Check Out the winning run from the first stop of the 2018 Pro Wake Surf Tour by Noah Flegel behind a Supra SA. We frequently recommend riders have a skim and a surf style board but the intention is that they pick one before taking a set!
Taking the Wraps off winter – And Your Boat
Are you ready for spring? We all know the answer to that question. But our boats need to be as well. As we prepare to spend more time outside – and on the water – here are a few spring boat preps you may want to undertake before your first voyage of the season.
Regardless of the age or condition of your boat, or how and where you store it, after months under cover, your boat, motor, and trailer perhaps, are due for some TLC.
After you take the cover off for the first time this spring, give your boat a thorough visual inspection, including the engine area. Look closely for any damage to wires and hoses, as well as for evidence of nests and other things that might indicate your boat was a “critter motel” for the winter.
Fuel hoses, clamps, fittings, and fill caps should all be in good shape with no seepage, cracking, or deterioration.
Obviously we use fuel stabilizer during our winterization process for customer boats, buy you’ll want to make sure your fuel is not varnished, contaminated, or stale smelling. And you’ll of course want to get fresh fuel in your boat the first time out.
Safety equipment such as horns, fire extinguishers, and life jackets are important. Make sure everything is working and on board. Your fire extinguisher has an expiration date, so check that. The water patrol will if they ever stop you.
For sure, charge your battery, or at the very least, test it to make sure it has plenty of juice for that first start. Cables and terminals should be clean and free of corrosion. Most of us have likely been around the launch ramp in the spring, watched as a boat slid off the trailer and into the water, and then heard that dreaded click. Don’t be that guy!
Wash Away the winter
Spring is a fantastic time to wash, wax, vacuum and detail your boat, getting the grunge from winter cleaned off.
But be sure to use the right products that are designed for specific uses, such as bird stain removal, mold removal, vinyl cleaners and conditioners, and most importantly, are purpose-made for use on your boat’s interior and exterior.
We use, sell and recommend products from Starbrite, Maguire’s, Wizards, Babe’s and Boat Bling, to name a few. Never use non-marine cleaners on your boat though. Products designed for automobiles can damage your boat’s vinyl or gelcoat.
If you can’t remember the last time you changed your impeller, your prop is looking a little worse for wear, or that drive belt is a bit sketchy, bring your boat in for service (the sooner the better!) and we’ll make sure you are ready to go.
Check your registration! Even the most well-prepared and best-intentioned boater can sometimes forget a detail like this. Make sure all your decals are current. This is one of the most obvious things the water patrol will stop you for.
Even if your boat lives on a lift, don't forget an annual trailer inspection. Lights, wheel bearings, bunks, tire condition, brakes, and tire pressures are all things that may need attention.
Lastly, make it a family affair. There isn’t any reason dad has to be out there by himself doing all this stuff. Ask for help, and then turn over an appropriate amount of responsibility for a specific task. Showing, rather than telling, is the best way to teach kids to take care of nice things, like boats.
Let us know if we can do anything to make the start of your boating season more enjoyable, or hassle-free. And let’s all think spring!
MasterCraft NXT 20 Surf Wake with Factory Ballast
We have put together a guide to help 2015 to Current Year NXT 20 owners dial in the perfect wakes for all water sports at the press of a few buttons. These settings will be a good baseline no matter what your desired activity is.
We put together a little advice for MasterCraft NXT 22 Owners. The boat features great ski, wakeboard, and surf wakes and these settings can be used as a great starting point to finding your personal preferences.
Supra and Moomba boats announced that they have received their 13th consecutive (CSI) Customer Satisfaction Index recognition from the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).
The Marine Industry CSI Awards honor manufacturers that achieve a score based on 90% or more of their boat buyers from that year expressing that they would either repurchase or recommend purchase of their boat after a year of ownership. Supra and Moomba are two of only three manufactures in the tow boat segment who have been able to maintain this impressive 13 year unbroken period of industry leading customer satisfaction.
“Moomba is dedicated to building the most value-oriented boat that delivers high quality and performance,” said Rick Tinker, President of Skier’s Choice, Inc. “We are excited to be one of only 3 brands in our segment to earn 13 straight awards. Our focus is to maintain the same level of quality we continue to be recognized for.”
“Supra has always focused on manufacturing a meticulously-engineered luxury towboat,” said Rick Tinker, President of Skier’s Choice, Inc. “The dedicated production staff are some of the best in the industry, and our manufacturing process allows us to easily track the quality of each boat from start to finish. Our goal is to deliver an outstanding customer experience on the water.”
Skier's choice has been building Supra Boats since 1991. Moomba was created a decade later to provide high quality boats at lower price points.
MasterCraft Boat Company was awarded a 2018 Innovation Award by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Boating Writers International at the Miami Boat Show.
“With the new XStar, validation came when pro wakeboarders outside of the MasterCraft team were raving about its versatility and what it will allow them to do off the wake. It’s truly the first wakeboard boat in the world that is so versatile that it enables progression for anyone from family riders to the world’s best,” said Terry McNew, President and CEO of MasterCraft Boat Company. “We’re thrilled and honored to receive our seventh innovation award in eight years from the NMMA. We recognize that so many owners buy MasterCraft because of our industry-leading innovation, and with the X Star, its innovations transcend even beyond its on-water performance.”
Two decades after changing the sport of wakeboarding with the first XStar, the first true performance wakeboard boat, the 2018 XStar was completely redesigned to debut as the highest performing, most technologically advanced wake-specific boat in the industry.
Innovation: Revolutionizing operation and entertainment
Introduced as standard features in the new 2018 XStar are MasterCraft exclusive technologies that revolutionize the driving and entertainment experience: MasterCraft’s Dual-Screen Dash and its superior Klipsch Audio sound system.
The proprietary Dual-Screen Dash simplifies and enhances the on-board experience with technology that tunes the boat’s operations to three usage modes, improves helm styling and ergonomics, integrates with consumer technology devices and provides important diagnostic information, navigation and even tutorial videos.
The XStar also delivers the best sound on the water with standard Klipsch Audio systems, exclusive to MasterCraft. Klipsch Audio’s marine speakers and amplification solutions create a heavy-hitting, concert-style entertainment experience that also is paired to each driving mode with the Dual-Screen Dash.
Continued legacy of innovation
Over the last eight years MasterCraft’s new products and technologies have laid claim to seven annual Innovation Awards from the NMMA and Boating Writers International. Last year, the company won the award for its revolutionary DockStar Handling System. In 2015, the company’s ultimate wake surf boat, the X23, also received the Innovation Award being recognized for its groundbreaking performance. In 2014, the MasterCraft’s Gen 2 Surf System received the annual designation. The same year, the ProStar ski boat, received the Innovation Award due to a bevy of innovations. In 2011 the ZFT5 Power Tower received the award and in 2010 the X25 boat laid claim to the distinction.
AutoWake was first offered as a standard feature in 2017 Supra boats and as an option on Moomba. The goal of AutoWake is to help provide more consistent wakes without requiring adjustments by the driver. Anyone who has spent time in surf or wakeboard boats has noticed the changes that different fuel loads, crew quantity and seating placement, and water depth changes have to the wakes.
It can be frustrating to have a perfect wake one day and something is not quite the same the next. AutoWake was designed to give the driver more information and automatically tune the ballast and to increase performance and wake consistency.
One of the goals of AutoWake is to keep the boat at the best attitude side to side (roll) and front to back (pitch) of the boat for ideal wake performance. In wakeboarding we want a level boat side to side. If you have the offensive line of the Minnesota Vikings seated on the passenger side of the boat and the cheerleaders on the driver's side. Any boat will naturally lean toward the Minnesota Moving Company and this will negatively effect your wakes. AutoWake senses that the boat is out of balance and will adjust the ballast to bring the boat back to level. It would first try to add ballast on the "lighter" side. When/If that side is full, it will reduce ballast on the heavy side. If like in this example the boat is so far our of balance that ballast adjustments can not bring the boat to equilibrium, it will tell the driver to rearrange the crew via a message on the screen.
For 2018 the system got faster by having double ballast pumps standard in all Supra Boats. Double pumps are optional in 2018 Moomba Boats. Doubling the pumps makes any adjustments faster. Predictive state technology was also added in 2018 so the boat reads what the state of balance is before adding any ballast and fills with the intended goal in mind.
For wake surfing the boats prefer a few degree lean to the side that the surfer will be riding on. AutoWake will fill and adjust ballast to your goal (balanced for wakeboarding or a few degree lean to the side of a surfer).
The system also adjusts ballast from front to rear and adjusts on the fly if people move around the boat while surfing or wakeboarding. The intention is to provide the best most consistent wakes without making the driver manually adjust ballast or tell passengers where to sit.
AutoWake is also adjustable. If you prefer the wakes produced by a little more lean while surfing you can adjust the AutoWake set point to your preferences.
For 2018 an Amplitude Bar was added. The goal of this reading to show how deep the boat is sitting in the water. In surfing, you will see a higher AMP setting if you have a full ballast and the boat loaded to capacity than you will with a full ballast and two riders. This can be helpful in two ways. Young and novice surfers may find that if the wakes are huge they struggle to stay back off the transom of the boat. If that happens you can adjust the wakes down to make it easier for the rider. The opposite is also true. If you loved the wake of the boat during a family reunion with extra human ballast, you can recreate that AMP setting by adding more ballast.
The AMP setting can also be used when you want a nice balanced ski, wakeboard, or cruising wake where little to no ballast is required. If you have a low AMP setting, AutoWake will level the boat with minimal ballast.
AutoWake measures and adjusts the pitch and roll of the boat to control the wake shape and the AMP setting controls the size with the goal of providing consistent wakes without manual adjustment.
AutoWake also integrates the Smart Plate which is the center plate on the back of the hull to provide better acceleration and driving characteristics. When the boat stops, AutoWake will automatically lower the Smart Plate and leave it there. When the boat accelerates again, water will flow under the smart plate and create lift so there is less bow rise and faster acceleration.
An experienced driver can make manual adjustments to achieve similar results that AutoWake provides just like a really good driver can do a good job of holding speed while pulling a rider without cruise control. AutoWake takes the guesswork out of wakes for ALL drivers in a family and replaces time wasted in the learning curve of how to set up a new boat. Do you need AutoWake? Maybe not but you want it!
There has been a lot of confusion regarding published performance specifications in the Inboard Tow Boat segment. Some of the engine and boat manufacturers published HP ratings that have been found to be "optimistic" when compared to scientifically derived test data.
MasterCraft started offering Ilmor Marine engines in late 2010. If you are not familiar with Ilmor please CLICK HERE. Ilmor designed and built the most powerful engine to ever race in the Indy 500 and engines powering Formula 1 world champions. With their performance heritage and talent, Ilmor told MasterCraft that whatever engine performance they wanted was available but but that performance specifications would not be overstated.
It was decided that the only way to publish real specifications and provide information that would help consumers see thru some of the misinformation from other vendors was to use data from the California Air Resources (CARB). California has more restrictive emissions standards than the other 49 states. All engines sold in California are tested to EPA standards for emissions and peak output in kilowatts(kw). Kilowatts can be converted to HP by multiplying kw * 1.34.
Ilmor's GM Based 5.7 was the highest performance GM 5.7 engine from any manufacturer when tested by CARB and produced 320 HP. PCM was claiming 343 HP from an engine that only produced 282 when tested by CARB. Indmar's 5.7 Engines produced between 288 and 308 HP but as much as 350 HP was claimed.
We note this so new and used boat buyers can look to this data when comparing engines in boats. We have seen customers confused when comparing actual data provided by Ilmor and CARB to data provided by a marketing department. Here is a chart showing CARB's test data by engine family.
Engine torque is also very important in marine engine performance. Indmar, the current engine provider to Supra, Moomba, Malibu, & Tige recently switched from GM to Ford based engines. When the switch was made Indmar started marketing engine torque rather than HP. The thing to be aware of is many boat manufacturers, dealers and sales reps represent torque output on Indmar Ford based engines as HP. Indmar makes four versions of the 6.2L Ford engine that had been used previous versions of the Raptor Truck and can currently be found in Ford Super Duty trucks. The different versions produce 360, 400, 440, & 575 Ft. Lbs. of torque. Malibu chooses to call their versions of the Indmar/Ford engines with 10 additional Ft. Lbs. but they are the same engines.
The Indmar 6.2 Raptor that is the standard engine in most Moomba and Supra boats produces 350 HP and 400 Ft. Lbs. of torque.
Our advice is to use CARB's testing data when comparing engines from different manufacturers because this is the only data compiled using EPA testing standards so the playing field is level.
The link below is for the California Air Resource Bureau (CARB) web site. It takes you to reports which list the specific output of the engines CARB has authorized for sale in the state of California. Output is reported in Kilowatts (kw). To convert kw into horsepower simply multiply the kw rating by 1.34 to see the equivalent horsepower rating.
Once on the website select “Spark Ignited marine engines” and the model year depending on the model year of the boat that you are comparing, then click “browse”.
From here you can select Indmar, PCM or Ilmor engines and hit “submit” to be taken to their respective reports. Indmar shows each displacement listed separately because they “sub-brand” their engines based on the boat builder’s they supply. The actual CARB certificate has more detailed information.
There is a lot of information and misinformation about surf systems in our industry. The following video from a few years ago but many of the points are still correct today when comparing MasterCraft's Gen 2 Surf System with Malibu's Surf Gate and Wedge.
The video references how Malibu's system using Surf Gate and the Wedge results in 1200 higher RPM at surf speeds and how that added RPM and drag drastically increased fuel consumption. These results are even farther apart now that Malibu has gone to transmissions that spin the engine even harder.
It is true that all of the boats surf better than older boats that lacked these technologies but it is also true that all of the manufacturers system are not created equal!
2018 is the second year that MasterCraft has offered the "Cool Feel" interior upgrade. Cool Feel vinyl uses pigments that reflect much of heat in sunlight to allow darker interior colors than are commonly found in the industry. MasterCraft's normal colored vinyl also has some reflective properties that make it cooler than what we have seen in the past and still see from the competiotion.
If you look at the above images you can take several points. First off, Cool Feel Black has a lower temperature than a Rayo Flint which is a fairly light gray. The end result is you can option an interior in dark colors to get a different cosmetic AND not have to worry that the interior will make you miserable on a sunny, hot day.
Another thing to note is that MasterCraft's Midnight Black is only .1 degree warmer than Meteor Gray. There are two points to be addressed here. 140 degrees is the threshold where most people will remove their hand due to discomfort. We have had success in our northern climate with using some of the non premium vinyl colors as accents because even they do not get as hot as vinyls used in the past or by our competitors.
Come in to one of the stores to see the options in person.
Supra Boats just released the 2018 ProWakeboard and WakeSurf Tour schedule. The 2018 PWT season will feature the 16 best wakeboarders competing in four locations, towed behind a 2018 Supra SA550. Eight of the highest placing riders from 2017 are prequalified, and the other eight positions are reserved for the best performances at the opening qualifying event April 13 in Chandler AZ. Defending champion Harley Clifford and Supra Boats team athletes Nic Rapa and Shota Tezuka are prequalified.
"In 2017, we witnessed wakeboarding at a level like never before. Our spectacular venue line-up features stops in wake sports hotbeds across the US, and each one provides top-notch conditions for the athletes, and amenities for the fans," Rick Tinker, president of Supra Boats.
In addition to the wakeboarding competition, the organization will once again run the wakesurfing tour, with Sean Silveira, Parker Payne, and Noah Flegel pre-qualified for the tour.
2018 Supra Boats Pro Wakeboard Tour | Schedule
Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park's Firebird Lake, Chandler, Arizona | April 13-14
Terminus Wake Park, Acworth, Georgia | May 19
Lake Norman, Mooresville, North Carolina | June 16
Center Lake, Warsaw, Indiana | August 4
MasterCraft made a big change to all 2018 boats by incorporating Klipsch Audio. Klipsch is the speaker partner of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has an extensive history dating back to 1946. Check out the video below to learn a bit about Klipsch and how they are featured in MasterCraft from MasterCraft's Jay Povlin @ CES 2018.
Eric Nelson of WCCO and CCX Media came to the 2018 Minneapolis boat and talked about the business of boating with Midwest Water Spors' own David Gee.
Join us at the Minneapolis Convention Center January 11th - January 14th for the Minneapolis Boat Show. As always we will have a host of Factory Representatives, and all of the new products from MasterCraft (XStar, X 23, XT 20, XT 21, XT 22, XT 23, XT 25, NXT 20 and NXT 22), Moomba (Craz, Max, and Mojo Pro) and Supra (SL and SE).
Come and meet Bob Soven, Eric Ruck and other pro riders as well as factory reps from all of the top wakesurf, water ski, and wakeboard brands in the industry.
If you are thinking of a new boat or accessories, do yourself a favor and come see us at the show for the seasons best deals.
Dates & Hours
Thursday January 11th 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Friday January 12th 12:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Saturday January 13th 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Sunday January 14th 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
MasterCraft Offers Dockstar a Revolutionary Steering Control
MasterCraft's new DockStar Handling System gives drivers of any ability a boost of confidence by making tight spots like docks and marinas easier to navigate. This is done by adding two smaller rudders in front of the prop to assist in maneuvering.
This system works great on every model. Even when you have a boat with your crew of riders and full ballast enjoy the ease of full steering control while in reverse.
When it comes to used Inboard boats (like MasterCraft, Supra, Or Moomba) after price, the second most common questions is, "How Many Hours Does It Have?" Everyone asks about hours but most people don't know what the number of hours really means.
Most buyers are probably much more comfortable answering the question, "how many miles are too many on a used vehicle?" The final answer of this question will vary with experience and budget as will the ultimate answer to the same question on a boat. We all have more automotive experience to draw our opinions from so lets start there.
It is safe to say most people will feel that a used vehicle with 60,000 miles has a lot of life left in it? It is very common for vehicles to go three or four times that distance. How about a 1000 hours on a boat? Many people we talk to think that 1000 hour boat is something to be avoided.
What we need to do is find a common link from automotive to the marine world and the easiest way to do this is by using oil change intervals. A 60,000 mile vehicle having its oil changed every 3,000 miles will have had 20 oil changes.
Most marine engine manufacturers recommend an oil change every 50 engine hours. Our 1000 hour boat serviced every 50 hours would have had the same 20 oil changes. Similar levels of wear can be assumed in this example.
Some newer vehicles have an engine hour meter. Here is a picture of the hour meter on one of our shop trucks.
Notice that this truck has traveled 26,132 miles which virtually everyone will agree is not "Too Many" but has 793.6 hours which is a number many boat buyers would seek to avoid!
It is not bad to have fewer hours on a used boat. However, if we have to pick between a used high hour boat in amazing condition with a strong service record and a lower hour boat with questionable service history and/or condition issues, we would recommend the higher boat every time.
Boat owners have drastically varied use patterns. If you are like many users that put 50-75 hours per summer, it will be virtually impossible to "wear out" a boat unless it is not cared for properly.
We have purchased boats from MasterCraft that had been used at Cypress Gardens in Florida and had over 7000 hours on the original engine. They were still pulling ski shows every day!
The intention of this article its to help educate people to not rule out some good used boat options before they do a bit of research. Engine hours on a boat are not as bad as many buyers assume!
Join us at 6Smith in Wayzata Saturday September 30th from 10am to 4pm to check out new boats from MasterCraft, Supra, and Moomba. Give us a call with questions @ 763-533-9666.
Come experience Gen2, the new 2018 Dual Screen Dash, and MasterCraft DockStar. You can also see all of the new features in a 2018 Moomba Pro!
If you are looking to drive a specific boat please call in advance. See you at 6Smith!
We have outgrown our Victoria location and are making a move closer to Lake Minnetonka for the summer of 2018. Our new location will be located at 17717 Hwy 7 in Minnetonka, will cover 13,232 square feet over two levels, and will have the same great selection of boats and water sports gear that customers of our Crystal location have come to expect. Plan to see 12- 14 boats on display indoor year round. With all of that room, also expect the world class selection of water skis, wakeboards, wake surf boards, wet suits, and life jackets that our Crystal location is famous for as well.
Get ready for a heck of a grand opening party.
We will only be at our Victoria location after 11/25 by appointment as we prepare for the new location.
Our Crystal location will continue as normal during (and after) we make the transition to the new Minnetonka location.
The Supra Boats Pro Wakesurf Tour is back in 2016 with more stops and a new format, announced Rick Tinker, president of Skier’s Choice. Developed and conceived in 2015, the 2016 surf series is expanding to four stops, up one from 2015, allowing riders to show off their skills to the wake world at more locales. The Supra Boats Pro Wakesurf Tour will visit cities in the United States including Texas, North Carolina, Washington and Indiana.
Sharing venues and dates with the Pro Wakeboard Tour, the 2016 Supra Boats Pro Wakesurf Tour will take place at the following locations:
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX – May 7, 2016
Mooresville, NC – June 18, 2016, at Stumpy Creek, Lake Norman
Monroe, WA – July 9, 2016, at Lake Tye
Indianapolis, IN – August 6, 2016, at Precedent Office Park
The new “pick your best ride” format surf and skim events into one discipline. Riders will have the option to compete using a surf or skim board to throw down their best run.
“The CWSA is pleased to participate with Supra Boats in this new and innovative format for Competitive Wake Surfing,” said Scott Culp, head of the CWSA. “The opportunity to challenge the riders in head-to-head competition of both surf and skim style riders will be exciting to watch. This format could be a “back to the future” glimpse into the evolution of Competitive Wake Surfing.”
The official towboat for the 2016 tour will be the all-new Supra SA550 because of its clean, consistent and massive wakes. The Supra Boats’ wakes push pros to new levels while preserving strict handling and a balanced ride for the driver and judges in the boat. The 2016 Supra Boats are powered with the high-torque ROUSH charged 6.2L Ford Raptor Engine by Indmar.
Stay tuned for information in the near future on the rules, format, purse, athletes and more! For details, visit www.supraboatspwt.com.