Centurion Fi23 Review

Centurion invents a new market segment with the debut of its Fi23.

This article originally appeared on boats.com. Republished by permission.

The tow boat market has long had the same delineations that most other industries do: buyers choose from entry-level products and from the top of the line. Everything in between is just sort of, well, in between, with no real designation as to whom it’s for. But with the new Fi23 Centurion seeks to establish something of a new paradigm, the “premium entry level” category. Centurion is calling the Fi23 a prequel to its top-line models, like the Ri257 and the Ri237.

By removing or making optional some of the technology and luxury, Centurion is able to keep the price point of the Fi23 in check.
By removing or making optional some of the technology and luxury, Centurion is able to keep the price point of the Fi23 in check.

“Our 2018 model lineup now includes a 23-foot sleekly styled, ultra-wide bow surf and wake boat,” said Amy Mauzy VP of Marketing and Sales. “The 2018 Fi23 impresses with Centurion-caliber waves, wakes, ride and more, all available at an entry-premium price.”

Base MSRP for the Fi23 is $99,264, which, in the tow-boat market, is right at the premium spot for an entry-level boat, and it includes a dual-axle trailer. For the base price, buyers get Centurion’s new Opti-V deep V hull design, a feature that Centurion says offers “maximum surf wave displacement and ride quality advantages of a deep-V with balance for a symmetrical wakeboard wake.”

Proprietary Centurion features such as CATS, the articulating tracking fin, Ram Fill and Quick Surf Pro are optional. If you’re serious about wakesurfing, Quick Surf is probably a must-have option as is the additional ballast capacity. In stock form, the Fi23 comes with 2,500 pounds of water capacity in tanks housed belowdecks. The options include plug-and-play rear ballast tanks for an additional 1,650 pounds, plus additional optional tanks in the bow that hold 450 and 250 pounds of water weight.

That adds up to 4,850 pounds of available ballast. On top of the boat’s weight of 5,150 pounds, that’s one deep footprint in the water. Even in stock form, the boat weighs more than 7,500 pounds—that’s like pushing a one-ton dually pickup across the water. If you were to add all the optional ballast packages, you’d add $10,000 to the price, so whether it’s worth the money is up to the buyer. Of course, dually pickups are expensive, too.

The Fi23 also comes standard with a new Split HD Touch Vision dash, which allows the driver to control the ballast and monitor all the boat’s functions. Optional systems, such as QuickSurf Pro and RamFill, also are touch-screen activated.

The boat’s 23-foot length contributes to a roomy cockpit, with ample deck space wide lounges.
The boat’s 23-foot length contributes to a roomy cockpit, with ample deck space wide lounges.

Centurion offers a rear bench that slides forward to face the rear, but as common as that feature has become on wakeboard boats, that should probably be standard, too. Up front, the wide bow design creates a lot more room for forward passengers.

The Fi23 comes with a striking blade-style windshield that really contributes to the look of the boat and a standard Maximus tower. A Bimini top and board racks are extra, though. Those should be standard on a boat like this, like the Fi23’s snap-in carpeting.

It’s exciting to see more fresh thinking coming from Centurion, and to see it coming in at a price that appeals to a good portion of the market. The Fi23 offers a solid standard platform, with enough available options to make it as hard core as a buyer wants. That lets the Fi23 span the gap from entry level to premium tow boat—all in one package.

Other Choices: Shoppers in this segment of the tow boat market might also look at the Tige Z3. The Supra SE450 would be another option of interest.

For more information, visit Centurion Boats.


Written by: Brett Becker

Brett Becker is a freelance writer and photographer who has covered the marine industry for 15 years. In addition to covering the ski boat and runabout markets for Boats.com, he regularly writes and shoots for BoatTrader.com. Based in Ventura, Calif., Becker holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s in mass communication from the University of Central Florida in Orlando.


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