Review of the Scarab 195 Open
The Scarab 195 Open is a sporty performer that matches a large number of functions, from fishing to wake boarding.
For many of us, the most memorable portion of Miami Vice was that the flashy 38-foot Scarab that Crockett and Tubbs utilized to zoom their way across Biscayne Bay. The brand new Scarab 195 Open is not anything like that ship.
This fresh waterjet-powered Scarab 195 Open is exactly the reason that sports-car earnings are down and sport-ute earnings are up: It does everything. After Crockett and Tubbs had chased down the drug lord at 69 mph, well they couldn't do much else using their Scarab.
It can be towed behind a small car, and everybody will love it since it has an enclosed head. And while that large Scarab put Sonny Crockett on a first-name foundation with the men at the fuel dock, this new sport boat sips fuel.
In case this 195 Open were a racehorse, its lineage would be described as"Scarab from Bombardier by Groupe Beneteau". That is because Bombardier Recreational Products decided to get out of this water jet-powered ship business in 2012 to focus on Sea-Doo watercraft, leaving the 18-foot-10-inch bow rider they had been prepping in limbo.
Groupe Beneteau, which also builds Four Winns, Glastron and Well craft, saw the chance and obtained all the tooling, plus a contract with Bombardier for its Rotax 4-Tec waterjet powertrain. The Scarab name was languishing, so the new line assumed that name.
At first glance, it is apparent that Scarab's inspiration was not only Jeep. The most noticeable feature on the 195 Open is stolen directly from your Ford F-150 pickup: a fold-down tailgate. It is a fantastic idea and certain to be replicated. It gives you a buttoned-up transom when you desire it, as well as a water-level boarding platform.
Not so readily observable, but a huge bonus, is the head concealed in the middle console. This produces that the 195 Open very family-friendly, particularly when your crew needs a toilet stop.
The 195 Open is available in two configurations: Open and Fish. Our test boat was the Open, which will not possess both fishing chairs, the live well or the bow casting platform.
The beginning point for many 195s is the hull, which bears a few genes in Sea-Doo watercraft. A pair of channels operate fore and aft beside the keel, providing the boat natural monitoring. A problem with water jet boats is they have a tendency to ramble with a lower unit or rudder, and I discovered these stations really kept the 195 Open on railings at all rates.
The squared-off pram bow raises the forward seating considerably, and it can be fitted using a dining table with drink/coffee holders. One especially likable feature is the Scarab designers generated great walk-around space, even beside the console.
The forward side of the console has a padded seat atop a storage locker, with a backrest of thick foam cushioning such as the material that encircles the coaming. The entire front of this console hinges upward on gasoline lifts, showing a Dometic portable bathroom behind a foot well that provides more than 5 feet of headroom. The rear of the compartment is covered with a plastic curtain so that you don't see the dashboard wiring, and each side has many mesh pockets for stowage of your gear.
The helm is tidy, using a fat wheel behind a touch Scarab chrome bezel with auto-style instrumentation, leaving a flat board to get additional electronic equipment. A husky billet controller is right where you'd want it, and there's a shelf but no lip next to the stereo. Underneath the thick Lucite windscreen, nevertheless, there's a lipped shelf, perfect for stashing your shades and suntan goop. The wheel is counter tops, a small oddity because the well-padded seat is 30 inches wide and therefore suitable for one person only. Our test boat had the optional watersports tower with a central tow point and cloth Bimini, and the whole shebang hinges to the floor to garage storage. Our boat also had the optional picture padded sea pad, which was really soft on the tootsies.
On each side of the helm are pop up chairs which become paths when folded down and, only aft, a set of big lockers. A folding sun mat covers both aft lockers, then you've got that wonderful folding transom. Our boat had the aft footwell filled with a humongous water tote for creating immense wakes when needed.
Our test boat had the standard 250 hp three-cylinder supercharged and intercooled Rotax 4-Tec powertrain, and it turns the 195 Open into very a sporty boat. We topped out at 41 miles and got there in a rush, jumping on plane at a mere four minutes and passing 30 miles in under seven seconds. Shoppers will notice the Yamaha 190 FSH posted a 43 mph top speed, but that ship has no mind and conveys no water ballast. The 195 Open didn't spin out as I'd expected -- only banked hard, threw spray everywhere and rocketed away, thanks to its hard chines on each side. Water jets are not the quietest motors, but our 195 Open had considerable sound-deadening material, and I'm told more is coming.
As a former owner of a Scarab go-fast, I had been prepared to be unimpressed, but that I had been totally won over. This is a great boat for all sorts of reasons but do not take my word: Go run one yourself. You will love it.