In the world of ski/wakeboard boats,
after a good sound system, nothing is more important than time-to-plane. Tigé (pronounced
tie-guh boats recently switched engine suppliers to PCM, long a respected name in
the watersports and tournament ski/wakeboard market. As soon as Tigé got the new
engines installed we flew our Director of Testing, Capt. Rob Smith, out to Abilene,
TX to see how the boats performed with the new iron.
Tigé is now using the PCM EX343 with 430 ft. lbs of torque.
On test day it was hot, from 88 to 95-degrees, far from ideal to get maximum performance
out of the engines, but we tested for two solid days anyway. In the past we have
often tested ski/wakeboard boats with two people aboard (a driver and spotter), but this
time around, Capt. Smith insisted on three people aboard to more closely simulate actual
usage conditions. With the temperature above 90 most of the time and a breeze of
10 to 20 mph, it was far from ideal testing conditions, but again, the kind of conditions
you are likely to encounter. After all, who wants to ski in 60-degree weather even
though the engines might perform better then?
PCM Gets Torqued Up
These engines were so new that Tigé has not even had a chance to get them up on
their website at press time. The six boats were powered by either the 343-hp PCM
5.7L EX343 or the 409-hp PCM 6.0L ZR409. PCM has worked hard to maximize the engines'
torque at low rpm for improved hole-shot performance. The Ex 343 has 403 ft.-lbs.
and the ZR409 has a prodigious 492 ft.-lbs. of torque.
FYI – PCM has won the J.D. Power Award four years out of the last five for highest
customer satisfaction for inboard gas engines. That’s saying something because engine
makers for the boutique ski/wakeboard boat industry are all particularly keen on keeping
customers happy. The PCM engines also have a three-year warranty which is among
the best in inboards.
We have compared the "time-to-plane" numbers we got recently with the test numbers
we have gotten on Tigé's the last couple of years. Comparisons like these are rarely
apples-to-apples, even when you are trying hard create a "test lab" situation, which
we weren't. While the prop geometry used was essentially the same, the new engines
all had a little more horsepower than the ones we had tested before. This year each
test had three men aboard, and in all cases except two we had about the same or
more fuel aboard this time around.
And the Winner Is...
In the crucial "time-to-plane" measurement, the new engine set-ups out-performed
the old ones in all cases but one. The new Tigé configurations out-performed the
old set-ups by anywhere from 8% to 40%, depending on the model. Most came in about
11% better. Time-to-plane for the six test Tige's ranged from 3.1 seconds to 3.8.
See the new performance numbers on all six of the Tigé's.