The top of the wakesurf and wakeboarding towboat market is hot. Every builder, it seems, is offering bigger, heaver boats with as many luxury items as you can get on board. They’re also coming with additional ballast capacity for wakesurfing. The prices are edging ever upward, too, and it’s now possible to spend more than $200,000 on a towboat.
That’s what makes a boat like Centurion’s new Ri217 so refreshing. It’s a conventional-size towboat aimed at buyers who aren’t looking for the biggest, most expensive boat on the lake. And, it costs about half as much as those outrageously expensive watersports boat models.
Because wake surfing is huge now, the Ri217 comes standard with the Centurion articulating tracking system (CATS), which consists of an articulating tracking fin. That fin is controlled electronically on the touch-screen and it lets you tailor the wakes behind the boat. The CATS system originated in the 1990s, but it disappeared from Centurion’s lineup for years. Now it’s back and more adjustable and sophisticated than ever.
The Ri217 also has a few other features to make monster surf wakes. First, it comes with a ballast capacity of 4,950 pounds, which includes a plug and play system to add ballast bags on top of the factory system. The factory hard-tank system benefits from Ramfill, a setup with scuppers under the boat controlled by valves that are in turn controlled by touch-screen. That system fills the factory ballast tanks in about 45 seconds. The system empties out the transom just as quickly, if not quicker.
The ballast is for creating the wakes. The Stinger Wake Plate and optional QuickSurf Pro system adjusts for shape and length of the surf wake. The system works quickly enough that it can keep up with a surfer transitioning from side to side. Like the other systems on board, QuickSurf Pro is controlled via touch-screen.
Like many Centurions that came before, the Ri217 features a playpen-style bow are with a cooler built into the walk-through. The bow lounges are sculpted for maximum comfort. It’s worth noting that they’re deeper than you might expect from a towboat. In fact, the entire cockpit is nice and deep, which is a great feature if you have children under 10 on board.
With the popularity of watersports taking off (read The Wonderful World of Watersports: All Things Towable to learn more) it’s nice to know that Centurion isn’t just eyeing the top of the market and took the time to invest in a mid-market offering. Buyers in every segment deserve innovation—and the new Ri217 delivers.
Other Choices: The Axis A22, the Tige R20, and the Moomba Outback V are a few other mid-sized tow boats that get you out on the water without breaking the bank.
For more information, visit Centurion.
See Centurion Ri217 listings.
|Fuel capacity||63 gal.|