Issue: June 2006
Thrillseekers will go ga-ga over this boat’s wicked ramps.
WORDS + PHOTOS ANDREW RICHARDSON
I’ll let you in on a little story. A few years ago I was lucky enough to be living right on the Port Hacking River and my neighbours were dead keen on wakeboarding.
They’d been mucking about with an outboard powered ski boat for a while, but wanted to take their sport to the next level. So we got to chatting about what type of wakeboard boat would suit and my best suggestion was to go chat with a bloke I knew with a ski school.
Not long after, they rocked up in a Correct Craft Ski Nautique and from that day on, according to all reports, they were very happy wakeboarders. (And that was in a Correct Craft ‘Ski Nautique’ as opposed to today’s wakeboard specific ‘Air Nautique’s’). It turned out my neighbours bought the ski school’s working boat. And liked it so much they agreed to buy the school’s boat every year or so after that. This was my last experience with a Correct Craft, until today.
There’s no doubt having a demo boat with a wake school is one of the best sales tools around. Once you’re out on the boat it doesn’t take long to establish just how well the Correct Craft does the job as wakeboard mothercraft. It’s no surprise a fair number of students start doing sums before the day’s out. How convenient that the Correct Craft sales office is just down the road from the wake school?
The wakeboarding sport has matured and so have the boats, not to mention the wakeboarding school’s techniques. My host was Scotty from Black Diamond ski school and his relaxed, sophisticated style matched the new boat. The iPod fed the sound system with smooth and groovy tunes while the cool crew instructed the keen students through an in-helmet communication system. Everyone was drinking energy drinks ? except me ? but I did have a coffee from a thermos before getting onboard!
BUILT FOR FUN
Optimised for comfort and performance, the Correct Craft 220 Air Nautique is one of the best in her class. Stand out features include the adjustable ‘Hydro Gate’ system that radically alters bow angle during hole shot and then allows the wake shape to be controlled on the go. The midsection fins shift the hull’s turning axis forward and help maintain a long, consistent wake. Mix this with the quick fill 400lt water ballast and the Air Nautique delivers a wake shape to satisfy even the most demanding riders.
While the high, top-sided 220 delivers the goods to the guys out the back, it doesn’t forget the creature comforts for the crew between wake sessions. This 12 person craft incorporates a multitude of drink holders, hidden coolers, a top-notch subwoofer sound system and an adjustable seating layout that can change the focus from forward to aft in a snap.
The vessel has abundant stowage lockers designed to store multiple boards and the ‘bling bling’ swivel board rack is built for the business. Some of the primary stowage areas include two rear side lockers, an under seat board locker, an over engine bay storage area and a deep centre locker that gains its space though the U-shaped water ballast tanks.
Simple accessories like the optional sun pad cargo net made storing vests and towels during a wake session all to easy and the removable carpets allowed for a quick clean up at the end of the day.
The 220 was big, bold and quiet. The awesome rig was powered by a V-drive, freshwater cooled, Chevy-based PCM 6lt 375HP V8 engine delivering tremendous efficiency when she hits the sweet 3000rpm mark. Anyone familiar with the corrosion problems associated with saltwater cooling will appreciate the freshwater heat-exchanger cooling because it’s going to lengthen engine life by a long shot.
During the wake sessions, the Perfect Path cruise control and Hydro Gate systems were always in use. Scotty ? who liked the boat so much he had trouble letting go of the helm ? simply set the perfect path cruise control to a preset ‘wake mode’ and after a beep she sat at that speed.
Correct Craft’s are built in Orland Florida where they’ve recently completed new manufacturing facilities incorporating a test lake where all new vessels are taken through the ropes prior to being wrapped for delivery. So if you’re serious about your wake and not short of a dime, the Correct Craft Air Nautique 220 is your dreamboat.
While top speed of this PCM ZR6 6.0lt 375hp Powered craft was in the mid 40mph area, we never got there. With the help of the Hydro Gate the 220 could get to its 22mph wake speed in a matter of seconds and using the Perfect Path cruise control, she settled into the sweet spot in under 10 seconds.
On the way home a 32mph cruise speed was found around 4000rpm. Noise levels were well under control across the whole range.
Wake Speed 22mph 3000rpm
Cruise Speed 32mph 4000rpm
0-Wake speed using the Perfect Path system – under 10s
A PCM ZR6 6lt 375hp inboard engine powers the Super Air Nautique 220.
During this performance testing the conditions were calm, we had two adults and a full load of fuel onboard.
RPM – MPH
3000 – 22
4000 – 32
WEIGHT APPROX: 1846kg
GEAR REDUCTION: 1.46:1
PRICE AS TESTED: Team Model $98,000
+ Throws a top wake; Hydro Gate feature
– Nothing to report