Centurion is a manufacturer that specializes in boats made for water sports, primarily wakeboarding and wake surfing.
Their boats are designed to produce larger wakes to accommodate those two sports.
How do they perform? Well, there are several things to know about Centurion Boats in order to understand their quality:
The Quality of Centurion Boats:
If your focus is on watersports like wakeboarding or wake surfing, Centurion boats are ideal. Through hull design and ballast placement, they displace a large amount of water for their size, creating larger and longer wakes and waves.
1. Centurion Boats are Designed with Water Sports in Mind:
The primary water sports the boats are designed for are wakeboarding and wake surfing.
In wakeboarding, a rider stands on a shortboard with two foot-straps and is towed behind the boat. They ride over the waves generated by the boat, in particular off the crest. Doing mid-air tricks and aerial maneuvers is the hallmark of wakeboarding.
Wakesurfing is different in that a rider on a surfboard is pulled upright by a boat and then drops the tow line. From this point, they ride the wake produced by the boat.
There are many tricks that surfers perform, including some aerials, but in general, they do not get to the same height in the air as wakeboarders.
Specialized Wake Boats:
These sports require a specific type of boat, often known as wake boats.
The hallmark of these boats is the propeller being under the boat (to avoid contact with the rider or surfer) and the larger wakes they generate to facilitate better sporting.
Centurion Boat models are designed with these two sports as a focus. You want a hull that will get up on a plane faster for wakeboarding, especially considering its weight.
For wake surfing, you need to be able to adjust the height and length of the waves you generate. This is because different skill levels of riders require different-sized waves. On Centurion Boats, this is done by adjusting the ballast.
Most Centurion models serve both sports, but a few models specialize a bit more in one or the other.
2. Centurion Boat Hulls are Optimized for Wave and Wake Generation
Centurion Boats creates better wakes for sporting through displacement.
They do this in two ways: hull design and ballast. Basically, a boat that sits deeper in the water will generate bigger and longer waves and wakes.
Centurion touts their Opti-V hull designs. The deadrise angle of 20-degrees is deep for most such water sports craft.
This gives more depth to the hull, displacing more water to the sides. A high ballast will push the boat down deeper into the water as well. It must also be placed in the proper areas in the hull for ideal wave generation.
Centurion places ballast throughout the hull with a little more in the stern. One favorable consequence of this is a large “sweet spot” for surfers. While most wake boats will have a certain spot that generates the ideal surfing,
Centurion talks of the spectrum they create, from swell to crest, that is surfable. It is as long as 26 feet.
3. How Durable are Centurion Boats?
Centurion eliminated wood from their hulls in 1997 and has been using fiberglass ever since.
Their current fabrication process is called Integrated Composite System (ICS). It is designed to reduce hull flex.
The ICS starts with the three hand-laid structures: the hull, the deck, and the stringer system.
First, the hull is laminated with a precise resin control system. Then the composite stringer structure is laminated to the hull to reduce flex and hull vibration, and then the deck is bonded into place using a reverse shoebox design.
Centurion Boats is certified by the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association; in March of 2021, they were awarded the NMMA’s 2020 Customer Service Index Award for achieving excellence in customer satisfaction.
Given that they are refining their manufacturing process as newer technology comes available, and the consistently high marks from customers and the industry professionals, and the steady availability of used models, it is safe to say that Centurion Boats are very durable.
That being said, you will find people who report some problems, even on the forums specifically set up for Centurion owners, but most of these are from older models, and any problems with newer models are universally dealt with to owners’ satisfaction by the dealers and company.
4. How Long do Centurion Boats Typically Last?
Since boating construction has moved to fiberglass and composites from wood, the longevity of boats has increased dramatically. Some of the earliest commercially available boats made from fiberglass are still around even more than half a century later.
The primary factors here are the quality of the boat’s construction and the care that the owner takes of the boat. Properly made fiberglass is almost indestructible.
Centurion Boats have proven to be no exception. Some of the earliest models are still around.
Assuming you take proper care of it, your Centurion Boat is not going to fall apart from under you. You can expect it to last until you are ready to sell it.
The engine is another matter, however, as it is for every boat. At some point, you will need to service or perhaps even replace the engine.
Most Centurion owners report having to do a rebuild after 1,000 to 2,000 hours of running, assuming proper maintenance was done during that time.
5. Has Centurion made any recalls?
The U.S. Coast Guard lists five recalls for Centurion:
- The first was in 1997 and was over a rudder defect; it affected 154 boats in their 1997 Ski Boat range.
- The next was in 2003, over the potential failure of a component of the steering system; this affected 998 boats from Centurion, Gekko, and Supreme.
- Their third recall was in 2007, over Heim bolts failing in the tower; this affected 293 boats.
- The fourth was in 2014 concerning their Ramfill ballast system in which some of the tanks cracked; it only affected 7 boats.
- Their last recall was in 2019 over a software problem in their trim tabs; 139 zs232 boats were affected.
6. What Are the Most Popular Centurion Boats?
Centurion has had several very popular models over the years.
The Enzo with its V-drive engine became known as an ideal boat for wake surfing; in 2013, it was the official towboat of the World Wakesurfing Championships.
The Avalanche C4 was a breakthrough model for them, popular with both wakeboarders and wave surfers.
Centurion had the official towboat of the 2017 World Wakesurfing Championships and the 2018 IWWF World Wakeboarding Championships in more recent competitions.
The Ri237 and the Ri257 produce consistently great wakes and have become a favorite of wakeboarders of current models. The Fi23 and Fi25 are known for the quality waves they generate and are favored by wave surfers.
The Vi22 is popular with enthusiasts of both sports and is one of their best sellers.
7. Where are Centurion Boats Manufactured?
Centurion Boats opened up in Merced, California, in 1976.
They are still manufactured there, in a facility that now spans 6 acres.
Their first boats were inboard ski boats. In 1995 they made the Wave, their first boat designed specifically for wakeboarding and wake surfing.
That style of boat gradually took over their production and is now their focus.
8. How is the warranty on Centurion boats?
The warranty on Centurion boats is very strong. On the hull and deck, there is a limited lifetime warranty.
This covers everything concerning the boat’s construction while excluding any failures caused by the boat’s owner.
The engine has a five-year warranty through the manufacturer, PCM Engines. They have had a partnership with PCM for two decades now. PCM does recommend properly winterizing your engine.
The warranty on a Centurion boat will transfer to a new owner, but it must be done within 15 days of the sale and is done in consultation with the local Centurion dealer.
Which Brands Produce Boats Similar to Centurion Boats?
There are quite a few manufacturers producing wake boats.
Supreme Boats are actually manufactured in the same plant as Centurion.
They are owned by the same company. Supreme is considered the junior brand and is less expensive than Centurion.
The quality is still high for Supreme, but they lack some of the innovations and bells and whistles of Centurion.
Tige Boats makes a variety of models, including some wake boats.
Built in Abilene, Texas, they are generally more expensive than Centurion and a little heavier.
They have a strong reputation, though they are known to have had some manufacturing problems at one time.
We have an article here about how reliable Tige boats are.
Malibu Boats is perhaps the best-known manufacturer of wake boats.
They were founded in 1982 in Merced, the same place as Centurion. In the early 90s, they opened a new manufacturing facility in Loudon, Tennessee. They also have a facility in New South Wales, Australia.
Malibu acquired Cobalt, Pursuit, and Axis Boats, making them one of the largest boat companies in the world.
Malibu has many models of towed watersports boats, including wake boats. Axis Wake Boats has become their “entry-level” brand. They have established several events in towed watersports, such as the Malibu Open.
However, even Malibu boats can have problems!
Mastercraft is another manufacturer of wake boats located in Tennessee.
They are more of a luxury brand, however, and are not considered direct competition of Centurion. They also make a few offshore fishing boats.
Other brands similar to Centurion that are manufacturing wake boats are Moombah, Nautique, and Pavati.
Centurion has been around for 45 years now.
They have specialized in Wake boats since the mid-90s and have pushed the envelope of design to produce the best wakes and waves for towed watersports.
Given their longevity and continued recognition by the industry and the sports they serve, it is recognized that Centurion Boats are high quality.