Yamaha 275 SD Boat Test

The 275 SD is Yamaha’s biggest jet boat, and it delivers beaucoup power, sophistication, comfort and fun. Boating's top crew of editors sea-trialed and evaluated it so that boaters---boat buyers especially-- can learn the in-depth details about this boat's performance, construction and other features. Is it the right boat for you? Read on.

Yamaha 275 SD Boat Test

Yamaha’s 275SD brings to the water a commanding length and a 9-foot beam, plus a dominating 500 hp to rocket across the waves. This twin-engine jet boat resides at the apex of Yamaha product design, featuring systems integration that makes it a pleasure to own, exciting to drive, easy to maintain, and reliable year after year.

Let’s start with the DRiVE system. Yamaha took the process of docking, one of the hardest parts of piloting a jet boat, and made it simple and easy. Paddles on the steering wheel provide the ultimate in precision speed control and the ability to instantly shift from forward to reverse. The paddles fall under your fingertips on the wheel, the right paddle activating forward propulsion to 3,000 rpm, and the left triggering reverse propulsion to 3,000 rpm. With this system, Yamaha capitalized on its jet system’s hyper-maneuverability, but tamed it for precision docking.

LOA: 27'0" | Beam: 9'0" | Draft (max): 1'10" | Displacement (approx.): 5,466 lb. | Transom Deadrise: 20 degrees | Bridge Clearance: 8'6" | Fuel Capacity: 90 gal. | Max Horsepower: 500 | Available Power: Dual Yamaha 250 hp SVHO supercharged four-stroke inboards/jet drives (Courtesy Yamaha Boats/)

DRiVE is selected on the Connext display panel by pressing the throttle icon on the screen. One touch gives you dual-throttle-lever control. Another touch gives single-lever control of both SVHO supercharged engines. Yet another touch activates the DRiVE paddles on the wheel. You can use paddles while seated, or looking into a ski mirror or over your shoulder, but we discovered you could flip up the seat bolster to make standing room in front of the helm, then turn your back to the wheel, steering into a slip with the paddles.

The Connext panel is a head-up display on the dash that looks like the screen of an Audi. Icons on the touchscreen give access to mapping, engine information, speed-control features for water-sports, lights, electrical-systems control and audio. If you don’t want to reach for the touchscreen, there’s a toggle to the right of the helm that allows you to jog between functions, and select and operate them.

At speed, the 275SD is a wave-crushing blast. We tested it in Florida’s Biscayne Bay and enjoyed a smooth ride in bumpy water. Speed and acceleration were exhilarating—a hallmark of Yamaha jets. Adding to the control is Yamaha’s patented articulating keel. Think of tiny rudders that assist the jet pumps' directional control while also enhancing tracking.

That may be a long-winded discussion about the controls, but they represent the pinnacle of Yamaha’s engineering. Yet the company doesn’t forget comfort and fun.

The Connext panel is a head-up display on the dash that looks like the screen of an Audi.
The Connext panel is a head-up display on the dash that looks like the screen of an Audi. (Courtesy Yamaha Boats/)

The cockpit is surrounded in comfortable seating. An entertainment galley behind the skipper’s seat houses a slide-out cooler and a prep station for snacks. The aft couch is divided in the center, providing a convenient walkway from the cockpit to the transom platform. It’s far more convenient than having to clamber the seats to the platform.

On each side of the walkway are forward-facing seats with movable backrests that convert the platform seats to chaise-style lounges. Bow seating is spacious too, and the forward seats can be configured to give kids a fun, forward-facing ride while keeping them safely inside the boat.

The entire cockpit is shaded by a hardtop that matches the sleek lines of the hull. Side windows on the 275SD are curved, with frames that blend into the fiberglass, eliminating that bolt-on look.

For a comparable jet boat, you’d have to look at Scarab and decide between its 255 or 285 ID ($134,321 with comparable power, tower and trailer). Scarab offers INR (Intelligent Neutral and Reverse), which keeps the boat sitting still in true neutral when properly adjusted for the load and conditions. And it boasts a docking mode, which limits throttle speeds for steadier low-speed maneuvers. It lacks Yamaha’s track-enhancing articulating keel, but makes more aggressive turns at speed.

Bow seating is spacious and comfortable.
Bow seating is spacious and comfortable. (Courtesy Yamaha Boats/)

Yamaha’s patented jet-pump cleanouts on the platform allow the boater to remove ingested weeds from inside the boat—a feature no other jet-driven vessel can boast. Also convenient are the flushing ports for rinsing salt water from the cooling passages in the motor—a feature that makes it easy to perform that life-extending process. Battery switches are easy to access, so the boat can be made completely dormant during storage, sparing the batteries from frustrating parasitic drain. Also making the vessel easier to maintain is the spacious engine compartment that allows unfettered access to the inboard four-stroke engines when needed.

Big crews will want the convenience of a portable head compartment on board, and the 275SD has it. It features stonelike countertops, with a freshwater sink, and a roomy interior lit by an LED light or portlight.

The 275SD is apt to change the way people look at big dayboats. We’ve been around enough of them to know.

High Points

  • DRiVE paddles on the wheel make shifting and throttle control easy for safe docking.
  • Stainless-steel cup holders are LED-backlit.
  • LED courtesy and underwater lights are accessible via the Connext screen.

Low Points

  • Articulating keel requires larger-radius recovery turns for watersports, but adds tracking control for smoother towed sports.

Price: $131,249 (with test power)

Available Power: Jet drives

Yamaha 275SD Certified Test Results
Yamaha 275SD Certified Test Results (Boating Magazine/)

How We Tested

Engines: Dual Yamaha 250 hp SVHO supercharged four-stroke inboards

Drive/Prop: Jet drives/stainless-steel impellers

Gear Ratio: 1.00:1

Fuel Load: 75 gal

Water on Board: 0 gal.

Crew Weight: 450 lb.

Yamaha Boats - Kennesaw, Georgia; 800-962-7926; yamahaboats.com

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9 Tips for Winterizing Your Boat’s Marine Electronics

In this article, West Coast and Electronics Editor Jim Hendricks, recognized worldwide for his expertise with marine electronics, offers nine tips for stowing your boat's electronics for the winter, or any long-term storage period.

9 Tips for Winterizing Your Boat’s Marine Electronics

Protect your electronics this winter. (Courtesy Raymarine/)

You might not think marine electronics need winterization, but they do. Here are tips from Jim McGowan, marketing manager for FLIR/Raymarine, for preparing your marine electronics for long-term storage this winter.

Remove and Store

If practical, remove your electronics from the boat and store them at home.

Back 'em Up

Save your waypoints, routes and tracks to external media. With multifunction displays, you can back up to a microSD card or sync to an app on your mobile device. Should anything bad happen (such as theft), at least you’ll have your data saved.

Wash and Cover

Use fresh water, mild soap and a microfiber towel to clean and dry electronics left aboard. Then protect each unit with a sun cover. Wash radar scanners, GPS sensors, and thermal cameras too (don’t use a pressure washer) to remove salt and bird droppings before shrink-wrapping.

Lens Advice

If you have a FLIR camera, place it into its “Park” position, which faces the lens surface down to protect it from damage.

Not Too Tight

If you are shrink-wrapping the boat yourself, use care when covering radar and satellite antennas. If too tight, the wrap can warp open-array antennas or crack dome housings.

Connector Care

Ensure plugs and cables are not exposed to the weather, to protect the pins and contacts from corrosion. Label the cables as you are removing them for reference next spring.

Transducer Tip

If you have an in-hull transducer that uses a reservoir, check what kind of liquid is inside. It should be propylene glycol (nontoxic antifreeze), but sometimes it ends up just having water inside, which could freeze and split the housing.

Power Down

Turn off circuit breakers to your electronics. Your boat might also have power to NMEA 2000 networks. Switch it all off to preserve your batteries for next spring. One exception is your boat’s security system, which needs to stay on to help thwart would-be thieves.

Chillin' Out

Before leaving marine electronics aboard your boat through the winter, check the temperature specification ranges for storage of your particular units. This might differ from the operating temperature, both of which you can find in your owner’s manual or on the manufacturers' websites.

“Raymarine MFDs, instruments and other devices with screens can all remain on board for the winter as long as you are comfortable with your boat’s security situation,” says Jim McGowan, marketing manager for FLIR/Raymarine. “The cold weather won’t bother them at all. We do extensive cold-weather testing on our displays, and certify them for storage at temperatures ranging from minus 22 to 158 degrees F.”

Not all marine electronics are rated for storage at such low temperatures. Simrad’s NSS Evo3S multifunction displays, for example, are rated for storage down to 4 degrees F. If you anticipate temperatures dipping below the rated temperature, whichever brand you own, make plans to remove it from your boat before it’s shrink-wrapped for winter.

In addition to temperature considerations, think about suspending any subscriptions you use to receive information through your marine electronics. For example, if you have a subscription to a satellite service such as SiriusXM radio, marine weather or Fish Mapping, you can suspend your account for winter when your boat is not being used.

SiriusXM allows you to reactivate in spring without penalties or fees. It’s worth checking with SiriusXM or other providers to see what is possible, and perhaps save some money over the long, cold winter.

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