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2021 Centurion Ri265

Sporting the custom colors of veterans organization Operation Wake Surf and Centurion’s special “Salute to Service” flooring, this boat impressed on all levels.

May 21, 2021
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Centurion Ri265 running fast across the lake
The Ri265 jumps on plane easily. Bill Doster

Overview

Over the years, Centurion has staked its claim and grown its brand on big boats that make great waves. With the introduction of its newest flagship model, the Ri265, that trend continues in epic fashion. At 26 feet, 6 inches, it’s not only Centurion’s biggest boat ever, but it’s also one of the biggest V-drive tow boats on the market.

Built on Centurion’s acclaimed Opti-V hull, which features 20 degrees of deadrise at the transom (twice as much as many wakeboats), it can provide a smooth ride when you need to cross a choppy lake. Yet the Ri265′s Opti-V hull has been optimized for creating some of the most outstanding wakes and waves for watersports. The deeper V displaces more water and, coupled with up to 5,850 pounds of ballast, produces wakes and waves of world-class dimensions. Overall, the Opti-V hull design is based on lift, decreasing resistance and increasing handling performance.

Wakes and Waves

The transom-mounted QuickSurf Pro plates have been made larger, and this creates more lift opposite the surf side to help form the endless waves on either side of the boat. The center-mounted Stinger Wake Plate can adjust the boat’s running attitude and thereby change the shape and style of the wave, making it more moderate and mellow, or steep and advanced. With seven ballast positions throughout the boat capable of holding a combined 5,850 pounds, the Ri265 can displace serious amounts of water, with which the aforementioned plates then sculpt into clean, powerful waves. The adjustability of both the QuickSurf system and the ballast allow the Ri265′s waves to be customized for all levels and styles of riding, from beginners to world-class pros.

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Centurion Ri265 helm screens
Twin Revo 12-inch touchscreen displays provide total control over wake shape and size. Bill Doster

Interior and Accessories

At the helm, the new Revo side-by-side 12-inch touchscreen displays mark the Ri265 as a technological tour de force. These multifunction displays help the captain easily set up and control all of the Ri265′s onboard systems. The right screen displays a menu for wakesurf wave or wakeboard wake settings, ballast controls, lighting, audio and navigation. The left screen displays all the critical information, such as miles per hour, rpm, fuel levels and more. But what is most notable about the new displays is the info never before seen in tow boats: fuel-flow and cruising-range data. Tap the menu, and the Ri265′s fuel economy is displayed in real time, including range estimates. For big-lake boaters, this proves an especially valuable tool.

Ballast? The available 5,850 pounds of Ri265 ballast is distributed evenly throughout the boat. There’s a standard sub-bow tank of 450 pounds, standard sub-lounge tank of 2,950 pounds, optional bow plug-and–play of 500 pounds, optional rear plug-and-play of 1,500 pounds, and optional Transom plug-and-play of 450 pounds. Optional Ramfill can be fitted to the sub-lounge tank, speeding drain time to 90 seconds.

Centurion Ri265 comfortable bow seating
Bow seating offers plenty of space to lounge in comfort. Bill Doster

Of course, with a 26 ½-foot boat, there’s room for everybody and everything. The Ri265 seats a crew of 18 water-loving riders—in fact, its passenger capacity is Yacht Certified, the highest awarded by NMMA—and trust us when we say all 18 would be comfortable. The captain luxuriates in a new power seat that can be adjusted to all manner of positions with just a couple of buttons. The bow offers plenty of space for two adults to lounge in comfort, with cup holders and speakers within easy reach. In another go-big moment, Centurion made it possible to have not just one but two sliding, convertible rear benches in the Ri265. Buyers can opt for the second and position it in the cabin in a multitude of ways. Make it a bench for true theaterlike seating to watch the action on the water, take out the backrests and place both benches together to make a giant lounge area, and much more. Customizable and adjustable, seating is also hinged for more-convenient access to storage areas underneath.

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Read Next: Centurion Vi22

If you’re shopping against the Ri265, there aren’t many other 26 ½-footers out there to compare with, but the MasterCraft X26 (well-equipped at $182,995 with a 430 hp Ilmor 6.2 L GDI VD 2.1) deserves more than a look. It offers some of the best fit-and-finish as well as overall ride quality in the market, but it doesn’t carry nearly as much ballast as the Ri265.

Centurion Ri265 cockpit seating
Two sliding, convertible rear benches can be positioned in a variety of ways. Bill Doster

Those aware of Centurion’s Ri line shouldn’t just look at the Ri265 as a 1-foot-longer version of the Ri257. Not only is the running surface all new, but the lines from top to bottom are different as well. The styling of the new Ri265 is bold but not overly aggressive; the boat looks beautiful both on the trailer and in the water. Roswell’s DropZone Auto Tower complements the lines, and the Wet Sounds Warrior speaker package, featuring two tower-mounted boxes that house two Rev10 speakers and an 8-inch mid each, is something you have to hear to believe.

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Centurion Ri265 tower with board racks
Board racks and Wet Sounds Warrior speakers are found on the Roswell DropZone Auto Tower. Bill Doster

How We Tested

  • Engine: Single 450 hp PCM ZZ6
  • Drive/Prop: V-drive/Acme 16″ x 15″ 3-blade bronze
  • Gear Ratio: 1.72:1 Fuel Load: 92 gal. Crew Weight: 665 lb.

High Points

  • Pop-up backrests in the engine ­compartment’s sun pad make for a ­comfortable lounging area.
  • Fuel-flow data at the helm is something we wish every other manufacturer would provide.
  • Thanks to QuickLaunch, bow rise on the Ri265 is minimal; it jumps on plane easily.

Low Points

  • Multiple ballast zones provide more options for fine-tuning but can also take longer to get the wave just right.

Pricing and Specs

Price: $241,582 (as tested)
LOA: 26’6″
Beam: 8’6″
Draft: 3’0″
Displacement: 6,400 lb.
Transom Deadrise: 20 degrees
Bridge Clearance: NA
Ballast: 5,850 lb.
Seat/Weight Capacity: Yacht Certified
Fuel Capacity: 92 gal.
Max Horsepower: 475
Available Power: Single V-drive inboard

Speed, Efficiency, Operation

Centurion Ri265 performance data chart
Centurion Ri265 Certified Test Results Boating Magazine

Centurion Boats – Merced, California; 209-384-0255; centurionboats.com

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