World's number one: Supra Sunsport 24V Worlds Edition.
It's fitting that Supra pays homage to the WWA World Wakeboarding Championship with its Sunsport 24V Worlds Edition, because both identify a winner. In wakeboarding, an owner's boat is an extension of his attitude and style, and the Supra Sunsport 24V, clad in the striking Worlds package, cuts a striking pose on the lake.
Style without substance is just so much fluff, but when we started looking at individual components the Supra didn't fail to impress. Most ski boats have pretty good stereos, but our test boat's Worlds package includes a top-of-the-line system with six speakers, plus a subwoofer for extra thump and four custom spinner speakers on the forward-swept, powder-coated tower that has a Bimini top and LED lights. Usually the driver has to fiddle with the volume when going from idle to running speed, but our system has a speed-sensitive volume that automatically boosted the power when we ramped it up. Smart.
Probably the most amazing feature on the Sunsport 24V is the incredible number of rearward facing seats. Count 'em, seven! The entire cockpit is ringed with bench seating, but on the port side about midway back there is a seat bottom that flips up to form a seat back, giving you a nice recliner. Then behind the captain's seat there's a double-wide bench and in the walk-through to the bow, filler cushions create another ski observer seat that also keeps wind out of the cockpit for the coif-conscious.
On the Sunsport, the bow is a walk-through with bowrider seats, whereas the Launch version's bow is filled in with cushions. The only beef is that there isn't much backrest recline on either version's forward facing seats.
Our test boat is equipped with the 340 hp Indmar ETX CAT 5.7L Assault, which is the standard powerplant on the Worlds Edition. Since it's equipped with a catalytic converter, it produces about 93 percent less carbon monoxide than standard engines--good news for those who like to wakesurf close to the stern. This makes it a Four-Star engine in California (CARB), which gives it the silly sobriquet of "Super Ultra Low Emissions engine" (will future 5-star engines be Unbelievably Super Ultra Low emissions engines?).
Although the speed obsessed can up the Indmar to 450 hp, the standard Assault provides plenty of power unless you are towing the pyramid at Cypress Gardens. Thanks in part to the automatic SmartPlate, which is a giant Lenco trim tab, we got on plane in 3.4 seconds with little bowrise. It autoretracts when on plane and we reached a 30 mph slalom-friendly speed in 6.2 seconds. The top speed of 41.5 mph is about what you would expect for a V-drive that keeps the OJ prop (no jokes please) tucked underneath for safety and eliminates the engine "doghouse" of standard inboards. It also puts more weight aft to help plow up a tsunami of a wake.
If you were to do nothing aboard the Sunsport 24V except cruise around and carve turns a la jetboat, just for goofs, you could get a good giggle going. With twin tracking fins and Supra's Drop Down Keel, you can generate maximum G-forces when yanking the wheel hard over. For more practical usage, skiers plying their avocation on narrow canals won't have to regroup and relaunch at the dead end. Unlike flat-bottom ski boats, the Sunsport 24V has an ultra-sharp 47-degree entry, which along with the largest keel in the industry helps slice through the lake chop.
At the center of the dash's attention is the Supra V.I.S.I.O.N. display, made by Murphy, that manages the Zero Off GPS-driven speed-control system, which is accurate to within one-tenth of a mile per hour. The LCD screen gave us great visibility, even in direct sunlight and also has a nighttime mode. In addition, the display can show GPS mapping as well as engine diagnostics. To set up the boat for a rider, just select one of the presets or one of eight rider settings you have saved, and the ballast tanks automatically fill or empty. The Worlds Edition comes standard with the Gravity III ballast system with two 400-pound soft bags in the stern and one 400-pounder forward in addition to the SmartPlate, which both increases the size of the wake and helps shape it. In case of a screen malfunction, there are separate ballast tank switches and a steering column stalk for the SmartPlate, so your day on the water doesn't have to end if there's a glitch.
This is primarily a wakeboard boat and a darn good one with a very clean, humongous wake if you dare to catch air. But cranking it up to 30 mph yields a serviceable slalom wake as well. The Sunsport 24V is rated to carry up to 16 human ballast bags, so jamming a herd of them into a corner gives up a very surfable wake for those into the fastest-growing niche in skiing: wakesurfing.
The 24V is also an awesome boat to hang out on, with a killer stereo, two coolers for beverages and 14 cupholders. There's a ginormous sunpad in the stern with room for three, and optional filler cushions in the bow means everyone can get an even tan. OK, everyone turn over on three!
Optioning the Worlds Edition doesn't require much thought since you already get a Rad-A-Cage tower with upgraded swivel racks, all the stereo you want, and a Z5-cargo Bimini top for chilling in the noontime sun. The twin-axle WE trailer with 18-inch wheels looks like you had it custom designed. Your ballast and bells and whistles are taken care of, so what else is there?
Among the useful options are the filler cushion for the bowrider section. If you ski in colder weather, there's an available heater with stainless steel nozzles. You can also dress it up with a teak platform, billet glove box and canvas cockpit covers for additional style.
SUPRA SUNSPORT 24V WORLDS EDITION
SPECIFICATIONS Length 24 ft. Beam 8 ft., 6 in. Dry Weight 3,950 lbs. Fuel Capacity 50 gals. PERFORMANCE mph rpm dBA Peak 41.5 5200 94 Cruise 25.2 3000 85 Time to Plane 3.4 sec. Time to 30 mph 6.2 sec. POWER Test 340 Indmar ETX CAT 5.7L Assault Max hp 450 hp Cylinders V-8 Displacement 5.7L Weight N/A WOT Range 5200 rpm Base Price w/Assault 325 $66,995 w/Worlds Edition ETX CAT Assault 340 $76,490
VALUE-ADDED STANDARD FEATURES
Rad-A-Cage tower w/swivel racks, V.I.S.I.O.N. display w/Zero Off cruise control, Gravity III ballast
Teak swim platform, bow filler cushions, heater, tonneau cover
SKIER'S CHOICE, INC.
Circle 16 on reader service card
$612/month based on 15% down and 7.75% interest for 15 years
Patrick and Tammy Hopkins, Lake Arrowhead, CA
PURCHASED AT LIQUID WRENCHES, LIVERMORE, CA
What we liked:
* Incredible roominess and massive storage
* Stereo is awesome and has iPod interface
* Great wakes for all kinds of skiing
* The V-drive keeps the prop tucked underneath the hull for safety
What we would change:
We frequently have a lot of people on board and would probably get a larger engine like the 409 or 450 hp model.
Why we bought it:
My family has always been into skiing; my grandfather raced and my dad and I have both been ski instructors at McKenzie's Ski School, which was founded in 1946. Lake Arrowhead is an incredible waterski community and we are mostly old school here where most people, like my wife and I, slalom ski. I use a custom ski to catch air and do wakeboard-like tricks. A friend of mine had a Supra 24V that we were on all summer, and we just loved it and wanted one exactly like it. My wife finds it a very easy boat to drive and we love its comfort. It's got a very clean wake that's nice and rampy and easy to adjust thanks to the SmartPlate. Chase, my 4-year-old, loves to ski and my 2-year-old, Christian, will be learning soon. It's the perfect family boat for us.
1 Rad-A-Cage tower with swiveling board racks
2 340 hp Indmar ETX CAT 5.7L Assault
3 Plenty of lounge room in the bow
4 Futuristic dash with V.I.S.I.O.N. display
5 Plenty of spectator seating
6 LCD screen controls ballast, GPS and speed
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|Title Annotation:||tested: Supra Sunsport 24V Worlds Edition|
|Article Type:||Product/service evaluation|
|Date:||Feb 1, 2010|
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