inboard ski / wakeboard boats

The term “inboard” means the boat’s engine is seated within the hull of the boat and the propeller extends out the bottom, typically between the stern and midships. Some inboards are purpose-built for a specific water-sports discipline, while others are designed with versatile water-sports performance in mind. Direct-drive inboards, for example, are designed specifically to tow three-event water skiing (slalom, trick and jump). Water skiers prefer the smallest possible wake because it allows them to pass over it quickly and easily while in route to the next buoy or the jump ramp. As a result, a direct-drive’s engine resides in the center of the boat, which helps minimize displacement at water-skiing speeds, leading to the flattest possible wakes. A center-mounted pylon is also crucial to water-skiing performance, making it a fixture on direct-drive boats.

Inboards that are designed for wakeboarding and wakesurfing almost exclusively employ a V-drive configuration. This places the engine in the stern, which frees up more seating space inside the boat and adds weight to the back of the boat for the larger wakes coveted by wakeboarders and wakesurfers. V-drives are also generally bigger than direct-drives in terms of length, beam, dry weight, and passenger and ballast capacity, because wakeboarders and wakesurfers need more displacement to generate bigger wakes in order to perform tricks. In the sport of wakesurfing, it’s absolutely essential to have adequate displacement because the surfer needs to be able to let go of the handle and be propelled solely by the power of the wave generated by the boat. Wakeboarders also generally prefer some sort of elevated tow point like a tower so they can stay up in the air longer and land bigger tricks.

Some inboards are designed to marry the best parts of wakeboard, wakesurf and water-ski boats to create a water-sports compromise. Often referred to as hybrids or crossovers, these inboards are a great fit for boaters whose family and friends like to do a little of everything, from water-skiing to wakeboarding to wakesurfing. Characteristics of hybrids include a tower, ballast, wake-shaping plate and removable center-mounted pylon. The running surface of a crossover can be unique in that it starts with a deeper V than most slalom boats and finishes flatter than most wakeboard boats to optimize the wake for each sport at its respective speed.

Quick Stats

  • watersports
  • day cruising
  • 14 Max
  • 18 - 28 ft
  • inboard engine
  • trailerable