Scarab 255 Open ID

The family man’s center console.

B y Alan Wendt
Ten years ago, center consoles meant one thing: Fishing.


  • LOA: 25'
  • Beam: 8'4"
  • Draft: 15"
  • Weight: 3,800 lbs.
  • Fuel Capacity: 56 gals.
  • Water Capacity: 12 gals.
  • Power: 600 hp
  • Price: $71,467 

A decade later, extensive customer research suggests most buyers only fish about 30% of the time, meaning that new boats better be good at entertaining and easily set up for watersports.

Meet the Scarab 255 Open ID. This twin Rotax Jet Power rocket ship is a center console layout that has smoking hot looks and sizzling speed — 57 mph with a full canvas up! There is a fishing package option, a T-top for towing, and just the right number of features, like USB power outlets for smartphones, scads of cup holders and a rocking stereo.

Flying colors

A sea trial on nearly perfect, flat water is normally a red flag for me because on most lakes the spin cycle is in full force by 2 p.m. To really test a boat, I need to know what your back feels like after pounding a wake or doing donuts ad nauseam while teaching a cousin how to tube or wakesurf.

So, as a daily graduate of Dunkin Donuts, I insisted we churn up the water with the help of another boat and then make our test runs. Scarab passed with flying colors. Unique spring-reinforced seats make the roughest waters feel smooth. Up in the bow, I sensed the need to hold on once we topped 50 mph. Fortunately, the seating is in a U-shaped configuration and is surrounded by plenty of grab rails. Foam wall bolsters double as seat backs, and even at top speed well-positioned stereo speakers could be heard over the wind and waves.

Calm things down at the sandbar or party cove and the bow reveals a few tricks. Install the filler cushion and the chaise lounges become a sunpad. An optional side-mount table makes the bow a place for lunch. Two 36-quart coolers are tucked away underneath the seats, and if you need more room, there’s yet another cooler in the forward bow that can double as an ice bin or livewell. Plus, there are hidden areas for anchor storage and a telescoping, wide-step bow ladder. 

Transformative tailgate

At 25 feet the boat is rated for 13 passengers, but I’m figuring they counted a lot of skinny bodies, unlike my donut-inflated physique. Yet the main cockpit easily accommodates adults in style. A cleverly designed dual helm, bench-style seat with adjustable bolsters has a center “jump” seat design. It’s like having that middle seat open on the plane coming home at night. A third passenger can stand with a backrest, or fold up the seat cushion and create a three-wide stadium-like seating configuration at the helm.

Scarab has a highly polished stainless steel three-spoke muscle wheel, flush-mounted Simrad MFD and custom instrumentation panel that includes fuel level, fuel consumption, tach, GPS, speed, hour meter, compass, oil, volt, overheat and check engine indicators. 

Perhaps the most interesting characteristic of the 255 Open ID is a transom tailgate that lowers and opens down, akin to a pickup truck tailgate. Amazingly simple to operate thanks to gas struts, this makes loading the boat at a dock easy while creating a shareable swim deck out on the water. Even when the tailgate is raised, there is a 10-inch deck that can be used as a stepping platform coupled with a four-step reboarding ladder. With the tailgate closed, the rearmost passengers can face aft and watch the skiing or tubing action. Or remove the seatbacks at the party cove and you’ve created another relaxing sunpad that measures in excess of 6 feet.

Jet power 

One of the key selling points for families is the Rotax Jet Power. You do not need to worry about a propeller when swimming or skiing near the boat. No props to ding, no trim to master and drive by wire automatically synchronizes throttles. The self-draining and closed cooling translates into minimal maintenance and late season convenience. A side benefit is the shallow draft, beneficial if water levels fluctuate. Engine tone is a tad louder than sterndrive or outboard power, but Rotax engines do have a very nice low-speed maneuverability and docking mode lateral thrust control system.

Soft MarineMat decking for the cockpit and tailgate surface is a rather affordable option and it adds a sophisticated look without breaking the bank. A canvas T-top is standard, while a hardtop T-top that can fit board racks or rod holders is available as an option. This boat tips the scales at 3,800 pounds and on a trailer requires about 25 feet and change for indoor storage. 

For a family looking for a variety of watersports in a single day, the Scarab 255 Open ID delivers solid value, exceptional looks and years of reliability.  


Hall’s Sport Center 


Thayer Marine

South Shore JUN17
Prestige 750 Skyscraper