The recreational boat sector has held out fairly well despite this year’s woes, and perhaps unsurprisingly so: after all, given the choice between social distancing on the waves or on the sofa, it’s a bit of a no-brainer if you can afford the former. As RIB manufacturer Highfield Boats reveals in the forthcoming September/October issue of Ship & Boat International (published soon), a number of customers have used the international lockdowns as an opportunity to finally invest in their “dream boats” – and that attitude certainly seems prevalent in the yacht sector too.
Late summer has also seen a number of rebrands and reboots for existing sports and leisure craft. Among these, Tennessee-based boatbuilder MasterCraft has launched a next-gen '2021' version of its ProStar ski boat. This modified unit features a redesigned hullform, complete with proprietary hull rails, and a four-fin arrangement, to enhance tracking and steering control for a safer, smoother ride. These modifications have also enabled MasterCraft to dispense with the ProStar’s typical steering clevis; opening up a direct connection will lead to improved responsiveness, the builder says.
The deck has also undergone an overhaul: the motorbox was redesigned to incorporate larger forward intake vents than before, for increased in-out airflow for superior engine performance, while a new pylon mounting system has been integrated into the hull and deck, which can be locked into place. The aft swim platform, meanwhile, has been lowered to make it easier for children and pets to access the boat from the water. MasterCraft has also increased the fuel tank capacity from 115litres to just over 145litres.
The new model also incorporates a command centre featuring a 10” (254mm) screen with a matt, anti-glare finish and stereo capability, as well as a wireless charging station, a smartphone holder and ergonomic adjustments to the driver’s seat, lining it up with the steering wheel. The command centre also runs ‘three-event’ software, covering the three major professional water-skiing events of slalom, jumps and tricks.