Explorer 510 — by Yamaha

Tested by Heinrich Kleyn (SKI-BOAT May/June 2010)

Length – 5.1m (16ft)
Beam – 2.1m
Weight — 400kg
Recommended motors — 2 x 40-60hp 2-strokes; 1 x 90-130hp 2-strokes; 2 x 40-60hp 4-strokes; 1 x 80-115hp 4-stroke
Power as tested — 1 x 100hp 4-stroke Yamaha

WHEN it comes to Yamaha and their new craft, it seems to be a never ending story of innovation and reliability. Once again Yamaha have a surprise in store for the market in the form of an addition to their Explorer range — the 510SLC model. This single-or dual-installation model is a multi-purpose craft that is light and easy to handle. She perfectly fills the gap between the Explorer 465 and the Explorer 540.

I have tested some of the other Explorer models, so I had a pretty good idea of what she would be like. When I arrived at the Durban Ski-Boat Club for the test, she immediately gave the impression of a clean, tidy boat. She looks expensive, but is really very good value for money. 
As with all the other boats built by Grant Reed for Yamaha, she has an impressive, neat finish and is obviously a good quality boat. This particular Explorer 510 had been painted white and red which made her stand out.

Towing this craft was easy in comparison to some of the bigger craft that I have towed. Putting her into the water was also easy, and I’m sure it would be possible to launch her single-handedly, if necessary. Two people could launch her with very little effort. 
Coming off the sea I ran her straight up onto the beach. With the help of my winch, I got her loaded onto the trailer with ease. She is not a heavy boat, and although she’s 16ft long, loading and offloading her was a cinch.

On the day of the test we had beautiful weather with no wind, but the sea was a little bumpy. The conditions weren’t ideal for testing a boat, but we did the best we could under the circumstances and pushed the Explorer to her limits to see what she was capable of.

The test model 510 Explorer was fitted with a single 100hp 4-stroke Yamaha with sidemount cable controls and hydraulic steering. 
She could be fitted with twin engines, depending on your personal preference.

All the Explorer boats have a similar design, the major differences being the size, of course, the weight of the boat and the size of the motors. Like the previous models, the 510 tends to ride more on the aft section which creates a drier, softer ride. 
The design of the chines on the hull causes the water to be deflected downwards, which is one of the main reasons she has such a dry ride. 
This little boat rides proud when she’s on the plane. With the 100hp 4-stroke Yamaha she had more that enough power to get us onto the plane very fast and easily, even though there were four people onboard. 
Because she rides with most of her weight on the aft section, she doesn’t cavitate at all, even in sharp turns when she’s on the plane. 
Even when accelerating from a stationary position into a turn, I could not get her to cavitate or slide. When driving with the swell I did not experience any broaching.
Overall, the Explorer 510 is a most stable boat with a very comfortable, dry ride. Her size and light weight make her ideal for surf launching.
I am sure that her ride would be just as good, if not better, on the flat water of any dam, estuary or river.

This craft has been designed as a multi-purpose boat that will suit both the light-tackle angler and the more serious fisherman, and is still comfortable enough to spend time out on the dam skiing or wake boarding. She is made for comfort which is why her console is on the side of the boat, with seating all round. 
Underneath all the seats there is ample storage space for all your tackle. She also boasts a livebait well and some fish hatches. 
The deck is a self-draining wet deck that is easy to clean and keep clean. At the stern there’s a boarding platform where you can climb back on board after skiing. 
The finish on this boat is of the highest standard — everything is in its place and no shortcuts have been taken. Everything is impeccable and she is a beauty.

In conclusion, this is an awesome little boat that is of the highest quality and will fit perfectly into the market. In summation, she’s a perfect, small, multi-purpose boat that will suit most people’s pockets. If you’re looking for a craft of this genre, she might be the answer to your prayers.

The Explorer 510 will be available at most Yamaha dealers soon.

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