The new fishing boat got a few curious looks at the boat ramp.
"A lot of people have seen jet boats before," said Marty Skapik of Cycle Springs Power Sports. "But this … this is something completely different."
Jet boats are nothing new. They've been a hit with the personal watercraft crowd for more than a decade. But while these speedsters may be ideal for running out to a sand bar for a picnic lunch, they've never been popular with anglers, who need easy access to bow and stern when it comes time to a fish.
"They just weren't practical for fishing," said Skapik, who has owned his share of conventional fishing boats. "You need to be able to walk around. That is why the center console is the most popular boat on the west coast of Florida."
But at last month's Miami Boat Show, the engine and PWC manufacturer Yamaha introduced a product line that will certainly change the way most people think about fishing boats.
"Jet boats certainly have their advantage, especially in an area such as this where we have a lot of shallow water and sensitive sea grass beds," Skapik said.
Yamaha's 190 FSH, which will be on display at this weekend's Tampa Bay Boat Show at Tropicana Field, measures 19 feet, 2 inches overall and has a draft of 16 inches. It is powered by the proven 1812CC high-output Yamaha marine engine and has all the features anglers look for in a fishing boat, including rod holders and a livewell.
The boat is powered by a single jet pump unit with a three-blade stainless steel impeller. The jet pump nozzle is the "Articulating Keel," which acts like a rudder and gives the boat added control and helps with handling.
The new 190 FSH could be the ultimate "compromise boat," with "fishability" for the angler in the family and all the creature comforts of a traditional runabout, including head that can be accessed under the center console. The stern lounging is another big plus and the ideal place to sit and relax in between bites.
The 190 FSH is available in three designs — a base model, an upgraded 190 FSH Deluxe and the flagship 190 FSH Sport which includes a custom T-top. The boat is surprisingly roomy, and while not suited for offshore use, can comfortably carry three anglers to nearshore artificial reefs on a good day.
The best feature is the transom. Since the engine and drive train are mounted in the hull, there is no motor to obstruct casting or landing fish. The two-tier swim platform sits low at the water's edge, making it ideal for snorkeling, swimming and free diving.
But the best way to get a feel for this new innovative design is to climb on board and have a look for yourself. That's the beauty of boat shows — you can look, touch and even sit down behind the wheel and imagine how it feels.
The new jet boat will be one of more than 100 boats at this weekend's Tampa Bay Boat Show. And the Yamaha 190 FSH isn't the only new model on display. The 2015s are out and this is your chance to see what all the fuss is about.
At a glance
Yamaha 190 FSH
Length: 19 feet, 2 inches
Weight: 2,050 pounds
Beam: 8 feet
Draft: 16 inches
Capacity: 1,240 pounds (eight people)
Power: 1.8L Yamaha marine engine
Fuel capacity: 30 gallons
The 190 FSH series starts at $27,999.
Learn more about the Yamaha 190 FSH