We were the only boat on the lake on our test day. When the 242 throttled up, we glided easily to plane with zero horizon loss, and it was done so smoothly that it was almost impossible to tell when plowing stopped and planing began. Past 20 mph, a speed the boat achieved in just 4.2 seconds, its acceleration multiplied, and in just 2.3 seconds more, the boat was skimming along at 30 mph. Most 24-footers would still be trying to hit plane at 6.5 seconds.
Acceleration is one of the benefits of direct-drive inboards. Tracking in turns is another. With a rudder and the sharp entry at the stem, the 242 carved turns like a mogul skier, holding its ground without sliding out.
All this isn’t exactly new to inboard fans, but the Vision instrument panel could be. From the backlit LCD display GPS and cruise control to all of 1,700 pounds of ballast. Engine diagnostic information, revolutions per minute and speed can all be monitored on this panel, which gives a clean captain’s view.
The captain is also pampered with an adjustable height seat and the mechanism is protected by a synthetic, rubberlike bellows. From that perch, the silky-smooth throttle offers ideal ergonomics for precise speed control.
Passengers are the pampered masses, though, and this rig can carry 17 of them. Wraparound seating houses massive storage and, more importantly, keeps the gallery of observers in a circle of comfort and intimacy without crowding. At the same time, all riders are in perfect position to enjoy the wakeboarder’s acrobatics.
For the mechanically minded, access to the bilge for changing oil or checking belts is optimal — made so by a large hatch over the engine, doubling as a sun pad, and by the removable aft seating by which we accessed the engine’s electronic control module for plugging in the tool to monitor fuel economy.
With the lake to ourselves, the only things we didn’t get were wakes to rattle our boat, so we tuned the wake plate for optimum board ramps and crossed them with ease, adding another superlative to this well-equipped boat — smooth rider.
Comparable model: Malibu’s Wakesetter 247 LSV