If you keep up with the sports-car world, you already know about the new 2004 Enzo from Ferrari. Named for Enzo Ferrari, the famed founder of the Italian sports car company, the new model is a rocket or, as this magazine's sports-car-savvy editor put it, "basically, a Formula One car with doors."
No one in his right mind would apply that description to Centurion's Enzo SV 230 tow boat, which topped out at a little more than 51 mph. Then again, that's pretty speedy as far as multisport tow boats go, and the responsive boat did hold a tight line in corners. And its styling, all sultry lines and glowing, molten-red gelcoat did its namesake proud.
It is possible to ski behind the Enzo SV 230, although with the twin tanks for its water-ballast system empty and its Bennett trim tab/ride plate up, the wake is too hefty for serious slalom work. That was our ski tester's view. In all fairness to the V-drive tow boat, it was designed primarily for pulling wakeboarders—hence the Pro Flight tower with a red fiberglass box for the Sony Xplode CD speakers and wake-enhancing systems. On the plus side, our skier said the boat's pull in deep-water starts was decent. He also found the water-level teak swim platform easy to reboard.
Our wakeboarder was delighted with the hefty, kicker-lip crests when the ballast system was full and the ride plate was down. The system filled quickly thanks to a dedicated pump and a screened intake for each tank. Like our skier, our boarder couldn't budge the boat in hard turns and was impressed by its power out of the hole.
Though the popularity of "wake surfing," is new, the activity is not. In wake surfing, a rider is towed to his feet on a conventional surfboard and releases the line when he is close enough to the boat to ride the cresting section of the wake. People have been doing it—and sucking noxious fumes because of their close proximity to the exhaust outlets—for decades. To help alleviate this problem, Centurion outfitted the Enzo SV 230 with a switchable exhaust system. When a rider is surfing the starboard wake, the driver can shift the exhaust to port, and vice versa.
The Enzo SV 230's relatively deep hull featured an 18-degree transom deadrise, a delta pad and four strakes. Centurion offers a range of engines for the model, from a 320-hp MX 6.2 MPI small-block to a 420-hp big-block 8.1 HO. Equipped with the latter, a 1:1 Walters Velvet drive and an Acme CNC 13 1/4" x 15 1/2" three-blade propeller, the boat reached 51.3 mph. That made it the fastest tow boat we tested during our 2004 Performance Trials.
It was not, however, the quickest. Time to plane was 5.2 seconds, a bit anemic for a top-shelf wakeboard boat. On the other hand, once the boat leveled off it accelerated strongly, reaching 46 mph in 15 seconds from a dead stop. Running from 20 to 40 mph took 7.1 seconds.
The Enzo SV 230 turned precisely in corners at all speeds, for which the boat received strong marks. Had it not been for considerable steering wheel torque—the boat pulled hard to the left at middle and high speeds—those marks would have been stronger. The same applied to the boat's grades for tracking. Rudder adjustment/trim is all it would take to remove some of the pull out of the wheel.
No question, the most outstanding aspect of the Enzo SV 230's workmanship also was the most obvious. The boat's gelcoat left us rethinking the "seeing red" clich?. Had the mold work been anything less than spot-on, the solid color would have made errors difficult to miss. We found none.
Behind the gelcoat was a blend of 3-ounce chopped fiberglass, 6-ounce cloth and ceramic in the hullsides and transom. Six-ounce chop and DB170 material overlapped in the hullsides and chines, and the fin, rudder, center hull and strut areas were reinforced with 2- to 12-ounce chop, depending on the specific area. Foam and 2- and 3-ounce chop beefed up each strake.
Centurion did a good job installing the big-block engine on a through-bolted aluminum box-and-mount system. Access to the engine, which was under the center of three aft hatches supported by gas struts, was reasonable, although portions of the bilge would be tough to reach. Wires and harnesses were properly supported with stainless-steel cushion clamps.
Fully thought out—that's how our lead inspector described the Enzo SV 230's interior. That showed in the boat's details, such as struts for the polyboard lids under the rear ballast system/engine compartment hatches, rubber surfacing for the sun pad walk-through, and stowage under most cushions for the expansive G-shape lounge in the cockpit. It showed in thoughtful amenities such as LED-lighted gunwale trays and two hefty gas struts, rather than one, for raising the hinged observer's seat.
The builder loaded the helm station with goodies, starting with a deep bucket seat, a tilt steering wheel and a throttle and shifter unit with trim control on the handle and a trim gauge—two things you rarely see in a tow boat. More standard, though essential, fare included a PerfectPass speed-control system, a tachometer and a multifunction Faria gauge that included speed, depth, voltage, air temperature, water temperature and more.
Taken to the extreme, style reigns over substance in "tribute" or "signature" models. Not so in Centurion's Enzo SV 230. Sure, it's a stunner, but it's also a strong wakeboard boat that, for the breed, is exceptionally fast. We doubt its namesake would accept anything less.
Hull and Propulsion Information
|Deadrise at transom||18 degrees|
|Hull weight||4,000 pounds|
|Engine||MerCruiser 8.1 HO|
|Lower-unit gear ratio||1:1|
|Propeller||Acme 13 1/4" x 15 1/2"|
|Price as tested||$59||606|
Options on Test Boat
Upgrade to MerCruiser 8.1 HO engine ($8,850), custom trailer ($6,000), wakeboard tower ($1,895), Sony CD stereo with four speakers, amplifier and subwoofer ($1,785), PerfectPass Wakeboard Pro ($1,189), 5" sideswipe exhaust ($1,095), dual rear ballast ($995), custom tower speakers ($849), tower lights ($625), Bennett trim tab ($565), board racks ($475), boat cover ($456), Easy Rider seat ($390), headlights ($345), Pilot One ($265), pullout cleats ($265), second battery with isolator ($235), Sony in-dash remote ($198) and stainless-steel rubrail ($189).
|Location||Colorado River Parker Ariz.|
|Wind speed||3-5 mph|
|3 seconds||18 mph|
|5 seconds||27 mph|
|10 seconds||38 mph|
|15 seconds||46 mph|
|Midrange acceleration: 20-40 mph||7.1 seconds|
Rpm vs. Mph
|Radar||51.3 mph at 4800 rpm|
|Nordskog Performance Products GPS||51 mph at 4800 rpm|
|Time to plane||5.2 seconds|
|Minimum planing speed||17 mph|
|At 25 mph||2.9 mpg|
|At 35 mph||2.7 mpg|
|At 45 mph||1.8 mpg|
|At WOT||1.6 mpg|
|Fuel capacity||46 gallons|
For More Information
455 Grogan Ave.
Merced, CA 95340