If you’ve been patiently scouting out a new a tow boat for wakboarding or surfing, you could make the case that the new Centurion Fi21 is worth both the wait and the weight. Fully optioned, it has a total ballast capacity of a whopping 4,750 pounds, which almost equals the boat’s dry weight. But what’s great besides the ballast potential is that the Fi21 is totally plug-and-play — order the options you want and forget the things you don’t. It’s why the Fi line, which includes a 23-footer, is offered at a more budget-friendly price point — what Centurion calls “entry premium” pricing.
Beyond the options list, the Fi21’s true highlight is Centurion’s new Opti-V hull. The design’s intent is to take advantage of a V-hull’s characteristic increased displacement to assist in creating big, symmetrical wakes and waves. Combined with internal ballast and Centurion’s QuickSurf Pro system, the wave cleans up perfectly and is way bigger and more powerful than what we have experienced from most 21-foot boats. In fact, with Centurion’s Fi21, we discovered there’s a need to be careful not to overly weigh it down lest the wave won’t shape up properly. The boat we tested was not equipped with the optional Ramfill system, which can reportedly fill ballast in a super-fast 90 seconds. If you’ve ever waited 10 minutes to fill ballast tanks, you’ll appreciate it. Notably, we filled the side ballast to only 70 while leaving the bow ballast empty.
With the 409 hp engine and carrying a crew of two and a nearly full tank of fuel, Centurion’s Fi21 reached a top speed of over 39 mph. It achieved plane with empty ballast in 4 seconds, and when carrying the ballast stated, it still showed good giddyap, planing in less than 9 seconds. It will prove fun to run when heading to the beach or cove when the watersports session is done. The wider bow seating area ensures the crew can lounge in comfort up front as well as in the main cockpit.
The Fi21 is a slick combo of wide-bow functionality and sporty, aggressive wakeboat looks. The 21-foot size is great for those who don’t need a bigger boat but want to surf a big, clean wave. We definitely recommend adding QuickSurf Pro to your boat, which makes the waves awesome and aids in transferring you from one side of the wake to the other. The Fi21 is a lot of bang for less buck, and it just might fit in your garage. —Boating Tech Team
- Optional Ramfill system can fill the ballast tanks in as little as 90 seconds.
- Wide bow design allows for increased seating capacity on a 21-foot boat.
- Optional QuickSurf Pro system creates superbly shaped waves for surfing.
- HD Touch Vision Dash allows the driver to control ballast and other boat systems via their fingertips.
- Adding too much weight to the boat can affect its ability to properly shape waves.
The Nautique G21 (which has a starting price of $125,500) makes for a good comparison boat. The Nautique is powered by a range of PCM engines.
Price: $125,094 (as tested)
Available Power: V-drive
How We Tested
Engine: 409 hp PCM GML 96
Drive/Props: V-drive/14 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ 4-blade Nibral
Gear Ratio: 1.72:1
Fuel Load: 40 gal.
Crew Weight: 365 lb.
Centurion Boats – Merced, California; 208-384-0255; centurionboats.com