Since joining forces with the Nautique brand in June 2015, Centurion’s product lineup has been pared down to three offerings: the Ri217, the Ri237, and the new flagship and our subject today, the Ri257. Gone are past lines such as Enzos and Elite models. The remaining Ri lineup, however, is focused and has been dialed up to a higher standard—the Ri257 is a perfect example.
Anyone who’s in the market for one of these boats wants it as much for what happens behind the boat as what it has inside it. That means wakes, and in the case of wakesurfing, that means waves. Of course, every tow boat builder says their boats throw the biggest wakes, but the Ri257 seems to have the numbers to bear it out.
For example, the Ri257 weighs 6,150 lbs. without ballast. The Ram Fill ballast system loads 2,600 lbs. of water in just 45 seconds, thanks to the air vents on the hull sides which allow the displaced air to evacuate quickly. Those vents also act as the spillover valves when the tanks are full. The optional plug-and-play ballast system adds another 2,000 lbs. for a total of 10,750 lbs. of weight.
That’s a big number. Centurion adds in a few systems critical to tailor the wakes for surfing and boarding. The Centurion Articulating Tracking System is actually a single tracking fin on the hull that can be “steered” left or right to adjust wave size and shape. Likewise, the redesigned QuickSurf Pro system incorporates a parabolic wake-tuning plate to either side and one at the center. The center tab also can be fitted with the Silent Stinger plate, an option that ports the exhaust down through the plate to quiet the boat and get the exhaust away from the rider.
To give riders a good pull, Centurion’s Maximus tower folds fore and aft to for storage or for negotiating low bridges, something that comes in handy on lake chains around the country. The effort to fold it is little enough for one person. Swivel board racks are optional, as are a Bimini with dual surfboard stowage and what Centurion calls its Downfire sound system. The driver controls everything at the helm through the Touch Vision dashboard.
Inside, the Ri257 offers the HD sliding seat, which has built-in tandem backrests. The bench slides all the way forward, even with the rear-facing backrest on the port-side lounge. It can be locked in a few different locations, not just flipped out on a pivot at the rear bench. By using two backrests instead of one, other passengers can sneak between them to pass from the bow of the boat to aft section. That simple feature shows a lot of thought went into how people actually use the boat.
At the stern, the center walk-through is hinged at the rear. The sunpads are hinged on either side of the walk-through, which allows people to access the compartments underneath from the cockpit and the swim platform. Also of note is that when you fold up the sunpads and swing up the walk-through, you get unfettered access to the engine compartment. That might not matter when you’re out on the water, but it does when you’re trying to winterize or maintain the engine. The design is sophisticated yet simple. Well done.
Like all Centurions, the Ri257 is built using the company’s proprietary Integrated Composite System, which bonds the hull, stringer system, floor and deck with ITW Plexus. The hull and deck also are built using vacuum infusion, a process similar to vacuum bagging, which eliminates voids in the laminate and ensures an ideal resin-to-fiberglass ratio. The end result is a quieter ride and a more rigid structure overall.
“The Ri257 is another amazing Centurion boat,” said Paul Singer, president of Centurion and Supreme Boats. “It offers the same world-class waves, wakes, and ride, with more room for family and friends. If I had to differentiate the Ri Series, I would say the Ri217 is two-family towboat, the Ri237 is a three-family towboat and the Ri257 has room for your entire block.”
Other Choices: The Super Air Nautique G25 is another whopping-big wakeboarding boat. Same goes for the Malibu Wakesetter 25 LSV.
For more information, visit Centurion.
See Centurion Ri257 listings.
|Fuel capacity||92 gal.|