The key to the perfect wake is a blend of hull design, boat weight and ballast, to name a few key elements. In trying to achieve the Holy Trinity, boat designers tend to make a package which is simply too big to live with. MB Sports seems to think that it doesn’t have to be the case. We travel to Namibia to see if the surf’s up with the new MB Sports F21 Tomcat.
Oanob Dam, about 90 km south of Windhoek, has the highest concentration of MB Sports boats in the whole of Africa. There are seven on just one dam alone; and here, amidst the sand, dunes and arid land of Namibia, it goes to show the power of impression – and a statement this wakecraft definitely does make! This garage-friendly 21-foot package has all the roominess, muscle and attitude of a 23-footer, and dominates the water with all the features of its big brother.
The mission of MB Sports is to not go ‘overboard’ with the toppings – you know, the stuff that’s nice to have but ends up costing a year’s salary. Instead, they give you what you want, and what you need to be at the top of your game. The F21 Tomcat is designed around being an entertainer’s watersports boat – with plenty comfort onboard for 14 passengers.
The pickle-fork design of the F21 has allowed the bow lounge area to gain quite a bit of spaciousness. Similarly, the nice, wide body shape has complemented the craft to keep the interior as comfy as possible.
Again, the F21 Tomcat has got all the features you really need, so expect to find it all there, like the generous amount of storage space under the seats, a booming Wet Sounds audio system, a wind deflector at the bow, a pristine, two-point collapsible wake tower, an oversized swim platform, and 1 800 pounds (816 kg) of built in water ballast – and this is where the F21 Tomcat becomes really special.
I think it’s important for every boat to have at least one party trick if it’s seeking to be cool, and on this boat, it’s the unique, patented ballast system. What’s special is that it is built into the hull of the boat instead of just being big canvas bags which you have to lug around. To fill, simply flip a switch to open the gates at the transom and the water fills the completely hidden tanks. This system can just about be timed by counting on your fingers instead of marking on a calendar, as with many other boats in this category. Emptying the tanks is just as easy – with the gateways open, simply accelerate forward, and moments later, you’re back to minimal capacity. Why, you may ask? MB Sports knows that your time on the water is valuable and that you don’t want to waste it, and at the end of the day, you’ve saved a lot of time, effort and petrol. You’re saving space too since the ballast tanks don’t intrude the storage capacity.
MB Sports says the F21 Tomcat lays down the sweetest wakes you’ll find in a boat. They also claim that this craft storms into its rightful place in the MB line-up since it is fitted with features like the biggest, fastest and most customisable ballast system possible and comes with all the durable billet aluminium gear you’d expect from MB.