Yes, there is a contingent of water sports enthusiasts out there who would like nothing more than to spend all of their free time at the end of a rope perched atop a wakeboard or a water ski. And that's fine, because there are legions of tow boats on the market built specifically for that single-minded pursuit.
However, for those who would prefer a bit more utility from the one boat they own—or a lot more utility, for that matter—MasterCraft has introduced the CSX 220. Arguably a new breed of boat, the CSX 220 is still an inboard tow boat that punches out smooth, sloped wakes for wakeboarding, but it can do so much more. With a tow bar height more than 7 feet above the water, getting a good launch off the wakes is as easy as with any other wakeboard boat.
MasterCraft includes a in-house-built trailer with the CSX 220 and offers board and ski racks as options. True to its versatile nature, the new model also offers room for scuba tanks, loads of gear and even an optional setup for storing a kayak. Measuring 21 feet, 5 inches long and 8 feet, 6 inches wide, the CSX 220 isn't suited for making crossings to Bimini and is only suited for calm days on the ocean, but it will get you out on the Intracoastal. Its center-console design means passengers can walk around the perimeter of the carpeted cockpit or lounge in one of five seating areas.
It's fitted with special components to withstand a saltwater environment, including the Indmar engine. It holds up to 12 people, and has a fuel capacity of 57 gallons, so you can take longer trips than you could with a typical inboard tow boat. It weights 4,300 pounds, which means you'll need a full-size pickup or SUV to tow it, but you won't need anything more than a half-ton model.
It's nice to be surprised by such a versatile new model, especially since it addresses markets beyond the typical MasterCraft buyer. It's not for the hard-core skier, and it doesn't have to be. But it might just take someone who is looking at a fish-and-ski outboard model and lure them to an inboard, which isn't easy to do. Bravo MasterCraft.
For more information, visit www.mastercraft.com.