Centurion Boats makes a premium brand of wake boats. They have a history of durability and innovation in the watersports branch of the boating industry. They are universally recognized for the quality of the waves they generate and the quality of the boat they produce.
A Brief History of Centurion Boats
Rick Lee established himself as a competitive drag boat racer in the early 1970s.
Their first boats were performance inboard ski boats, then jet boats and day cruisers. In the 1980s, they had some innovations in the form of spray rails, which virtually all watersport boats to this day incorporate into their hull designs.
They began to emphasize new watersports more as a focus in the 1990s, introducing the Wave in 1995. This was the first model of a wake boat, built specifically for wave surfing and wakeboarding, by arranging ballast to produce larger and longer waves.
In 1999, Centurion Boats introduced their Integrated Composite System (ICS), where all the major components of a boat – hull, deck, and support structure – were put into a single, solid mold. This made the ride smoother than ever.
In 2015, Correct Craft bought a majority interest in the company. Supreme boats, owned by Correct craft as well, began production in the same facility as Centurion.
Several other major manufacturers have entered the towed watersports market, but Centurion is still one of the premier brands of wake boats.
How Reliable Are Centurion Boats?
Wake boats are a specialized niche of watercraft.
They generate waves large enough for wakeboarders (towed behind the boat) or wake surfers (not towed) to perform their tricks on the boat’s wake, often incorporating aerial elements.
Boat manufacturers accomplish this by hull design and ballast placement; the ballast is movable in some boats for more precise wave generation.
Centurion accomplishes this through their Opti-V hull design, which has a deep 20-degree deadrise angle, and the various compartments for their RAMFILL movable water ballast. This creates steep waves with a surf-able area of up to 26 feet long.
Their wave creation technology is among the most reliable in the industry. They have received numerous awards, most recently a 2020 Consumer Satisfaction Index award from the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association.
Centurion uses PCM inboard engines on their boat models; the partnership dates back to 1979. The company has a solid reputation for building reliable, high-performance motors.
How Durable Are Centurion Boats?
The ICS construction method creates a durable boat, as all components are integrated into a single piece.
In essence, there are no separate hull, deck, or stringer systems; they are all one piece.
This creates a solid, smooth ride, as vibration is dispersed and flex is reduced. It truly shines at higher speeds.
There is no wood used anywhere in constructing a Centurion boat, so there is no possibility for wood rot in stringers or under the deck, or in the transom. Wood was eliminated from the construction process in 1997.
Most owners on forums are pleased with their Centurion.
One owner, after a lengthy post on the particulars of his enjoyment with his Centurion, concluded:
“Today’s (sic) boat prices are insane, no doubt about it. But I think the Fi (Centurion) is a lot of boat for the money. In my opinion, the wave has more adjustability, length, and push than a G23. It is more comfortable and less like riding in a deep coffin vs. the Ri series.”
What About Older Centurion Boats?
Dating back to the early 1980s, when Centurion Boats began to gain widespread popularity, they became known for their performance.
Whether it was speed or quality of construction, the brand was known for being very solid.
This reputation grew as they focused on watersports, particularly from the mid-1990s forward, emphasizing wave surfing and wakeboarding.
There are few consistent complaints about the construction of older models from Centurion Boats on the boating forums, which is something of a major victory.
Do They Still Make Parts For Older Models?
Some parts for older Centurion models are still being made, either at the factory or from the original supplier if the factory did not make it.
It is unclear how far back in their lines that they make parts for, though.
Their website encourages owners to contact their dealers to find old parts. Given that some of their dealers have been involved with the company for decades, this is a reasonable first option.
The owners’ website and forum, centurioncrew.com, is an excellent resource for older parts. There are many threads started by those searching for obscure parts, like a door or fan belt, and the forum members are positive about responding and locating these parts.
Several online retailers carry stocks of replacement parts for Centurion Boats. A couple of examples are boatseabass.com and skiboatpartsonline.com.
What Are Typical Problems With Centurion Boats?
Perusing online forums for consistent or typical problems for Centurion Boats, few come up.
Many problems mentioned by owners seem to be one-of problems, where the fit and finish of a single boat was not up to their standard than anything that could be considered typical.
One of the few consistent complaints that some Centurion owners occasionally have on boating forums is that the valves on the RAMFILL system will sometimes get stuck. They have a manual override, though, so it is not a major issue when it happens.
Another of the consistent complaints to be found is regarding the electronics, particularly the speedometer. One ex-dealer for the brand stated that he had to replace many speedometers on boats that he sold.
This was all before 2011 and is not known to be a problem currently.
How Long Do Centurion Boats Last Compared To Similar Brands?
Some of the earliest Centurion Boats are still on the water, five decades later.
Being considered a premium brand of watersports boat, this is to be expected. Properly-built fiberglass boats will last for a long, long time.
A key caveat is good care that an owner takes of the boat. Properly maintained boats, even of an inferior brand, will last decades, while an owner that leaves the boat exposed and never winterizes it will soon have a wreck.
Compared to similar brands, Centurion Boats lasts as expected, perhaps better. There are few reports of cracks in fiberglass or other durability issues.
Forums are filled with owners that have had their boat for decades, so it is safe to say the brand is long-lasting.
Do Centurion Boats Hold Their Value?
Centurion Boats seem to hold their value very well in the resale market, and their depreciation is favorable.
For example, a 2015 Enzo SS210 sold new that year for $77,710. That model has a current average resale value of $72,550. This is an incredible depreciation of less than 7% for a half-decade.
A 2015 Enzo SV244 sold in that year for $102,790. Currently, that model has an average resale value of $90,050.
At 13% depreciation, it is not quite as favorable as its smaller cousin, but it is still a very strong rate.
Are Centurion Boats Still Being Made?
Centurion Boats is going strong.
Most of the boats that Centurion produces are still made in Merced, California, in their 6-acre plant that includes a test lake. In 2000, they also opened a plant in Woodland, North Carolina, to meet increasing demand.
They currently make their wake boats across three different lines, which vary by power, tabs, and ballast. The Vi, Ri, and Fi series are built for either wakeboarding or wake surfing.
They range from 21 to 26.5 feet in length.
Centurion does not list its prices online. Instead, you must contact a dealer to discover the cost of the desired boat.
Centurion Boats is deep into its fifth decade of manufacturing.
They have acquired a reputation for both the quality of the construction of their boats and the quality of the waves they generate.
Taken together with the testimonials easily found online, you can see why Centurion is considered a quality, premium brand of boats.