Four competition towboats from four manufacturers have been approved to pull athletes in American Water Ski Association-sanctioned tournaments in 2015. The American Water Ski Association (AWSA) is one of nine sport discipline organizations of USA Water Ski.
Towboats approved for AWSA competitions in 2015 are: Centurion Carbon Pro, Malibu Response TXi, MasterCraft ProStar and Ski Nautique 200. To view the engine and propeller specifications for each boat, click here (PDF).
Members of AWSA’s Towboat Committee, technical experts, drivers and top water ski athletes conducted this year’s evaluations for AWSA, which were held Oct. 27 at Lake Grew in Polk City, Fla.
In 1983 AWSA established its first set of comprehensive technical evaluations of inboard and outboard water ski towboats. These procedures have been updated every year since then to take advantage of the most up-to-date technology available.
To have a boat evaluated, a manufacturer must be a USA Water Ski Gold Corporate Member, and a member of the American Water Ski Educational Foundation and Water Sports Industry Association. While successful completion of the towboat evaluations allows a manufacturer to pull tournaments, there also are several other advantages. Private-lake communities continue to be built all over the country. Most developments require any boat used on the lake to be on the AWSA-Approved towboat list. Many city and community-owned lakes also only allow AWSA-Approved towboats on their waterways. Public and private lake communities have the peace of mind knowing these boats have been put through the most rigorous testing in the industry. Approved towboats also carry more value to marine dealers in terms of marketability.
Once a model successfully completes the evaluations, the manufacturer is encouraged to pull skiers at AWSA-sanctioned tournaments. By pulling a predetermined number of sanctioned tournaments at various levels of competition, a manufacturer’s towboat model becomes eligible to participate in AWSA’s regional and national championships. While the Towboat Committee compiles a vast amount of test data for each towboat, it is important to note that this information is confidential and only released to the manufacturer. Currently, the purpose of the evaluations is to determine if a towboat has suitable characteristics for water ski competitions.
Before a boat even hits the water, the test team runs through a detailed check-in procedure. All aspects of a boat are measured, including the overall length, width, fin placement and depth, prop pitch, and shaft angle. Engine and transmission serial numbers are recorded along with technical data from the power package. The boat’s hull characteristics are noted, and pictures of the stern, side, cockpit and interior are taken.
To be used in competition, three-event towboats must meet certain performance standards that are designed to give skiers, drivers and officials optimum conditions during tournament competition. These standards are established by AWSA’s Towboat Committee to achieve tournament-capability status. Each boat must pass a series of 11 tests and sub-tests: power and acceleration, handling and maneuverability, engineering, drivability, sound level, slalom course center-line deviation, slalom spray, jump course center-line deviation, and slalom, tricks and jump wake evaluations.