WaveRunner SHO — by Yamaha

Tested by by Heinrich Kleyn (November/December 2008)

Contact 0800 926 242 for your nearest dealer.

Length: 3.34m
Width: 1.23m
Height: 1.24m
Engine: 1 800cc
Dry weight: 355kg
Fuel capacity: 70 litres
Carrying capacity: 3 persons

THE recent steep fuel hikes and the high cost of living have driven many ski-boaters away from their normal 16ft or 19ft ski-boats and over to the jetski market. Not only do they save fuel on the jetski, but they can also do away with their fuel-guzzling 4×4 they needed to tow the ski-boat.

However, this is not the only reason jetskis have become so popular in recent years. They are of course fun for the whole family, but add to this all the recent upgrades, it’s now also easy to go fishing from a jetski. In fact, it’s incredible how much manufacturers now fit on a ski.

I was recently asked to test the SHO Yamaha jetski which is a good example of this type of craft.

These days most jetskis look very similar — it is just the colour, size of seating and size of engine that differs. My first impression of the SHO Yamaha was that it looks very stylish, and is fitted with all the necessary accessories to make fishing easy.
For a change the spring conditions were not too bad — the only thing we had to deal with was the huge swell. It was easy to overlook that handicap, though, and I was keen to see what the SHO could deliver.
The SHO I tested arrived on a stainless-steel trailer. It looks very good on the trailer and it would be interesting to see how the stainless-steel trailer withstands the test of time.

Pulling it onto the beach went smoothly and dropping it off on the water’s edge was also easy. While the trailer was being put away I managed to turn the SHO very easily in shallow water on my own.

After the test we ran the SHO onto the beach and loading it was nearly as easy as offloading. We just pushed the breakneck trailer to the front of the jetski and with the help of the hand winch it was pulled onto the trailer without any hassles.

The SHO comes fitted with a Yamaha 1.8 litre super-charged engine which is 300cc larger than any other PWC. It is also the only engine that runs on unleaded petrol, which saves on fuel costs. The craft is also 20.5kg lighter than similar-sized and powered craft thanks to the revolutionary material, NanoXcel, which Yamaha uses to form the hull, hull liner and deck of the SHO. 
The SHO is lightning-fast, largely due to the lighter hull, no doubt. It is quick out the hole and the acceleration is just breathtaking. The amount of power it delivers takes some getting used to. It was impossible to reach its top end speeds in the conditions we experienced, but I would love to test it on flat water and see what I could get out of the SHO.

This jetski comes with a cruise-assist setting that helps the operator maintain a constant speed. This improves the fuel economy and is good news for the fisherman. Now you can maintain trolling speed and your arms and hands won’t get tired from controlling the throttle.

The performance on this SHO was impressive, and I was particularly pleased with its stability at all times, whether trolling at low or high speed and even on the drift. Before the test I thought it would be difficult to maintain one’s balance when fighting a fish which requires one to move around quite a bit, but that was not the case at all. I moved around backwards, forwards and sideways, all with no problem. Her stability was impressive indeed.

The SHO can comfortably carry up to three people and has an adjustable steering to accommodate different size drivers. It also boasts a 100 litre storage space that includes a watertight compartment for anything that you need to keep dry. An added bonus is a remote-controlled security system that can be activated up to 30m away.

To make docking easier, the SHO has been fitted with pull-up cleats. It also has rod holders fitted at the back, but that could be changed to suit the individual. Right at the back the safety canister fits tightly into a stainless-steel holder that could also take another two upright fishing rods. The craft has a 70 litre fuel capacity.

Yamaha are justifiably proud of the SHO which boasts the first and only high compression-moulded performance hull and deck. The overall layout and design is superb, and it’s obvious Yamaha have put a lot into research and development into the design and finish of this jetski. And to match, the SHO’s bold style is backed up by its aggressive performance.

Any fisherman who wants to save fuel but also wants the luxury of being able to go fishing offshore without the hassle of having to manage a larger boat — whether on the trailer, on the beach or offshore — should have a look at this option. The jetski can be customised and fitted with everything you would have on a ski-boat, with the added advantage that you can handle it on your own. However, this one’s big enough that should you want company while out at sea, you can also take somebody with you to enjoy a day’s fishing.

The SHO is not only designed for fishing, but can also be used at the dam for a day out with the family. With all the extras that have been fitted onto the SHO, you could easily pull a kneeboard or even a wakeboard at a constant speed. The SHO is a definite yes for the whole family.

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