As wakeboarders, we drive boats all the time. And when we do, we’re concerned with only one thing – the wake. That’s how it should be. But if you think about it, we are driving more than just a wake making machine. Boats are probably one of the coolest things in the world, except for possibly planes … and lasers. Boats are what pirates and explorers used to drive. If it weren’t for boats, there would be no America. And obviously no booze cruising. So doesn’t it make you feel a little bit lame that all you ever use your boat for is to go fart around in your backyard? You could be doing so much more – pirating, exploring, experiencing, and expanding your whole personality.
Thanks to a couple new boats I saw at the Miami Boat Show yesterday, I think a lot of people are going to start getting cooler with their boats. The first boat was the new MasterCraft CSX center console. MasterCraft had their media event on Valentine’s Day, so they had a brand new, red CSX waiting at Bayside Harbor in downtown Miami to pick up the media guys and take them for rides. The CSX looks like a fishing boat to anyone who doesn’t know wakeboarding boats. But to the trained eye the CSX is the answer that a lot of coastal wakeboarders may be looking for. Basically, it is an offshore-style center console whose hull is still designed to be a wakeboarding machine. That doesn’t work, right? Wakeboarding boats are too flat to be useable in heavy chop? Well, I don’t know how they did it, but Wade Cox and I were hitting cruise ship wakes going 40 and staying completely dry, and then when we slowed down to 25, the wake was the typical MasterCraft shape. Somehow the secret lies in the forward part of the hull, which creates a lot of lift once the boat is up on plane. The CSX is standard with ballast system and tower intended for the wake market, but there are options you can get to outfit it for bigger waters as well. Now, the real word behind the CSX is that it is rumored to be the second favorite wakeboarding boat among certain team riders, behind the flagship X-Star. That’s a pretty good endorsement, especially when MC has a lot of wakeboard boats in their line up. I could go into all kinds of details about how awesome I thought this boat was but the bottom line is that you have to check it out and tell me you don’t think it makes you feel like you could go anywhere to ride.
Also on the water was the new X-80 with twin Volkswagen diesels. These are definitely an expensive option (roughly $30K each), but they are full of power and surprisingly quiet. Donny Brown, the South Florida MasterCraft guru, told me he had already driven 129 miles on less than a half tank of gas. The X-80 is obviously another big water boat, with a lot of creature comforts including an onboard head. This was the boat we wanted to drive to the Bahamas last year, but luckily we didn’t, because that was just a stupid idea. Not that the X-80 couldn’t do it, but Zane Schwenk + driving across the Atlantic Ocean is just kind of a scary equation.
Anyways, the new 2007 MC boats were in Miami for the boat show and I had an eye-opening experience riding in them. Look for the CSX at your local dealer, my guess is you’ll like it and want to do a lot more boating.