The best-selling runabouts in the 21-foot range are Yamaha jet boats, but these runabouts aren’t incredibly adaptable beyond their main missions of providing a fun, zippy ride and pulling tow-toys. Meanwhile, the biggest recent trend in boatbuilding has been a shift to more versatile, multiple-use designs. Yamaha’s response? The FSH series, which puts a center-console deck overtop of a jet-boat runabout hull, adding fishability into the mix.
The FSH line began with the 190 FSH, and now they’ve expanded the lineup to include the 210 FSH. Like the 190, from the waterline down the boat is a previously existing jet-powered hull which is now capped by a deck that’s more inclined toward fishing. But unlike the 190 the 210 FSH carries twins, a pair of TR-1 1049cc, high-output, three-cylinder four-strokes. These are the same engines that show up in Yamaha’s high-end PWCs, recently developed in 2016 to replace the MR-1. The TR-1 is 40 percent smaller, 20 percent lighter, and 13 percent more powerful than the engine it supersedes.
Yamaha doesn’t publish a horsepower rating for the engine, but since we know the MR-1 it replaced created around 110 horses, it’s easy to figure out that the TR-1 should be making right around 125 horsepower. Spinning at up to 8000 rpm to power a three-blade stainless-steel impeller, the TR-1 then blasts water through a 155-mm high-pressure pump to produce thrust. Net result? Neck-snapping PWC-like acceleration from a standstill to 30 mph in six seconds, and a top end of almost 45 mph.
Once up and running the 210 FSH handles just like any Yamaha jet boat, providing a seat-of-your-pants ride with tight hair-pin turns and instantaneous responsiveness that no other form of marine propulsion can even come close to. It’s a hoot to drive—and when you decide to get a little crazy, everyone aboard had better be holding on tight. However, this PWC-like nature also brings out the one downside to running this type of boat which can’t go unmentioned: the jet drives create a higher pitch noise than a propeller-driven boat, and let’s just say that it isn’t exactly conducive to napping as you cruise.
So, just what did Yamaha do to make the boat fishing-friendly? For starters it’s a center console instead of Yamaha’s usual side console design, and it’s capped with an optional T-top with four rocket launchers. Vertical rodracks are located in the sides of the console, and there’s a pair of horizontal racks under either gunwale. There’s a cooler under the flip-back leaning post, integrated fishboxes under the bow seats, a 26-gallon livewell, and a dedicated five-gallon bucket stowage compartment in the deck.
The short story for anglers is that the absence of flush-mount gunwale holders (plus the natural slow-speed wandering tendencies of jet boats in general) mean that this boat isn’t ideal for trolling, but as far as techniques such as jigging, chumming, or shallow-water casting go, the 210 FSH will get the job done just fine. Yes, that jet noise would worry us if we were trying to sneak up on fish in the shallows, but there’s also an option for a bow-mounted trolling motor that will negate this issue.
Yamaha’s also taken measures to be sure that when the rods stay in the garage and the kids want to kneeboard or lounge on a tow-toy, the boat will be ready for action. There’s a full-beam swim platform, a tow hook on the transom, a stereo with Bluetooth, USB port, and four speakers, and seating both in the bow and at the stern. Just as important, Yamaha outfits the 210 FSH with the same watersports-specific perks its other jet boats get, including the Connext 4.3-inch touch-screen control system and Cruise Assist cruise control.
Another feature many family members will like is the flip-up forward console access which makes for easy trips into the head/changing room compartment. So, what’ll it be? Will you go fishing, wakeboarding, or joy riding? In all of these cases the FSH 210 fits the bill and shows that even though it holds the number one spot in its range, Yamaha is paying attention to what boaters want in a runabout.
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Displacement: 3003 LBS
Max HP: 250 (approx.)
Fuel Capacity: 50 GAL
By Lenny Rudow