Despite a price tag dancing around $11,000-$13,000, Yamaha’s FX High Output Cruiser is one of the most popular full-sized naturally-aspirated runabouts on the water today. Equipped with cruise control, manual trim control, a No Wake mode and plenty of other comforts, the Cruiser manages to be both sporty and economical, while being just a lot of fun.
The problem is that with only two available color combinations (double that of similarly-equipped competitors), the Yamahas tend to be a little conservative in their styling cues. That’s why many are turning to find new ways to personalize their newest toys. While there’s no shortage of performance goodies to eke out some much desired miles per hour from their machine, giving your ski a unique look to match your personal taste is still a rare art form.
To give this ’14 Yamaha FX HO Cruiser a bit of personal flair, we reached out to IPD Graphics and Hydro-Turf. Many will recognize IPD as a major vinyl graphics sponsor for a collection of top notch PWC racers around the globe, including Jimmy Wilson, Tommy Bonacci and Bibi Carmouche.
Of course, Hydro-Turf needs little to no introduction, but as the title sponsor for the Pro Watercross Tour, major traction mat supplier for Kawasaki, Yamaha and BRP as well as boat builders around the globe, they’re no stranger to providing unique and durable materials.
Ordering from both companies was as easy as a couple of emails. Both IPD and Hydro-Turf provide high resolution color swatches to compare to your desired combination. Because we wanted a little retro action, we opted for a hot pink, silver and black combination. With only a new graphics kit, seat covers and traction mats, we were surprised at how dramatic the change was – and we think you will too.
Here we’ll show you a complete step-by-step process how we transformed this “plain Jane” FX HO into a cool, customized ski that grabs everyone’s eye – and how quickly you too can do this. (Altogether, it took us about four hours of work.)
Admittedly, applying new graphics to a personal watercraft can be tricky (just refer to our previous article on custom graphics kits). Thankfully, the IPD Graphics kit for the FX HO was nowhere as complicated, nor required much effort to contour over complex corners and convex curves.
Rather, we opted for a rather simple kit that merely highlighted the angular lines of the Yamaha’s fairings. Many kits cover a large amount of surface area, and thereby require a lot of bubble and wrinkle chasing. The hardest part of our IPD kit was knowing where to place every stripe, and doing so in straight, equally spaced lines.
Also, pay close attention not to accidentally discard your instruction card. IPD includes a glossy instruction card that forwards you to a web address. This website will show you how to instal your kit, where to place your stripes and how to trim around edges and splits in panels.
Although we would’ve preferred a regular printed-out instruction sheet, rather than running back and forth to our computer, the online format did provide a lot of good information.