Yamaha carries the beam well forward, making a squared-off bow that provides more room and comfort for two passengers. The seats cushions are wide and the seat backs have integral headrests. Padded bolsters to the sides add comfort in turns, or back cushioning for two persons facing one another. An additional padded bolster is found forward to accommodate an aft-facing occupant. A filler cushion will turn the entire bow into a sun pad.
As we move to the cockpit, wraparound seating runs from the port side console all the way around to the helm seat.
The helm seat is comfortable and features wraparound construction with an open lumbar area that provides additional ventilation for the operator. It includes a flip-up bolster for an elevated vantage point while driving. And we included it in the seating section because it is able to swivel around and become a part of the social atmosphere in the cockpit when the boat is at rest.So with two people sitting at the bow, five people sitting in the cockpit seats and an additional person sitting in the helm seat, we have underway seating for up to eight people.
Moving to the stern we find even more seating, but we purposely did not include this in the underway capacity, as these seats were not intended to be used while the AR192 is moving.Because Yamaha uses such low-profile engines in its boats, there is no massive engine box that could simply be covered with a sun pad. Instead, Yamaha provides what it refers to as its "aft patio". Any time that the AR192 is at anchor or tied up to a dock, this area provides an excellent location to sit back and relax. There are curved seatbacks for comfort, and the deck is treated with Hydro-Turf rubberized matting that not only repels water, it also remains cool to the touch even under the all-day onslaught of direct sunlight.With this seating’s convenient location to the swim platform, this entire area also makes an excellent staging area for watersports. This is where the boards will get put on, where the towline will get deployed, where the kids will be climbing onto the tow tube or simply swimming behind the boat.
Storage is an area where Yamaha excels — with compartments that are larger and more accessible than most. At the bow, there are the usual compartments to both sides, under the lounge seats. But there’s also anchor storage under the forward seat, and it includes an anchor keeper.
As we move into the cockpit the advantages of the storage spaces become even more self-evident. Underneath the seats, one of the lockers easily swallowed up our safety gear bag that held four life preservers, and there was room left over for more gear inside the compartment. Additional storage is found inside the port console, as well as on top of the console in the form of a sizable glove box that houses the stereo, keeping it in a protected environment.
But few boats can touch the cockpit in-sole storage compartment that Yamaha has created. At 14” (35.56 cm) wide, 16” (40.6cm) deep, and a full 45” (114.3 cm) long at the opening, it is not only wider, but is also deeper and longer than others in class. It's certainly large enough to store wakeboards and skis, but we still advocate using external board racks attached to the watersports tower. This will help minimize cockpit clutter and free up the in-deck storage compartment for the large amount of gear that guests tend to bring aboard with them.
There are numerous upscale treatments added to the AR192. Starting at the bow, the seatbacks are much more than simple cushions secured to a fiberglass bulkhead. These have beveled sides that serve to hold a person's torso more comfortably in the seat as the boat maneuvers. Separate headrests add an increased measure of comfort.We also like Yamaha's use of multiple fabric tones -- the vinyl is thicker than what we normally see. While it would certainly be easier, and more cost effective, to use a single piece of vinyl to upholster the seats, this choice adds a distinct level of luxury and class. Upgraded speaker grills and stainless steel drink holders are found throughout the boat.
There are six cleats on the AR192, pull-up versions instead of fixed models. These are highly functional when deployed and, when closed create streamlined surfaces that are certainly more pleasing to the eye.
While the AR192 has a trim level that blurs the line between functional and upscale, the minimalist helm layout helps keep the novice operator comfortable from the moment he takes control.A vinyl brow provides shading over two gauges. The speedometer is to the left, and a tachometer is to the right. The tachometer also includes a digital window that provides selectable information.
Below, the dark tones of the console still retain a gloss finish and complement the color scheme of the rest of the boat. Waterproof rocker switches have circuit breakers just beneath.
On the right side of the padded steering wheel, there's a panel with a rocker switch that activates the "No Wake" and the "Cruise Assist" operating modes. Pressing this button at idle speed increases the jet pump output to an optimum speed for low-speed handling, while still keeping the wake in check.Using it at cruise allows the speed to be maintained precisely, while incremental changes can be made with up/down presses of the rocker switch. This is not only a convenient feature when two boats are running together, but it is certainly valuable while towing. Use full application of throttle to bring the skier or wake boarder upon top, and then back off to a more manageable speed, using the switch to make incremental changes underway.
To the starboard side is the engine control and, from the operator's standpoint, it works just like any other single binnacle control. But there's a little bit more involved here. When the engine is running, the waterjet is pumping continuously. The AR192 is basically controlled by how we treat the water flow that is continually coming out of the jet duct. With low engine rpms, there is minimal thrust.
To achieve what we refer to as neutral
, a bucket is dropped-down to partially deflect that thrust straight down. This will have no effect on moving the boat fore and aft, but will have some directional effect when the wheel is turned.
When we want to go forward
, we move the engine control forward from neutral, and that bucket is lifted out of the way, allowing free flow of the thrust out the back of the boat. To go faster, we increase the throttle and the thrust increases.
When we want to go in reverse
, we move the engine control back from neutral. This has the effect of dropping the bucket down to fully cover the jet duct, redirecting the thrust forward, underneath the hull. Once the boat is moving in reverse, more throttle adds more thrust.
Because there is no transmission, we can theoretically move the engine control from full forward to full reverse without damaging any mechanical components. But let's keep that feature in the "theoretical" category. Doing so is not only unsafe handling practice but also uncomfortable for the passengers on board.
Yamaha added more power to its AR192 by including a high-output, supercharged, 1.8-Liter engine (1812cc). Yamaha built an entirely new, purpose-built engine specifically for its watercraft. The same engine is used in the Performance family of Wave Runners and high output Sportboats.
Keep it Clean
Regardless of whether a boat is powered by a spinning propeller or a ducted impeller, debris can cause problems. With outdrives, it's usually a simple matter of cutting away the stray piece of line that we ran over. With a jet boat, the impeller is a little further removed from reach.Yamaha has developed an exclusive design that makes cleaning an impeller easier and safer. Underneath the transom seating is an access port that opens straight down to the impeller. This cleanout port allows us to reach in and clear the impeller of grass or other debris that may have been sucked in through the water intake grates under the hull.Naturally, reaching into this port with the engine running is dangerous. To prevent accidents, Yamaha designed a fail-safe system with a cutoff switch that, when the hatch is opened, prevents the engine from running.
The Articulating Keel is an integral component to the handling characteristics of the AR192. As the two halves of the bottom meet in the middle, a keel protrudes down from the bottom of the boat. That molded keel runs all the way back to the stern where a hinged section is connected to the jet drive duct. This serves as a rudder of sorts and provides a remarkably increased level of maneuverability at low speed. High-speed maneuverability is enhanced as well.
We can certainly validate the benefits of the Articulating Keel. Low speed maneuverability was outstanding, particularly when docking. We were able to maneuver the AR192 with expert precision, even at low speed — that's something previously unheard of with most waterjet-powered boats.At speed, she tracks straight with no tendency to spin out of the turn — unless the turn is held long enough for the speed to drop down, and with the throttle left at full power. Otherwise she feels like a regular sportboat. There’s a slight pull to the wheel below 24 mph, at which point the articulating keel and thrust keeps the steering centered. Acceleration is brisk and she comes up on plane almost instantly.She cuts wakes nicely, getting no spray over the caprails. With responsive three-quarter-turn stop-to-stop steering, it’s great fun to keep cranking and banking. She’ll lean 11-degrees into the turns.
Pricing and Observations
The Yamaha AR192 comes priced at $34,799 fully-equipped, and that includes a standard painted (or an optional galvanized) single-axle trailer and a standard painted aluminum wakeboard tower. The only other add-ons available are the board racks.This is an impressive boat that certainly has the features necessary for a fun day's load of guests and gear, and even then it will still have the power to serve as a capable towboat. She’s basic in her functionality, particularly with the uncluttered helm, but there’s nothing minimalist about her handing and performance characteristics.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Yamaha AR192 (2016-) is 48.6 mph (78.2 kph), burning 21.35 gallons per hour (gph) or 80.81 liters per hour (lph).
Standard and Optional Features