Entry-Level Versus Luxury Tow Boats

If you're in the market for a new tow-boat, the options can seem endless. Learn more about what options and amenities are available at different price points so you can choose the right watersports for you.

Entry-Level Versus Luxury Tow Boats

High-end boats such as MasterCraft’s XStar (top) offer a wider choice of hull colors than the less-pricey NXT series (below). (Courtesy MasterCraft/)

The appeal of wakesurfing—along with the classic allure of carefree swimming off the platform, thanks to the prop being tucked under the hull—has sent demand for inboard tow boats to new levels.

Add the luxurious interiors and deluxe helms, and the appeal is easy to understand. But with this surge in demand comes even more buying options. With manufacturers offering up to 18 models that range from value-oriented to opulent, how do you know what’s best for your situation? Here’s our take.

Regardless of price, no inboard-powered tow boat from the major manufacturers comes stripped down.
Regardless of price, no inboard-powered tow boat from the major manufacturers comes stripped down. (Courtesy MasterCraft/)

The Price is Right

The first and most obvious factor is the price. With flagship models being offered at prices that rival the price of some houses, there will be buyers that are priced out of these boats. That said, at the top end, you can get an absolute beast of a wakeboat that will deliver pride in ownership, plus comfort and performance amenities that value boats cannot approach. Such intangibles apply to the top class of all boat types, and it’s good to remember that boats at all price levels represent a luxury purchase.

MasterCraft’s X26 (top) boasts full-on touchscreen control and is one of the few tow boats to offer a head. Less-costly boats such as the NXT20 offer simpler helms.
MasterCraft’s X26 (top) boasts full-on touchscreen control and is one of the few tow boats to offer a head. Less-costly boats such as the NXT20 offer simpler helms. (Courtesy MasterCraft/)

Aesthetics and Convenience

Pickle-fork and traditional-bow styles are available at every price range. But a boat’s looks are about a lot more than just the bow style. Particularly at the high end, tow boats are works of art inside and out. Fit-and-finish is immaculate, and no detail is overlooked. Expect overstuffed bench seats that convert to dining areas, seats that easily transition to face the watersports action, and helms with nav systems that rival a private jet. On the budget side, it’s looking more like manual switches, smaller digital screens and fewer convertible seating options. Top-end models may offer a wider range of colors than less-costly boats.

MasterCraft’s X26 (top) offers a wider variety of upholstery choice than MasterCraft's NXT20 model.
MasterCraft’s X26 (top) offers a wider variety of upholstery choice than MasterCraft's NXT20 model. (Courtesy MasterCraft/)

Is Bigger Better?

The length overall doesn’t really enter the conversation when it comes to budget versus luxury. Of course, as you step up in size within either the luxury or the budget classes, you’re going to be adding dollars to the invoice, but you can buy a 24-foot value-class inboard tow boat or you can purchase a 20-foot luxury inboard tow boat.

Interior space and overall layout are other determining factors.
Interior space and overall layout are other determining factors. (Courtesy MasterCraft/)

Advanced Features

We may have saved the best for last. This is one of the truly distinguishing categories between budget and luxury, and for many people, this is the decisive factor. The features that make wakes are typically fairly similar because many of the entry-level brands have stepped up their game in the past several years, but manufacturers still reserve their most convenient features for their luxury wakeboats. Now is the time to ask yourself: Do you go under bridges or put the boat under a canopy that requires you to lower the tower regularly? If so, then an auto tower is definitely worth a closer look. Another differentiator on the luxury side: cameras. Many wakeboats have both bow and stern cameras, which make captaining safer and more convenient. Also, a huge factor in many boaters’ minds is a stern thruster to ease docking. You can get a 24-foot value-class boat, but it’s never going to come with a factory-installed thruster, and for some people, that’s a deal-breaker. Another huge benefit is subfloor ballast. This might not sound like a big deal, but quickly filling the liner of the boat with ballast rather than using up storage compartments proves convenient—and it’s typically available only on higher-end models. Other notable amenities include upgraded audio, quick-plane systems, wake enhancers, wireless charging, and much more. And while it varies between manufacturers, many of these upgrades are available only on high-end models.

Source : Boating Magazine More   

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Oceanco reveals 10 superyacht gadgets worthy of a James Bond film

When it comes to superyacht security and privacy, Dutch yard Oceanco takes some beating. They recently revealed the secrets behind some of their extraordinary superyacht gadgets that wouldn’t be out of place in a James Bond film.The 110m Oceanco megayacht Kaos docked in London. Photo: Tom Van OossanenIn the world of superyachts, there custom is always right and Oceanco is well versed in providing the ultimate in custom-built solutions. The Dutch superyacht builder has created a fleet of extremely diverse and bespoke yachts that set a benchmark in terms of design and innovation. And with a constant demand for new facilities and […] This article Oceanco reveals 10 superyacht gadgets worthy of a James Bond film appeared first on Motor Boat & Yachting.

Oceanco reveals 10 superyacht gadgets worthy of a James Bond film

When it comes to superyacht security and privacy, Dutch yard Oceanco takes some beating. They recently revealed the secrets behind some of their extraordinary superyacht gadgets that wouldn’t be out of place in a James Bond film.

The 110m Oceanco megayacht Kaos docked in London. Photo: Tom Van Oossanen

In the world of superyachts, there custom is always right and Oceanco is well versed in providing the ultimate in custom-built solutions.

The Dutch superyacht builder has created a fleet of extremely diverse and bespoke yachts that set a benchmark in terms of design and innovation.

And with a constant demand for new facilities and technologies, the company has increasingly met with, and delivered on, requests for secret-service level superyacht gadgets.

Drone-blocking force fields, motion-detecting smart floors… they might seem like something from the set of No Time To Die, but, in fact, these are real technologies that Oceanco can supply and is developing.

“When it comes to creating a fully bespoke superyacht, we are accustomed to the challenges of specialist requests such as these,” says Paris Baloumis, Oceanco’s Marketing Director. “James Bond had ‘Q’ to supply his outlandish gadgets; superyacht owners have ‘O’, aka Oceanco!”

Take a look at the 10 superyacht gadgets below and you’ll agree – they would be right at home in a James Bond film!

Citadel rooms

In the extremely rare event of being boarded by an army of evil henchmen, superyacht owners can simply retreat to their citadel room.

Citadels are kitted out with independent, overriding access to the yacht’s navigational and satellite communications systems, so even when you don’t have access to the bridge, you can maintain full control.

The rooms are fitted with reinforced doors and have ballistic protection on the surrounding walls. Inside, they’re equipped with their own ventilation systems as well as water and food supplies to provide total self-sufficiency.

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Emergency escape life pods

The next generation of citadels could be distinctly more mobile. Like a cross between a lifeboat and a spaceship, these emergency escape ‘life-pods’ provide a rapid getaway.

The watertight pods are constructed from high-tech materials to resist impact and feature built-in GPS trackers, temperature and fire barrier controls, and air purification systems.

Anti-drone systems

Hoping to avoid the prying eyes of the paparazzi? First you need a defence system identifying any commercial drones in operation within a 20km radius, providing GPS positions of both the drone and the pilot.

Then you need a 500-metre electronic ‘exclusion zone’ around the yacht. Like some sort of sci-fi force field, this superyacht gadget blocks any unwanted airborne visitors.

If the drone makes it to the perimeter of the exclusion zone, its controls and video feed are jammed, effectively rendering the pilot’s controls useless, and its ‘return to home’ function (which usually kicks in when the drone has a low battery) is triggered.

oceanco-superyachts-credit-guillaume-plisson

91.5m megayacht Tranquility at the anchor in a Mediterranean bay. One of her crew is controlling the helm from the balcony. Photo: Guillaume Plisson

Acoustic deterrents

Keep pirates at a safe distance… The Long-Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD for short is a sonic device that emits an uncomfortable, high-pitched noise, above the tolerance of the average person, causing them to be driven away.

With a practical range of more than 3km, these superyacht gadgets can be adjusted to broadcast voice commands in numerous languages on top of the deterrent tones.

Intruder diver deterrents

Think someone could sneak up on a superyacht by pulling on a wet suit and scuba gear? Think again, as some superyachts are choosing to install sonar systems that detect, track and identify divers or underwater vehicles approaching from any direction.

oceanco-superyacht-yard-credit-francisco-martinez

109m Bravo Eugenia at Oceanco’s yard in Holland during the system’s final tuning stage. Photo: Francisco Martinez

Onboard hospitals

If you’re involved in a naval scuffle, you might need immediate treatment… Or you might simply have a bit of an upset stomach…

Kitted out like an emergency room of a private hospital, the onboard hospital is equipped with oxygen tanks, defibrillators, specialised medications and intravenous fluids.

Should a patient require further medical attention, most of today’s large yachts have helipads (of course) to bring in medical assistance or to evacuate by air.

Diagnostic kits

Crew, or even medical professionals (who you might feel safest taking along) can link up to a remote medical support line such as MedAire from International SOS, allowing a team of doctors to see the patient’s condition in real-time and provide advice on procedures or medication in order to stabilise the patient.

superyacht-kaos-oceanco-credit-tom-van-oossanen

110m megayacht Kaos at Oceanco’s yard in Holland. Photo: Tom van Oossanen / SuperYacht Times

Smart floors

Currently in development, these smart floors are like an upgraded surveillance system for the 21st century. They track movement and can be used, not only for security, but also to control lighting or heating.

Super-tough windows

The ingenious engineers behind A60 windows have taken the notion of toughened safety glass to new heights. Made from hot extruded steel or stainless steel profiles, the compound glass windows provide protection against a fire for up to an hour and are available in a range of thicknesses.

Cybersecurity net

Fearful of a cyberattack? Oceanco has been working with cyber-security professionals to ensure its yachts are built with the kind of network protections that will keep owners and crew safe from hackers.

This article Oceanco reveals 10 superyacht gadgets worthy of a James Bond film appeared first on Motor Boat & Yachting.

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