The Ski Nautique 196 is one boat whose reputation precedes it as it slices down the course. As the official towboat of the IWSF World Water Ski Championships, this legendary three-event specialist is one of only a few boats you’ll find in this guide that features a closed-bow design. Its sparse interior is a testament to its hard-core nature, making it ideal for early morning, three-person sets. But the real truth to this boat is its world-class performance in slalom, jump and trick. If you’re serious about three-event skiing and want a boat that reflects that passion, the Ski Nautique 196 deserves your attention.
If ever there was a boat designed to do one thing, it’s the Ski Nautique 196. Well, maybe three things. Last year the designers at Correct Craft took their legendary TSC hull and tweaked it into its latest evolution, the TSC3. It’s an appropriate moniker considering its ability to perform not just in slalom, but in all three events. By removing the lifting strakes on the bottom of the TSC2 version of the hull, Correct Craft’s engineers improved the trick table without sacrificing the already pristine slalom wake. And with the help of the Hydro-Gate with SportShift, a plate that’s controllable from the helm, the boat’s running attitude can be adjusted to suit whichever event you’re working on.
Just as impressive as the buttery-soft wakes are the handling characteristics. It tracks on a rail, and equipped with the standard PCM 330 hp engine, it shoots up to 36 mph in just over five seconds, making it perfect for those short-setup lakes.
Dry weight: 2,640 lb.
Draft: 22 in.
Load capacity: 1,210 lb.
Fuel capacity: 29 gal.
Storage capacity: 25 cu. ft.
Bow: and center 15 cu. ft.
Rear: 10 cu. ft.
Interior gunwale height: 21.5 in.
Sun-pad area: 6.5 sq. ft.
Base price: See local dealer
Engine: PCM Excalibur 5.7L, 330 hp
Prop: Acme 12.5 x 15.5 four-blade
Pylon: Hard coat anodized
Stereo: AM/FM/CD Clarion deck with MP3 input, four Polk/MOMO speakers, armrest remote, Sirius or XM satellite radio
Driver’s seat: Adjustable
Dash: Hand-wrapped vinyl, billet aluminum insert, tilt steering wheel
Gauges: 2- and 5-inch Faria
Gas fill: Dual rear
Cooler: 23 qt., under floor
Cup holders: 4, stainless steel
Rub rail: Stainless steel
Platform: Removable, fiberglass with rubber
Graphics: ’80s-style Ski Nautique logo
Colors: 10 exterior choices in three color stripe options; four base interior choices and three accents
Engine: PCM ZR6 6.0L, 375 hp
Wake shaper: Hydro-Gate with SportShift
Stereo: Amp, subwoofer, handheld remote
Driver’s seat: Bolster
Trailer: Single or tandem axle with disc brakes
Misc.: Heater, Bimini top, jump seat, walk-through windshield
Also in this line: Ski Nautique 206
Over a foot longer than the 196, the open-bow 206 is a more family-friendly alternative for serious shortline skiers.