Mission of the Yamaha SX240
The mission of the Yamaha SX240 HO is to be a performance family bowrider that offers comfort and features in a premium-built jet boat. Price is also part of the mission at Yamaha and one way that they meet their quality standard at the price point target is to utilize technology such as robots in the process. They also design models that have the features boaters want as standard. Yamaha builds each boat with everything standard (there are no options) -- which helps keep the construction man-hours down and the price affordable.
We think the SX240 is a good-looking boat, and for 2014 Yamaha has banished the old classic white and is using a warm bone color which gives the boat a more upscale look. This new base color along with the new premium vinyls for the interior have come together to make the SX240 look more classy than before, in our opinion.
Engines and Drivetrain
1.8 L X 2.
The SX240 HO is powered by twin 1.8L 4-stroke, 4-cylinder, purpose-designed-and-built Yamaha High Output Marine engines. These engines are compact power plants that rev up to 7,800 rpm and produce 180-hp each. They are electronically controlled and constantly adjust fuel and air for optimum performance. They have an oil cooler to keep the 1.2 gallons of oil at the best temperature, and electronic fuel injection.
Comparison with Sterndrive Power
We can't emphasize enough the importance of the Yamaha engines in this application. As they say…follow the money to find out the heart of things. In the case of the SX240, much of it goes into two engines and two drive systems, instead of just one as in sportboats.
Two propulsion systems with a total of 3.6 L of displacement producing a total of 360-hp is remarkable in class. Compare that vs. the 135-hp to 260-hp that most sterndrive sportboats have in class. Little wonder, then, that the SX240 has such outstanding performance. Further, two engines are better than one when it comes to maneuvering and get-home reliability.
The Jet Pump Unit .
Each engine is connected to a 155mm jet pump unit via direct drive, which means no transmission and far fewer moving parts. The impellor is mounted directly to the output shaft in the jet pump unit. The impellor has three blades which are made of stainless steel. The high-pressure jet pump unit is manufactured from aluminum alloy which significantly reduces issues with corrosion. The jet nozzle itself is 85mm and the directional shell (the bucket) is made from a high impact polymer plastic.
Performance and Handling
She has a length overall of 23’6” (7.16 m), a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m) and a shallow draft of 16” (40 cm) due to the jet drive configuration. Her dry weight is 3,298 lbs. (1,499 kg.) and her deadrise is 20-degrees. She carries 50 gallons of fuel.
The Test Numbers.
During our testing, the SX240 HO lived up to its mission of being a performance boat. Our first test was the 0-30 mph where we recorded an average of 4.4 seconds. Our time to plane averaged 2.6 seconds, and our top speed was 52.1 mph at 7500 rpm which was in wide open throttle. At that setting she was burning 22.2 gph. But reciting the test numbers doesn’t really tell the full story.
Seat of the Pants Feel.
The feeling the SX gives its occupants when power is applied is unique for jet drive. boats. The acceleration is instant -- with little lag time --and then constant until reaching the desired speed. With two powerful jet units exiting the transom above the bottom of the hull, bow rise quickly peaked at 18 degrees and fell back just as fast.
There has been a lot of talk about the handling of jet boats over the years; most of it, we think, by people who do not own them. When it comes to handling at speed, the SX is solid, responsive and downright exciting to drive. She never feels as if control will be lost and she can handle a fairly rough chop. In some cases in high speed turns the boat seems glued to the water -- and in one sense she is, as the jet pump is sucking water into the bottom of the boat.
Few boats are harder to dock than a single engine sterndrive. And for beginners, at first docking a jet boat takes some getting used to, as well. But with an hour of practice, jet boat owners quickly get the hang of it, and then twin engine jet maneuvering becomes much easier than with a single engine sterndrive.
We spent a great deal of time testing all types of docking scenarios with the SX240. We paralleled docked, docked into the wind, front to back, left the dock against the wind, anything we could think of. The end result was that there are no handling issues for an experienced skipper. It just takes a bit of practice for first time owners and most dealers are happy to provide some instruction.
Cruise Assist/No Wake Feature
There are some notable features with regard to the operation, the first of which is the Cruise Assist/No Wake mode. In a nut shell, it is an electronic control system. When away from the dock and heading out through the marina, simply click the CA/NW rocker switch up and the engines will rev about 500 rpm above idle. Click up two more times and get two equal increases, all without having to touch the throttles. Click down to decrease and to disengage. In no wake mode, when moving the throttles from forward to reverse, the rpms remain constant, which is helpful when approaching the dock.
For Cruise Assist, set the throttles above 300 rpm and then click the same rocker switch for the Cruise Assist to engage. From there simply click up or down as desired to control speed without moving the throttles. The clicking digitally signals the engines what is desired and at the same time synchronizes the rpms.
Sea Changing Design.
The SX240 HO is designed for families who like watersports. Starting at the stern there are several noteworthy features. Because the engines are so compact and sit low in the hull, Yamaha could design a stern area with two deck levels and seating, adding almost a third more of usable space to the boat. There are soft seat backs, a tow point, room for three on the large swim platform. This is an ideal place for prepping boards or water toys. (Since Yamaha invented this design some years ago it has been widely imitated in stern drive boats, but because their engines are so large and high, they cannot be as functional as on a jet boat.)
Other Sports Details.
Under the upper level is a wet storage area which also serves as the access point for the jet pump clearing ports. For the swimmers in the family there is a re-boarding ladder under the swim platform as well as another four step ladder for beach boarding that folds away in the anchor locker. The companion seat is a captain’s chair that swings around making it the ideal observer position to check out the action at the end of the tow line.In the center of the cockpit is a large wet storage locker that can hold three boards, coolers, wet clothes etc. which drains overboard and not into the bilge. What is fun on the water without tunes? Standard is a Clarion premium stereo which is satellite radio ready with CD port, MP3/USB port, and four premium speakers.
Seating and Storage
The SX has comfortable “U” shaped seating aft in the cockpit, a convertible lounger to port (Blue version) or bench seat and companion bucket seat (Red and Black versions) with large storage under the port and starboard cushions. It should be noted that the seats are upholstered in premium vinyl and utilize a tri-tone design with various textures, adding the comfort and looks. To port is a glove box, and there are openings under gunwales for storage port and starboard.
In the bow there are the standard filler cushions and Yamaha has also added a cushioned back pane to rest against the air dam in the center. This is the first time we have seen this innovation. Forward are two clever pullout sections that allow children to face forward, and there are pull-up backrests for them as well. There is storage under each seat.
Robots are used for the application of the gelcoat as a way of ensuring precise thickness. A robot does the same job faster and more efficiently than a person. All wholes and cuts in the deck are made by robots as well, again, with the same benefits.The aft deck hatch and the anchor locker hatch are made with the closed mold process which produces a higher quality part with a finish on both sides. Yamaha also selects the best materials for the job, and by making the same boats with no variation.
Yamaha has included the following in its
Height on trailer: 7'8" (2.33 m)Length on trailer: 26'2" (7.97 m)Length on trailer with tongue folded: 24'3" (7.39 m)Dry weight on trailer: 4,648 lbs. (2,108 kg)
Because Yamaha sells its boats as a complete package, the package price includes everything needed, and a trailer, for $48,499.
The Yamaha SX240 HO is a well-executed performance bowrider well-suited for the family that spends a lot of time on the water. It drives well, has a very respectable fuel burn and delivers above average quality in the fit-and-finish. She is comfortable and most important, fun to drive. The jet drive configuration has a lot to do with what makes this boat fun and the engines are state of the art.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Yamaha SX240 HO (2014-) is 52.2 mph (84 kph), burning 22.25 gallons per hour (gph) or 84.22 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Yamaha SX240 HO (2014-) is 25.9 mph (41.7 kph), and the boat gets 2.81 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.19 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 126 miles (202.78 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 1.8L Yamaha High Output Marine Engine.
Standard and Optional Features
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