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Just how noisy / thirsty are they?

msavold

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New to jet boats and Yamaha in particular, I've been doing some research and reading. According to some (cough, cough, Chaparral forums...) they are useless noisy, thirsty toys! Well, where we plan to use the boat, the water's shallow so a Yamaha is perfect for us - but what about the noisy/thirsty question? Didn't seem like it to me at first glance...

So I went to boattest.com and copied some of their test data into a spreadsheet and the results were surprising. (Note: the comparison is limited to other boats that we thought could have fit our mission profile - before we found out how much better a Yamaha would be for us!)

At equivalent speeds:
  • The new AR240HO is quieter at equivalent speeds than a Bennington or Sun Tracker pontoon.
  • The new AR240HO is quieter than the Chaparral Sunesta 224 with a 260hp i/o. The previous model is noisier, but not as much as I would have thought based on the comments.
  • With the exception of the new Chaparral jet boats fuel consumption is almost identical for all types of boats at speeds less than 10mph and and things even out when flat out too with the i/o drinking more above 45mph than the new AR240! The previous model drinks more at the low end but from 35mph up, less than the i/o
  • The new Chaparral jet boats are noisy, thirsty pigs! There, I said it! :)
Not what I expected at all from the propaganda! Throw in some additional sound proofing and things should get interesting.
 

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Gym

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Much of what you hear from the uninformed is old information which dates back to the two strokers. They are still good boats but are loud. Your best bet is to go for a test ride rather than read reviews. That will be the definitive test for you. My 2006 SX230 is louder than I would like but they have made great strides since then. You will get a lot of boat for the money and twin engine confidence to boot.
 

OrangeTJ

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Just seconding the opinion that much of what is out there on other forums that is negative about jet driven boats is either based on somebody having gone out on somebody else's boat (generally an older and smaller one) or based on nothing more than passing along what they've heard from somebody else. Very few opinions by people who have ever actually operated, let alone owned, one. I've seen the statement about these boats being "toys" in a few places, but really that's just nonsense. They're no more or less "toys" than any other recreational boat, regardless of the drive setup. Virtually none of us use our boats for any kind of actual work, which pretty much makes them toys. If the implication is that they're somehow "throw away", well that's just false. I fail to see how two extremely similar boats (in terms of size, seating capacity, power, hull deadrise, etc.) separated only by the method used to propel them through the water can be classified into toy/not toy.

By all accounts so far, the 2015 240/242 series boats are a major step forward in terms of sound insulation, but the prior versions were excellent boats as well.
 

octavio3311

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I don't find my Yamaha overly noisy. Louder than most I/O's but still quieter than others. Definitely quieter than my friends 8.1 Chapparal with its Corsa side exhaust. Sure I would like it to be a little quiter, but it really doesn't bother me much. At speed, most of what is heard is wind noise anyways.
As for fuel, I find it to be on par with others. On par with my previous 4.3L Crownline. But towing at surf speeds (10-11mph), I do tend to use more fuel now.
 

Noko

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I bought my 2014 AR 240 this last Spring. I don't think its too loud. Its been a while since I have ridden in anything to compare it to so maybe I can't compare it to a similar boat. You can't carry on a conversation at WOT but I don't know of too many boats where you can. Its noisy and windy in any boat doing 47-50mph. When I cruise in mine around 10mph, its pretty easy to hear people. I think the quality of my boat is pretty good. The motors are great and easy to take care of. Its hauls butt from a standing start, yeah, I know, "hole shot".:) It rides great, especially when its got a full load of people on it. I certainly wouldn't say its a toy. I've gotten a lot of compliments on it.
 

OCMD

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My two stroke LS2000 was loud as hell as well as a gasoline guzzler. Just drank the gas. My 230 is quieter, and compared to the two stroke, sips the gas. I did a 50 mile round trip a few weeks ago and still had plenty of gas left at the end of the day. I love my "toy"and it's ease of maintenance.
 

Evildwarf

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If you listen to a certain segment of the boat owners in the world the jet boats are not a "real" boat. They are loud, poorly designed, gas guzzling, poor handling, blah blah blah.
Kind of funny since Yamaha boats have been a huge portion of the pie in terms of market share for family sport boats.
On our lake we see Cobalts, Searays, 4winns, Mastercraft etc etc. Honestly we see more Yamahas these days on the water than any other single brand. A surprising number of Yammis live on Allatoona and several Seadoos too.
Point is that Yamaha must be doing something right to sell so many boats.
We are on our second Yamaha and have very few complaints. These are great family boats, fun, comfortable, easy to maintain (we were an I/O family and the difference in maintenance every year is huge) easy to drive (despite the hype) and if you want good gas mileage then get a sailboat or a kayake it's a sport boat not a Prius.
You are doing your homework and that's important, but a test drive will tell you a lot about these boats.
Good luck with your search, I'm sure you will enjoy whatever boat you choose.
And welcome aboard, this forum is a huge resource for info on jet boats.
 

SCSTWG

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I really like Chaparral boats and they have a good user forum as well. I was determined to buy a used Chaparral (256 SSX, 244 or 244 Sunesta w/tower). I did years worth of research and was ready to pull the trigger and ultimately decided on a Yamaha. The reasons were very strait forward:

- I have three young girls and as a first time boat owner, having the prop scared the hell out of me
- Second, you simply get much more boat for your money with Yamaha (but Chaparral is better quality in general)
- Reading the Chaparral owners forum, it was clear that quality control had gone down and Chaparral wasn't really standing behind some of the manufacturing issues.
- Lower cost and ease of maintenance and winterization - I did not want to replace props or have to deal with a lower unit.
- Extremely reliable power plants
- The #1 reason - this forum. While Chaparral has a good forum, this is a great forum. Any call for help is met with immediate responses from knowledgeable owners who will do anything to help you. More like a family than a forum. That means a lot to someone who has a 3-month boating season and doesn't want the boat sitting in the shop.

Fuel economy is nearly identical to an I/O. Prior to the 2015 24' model, the Yamaha jetboat is louder. Not terrible, but noticeable. Yes, there are pros and cons and buying a Chaparral is not a bad choice. For my money though, Yamaha offers the best value.
 

Julian

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msavold

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Everyone's comments are echoing what I found out and one of the reasons that I posted the spreadsheet - it's amazing how much old/misinformed/inaccurate information is out there. Thank you interwebs!

The other reason I did it was because when I went on a test drive on a 2014 242 Limited S recently, it was loud - but it didn't strike me as the "extremely" loud some folks referred to. IMHO, unless you can go out on two boats one after the other in similar conditions, anything as subjective as sound level becomes an iffy comparison at best. Also, I've found a number of posts on here about soundproofing but I haven't found one with before and after results, so I thought I'd try and approach a comparison from another direction.

The main reason I mentioned Chaparral - great boats, yeah, but not a contender for us because of draft - is that I've looked at a few owners' forums and I couldn't believe how flat out nasty (and ignorant) some of the comments were.

This, of course, is an aside to all the great qualities of these boats - no prop, shallow running, reduced maintenance, etc. - and the reasons we're shopping for one now.
 

Noko

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I've all of 10hrs on my boat but I love it. I've always like Yamaha products and just boat two brand new snow mobiles. Their stuff has always run great and been pretty maintenance free. The learning curve is pretty quick and I got to be pretty comfortable docking and trailering the boat. I got some good advice here and bought the biggest boat I could. I started looking at the 190 and settled with the 240. Only draw back is it won't fit in my garage. So, its a bigger boat house sometime in the future. I don't know why any other boaters would crap on the Yammis or any other boat. We all buy what suits our needs. I went with the Yamaha because of price, performance and from all the positive comments I got from people on the forums.
 

rkluck

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I do think our boats are louder. It has been a complaint and Yamaha is addressing it (2015s). You can do the same thing yourself on older models. Most comparisons by independent (as much as possible) magazines usually state that the GPH is better for the Yamahas. I don't know for sure since my last boat was smaller and had a smaller engine. I kind of look at this like when you buy a sports car. You know the gas consumption will suck but you don't care because you get performance. Every boat has good and bad. The layout, space and the swim deck were key sellers for me.
 

Speedling

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Put straight exhaust (eliminate the waterbox) on your boat. I did. No speed but holy cow was that loud!
 

OrangeTJ

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That sounds dreadful! Now, maybe if you could find a way to route the exhaust through a top-of-the-line aftermarket sportbike exhaust, perhaps it could sound kind of cool. The R1 with a good exhaust sounds quite mean. I wouldn't personally want to listen to it for an hour as I run across the lake, but that would apply to a loud "go fast" boat as well.
 

txav8r

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Excellent info here! I agree with your spreadsheet. Of all boats I have been exposed to, this is about the same as any runabout in terms of noise, and your right, the wind noise is what beats you up at cruise and higher. You can get away from that, just close the windscreen and helm compartment door and stay behind the windshield. As far as fuel usage, I find my Yamahas less. But I would attribute that to setting and maintaining a cruise rpm vs just tearing across the lake. There is a big difference in gas purchasing if I use cruise settings vs WOT. When I had other boats, I am afraid they didn't have the fun factor that the Yamaha does, all my Stingray could do well, was 60mph...and my kidneys were generally sore after the weekend. Good stats here, glad you took the time!
 

ScarabMike

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I had a 2013 Searay 190 Sport before I purchased my Scarab. It was a nice, very quiet and fast boat. It had the new 4.6ltr MPI engine with a 21" Vengance prop. The boat would ride good, but drove like crap. It also was trash in the chop no matter what the trim was set at. I had an incident, and decided to upgrade to a jetboat, and got my Scarab. At first (break in) it was crazy loud, and the computer seemed to pour fuel in the engine. But that was to protect the engine, and force a proper break in. Scarabs use the same power plant as the Chaps.

I have since broken her in, and she is an incredible ride. You can hear the supercharger whine within the engine roar. It has quieted down drastically, and I can navigate all day long without fuel consumption worries. I have never looked back. Im sure the Yamaha experience is just as good.

Everyone looking to get into jet boating needs to test one, or ride in one to experience it first hand. But, just like everything, its not for everyone.
 

Evildwarf

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Not to hijack this thread but: warning, thread hijack in progress

Not that I would sell my 242 but I'm very curious about the Scarabs.
Hope to see some at the Atlanta boat show, would love to drive one.
ScarabMike, I'm "boat-curious" again, I blame you.
There are several Seadoos on our lake but no Scarabs as of yet that I have seen.

We return now to our regularly scheduled thread.......
 

ACRDSPORT14

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My 150 Yamaha outboard vs. my sx190 is so noticeable, it's shouldn't even be in the same sentence to be comparable.
 

ScarabMike

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@Evildwarf I will be relocating to Jacksonville, FL within the next couple months. If your ever near the area, Ill give you a chance to drive it.
 

txav8r

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My 150 Yamaha outboard vs. my sx190 is so noticeable, it's shouldn't even be in the same sentence to be comparable.
The only comparable note between the two is that they are both yamaha built. But the dynamics of an outboard motor compared to a watercraft motor is night and day.
 
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