Wake Boats are making waves | Nautical Magazine
It’s no secret that the great collective eye of boaters remains focused on outboard motor boats of all kinds. Meanwhile, watersports boats powered by V-drive inboard motors and also sterndrive variants have advanced by leaps and bounds, though largely unseen by the vast majority of boaters. If you consider yourself a boat enthusiast – and we know from many years of your correspondence and meeting many of you on the water and at boat shows – that you consider yourself a boat freak boats – well, you owe it to yourself to see these boats up close and personal. They are really special.
Start with a docked look. The striking lines of most water sports boats represent more than just aesthetics. The shapes are derived from the mission requirements of the boats, one of which is to carry a crowd. Consequently, many bows sport wide pickle forks to allow for outsized trigger possibilities, which soon after their adoption aboard tugboats began to appear in new versions from some of the most popular runabout builders. . Those inverted sails that dip forward? They prove beneficial for forward visibility on boats destined to spend much of their time cruising at 11 or 12 mph.
Sit in the helm seat of a water sports boat. Chances are it’s covered in a dark fabric that looks great but doesn’t get too hot. It’s not made from your dad’s vinyl. It is mainly on board water sports boats that boaters find high-tech fabrics that do not heat up in the sun.
At the helm, inspect the gauges. Chances are you’ll be faced with a multi-function touchscreen (or two) instead of dials or read-only digital displays. While most new cruisers and fishing boats come with touch screens, water sports boats blazed the trail and incorporated this technology years ago, often with boatbuilder-exclusive systems and displays. .
Turn on those screens and you’ll find a range of system controls at your fingertips. Wave and wake shaping systems come in a myriad of forms, including side and rear trim tabs, hydrofoils, and multi-location water ballast bags or tanks. Expert boat operators (as captains or skippers are usually referred to in the field of water sports) manipulate these systems and devices to optimize boat handling and attitude, which in turn provides the size and shape of wake or wave desired for each rider in the crew. Water sports boat builders have developed custom software to store different profiles in memory for different pilots. This way, even less experienced drivers can compose a great ride.
Engines? Water sports boat companies marinize their own motors – for example, Malibu’s Monsoon motors – or use motors designed to provide the characteristics needed to fulfill the specific mission these boats perform.
Think spraying on glitter gelcoat is easy? Finishes, audio, towers, trailers, and hull design are other areas where water sports boat companies have moved the needle of recreational boat building. Like boat nut to boat, I encourage you to take a look.