By Brett Becker
Moomba Mondo: Little Giant Tow Boat
Moomba offers big things in its new-for-2014 Mondo—including a reasonable price tag.
It’s easy to talk about Moomba tow boats and price in the same paragraph, or even the same sentence for that matter, because Moomba has long been a value leader in the tow boat market with solid buys like the Mobius LSV and the Mojo 2.5. However, one thing Moomba might not get enough credit for is the amount of innovation it delivers per dollar. And that’s something it offers a lot of in its new-for-2014 Mondo.
For example, one of the latest trends in tow boats, particularly for those geared toward wakeboarding and wake-surfing, is the advent of the touch-screen digital display with the capacity to store multiple rider preferences and adjust the boat’s ride characteristics. That kind of computing power costs money, which adds to the price, so Moomba came up with the new Digital Cruise Pro II, an LCD screen that acts as speed control, displays ballast levels in the port, center, and starboard bladders, and displays wakeplate position. Digital Cruise Pro II also shows mph and the set cruise speed, water temperature, engine hours and rpm, and other functions. The interface uses rubberized buttons beneath the screen icons that guide the user. It’s slick and innovative because it does much of what the more high-tech touch screens do, but does so without adding a huge premium to the MSRP base price of $53,560.00 minus tax, freight and dealer preparation.
Billing the Mondo as multi-discipline hull, Moomba says the new model is suited for pulling slalom skiers. The ski pylon pulls up from the front of the sun pad for a level tug, and Moomba’s Multisport Wakeplate lets you fine-tune the wake even further. Of course, the market has been dominated by wakeboarding for the last decade and wake surfing more recently, and the Mondo is equally at home in those roles.
The standard ballast system holds up to 1,300 pounds of water weight, which causes prodigious wakes at the stern. Another simple, yet innovative feature is the Surf+ swim platform, which features a flat, molded bottom with angled corners that don’t disrupt the wakes as they curl behind the boat.
In terms of performance, the Mondo again delivers good value for the money. Standard power is a fuel-injected 330-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 from Indmar. It’s a proven, turn-key propulsion system from one of the leaders in marine engines, and it’s plenty potent to push the 3,800 pound boat.
At just 20-feet, 6-inches long without the swim platform, the Mondo is what nowadays we consider a small sized wakeboard boat. And that’s a good thing for a couple of reasons. One, it’s easy to tow and store. A midsize SUV does the trick, and the boat fits in a standard garage with the swing-away trailer tongue. Two, its size has no bearing on the amount of features and creature comforts it comes with.
For example, the wide bow design is equipped with twin step platforms to either side of the forward navigation light. Moomba calls it a hybrid bow, which makes perfect sense because it offers the space benefits of a pickle fork, without the actual “tines” associated with that design. Inside the bow there’s padding everywhere, with two grab rails, four cupholders, two speakers, and a big anchor locker tucked behind the forward-most bolster.
In the cockpit, there’s a ton of plush seating. Moomba claims room for 13, though manufacturer figures always sound like too much of a crowd to be any fun. There’s stowage under nearly all the cushions, save for the center of the rear bench, which lifts to reveal a center step up to the walkway on the aft sunpad. There’s wet stowage beneath the step, too. Behind the driver seat, there’s the option for a removable soft-sided cooler.
For towing riders, the Mondo comes with the OZ HD collapsible tower. Just undo the two hand wheels at the base of each pedestal, lower the tower, and slide it into your garage.
Of course, Moomba hasn’t forgotten the driver, who is treated to a swivel seat with a flip-up thigh bolster and a dashboard that’s a treat for the eyes. To either side of the Digital Cruise Pro II display, Moomba installed white-on-black multi-function gauges with bold chromed bezels. There are two more gauges flanking the speedo and tach, too, and it makes the dashboard look great.
|Fuel capacity||39 gal.|
In fact, the whole boat looks great. Step back from it when you’re at the dock, take it all in, and you’d guess it was twice the price. The fact that Moomba can build this little giant at such a reasonable cost is genuinely impressive. Then again, Moomba has been doing that for a long time, and now it has a serious measure of innovation to bolster its reputation as a value leader.
For more information, visit Moomba.
- Brett Becker is a freelance writer and photographer who has covered the marine industry for 15 years. In addition to covering the ski boat and runabout markets for Boats.com, he regularly writes and shoots for BoatTrader.com. Based in Ventura, Calif., Becker holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s in mass communication from the University of Central Florida in Orlando.