Q+A with Epic Boats founder Chris Anthony

Chris Anthony started Epic Wake Boats two years ago in his driveway with an incredibly large block of foam, a knowledge of fluid mechanics and a sanding block. With a new plant in southern California opening soon to meet production demands, more efficient 8.1-liter Mercruiser engines, and a few new additions to an already strong team, Epic Boats is setting itself up for what could be an epic '08 season. Managing Editor Craig Kotilinek talked to Anthony about the latest and greatest in the new company's '08 lineup.

CK: What's new with the boat for '08?
CA: We signed a deal with Kicker and Sony for our transom audio and interior audio stuff. The 12-inch subwoofer and the six component speakers inside the boat produce some kickin' audio. The transom setup is four component 6.5-inch speakers and two 8-inch subs. The sound is a bit ridiculous. It's much clearer, much louder, it fills the space a lot better. And we like the versatility the Sony deck gives us. The iPod plug-in is more user friendly. We also added a new power train option on the Epic which is the Mercruiser 8.1-liter motor and their speed control option. The closed cooling system is much improved on that motor, and it means you're going to be running cooler and using less fuel.

CK: 8.1 liter? Uses a bunch of gas, huh?
CA: One thing we found out after our extensive testing is people think 'oh my god you've got an 8.1-liter motor in there, it must suck fuel like no other,' but actually the 8.1-liter motor is more efficient than a 5.7- or 6-liter motors when you're running a fully loaded boat because it's not working as hard. You're running it in the very efficient RPM range in the motor's power band, while a 6 liter with 2 or 3 or 4,000 pounds of ballast is working very hard and you're not in the efficiency range. We actually see 20 and 30 percent gains over the 5.7- and 6-liter.

CK: How's the team?
CA: We added Shawna and Racquel Hoffman. Shawna's the younger sister