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AWSA Approves Four Towboats For 2019

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. Four competition towboats from three manufacturers have been approved to pull athletes in American Water Ski Association-sanctioned tournaments in 2019. The American Water Ski Association (AWSA) is one of nine sport discipline organizations of USA Water Ski & Wake Sports, the national governing body of organized water skiing in the United States. Towboats approved for AWSA competitions in 2019 are: Malibu Response TXi, MasterCraft ProStar, 2019 Ski Nautique, and 2019 Nautique 200. For technical information on the respective towboats, 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. 13-14 at Action Water Sports' Lake Grew in Polk City, Fla.

Some important details to consider:

MasterCraft Ballast/ Weight System – Tricks Only

The MasterCraft ProStar was tested and approved for use in the Trick event with the use of an additional ballast/weight system as configured by MasterCraft.

The ProStar can be used for tricks both: 1.) with the ballast/weight system; and 2.) without the system.

If the boat is used with the ballast/weight system, it must be configured as it was tested and approved. Specifically, the MasterCraft ballast/fat sack must be installed in the bilge; under the floor compartment, which is under the middle seat. The sack must be completely full when used for tricks (no partial fill). In addition, 75-pound weights as configured by MasterCraft must be installed in each of the rear compartment trays (150 lbs. total). Storage compartment trays are located under the access doors at the stern.

The ProStar is not approved with any other configuration, in other words, a user cannot simply put a ballast/fat sack or weights on the boat floor.

Nautique Hydrogate – 2018 & Earlier

The Nautique Hydrogate can be set in one of two positions, slalom or tricks/jump (may not be set in between modes).

•    Tricks: The default position is the trick mode. The skier has the option of using the slalom mode. It is the skier’s responsibility to inform the boat crew when choosing the slalom option. The skier may choose to change the setting between passes.
•    Jump: The default position is the jump mode. The skier has the option of using the slalom mode. It is the skier’s responsibility to inform the boat crew of slalom option prior to leaving the dock. In Class C tournaments only, the skier may choose to change the setting between jumps.
•    Slalom:  The gate will remain in the slalom mode.

Nautique Hydrogate – 2019

The Nautique Hydrogate has 11 settings (Zero to Ten – inclusive).

•    Tricks: The Trick Hydrogate will be 0 to 10. The default setting is Trick mode (10). The Hydrogate may be adjusted to a setting of Slalom (0), Middle 1 to 9 or Trick mode (10). The skier may choose to change the setting between passes.
•    Jump: The Jump Hydrogate will be 0 to 10. The default setting is Jump mode (10). The Hydrogate may be adjusted to a setting of Slalom (0), Middle 1 to 9 or Jump mode 10. It is the skier’s responsibility to inform the boat crew his Hydrogate setting prior to leaving the dock. It will remain in that position for his/her turn. In Class C tournaments only, the skier may choose to change the setting between jumps.
•    Slalom:  The gate will remain in the slalom mode.

2019 Ski Nautique Ballast System – Tricks Only

If equipped, the ballast system starting level may be chosen by the skier (0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100%). The skier may select +/- 50% for his second pass based on his first pass selection. The LOC along with the CJ may set a maximum upper ballast level. If so, the skier may not exceed that limit when selecting a second pass change.

About The Evaluations

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 & Wake Sports Gold Corporate Member, and a member of the USA Water Ski & Wake Sports 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. Although the Towboat Committee compiles reams 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 and drivers 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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