Boat Buyer's Guide 2014
Author: Alan Jones
If you haven’t heard of Sanger, chances are good you’re not a Left Coaster. Based in Fresno, Calif., this boat brand has been around for 60 years and is branching out nationwide with its line of quality ski boats that come to you at an affordable price. Case in point is its crossover model V215, the smallest but perhaps the most versatile model in its three-boat lineup, which comes in at less than $70K. With 1,000 pounds of standard ballast split 50/50 fore and aft, the boat gives wakeboarders a large, crisp wake for low-orbit space travel. At 20 mph, the engine was loafing along at 2600 rpm, carving the optimum wake. Because the rear ballast is split into two tanks, surfing is doable, especially if you adjust the up-to-12 passenger load around in the cockpit’s U-lounge seating. But dump the ballast and adjust the speed to around 30, and the wake shrinks and softens enough to give slalom skiers a flat enough field of play for some serious slashing.
Our test boat features the XTZ package, which takes the V215 to the next level with a beautiful stainless steel wakeboard tower, Smart Tow GPS cruise control with launch, a six-speaker stereo, an oversized swim platform and a host of billet aluminum bling throughout — just to name a few of the extras. The V215 features a V-drive, so there’s no engine hump to cut down cockpit space. Handling is exceptional; on test day, Lake Wawasee in northern Indiana was pretty choppy, but the more-than-most 16 degrees of deadrise softened the ride. Throwing the V215 into a hard corner, it carved a perfect arc with no blowout.
Sanger started business as a builder of race boats, like the one in 1972 that reached 205 mph in a ¼-mile drag run. And one of the things its designers learned when building high-performance boats is how to build them strong, because you can imagine how catastrophic a failure would be at those speeds. The performance heritage is apparent on the V215 even when powered with the smallest available engine, the Indmar 335 hp 5.7L Elite. On plane in just 2.7 seconds, it reached 30 mph in 7 seconds with a top speed of 44.2 mph. Not fast enough? Option up the “Ultimate” Indmar 6.2L V-8 that produces 550 hp for some attitude.