By Reggie Paulk
There’s something magical about being out on a lake in a boat. Maybe it’s the gentle rocking, or the sound of wavelets lapping against the hull. It could just be the mild temperatures and sunshine. For some, it’s the sheer pleasure of launching across the wake on a wakeboard. No matter the thoughts that come to mind, a boat can fulfill the recreational needs of just about anyone.
When temperatures plummet and snow is falling regularly, boating is a daydream. Boating season will be upon you before you know it. If you’ve been thinking of buying a boat, you may not want to wait to start shopping until the weather warms and the ice thaws; you’ll be wasting valuable recreational opportunities if you do.
One dealer that offers year-round access to some of the finest boats in the industry is S&W Performance Marine in north Denver. S&W sells MasterCraft’s full lineup of boats, including the ProStar, X-Series and MariStar lines.
Owner Leif Swenson, giving a detailed tour of the boats in his showroom, described the MasterCraft line.
“MasterCraft is the top-of-the-line wakeboard and ski boat out there,” he said. “There’s nothing better in quality and customer service. MasterCraft’s tagline is ‘Held to a Higher Standard.’ It’s the best company I’ve dealt with in 20 years in the industry, and we model our business after that high standard.”
For the most part, people who buy boats demand the highest level of service.
“We deal with higher-end customers, and they have higher expectations,” said Swenson. “These people rely on us to help make family memories. If a customer comes in for the third time with a problem on a boat, you’ve probably lost them. They have the financial wherewithal to do what they want to do, so you either do the job right, or they’ll go elsewhere.”
MasterCraft offers boats that can fit just about any taste in family recreation. One line of the boats is the Saltwater Series; as the name implies, they’re saltwater-capable machines with closed-loop engine cooling systems, sealed engine compartments and other goodies.
“The MariStar series is a luxury version of the Saltwater boats,” Swenson said. “The X-Series comes equipped with all the wakeboard equipment, graphics, stereo, tower and ballast systems standard. The ProStar series is where MasterCraft earned its heritage in waterskiing.”
Finally, the Cross Sport Xtreme—CSX— is a saltwater-capable boat that can be equipped with bike racks or made to accommodate fishing or diving gear.
“The boats branch out to accommodate lifestyle,” Swenson said. “MasterCraft is not one-dimensional.”
While looking at the different boats in the showroom, it becomes apparent that the pointed bow is going out of style.
“MasterCraft came out with its square-front design about six years ago,” Swenson said. “Everybody thought they were nuts. The boat’s identical on the wetted surface, but all they did was open up the front.”
Pointing to a 20-foot boat nearby, he comments on the enormity of its interior.
“With the open bow, you have a boat where the tower will fold down to the height of the windshield, the swim platform comes off the back or folds down and the trailer tongue also folds away,” he said. “Now, someone with a 22- or 23-foot-long garage can put the boat inside.”
It’s that kind of attention to detail that is readily apparent when looking at any of MasterCraft’s boats. From teak swim platforms to the retracting rope cleats on the bow, the builder’s quality shows through. Machined aluminum abounds even on the smaller boats, and the massively built towers lend a sense of purpose. For those cooler days, retractable heater hoses under the rear seats pipe warm air where it’s needed most. Ballast bags are outdated. Now, integral tanks in the hull fill and empty at the command of a switch on the instrument cluster. Space once reserved for ballast now carries more gear for adventure.
MasterCraft quality becomes even more apparent when it’s time to sell a used boat.
“What’s really important is that our resale values are as good as or better than Harley,” says Swenson. “The issue we have is that they can’t build enough boats, so I’ll have someone come in with a 10- to 15-year-old boat and it’s still worth eight to 10 thousand dollars of what they paid for it. If it’s taken care of, a MasterCraft has a phenomenal resale value.”
Quality, service and value—if you’re in the market for a boat, or think you might be, check out the showroom at S&W Performance Marine.
For more information about S&W Performance Marine and their MasterCraft lineup, visit [http://www.swperformancemarine.com] or call 303-429-1895.