This one will be short episode of “Vicious Rumors and Vile Gossip” as frankly, there’s not a lot to go off of here. But from what we’ve learned in the last few weeks, Belassi’s big return has already popped, fizzled and begun to burn out (as we notoriously predicted). Again, we’ve been really hard on the ill-fated watercraft manufacturer, even upon the eve of their big introduction of the new Belassis at the Top Marques show held in Monaco this past April 14-17, 2016, where they presented their somewhat redesigned B3R 333-horsepower runabout.
While the new turbocharged 3-cylinder impressed those on the show floor, rider demonstrations were cancelled at the last minute immediately sending up red flags. Equally curious, was the absent B3S standup, the progeny of the Hydrospace S3. While the B3S has all of the potential of being a world class standup – powered by a naturally aspirated, multipoint fuel injected I3C16 Marine 3-cylinder 4-stroke, displacing 1602cc and producing 180 horsepower – the ski itself has already encountered problems delaying its display.
According to The Watercraft Journal‘s sources, Belassi’s CMHPC (Compression Molded High Performance Composite) hull and “counterhull structure” have encountered some manufacturing issues, resulting in failing hulls. Officially, the B3S has been delayed to allow engineers to finalize redesigns to the hull it handle better than the previous B3S models, but sources inform us that Belassi had similar problems with the older B3S models too. These changes to the new B3S are what kept the ski from being launched in April at Monaco boat show, pushing the release now until September of this year.
With test rider and sponsored athlete Valentin Dardillat of France providing valuable input, Belassi has high hopes for their B3S, despite the delay. Belassi touts quite a bit of technology in the 440-pound standup, including the aforementioned SMPI-K sequential multipoint fuel injection with knock control, as well as a reinforced aluminum riding plate and open loop cooling system. Beneath the hood is a 4.5-gallon fuel cell too.
While no hard numbers have been given, Belassi vows the B3S will wield uncanny acceleration from its 180HP 4-stroke plant, and smooth riding due to its “anti-cavitation optimized” jet pump.
Thus far, orders have remained frozen until prototypes can be finalized and test rides are offered. Until then, we’ll have to wait and see if Belassi will continue to bring the world its only production 4-stroke standup or if we’ll finally see the fulfillment of years’ worth of dreaming and pleading from Yamaha and/or Kawasaki.
Above: Early prototypes show Belassi’s “work in progress” of the current B3S. Changes to the hull promise to fix issues from previous models as well as improve handling characteristics.