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Avalanche 190

The 2012 Avalanche speedboat range was built and designed for the boater that can’t get enough of the water. With plenty of onboard space and a scintillating performance to boot, it’s no wonder their craft, like the 190 are making waves on what boating is about. The Editor checks out the new 190 in Port Alfred.

Last month, we took a close look at the bigger brother to the 190, the 230. I liked her, but she wasn’t quite for me – the reason largely being her length vs. my garage. The 190 is more my style, and since she’s built to the same standards and designed on a shorter hull, she should prove more suitable to general buyers looking for the maximum in a boat.
Being built exclusively in South Africa by Fairide Marine and given my beliefs in ‘local knowledge’, the Avalanche 190 should be a boat that is made for endless pleasure.

Deck layout

The Avalanche 190 measures in at 5.79 m front to back with a beam of 2.3 m – which translates into a lot of area to offer seating and interior comfort for friends and family.On board, you can expect to easily seat eight adults (including skipper) – each with their own bit of sprawl-comfort. Starting at the bow, there’s a neat, rounded seating area with plenty of cushioning. An insert can easily be added to the walkway to make the area a comfortable lounger, should it be required, and includes stainless steel grab handles, sound system speakers, and storage space beneath the cushioning…

An insert can easily be added to the walkway to make the area a comfortable lounger, should it be required, and includes stainless steel grab handles, sound system speakers, and storage space beneath the cushioning. However, I would have liked to have seen a cut-out in the backrests for drinks and loose item storage like we see nowadays from higher-end imported craft. Nonetheless, the area allows you to be social with the rest of the craft via the walk-through section on the windscreen, which, like the rest of the deck, has a one-piece clip-on carpet – allowing one to go for luxury or practicality when it suits. Behind the screen, you’ll find seating in a U-shaped configuration – from the port-side binnacle to behind the skipper’s chair with a section cut away to allow easy access to and from the stern – where you’ll find the stainless steel ski bar, telescopic boarding ladder, and a neat locker for your ski rope and gloves.

Smaller items can be kept safe in the cubby-hole, found below the Kenwood front loading CD player which has a waterproof cover. Larger items are stored under the passenger seat bases and there is, of course, storage ability for ski’s and other toys in the ski locker built into the deck – the best in class when it comes to ski hatch size. The skipper’s chair swivels to facilitate ease of getting behind the wheel, but doesn’t turn to 90-degrees for socialising. While at the controls, you are afforded great visibility around the boat, as well as to the engine gauges which are set inside a carbon-fibre backing. All of the Avalanche’s work is done in-house which means everything is quality controlled by the company to strict standards.

Even the sewing on the seats has to be of a particular standard, which is pretty up there with the best of them. But, with that said, it seems that in pursuit of perfection, the team has slipped just a little on the fibreglass work, which was rumoured to have been rushed for this review, and is only evident if you’re looking at the details. However, they have assured me that new standards have been put in place to ensure their work is better than it has ever been – which was actually very good on the rest of the range and I am sure it won’t be a future concern.

Performance The Avalanche range is exclusive to the Honda Marine brand and was therefore fitted with the prestige Honda 150 HP 4-Stroke outboard. Fuel for the Avalanche 190 is supplied from the 150-litre built-in tank at the stern of the craft with the filling cap found just above by the ski bar. The Honda outboard, as dominant as she is, produces its full power at 5 500 rpm and maintains good fuel efficiency due to her high-tech systems – such as Lean Burn control which automatically adjusts the air-fuel mixture according to the load on the throttles to maximize power and fuel economy. This Honda is on the heavier side though, weighing around 217 kg, but technology comes at a price.

However, if its power you want, this Honda 150 HP has got it and then some due to the VTEC racing pedigree which flattens and lengthens the torque curve for a good push throughout all speeds. Even the ECM (Engine Control Module) is intricate as it receives input from 18 different sensors, which, according to Honda, ensures this engine delivers instant starts, smooth operation, strong performance and great fuel efficiency – which seems to be a promise from the brand that has been delivered on.

The 190 on the plane runs flat and well balanced by the engine weight. The ride is comfortable and quiet and there are no signs of the hull having any flex. She cuts through rough water with no problem and produces a clean enough wake for good skiing at faster speeds and a bit of fun when slower for tube riders. With the Honda outboard giving it horns, the craft achieved a top speed of 82 km/h at 6 000 rpm with two passengers on board and I was impressed by her handling and tracking in faster corners as well as the quietness of the motor. The gunwales are relatively high too and would be welcomed by those with safety and small ones on their mind. Conclusion Owning, and of course skippering, an Avalanche 190 is a lot like doing the Hokey Pokey.

It’s easy and almost anyone can do it! The Avalanche 190 is truly great for most realms of powerboating, as she always has been. Great to own and even better to drive, it’s no wonder Honda Marine want to sell this craft exclusively as they stand for pretty much the same thing – enjoying the pleasures of your purchase for many years to come. After all, isn’t THAT what it’s all about? And with the price tag, you won’t have to put your whole leg in. Pricing starts at R102 600 (basic) and with a Honda BF150 motor, she retails at R151 500 (Incl. VAT).

Contact Honda Motor Southern Africa on (011) 847 9400 or careline on 0800 466 321 or


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