2004 Sugar Sand Sugar Sand Tango Xtreme Test


Tested2004 Sugar Sand Sugar Sand Tango Xtreme
Category Jet Boat
Year 2004
Make Sugar Sand
Model Sugar Sand Tango Xtreme
Length 16 ft 6 in / 5.03 m
Price At Test $ 0.00


Seldom has a boat been more aptly named than the Tango Xtreme. This 1,400-pound 16-footer packs 240 hp and dances across the water.

Overall length is 16' 6" centerline on a wide 81" beam on a deep-V hull with 21 degrees of deadrise.

Construction is hand-laid fibreglass with a built-in foam-cored stringer system for additional strength and spray-on foam flotation on the inner hull sides for two reasons; to provide level flotation and to dampen hull noise and flexing during xtreme manoeuvres.

The Tango has a full fibreglass inner liner with the helm area, storage areas, and all seating permanently moulded-in. The Tango hull design is available in several different interior configurations but our Tango Xtreme model features threeabreast seating in the aft of the cockpit before the engine bulkhead,with inwardfacing single port and starboard seats forward. There's a small seat right forward that is best used at rest or as a step to ease entry. You'll see why in a minute.

All the seats are deeply contoured to help hold you in place and the helm position fits like a glove.The floor is moulded so that you can brace yourself with your feet. There's a small fighter-jet-style windshield to deflect the breeze away from your face but the driver is the only one who enjoys this luxury.

When it comes to performance, eye protection is mandatory.This little craft hit close to 60 and it just begs to run wide open.Watch out for slow moving insects!

The Mercury OptiMax 240 Jet drive is a complete package from Merc starting with an inboard-mounted 240-hp V-6 engine that uses Merc's two-stroke directinjection OptiMax technology.The engine is barely over 300 lb so it's very lightweight and drives a water-jet impeller with a nozzle that swivels for steering.

The jet has no steering torque and Merc has given it this xtreme responsiveness. Lock-to-lock at the wheel is less than one turn. Sneeze and you're heading back the other way!

The hull design is amazing. You can flick the steering to full lock at full throttle and just spin the boat - anywhere,anytime. It always seems to come down right-sideup but it can hit 57 to 58 mph at 6,000.To put this into perspective, the Space Mountain ride in Disney World runs at 40!

Now consider that the jet has no forward, neutral, or reverse gears.The pump is always pumping as long as the engine is running.A deflector pivots down to cancel some or all of the direction of the thrust.At any time, you can reverse the thrust, giving a whole new meaning to "power brakes."

Finally, acceleration is extreme too. You can certainly ski with this boat, or even pull a wakeboarder, but the main attraction is the boat's thrilling performance. It goes from a standing start to nearly 60 mph in about 6.5 seconds. From rest to planed-off was 1.9 seconds on our timer. The Tango just pins you back, launches off waves and generally does a solid job of making amusement park rides seem tame.Wear a PFD and hang on!

Test boat engine: Mercury OptiMax 240 Jet Drive, 2,507-cc (153-cid) two-stroke V-6, with direct fuel injection, 7.25-inch stainless steel impeller progressive pitch water-jet drive.