Boating - - CONTENTS - —Charles Plued­de­man

The cen­ter con­sole for­mat is as­so­ci­ated with fish­ing, and by adding the Fish Pack­age ($2,000), the new Scarab 255 Open ID will read­ily fish. But my test boat did not have the rod hold­ers, baitwell and other gear in­cluded in that op­tion. It played into the trend of cen­ter con­sole as sport boat. Ei­ther way, the 255 Open ID of­fers wideopen, care­free fun for all.

Be­cause it’s jet-pow­ered, this boat can of­fer a low­pro­file aft deck with snapoff pads and four re­mov­able back­rests that can be con­fig­ured to face fore or aft. The hinged tran­som flips down like a tail­gate and, in its hor­i­zon­tal po­si­tion, cre­ates an aft plat­form that’s about 3 feet 7 inches deep and 3 feet 2 inches wide with unim­peded ac­cess to the water — per­fect for set­ting up dive gear, pulling a wake­board, or just div­ing in. Soft MarineMat deck­ing for the plat­form and tail­gate sur­face is a $333 op­tion.

Cov­ered by the stan­dard T-top, the helm on our test boat fea­tured the op­tional 11-inch-by-4.5-inch touch­screen dis­play ($3,667) that com­bines in­stru­men­ta­tion with con­trols for the au­dio and lights, plus speed-con­trol func­tions that are an ad­di­tional $880 op­tion. There are a pair of clear-plas­tic phone hold­ers on the dash, and five USB ports that can be used to keep all de­vices charged. The T-top and seat-base tub­ing are fin­ished in wrin­kle-black paint, and there’s a ski-line tow point on the cen­ter of the T-top, ac­ces­si­ble by un­zip­ping an open­ing in the can­vas shade. The cen­ter sec­tion of the el­e­vated helm seat drops down to al­low the cap­tain to stand at the wheel, but the out­board sec­tions are fixed, and the seat felt too close to the con­sole for me. The front of the con­sole opens and can be fit­ted with a por­ta­ble head. Bot­tom cush­ions for the wrap­around bow seat­ing can all be re­moved, and two of those back­rests can be placed here for for­ward-fac­ing sup­port. There’s ded­i­cated stowage be­low the seats for two 36-quart cool­ers ($233).

Our top en­gine op­tion ($10,000 up­charge) put a pair of su­per­charged 250 hp Ro­tax jet drives be­low the hatch, de­liv­er­ing in­stant ac­cel­er­a­tion and thrilling top speed. Alas, with jets there is no trim to ad­just to con­di­tions, but the ride on a choppy lake was dry.

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