Few industries were hit harder by the lousy economy and tightening credit markets than the marine industry. When boat sales slow, so do innovation and new model introductions. Model-year changes are often reduced to nothing more than new gelcoat colors, graphics and upholstery. Yawn.

The new Sport Nautique 200 is an innovative new V-drive geared to meet the needs of families and die-hard water sports enthusiasts.

Despite the economic climate, Correct Craft, the manufacturer of Nautique Boats, has introduced two completely new models within a year of each other. First came the Ski Nautique 200 tournament inboard. Now Nautique Boats has debuted the new Sport Nautique 200, an innovative new V-drive geared to meet the needs of families and satisfy die-hard water sports enthusiasts. The boat debuted at the 2010 Nautique WWA Wakeboard Nationals in Sparks, Nevada, in mid-July.

The cockpit is family-friendly and features an L-shaped rear bench.

In fact, if you count the new open-bow version of the Ski Nautique 200, the company has introduced three new models in less than a year.

“The entire Nautique team is thrilled to offer the all-new innovative Sport Nautique 200 to multi-water sports enthusiasts around the world,” says Nautique president and CEO Bill Yeargin. “The Sport Nautique 200 brings together multi-sport families with exceptional handling and performance for several water sport activities all in one boat.”

The Sport Nautique 200 uses the same Optimal Surface Control hull used on the Ski Nautique 200, which lays down soft, friendly wakes at skiing speeds. But because the Sport Nautique is a V-drive, with a rear weight bias, the wakes begin to rise as speeds drop. For wakeboarding, the wakes become gently sloped. For wake surfing, the wakes develop a nice, long open face.

The Sport Nautique 200 lays down soft, friendly wakes at skiing speeds.

Like the Ski Nautique 200, the Sport Nautique 200 makes good use of teak wood on the ski platform, sunpad walk through, and on some seatbacks. Teak seemed to go out of favor for a few years, largely because it required periodic maintenance, but it’s nice to see builders using it again. It looks good and adds a nice, natural material to complement the composites.

Inside, the Sport Nautique features an L-shape rear bench. On the starboard side, Correct Craft built in an innovative trunk, which can be accessed via the rear bench backrest or through the more customary lid on the sun pad. In the bow, Correct Craft tucked the grab rails beneath the gunwales for a clean profile.

If you want to do any serious wakeboarding, the Team Edition option group is a must. It includes the Nautique LINC system, Zero Off GPS speed control, an FCT tower, a ballast package good for up to 740 pounds and swivel wakeboard racks. The removable ski pylon and tournament seat also are options. As with all Nautiques, engines are from Pleasurecraft Marine and range from the standard 343 horsepower all the way up to 409.

As a matter of policy, Nautique Boats does not publish retail prices. For more information on dealers in your area who can quote you a price, visit the Nautique website.

brettheadshotEditor's Note: Brett Becker is a freelance writer based in Ventura, CA. He covers the marine, automotive and racing industries for various print and web titles.