Boat Test: Supra’s Longest Boat to Date 24 SSV

At 24 feet, the new Launch 24 SSV is Supra’s longest boat to date, and with an 81/2-foot beam, it’s also the widest. Designed for wakeboarding, this 2005 debut features a standard ballast system with three bladders for 1800 potential pounds of wake enhancement — plus a Rad-A-Cage tower for a higher towing position.

A playpen-style bow design is a significant feature of the Supra’s layout. Instead of a walkthrough to the bow with seating on each side, the Launch 24 SSV features a raised deck that’s flush with the seating. This creates a spacious area suitable for stretching out. The design also creates space under the center cushion for one of the bladders, as well as ski storage. The center walkthrough cushions also raise up, creating backrests: one faces forward and one aft, which is great for viewing the rider in tow. Another unusual feature is a stern seat that moves forward to act as a leg rest for cockpit passengers.

Most V-drive wakeboard boats feature a sun pad at the engine hatch, plus two gull-wing hatches for storage. For wakeboarders, the Launch 24 SSV adds the fourth hatch near the transom, which raises forward. This allows a rider on the swim platform to reach into wet storage for a line, handle or binding lubricant.

Longest Boat

SNAPPY PERFORMANCE

On the day we headed out of Port St. Lucie, Florida, to put the Launch 24 SSV through her paces, conditions were flat calm. Powered by a 340 hp Indmar Assault 5.7L, and spinning a 14×18-inch OJ CNC four-blade Nibral propeller, our test boat turned in a snappy top speed of 43.0 mph at 5000 rpm. Acceleration times from 0 to 30 mph averaged 7.0 seconds.

As with other inboard wakeboard boats, the rudder and tracking fins on the hull give the Supra excellent maneuverability in turns at speed, and also during slow-speed dockings. However, we noticed a stiff spot in some of the turns to the left as we took the 24 SSV through a series of aggressive maneuvers. We also felt that our boat’s throttle was a bit stiff.

ADJUST THE WAKE

The Launch 24 SSV comes standard with a hydraulic wake plate. Mounted on the transom at the centerline, this trim plate allows the driver to adjust wake characteristics on the go. From our spot at the helm, we could adjust the angle of the plate for wakeboarding and slalom skiing and could see how moving the plate up or down affects the shape, height and turbulence of the wake to help accommodate a variety of riding styles.

Yes, a 4000-pound boat favors wakeboarding more than slalom. Still, the wake plate helped to make the wake smaller and the shape easier to enter and exit for a slalom skier.

Throw in standards such as a tandem trailer, CD stereo with six speakers, lots of cockpit space and that high-flying tower, and the Supra Launch 24 SSV’s “suggested street price” of $49,995 may be a pill that’s not that hard to swallow.

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