A BRIEF HIS­TORY

Boating - - MOTORHEAD -

The ge­n­e­sis of the wake­sport boat be­gan in 1959, when Leo Bentz, a Mi­ami Beach wa­ter-ski coach, set forth to make a boat made of fiber­glass that fo­cused on the needs of the wa­ter-skier. His 17-foot-9-inch-long ski boat pow­ered with a 185 or 215 hp In­ter­cep­tor en­gine, which he named Ski Nau­tique, was the first ef­fort in which a boat­builder fo­cused on de­sign­ing a hull that would cast a wake spe­cific for wa­ter ski­ing. Bentz’s Ski Nau­tique cre­ated smaller wakes than the heav­ier wood boats of the day by us­ing a hull that fea­tured a very low dead­rise at the tran­som. To­day, nearly six decades down­stream since the de­but of Bentz’s Ski Nau­tique, the idea of de­sign­ing a spe­cific wake for a spe­cific wake sport has been el­e­vated to a so­phis­ti­cated level. Boat­builders are di­rect­ing the wa­ter that flows past the hull in a va­ri­ety of ways, which in­cludes de­sign­ing more or less dead­rise in the hull and in­clud­ing fea­tures such as strakes and pock­ets into the hull so the wa­ter flows past the hull in a spe­cific way. Boat de­sign­ers are also adding fea­tures into the boat un­der the floor and to the tran­som to also di­rect the way wa­ter flows past the hull. — Z.B.

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