We see the storied Ski Nautique 196 as being at the pinnacle of three-event skiing. It’s unbelievable in all categories and pulled the 2007 World Championships this past summer in Austria. For slalom, the wakes are super soft. For tricking, the Hydrogate can give the ski boat extra lift to take out the turbulence. For jumping, an upgraded engine will make the Ski Nautique 196 very robust while still holding a great line. This year, we loved the exceptional ease of use and pull of the new Zero-Off cruise. Best of all, when our pro test skier climbed back into the boat with a huge grin, he said, “Wow, that was fun!” We recommend the upgrade to the Team Edition for the best features and performance.
Our testers were unanimous in praising the accuracy and ease of use of this new GPS-based cruise control.
Andy Mapple has his fingerprints on the latest evolution of Correct Craft’s ski hull, which succeeds in creating a butter-soft, flat wake.
Dry weight: 2,640 lb.
Draft: 22 in.
Storage: 25 cu. ft.
Load cap.: 1,210 lb.
Fuel cap.: 29 gal.
Gunwale height: 1 ft. 9 in.
Main lounge: 72 sq. ft.
Sun pad: 7 sq. ft.
Platform: 8 sq. ft.
This extremely soft and flat wake gives its skiers every possible edge in the slalom course. The transition is very smooth with no trough to mention. Shortline spray isn’t a concern and the rooster tail at 22 off will even please discerning swervers.
Overall: Terrific slalom wake for all speeds and line lengths. The standard by which other boats compare.
With 375 hp engine (275 hp standard), Acme 12.5×15.5 four-blade prop
To 30 mph: 4.7 sec., 117.1 ft.
To 36 mph: 5.9 sec., 176.1 ft.
Top speed: 50.9 mph, 5,200 rpm
Bow rise: 23.7-degree angle during typical acceleration. Good visibility between top of dash and top of windshield.
Tracking: Our test drivers thought this was one of the very best tracking boats.
Turns: Very nimble. Even in hard turns, the boat felt like it was on a rail.
Maximum G-force crossing wake at 30 mph: 0.89
Vibration: Very smooth, soft ride, just like the wakes, even when we were cruising at slalom speed.