We were lucky to get our hands on a prototype of the Yamaha 210 series for this report. We did not conduct performance testing on this boat since we wanted to wait until we had a production model available. But acceleration and handling felt good as with all the other Yamaha models we have tested.
The real beauty of the 210 series, and indeed the entire Yamaha lineup, is in their offerings of options. There aren't any. Everything on this boat is standard. From the snap-in carpet to the Bimini top, and even the color-matched painted tower. This is part of the way that Yamaha is able to price their boats so competitively. The SX210 has a retail price of $36,499 all-in and that's significantly lower than most in class. But the SX210 doesn't come with a wakeboard tower. What if you want that option? Not to worry, Yamaha will be happy to supply you with one; it will just be sitting atop the AR210 which retails for $38,499. The boats are virtually identical except for this addition. It's a little unusual, but the scenario works for Yamaha, and since they're number one in their size range, who's to argue? For my money, the 210's are great handling boats, and feature-loaded. Of course the fact that they look so cool helps, but it all points to the same conclusion.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Yamaha AR210 (2012-2013) is 46.6 mph (75 kph), burning 16.4 gallons per hour (gph) or 62.07 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Yamaha AR210 (2012-2013) is 31.1 mph (50.1 kph), and the boat gets 3.98 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.69 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 180 miles (289.68 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 1052 cc Yamaha Marine Engines.
Standard and Optional Features
|Carpet: Cockpit||Standard Snap-in|
(It's quick and FREE!)