Thursday, December 12th, 2019

Scarab increases range of affordable jetboats

Published on September 11, 2014 by   ·   No Comments

Hang on to your (captain’s) hat – the brand new Scarab 165 has hit the scene and is making waves.  If your idea of fun involves taking out four friends and spending the day carving up your wake while turning heads, then this nimble 16-foot jetboat won’t disappoint.

The 165 range includes three models with 150 or 250hp Rotax engines and a futuristic 12” draft hull in a variety of candy colours, with the top-end option offering a choice of traffic light-coloured carapaces that unmistakably advertise ‘speed’.


The range’s entry level offering includes the family’s standard 150hp Rotax powerplant, three fore- and two rear-facing premium upholstered seats, a walk through stern and low-profile swim platform as well as a custom trailer.  Next up, the 165 HO ups the ante with an engine delivering a jaw-dropping 250hp, a depth sounder and stereo system equipped with now-mandatory MP3 and Bluetooth capabilities.  And, while the midrange model also includes stainless steel cup holders, we suspect passengers will usually be too busy hanging on to use them.  Finally, the top-of-the range 165 HO Impulse retains the muscular 250hp engine along with all the other models’ features, but adds cruise control and three stunning exclusive hull colours.  Optional extras include a custom wakeboard tower, Kicker speakers and a digital speed control package.  Prices range from a hair under US$20,000 for the standard 165 to a little under US$25,000 for the HO Impulse.


The Scarab pedigree stretches back to the 1970s when then-owner, Wellcraft, hit its stride in producing high-performance offshore racers.  It was practically a household name a decade later with Miami Vice’s Sonny Crockett famously piloting a 38’ Scarab KV across TV screens worldwide.

The industry’s doldrums in the late 1980s led to a series of ups and downs for the next 20 years until Wellcraft parent company Rec Boat Holdings, which also owns Four Winns and Glastron, revived the business a few years ago.  When Sea-Doo’s surprising 2012 departure from the jet boat business presented an opportunity, it was clearly too much to pass up.  They swiftly filled the gap by licensing BRP’s Rotax engines for use in a new range of lightweight performance jet boats featuring the Scarab name, aggressive, sporty lines and eye-catching hulls.


Rec Boat Holdings group president, Roch Lambert, says, “The proven Rotax power is the perfect match for this hull.  It is a fun driving boat while also a thoughtfully designed boat for the entire family – the perfect complement to our growing Scarab line of jet boats.”


The 165’s big sister, the 195, spearheaded the Scarab brand’s relaunch last May with the introduction of the 215 following a few months later.  While the larger members of the family can seat more and sport twin engines, the 165’s affordable price and unprecedented manoeuvrability (Lambert says it “…performs like a go-cart on the water”) ought to make it very attractive for budget-minded thrill seekers.  On the other hand, the well-designed cockpit promises a comfortable ride at lower speeds and even manages to offer some room to stretch out and relax.


A monster performer that won’t break the bank and looks stunning – what are you waiting for?

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