The performance wakeboat market is an intense one, and MasterCraft is at the forefront of the battle. Not only do their boats shine in the looks department, but the features that MasterCraft brings to the game are of the highest quality. Take a close look at their custom made towers, the components in the panel, and even the stainless fittings. It all spells attention to detail that makes a difference in a tough market with stiff competition.
|Length Overall||23' 5'' / 7.14 m|
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By Captain. Steve --
One of the things that makes a MasterCraft instantly recognizable is that pickle-forked bow. It successfully transforms what would be narrow V-seating into a wide open lounge area. We couldn’t help but notice how comfortable the seats are, with their thick padded surfaces, and the flip-down armrests are frosting on the cake.
In addition, we like the amount of storage space that the bow allows. No lifting a seat cushion here; MasterCraft has engineered the entire port and starboard seats, and backs, to lift from a hinge mounted behind the headrest, allowing access to storage that can only be described as cavernous. Ease of access is further aided by gas-assist struts that hold the lifted seats up.
Even more impressive, and perhaps another indicator of the extra steps that MasterCraft takes, is the walkthrough wind block that closes off the area below the windshield. We’ve seen this accommodated a number of ways on other boats, including opening the storage compartment and using the door to block the wind (which leaves a gaping opening to the storage) and even Lexan inserts that slide down into slots. Most just use composite doors that are on a piano hinge. MasterCraft chose to use a bi-fold door cut from billet aluminum to close off the walkthrough.
MasterCraft has long impressed us with the layout of their helms, and the X-35 is no exception. This one is neat and efficient, thanks mostly to the 6” (15.2 cm) BIG display, but in no small part thanks to the fit and finish of the billet trimmed gauge panels with carbon fiber surrounding surfaces that the gauges are mounted to. I did find that the windshield frame was directly in my line of sight, but that’s a common theme that is easily worked around, especially with the flip-up bolster.
No BIG Deal?
Quite the contrary, MasterCraft’s BIG 6” (15.2 cm) screen display is a big deal. Introduced in 2010, the name is actually an acronym for Boat Instrument Gauge, and it brings customizable screen instrumentation to the performance wakeboat market. It basically allows you to create any screen layout you desire for different parameters of the boat's operation. Choose from basic engine instrumentation, display levels of the ballast tanks, or external information such as speed, depth and water temp. If you enjoy your watersports on larger lakes, then the GPS map integration may be for you. Or perhaps you’d like to watch some of the action with the camera integration option. It’s all available, and it’s one of the interesting innovations that MasterCraft is widely known for.
The only thing missing in this cockpit is a transom walkthrough. You have to step on the upholstery to get in and out to the aft deck. The standard observer’s seat is double wide, and reversible for when it’s time to watch the end of the towline. Ahead of this seat are two storage compartments, the lower being nearly large enough to crawl into. The upper glove box holds the stereo, and on our preview boat, the controls for the tower cam.
The aft seats wrap around the cockpit and have the requisite storage underneath, and the port side houses the 36 qt. (34 L) carry on Igloo cooler. The snap in carpet is standard. There’s an option available for shortening the starboard side seating and installing an entertainment center with sink and storage. Keep in mind this option will also require the 10 gallon (37.8 L) freshwater tank option that comes with a shower, so it’s not a bad idea to consider this. If you’re really ambitious, there’s also a refrigerator option, but we’ve always found the carry on cooler to be sufficient. You just can’t fill up the refrigerator and carry it onboard as easily.
MasterCraft says that this boat holds 16 people, but we find that 6-7 would be much more comfortable.
Since this is a born and bred watersports boat, the tower options should get a mention. On the X35 you do have choices indeed. All MasterCraft towers are referred to as ZFT or Zero Flex Towers. Standard is the basic ZFT1 with fixed board fingers and bungee cords to hold your gear in place. Better is the ZFT 5P. This is what other towers wish they could be -- strong billet aluminum that is height adjustable with the flick of a switch, and no gear needs to be removed to traverse the ends of the travel. Custom made swivel board racks adorn the sides, and wide choices of speakers are available, including ones with LED lights mounted to the front.
However, the coolest add-on is the tower cam. It’s mounted to the tower tow attach-point, and gives a great thrill-cam angle of the towline. To keep the camera aimed at the target, there is a squeeze clamp that clips to the line that causes the camera to pan back and forth with the towline, so your star aerialist is never out of the shot. Download all the footage to your computer for editing or posting online.
These are just some of the features that MasterCraft builds into their X-35. The list of options is long and generous, to the point that your boat will be practically custom built specifically for you. The only question is… how far to you want to go in providing your guests the ultimate thrill ride, even before they strap on the boards?