Team Nautique Blog

March 13, 2012

Shaun Murray Blog #2: Blank Canvas

Posted by admin

At the beginning of any design process it is important to list all of your goals and to come up with a plan for how you are going to accomplish each one. This provides us a bit of a timeline and keeps everyone on the same page as we toss ideas back and forth. Any and every idea was allowed on the table. This is the most the riders have ever been involved with the design of a boat and we were blown away at what all goes into it.

There are a lot of different people involved and all of them play a major role in taking a boat from conception to finished product. As we met with each person and talked with them more and more we began to learn about what each of them does, and they began to see our vision for this boat. The best part about working with everyone is that they ride and are just as passionate about the sport as I am. This project was a dream come true for everyone involved.

The big question to Danny Harf, Bob Soven, Jimmy Lariche, JD Webb, Shawn Watson and I was: “what do you want to see in this boat?” We took a step back and asked ourselves “what makes a good wakeboarding boat?” For me, a good boat includes a good experience behind it, as well as a good one in it. So, what makes that happen?

Here is a list of the main things we wanted to see:

Behind The Boat (things I’m looking for)

  • Good take off wake (which is our ramp)
    • A lot of water to support the rider’s aggressive approach
    • Clean, without any whitewash
    • Good transition
      • Not too steep
      • Not too mellow
      • Solid lip (the crest of the wake)
  • Good landing wake
    • Long transition
  • Good distance between the wakes
    • Not too narrow
    • Not too wide
  • Balance
    • Each wake has the same characteristics consistently
    • Boat doesn’t get pulled off center balance easily
  • Dynamic Range
    • Allows the rider to run different rope lengths and speeds while still maintaining a clean wake
  • SIZE!
    • Big
      • For the rider that wants a huge wake
    • Small
      • For kids and beginners who don’t want to be intimidated

In The Boat

  • Cockpit
    • Drivability
      • Doesn’t feel like a big boat when turning and handling
      • Turns without too much bow rise
      • Stable balance side to side
      • Maintains speed
    • Visibility
      • Looking out window
      • Controls
    • Comfortable driver’s seat
    • Place for my phone/music
    • A place for everything, and everything in its place
      • Tons of storage
    • Smooth ride
      • In chop and on double-ups
    • Rear facing seats for EVERYONE (except the driver)
    • Good relaxing seats
    • Quiet so we can chat and listen to music while boat is underway

So, now what?  The Nautique product development team got out their notepads, iPads, dry erase boards, and the new project began.

- Shaun Murray

Keep checking for more from Shaun Murray along with updates from Nautique as we approach March 31st and the moment that will change wakeboarding forever.

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