Capt. Steve Says
It’s sure hard to look at any boat in the Tigé lineup and not see just how cool these boats are. But looks are only half the battle plan for marketing a boat. If it’s all show and no go then the lineup falls flat. So I needed to get on the water with these boats and see what’s up. And that’s exactly what I did. Here’s what I found---
Taken as a regular boat, as opposed to a watersports boat, the RZ4 performed nicely. Turns were crisp and well defined with just a little slide to counter the forces that can turn uncontrollable in a hard turn. At any speed, the boat was fully maneuverable and offered nothing out of the ordinary that may surprise the unwary.
Now you have to keep in mind that the Tigé RZ4 is an inboard boat, so handling will be a little different than a sterndrive. Some of these differences are good, and some not so much, in my opinion. The good differences were mostly notable in the high speed turns. There was no prop cavitation at any speed, so you don’t have to worry about trim in a hard turn. I was throwing the boat into very hard turns and was surprised that the boat didn’t come flying off from the sideways forces, but she hung fast and showed no signs of slipping out...ever. That adhesion to the water is thanks to the three stabilizing fins protruding down from her keel. Another characteristic of this inboard drive in the Tigé RZ4 is that it’s connected to a V-drive transmission. So unlike other wakeboard boats on the market, there’s no big ol’ engine box in the middle of the cockpit. This engine is well aft leaving plenty of play room in the cockpit.
The downside to any single-engine inboard installation is in docking, and this boat was no exception.. The boat backs to starboard, and there’s not a thing you can do about it. No amount of steering will counter the torque of the propeller rotation pulling the boat over so my recommendation is to deal with it.
Inboard Docking Made Easy
How do you do that? Easily. Make all your dockings to the starboard side. Approach the dock slightly off, and then when you back down, the stern will get pulled over. To keep the stern from hitting the dock first, be turned hard to starboard, and just a touch of forward will push the stern away enough so that the boat comes up against the dock flush with the whole side of the boat, rather than one section hitting first. With a few minutes practice, and some forward and reverse, you can get the hang of it and you’ll be an instant pro. Be gentle, you won’t feel the transmission “clunk” as it slips into gear. It’s silky smooth.
The Wake Maker
So the real deal is in the RZ4’s wake handling. Tigé approaches the game a little differently. Where most, if not all, other wakeboard boat hulls have a straight line running towards the stern, and then a hook down to give the stern the “dig in” you need to get that fat wake, Tigé actually makes their hull curve up at the stern. Then, the TAPS2 comes into play. TAPS stands for Tigé Adjustable Performance System, and it’s basically a wide plate at the stern that you can adjust like a trim tab. Only unlike trim tabs, this is in the center of the hull at the bottom of the transom. You can run with it up, for a flat wake, or run with it down for a fat wake. But is it effective? I found it to be marginally effective with the ballast tanks empty. It did cause the bow to rise and fall, but from the boat the changes in wake appeared to be marginal. I’m sure if I were on the end of a towline, I’d notice the difference but from the driver’s seat, it was small. That said, the fact that it would change at all is significant. With other wakeboard brands, you’re left to the ballast tanks only.
Let’em Eat Wake!
Now, with the ballast tanks full, (we had four, two in the stern, two in the bow) the difference in wake was significant. Moving the TAPS 2 plane up and down resulted in a large change in the wake, from a sporty “jumping for the fun of catching a little air” size wake, to a “jumping into the air and flying from one side of the boat to the other” size of wake. From a performance and handling standpoint, with the TAPS plane down the boat is converted into a depressing, bow high, fuel burner, but then again, when wakeboarding, the driver’s aspect is of little concern… it’s all about the wake!! And in the Tigé RZ4, I had complete control of the wake and could make it do whatever I wanted. It took a little time to get it where I wanted it to be, what with filling and draining ballast bags (about a 15 minute one way trip), but I could definitely get it there and anyone at the end of the towline would be pleased with the customized results. So if TAPS 2 is all that great, why doesn’t everybody do it? Because they can’t. Tigé patented it. Smart move on Tigé’s part.
But once you get it to where you want it, the question is… can you get it there again? What if you are towing a guy and finally arrive at that sweet spot of performance. Will you be able to arrive at it again for him, and what’s more...can you do it for all the other guys (and gals) you’re taking out on your boat? The answer is a resounding yes. And you do it with Tigé Touch. This proprietary device allows you to utilize a touch screen to input very specific parameters and save them as profiles, and even name the profiles. So when Bob decides that you’ve reached a perfect wake for him, then you save that set of parameters as a profile named “Bob” and then, at the touch of a button, Bob’s a happy camper every time. If his skills improve and he wants to tweak things a bit, just edit the profile and you’re done. Tigé Touch is able to control not only the boat’s speed, but the levels of individual ballast tanks and the level of the TAPS 2 running plate. All with touch screen capability. I think this is a huge feature.
But it gets better. Tigé Touch also gives you control of the boats lights, all switches for pumps and blowers, as well as the tunes. You can even change the input for the tunes from AM, FM, MP3, Sirius, and Aux inputs.
Performance and Specifications
The Tigé RZ4 has a LOA of 24’ (7.32 m), and a beam of 8'6" (2.6 m). Her empty weight is 4,485 lbs. (2,034 kgs) and she carries 48 gallons (181.7 L) of fuel. We tested the Tigé RZ4 on a chilly day with 5-10 mph winds a light chop and our test boat was powered with a PCM EX343."Look at those rocks, Huck. Just wait until the boat drifts on to ‘em and we’ll see how cool your Dad acts then.”
This is a 5.7L MPI engine, and you have to give high marks to PCM for calling it as it is. Their EX343 is 343-hp. No confusing marketing hype here. Her top speed was found to be 41.9 MPH and her best cruise came at 3000 RPM’s and 23.9 MPH. At that speed, the RZ4 was burning only 7.5 gallons per hour, and with her tanks topped off, she’ll have a range, at that speed, of 138 miles. Now that’s a lot of wakeboarding. Overall, I was very impressed with the Tigé RZ4. Not only was she a sweet handling boat, but TAPS allowed control of the wake to keep both novices and pros happy. And at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Tigé RZ4 (2010-) is 41.9 mph (67.4 kph), burning 23.2 gallons per hour (gph) or 87.81 liters per hour (lph).
Standard and Optional Features
|Carpet: Cockpit||Standard Snap-in|
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