Ben Wilson was up on the Sunshine Coast during April and had a chance to catch up with Mick Watkins, the New QLD Tige dealer, to water test the all-new Tige Z1 21foot V-drive crossover wake/ski boat.
Large V-drives have very much been the domain of wakeboarders in the past, but Tige – thanks to high-tech hull design and an innovative cavitation plate system – have managed to produce an all-rounder that can also produce a nice slalom wake.
As per all the Tige models, the Z1 is built on the Convex V hull, which is the secret to allowing this 21 footer to cater for both skiers and wakeboarders. The unique feature of the Convex V hull is its bow-to-stern rocker, which makes the boat suck down to the water. This gives downward force as the boat progresses through the water, just like a wakeboard or ski with a lot of rocker would do.
This feature has been patented by Tige since the turn of the century, and allows the boat to create a good size wakeboarding wake without the requirement of ballast.
For the skiers in the family, Tige boats are equipped with the TAPS2 system, which is a hydraulic cavitation plate at the bottom of the transom. This allows you to eliminate the wake by adjusting the way the boat sits in the water.
When you adjust the TAPS2 to slalom mode, the plate engages in the down position, which in turn raises the stern of the boat to reduce the wake to slalom standards.
The ideal setting for skiing is to have the TAPS set on 2-3 and the boat travelling between 30 to 36 mph. For wakeboarding, change the TAPS to 6-7 and ride between 21-24 mph.
The other great benefit of the Convex V hull and TAPS2 is that it ensures optimum fuel efficiency, which is obviously becoming more relevant as petrol prices continue to rise.
The design of the Z1 means that generally it will not require ballast for wakeboarding, as the hull itself will create about 700kgs of downward force. For those who love an even bigger wake, the 2009 Z1 does have an under-floor ballast system holding approx 400kgs of water.
These fully-imported boats are constructed in a state-of-the-art factory in Texas, which has only been open for three years and is now running to its full capacity.
Tige have adopted a unique engineering method for extra strength. After the first stage of construction each boat is one complete plug, meaning there are no additional parts such as seat bases or dash compartments to screw in later in production.
The aim is to provide a boat that has more strength and more durability, and this quality is especially evident when driving through big rollers and across rough water.
The Z1 is particularly nimble considering its overall size, and the light steering and razor sharp turning abilities mean it can be thrown about at will.
The test boat was fitted with a PCM 343hp engine, which is standard across the Tige range. The boat launched out of the hole with plenty of venom, and the motor is sweet and smooth across the rev range.
The cockpit is nicely set up with a full array of gauges in a very stylish looking wrap-around dash, and the experience is set off by excellent adjustable drivers seat and steering wheel and quality controls throughout.
There is more than enough storage in the Z1 for a day out on the lake, with a storage locker on the passenger side of the boat that runs from the side engine hatch right to the front of the boat. You access this section via the passenger side seats in the lounge and under the observer seat.
The Z1 is jam packed with an exceptional amount of standard options including tower, board racks, Speedset cruise control, Clarion CD player, four speaker sound system, interior courtesy lights, stainless steel rub rail, pop out cleats, battery isolator switch, bolster seat, and depth, air and sea temp gauges.
Overall the Z1 is a great family boat, with plenty of room and all of the features you will ever need in a boat.
The advanced hull means that wakeboarders and skiers will end up with a big smile on their face.
And the luxurious, spacious interior means that you and 10 friends will be enjoying a day on the water in maximum style.
For more info and your nearest dealer, check out www.tige.com.au
Length 6.4m (21ft)
Boat Weight: 1688kg
Fuel: 144 litres
Priced From: $87,316
Contact: 07 5522 0026