Wakeboard Boat Review
OK, we’ve called other wakeboard boats “wake machines,” but this Epic 23V really is. Pretty much, the Epic 23V’s sole purpose for existing is to plow more than 7,000 pounds — that’s 3,200 pounds of dry weight and 4,000 (!) in ballast — through the water to throw up monster wakes. At that, it succeeds.
Hull: With all that weight, the hull works to pull the boat into the water in a way that enhances the wake generation even further. The resin-infused composite construction aims to produce a lighter boat than usual for better handling and ease of towing.
Ballast: Usually we can’t get enough ballast, but is 4,000 pounds too much of a good thing? The bow tank alone has 1,000 pounds with two rear tanks at 1,500 pounds each. Yes, each. Any one of those tanks alone would rival the largest ballast system on most other boats. But to get it all up requires a Volvo 8.1L 375 horsepower engine that made our testers almost feel sorry for all the work it had to do.
Tower: This rock-solid wakeboard tower is foldable by one person. We liked the swivel wakeboard racks too, and even those were standard. (Basically everything is standard on this boat. The only options are the bimini top and underwater lights.)
Wake shaper: There’s a Bennett trim tab the driver controls from the throttle and an integrated wake shape plate that further affects the wake characteristics.
Highlight feature: The rear-facing transom speakers blast sound out to the rider. We also liked that placement rather than the traditional tower speakers that would add to the engine noise in the main lounge.
The wake: With a bigger factory ballast system than any other wakeboard boat, the Epic 23V’s wakes are massive with a vertical pop that makes easy work of wake-to-wake moves. The integrated trim tab helps dial in the peaks for moves into the flats, and the twin 1,500-pound rear ballast tanks yield killer wakesurfing wakes on either side of the boat.
What We Dig
— Ballast actually fills quickly
— 8.1-liter engine comes standard to push weight through the water
— Camouflage floor matting hides spills and is easy to clean
— Stereo is standard with transom speakers
— 85-quart cooler is under walk-through
Length w/o platform: 22’9”
Dry weight: 3,200 lb.
Ballast: 4,000 lb. (two rear tanks, 1,500 lb. each; one bow tank, 1,000 lb.)
Tower: Samson wakeboard tower
Racks: Swivel wakeboard racks
Stereo: Clarion deck, six interior speakers, 10 transom speakers
Cooler: 85 qt.
Fuel: 55 gal.
Trailer: Tandem axle
Base MSRP: $72,500
Standard: Volvo 8.1L, 375 hp
Test prop: OJ 14X14.25 four-blade