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Generally speaking, wakeboard specific boats are V-drive boats. This means they are an inboard boat with the engine placed backwards in the rear of the boat. This is done to keep more weight in the back of the boat and make the wake larger. Some wakeboard specific boat models are direct drive boats where the engine is in the middle of the boat. Most wakeboard boats will have several features that help to create large wakes. These include ballast, hydrofoil, and hull technology. Ballast is a simple term for weight. When wakeboard boats have ballast tanks, it means that they have room for extra weight to weigh the boat down for larger wakes. For example. If the rider is surfing on the starboard side of the stern. Then you want to activate the starboard ballast in order to give the rider a surf-able wave. All these key features would not be anything if it was not for cruise control. Cruise control innovated wake boarding. Throttles on v drive boats are extremely sensitive and it is hard to get to the desired speed of the rider. When cruise control is set the driver can push the throttle all the way down and the boat will not go any faster than the desired speed. It locks the engine in at that rpm. Cruise control is also very safe because when pulling a rider there is a lot to have to worry about. Cruise control minuses one less worry allowing for a fun wakeboard run.
Wedges and plates
Many watersports boat manufacturers have developed systems to further enhance the shape of the wakes their boats create. These devices often help to lower the stern of the boat, which creates a larger wake and are very useful when wakesurfing as well. However, the quality and size of the wake is largely a function of the hull design and ballast weight of the boat.
Malibu Boats' "Wedge" is a hydrofoil device that can be extended or retracted. When the "Wedge" is extended it creates downward force that pulls the stern of the boat lower in the water. Mastercraft boats use an "attitude adjustment plate" which is a large trim tab that allows the boat to be trimmed- enhancing the wake. Nautique developed the "Hydrogate" which uses Bernoulli's Principle to trim their wakeboarding boats. It works by creating a small channel along the stern of the boat at the transom- when it is closed, the nose of the boat is lower when on a plane creating a wake better for skiing. When the trough opens, approximately 1/2 inches deep, the higher velocity of the water through the trough creates a region of lower pressure, and causes the transom to settle lower, for wakeboarding. Epic Boats Integrated Wake Shape Plate and Dynamic Reduction of Pressure Zone Wake-Enhancing Technology. The hull is specifically molded to displace monumental amounts of water. Skiers Choice, manufacturer of Supra and Moomba, has created a wake plate that aids the boat in planing by allowing the driver to adjust the device (basically a trim tab). All manufactures have some type of ballast system in addition to the other devices.
Hull technology is the innovation and R&D that the manufacturers put into their boats to ensure the best stock wake possible. Many boarders use aftermarket ballast and lead to further weigh down their boats for very large wakes or for sports such as wake surfing. Most wakeboat manufacturers have installed factory ballast but sometimes more weight is needed. Ballast can take the form of hard tanks or soft bags which are filled with water from the body of water the boat is being operated on. Wakeboard boats have a certain type of hull to allow for bigger wakes. The bigger the wake the more the stern is sitting in the water. These boats are not good for shallow waters considering their draft is roughly over 3 feet. There is a rudder propeller and shaft drive along with three fins directly under the boat. Shallow waters with that much instruments under the boat will call for disaster. These boats are not good substitutes for fishing boats for that reason. Most fishing boats have a flat bottom hull and an outboard motor which is completely retractable. They also have a plastic trolling motor in case they ever get into sticky situations. Wakeboard boats offer depth finders to keep out of the shallow stuff. People often think that if they ruin a prop on an inboard that it will be an easy fix. Inboard props do not come off without a special tool that can be costly.
A wakeboard tower is usually a common characteristic of a wakeboard boat. The tower elevates the pulling position of the rope allowing the rider to launch and stay into the air longer reducing the pull downwards.
- WakeBoatOwners An online community for Wakeboard Boat Owners to share their boats and discuss their hobby with other enthusiasts.
- The Wakeboard Report A site that covers the boats used in the sport of wakeboarding and reviews new models and provides impressions of new and existing wakeboard boats.
- Wakeboard San Diego A online community for San Diego and Southern California wakeboarders.
- Waketower Pro A company that offers installation and sales of wakeboard towers and accessories.