Following on the heels of the Super Air Nautique GS20 and GS22 introduced for the 2017 model year, Nautique has introduced the 2018 Super Air Nautique GS24. The company has taken the latest iteration of the GS line and turned it up to 11.
The GS24 looks the part of a hardcore wakeboarding machine, and it is. It was built to be a multi-sport boat, capable of pulling skiers, wakeboarders and wakesurfers. That’s a tall order given their disparate needs, but Nautique has a long history in designing boat hulls—nearly 100 years—so the company has a lot of institutional memory from which to draw.
For the GS24, Nautique integrated hull characteristics from its G-series boats’ transom designs and bow design cues from its Ski Nautique lineup. It’s part of the Nautique Configurable Running Surface, which tailors the wakes depending on boat speed. At skiing speeds, the wakes are reasonably flat. The pop-up ski pylon is optional, which seems odd for a multisport boat. For boarding of all kinds, fill the subfloor internal ballast tanks with 2,500 lbs. of water and you get a completely different effect behind the boat.
The driver has the ability to tune wakes via the Nautique Surf Select system. Nautique also offers a remote control that lets a rider switch the surf wake to the other side at the touch of a button. With a Pebble smart watch, you can download Nautique Surf Select app, which lets the rider can control boat speed, the Nautique Surf System and the trim plate, stereo volume and track, and ballast shift. That means no more whining about setup from the guy behind the boat—“You think you can do better, here, you do it!”
The Nautique Surf System has been offered for a few years, but it’s now seamlessly integrated into the hull of the GS24. The NSS wave plate extends outward and down from the transom to interrupt and redirect the water flow as the boat moves forward. Riders can also control this function with the Surf Select system.
If the rider just wants to ride, the driver can adjust all the boat’s settings from behind the wheel using the Nautique LINC system, a 12-inch touch screen display that adjusts and stores all the tuned wake settings to build a database of preferences by rider. LINC is controllable via the touch screen or the Helm Command control knob right next to the throttle. The duality of the controls is a lot like BMW’s iDrive knob or the system Mercedes-Benz uses in its latest models—pretty slick.
Some other interesting aspects on the GS24 include the use of SeaDek foam, so you don’t have to step on upholstery to get on board. It comes with strapless board racks, which use telescoping arms to hold boards in place rather than straps. I don’t know if that’s better, but it is new.
To capture action behind the boat on video, the swivel pylon is fitted with a mount for a GoPro camera. There’s also an option for an “awareness cam” that displays the scene behind the boat on the LINC screen. Users can opt for it to be on the whole time or turn on when the boat slows below seven MPH.
There is a lot of seating, including two backrests on either of the side lounges so people can face the rear, but no convertible rear bench, which almost seems like a requirement these days.
In terms of power, the GS20 offers a lot. The standard engine is a 6.0-liter 400 HP port-fuel-injected Pleasurecraft Marine V8. You also can opt for the H5, which is a 355 HP 5.3-liter V8 with direct injection. The 5.3 also offers 405 lbs. feet of torque, so there’s no shortage of pulling power. Then there’s the H6, which displaces 6.2 liters, creates 450 HP and also is direct injected. There’s also a supercharged 6.2-liter XR7, which makes 550 HP and 545 lbs.-feet of torque.
Prices start at around $129,000, which when compared with the rest of the tow boat market, presents a decent amount of value when you consider what you could spend on a boat like this. It’s a great way for Nautique to top off the GS lineup for 2018.
Other Choices: Just a bit smaller than the GS24, the Centurion Fi23 also delivers a "premium entry level" category for buyers in the wakesports market. The Supreme S238 is also another quality option, only slightly smaller than the newest Super Air Nautique.
For more information, visit Nautique.
See Super Air Nautique listings.
|Fuel capacity||68 gal.|