MasterCraft Boat Company (NASDAQ: MCFT) today announced new features and upgrades to its new 2018 model year boats that improve and enhance the boating experience. New 2018 MasterCraft boats debut new functional and cosmetic improvements as well as a more intuitive and customizable operating experience through digitally-controlled entertainment and driving systems.
"For the last couple of years MasterCraft engineers have been focused on how our boats function. We set goals, pulled in amazing partners to help us introduce a host of upgrades, ranging from expected to profound, for our customers, "said Terry McNew, President and CEO of MasterCraft Boat Company. "I'm most excited about the industry-leading new technologies on our 2018 boats as they change the experience on the water like never before."
Concert-Level Sound on Every Boat
On-board entertainment received a massive boost as all MasterCraft boats will now include premium, concert-level sound from Klipsch Audio as standard equipment. Klipsch Audio custom engineered its first marine audio systems exclusively for MasterCraft, creating amplification systems and speakers that bring incredible power yet deliver a rich, accurate sound for any type of music. To further enhance the audio experience, speaker placement was revised to improve sound distribution and new Klipsch Audio speaker sizes will be offered.
MasterCraft also partnered with Bongiovi Acoustics to implement its trademarked Digital Power Station (DSP) technology to customize the new Klipsch-powered system specifically into MasterCraft's boats. The Bongiovi DSP contains a unique, patented digital audio signal processor that adjusts real time to music to ensure concert level sound - another first for the marine industry. The Bongiovi DSP module is tunable, changing the sound of the system depending on which software mode is selected by the driver. Bongiovi Acoustics technology is included in the Advanced and Premium Audio systems packages in X, XT and NXT boats.
Simplified Digital Operation Tuned for the Water
After studying its customers' usage habits and collaborating with leading technology partners BMW DesignWorks, QNX and Murphy, MasterCraft for 2018 simplified and enhanced the on-board experience with technology that tunes the boat to three owner-favorite modes: drive, tow and chill. This first-ever "modal" operating software for towboats is enabled by MasterCraft's new proprietary dual-screen dash that streamlines boat operation and improves helm styling and ergonomics. The dual-screen dash is an option on new XT and X series boats.
The largest LCD interface system on any towboat, the 10.1" new primary touch screen and 12.3" non-touch display utilize MasterCraft's software to simplify boat control, enable better organization and display information changes on both screens. The displays are uniquely customized for each mode. The tow mode has three sub modes (wake, surf, ski) and in that mode system enables new Flexible AutoLaunch capability to enable triple tab or single tab activation.
The dual-screen dash maximizes the additional LCD real estate by offering pre-loaded tutorial videos, navigation and maps of all global waterways. Its software also integrates with cellular phones allowing drivers to receive notifications of text messages and phone calls on the dash. Cameras are integrated with the dual-screen dash including rear-facing cameras as well as on-board GoPro Cameras, enabling drivers command and control of the GoPro Camera's functions and video viewing on the dash through built-in WiFi technology.
The dual-screen dash also pairs an audio mode of the new Klipsch Audio system to each driving mode (drive, tow, chill) and uses integrated Bluetooth. Beyond the dual-screen dash, MasterCraft has created an all-new touch screen base 4.3" dash on X and XT series boats.
New, Improved Towers for 2018
MasterCraft debuts new easy-folding, gas shock assisted ZFT2 tower as the new base model tower. The ZFT2 tower shares MasterCraft's styling and has a solid, billet foot. The ZFT4 styling was enhanced with new lower leg color options and the ZFT7 Power Tower color options are now independent. The ZFT4 and ZFT7 feature a new board rack clamping system with an intuitive new clamp and release system that requires less effort. A rear-facing camera is included in the Premium Audio and dual-screen package on premium ZFT4 or ZFT7 towers.
Working with Klipsch Audio, MasterCraft designed a suite of new billet aluminum speaker cans for the new Klipsch speakers that have a premium aesthetic and also alleviate potential sound issues. Several mounting, color and lighting options are available.
Interior appointments also were enhanced for 2018. At the helm, MasterCraft introduces all-new base and dual-screen dash styling, new throttle panel and throttle knob styling, new cup holder insert styling and expanded CoolFeel vinyl colors. Rear-facing lighting has moved to the transom rub rail.
Additional functional enhancements available for 2018 include the award-winning DockStar Handling System now available to the X26 and X46 boats. The ProStar now utilizes turn-down exhaust pipes to quiet the ride.
Today's new features are available on the initial 2018 boat introduction, the new twenty-two foot, XT22. hand-built by "Master Craftsmen" in the company's U.S.-based manufacturing facility in Vonore, TN, MasterCraft boats are constructed with quality and reliability in mind resulting in the highest resale values in the industry.