Since the old Cresta Craft Puma, it has been nigh on impossible to find a craft which is a true ‘do it all’. Hybrid boats for me just don’t seem to cut it – and never mind the give and take where you inevitably lose ability in one aspect of being a true multitasker, I often find the boat just ends up being an ugly duckling. That was basically true, until now…
Having grown up on ski boats with a fishing mad dad and having experienced the various aspects of barefoot skiing, inshore fishing, bass fishing and the like, I haven’t found a craft which suited a broad spectrum of boating activities. It is just so difficult to find a boat which is versatile enough to be used in most circumstances and yet still eye catching enough to make a statement. However, in the Fazer X-Fire (or Cross-fire if you prefer), it seems that at last a multi-task boat has been built combining both racy good looks and utilitarian practicality.
The driver’s console is mounted on the starboard side and features an angled non-skid kickboard. The kickboard insert conveniently hides all of the wiring and steering cables beneath the dashboard from sight. A small windscreen deflects bugs as well as chilly winds, particularly on those early mornings when the skiing water is at its best, or while skimming across a glassy surface to that favourite fishing spot. Single lever, double action controls conveniently mounted at the right height ensure ergonomic comfort and the power trim feature allows you to smoothly trim the ride to suit the water conditions. The pilot’s swivel seat is ideal for either driving, or, after swivelling to face aft, simply chilling in conversation with your friends or fishing over the side or stern.
A storage console is moulded into the port side which allows the waterski observer the comfort of leaning back with their legs on the long seat, looking on enviously as you demonstrate your magnificent skiing form. Conveniently placed cup holders are also a nice touch.
Of the two hatches in the floor deck, one is a ski hatch, which is also suitable for short or collapsible rod storage. The second contains a large 105-litre plastic fuel tank which will provide many hours of pleasure and the convenience of not having to stop at the filling station every outing.
The fact that it is centrally mounted in the lowest part of the hull, lowers the centre of gravity and adds to the balance and stability of the craft. The lack of red portable tanks also improves the storage facility behind the stern bench seat and reduces the risk of fuel spillage.