CENTURION MANUFACTURER PROFILE HISTORY Rick Lee has been building boats about as long as he can remember. He and his father built his first, an eight-footer with a 10-hp outboard, in 1959, when he was 9 years old. He went on to set a world record, win a national championship and put himself through college racing speed boats. Lee graduated as a P.E. teacher, but someone told him he should follow what he loved to do. Naturally, he found his way into the boat business. He started selling boats and after a couple of years went out on a limb and opened a boat company. He began building high-performance jet boats, day cruisers and race boats and in 1976 he acquired the trade name Centurion from a Salt Lake City company with a heritage dating back to 1964. He grew the company building high-performance ski boats. ‘Back then, nobody knew what an inboard was west of Tennessee. They were ugly, so no one wanted to know what they were. I got interested in them because I discovered that PCM had sold 1,500 motors in ’78 or ’79.’ Lee investigated how they could be selling so many engines and consequently discovered the significance of the tournament boat market. In 1979, he built a 2.5-acre factory in Merced, California, and turned the company’s high-performance, high-tech boat- building skills toward making ski boats. He built the first Ski Centurion, and it was the first significant direct-drive ski boat produced on the West Coast. This boat brought the high-performance styling of the California speed boats to the water ski market. Ski Centurion created the first AWSA Barefoot Nationals outboard towboat and in 1983 it still built raceboats such as its XH-1drag hydro, which was the first enclosed cockpit model and dominated the sport for years. In 1984, Centurion’s Tru Trac model became an official AWSA three-event towboat, and Centurion started to shift its focus from racing boats to ski boats. The predecessor to the modern-day Centurion first debuted in 1988 with the release of the Falcon, the first towboat to tow both the U.S. Open and the AWSA Nationals in its first year on the market. The Falcon incorporated Centurion’s ‘S’ spray rails, developed on the Tru Trac II the year prior. Centurion went on to create multiple new ski boat innovations through the 1990s, creating the first articulating front fin in 1990 and a high-tech construction process called the Unified Composite System that completely eliminated the use of wood stringers and floorboards. This led the way for Centurion’s I.C.S., the Integrated Composite System, which integrated all deck components into the mold. Now Centurion avidly participates in the activities of USA Water Ski to stay in touch with the competitive side of the sport. Centurion’s basic philosophy is that the same finely tuned qualities that make Centurion an excellent competition boat will also make it an excellent family boat. CONSTRUCTION The I.C.S. construction system is the heart of the modern Centurions. It is a 100-percent composite design whose strength comes from hand-laid woven roving fiberglass mat and other materials shaped into three individual pieces, the hull, structural liner and deck, which are pressed together using Plexus adhesive to create a unibody boat. Centurion creates its hull from the outside in. Starting with its molds, layers of gelcoat are applied by extremely skilled craftsmen, allowing Centurion to offer five-color, in-mold gelcoat graphics sprayed to a uniform 22 mils standard on its boats. A ceramic layer is added for stiffness and smoothness then multiple layers of tri-directional fiberglass and ceramic are hand-laid in the mold. This layering produces what Centurion says is the finest hull in the industry. More unusual is that Centurion’s structural liner is a full, single piece of fiberglass that is the backbone of the boat and provides lateral and torsional stiffness. The deck mold is unconventional in that it also serves as the floor of the boat. I.C.S. construction combines a bi-directional fiberglass stinger system with a bow liner storage compartment that allows total bilge ventilation with integrated wiring chambers. This is bonded in the hull with Plexus, which creates a chemical bond between the parts that is stronger than the fiberglass itself. The deck integrates all major interior components, such as seat bases and floors, and creates what Centurion says is a stronger, lighter, cleaner and more consistent hull. From a structural standpoint the I.C.S. system connects the whole boat together to create what Centurion describes as a more solid boat. Furthermore, because the boats do not have conventional flooring over conventional stringers, it allows for a deeper boat. Centurion tools the floor all the way down to the bottom of the boat. It also creates a completely finished, gelcoated floor surface, allowing for removable carpet. All the seat bases, cup holders and speaker mounts are tooled into this system, making everything in the boat solid and one-piece. Most Centurions also feature a modified step-through, which has more benefits than the built-in ice chest. It creates strength in open-bow boats by connecting the two halves of the boat together. This is also tooled into the I.C.S. construction. COMPONENTS GELCOATS: Cook composites. Five-color in-mold gelcoat graphics sprayed to 22 mils thick. RESINS: Hydropel vinylester resin. BULK LAMINATES: Tri-directional fiberglass. REINFORCEMENT: Billet aluminum, Pro Board with Plexus adhesive. MOTOR MOUNTS: Aluminum. FLOORS: Unique I.C.S. integrated composite floor. STRINGERS: Bi-directional glass stinger system integrated into the liner and hull with Plexus adhesive. ASSEMBLY: Shoebox with Plexus and stainless-steel fasteners. DRIVE TRAIN: Marine Hardware all-brass gear. Dual taper stainless prop shaft. Acme CNC props. CONTROLS: Teleflex shifter and throttle controls. STEERING WHEEL: Teleflex. GAUGES: Faria 5-inch guages or SC 5000 Integrated Vessel System. CARPET: 29-ounce Syntec marine grade. UPHOLSTERY: Nautolex vinyl with foam covered in a 10-mil plastic barrier. KEY FEATURES DASH The standard Centurion dash found throughout the line is a smooth, straightforward system with a new wraparound side panel with removable switch panel for easy access. The boats feature large, 5-inch Faria gauges with an optional Pilot 1 system. A through-hull, paddle-wheel pickup drives both the analog and electronic speedos. The Tsunami, however, features an entirely different dash, which may become available through the line. Centurion had MerCruiser’s first-ever System View SC 5000 Integrated Vessel System. This ground-breaking system is directly linked to the MerCruiser engine’s computer, plus it’s tied into a GPS system so you are always at complete command of your speed, position and progress as well as a plethora of your boat’s vital systems. ENGINES Centurion uses MerCruiser engines by Mercury Marine because of their power, quality and serviceability. The engine range includes a 5.7L 270-hp, a 350 MPI 315-hp, the 330-hp Black Scorpion and the top-of-the-line Scorpion, a 6.2L, 340-hp brute. OPTIONS The Storm Series wakeboard boats come with a slew of standard features. The basic Storm package consists of a tower, rear ballast bladder and Storm Graphics. However, you can take advantage of a Storm II or Storm III package and get a quick-filling three-part ballast system with two tanks in the rear and one in the center, a stereo/CD with an amp and subwoofer, board racks and the Storm gelcoat. Some of the other options available include onboard heaters, hot-water showers, Sony CD stereos, Perfect Pass, pull-out cleats, V-drive table, tower speakers and lights. CUSTOMER SERVICE An interview with Rick Lee, Owner Centurion Boats What is customer service to Centurion? We try to support the function of water skiing and wakeboarding by standing behind our product. We rely on a well-educated and sophisticated dealer organization to handle our customers on a one-on-one basis. Our job at the factory is to remove any disputes between the dealer and customer and prevent them from happening. The dealer and customer usua
lly have established a very good relationship, but we have a buyer’s satisfaction checklist that is delivered with each boat so the customer can rate how his boat, was and boat-buying experience was. We also rely on the MerCruiser organization of dealers on every street corner to provide service and support. That is a key element of our program because you could be at a marina 200 miles from where you bought your boat, have something go wrong and get it serviced right there on the spot because chances are there is a MerCruiser warranty station close by. The fact that we have two factories, West Coast and East Coast, really facilitates our shipping of parts. Warranty claims go through our West Coast factory, but we have an extensive inventory of parts at both factories and will FedEx parts to dealers and generally jump through hoops to get people back on the water. That’s another reason why we chose MerCruiser as our power partner, because they have such a huge warranty and customer service. WARRANTY Ski Centurion warrants to the first owner that his new boat will be free from defects in the materials and craftsmanship under normal use and when operated and maintained according to the terms set forth in the owner’s manual. For the first 12 months, Ski Centurion will repair or replace any parts found to be defective on its boats pending their review and approval at no cost to the customer. If the original equipment manufacturer of the parts or components on the boat offers a warranty covering their product, Ski Centurion will, if possible, provide the warranty to the new owner. Additionally, a limited lifetime warranty covers the new boat’s deck and hull against any structural defects. Extended Warranty: Contact manufacturer. Transferability: Non-transferable. STANDARD WARRANTY COVERAGE ‘ Deck/Hull/Stringer Limited lifetime warranty for 1st owner ‘ Gelcoat Lifetime ‘ Engine/Drive Train 12 months ‘ Components Lifetime ‘ Instrumentation Lifetime ‘ Upholstery 5 Years ‘ Carpet 3 Years ‘ Labor Shop Rate Note: All warranty claims are processed and fulfilled at the sole option of Fineline Industries, Inc. on behalf of Ski Centurion. DEALER NETWORK How do you qualify your dealers? We have field sales representatives who visit the dealership before the dealer is invited. Plus,we have a written dealer agreement that calls out various requirements of the dealer to perform service functions and provide customer service. All of our dealers are legitimate storefronts with inventory and all of the dealers are required to be MerCruiser warranty stations so they have service stations. What training are your dealers required to undergo? We have semi-annual meetings where the dealers come to the factory to learn about the boat and any service issues that need to be dealt with. The MerCruiser organization has separate training as far as the power train goes. Is there a standard post-sale policy? The relationship between the customer and dealer is generally fairly close. The dealer is required to fill out the warranty registration card to ensure the customer is aware and has read his warranty. We rely on that relationship, which is a key ingredient in our marketing. What usually happens is the dealer shows the customer everything about the boat and answers all his questions individually. We recommend a 24-hour check and once that is performed properly then the lifelong use of the boat is improved. The rest of the servicing is usually drive train and power train-related and is covered by MerCruiser. Are your dealers certified to do engine repairs? All our dealers are MerCruiser dealers and MerCruiser has requirements that must be met to be a dealer.