Reviewed by Aaron Wasylyk
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”, were the iconic words spoken by boxing legend Muhammad Ali describing his unorthodox fighting style. Coincidentally enough, those same words also aptly describe the style and performance of Yamaha’s new 2012 FX HO. With a new a new larger and lighter hull design this sporty watercraft effortlessly floats across the water and with the help of Yamaha’s powerful 1.8L 1812cc, four-stroke, four-cylinder High Output marine engine, it definitely packs a punch.
The hull and deck of the FX HO are made with Yamaha’s proprietary new “NanoXcel” technology. This closed molded process allows Yamaha to create smooth, exact parts every time. So every hull, deck and liner are all produced flawlessly without any ribs or visible structural inconsistencies. Apart from the cosmetic advantages of this process, Yamaha also claims that it reduces overall weight, while increasing strength and improving fuel economy.
The real proof of this new hull design became very apparent when testing the FX HO. The full keel and full-length outer chines kept this watercraft on track, resulting in excellent straightline tracking and quick responsive turning. Even though Yamaha increased the overall length of the craft by 19.1 cms (7.5 inches), at no point did it feel sluggish or cumbersome. The High Output engine delivers solid strong acceleration and a top speed of just over 100 km/h (62 mph) and a 0-48 km/h (0-30 mph) of just over 2 seconds.
Yamaha has wisely included a few key convenient features that allow the operator to easily and effectively manipulate the speed and power of this watercraft. Most notable are the “Cruise Assist” and “No Wake Mode” buttons located on the steering controls. The “Cruise Assist” allows drivers to set a desired speed and easily adjust it up or down by simply pressing the corresponding buttons. Likewise the “No Wake Mode” reduces the overall speed of the craft to approximately 8-11 km/h (5-7 mph) and holds it there. Furthermore, the trim settings of the FX HO are easily adjusted by twisting either up or down, while depressing a lever on the port side of the handlebar. The handlebars are fully adjustable allowing the driver to raise or lower them to whatever height feels most comfortable.
Further manipulation of this craft’s speed is made possibly via the reverse lever, located on the starboard side, just below the handlebars. It is a lever that must be squeezed before it is pulled back to engage full reverse. By pushing the lever forward it will engage a new neutral feature, putting the craft into a holding pattern until further adjustments are made. The neutral feature works extremely well and when it was engaged and tested there was no forward or backwards movement of the craft whatsoever.
The instrumentation console features a main gauge as well as a digital display on the port side. There are function buttons located beneath the handlebars that allow the operator to scroll through a variety of settings and performance monitoring features that are viewable on the digital display.
Storage aboard the FX HO is abundant and easily accessible with over 113 litres (30 gallons) of available space. The forward storage compartment is the largest and has a rubber gasket to prevent anything placed inside from getting wet. Another storage compartment is located just in front of the driver, while the rear half of the seat is removable allowing access to the second largest waterproof storage compartment onboard. Finally there is a small wet storage locker beneath the tow point at the rear of the boat for storing a tow-line and even features a convenient cut-out which allows the tow-line to remain connected while being stowed inside.
The newly designed seating is sleeker and smoother giving the craft an overall sportier look and feel. The larger stern and re-boarding platform are well integrated into the new aggressive looking hull and deck design. Also located at the stern is a very large re-boarding step that extends well into the water allowing for easier boarding.
While the FX HO definitely delivers in the power and performance department, it’s certainly no slouch when it comes to overall looks and style. So whether you’ll be floating like a butterfly or stinging across the water like a bee is entirely up to you. But whatever your style is, this is one watercraft that is sure to suit it. It’s only available in Black…which suits it just fine.
|Length:||11' 8"||3.56 m|
|Dry weight:||822 lbs||373 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||18.5 US gals||70 l|
|Engine / Drive:||4-Stroke, In-line, 4-Cylinder|