Can you remember back when a $50,000 price tag on a tow boat raised an eyebrow? I sure can. It was probably when the years started with the number 19, and that struck many as a lot of money for a tow boat.

Now look at the market. Tow boats that cost upward of $100,000 are not difficult to find. In fact, it’s getting hard to find tow boats that can be had for around $50,000. Well, new ones, anyway. MasterCraft must have had a meeting or two on that very subject, because the company has launched its new NXT20, a full-featured wakeboarding and water skiing boat that can be had for a price that harkens back to when grunge rock was in and flannel shirts were fashionable.

mastercraft nxt20

The all new Mastercraft NXT20 brings affordability back to watersports boats.

The NXT20 isn’t some decades-old model that’s been refreshed and repurposed as a value leader. It features a fresh design, with the same pickle-fork bow that looks great and affords so much space. So what you’re getting is a modern boat assembled with cost-savings built in.

For example, the NXT 20 comes with a tower, but it’s a simple aluminum tubular structure. Board racks are available as options for $1,450. The NXT is available in a variety of colors, but unless you want white, it will cost U.S. customers an additional $730.

Other standard features include interior courtesy lights, a 25-quart Igloo cooler, a swivel driver’s bolster seat, a removable teak swim platform, and three 12-volt power outlets. If you want to use the boat for wakeboarding and wake surfing, you’ll need the NXT Surf Package, which is $3,630. So, in the most basic usable trim, the NXT 20 will run you about 56 large. Still, it’s a MasterCraft, a new one, with a warranty—for the price one could easily pay for a used boat.

Built as a V-drive, the NXT20 is capable as a multisport boat. Empty everything out of it and use for slalom skiing, or load it up with friends, ballast, and the NXT Surf Package, and use it for wakeboarding and surfing.


While the helm on the NXT20 isn't as jazzy as many seen today, it's simple, straight-forward, and functional.

Instrumentation isn’t bare bones, but it is refreshingly free of all the fancy electronic displays that have taken the towed sports industry by storm. The NXT20’s dashboard is fitted with a row of toggle switches up top, a small display at the right, and a stereo and cubby hole to the left of the steering wheel. It’s handsome and functional.

In the cockpit, the function continues with full wraparound seating, a spacious observer’s seat with a big stowage compartment below and even more stowage flanking the engine compartment. Hatches open outward so you can access the compartments from inside the boat and from the platform. There’s also stowage beneath the sole between the windshield cowls.
Draft (hull)2'3"
Displacement3,825 lbs
Fuel capacity44 gal.

The whole boat is simple and straightforward, and come to think of it, this is how top-of-the-line tow boats used to be built back in the 19’s—and most of them are still on the water today. That should provide some measure of comfort, knowing that the NXT20 should last longer than the book of payment coupons.

Other Choices: The Moomba Outback is another watersports boat that gives you a lot of bang for the buck. The same can be said of the Axis A20.

See NXT20 listings.

For more information, visit Mastercraft.