Scarab 165 Ghost Review


Zinging round the bay at a Scarab 165 Ghost is pure, unadulterated, adrenaline-pumping enjoyable. Is that the conclusion of the story? Not actually, but few boats are so simple to evaluate, so accurately, using a single word.

Yes, there's more to learn about the 165 Ghost and naturally, we'll dig a bit deeper into the details. But trust us, it's not possible to measure from this ship with a smile plastered across your face. That smile becomes generated by 150 four-stroke Rotax horses, blasting water through a 155MM jet pump to make you some top-end speed of appropriate across 40 MPH. And you get there fast--very fast. What's better, however, is what happens when you crank the wheel over. This boat handles like a sizable PWC, with near-instantaneous turns. The hull slides just enough to feel like a motorcycle slipping right into a hairpin, but not slips so much that you feel like there's a lack of control.

Oh, and incidentally, you had better plan on getting moist. Again, think of the boat like quite a large PWC. Since you zigzag back and on water flies in every direction, and you'll notice that the low-slung bow only clears the water's surface by a foot or 2. Chop the throttle as the wave approaches and you're going to scoop a face-full of water. For this reason, I really do wish the helm had a little more protection, in the form of a small windshield. Something to duck behind, just so it didn't feel like someone was standing on the bow using a garden hose aimed directly in the face. 

Then again, maybe that's a philosophical mindset. PWCs do not have windshields, and half the fun is getting soaked in the first place, right? Besides, this ship is made for this. There's nothing that can get damaged by a thorough dousing, the springs and springs are sealed, and the cockpit is self-bailing. So what the hell --catch a bathing suit, put your mobile phone in a waterproof case, and have some more fun.

There's also a pair of aft-facing chairs built into the stern, although these are probably best used for coving and swimming as opposed to when running.

Do you want to have more details? There isn't a heck of a lot more to talk, because the Scarab 165 Ghost is all about as simple a jet boat as you'll find. The stringers are ceramic, the lights are LEDs, the cleats are stainless steel, and the included trailer is covered in GatorHyde complete. All that's left to discuss is cost --but in this scenario, the cost is a major thing. Remember that this boat was introduced around this time this review printed, and following that the 2017 model year changes, this amount could change, also. But any way you look at it, this is a stellar bargain: a jet boat using a power plant and a trailer for far less than the average new vehicle. In reality, that's barely half of the price of an average new car ($33,560 in 2016, according to Kelly Blue Book). It's also only a few hundred bucks more than a PWCs and it's a cost that virtually any middle-class American can afford--even young people who are only getting their careers started. Nevertheless, do not think the 165 Ghost is only for kids.