This is the water-sports ride of your life...

TIGE MANUFACTURER PROFILE HISTORY Like many great companies, Tige Boats, Inc. was born the brainchild of one man. Charlie Pigeon was an 18-year veteran of the ski boat industry, having served successfully as Director of Sales and Marketing with MasterCraft, Supra and Malibu Boats. "I worked for three of the four major boat companies, and they all did a lot of things really well, which I admired," Pigeon said. "But I thought there were opportunities to maybe do things a little bit better. I used my knowledge of the good things they were doing and tried to put together a product that consumers would really like. That knowledge I learned gave me the confidence to start." At the time in the late '80s, Pigeon felt he could "build a better mousetrap." According to him, everyone was building three-event boats, but there wasn't much three-event skiing going on. "Since the majority of the people were slalom skiing, I thought 'Let's build a boat people really want.' There was a big market out there that no one was working on," said Pigeon. Pigeon formed a different philosophy from the companies he had worked with. He said his philosophy has never been to be the biggest boat company. "All the boat companies wanted to be the biggest. To me, the customer was more important. I just wanted to build a quality product with better performance and better features so people could have a better time on the lake." He went on to add that it didn't matter how many boats he built. "What was important was to have 100 percent of my customers 100 percent satisfied." Tige's first boat hit the market in 1992 and was named "Rookie of the Year" by this very magazine. In 1995, Tige developed the innovation that is the hallmark of its current line, the TAPS (Tige's adjustable Wake System) variable hull full trim system. In 1996, Tige developed the beginning of its Sport V line and turned more toward wakeboarding. It then announced it was no longer in the tournament ski boat business, but rather would build boats aimed at a broader range of water-sports activities, with an emphasis on wakeboarding performance. Now, Tige aims to build the highest-quality, most innovative water-sports boats in the world and deliver them at a fair value with excellent after-sales service and support. Additionally, they aim to create a positive, respectful workplace to reward all employees with opportunity, motivation and training. Management also attempts to maintain close ties with its athletes and the customers who use their boats in the field. Their goal is to listen to what the market wants and deliver with leading-edge products and designs. Tige's commitment to the sport goes beyond trying to create innovative products. Tige sponsors a wakeboard team consisting of Cobe Mikacich, Erik Ruck, Daniel Watkins, Chris Bischoff, Cathy Williams and Wayen Mawer, and Keith Lyman. To support the riders, Tige has dual bus tours, which hit 50 dealers and do 70 days of clinics and demos a year, exposing the highest level of the sport to the grass roots. CONSTRUCTION Tige prides itself on its solid construction. Their philosophy is "Tige's aren't overbuilt, they are properly built." The boats utilize a nine-stringer fiberglass chassis the company calls its QuadraBeam system. Their wood-core fiberglass stringers are much more dense than foam-core or hollow stringers, according to the manufacturer, which they say is a big reason why their boats have such a solid feel in all types of water conditions. They say this construction adds significantly more weight to the boat below the waterline, which increases stability in rough water as well as absorbs harsh water conditions. In fact, they design their wakeboarding boats without the need for ballast. Floors are built of hand laid tri-directional fiberglass backed up with 3/4-inch Aqua Ply plus core. The Aqua Ply has a lifetime transferable warranty against rot, degradation and delamination by XL/ Greenwood. This coring material comes with its own written warranty that covers complete replacement of material labor and all componentry. It is backed by a $200 million bond. The use of XL plywood throughout the boat is controversial. Tige' guarantees the wood can't rot and happily offers a new boat replacement if one of its boats ever does show any structural degradation. They say the manufacturer of the XL wood is prepared to back the warranty if the product is used in the manufacturing process "as is". However, Tige goes one step further and encapsulates all the wood in fiberglass to add another layer of protection, along with the monocoque construction that completely ties the deck to the floor by glassing the two halves together at every point where they touch. This is what they say makes the boats rock solid and keeps them that solid throughout their life on the water. Tige says its hulls are the thickest on the market. They are hand-laid with predominantly tri-directional fiberglass and all components are fused together before the resins cure to create a primary bond. "We build our boats for offshore water conditions, not for man-made ski lakes," says Vice President Brett Thurley. He says they are engineered and built to stand the harshest water conditions on the nation's biggest lakes. "We use proven construction techniques and don't cut corners when it comes to craftsmanship and quality materials. In our 10 years of boat building, there has never been a structural failure and we have built thousands of Tige's worldwide." KEY FEATURES TAPS Tige utilizes its adjustable performance system hydraulic plate combined with a variable trim hull designed to maximize wake versatility. Lowering the bow creates low slalom wakes and optimized tracking and visibility. Raising the bow builds wake size for wakeboarding or keeps passengers dry in rough waters. DASH Tige actually uses three different dashes. Its V-series dash is a sweeping stainless-steel-looking layout with Faria fog-free system monitoring gauges. A custom Italian Dino steering wheel is contoured to a natural grip for control and comfort. The I-Series dash is slightly less sweeping with four primary gauges front and center. Tige also offers a wood-grain or stainless looking two tone millennium dash on its Limited Editions for a more luxurious look. Interior/Comfort Tige boats feature plush seating from triple-density high-grade foam covered with four-way stretch, 34-ounce, foam-backed marine vinyl that is top stitched. Seat backs are aggressively angled to provide a more comfortable fit. Engines Tige uses MerCruiser engines to take advantage of what they say is a reliable and top-performing line. They also feel that Tige customers benefit from MerCruiser's massive service network - the largest in the world, with over 7,000 certified technicians nationwide fully trained in engine technology. The base engine is a dual-inducted 270-hp Vortec V8. The upgrades include the most popular 5.7l MPI 315-hp; the 330-hp EFI Scorpion and the 6.2l, 340-hp MX Scorpion. All Tige boats utilize an aluminum fuel cell, baffled for quiet operation. OPTIONS All Tige's are available with TAPS, dual batteries, a collapsible tower with four board racks, a tower bimini, shower, heater, depth finder and more. Furthermore, V-drives can come with a cockpit table and telescoping rear pylon. Tige's have three different sound systems from Clarion, ranging from a Marine Audio system with 100-watt coxial speakers and a driver's remote to the ultimate Tower of Power upgrade, which includes component tweeters and mid-range speakers, two power amps and subwoofer and two high-output tower speakers. COMPONENTS GELCOATS:Cook Composites Armorflex Buffback 953 series. RESINS: Armorstar vinylester epoxy resin used throughout. BULK LAMINATES: 3-ounce mat and tri-directional, hand-laid glass. REINFORCEMENT:4mm coremat used throughout the side wall of the boat fo

r stiffener and vibration dampening, also reinforces deck hardware. MOTOR MOUNTS:T6061 alum through-bolted with stainless-steel hardware and nylock nuts, galvanized steel ski bar through-bolted to turn fins. FLOORS: Hand-laid, tri-directional Fiberglass backed up with 3/4-inch Aqua ply plus core. STRINGERS: Nine hand-laid fiberglass stringers with an XL Panel LVL core. Stringers totally encapsulated in hand-laid, multi-directional fiber glass. ASSEMBLY: Hulls and decks are precision-tooled for an exact fit, then bonded. DRIVE TRAIN:1-1/8"-inch shaft with Packless Sealing System standard. Requires no leaking or maintenance for the life of the boat. Struts are through-bolted with eight stainless-steel fasteners and nylock nuts, manufactured by Marine Hardware. Four-blade Cutter stainless steel props are used throughout. CONTROLS: Teleflex competition controls and rack-and-pinion steering. STEERING WHEEL:Dino custom Italian design. GAUGES: Faria analog instrumentation driven by electronic paddle wheel speedo's. CARPET: 40-ounce polyproplene blend five-year warranty (rot, stain, fade). UPHOLSTERY: 34-ounce SRT G&T non-woven four-way stretch vinyl with 1/4-inch foam backing. Triple-density foams wrapped in plastic to repel moisture. Seat bases are vented to reticulate air flow. CUSTOMER SERVICE An interview with Brett Thurley, Tige's Vice President How does Tige's customer service work? Obviously, the first key to good customer service is to have experienced dealers with well-funded service departments. We choose strong dealers with good customer service departments. In the middle of the summer if a customer hits a log or a rock and needs to have a quick turn-around, it's primarily the dealer's responsibility to get the customer back on the water as quickly as possible. If the manufacturer is poorly funded or works on a poor inventory system with its parts then that can detract from customer service as well. We see our extensive parts and components inventory and distribution efficiencies as a real investment in customer satisfaction. Our dealers and customers have an open line to the factory for any questions. Many of our customers tour the plant before taking delivery of their new Tige. We have a 24-hour phone that links to the head of our technical services as a resource for our dealers and customers. We also have a link on every page of our web site that gets them right to a service tech. Interestingly, our customer service department does not have voice mail deliberately. You always talk to a person who can walk you through a situation. Our complete sales support team is in house so everything gets handled at the factory immediately. We work on a system where we team up with MerCruiser's CSI rating. For every boat that gets sold, MerCruiser sends out a satisfaction survey and we are copied on every transaction. If there is any dissatisfaction we follow up with the dealer, and it's his responsibility to get back to the customer and make sure everything is taken care of. A dealer's warranty rate is based on their current service training with us. And secondly, they have their MerCruiser CSI rating. WARRANTY Tige offers 12 months of total protection, a 24-hour parts turnaround policy and trained repair specialists on everything from the engine to the gelcoat. And, with two limited lifetime warranties, one covering the hull, deck and stringer, and a second on the XL panel materials used in the floors and stringers, as well as five years of coverage on all boats with the TAPS wake control system, Tige has your boat and their craftsmanship covered. Extended Warranty: MerCruiser offers an optional five-year warranty on its engine. For other coverage options, check with your local dealer. Transferability: The warranties covering the hull deck, stringer and XL panel materials used in the floor are transferable to a second owner. The transferred coverage is for any time remaining within 10 years of the date from the original owner's purchase. There is a $250 fee for the transfer, and transactions can be done through Tige's corporate offices or a local dealer. STANDARD WARRANTY COVERAGE • Deck/Hull/Stringer Two limited lifetime warranties • Gelcoat 12 months • Engine/Drive Train 12 months to 5-years • Components 12 months • Instrumentation Lifetime • Upholstery 12 months on seams - 5 years on vinyl • Carpet 5 years • LaborShop Rate DEALER NETWORK Who gets to be a dealer? It's a three-pronged approach. Ninety percent of our dealers that we appoint are prospected and targeted to be a Tige dealer. We took a different approach in that we didn't go to trade shows, but rather sent our sales force into areas where we didn't have representation and we targeted the best dealers. We look for three things in a dealer: One is location-we like them to be on a major thoroughfare, very visible and easy to get to. Second is that they have a MerCruiser certification, and third that they have people in their sales department who are passionate about water-sports and wakeboarding. We like them to eat, sleep and breathe the product, know everything about the product, and use it in their time off. Our dealers utilize extremely hands-on principles. The people who own the business are very hands-on and relationship-based. They have to be down to earth and passionate about our product. We're not into multi-line large superstores. What are the training requirements? They have to receive a MerCruiser inboard EFI certification, which is a week-long course their tech guys must take. Once they complete that, they are certified to sell and service MerCruiser product. They must have a minimum amount of stocking inventory plus digital diagnostic equipment to plug into EFI engines to diagnose problems. From January through March we run service training schools here in house where our dealers send their techs to work through rigging, upholstery, gelcoat, etc. If the dealer doesn't send someone, their warranty reimbursement rate is much lower than someone who does attend the school. What about post-sale procedures? We have an on-water delivery service where the dealer goes through a 35-point checklist with the customer and covers every function of the boat. We teach the customer all the safety issues and components, plus driving skills. We even have a training video for the dealer to help with this process. The second thing we do is after 20 hours of boat use, the dealer changes all the fluids and goes through every nut, bolt and fixture and makes sure everything is working to factory specs. Plus, if the customer has any questions at this point, the dealer addresses them. Ongoing, there's a maintenance schedule in the owner's manual detailing what services the customer should bring the boat into by hour-breaks. Do the dealers all have the ability to service engines? Yes, every dealer must be MerCruiser certified before he can become a Tige dealer.