Captain's ReportMedium Boat, Adjustable Wake, Extra-Large Fun By Capt. Vince DanielloTest CaptainAt 24 feet 2 inches, MasterCraft’s X-45 sits right in the middle of the company’s wakeboard equipped “X” series. She falls between the X-7, considered an outstanding slalom boat, and the X-80, a luxury SUV wakeboarder. Middle is not always desirable, as in the middle of nowhere or between a rock and a hard place, but in the case of the X-45, MasterCraft appears to have found the exact middle of the scale striking the perfect balance between room inside the boat and fun behind the boat.Starting at the BowAs with any balancing act the features that make the X-45 work start at each end and culminate in the middle. In the bow the giant seating area is made possible by flaring the hull into what MasterCraft representatives descriptively call the “pickle fork.” Not a catamaran or tri-hull, but simply an exaggerated extension of each chine into a squared-off bow, giving the forward seating area of the X-45 room for two or three to stretch out with feet on the seats, or seat five comfortably. The blunted bow also makes room for a swim deck with telescoping boarding ladder, a drink cooler, and cavernous storage compartments.Friendly Cockpit ArrangementAt the other end of the scale, the V-drive transmission puts the engine all the way aft, providing a large sun pad across the entire width of the stern. The main advantage of having the engine aft is that it is not in the middle. By keeping the engine out of the middle of the boat MasterCraft has created a family-friendly circular seating arrangement with a comfortable corner for everyone, as well as additional storage and another drink cooler.Wakeboarding FeaturesTrying to be all things to all people is a tough load to carry, but the X-45 does it well by adjusting its load. Built on the minimal-wake Maristar 245 ski boat hull, the X-45 turns into a big-air wake maker by filling three ballast tanks with a total of 1,000 pounds of lake water. Each tank has its own pump and individual gauge for infinitely variable, repeatable wakes to suit any level rider. Since no one wants to be pulled down when they’re trying to go up, the “X” series includes MasterCraft’s wakeboard tower with the tow pylon mounted high above the water for added safety, and uniquely built into the navigation light. The tower includes swiveling, quick-locking board racks, optional speakers, halogen lights, a bimini top, and a mirror. For skiers, a removable ski pylon fits at the front of the sun pad and has dedicated storage beneath the aft seat.Saltwater Series and Its FeaturesMasterCraft’s new Saltwater series is built around a 375-horsepower closed-cooled Crusader engine. The company has also added sea strainers on the engine intakes, sacrificial zinc anodes on the underwater gear, and stainless steel hatch lifts. Not satisfied with just solving the obvious problems associated with the corrosive marine environment, MasterCraft is keeping the boat we tested in saltwater and providing only minimal maintenance (a quick rinse after each run) to see if any unexpected problems arise. On that note, it had been a while since the bottom was scrubbed, so our test numbers probably do not reflect the boat’s capability when clean. Performance and HandlingOn our test, the boat topped out at 42.2 mph turning 5150 rpm, where the engine is rated to turn 5500 RPM with a clean prop. We planed off in 5.5 seconds, and were up and running at 30 mph in 9.4 seconds. Again, I suspect these numbers would have been better with clean running gear. What our test results do not show is the smooth ride of MasterCraft’s hull or the effortless steering and tight turns of an inboard-powered boat. For water sports, the inboard drive also keeps the propeller much farther away from people and tow ropes than is possible with an inboard-outboard.Can’t decide which one carries the most weight; interior room for the family, big wakes for the kids, or slalom ability for mom and dad? Strike a balance between all three with MasterCraft’s X-45.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the MasterCraft X-45 (2006-2009) is 42.2 mph (67.9 kph), burning 25.9 gallons per hour (gph) or 98.03 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the MasterCraft X-45 (2006-2009) is 27.9 mph (44.9 kph), and the boat gets 2.25 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.96 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 182 miles (292.9 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 375-hp Crusader 6.0 HO MPI.
Standard and Optional Features