|Max Headroom||open||Bridge Clearance||N/A|
|Std. Power||1 x 303-hp PCM ProSport 5.0L MPI|
|Tested Power||1 x 303-hp PCM ProSport 5.0L MPI|
1 x 343-hp PCM EX343
Captain's Report by Capt. Steve--
The Tigé R20 not only makes wakes, but it can take them in stride as well. At best cruise, we calculated a range of 124 miles (200 km) at 27.8 mph (44.7 kph).
The Tigé R20 was designed to provide an entry level wakeboat that still maintains the company’s demand for performance and construction quality. The price is kept down by eliminating most of the upgrades and options found on the more expensive boats in the lineup. By using the same hull at the more pricey boats, the ride quality is not sacrificed.
• Inboard Engine. True wakeboats are able to get a better wake, with a better table between the wakes, with inboard propulsion. Tigé will not compromise on this so the R20 makes a good transitional boat to inboard power.
• Engine in stern. Other wakeboats mount the engine in the middle of the boat, creating a huge engine box right in the center of the cockpit. It’s in the way, it’s ugly, it’s not necessary. With a V-drive transmission, Tigé is able to move the engine to the stern, where it belongs.
• Choice of panels. This year Tigé gives you a choice of the standard helm panel or a classier upgraded version. It's one more on a long list of optional features that this boat offers.
• Pickle-fork bow. This allows Tigé to carry most of the R20 beam fully forward providing much more room in the bow.
• Poseidon mat. Rather than put regular snap-in carpet in the R20, Tigé what with the Poseidon mat which is made from a synthetic material the drains water better and promotes faster evaporation. This is an important feature when dealing with a boat made specifically for watersports. At one point or another nearly all of the occupants will be coming back on board wet.
With her pickle-fork bow the R20 carries her beam farther forward allowing for more room at the bow.
Usually when I see a builder making an entry level boat, all my mental alarms start going off. Now it's time to see cheap seats, plastic everywhere, cheap metal instead of 316 stainless steel… the usual suspects.
Not so with Tigé. Apparently they decided to take a different tack, and use the same build quality, same Convex V hull, and same performance ride, but in a less costly boat. So if the build is the same, then it must be the components, the accessories and amenities, right?
As it turns out, yes. But not like you'd think. They're still using stainless steel hardware etc… but not much of what I'd call the "fluff" components. All options are left where they belong, on the options list, and therein lies the secret of keeping the price down. Of course you can still opt up to your heart's content, but if that's the case, you'll end up driving up the price, and out of the mission of this boat.
You'll then be in the position of considering whether to stay in this boat, or upgrade to say, the RZR.
Out With the Fluff
Case in point is the tower. Where the other boats in the lineup are using the classy Alpha Z tower, this one is utilizing the more basic, and therefore less costly, aluminum pipe frame tower. It's still collapsible, with fixed racks, but that's about it. Now again, remember you can opt up if you really want to.
Options for the tower include, Wet Sounds speakers, swivel board racks, powder coating to color match the boat, and a Bimini top forward. And all that drives the price up, so do you really need it? Well in my case, at least the Bimini! (Boating is less fun when my fair skin bursts into flame from sunburn.)
Not your typical Alpha Z tower, but these new for 2013 Vector towers are just as functional, and the person on the end of the towline won't know the difference.
The helm panel wasn't spared in the cost savings department. You still get the Speedset to maintain, and make incremental corrections to, your speed. But gone is the coveted Tigé Touch touch-screen. Tigé Touch is great to have, but it is costly and after all it doesn't actually make the wake, so do you really need it? How about the premium stereo? Won't the basic tunes work just as well?
While the helm is missing the Tigé touch it still has many features in its own right. Notice the digital displays in the two center gauges and the trim buttons to the right for the Taps2 plate.
This year, Tigé is also offering another option for the helm beyond Tigé Touch. Like an entirely new and upgraded helm. It’s a gorgeous panel that has the look and feel of a high-end sports car.
The upgraded helm has a low profile dash for better visibility, and all waterproof switches are over to the right. Bragging rights are also included.
Little Things Add Up
Even some small items are cut out in order to keep the price down. At the transom, for example, there's no grab handle to hoist yourself onto the swim platform with. Because the platform is so low for most boarders it won't even be missed. How about the helm seat? It's not the mesh seat and back of the higher-end boats, but it's still well padded, and includes a flip-up bolster.
The bow features a self draining cooler under the center cushion and storage under the seat backs. No storage under the seats as this is where the ballast is located. This year the side pockets have been add, much like the RZR.
Keeping the Fat
But first and foremost, Tigé's mission in life is to produce premium wake not matter what the cost of their boats. It is here that I think Tigé' excels, although their boats are also equally as good for skiing and, in the case of the R20, a good all-around sport boat for the family. In order to remain competitive, and make no mistake, these boats are competitive, Tigé has come up with a triple whammy for creating the wake the kids and the young-at-heart long for.
First -- The Hull Shape: Tigé has reconfigured the traditional skiboat hull (where you want a flat wake) into one designed to help create wake. The hull design is called Convex V. Where other wakeboats have bottoms that run in a straight line until they get to the stern and then hook down, Tigé’s actually curves slightly upward. The more of the transom in the water, the more wake you will have from the get-go.
Second -- Plenty of Ballast: The deeper the hull is in the water the more water it will displace and the bigger will be the wake. Ballast bags are a tried and true method of adding weight, sinking the boat lower in the water, and increasing your wake. Tigé has dual ballast sacks in the stern and a horseshoe shaped one at the bow.
Third -- The Wake Tab: Tigé calls this tab TAPS 2. TAPS stands for Tigé Adjustable Performance System, it is patented and no other boat has it. TAPS 2 is a trim plate affixed to the aft end of the hull, so you can dial from the helm the parameters you’re looking for in ways that were previously unavailable. Want a bigger wake? Adjust the TAPS 2 plane up and you have a fatter wake. Want to take some curl out of the wake? Bring the TAPS 2 plane down and you tame the beast a bit.
Our test boat had the optional snap-in carpet, but standard were the cockpit speakers, and the courtesy lights. Storage under the port seats runs from stem to stern.
I couldn't wait to get on the water to test the handling and performance of the R20 to see if Tigé really didn't hold back on the build quality. I am happy to report that this boat handled as well as the high-end Tigé boats, and that means that the hull was just as solid, with no flex, and the performance additions of the Convex V-hull remained intact.
Also, as with the rest of the line, I found that the TAPS system is most effective as a fine-tuning device for the wake when the ballast tanks are full. At the high end of the speed range, I did notice that there was a bit of a bow porpoising, but that was easily stabilized by bringing the TAPS plate down and planting more of the forefoot on the water.
Top speed during out tests was 40.8 mph with a best cruise of 27.8 giving a fuel burn of only 7.7 gph.
Turns were quick and without a lot of grab, and if you reduce speed a bit just before entering the turn, you can make the stern fishtail around before blasting off in the opposite direction. It's fun to do, so you should try it.
By the Numbers
I reached a top speed at 5300 rpm and 40.8 mph. At that speed the R20 was burning 19.8 gph while getting just over 2 mpg. That translates into a range of 70 miles. Pulled back to a more economic cruise setting of 3500 rpm and the R20 was running at 27.8 mph with only a 7.7 gph fuel burn. Now we were getting 3.63 mpg for a range of 124 miles.
During our test at 3000 rpm the boat's speed was 23.0 mph which most closely approximates the speed that many people will use the boat. At that speed the R20 burns 6.6 gph, gets 3.51 mpg and has a range of 120 statute miles.
Time to plane was only 2.4 seconds which is remarkably fast. I reached 20 mph in 5.3 seconds, and accelerated through 30 mph in 8 seconds.
My test has shown that the Tigé trademark performance is still there. The size of the wake is the same as with other Tigé models of the same specifications. The hull, deck, stingers and other substructures are the same. The comfort level is still there in a general way, with the exception of the helm seat as noted. The towing arch works fine, it is just not the deluxe version.
Basically, I think that with the Tigé R20 you are getting a premium multi-watersports platform combined with a very cool family runabout. That means that the only important thing missing, is the high price tag.
|Washdown: Raw Water|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc|
= Standard = Optional
|Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!