What are Wake Boats and Ski Boats?
Ski boats and wake boats (often called surf boats) are vessels designed specifically for watersports, with specialized wake-shaping technology and tow towers for pulling skiers or riders. Wake boats are generally v-drive boats with systems to enhance the shape of wakes making them larger and more ideal for wakesurfing, wakeboarding and jumps and aerial tricks. These systems are comprised of hydraulic metal plates, wedges or even hydrofoils that can be adjusted by the driver at the helm. Comparatively, ski boats have evolved from three main water skiing competition categories: slalom, trick and jump, and are almost always direct-drive inboard powered vessels that create smaller flatter wakes ideal for water skiers.
How are Ski Boats and Wake Boats built?
Wake boat and surf boat hulls are specifically designed and molded to displace as much water as possible with ballast. These specialized ballast systems can adjust the weight of the boat, thus creating smaller and bigger wakes as needed, and are typically comprised of water tanks with pumps, integrated within the hull.
What Types of Engines Power Wake Boats and Ski Boats?
Most wake boats are powered by v-drive systems while most ski boats are powered by direct-drive propulsion. Typically these boats do not have outboard engines since they would get in the way of tow ropes and prevent easy loading and unloading of riders. Due to rudder propellers and drive shafts along the bottom of the hull, these boats typically have about a 3 foot minimum draft, thus are not ideal for very shallow water - nor do they tend to make good fishing boats. Some wake boats are jet boats, such as the Yamaha 242X, and thus may be suitable for shallower water.
What Optional Equipment is Available for Wake Boats and Ski Boats?
Optional equipment on ski boats and wake boats includes advanced touchscreen controls (especially for controlling the hydraulic wake-shaping plates), custom stereo systems and sound bars, LED and underwater lights, large swim platforms, loungers and rear facing "observer" seats, surf rope and premium towing accessories, surfboard mounting systems, powered wakeboard tow towers and more.