Boat Review by: Rick Layzell
After a four year hiatus created by conflicting schedules and extended by a thing called Covid, I was super pumped to receive an invitation to test Yamaha’s centre console fishing weapon - the 255 FSH SPORT E. Admittedly, I was excited just to get back on a Yamaha sport boat and then I started digging and recognized what this model brought to the market – and my excitement went into overdrive.
Yamaha’s entry into the competitive centre console market began several years ago and the 255 FSH SPORT E is the culmination of lessons learned on their 19 & 21’ models. It’s also a seamless blend of new technologies that make boating easier and more fun for all – can you say Drive by Wire!
Consumer voices have been eminently clear – we want a multi-purpose boat that can take the crew for a morning (or evening) fish, an afternoon (or morning) tube, an evening (or anytime) cruise, and we want to do so with a wide array of features that meet the needs of all three elements. Meet the 255 FSH SPORT E.
Dockside, she is striking with a full hull side deep gel colour (model year 2022 offers choices of either teal or black) running from the gunnel to the water line, with a stunning white gel on the deck that leads your eyes directly to the white powder coated frame at the helm with a fiberglass T top. We are just getting started.
Time on board quickly taught me that the 255 engineers were acutely aware of satisfying the full cross-section of consumer demands in every area around the boat.
Let’s start with the bow. A beautifully appointed anchor locker is finished in gelcoat to match the boat - no fiberglass strands waiting to cut your fingers here and your anchor comes standard. If the kids (of any age) just want to go for a ride, you’ll find a pair of loungers that can accommodate up to four seated, or two adults stretched out in the lounge position. Speakers for sound, cup holders for enjoyment, a one-piece grab rail (thank you) all make for a great cruising position. A dinette table readily pops up with a side mount install for the base to accommodate snack time. The table also securely latches down into place to create a large forward casting deck. Anglers will appreciate the insulated fish box to starboard, and there’s more storage on the port side. Time to fish? Simply remove the lounge seat pads, stow them in the gigantic storage compartment forward of the helm (which could readily incorporate a porta potti) and you’ve got a ready-made forward casting deck. Coolest feature (maybe ever) is Yamaha’s built-in entertainment unit on the port side between the bow and the helm – a 68 litre live bait well with a heavy-duty transparent lid and a transparent side wall facing into the cockpit. Tell the kids to put the phones away and watch the show! I did take note of an awkward mount on the forward port side - the standard trolling motor mount does appear a bit out of place, but this would change once your choice of trolling motor is installed. On the starboard side midship is a two-door compartment that houses six Plano tackle trays and a trash receptacle with tucked away storage clips for table mounts.
The helm – oh my! Here’s what’s standard on the 255 FSH SPORT E: Push button start/stop technology, 7” Connext system with maps, 12” Simrad touchscreen, throttle by wire, smartphone holder, Ennovation sound system with Bluetooth, USB, AUX and six Wet Sounds speakers, Ritchie compass, lighted rocker switches, a storage tray, and a glove box. The wide helm seat features flip-up bolsters on both sides and a couple of different foot rest options. The fiberglass T top is beautifully crafted and incorporates lighting, a pair of speakers, and pass thru rod storage on both sides of the helm (three rods per side). You’ll find three more rod holders tucked in under the gunnel on both sides of the boat as well. The seat forward of the helm opens forward to the lighted storage/porta potti compartment.
In addition to the dozen rod holders at the helm, there are at least that many more scattered throughout the boat so anglers on either the bow or stern casting deck won’t be left searching, they’re quite simply everywhere.
The rear casting deck is generously sized, adds in a livewell to starboard, and more storage on the port side. When it’s time to cruise the casting deck readily converts into comfortable seating for four adults in the cockpit area. You’ll also find an electric raw water washdown system on the starboard side. And it would be irresponsible to write about a Yamaha sport boat and not mention their incredible multi-level transom. Even this fish model features plush backrests, multiple beverage holders, a dinette table mount, a reboarding ladder with multiple grab handles, and more.
When it was finally time to play, the twin super charged SVHO engines (with a combined 500 HP) leapt to life and seemed eager to perform – works for me! The Connext screen lit up, assuring me that we were all set as we eased away to the testing area laid out by the kind folks from Yamaha. Sport boats have generally been pretty quick out of the hole, Yamaha claims zero to 30 mph in 5 seconds on the 255 – I can assure you that they’re not kidding.
Despite pushing 4835 lbs the hole shots truly were incredible. With 55% fuel on board (she holds 420 L/ 111 gallons) and on a markedly calm 30 degree C day, we readily found our way to a variety of cruising speeds and safely climbed to a blistering 54 MPH @ 7650 RPM. Owners should always take time to determine their own preferred cruising speeds, but I found the 255 FSH very comfortable at 26 MPH @ 3800 RPM and 37 MPH @ 5200 RPM. A shout out is warranted to the Yamaha engineers who have clearly invested energy into sound dampening. Sport boats of old tended to be loud as two engines turned at high RPM rates, but the 255 has really changed that for the better and I’m sure Yamaha has done the same throughout their sport boat lineup. Kudos to Yamaha for addressing that aspect of the boating experience.
The 255 FSH SPORT E is a dream to drive and a beautiful craft to behold. Any family looking for a multi-purpose, capable performer that serves the needs of angling, playing and cruising should absolutely take the time to check out this stunner.
|Dry weight:||4,835lbs||2,193 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||111 US gal||420 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Yamaha TWIN 1.8 L Super Vortex High Output|
|Engine HP:||250 HP each - 500 HP|