Nothing Improves Your Attitude Like a Little Altitude
Story by Randy Hess, Photos by Joey Meddock
Changes in latitude may effect changes in attitudes, but changes in altitude can take attitudes to another level altogether. And if your pull is provided by a Sea Ray 205 Sport, nothing will wake you up to smell the underside of clouds quite like a glistening, tunes-thumping, boards-holding watersports tower.
Just ask Tony Maihan, a traditional inboard ski boat guy before he got his 205 Sport. Confirming he’d made the right choice, Anna Hejak and Kyle Evans, two young wakeboard pros who ride for Team Hyperlite, used his boat for a recent morning session. “Those kids were really good,” Tony says. “I mean really good. And it was just great fun for Olivia to watch some pros go through their sets.” Olivia is Tony’s daughter, a normally intrepid 11-year-old who learned a thing or two about aggression from Anna and Kyle. “Anna gave her some riding tips, but probably the best was to go ahead and push her envelope,” Tony says. “They were really going for it, and they fell sometimes. Anna told her, ‘If you wipe out, you wipe out. The worst thing that’s going to happen is you’re going to get wet.’ I’ve already noticed the difference that has made in Olivia’s riding.”
For Tony, years of owning fishing boats had segued into several inboard ski boats that the Maihans used on the lakes around Orlando, Florida. Originally from Alabama, Tony grew up with a fishing rod in his hands. “I had always been out on the water, fishing with friends or later on my own boat,” Tony says. “Here in Florida, watersports seemed a good way to get my kids interested in spending time out on a boat, and for me that meant tournament-style ski boats.” But as the kids grew more mobile, he began toying with a change-up. Getting the family down to the dealership and on the boat was the real eye-opener. “It seemed more of a hybrid option, combining performance and flexibility. We could take it into rougher water, on the Intracoastal or out on the ocean. And there was just a lot more room for all six of us. The tower and big engine package closed the deal.” The 205 Sport sets the template for Sea Ray’s next generation of cutting edge watersports machines. Tony’s came with all the upgrades a wakeboarder could desire, from a kicking stereo up to that totally tubular (literally) watersports tower. It also has an engine upgrade from the quite respectable MerCruiser 4.3L to the bad to the bone 260-hp 5.0LMPI ECT Alpha 1.
If there were any nagging doubts about the 205’s wakeboarding prowess, Anna and Kyle cleared it up with sets of Tantrums, Butterslides, and Half-Cab Rolls. “It was really cool to see how well they could do it,” Olivia says. “Anna gave me some good tips about leaning to get better cuts, and I got more air than I ever have! It has also motivated me to try harder tricks. Since then, I’ve been giving tips to my friends, too.” And just like the pros, Olivia’s got her eye on some early morning sets…if she can just get her dad to take her out before he has to be at work. Any luck so far? “No not yet,” she says, “because I’ve been waking up too late. I’d say 6 o’clock or 6:30 should do it. I love the boat. I’d love to go anytime!”