Know what to look for when you’re ready to buy with tips from former wake surfing world champion Keenan Flegel.
Buying a wake boat can be a big decision, for many people it’s also the realization of a dream come true. There are a lot of choices out there and narrowing it down to your perfect boat can be overwhelming. If you’re in the market for a wake boat be sure to keep these key tips in mind so you can ensure you find what’s right for you.
If you are new to boating or new to watersports, it’s very important to get out on the water at least a few times before you begin your search. Try as many different watersports as possible to get a better idea of what you’re going to be spending the most time doing on your new boat. You may or may not know that wake boats can be engineered for different watersports, some boats have hulls designed specifically for wake surfing and wakeboarding while other boats have hulls designed specifically for waterskiing.
Once you have a good idea of how you want to use the boat and what you will need it to do then your search can really begin. If you like to waterski, tube, and kneeboard you will probably want a boat with a flatter, more traditional hull. You also would likely want a lighter boat that still has some internal ballast when needed. If wake surfing or wakeboarding is more your speed you should focus on two things; internal ballast and hull design.
The size and power in your wake / wave come from the water displacement of the boat. For the best wake surfing or wakeboarding experience you want to look for a boat with a lot of internal ballast to weigh the hull down further into the water, therefore creating bigger or longer waves and wakes. Additionally, you want to look for a Deep-V hull that will ride deeper in the water than flat or round ski hulls, this creates more natural push and gives you a a fully surf-able wave rather than having a single sweet spot just off the back of the swim step.
A Deep-V hull brings a with it a few additional advantages, first, it will give you a smoother ride in rough water as it cuts through waves instead of bouncing over top of them like flat or rounded ski hulls. Second, it provides better fuel efficiency because it cuts through the water rather than pushing against it.
When it comes to ballast there are a few things to consider besides total weight. The first thing is the placement of the ballast. If the ballast is all put right into the back of the boat, the boat is going to have a lot of bow rise (nose up in the air) which makes it hard for the driver to see and burns more fuel. The ballast should be spread through the boat with a bit extra in the rear. Ballast fill times can also be a major question because the time you spend waiting could be spent riding and having fun. Centurion Boat’s RAMFILL ballast can help mitigate these concerns with fill times as low as 90 seconds.
If you are a wakeboarder you should ask how long the boat takes to get up on plain when it’s fully weighted. If you like to wake surf you should make sure that the boat has some sort of system to switch the wave from one side to the other and a way to adjust the steepness of the wave. Settings to adjust wave steepness and length can be crucial to customizing waves for different riders, people of different skill levels, sizes, and styles will often prefer different types of waves. If you have a lot of people that are frequently out with you surfing or boarding you may want to ask if the boat has the ability to save specific settings as a ‘rider profile’, so next time you ride you can achieve each individual’s perfect setup with the push of a button.
If you plan to keep your boat for a while you’ll certainly want to consider hull construction, engine make, and warranty. Hulls featuring unibody vacuum infused construction will typically offer the most longevity and strength. Depending on the size of your boat you may want to go with a more powerful engine to help increase fuel efficiency and torque. Warranty lengths can vary, but new Centurion Boats come with a lifetime limited warranty on the hull and a five year engine warranty through PCM Engines.
These are just a few points to consider, but the best way to find out which boat is best for you is to try them all. Sign up online or contact your local dealer to arrange a demo. Whoever takes you out on your demo will appreciate if you show up prepared with things that you want to see, know, and ultimately compare. You wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive, it shouldn’t be any different with a boat.
About Centurion Boats: Creating the World’s best waves, wakes and ride since 1976, Centurion is a towed water sports boat manufacturer built on innovation and commitment to excellence. As a Correct Craft Company, we are charged with “Making Lives Better”. We embody this phrase with the boats we build along with the lives we live on and off the water. Centurion Boats is the perfect ride every time. To learn more about Centurion Boats, visit www.centurionboats.com.
About Correct Craft: Celebrating 95 years of excellence in the marine industry, Correct Craft is a Florida-based company with global operations. Focused on “Making Life Better,” the Correct Craft family includes Nautique, Centurion, Supreme, Bass Cat, Yar-Craft, SeaArk, Parker, and Bryant boat companies, Pleasurecraft Marine Engine Group, Watershed Innovation and Aktion Parks. For more information please visit www.correctcraft.com.