By Brett Becker
Centurion Elite V C4: Wakeboard and Water Ski with Value
The Elite V C4 now carries entry-level pricing for a Centurion water ski and wakeboard boat, but it has everything you look for in a tow boat.
At one time, the Elite V was one of Centurion’s top-of-the line models and it carried a price tag to show it, as do models today like the Centurion Enzo FX 22. I remember when the Elite was introduced and I tested a bunch of them. The Elite V was a solid product then, but here’s the kicker, and what should get tow boat buyers’ attention—even with the lower price-point, it still is.
The practice of ushering once-top models downward in the product line is nothing new, and the reason boat-builders still do it is because it works like a charm. If Centurion tasked its designers to come up with a value-leading product, they would either have to decrease the content, economize on the build process or, well, cut corners. In today’s market, it likely would take a bit of all three to get the job done.
By moving what was once a premium product to the entry level, you don’t have to do any of that. From the manufacturer’s perspective, the tooling is probably already paid for, the assembly line is established, and the employees know full well how to build it. From a buyer’s viewpoint, you can get a great product for a lot less money. They won’t have to hazard entering the used market, nor do they get a stripped-down model they’ll outgrow or get tired of after a few seasons.
The Elite V C4 comes with a host of standard updates designed for the modern water sports enthusiast, chief among them the standard Gladiator tower, which also comes with standard X2 board racks.
Yes, there are boats on the market specifically designed for wake surfing, which is a relatively recent trend that emerged after the Elite was already on the market, but that doesn’t mean it won’t do the trick. Because the Elite V C4 will. With 708 pounds of ballast in the standard center ballast tank, the standard wake adjustable wake plate and an option to get even more weight in optional dual aft ballast bags on each side, the Elite V C4 will have you up and running — no bindings, no rope.
At the helm, the Elite V C4 comes with an all-new dashboard, which includes the micro touch vision system, a touch-screen display that ties in speed control and engine monitoring functions. The display shows a digital version of the analog tachometer, speedometer and engine parameters. The tachometer has a window for engine hours, a wake plate readout, and cruise control information. All that comes standard with Centurion Paddle Wheel Cruise Control System. A depth finder and water thermometer also are standard.
The C4 in the model’s name describes how Centurion unified the seating with the substructure and hull to make for a more solid ride. Called I.C.S. for Integrated Composite System, the construction method bonds the hull, substructure, and deck together at the molecular level with Plexus adhesive, which creates a bond stronger than the laminate itself. Centurion also uses the reverse-shoebox design in which the deck edge fits inside an upturned flange where it meets the hull. The union is screwed together beneath the rub rail and bonded again with Plexus. The design feature eliminates water intrusion.
But enough with the nerdy construction details. The Elite V C4 comes standard with a 303-horsepower PCM 5.0-liter Ford V8. It also comes with a Sony DSX-MS60 stereo, which is MP3 and iPod compatible and Sirius/XM ready. You also don’t have to pay extra for the padded dash, flip-up bolster on the driver seat, or the four pull-up cleats — a must on a tow boat because standard cleats snag tow ropes.
|Fuel capacity||36 gal.|
Because of the way the Elite V C4 came to be part of Centurion’s Value Series, most of the features that some builders charge extra for have already been paid for by early-adopters about a decade ago. It might not be the latest, most cutting edge wakeboard boat on the market, but it costs less than newer models (around 15-percent less than the Enzo at the time of this writing), and performs all the same functions on the water. That’s real value.
For more information, visit Centurion.
- 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.