By Jon Blaicher
The Generation 525 is Walker Bay’s flagship luxury inflatable tender and it is loaded with innovative features. To start, this rigid inflatable has a high-tech deep-V composite fibreglass hull with polyurethane micro stringers in the floor for added strength. The hull and deck are bonded together using a grid bonding system that provides permanent positive buoyancy. The result is an incredibly comfortable ride with damping characteristics akin to suspension. Deep concave chines keep the spray down and provide incredible handling.
Innovation continues with a large EVA foam pad at all boarding points. Wrap around U-shaped seating in the bow has dry storage under every seat. A removable boarding handle doubles as a backrest allowing another person to sit facing forward. The full beam bench seat allows three people to sit abreast and has a flip-up bolster at the helm. The entire bench and back rest flip up on four gas struts to access cavernous storage and a deep bilge, covered by a screen mesh to keep your gear dry.
The console was the perfect height for me to sit or stand and flips forward, providing easy access to the battery and instrument panel wiring. Mounted to the gunwale, Yamaha’s remote control was much more comfortable to use than those mounted to the console.
With its throaty growl, Yamaha’s stellar 115 VMAX SHO had my blood pumping from the moment I turned the key. With more than enough power to pull a skier, our boat had the optional retractable ski pole and deluxe boarding ladder.
The Generation 525 truly carves like a sport boat and with the fuel tank integrated in to the bow section of the keel, there is virtually no bow rise. As I blew past 50 mph, I found myself backing off the throttle just so I could hear that engine wind up again. The combination of this hull and the VMAX takes the inflatable boat experience to a whole new level.
TEST BOAT ENGINE
Yamaha VF115 SHO, 1832cc inline four-cylinder, SOHC, multi-point EFI and 20-inch shaft
Length: 17 ft 2 in / 5.25 m
Beam: 8 ft 4 in / 2.44 m
Weight: 1,700 lb / 770 kg (as tested)
Fuel Capacity: 32 gal / 115 L