Waterski magazine review 2005

Introduction

While the XFi name has only been around for the past 12 months, the manufacturers have been in the boating industry for a long time. Under the name of Sleekline and then X Factor, Steve Bull has been building boats for years. His latest label, XFi, is guaranteed to cater for people in the market for a family waterski boat at a reasonable price.

We caught up with Steve and Craig from XFi at the National Watersports Centre at Carrum, just outside Melbourne , in early March for a ski and test-drive. They brought along their two current models - Genesis and Renegade - and we were impressed with them both. If it weren't for the threat of rain and the chilly 17 degrees, we could have skied behind either boat all day.

The Genesis is the top model, and was certainly well presented on the day. The dark green metal flake and the black and silver graphics looked pleasing to the eye and the hull sat nicely in the water. The test boat was fitted with the Mercruiser 350 MAG MPI 315hp.

Inside

The interior of the Genesis looks smart, and it's clear years of experience with this style of boat have gone into maximizing space and comfort. The black velour seats look classy and are comfortable and supportive.

The seating arrangement is an adjustable bucket driver's seat, twin observer lounge and bench seat across the back. The twin-observer lounge is stylish and the driver's bucket seat is a good size and positioned perfectly for optimum visibility when driving. There's also a fair amount of leg-room in the 20 ft hull.

An interesting design note is that the top of the observer seat goes all the way to the tip of the windscreen. This creates a sense of spaciousness and gives more comfort to the observer because they can lean right back, although you do lose out on a glove box.

The look

XFi will customise the colour scheme for any buyer. The dark green on the test boat was stunning and the graphics looked good. The carbon fibre-look steering wheel looked nice and compliments the VDO integrated cluster gauges. The steering wheel is tilt adjustable to bring it to the perfect level for any driver. The Genesis comes standard with a high pole and there is the optional bimini cover.

Storage

The Genesis really makes good use of the space available from its 20' hull. There are pockets down the side, under and behind the observer seat and there is also an esky. Next to the driver's seat is a storage pocket for maps and other small personal items.

Performance

Powered by a 315 horsepower fuel-injected Mercruiser engine, performance from the Genesis was very strong. Acceleration, as confirmed by Mercury's “radar gun”, is impressive, and the motor feels strong and smooth throughout the rev range. The boat pulls out of the hole with a minimum of fuss, and feels equally at home with or without a skier out the back.

The forward/neutral/reverse gearbox operates smoothly and precisely through a Mercruiser Gen 2 Pistol Grip Remote Control hand throttle, which XFi have opted to use instead of the Morse control more commonly seen in ski boats.

Handling

Conditions on the day were a bit blowy, but the Genesis was smooth and predictable through the chop, and rode comfortably through boat wakes. The overall sensation is of a sporty, solid boat which behaves well even under hard cornering.

The steering is light and direct and well matched to the boats hull characteristics.

The wake

The XFi Genesis is ideally designed as a waterski boat. The wake is smooth and narrow and is ideal for constant cutting across the wash. The edge of the wake was smooth, with a delicate contour, allowing the ski to easily cut through at really high speeds.

The XFi Genesis is a delight for any waterskiier. The smooth, narrow wake was awesome for cutting and the lip of the wake didn't have much curl on it, so you could easily move backwards and forwards. The boat pulls the skier out of the water with ease and no strain to the skier.

XFi offer wakeboarder's an optional 300 Litre ballast tank, which Steve says turns the Genesis into the ideal dual-purpose boat.

Summary

The XFi Genesis is a great boat for any waterskiing family. It's reasonably priced and looks stylish on the water. It seats six people (including the driver) so it's well suited for any family – plus a few mates. The colour scheme, graphics and shmick interior nicely finish off this well-priced family boat.