Captain's ReportYamaha may be better known to most people for their fishing boats and their personal watercraft, but for years, they’ve built great sport boats as well. New Features With a suggested retail price of $38,099, as tested, the SX230 High Output matches up very well with traditional runabouts. That’s exactly what Yamaha wants to do with the SX230 High Output. They want to expand beyond the jet drive market and compete with “traditional drive” boats, and they’ve done a good job of that. Bow space, as you might expect, is limited on a 23-foot boat, but Yamaha does a nice job of putting that to good use by putting a self-draining ice chest under the starboard-side bow seat.If you go out skiing on a cold morning, in a runabout, a lot of times you have a wind tunnel coming right through the walk-through. Yamaha lets you eliminate that by adding this nice little door right here that locks into place like so.Functional LayoutThe SX230 helm is about what you expect from a runabout. It’s really nice, though very ergonomically designed. The gauges are easy to read, and the switches are easy to use. There’s a couple of switches worth mentioning – the no-wake mode. What this does is allow you to operate the jet pump engines at the flick of a switch in a no-wake zone and still maintain good steering control. There’s more room in the SX230’s cockpit than you may expect. In fact, there’s room for 10 people on board this boat. And in addition to all the seating, there’s a nifty little bonus – the center of the back seat pulls out and folds down to give you a nice walkthrough leading to the oversized swim platform/lounge area. The SX230 has a huge swim platform/lounge area at the rear of the boat, made possible by the use of jet drives instead of traditional drives. Jets have other benefits, too, such as the ability to operate in shallow water. However, jets can get clogged, so it’s nice to see Yamaha include easy access to the jet pumps from the swim platform so you can clear the pumps without getting in the water. The Power Behind the BoatThe pumps are powered by a pair of 1052-cc, 4-cylinder, 4-stroke engines that produce a combined 320 horsepower. To give you complete control over the engines, Yamaha gives the SX230 High Output twin throttles, just like you’d expect to find on a “traditional” twin-engine craft. The throttle response is solid, thanks to the twin 155mm, hyper-flow jet pump propulsion system. Each pump has a 3-blade, stainless-steel impeller and a high-flow intake duct and grate designed to improve water flow into the pump for better thrust, performance, and hook-up. Jet drives have always been notorious for slow acceleration out of the hole, but Yamaha’s high-output pumps and powerful engines go a long way toward narrowing the performance gap between the SX230 and comparable, “traditional” runabouts. And once the boat is underway, and the pumps are filled with water, the performance is very nearly indistinguishable from the non-jet-powered competition.Test NumbersOur test boat ran a solid ride delivering a top speed of 50.4 mph turning 10,500 rpm. We cruised most economically at 7,000 rpm, traveling 28.0 mph, which gave us a cruising range of about 134 miles on a full tank of fuel. She was quick to plane in only 2.7 seconds and was cruising along at 30 mph in 4.9 seconds. Whether you’re a first-time boat buyer or a family looking at moving up to a larger, yet still affordable runabout, the SX230 High Output is definitely worth a look. Considering the package Yamaha gives you in the SX230 High Output – performance and power – and value – you’re going to see a lot of them out on the water this year.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Yamaha SX230 High Output (2006-2009) is 50.4 mph (81.1 kph), burning 26.0 gallons per hour (gph) or 98.41 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Yamaha SX230 High Output (2006-2009) is 28.0 mph (45.1 kph), and the boat gets 3.41 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.45 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 154 miles (247.84 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 160-hp Yamaha MR1 High Output.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
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