New for 2015 are four models in Yamaha’s 240 series – all built on the same 24-foot hull and all featuring dual jets drives mated to four-cylinder, 180-hp Yamaha engines. According to Charles Plueddeman at boats.com, the new boats largely solve two issues that have always plagued jet boats — noise and low-speed maneuvering.
Yamaha tackled the noise problem by using more and better insulation in the engine compartment, and by working to eliminate vibration and sound resonance throughout the hull construction. (Other builders, like Sea Ray with their Quiet Ride approach, have also been working hard to reduce noise levels in runabout-size boats.)
The low-speed maneuvering issue has been thorny for all jet-powered boats. Without rudders to help them pivot and to track straight they’ve always been skittish to steer at idling speeds. Yamaha’s answer on the new 240 series boats is twofold: They’ve reshaped and extended the keel section of the hull to enhance tracking (drafts on the four models vary between 15” and 18”), and they’ve put what they call an “articulating keel” at the aft end of it. It’s essentially a small rudder connected to one of the jet nozzles by a tie-rod; when the nozzles move to port or starboard, so does the aluminum plate. This gives the helm a more traditional feel and improves steering control at both low and high speeds.
Yamaha has always put a keen focus on seating, stowage, and general onboard ergonomics, and these features seem finely tuned on the 2015 boats, with variable seating arrangements, marine-grade speakers, lockable glove-boxes, stainless cup holders, and other thoughtful features throughout.
All four models come with Connext systems, which combine touchscreen displays and joystick controls to perform a wide array of functions, from monitoring engine systems and external data like water depth, to acting as an entertainment center, to fine-tuning steering control in low-speed modes.
The base 2015 model is the SX240, with an MSRP of $50,499. Its partner is the AR240, which carries a watersports rig. At the luxury end are the 242 Limited and the 242 Limited S (with watersports package). The 242 Limited S has an MSRP of $61,499.
Read Charles Plueddeman’s review on boats.com: 2015 Yamaha 240 Series: Ultra Quiet with Sure-Footed Tracking. For a look at the articulating keel system, see below. And for more information, visit Yamaha Boats.