The Lightning is Centurion's most proven performer among its wakeboard-oriented
V-drives — the granddaddy of them all. In many ways, the Lightning's features and performance are timeless.
Our favorite aspects include the plentiful storage up front and the big trunks in the rear under the three-piece sun pad. The open bow has especially good legroom for this size boat. In fact, we would have been happy lounging there for our entire test drive while dipping into the large insulated cooler in the walk-through. And with the standard Storm 1 package, the Lightning comes with a tower, center ballast tank, adjustable wake plate and more.
The Lightning doesn't offer as many frills as other Centurions, but for boat buyers looking to get their first Centurion, it's definitely worth considering. A deep-V hull cuts through the water with the same ease as larger boats, but it's not too big, not too high-end and not too pricey. For many people, the Lightning is just right.
We couldn't help taking a ski set behind this wakeboarding boat, especially with such a good hole shot from the 330-horsepower MerCruiser. For casual skiing, it's no problem. But serious skiers will find the wakes a little firm for aggressive cutting.
The deep-V hull design welcomes rough stuff when it comes to choppy water and double-ups. The Lightning also welcomes weight beyond the standard center ballast and the upgrade to the dual rear tanks. That helps create even bigger wakes that are a little steeper than those of the fairly comparable Avalanche. The intermediate advancing riders will have the best time behind the Lightning, especially when they dial in the line length that gives the choicest pop.
• This tried-and-true model is a good entry point into the Centurion lineup.
• Standard Storm 1 package includes tower, center ballast tank, adjustable wake plate and Storm gelcoat.
• The open bow area is among the best we've seen in this class of boat, but the observer's seat needs a little more reclining comfort.
• Storage spaces in the bow and transom are surprisingly roomy.
• Multiple upgrade packages are offered, including the Storm 2 and Storm 3 wakeboarding options.
Top Speed 45.6 mph 5,300 rpm
Accel. to 30 mph 4.9 sec. 118.8 ft.
Accel. to 36 mph 6.4 sec. 190.5 ft.
Noise Levels (db) Neutral 69 D 64 R, 36 mph 93 D 90 R
Length 21 ft. 6 in. Beam 94 in.
Seating Capacity 10
Fuel Capacity 36 gal.
Test Prop Acme 13 x 11.5 3-blade
Test Engine MerCruiser Black Scorpion 5.7L, 330 HP