By: John Ford

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Ride Australia might have the premium wakeboat market sorted with its Supra line, but it has a second string to its bow in the more traditional Mobius range.

Mobius IXL

FROM THE ARCHIVES: First published in TrailerBoat #280, April 2012 

According to Ride Australia's Sanders brothers, the Mobius line is the Holden alternative to their BMW-equivalent Supra range (tested in TrailerBoat #279). Josh and Justin build Supra and Mobius boats under licence from the American parent company at their facility in Nowra, on the NSW South Coast. A recent visit revealed a pedantic level of attention to detail on the production line and a building process that operates with enviable efficiency. So, while the brands benefit from the R&D of a large and progressive US company, the boats are Australian made.

What's a Mobius, you may ask? Literally, it's a geometric shape with only one side and one boundary component (as depicted in this article's headline, left). It's a bit of a puzzle, if you like, or in some hands a magician's trick. But this boating example is much more straightforward. It's a skiboat in an "old school" vein, but with a modern approach to construction and design.

Sound like a contradiction? Well, by "old school" I refer to the centrally-mounted shaftdrive engine. There's nothing retro about the motor, however, as we're talking about a direct-injection V8 Indmar, with 325hp that pushed our Mobius IXL test boat to 45kts (83kmh) on the broad reaches of the Shoalhaven River.

Josh explained that a wakeboat with the engine set in the rear will inevitably cause some degree of wake because the weight down aft lowers the hull in the water. Skiers, on the other hand, require flat water, and a well-designed centre-mount boat that leaves a smooth surface. For this reason, Mobius has a strong following as a tow boat in the United States in three-event competitions - slalom, trick and jump.

The Mobius gains its crossover credentials by being able to pump water into a holding tank to drop the stern and make waves. While not a dedicated tournament wakeboat, it has the stuff for social boarding. The test boat's wake-plate and solid tow tower add to its dual-purpose nature. With the plate raised the wake is a flat, ski-friendly ripple, while with the plate lowered and ballast introduced there's a well-shaped wake for boarding.




Skiboats inevitably have stand-out paint schemes and the bright green and black colours on the side of this one are no exception. Sitting low in the water, the boat has a purposeful stance with flowing lines and a sharp bow entry. Inside, the impression is softened by more subdued white upholstery with green and black trim.

The bowrider layout has space for three in the forward section with two seats at the helm and a lounge for four at the rear. Extra room for relaxing is found on the full-width sunpad as well as on the padded enginebox. There's a folding screen and a lower snap-in wind block between bow and cockpit. Marine carpet covers the floor throughout and follows the line inside the hull on the sides. There's an in-floor Esky-style cooler and a rear ski locker under the sunpad. Under the floor is a 105lt fuel tank.

Seating for the driver is a hip-hugging bucket with a bolster, while the passenger / observer seat is a rear-facing lounge with an opening backrest that lifts to reveal a large storage space. The driver's dash displays a wraparound, high-tech readout with information for voltage, oil, temperature, fuel, revs, speed, hour meter and wake-plate. An MB Quartz stereo pumps music to six speakers and a remote control at the transom adjusts the sound level from the stern.




Take-off is quick and flat and we got onto the plane almost immediately. Steering is light and very responsive and the boat can be thrown around at will, turning in a flat high-speed arc or as sharp as you wish safely and with no fuss. On the straight stretches of the Shoalhaven we gave her the berries and at over the old 50mph (80kmh) it's a thrill to be zipping along, turning the willows into a blur as that V8 rumble echoed back from the sandstone cliffs lining the river's edge.

With the engine trimmed down, turns at speed without cavitation were easily executed, and it drives out of those turns like it's on rails. We threw it into some figure-eights and it just loves the attention; turning lock to lock is a breeze but everyone needs to hang on because the sideways momentum can catch the unwary. It's immense fun to drive and it feels safe and trustworthy.

Across wake the hull is solid and free of rattles, with no banging or pounding. The driver position is comfortable and well laid out and the steering wheel has good grip and ample tilt adjustment to suit most drivers. There's lots of legroom and the controls are easy to reach. Lounging back in the bucket is a comfortable driving position and there's uninterrupted vision all round. There's manual cruise control too, but the electronic throttle is very light to use without being overly touchy.

With the centre-mount engine not far from the driver, the noise level is higher than it would be in a rear-engined boat, and there's a high-pitched mechanical noise at some speeds that may be attributed to the gearbox. Being a centre-mount, access to the donk - for maintenance or simply to show it off to your mates - is easy.




If you're after a well-designed hull capable of pulling skiers and doubling as an all-rounder social watersports boat, then the Mobius may be the answer. It's a skiboat with room for 10; it also has impeccable manners and it's capable of a decent turn of speed. Despite its mysterious name, the Mobius is no one-trick pony - wake-jumpers can enjoy the ride just as much as flat-water skiers.



On the plane...

Goes fast and feels safe
Power to tow anyone
Great, smooth ride - very solid across wake
Good ski wake but good all-rounder too


Dragging the chain...

Some mechanical noise from gearbox






Price as tested: $64,117
Options fitted: Board racks, stainless steel rubrail
Priced from: $62,988




Type: Watersports monohull
Material: Fibreglass
Length: 6.25m
Beam: 2.41m
Weight (boat and motor): Approx. 1247kg
Weight (package): Approx. 1830kg




People: 10
Rec. HP: 325
Fuel: 106lt




Make/model: Indmar 325hp
Type: V8 petrol EFI
Displacement: 5700cc
Gear ratio: 1:1
Propeller: 13 x 13 three-blade OJ Prop




Ride Australia
10/10 Central Ave
South Nowra, NSW, 2541
Tel: (02) 4422 4477


Story and photos: John Ford
Originally published in TrailerBoat #280

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