Year of the Tiqe: Tige RZ2.
Same old, same old definitely does not apply to the Tige RZ2, which takes a fresh approach to hooking riders up with a wake that's versatile enough to take care of the entire spectrum of riders from youngster-tame to pro-insane.
You'll never mistake the Tige RZ2 for anything else on the water with its striking calligraphy-gone-mad graphics on the sides and its bold color palate. If that wasn't enough of a visual clue to finding your boat at a raft-up, the optional glossy black Alpha Z tower is a modern work of art that's as functional as it is good looking. This forward-swept tower, introduced in 2009, can be loaded with features like the four Wet Sounds speakers, docking lights and swivel board racks that will even accommodate surfboards. A clever innovation is an anchor light that swivels down if you need an overhead interior light. And unlike some collapsible towers that can be cumbersome to drop, this spring-assisted model is ready to fold back below the windshield line simply by pulling two pins.
The thing that makes the RZ2 unique isn't what's there, but what isn't. Namely, switches at the helm: Where the heck are they* Actually there are a few tucked under the dash to satisfy Coast Guard regulations, but unless you're on your knees looking for a lost contact lens, you'll be controlling things on the standard 6.5-inch LCD Tige Touch display. This touch-screen beauty allows you to control every aspect of your boat's operation from the killer stereo to the wakeboard ballast settings to the SpeedSet cruise control all on one display. And because it's set off to the side instead of above the gauges, the RZ2 has an ultra-low-profile dash that gives the driver better visibility.
Sliding into the upscale Attwood VisionAir bucket helm seat, which features a wet-driver-friendly mesh back and seat bottom, and turning the key one click to the right produces a surprise: The blower comes on automatically.
Our test boat is maxed out with power in the form of PCM's ZR-409 hp, a formula for great performance. The 6.0L V-8 features the CATANIUM catalyst system that reduces harmful emissions, so wakesurfing near the back of the boat won't put riders in peril. It also has an anti-knock sensor that can adjust for low-octane fuel, something that's more common these days with the wide variance of ethanol-blended fuel.
Time to plane was a smooth 3.6 seconds with moderate bowrise, and we cruised to 30 mph in 6.5 seconds. With the standard PCM 343 hp powerplant that includes a catalytic converter you can expect a top speed in the mid 40s, but with the optional 409 hp model on our test boat, we booked it to 51.2 miles per hour.
The ConvexV hulls on Tige boats are different from other ski boats that usually have a "hook" or curved angle downward at the back of the running surface. The usual setup kicks the bow over, and for slalom skiers this is a good thing because it minimizes the wake, but it's not so good if you are trying to build one.
The ConvexV, with its banana-shaped running surface, allows the hull to sink farther down in the water and produces a nice wake without ballast, but causes it to run bow high. With the 2,000 pounds of optional ballast our boat was loaded with--800 pounds up front, 1,200 pounds in back--it's a monster. For those times when you need to shape the wake or minimize it, Tige uses the [TAPS.sup.2] system, which is a giant Bennett trim tab along the centerline that also allows the boat to plane more quickly.
We cranked the RZ2 around in extremely hard turns thanks to the triple tracking fins underneath the keel. Carving a ruler-straight line across Table Rock Lake outside of Branson, Mo. was no problem either, and the power steering had just the right amount of feel.
The 22-foot-long RZ2 and its bigger brother, the RZ4, a 24-footer with the same 8-foot, 6-inch beam, are primarily wakeboard and wakesurf boats. But they also excel at the art of entertainment with niceties such as 18 cupholders for up to 15 passengers. The Transom Activity Center features twin coolers/wet storage compartments with a stereo remote and places to sit. The seats were comfortable and good looking, and with stout 36-ounce vinyl they should survive the usual abuse.
The pickle-fork bow creates loads of room, and the bowrider seats feature the perfect amount of recline with plenty of stretch-out room for a 6-footer. The entire cockpit is ringed with seating and the storage compartments underneath are accessed with piano-hinged seat bottoms for easy use. Standard snap-in 40-ounce carpeting gives your feet the option of soft or hard. The cockpit is kid-friendly, although we would have liked to see some nonskid on the tops of the gunwales, so those who don't board via the starboard sunpad walk-through don't slip.
The RZ2 is not a conservative boat, so you need to equip it with the attitude its deserves by adding a subwoofer and quad tower Wet Sounds speakers, although they hang low enough that you'll bang your head a few times before you remember to watch out. If wakesurfing is in the picture, you'll definitely want the 2,000-pound Pro Set Ballast or 1,500-pound Surf Ballast system. Thanks to the ConvexV hull, if you're just wakeboarding you could do nicely with just the 900-pound configuration. If road trips are on the agenda, you'll need to get with your dealer to acquire a trailer.
Rich Hunt and Michelle McCarry, Seattle
PURCHASED AT LYNNWOOD MOTOPLEX, LYNNWOOD, WA
What we liked:
* Tige Touch screen for easy wake setup
* Awesome styling inside and out
* Roominess and deep cockpit
* The fantastic wake
What we would change:
We actually wouldn't change anything, we love this boat.
Why we bought it:
My fiance, Michelle, and I have been wakeboarders for years and have recently gotten into wakesurfing, which fits our lifestyle and is easier on the body. We've had many different boats, but the Tige RZ2 is the best one we've ever owned. It was very important for us to have a boat that we could quickly set up for different people, and the Tige Touch system makes this easy. We have 2,000 pounds of ballast and use the [TAPS.sup.2] system to dial in the pocket for wakesurfing, which is huge and gives you plenty of room to maneuver. We ski on Lake Washington, which is big and choppy with lots of large cruiser traffic, but the ConvexV hull handles rough conditions very well. The RZ2 is designed to do whatever you want.
1 Roomy bow section has rearward-facing observer seat
2 Attwood VisionAir driver's seat features a flip-up bolster
3 Hinged storage compartments behind bow seatbacks are easily accessible
4 Tige Touch screen puts all the information you need at the touch of a finger
5 Boardracks on the Alpha Z tower swivel to accommodate all types of riding gear
6 The Alpha Z tower puts a sleek profile on this unique hull
TIGE RZ2 SPECIFICATIONS Length 22 ft. Beam 8 ft., 6 in. Capacity 15 people Dry Weight 4,150 lbs. Fuel Capacity 48 gals. PERFORMANCE mph rpm dBA Peak 51.2 5600 95 Cruise 27 3000 80 Time to Plane 3.6 sec. Time to 30 mph 6.5 sec. POWER Test PCM ZR-409 Max hp 409 hp Cylinders V-8 Displacement 6.0L Weight 930 lbs. WOT Range 5600 rpm Base Price (w/PCM ZR-409) $64,695 VALUE-ADDED STANDARD FEATURES CNC milled prop, snap-in carpeting, TAPS2 tab system, Tige Touch LCD screen MUST-HAVE OPTIONS Trailer, ballast system, Alpha Z tower, Wet Sounds speakers and subwoofer, shower BUILDER Tige Boats tige.com Circle 13 on reader service card $ FINANCING: $518/month based on 15% down and 7.75% interest for 15 years
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|Title Annotation:||tested: Tige RZ2|
|Article Type:||Product/service evaluation|
|Date:||Jun 1, 2010|
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