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boat reviews


Yamaha ’s FZ models are considered the class of the market for a variety of reasons, not the least of which are their nimble and aggressive characteristics.

The Yamaha FZS holds true to all these traits, and while it may share some design traits with the FX line, the FZS sports a shorter wetted surface and softer chines that allow it to deliver a lean-in style ride that will seem natural to aggressive riders. The FZS also has a larger pump inlet that loads the pump for better acceleration and a dihedral shape to the keel in front of the pump.

With its hull design, the FZS WaveRunner features Yamaha’s exclusive - and the first in the industry - NanoXcel High-Compression Molded Compound that has an edge-to-edge inside-lean character. The design set-up of the waverunner also features a pair of comfortable two-piece seats and an adjustable trim control that allows the rider to dial in the ride of the craft just the way they want it. Take all these elements together and you have a watercraft that’s quick, nimble, and offers unparalleled balance and maneuverability. Another unique feature of the FZS is an innovative, 3-position telescoping steering column that gives the rider the option to ride seated or standing, depending on where the rider is most comfortable conquering the water.

As far as the powertrain is concerned, the FZS - and the FZR - is powered by the biggest displacement engine in the industry, a race-bred 1.8-liter supercharged, Super High Output Engine, producing the kind of awesome raw power riders would want on their jet skis. But the FZS doesn’t only have a powerful engine; it’s also considered as the most fuel efficient engine in its class and is optimized to deliver excellent performance at all costs.

Find out more about the Yamaha FZS WaveRunner after the jump.


The benchmark for luxury watercrafts has been raised and if competitors aren’t careful, the Yamaha FX Cruiser SHO has the capacity to wipe away the field. Fully-featured, comfortable and roomy, the all-new FX Cruiser SHO provides an improved riding experience aboard a bold and revolutionary new platform.

Of the plethora of features tacked into the FX Cruiser, Yamaha ’s lightweight NanoXcel hull stands out. For the 2011 model, the hull is longer and offers better handling to deliver the most stable ride in the industry. Riders will also enjoy a new wrinkle to the FX Cruiser in the form of the first true three-person Cruiser seat that delivers the industry’s only theater-style seating. An adjustable steering and adjustable trim control also allows the rider to dial in the ride of the FX Cruiser to suit their preferences while a retractable reboarding ladder and an integrated beverage holder and glovebox round out all the impressive features of the watercraft.

In terms of the engine, the FX Cruiser boasts of a supercharged 1.8-liter Yamaha Super High Output marine engine. The powertrain comes with an advanced electronic control system to create a machine that excites the imagination, opening up a new world of possibilities for adventure and fun. Two unique engine features of the FX Cruiser include Cruise Assist - a Yamaha-exclusive feature that reduces throttle fatigue, improves
towing capability, and can extend the range of touring - and No Wake Mode - which sets the engine to optimum no wake speed.

As the most award winning personal watercraft in history, the FX Cruiser SHO WaveRunner is the personification of a luxury watercraft, one that provides everything a rider needs to enjoy the high seas in style.

Find out more about the Yamaha FX Cruiser SHO after the jump.

The Kawasaki Jet Ski 800 SX-R has been a hot seller in the past three years and now, the 38th installment of the industry-leading watercraft is poised to follow in its predecessor’s successful footsteps.

To celebrate 37 years of production, Kawasaki has come up with something special for the 800 SX-R, namely the addition of special colors and graphics that recognize the 37 years of history surrounding the model. For this model, Kawasaki will also be adding a special badge that reads: “Commemorating 37 Years of Jet Ski."

In terms of its design, the 800 SX-R doesn’t hold back on all the enhancements. The fiberglass reinforced plastic construction of the 800 SX-R hull and top deck ensures that the hull is as light as possible while also boasting of tough and damage-resistant qualities. Kawasaki also added extra fiberglass in some key areas of the jet ski to ensure that the hull comes with maximum strength and durability. Likewise, the 800 SX-R also has a spacious footwell area that gives the rider enough room to be comfortable in his surroundings. Last, the jet ski also makes use of a handle pole that offers optimum control and overall riding comfort.

The 800 SX-R is powered by an impressive two-stroke engine 781cc Twin Cylinder engine, producing an impressive 699 horsepower while also using twin carburetors that deliver excellent throttle response and strong power in all speeds. The all-world jet ski also makes use of an aggressive exhaust port timing, a large-diameter exhaust pipe, and a waterproof, maintenance-free capacitor discharge ignition (CDI) system with digital advance, all of which ensure that the 800 SX-R delivers the kind of top-end power wave riders all crave.

Exceptional stability and turning dexterity are hallmarks of the 800 SX-R and that tradition continues with the latest in a long line of industry-leading jet skis.

When Honda splashed into the scene of the personal watercraft market in 2002, it introduced the world’s first low-emission, four-stroke-powered PWWs, the AquaTrax F-12 and the AquaTrax F-12X.

Fast forward nine years later and the AquaTrax family has grown into one of the best lines of PWCs in the market today. One particular model, the F-15X with GPScape, has become the standard-bearer of its class, considering it offers the perfect mix of power, acceleration, handling, and low emission efficiency that customers have come to expect from Honda.

The F-15X is powered by a lightweight 1,470cc liquid-cooled DOHC 16-valve engine with fuel injection and turbocharging, producing 197 horsepower while also adhering to CARB three-star and EPA emissions standards. One of the distinct features of this F-15X is the company’s distinctive GPScape system, a technology that allows you to keep track of your location at any point in time while riding out into the sea. When traveling or returning to a designated waypoint, GPScape will tell the rider distance and direction from the present location. At any point in time, the GPScape system will tell you where you are, where you came from, and where you need to go.

Find out more about the full specs of the Honda AquaTrax F-15X with GPScape after the jump.

Sure, a lot of people can boast of having cars or motorcycles inside their garages, but whereas those forms of transportation are more out of necessities, jet skis are like toys for the big boys, especially for those that can afford it.

The Kawasaki STX-15F is one such jet ski that hobbyists can fall head over heels for. It’s got a sturdy hull that not only ensures high-speed stability on the straightaways, but also allows for great cornering and aggressive turning out on the open seas. It comes packed with rider-friendly features, including class-leading storage that lets you take all your gear with you for a day of fun out on the water. There’s also a spacious rear deck, a water-resistant storage compartment, an accessible glove box, and additional room for gear located under the seat, all of which provide extra space and accommodation for all sorts of bring-alongs.

In terms of power, the STX-15F offers the best in its class, thanks to a Ninja -derived 1.5-liter engine that produces 160 horsepower and delivers plenty of low- and mid-range torque. Even better is that despite its powerful engine, the STX-15F is far from a gas-guzzler. In fact, the jet ski has earned a Three-Star Ultra-Low Emissions rating from the California Air Resources Board and meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s strictest standards.

Everything about the Kawasaki STX-15F screams of a rollicking good time blasting along the waves. That is if you have the disposable income to purchase one.

Find out more about the Kawasaki STX-115F’s specs after the jump.

Of all the jet skis in Kawasaki ’s fleet, the STX isn’t the most fully-equipped of the bunch, but it does offer a lot more than just your average PWC. 40 years of Kawasaki know-how was put into the STX to create a highly-advanced and ruggedly reliable jet-ski that offers one of the best value-for-your-money packages in the market.

Even if it doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles of some of Kawasaki’s more up-scale jet ski models, the STX still packs a lot of goodies, including the Smart Learning Operation (SLO) and the Kawasaki Smart Steering (KSS). The former is accessible on the jet ski’s instrument panel and can be selected to place a limit on maximum engine speed, allowing the newbie riders to learn the ropes of jet-ski riding in order to improve on their riding techniques. Meanwhile, the latter provides electronic turning assistance that’s linked to a steering sensor, raising engine rpm to provide the additional thrust that helps initiating turns on the water. There’s also a Kawasaki Splash Deflector that has been incorporated into the hull design to minimize spray on the rider.

Add all these features to an aggressive looking profile with a well endowed and spacious rear deck and a powerful 1.5-liter four-stroke four-cylinder engine, and you have a jet ski that fits the role of an advanced and highly-reliably watercraft that fully justifies its $8,499 price tag.

Find out more about the Kawasaki STX’s specs after the jump

Luxury watercrafts are less associated with jet skis as they are in the plush boats and yachts that proliferate marina docks. But when you’re talking about Kawasaki ’s new Ultra 300LX Jet Ski, the word ’luxury’ is right on target.

The Ultra 300LX is like the Bentley of jet skis, flush with comfort and luxury that very few of its kind can match. But the Ultra 300LX is more than just about sparkling, high-end features; it’s got the performance boost to match, too.

In terms of design, the Ultra 300LX features all the luxury tidings of a high-end jet ski, including large chromed trim pieces, a special paint scheme, and the Kawasaki’s own LXury seat, a scalloped seat designed for the ultimate in rider and passenger comfort. The contoured and two-tone saddle is thickly padded for exceptional plushness and comfort. Then, there’s a GPS-mountable handlebar pad, which allows the use of a wide range of popular GPS devices that - get this - comes as standard equipment on the Ultra 300LX.

As far as performance goes, the high-end Kawasaki jet ski is powered by a 1.5-liter supercharged and intercooled four-stroke, DOHC inline-four engine that produces a staggering 300 horsepower out on the open seas. That’s some serious burn for a jet ski with Kawasaki adding a high-tech supercharger and Electronic Throttle Valve system to give it a far meaner bite than its bark suggests. And the race-derived hull has been extensively updated to provide the sort of top-tier handling hard-core enthusiasts expect.

People like talking about what the ultimate jet ski looks and feels like. Anybody who has ever participated in that discussion only needs to take a good, long look at the Kawasaki Ultra 300LX to understand that one of the more impressive luxury jet skis in the market is sitting right in front of them.

Find out more about the Kawasaki Ultra 300LX’s specs after the jump

Sometimes, you just have to make that splurge. Even if rationale thinking may suggest otherwise, the heart wants what the heart wants.

In this case, the heart most definitely wants the Kawasaki Ultra 260LX Jet Ski. Sure, it comes with the same race-derived deep-V hull and the impressive supercharged 1.5-liter, four-cylinder DOHC engine as that of the Ultra 260X, one that produces 260 horsepower at 7,750 rpm. But if you look more carefully, there’s a reason why the Ultra 260LX has that ’L’ on its name. That ’L’ stands for luxury, and there’s plenty of that in this particular jet ski.

Unlike the Ultra 260X, the Ultra 260LX comes with a luxurious touring seat that provides unparalleled comfort for both rider and passengers. This special PWC’s luxury touring seat has a carefully sculpted saddle for the rider, and a rise at the back for increased cruising comfort. The shape provides extra support for the rider and back passenger, and that bit of increased contact with the PWC provides a confident connection to this powerful high-performance machine. Even in rough conditions out on the water, the seat’s thick, impact-absorbing padding and the extra lower back support not only helps in keeping the rider comfortable, but it also reduces fatigue.

The Kawasaki Ultra 260LX delivers the kind of unparalleled performance and touring luxury on the water that few, if any, other jet skis are capable of having. And all for the price of $13,199, which may sound steep now, but once you ride it, will definitely be more of a bargain that any of you previously thought.

Find out more about the Kawasaki Ultra 260LX’s specs after the jump

260 horsepower may not be all that big of a deal on the road anymore, but out in the waters where there are no speed limits, it’s a license to have some good ’ol fashion, jet-skiing fun.

That’s what the new Kawasaki Ultra 260X Jet Ski will give you and quite frankly, we’d give up a whole lot more to have one of these babies tucked in a trailer, ready for some open-sea action on the weekends.

But more than just the jet skis race-refined 1,498cc fuel-injected four-cylinder Kawasaki powerplant with a Roots-type supercharger that produces a mouth-watering 260 horsepower, the Ultra 260X is also a fine piece of jet ski awesomeness because it comes with top-of-the-line technology courtesy of the fine folks from Kawasaki.

To begin with, the fiberglass reinforced plastic hull is loaded with DNA from Kawasaki’s IJSBA championship-winning machines, including carefully designed sponsons and chines for enhanced straight-line stability and more precise cornering. Likewise, the 22.5-degree deep-V hull leans into corners, providing a smoother ride in rough waters, greatly reducing the lateral G-loads generated during turns and helps keep the rider in control.

The Ultra 260X also features a five-step adjustable handlebar position that riders to either stand up or sit down to enjoy the full breadth of power and versatility the jet ski provides. Add that to an enormous 60-gallon storage space and you have a jet ski that comes with all the requirements needed for some high-speed, open-sea action.

Find out more about the Kawasaki Ultra 260X’s specs after the jump

Yamaha is more than just a renowned producer of motorcycles; they’ve also established a reputation as one of the best watercraft builders in the world. One of their newest offerings is the VXR Waverunner, a compact, lightweight, and high-performance watercraft that’s sure to provide speeds and thrills for riders everywhere.

The VXR Waverunner is an exceptional watercraft for a number of reasons, including the new NanoXcel hull and deck. This state-of-the-art material is considered as the industry’s first and only nanotechnology-engineered hulls, decks, and liners, making them the lightest yet strongest waverunner bodies in the world day. The use of these materials allows the VXR to be quick and nimble while also maintaining balance and maneuverability that’s essential to any watercraft. The VXR Waverunner also carries a race-inspired seat that can accommodate as many as three passengers and a reboarding ladder that makes it easy for anybody to climb aboard the waverunner from the water.

As far as its performance capability goes, the VXR Waverunner is powered by a 1,812cc, 4-stroke, 4-cylinder Yamaha Marine engine that delivers race level acceleration, responsiveness and top speed, to go with a stout fuel capacity of 15.9 gallons running on regular unleaded fuel. The 1.8-liter engine is noted for carrying the largest displacement motor ever designed for a personal watercraft, producing outstanding power with a high peak torque while also being exceptionally fuel efficient with low maintenance costs to boot.

Find out more about the Yamaha VXR WaveRunner’s specs after the jump


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