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Lateral Thrusters versus Cobra Fangs? If your Yamaha is 2019 or Newer - there's now only 1 choice.

Daren and Heather

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2020
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So I just bought a 2020 Yamaha AR210, and was trying to make a decision on which upgrade I would do to improve turning in reverse. After much research both here, and watching lots of videos, finally made the decision to purchase Lateral Thrusters instead of Cobra fangs. Only to find out when I went to purchase the LTs, they didn't have an option for Lateral Thrusters on any Yamaha boat 2019 or newer...

I called JetBoatPilot to ask them about it, and they confirmed it, and told me they have no current plans to produce a version that is compatible with the 2019/2020 Yamaha boats! That really surprised me given the popularity and innovative design of the Lateral Thrusters? Weird. Good news for the Cobra Jet owner though. :)

So for the rest of you new 2019+ Yamaha boat owners I can save you some time... Don't waste time researching lateral thrusters to improve reverse, you can't buy them. Your only option (if you have a twin engine) is the Cobra AK Fangs.
 

tabbibus

Jet Boat Junkie
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Lake Lanier, GA
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2018
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242 Limited S E-Series
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I was under the impression that 2019 and newer did not need these mods
 

BigAbe75

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Correct. The new style buckets negate the need for the lateral thrusters, as they are now designed from Yamaha with some lateral thrust capability.
 

gwrace1

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2020
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That is good to know. Save me some cash. Did add the Cobra AK19 to my 2020 195S. Install was pretty simple
 

Daren and Heather

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Thanks for that info! Did not know lateral thrusters are basically built-in to the 2019+ and thus no longer needed.

I wonder if Cobra Fangs are still helpful? I'd assume it couldn't hurt, and they are only $40...
 

BigAbe75

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I have cobra fins and fangs on my boat and like them. If you’re interested in the @Cobra Jet Steering LLC solutions at all, I highly recommend you call Jeff or email him.

He can be a little rough around the edges, at times. But; 1. he sure knows steering. 2. He’ll go above and beyond to make sure you choose the right product for your boat and intended use, and will hold your hand over the phone while you install, if necessary. And, 3. He doesn’t mince words - you’ll get the straight scoop.

Good luck with whatever you choose!!
 

Jetstream79

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I just purchased a 2020 SX190 and was wondering if steering mods are really necessary? I'm a first time jet boat owner and haven't put it in the water yet. I would be navigating busy float coves and Marinas. Has Yamaha made less of a need for these kind of aftermarket upgrades on the 2020 boats?
 

HangOutdoors

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I am taking my 2020 AR210 out in a couple hours for the first time. I am going to go stock. I also have a newly purchased Super Magnum AK-19 Deluxe version in my garage. I will be installing them this later today when I get back and I will let you know how the difference is personally.

Also Jeff at CJS is great to deal with and took care of my questions and sent the order out right away.
 

Jetstream79

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Thanks for the reply. I went ahead and just pulled the trigger on the cheaper CJS Viper system for $169. However I'm still taking my boat out with a buddy next week to run the motor for an hour or so without the system installed. I'm still super curious how yours handles without. Definately post what you think.
 

Daren and Heather

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@HangOutdoors I took a video of my Cobra Jet Fin install from last weekend. I'm in the process of uploading it to YouTube right now, I'll send you the link in a few minutes.
 

mwalker4

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I just purchased a 2020 SX190 and was wondering if steering mods are really necessary? I'm a first time jet boat owner and haven't put it in the water yet. I would be navigating busy float coves and Marinas. Has Yamaha made less of a need for these kind of aftermarket upgrades on the 2020 boats?
The fins help the boat more like a stern drive. Without fins, there will be more of a learning curve especially with a single engine boat. For me, I bought the fins to minimize the learning curve as multiple members of the family use the boat and are involved in trailering and docking. We all grew up on sterndrives. With fins and new reverse bucket gives you the best of both worlds.
 

Daren and Heather

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I just posted a video of how to do the Cobra Jet installation on a twin engine boat.
 

Jetstream79

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Awesome thanks! I ordered the cobra jet viper. $168 I think it has the lower fins. My wife will be learning along with me so we went ahead and bought them
 

Jetstream79

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I am taking my 2020 AR210 out in a couple hours for the first time. I am going to go stock. I also have a newly purchased Super Magnum AK-19 Deluxe version in my garage. I will be installing them this later today when I get back and I will let you know how the difference is personally.

Also Jeff at CJS is great to deal with and took care of my questions and sent the order out right away.
Did you get a chance to try them out?
 

foozed

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Daren and Heather

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On Tuesday I took my boat out for the second time ever, and the first time after installing the Cobra fins. Granted I didn't have a ton of experience driving my boat without, only having gone out one previous time without fins. Docking the first time without fins was terrible for me, (almost made me regret not getting a pontoon!), so I had not intention of going any longer without fins. After the install I definitely noticed an improvement with low speed steering and docking. Before I felt relatively helpless controlling it at low speed, the responsiveness is now remarkably better! For beginners, note that what Yamaha calls the "TDE" position, is your best friend when docking, it's the first position when you move from Neutral to Forward, or likewise from Neutral to Reverse, and it is the lowest amount of throttle possible to give the boat. I noticed a slight improvement with steering in Neutral (there really wasn't any steering previously), but a big improvement when in the "TDE" throttle position. I could also pretty quickly steer to the left, then correct back to the right, and back again (like doing s turns almost), it was WAY more responsive with this. Also remember when trying to drive as slowly as possible while steering, you'll want to alternate shifting from TDE to Neutral to TDE to Neutral, etc... which gives you intermittent thrust allowing you to steer while still going as slow as possible.

High speed I can't attest to, because I'm still breaking in my boat, and haven't gone above 5,000 RPMs yet even. I did notice on Tuesday when I was going about 5,000 RPM at that speed like it felt my boat was driving sideways/crooked, but this could have been because of wind or current (hopefully not cause I did a bad job aligning the keel or fins). But regardless, I never got a good baseline on what high speed was like before - so I won't be able to comment on the improvement.

@HangOutdoors, how was your first time out with the fins? Did you notice an improvement?
 

Jetstream79

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On Tuesday I took my boat out for the second time ever, and the first time after installing the Cobra fins. Granted I didn't have a ton of experience driving my boat without, only having gone out one previous time without fins. Docking the first time without fins was terrible for me, (almost made me regret not getting a pontoon!), so I had not intention of going any longer without fins. After the install I definitely noticed an improvement with low speed steering and docking. Before I felt relatively helpless controlling it at low speed, the responsiveness is now remarkably better! For beginners, note that what Yamaha calls the "TDE" position, is your best friend when docking, it's the first position when you move from Neutral to Forward, or likewise from Neutral to Reverse, and it is the lowest amount of throttle possible to give the boat. I noticed a slight improvement with steering in Neutral (there really wasn't any steering previously), but a big improvement when in the "TDE" throttle position. I could also pretty quickly steer to the left, then correct back to the right, and back again (like doing s turns almost), it was WAY more responsive with this. Also remember when trying to drive as slowly as possible while steering, you'll want to alternate shifting from TDE to Neutral to TDE to Neutral, etc... which gives you intermittent thrust allowing you to steer while still going as slow as possible.

High speed I can't attest to, because I'm still breaking in my boat, and haven't gone above 5,000 RPMs yet even. I did notice on Tuesday when I was going about 5,000 RPM at that speed like it felt my boat was driving sideways/crooked, but this could have been because of wind or current (hopefully not cause I did a bad job aligning the keel or fins). But regardless, I never got a good baseline on what high speed was like before - so I won't be able to comment on the improvement.

@HangOutdoors, how was your first time out with the fins? Did you notice an improvement?
I installed my Cobra fins today. I did take my boat out the first time without them but I didn't have any problems maneuvering at the dock. I come from jetskis though so I'm used to jet steering. I added the fins because we will be boating in very busy marinas and having the extra control will be beneficial in keeping my gelcoat nice =)
 

HangOutdoors

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I was not really able to test out WOT too much, Lake St. Clair had a lot boat waves and rollers today, was keeping it at 25 ish so as not to beat up the family too bad. Slow speed control is definitely improved. In the flats I opened it up to WOT for a short period of time, but was concerned with all the flooding and floating debris. Hopefully I will be able to test it in the first lake I took her out in tomorrow or Monday which will allow me to verify the WOT improvement. I am over 10 hours so I will be changing oil early tomorrow morning.

Also Sherriff pulled me over and gave me a ticket for Slow No Wake while I was coming into the State Park Launch. I don't buy it since I was showing one of the kids and explaining what No Wake is, why it should be observed and how keep the boat moving without a wake at 4-5 miles per hour. Don't have my MC boat numbers yet, who knows, maybe that agitated them. They were pulling over a lot of people. I did for a moment engage a bit more thrust as I was coming it closer to the breakwall since the chop was criss crossing and pushing me toward it. They gave me a full safety inspection, and wanted to see my temporary registration and Bill of sale. All of which I had and passed. Meh, not sure how much ticket is but what can you do.
 
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