Lasting Impressions: 2018 Yamaha AR190
Hey Dads and Moms, We just bought a 2018 Yamaha AR190. Here are some Pros and Cons of the boat. Pro's: Jet propulsion, no prop Minimal maintenance Price Includes trailerStyle/DesignAvailable StorageFits in a standard 2 car garage Con's:Basic Analog/Digital DisplaySee where they cut cost: Cushions (Non-hinge, Upholstery) Cup Holders, Radio Single Jet Engine: Wish there was a little more pullWeight Capacity
Since the boat comes with the trailer, the only thing you'll need to do is get a Boater Starter Kit, gas up and you're all set for the launch ramp. We purchased the Yamaha Boat Starter Kit, which came with (4) Universal Yamaha Life Vests, an Air Horn, a First-Aid Kit, (4) 20 ft Dock Lines, (2) Contoured Dock Bumpers, (2) Universal Bumper Straps and a Life Preserver. The boat came with (2) Fire Extinguishers and lastly you're going to want to buy an Anchor.
The styling and design of the boat is great, when you're cruising around the lake you'll definitely turn some head. There were many times when we retrieved the boat and someone came over to compliment it. Once in the water it handles like a giant Jet Ski which incidentally it is. For the first time boat owner like us it's a great boat. It's fast... enough, big... enough, very affordable (MSRP $32,000), can be stored in a standard 2 car garage (don't have to pay a storage fee) and the cost of maintenance is low compared to other models due to Yamaha's reliable marine engine and this great California weather!! (No winterizing required). All in all it checks many of the boxes off for a first time buyer. Now with that said let's talk about what I don't like about it.
Yes, I said it's affordable but with affordability comes a trade off. You'll see it first in the helm. Most the gauges are analog with a digital info display that looks like they took it off a $20 Casio from Sears. You do get a nice amount of storage but it's a pain to get to, especially with a full boat of people. The cup holders are nice looking but after having to do some minor work on the boat I find that they are cheaply put together. Then there is the radio / speaker system, I had a better system in my '98 Chevy Cavalier. It's good enough to listen to while you are anchored somewhere but while cruising you'll have it on full blast and still have problems hearing it. Lastly, the Single Jet engine, it's good enough but with a full boat of adults, you're going to want more power.
All in all it's a great boat, we love it! So much so that after a few years of owning it we plan on upgrading it to either the AR 210 or if we're getting real fancy a 212 Limited S. Both these models address all the issues we have with the AR 190. They're bigger, faster, offer more capacity and better features. If you're in the market for a great starter boat you can't go wrong with a Yamaha Jet Boat. If you start with an AR 190 or decide to go bigger you won't be disappointed. Let's be honest, a boat is a luxury item and there are many unforeseen cost associated with owning a boat, yet the value and reliability from Yamaha, either starting at a 19ft or wanting 21ft / 24ft, make it easy and affordable to get your family on the water.