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Brief Summary

The X26 is the flagship of the MasterCraft fleet, and she is designed to be a luxury wakesurfing boat. She is yacht certified and is one of the biggest boats in class with a large bow lounge and a private head compartment. The hull bottom is designed to work in tandem with the GEN2 Surf System to produce wakes for riders ranging from beginner to expert and still deliver a smooth cruise for dinner at day’s end. The interior features flexible heating ducts, a refrigerated drawer and mammoth storage.

Key Features

  • New 26’5” (8.05 m) hull - 28’6” (8.69 m) w/ platform
  • Picklefork bow design for more passenger space
  • Private head compartment
  • Ilmor Marine 6.2-liter, fuel-injected inboard engine
  • Port-side passage to bow

Specifications

Length Overall 26'5" / 8.05 m
28' 6'' / 8.69 m (with Platform)
Beam 102"
2.59 m
Dry Weight 6,900 lbs.
3,130 kg
Tested Weight 8,153 lbs.
3,698 kg
Draft 30"
.76 m
Bridge Clearance 140.5"
356.87 cm
Weight Capacity Yacht Certified
Person Capacity 18
Fuel Capacity 108 gal.
409 L
Total Weight 8,153 lbs.
3,698 kg

Price

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Captain's Report

By Eric Colby

MasterCraft X26

The X26 measures 28’6” long (8.70 m) including the swim platform. She has an 8’6” (2.59 m) beam and she can carry up to 4,150 pounds (1,882.41 kg) of ballast when equipped with optional equipment.

Mission Statement

The X26 is designed to be a large luxurious wakesurfing boat. It replaces the previous-generation model of the same name and has been updated with a new bottom and ballast system that has 4,150 pounds (1,882.41 kg) of wake-forming mass. Her new deck layout is focused on dayboat comforts, including a private head compartment, port-side passage to the bow, six-aft facing seats in the cockpit and aft-facing buckets on the transom.

MasterCraft X26 Major Features

  • Yacht certification
  • Choice of towers
  • Available GEN2 surf system
  • Double-wide lounges in bow
  • Available DockStar handling package
  • Choice of trailer options

MasterCraft X26 Features Inspection

MasterCraft X26

The X26 has three distinct seating areas - the bow, the helm/companion area and the cockpit - where passengers can travel while the boat is underway. The aft-facing seats on the stern are intended to be used only when the boat is at rest.

MasterCraft X26 Interior

The Cockpit. The heart of the X26 is her cockpit, which has a horseshoe-shaped design and can accommodate up to a dozen people. Forward to port, the backrest can convert from forward facing to aft, creating a long lounge for wake sports observing/spotting that measures 7’9” (2.36 m) when fully extended. The cockpit deck is 40” by 41” (101.6 cm x 104.14 cm) and amidships freeboard is 39” (99.06 cm). In the aft corners, the seats have contoured rounded corners designed to be comfortable when the passenger rides facing forward or when turned sideways to look aft and watch the action in the wakes.

The center of the aft bench can just be a flat seat, or an owner can upgrade to a flip-up middle section that creates a two-person aft-facing seat. Our test boat had two pull-out heating hoses that can be used to keep riders warm during early- or late-season riding sessions, plus a wastebasket in the fiberglass structure between the cockpit and helm seat. Gunwale details include beverage holders, USB plugs and speakers in lighted compartments on each side.

MasterCraft X26

MasterCraft offers buyers a wide variety of color choices including the upholstery, which is available in a cool-touch fabric. They can also choose among conventional carpet, DECKadence indoor-outdoor mat, which is in our test boat, or SeaDek foam.

MasterCraft X26

The backrest for the port-side lounge can be set up for an aft-facing chaise, as shown here, or shifted to create a companion seat adjacent to the helm.

MasterCraft X26

Here we see the backrest set up to create the forward-facing companion seat. Outboard are the stereo control and a grab handle.

MasterCraft X26

One of the many available options on the X26 is the convertible section of the aft bench.

MasterCraft X26

The aft corner seats are among the most thickly-padded we’ve seen on any style of boat.

MasterCraft X26

The sound system upgrade includes two additional speakers in the starboard cockpit seat base.

MasterCraft X26

MasterCraft even pays attention to the stitching details in the gunwale cutouts.

Cockpit Storage. The backrest and bottom cushion for the forward-most starboard seat lift up to create the largest locker in the cockpit. Lifting up the hinged bottom cushion immediately aft provides access to the same continuous compartment. The individual bottom cushions pull out of the corners for more capacity. To starboard, there’s dedicated storage for a carry-on cooler and just ahead is a Dometic refrigerator drawer. Forward, the bottom cushion for the port-side seat raises on tension hinges. In the port gunwale forward of the companion seat are a glovebox up top and a locker housing the circuit breakers down low.

MasterCraft X26

By using tension hinges or pneumatic struts, MasterCraft makes sure that all the hatches for the cockpit storage stay open on their own.

MasterCraft X26

The fiberglass compartment for the cooler is custom-made so it drops in with the handles up, making it much easier to retrieve.

MasterCraft X26

There’s additional cold-storage in the refrigerator drawer in the port seat base.

MasterCraft X26

In the port gunwale ahead of the companion seat are two beverage holders, the glovebox and a speaker forward.

MasterCraft X26

The locker with the circuit breakers and battery switches is centrally positioned across from the helm.

MasterCraft X26

Push the hinged flap in the cockpit seat structure to easily dispose of trash.

The Helm. At our test boat’s helm, the four-spoke steering wheel is on a tilt base. Directly above are digital gauges including the tachometer, speedometer and scrollable displays. To the immediate right of the wheel, there’s a joystick for the optional bow thruster and a switch pad with four arrows for scrolling through the digital dash display, including the digital camera. To the right are the twin-screen panel with an Ice radio module, maps and the wake and wave control display for the optional GEN2 surf system. The Dual Dash, as MasterCraft calls it, adds $5,540 and is chosen 94.1 percent of the time, according to the company’s website. For redundancy, MasterCraft also provides individual switches for the ballast pumps and lights in a separate nearby panel. Down below is a cellphone holder alongside the ignition keys, plus USB and 12-volt plugs. The shift-throttle lever is on the starboard gunwale and MasterCraft provides a padded armrest for the driver’s throttling hand. Down low on the same side are beverage holders and the pull for the automatic fire-suppression system. The driver’s seat is a high-backed bucket that swivels and adjusts fore and aft as well as for height. Two windshield options are available, a wraparound model and the optional BTS that stops short of the helm position on each side, and buyers can choose among three mirrors that clamp to the frame.

MasterCraft X26

Digital gauges are recessed beneath a deep eyebrow, and the combination of silver and black colors should help reduce glare.

MasterCraft X26

The arrow switch pad scrolls through the digital functions. Just above is the bow thruster joystick.

MasterCraft X26

The dual screen has the wake and wave controls on top with the stereo screen below. Kudos to MasterCraft for providing a redundant switch panel alongside.

MasterCraft X26

Everyone has a cellphone, so why not give the boat driver a secure place to stash his or hers? There’s also a storage cubby to the left of the steering wheel.

MasterCraft X26

The starboard gunwale is designed for making throttling the X26 as comfortable as possible, with a padded armrest just above.

MasterCraft X26

The driver’s seat has a fold-up bolster and comfortable supports that wrap around the driver’s ribs to help keep him or her in place.

MasterCraft X26

Because the walk-through to the bow is to port, the driver’s view is primarily unobstructed.

MasterCraft X26

MasterCraft offers three different mirrors for the X26, each of which clamp to the windshield.

The Tower. For the X26, buyers can choose between two towers. The ZFT 7 is an $8,440 upgrade and lowers with the push of a button. According to the MasterCraft website, buyers choose it 32.6 percent of the time. For those who want to save a few bucks and don’t mind manually lowering a tower, the ZFT 4 tower is a $4,670 upgrade and customers select it 67.4 percent of the time. Our test boat had this tower, which includes a Bimini top and folds down manually. It has four board racks and four can-style speakers. On the top of the tower, there’s a rear-facing camera that projects to the dash, plus a GoPro mount that swings with the rope when a surfer or rider cuts across the wake.

MasterCraft X26

The ZFT 4 tower is the most popular tower that MasterCraft offers, and it comes with a built-in Bimini top, board racks, speakers and more.

MasterCraft X26

Release the levers on each side of the tower and it folds down easily to lower clearance to get under bridges or back into a garage.

MasterCraft X26

The tower can be equipped with a rear-facing camera (red arrow) and a GoPro mount (blue arrow) that swivels with the tow rope.

The Head. Centrally positioned next to the helm is a compartment that can be equipped with a head or be left open for some serious storage. It has a hinged smoked acrylic hatch on top that opens on a pneumatic strut and a bottom door that opens to port to ease entry. Inside, our test boat had the optional electric head ($2,820) with a macerator and a pull-up shower. There’s also a fire extinguisher in a dedicated compartment and a SeaDek mat underfoot.

MasterCraft X26

The private head compartment is next to the helm.

MasterCraft X26

Standing headroom inside the molded fiberglass compartment is 4’6” (1.37 m) and seated clearance is an even 3’ (.91 m).

The Bow. Outboard of the head to port, a section of the windshield opens the 18” (45.72 cm) wide passageway to the X26’s bow, where there is 33” (83.82 cm) of freeboard. Below is a billet aluminum air dam that blocks air from the bow to the cockpit when closed. Matched cutouts in the port gunwale contain beverage holders ,USB courtesy lights, and Klipsch speakers, but USB plugs are only on the port side. Above are custom-made contoured grab rails. With the walkway positioned to port, it creates doublewide forward-facing lounges to starboard with the longest measuring 54” (137.16 cm). It has a median width of 47” (119.38 cm). A filler cushion that turns the area into a large sun pad is an $840 up-charge. Storage is under all of the bottom cushions and beneath the forward-most pad, the anchor locker that has a clip for Danforth-style grounding tackle. There’s a 6” (15.24 cm) pull-up cleat in the center of the nonskid foredeck and outboard on each side. Our test boat had sockets for the optional bow shade.

MasterCraft X26

The port section of the windshield and the air dam below close the passage to the X26’s bow.

MasterCraft X26

Here we see the bow with the optional center filler cushion in place. It creates two chaise-style lounges that have space for two adults to stretch out.

MasterCraft X26

MasterCraft provided open storage in all of the seat bases in the bow.

MasterCraft X26

The locker under the center bottom cushion in the bow is dedicated for a Danforth-style anchor and has the depth for the shank to swing without hitting anything.

MasterCraft X26

Crew members who have roughed up their knees while kneeling on nonskid tending to an anchor line will appreciate the strip of SeaDek on the X26’s foredeck.

The Stern. Working our way aft, the X26’s stern has a center walkway that's also covered in SeaDek. There are two latches at the front, one that releases the entire aft-seat assembly so it can be raised to access the engine and ballast sacks on each side. The aft latch opens a smaller heated lifejacket compartment. On the stern on each side are aft-facing bucket seats that MasterCraft recommends only using when the boat is at rest. For added comfort, buyers can choose extendable footrests for these seats. They also lift up to access the outboard storage/ballast compartments. Between the seats is a small step covered in SeaDek, and the swim platform that can be finished in fiberglass or teak is at water level.

MasterCraft X26

The walkway is finished in SeaDek and is wide enough to set a board on without scratching the bottom.

MasterCraft X26

The stern deck raises on gas struts to provide a look at the engine, the ballast pumps, which are the brass fittings aft, and the storage compartments that house the FatSac ballast bags on each side.

MasterCraft X26

MasterCraft smartly uses the heat from the engine to dry and warm up the contents of this locker located directly above it.

MasterCraft X26

Rear seats on each side are intended for passengers to use when the boat is at rest.

MasterCraft X26

The seats can be upgraded with footrests.

MasterCraft X26

The bottom cushions for the aft seats also lift up on pneumatic struts for a quick check on the ballast sacks.

MasterCraft X26

The swim platform is just above the water’s surface, which makes it easy to use the grab handles on the trailing edge to climb up.

Performance

The Wakes. MasterCraft says it has designed the X26’s bottom to produce a variety of wake shapes and sizes, but to also still provide a smooth ride when it’s time to take an end-of-day cruise. The ability to produce those wakes is enhanced when the boat is equipped with the GEN2 Surf System that is controlled by the aforementioned touchscreen at the helm. There are four primary modes - Drive, Surf, Wake and Ski. New wake settings for 2020 are MaxPush for monster waves and Kids, which is designed for newcomers. Profiles can be made for each family member, and the system can be set with the push of a button when that person hits the water.

The GEN2 system is made up of electrically-actuated Lenco tabs mounted on the boat’s transom. The center tab controls bow rise and attitude while the outer ones help shape the wakes on each side. MasterCraft’s Fast Fill ballast system (a $4,490 option) feeds three hard tanks below decks, including a central U-shaped one that lets water shift to the appropriate side. Additionally, there are the two removable soft bags in compartments on each side of the engine. Total ballast is 4,150 pounds (1,882.41 kg).

MasterCraft X26

The blue compartments are forward ballast and the gray tank lets water shift from side to side. The soft ballast bags are represented in green.
MasterCraft X26
This is the Kids Wave setting that produces a wave targeted at new riders.

MasterCraft X26

When it’s time to get serious, hit the MaxPush button and check out the size of that wave.

MasterCraft X26

The heart of the wake-shaping system are the three Lenco electrically-powered trim tabs on the X26’s stern.

The Numbers. The X26 measured 28’6” (8.7 m) long with a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m) and a draft of 30” (76.2 cm). Empty weight is listed at 6,900 pounds (3,130 kg). With 108 gallons (408.82 liters) of fuel, three people and test equipment onboard, we had an estimated test weight of 8,153 pounds (3,698.14 kg).

MasterCraft X26

The X26 is among the biggest inboard-powered wake sports boat on the market today.

Speed and Range. Our test boat was powered by a 430-hp Ilmor Marine 6.2-liter V-8 inboard engine and V-drive transmission turning a 17.5” x 16.5” (44.45 cm x 41.91 cm) four-blade Nibral propeller through a 2:1 reduction. An owner who wants more power can upgrade to the Ilmor 7.4L MPI, which is a 522-hp engine. Some might think the extra torque of the more powerful motor would be beneficial in a boat of this size.

Top speed was 37.3 mph at 5600 rpm. Best cruise came at 4000 rpm, where the X26 ran 25.7 mph and burned 14.3 gph, which translated to 1.8 mpg and a range of 175 miles. From 2500 rpm through 4500 rpm, MPG numbers were fairly consistent, ranging from 1.5 to 1.8. In acceleration tests, the boat reached plane in 4.2 seconds. Then, she ran through 20 mph in 5.9 seconds and through 30 mph in 9.2 seconds.

Endurance. A typical wakesurfing speed is around 10 mph. At 2500 rpm, the X26 ran 10.6 mph and burned 1.8 mpg, giving the boat an endurance range of 16.8 hours. Speed up to 3000 rpm and 15 mph and the number drops to 11.3 hours. At 3500 rpm and 18.7 mph, we recorded 8.2 hours.

MasterCraft X26

Empty the ballast — it only takes 4 minutes with Fast Fill — and the X26 has a level attitude, giving the captain good forward visibility.

Handling. Test day brought calm conditions and the X26’s sharp entry handily cut through wind chop and photo-boat wakes. Our test boat had the optional power steering and she maneuvered smoothly through a variety of turns ranging from gradual sweeping arcs to tight aggressive cuts. The X26 has a 16” (40.64 cm) rudder and can be ordered with the optional $3,480 Dockstar handling system that improves low-speed maneuverability.

MasterCraft X26

When it comes to maneuvers, the X26 can go from mild arcs to carving tight turns with smooth-handling ease.

Pricing

Base Price. $176,985 with 430-hp Ilmor Marine 6.2-liter V8 inboard

MasterCraft X26

MasterCraft offers many optional trailers, including painted and galvanized models.

Observations

MasterCraft’s flagship is among the biggest wakesports boats we’ve seen. The company says the X26 is targeted to win over some people who would be looking at a stern drive-powered dayboat in the same size range.

Her attention to detail, high-end upholstery and graphics rival what we’ve seen in high-end runabouts. The private head compartment, refrigerator drawer and waste basket are accessories that dayboat buyers are looking for.

At 6,900 pounds (3,130 kg) dry, the X26 is not a small boat. Add a couple thousand pounds that an appropriate trailer would weigh plus the typical gear on board, and it would probably take a vehicle with a towing capacity of around 10,000 pounds (4,535.92 kg) to be up for the job.


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