Scarab 255 Open ID

Point and go.

by David A. Rose
Who would have thought that the tagline of a product sold some 40 years ago — from one of the first infomercials ever created — would influence the way people purchase boats today.


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

But that’s just what happened when Ron Popeil started selling the “Showtime Rotisserie Oven” via long-winded television commercials, telling the world all you have to do to use it is to “Set it and forget it!” This tagline promoted a product that was easy to use and easy to clean up. 

The “set it and forget it” mentality has bled over into the boating world. There’s a new trend of center console boats that can be on the water one minute and in storage minutes later with minimal effort. 

Keeping things simple is only one of the many reasons modern-day pleasure boaters have been gravitating toward center console boats. And that’s why the engineers at Scarab went overboard in creating creature comforts with the versatile 255 Open ID.

Just point and go… but hang on!

As an avid angler, I was quite eager to test drive this rig, fantasizing of all the fishing that could be done from a boat like this with such open expanses (especially when outfitted with the optional fishing package). Boaters of all types are discovering the versatility of center consoles — whether or not they like to catch fish — with their ability to offer many activities, including wakeboarding, diving or even just lounging on a sandbar. 

I quickly discovered the 255 Open ID was designed to accommodate all these activities and more.

Getting onboard the 255 Open ID was a cinch. Lift a leg up and over the gunwale and step onto its stable flooring with a specialized marine mat. Or, as I chose to board, enter via the steady tailgate door that lies flat when open and extends beyond the transom. In addition to creating easy access into and out of the boat at the dock, this steady platform (with optional folding ladder) works wonders for climbing in from the water or lounging in the sun. 

The 255 Open ID I test drove is jet-powered by a pair of supercharged 250-hp Rotax jet drives below the hatch. I soon found out this meant there’s enough power with the 500 total horses that you better make sure the boat’s pointed in the right direction before punching the throttle. Wherever you have the wheel aimed, that’s where you’re going to go — and in a hurry.

The vessel shifted effortlessly from neutral to forward and reverse; this is due to the electronic iNR system, which synchronizes the throttles automatically. All that’s needed is a single throttle rather than dual. And because it’s jet-propelled, there’s no trim and tilt to worry about. Just point and go, and let the jets do the rest. 

The day I test drove the 255, the wind was up and the waves on the small lake were cresting up to two feet. The hull’s 20-degree deadrise allowed for an impressively-smooth ride while slicing through the whitecaps, and no spray came up and over the bow. Another notable asset was the boat’s maneuverability; even in steep chop, the jetboat gripped the lake’s surface and turned on a dime.  

Whether I was heading into the wind or motoring with it, the 3,800-pound craft topped out at 56 mph, cruised comfortably at 27 mph and got up and on full plane in a mere 3 seconds. Feel free to give ‘er the gas as much as you like — the fuel tank holds an impressive 56 gallons of petro.

Room to roam

This marks the fourth year Scarab has been updating its jetboat line, with the 255 Open ID the largest in the fleet. Measuring 25 feet in length, with an 8-foot, 4-inch beam, the boat feels cavernous compared to so many others with the same footprint. Just as its name suggests, the 255 Open ID is, well, about as open space-wise as a center console can be. It has an unpretentious floorplan that creates room to roam without tripping over steps, plus it offers plenty of storage.

The boat’s load capacity is 2,100 pounds, or up to 13 people. Unlike the center console rigs I’ve piloted in the past, there’s plenty of adjustable, well-padded seating to accommodate everyone. In keeping things uncomplicated, the hand-crafted upholstery is easy to clean by simply spraying it with water and wiping it dry.  

Behind the console is seating for three side-by-side, with the middle bench dropping down if the pilot desires to stand. This setup allows the driver the comfort of steering without being bellied-up against the steering wheel, while being cradled and secure from the sides. 

The bow seating is very deckboat-like, with bolstered backrests that can be moved around to accommodate many seating scenarios. All seats have copious amounts of storage below them, including two huge coolers for drinks and munchies. The coolers are easily accessible by just lifting the seat rather than having to lift, pull and slide them out into the main floor. 

Speaking of the main floor, storage under the main deck has plenty of room for waterskis and more. To boot, storage ahead of the console is immense, and there’s even a head within to make the call of nature more pleasant while on the water, with plenty of room to dress into swimsuits.

Have fun, then be done  

Besides there being no trim to master, jet power also means there’s no props to ding. The engine area is self-draining and closed-cooling to reduce seasonal maintenance and minimal winterization when the season is over.

A black, canvas T-top is easily removed and stress-free to clean. It has zippers in the right places for easy access to the tow-point for skiing and the like. The rig is plentiful with stainless-steel cup holders, cell phone pockets and plenty of USB ports.

I must admit, I really liked piloting the Scarab 255 Open ID. And I can see why center consoles are becoming more than just an angler’s dream boat, with wide-open spaces; new seating and storage; hull designs to take you anywhere; more than enough power to get you there and back; and plenty of fun in between. 

The Scarab 255 Open ID is easy to drive and even easier to maintain. Ron Popeil would be jealous. Set it and forget it? Naw. Drive it, rinse it out, and it’s ready for the next trip. 


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