Draft: 16″ (engine up)
Weight: 2,900 lb
Max power: 200 hp
Fuel: 36 gal
Sport boats? With the advent of wake surfing, there’s now a dizzying array of rigs with flashy hull graphics, inboard drives, Volvo Forward Drives, water ballast systems and towers that carry half-a-dozen wakeboards and even more speakers. Yes, Monterey offers them, but what if you’re looking for a well-made, basic outboard sport boat that performs well with a sweet, strong 150-hp outboard and comes in under the $50,000 bar?
Then your choice would be a 197 Blackfin with either Mercury or Yamaha power. Figure on a top speed around 40 knots, enough power to pull water toys, slalom and barefoot skiers, and wakeboards. This Blackfin comes standard with a carry-on 48-qt cooler, AM/FM stereo with four speakers, a Fusion satellite hookup, an iPod dock, MP3 adapter, swim platform with ladder, and ski storage. The layout is standard: bow lounge for two, helm and companion bucket seats (the latter swivels for watching people in tow), and a full-width (four-across) stern seat. Amazingly, you can add a removable ski tow pylon, a wakeboard tower with board racks, SeaDek inlay in the cockpit sole and swim platform, a cockpit table with pedestal, a freshwater shower, a GPS/sonar display, and dual batteries with switch and charger while still staying under $50,000.
You might even have a few dollars left over for fancy graphics, but rest assured that the Blackfin 197 will perform just fine without ’em. After all, there’s Monterey value backing up your investment, with CAD design, strong quality control in manufacturing, a limited lifetime hull warranty (transferable for up to ten years), and a strong dealer network. This kind of Basic sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?