- Wakeboard tower, hinging
- Rotax® 4-TEC 250hp HIGH OUTPUT HO – 23 total hours
- Cruise Control
- SeaDek on platform
- Storage Cover
- KICKER speakers incl Sub
- KICKER amplifier
- Bluetooth Stereo
Boating World Magazine review:
How does the sub-16-foot Scarab 165 HO Impulse we tested compare to the competition? Well, there isn’t any; it’s simply the only boat of its kind currently being produced. Despite its size, it’s not some sort of throwback. It’s a thoroughly modern boat with a host of high-tech features. Then there’s the styling. Yep … Scarab’s back.
The first thing you notice when you plop yourself in one of the low-slung, three-abreast Comfort Ride seats is how cushy they are, thanks to the suspension-spring seat bottoms. But the most unusual feature is the vertical gap between the twin backrest cushions that cant inward, which I’ll call the “spinal gap” in honor of my favorite faux band. In addition to staying cooler and taking the G force–related pressure off your spinal cord when you hammer the throttle, the inward angle helps wedge you in place during hard turns — which there will be a lot of in this model. Scarab designers used this space in another interesting way by adding mood lighting, which combines with the lighted cupholders to add some nighttime ambiance.
The 165 Jet comes with two engine choices. The standard model is the Rotax 150 hp version; the upgrade is the supercharged 250 hp HO engine, which runs a little less than $5K more. Simply put: Go big or don’t play. This is a thrill machine with the larger engine, so unless you are buying it just to use the rear jump seats for lounging at the sandbar hangout, the 250 is the way to go. Its weight-to-power ratio is off the charts. The 165 weighs just 1,600 pounds dry, so the math gives you a figure of 6.4 pounds per horsepower with the 250. For comparison, a sub-20-foot Sea Ray 19 Sport weighs 2,600 pounds, and its standard 135 hp 3.0L engine gives you a weight-to-power figure of 19.3 pounds per pony. Even with its most powerful 4.3L 220 hp sterndrive, the Ray’s still at 11.8 pounds per equine.
So what does all that power feel like? I’ve never actually been shot out of a cannon, but now I think I have a pretty good idea of what it’s like. Upon launch, there was very little bowrise as the li’l Scarab reached plane in 1.6 seconds and hit 30 mph in only 4.7 seconds. We hit a top speed of 53 mph with the Rotax screaming at 8000 rpm. Because of the boat’s size and our proximity to the lake’s surface, it felt like we were going 73.
The biggest downside of older-gen compact jetboats with minimal deadrise was the brutal pounding your body took when you went over any wave taller than a G.I. Joe action figure. The 165 Impulse features 21 degrees of deep-V wave-cleaving deadrise, giving it a surprisingly soft ride. Rookie jetboat pilots can attest to the fact there is a learning curve to driving them correctly. At slow speeds, they often go in the exact opposite direction you’d imagined, especially in reverse, until you learn that the bow goes in whatever direction you turn the wheel, no matter which direction you are going.
Another problem with high-power models like our test boat is how quickly the power comes on. Launching skiers without nearly jerking their arms out of their sockets can be challenging, but Scarab gives you a few tools to help. The standard Impulse package comes with cruise control, but to really take charge, choose the Digital Speed Control Package ($1,067), which uses Sea-Doo’s Intelligent Throttle Control (iTC) to give you Ski Mode. With it you can control the rate of acceleration from 1 to 5 and preset the target speed, so all you do is apply full throttle and get the perfect tow. Docking Mode limits the throttle to 3500 rpm and spreads it out over the entire power-lever throw for precise control. And for maximizing your range (important with a 20-gallon fuel tank), ECO Mode settles in at your best mpg speed even with the throttle advanced all the way. As you would expect, the 165 Jet can do the crazy turns you’ve seen other jetboats do, with perhaps a little more inward lean due to the deadrise; fortunately, there are plenty of grabrails.