Yamaha 242X E-Series

The surprising reasons why this jet boat is so great for wakeboarding

Yamaha 242XWBM

When we first stepped onto the Yamaha 242X, we were impressed with one thing: the quality. That didn't really surprise us; the Yamaha brand brand has always made legit products in every market it's in. But the 242X is a jet boat, right? This thing looked and felt awesome on the inside, but how would it actually be to ride behind? The problem with jet-drive boats for wakeboarding or towing in any sport has always been the same: As soon as you cut out, you pull the rear end of the boat with you. Without a prop or rudder, the running surface doesn't have anything keeping it from sliding out sideways. Trust me when I tell you that when you're trying to keep speed, driving a straight line and having the wakes clean is next to impossible with that going on behind you.

Without underwater gear, the low draft of a jet drive is great for getting into shallow water, but terrible for tracking and keeping a steady line when someone is riding. What we learned from talking with the good folks at Yamaha before we got behind the helm was that they’ve spent about four years in research and development fixing that problem. They’ve developed something on the bottom of this boat that they call an “articulating keel.” This keel is now more extenuated under the hull, and a moving extension at the stern works with the steering system. This innovation keeps the boat’s rear end from sliding out when towing someone, and allows it to track better and maneuver more easily at docking speeds.

We pulled Yamaha team rider Danny Hampson all around the lake behind the 242X for wakeboard, wakeskate and wakesurf sets, and the experience was more than impressive. You still have to get used to the subtle differences between driving this boat and driving a V-drive, but overall we were pretty blown away. The wake was good, the wave was more surfable than we thought it would be, and it helps that Danny did every trick under the sun behind it to validate its performance. Overall, we were super impressed by the Yamaha 242X, so if you're in the market for all the benefits that a jet-drive boat provides, it's definitely worthy of a test drive and some strong consideration.

Yamaha 242XWBM
Length 24'
Beam 101"
Dry Weight 4,032 lb.
Fuel Capacity 50 gal.
Seating Capacity 12
Cup Holders 14
Engine Twin 1.8 L high-output