Captain’s Report by Dan Armitage
Tigé's new version of its popular Z3 is designed for the new generation of wakeboarders who have discovered the fun of wake surfing a nearly endless wave. And what better boat to do it behind than the Tigé Z3 that has a reputation of being one of the hottest -- perhaps the hottest -- wakeboat on the market. Then, there are all of those aging baby boomer surfers who would now like to show their kids ( and grand kids) that they are not quite ready for the pasture. (Gee, Dad, I didn't know you were a kid once, too!)Equipped with standard 343-hp PCM inboard, Tigé tells us the Z3 will reach a top end of 48 mph burning 6-9 gallons per hour.
Tigé Z3 Mission
To offer a comfortable, feature-filled boat with the best big-wake capabilities on the market for families -- and single dudes -- who want to include wakesurfing among their repertory of tow-sports activities.
There are probably more differences among ski and wake boats than there are in most types of boats, but Tigé is not just another builder of inboard sportboats. It has always stood apart in its approach to boat building and the market. Here are some of its differences--
Most boats have what is known as a “hook” or drop at the aft-end of the hull to facilitate the hole shot and help get the boat up on top of the water with a minimal amount of power and with the minimum amount of wake-inducing drag. To generate big wakes wanted by wakesurfers, Tigé simply does the opposite with the Z3 bottom, creating what it calls a ConvexV hull. This hull actually curves up along the last two feet at the transom to allow the hull to settle deeper in the water while underway to create a large wake.
The TAPS system is an adjustable plate on the aft edge of the boat's bottom at the transom that acts as a trim-tab to control the angle of the hull at the transom. With the TAPS system the Z3 can generate a variety of wake sizes from maximum for surfing to minimum for slalom skiing.
Tigé was the first boat company to truly introduce the digital age to boating with its "Tigé Touch." This one screen on the diver's panel controls the TAP system the ballast fill, the speed of the boat, and remembers all of these settings for up to 20 individual tow-sport or surfing performers. In addition Tigé Touch controls virtually all aspects of the boat and monitors almost every function on the boat.
The Tigé cult.
Perhaps it is because Tigé is the newest player in the inboard sport market that allowed it to break the rules of the conservative older builders who had been doing the same thing for some many years. Now over 20 years old, the brand has built up a strong following of fanatical owners who love their Tigés way of doing business and building wake boats.
Specializes in wake making.
Historically all of the major inboard boat builders started in the days where there was only skiing. Skiing requires flat wake. Not surprisingly when the wake craze hit most builders just made their products "dual-purpose" boats. Because Tigé was founded just as the wakeboarding phenomenon was taking off it specialized in making big wakes right from the get-go.
Tigé management has always striven to provide consumers with an alternative to the status quo in sportboats and that includes boat pricing as well. By being on the cutting edge of technological innovation in the sport and by being aware of times in which we live, Tigé has consistently offered boats with a high value for the money.
Thanks to the high freeboard, the seating aboard the Z3 is deeper than comparable inboard models. Note the extra-long, aft-facing lounge seat to port. Overhead of the cockpit, the Alpha Z tower is made of cast aluminum and designed to incorporate speakers, board racks, Bimini top and tow points with an integrated fit.
High Tech Features
In addition to monitoring water depth, fuel and ballast levels via the TigéTouch control, the operator may also save up to 20 custom rider profiles via a TigéYou feature. The function allows you to select a particular wake from saved set of TAP, speed and ballast settings. The SpeedSet feature allows you to precisely adjust digitally controlled speed using the 6.5-inch, low-glare touch screen.
Designed for marine applications with advanced composites and stainless steel components, the REV8 and REV10 speakers offered as an option with the Z3 are engineered specifically for an integrated fit within the Alpha Z Tower. They are complemented by Wet Sounds XS-650 interior component-style coaxial speakers with titanium tweeters.
Ballast Options for Beginners to Pro-Level
Essentially wake is created by sinking the boat deeper in the water. The more water the hull displaces, the greater is its wake, depending on speed. By being able to take on ballast the Z3 can become heavier. Depending on what level of wake or surf is wanted, Tigé can offer the ballast packages necessary.
The base ballasting package consists of two 250 lb tanks below the floor of the rear storage compartments, and a 400-lb single ballast tank in the bow of the boat. This 900-lb system is appropriate for beginner and intermediate riders.
The second system also has three tanks but can hold up to 1600-lbs of water ballast. This is designed for the intermediate wake boarder to the ultimate wake surfer.
The pro–level ballast package takes watersports to an entirely new level for a factory system. Designed for the maximum in all wake sports, this package is a 4-tank, 2000-lb. system. The pro system consists of a 600lbs tank on each side of the rear storage compartments and a 400lb bag on each side of the bow
Tigé offers engines up to 550-hp with the Z3. The featured PCM inboards have a patented Fuel Control Cell feature that uses two pumps to provide a constant flow of fuel to the system, as well as offering a fuel reservoir. The dual-pump feature assures quick starts, helps eliminate vapor lock and maintains a constant fuel flow for dependable handling during tight turns or when the boat is crossing choppy water. The Z3’s engine is mounted with rubber isolators at six points to provide a strong, stable foundation and quiet ride. PCM’s modular raw water pump is engineered for watersports applications, machined from stainless steel and driven by an auto-tensioning serpentine belt to provide durable cooling power. and TAPS2
The Alpha Z Tower
Tigé’s Alpha Z Tower is a signature aspect of its boats. It is completely fused to the hull, seamlessly merging the exterior and interior into a single distinct form. The unique, fully collapsible cast aluminum structure, is solid, and is said to be rattle-free tower by the builder. It is sculpted and engineered for maximum strength and versatility and there is nothing quite like it in the industry.The Alpha Z Tower is easy for one person to collapse right on the lake, with no intrusion to the driver area. By simply pulling two pins the tower can be lowered to below the height of the windshield.
Swivel racks and speaker mounts are available in accent colors to coordinate with your Tigé gel coat selections. These racks are engineered with a swivel mechanism for easy accessibility.A Bimini is also available in coordinating colors and integrates into the Alpha Z Tower. Simple to install and to take down, the Bimini provides up to 8 feet of sun and rain protection.
The tower also has integrated halogen docking lights to illuminate docking or trailering. The unique anchor light/pylon rotates easily into position for nights on the lake or functions as a dome light to illuminate the entire cockpit. Lastly a TV camera is an option and all of the action at the end of the tow or on the curl can be watched and replayed on a screen in the cockpit. The Alpha Z Tower is the only tower we know of with specific surf tow points on both sides of the tower designed to keep riders in the "sweet spot." Note that all of the components on the Alpha Z are carefully integrated and do not have a bolted-on look.
Tigé’s new version of the Z3 appears to be a great choice for those who want to partake in the fast-developing sport of wakesurfing. For boaters who want to test those waters while maintaining the option of enjoying wakeboarding and waterskiing, the Z3 can accommodate them with the TAP trim feature that allows infinite adjustment of the boat’s wake size, location and shape. Because the boat can be optioned to virtually any level, the Z3 is ideal as a boat that can be added to in the aftermarket if and when skills develop for more challenging activities.
Standard and Optional Features