Used Crossover advice

SenecaSeneca Posts: 3 New Baller
I in the hunt for a Crossover ski boat. I have done some research. I have been searching on www.onlyinboards and, and craigslist all over the North East for used boats. I have spoken to a few local dealers and down in N.C. where my brother lives. We live in upstate NY Finger Lake region. We get 4, maybe a tops of 6, months of descent water ski a summer. This does make it difficult when considering a new boat purchase. My criteria is a descent crossover boat. I would like it to be a V-drive. My budget is around 30K. My wife and I like to slalom ski. We are not ball course skiers, just recreation slalom skiing. I am into wakeboarding but never really had a good boat to board behind except when visiting my brother. I would like a versatile boat that can offer a descent wake for slalom but able to wake surf if wanted. I have been doing reviews on ballast, wake shapers, and other options to make this possible.

My brother did have an Air Nautique 210 which was a nice boat but the wake was pretty crisp. He now has Mastercraft X 260. This seems to be more of a wakeboard boat.

I have looked at several options. I have skied behind a 2008 Centurion Avalanche 23'. This is a nice boat but the wake is little rough. The ballast were not working at the time. The owner has since repaired but it was winterized and I am waiting for a second test run this spring unless I find a more suitable mate!! I did ski behind a Malibu wake setter. In hind site this would have been a nice purchase when it was for sale but I was not in the market at that time.

I have spoken to different local dealers who have suggested Malibu VTX 20', Mastercraft NXT, Axis T22. These seem to fit my criteria except finding them used in my price range is difficult.

I did find a 2003 Mastercraft Prostar 205 V which seems to be well in my budget. I have read some reviews of this boat which does seem to fit but I have not hear back from the owner in regards to this boat an its available options.
I would like to ski behind the boat before a purchase. Obviously our current weather is a prohibiting but I am starting now b/c spring will be here and I would like a ski boat at my dock.

I have considered biting the bullet and purchase a new boat b/c they seem to hold their value. Most of the boats that fall in my price range are around 10-14 years old depending on the make/model. I realize buying a used boat comes with headaches like repair and such.



  • andjulesandjules Posts: 800 Crazy Baller
    edited March 2018
    In my opinion, there are two questions anyone needs to ask around crossovers:
    1. Put the following in your order of priority: slalom, wakeboarding, wakesurfing (add any other towed activities you care about, e.g. barefooting, tubing, etc.)
    2. How important is the V-drive interior layout to you (and your crew/significant other)?
    Obviously, by posting on a slalom forum, you're going to get recommendations that prioritize slalom.

    I personally think crossovers are one area where Malibus tend to stand out vs Nautiques and Mastercrafts (which tend to be favoured for one-discipline boats). From the introduction of the Wedge (1997?), Malibu has always been thinking about how to make a boat that can do a fairly good job of covering slalom to wakesurfing.

    My personal favourite (owned one for 4 years) is the Direct Drive '99-03 Malibu Sunsetter LXi. Great slalom boat given it's relatively large size, and with the wedge and some weight made for a very adequate wakeboard and wakesurf boat.

    If you do some google searches with the words "Malibu", "diamond hull", "slalom" and "VTX" or "VLX" you'll find some good discussions around the 'net on Malibu V drives that make for pretty good crossovers. The diamond hull is/was a variation on Malibu's hull design that had some lifting strakes at the outside edges of the hull: they only affect/diminish slow-speed wakes a little, but affect slalom-speed wakes significantly (in a good way).

    I'd advise you to stay to 20-21' boat if you want to ski; and to get a Malibu with a wedge if you want to wakeboard/surf without having to add a ridiculous amount of ballast to surf. And while I fully understand the advantages of a V drive's interior layout (especially when adding ballast), as a slalom skier, I'm obligated to advise you to stick to a direct drive if you can. While some V drives are better than others, there is no V drive that compares to a good direct drive when it comes to slalom.

  • Dacon62Dacon62 Posts: 654 Crazy Baller
    ‘07-‘15 Malibu VTX with Diamond Hull is about as good as it gets for a cross over.
  • Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 2,055
    We owned a 05 Malibu LXi, which was a great slalom boat, however, with the addition of the Wedge, which you easily lowered into the water, plus a weight sack and tower, it was decent for wake-boarding. About the equivalent of my Daughters Mastercraft X-2 Wakeboard Boat without the water added to the ballast tanks.
    Really a first class Slalom Boat with good Wakeboarding capability.
    Loving the new ZO Rev. S Plus Mode C3+
  • andjulesandjules Posts: 800 Crazy Baller
    @Ed_Johnson are you talking about a Response LXi?
  • GarnGarn Posts: 469 Crazy Baller
    I have a 2007 Moomba LS. It is a considered a crossover boat but with heavy emphasis on slalom. It is a direct drive which is a big bonus. But the boat is slightly bigger than a regular tournament DD. It also comes with a balance tank in the back. I love it. I have skied it into 32 off. I have a friend who has skied 35 off on it and said he didn't even think about the wake. Yet it can make a decent (not huge) wakeboard wake. I love my boat.
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,378 Mega Baller
    edited March 2018
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • bigskieridahobigskieridaho Posts: 932 Crazy Baller
    @Seneca I agree with @andjules . You have to prioritize what you are looking to do with it. I have a 2009 Malibu Response LXi and it skis awesome, but I also throw the wedge down and add fat sacs to surf and wake skate when needed and it does great. The VTX is a great option, and another would be the Response FXi. The FXi is a direct drive, but has a deeper hull. However they are hard to find. Are you looking to have the V-drive room, or would a DD work for you? A Sport Nautique 200 would be a great option as well but is probably out of your range. You could go DD and get a Ski Nautique 216. Just some options.
  • JmoskiJmoski Posts: 295 Baller
    edited March 2018
    The Correct Craft dealer on lake george in NY has two used SV 211 (Nautique cross over) boats that might worth looking at.

    I bought my 2006 SN from them - great people. They let me ski test it prior to buying.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,040 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I'm toying with similar ideas for public water boat...we have a slalom boat on a ski swamp but there is a course I would use on our public lake a couple times/week. Kids wanna surf, want the V-drive interior on the public lake.
    Been looking at SN Sport 200 and 'Bu VTX--hearing Sport 200 better slalom wake and VTX better board/surf wake but two of the best V-DRIVES at doing both.
    I've also heard from others that the Bu Sunsetter, the Bu Response Lxi and the newer TXI's are surf-able with wedge and weight...and of course the slalom wake without wedge and weight is great. Direct drive tho so you have to ask yourself as pointed out above how important the interior lay out is to you.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 361 Baller
    i have a 2003 Sunsetter LXI - it was recommended to me by the folks on this site. Like others said it is a great cross over. Slalom wake is amazing with the SV23 diamond hull. If you need the V-Drive look at what OldJeep is recommending.

    The MC 205v is the same hull as the X-2 and i don't care for skiing behind it - very rampy wake.
  • WishWish Posts: 7,724 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @Horton at least the crossover suggestions will be leaning to the slalom side vs slalom being... meh
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • SenecaSeneca Posts: 3 New Baller
    edited March 2018
    Thank you for the response and I do appreciate the links. They do help a lot.

    I have not thought much about Direct Drive. Only b/c my exposure has been mostly V-drive. I do like the room provided by the V-drive c/t the DD.
    After this discussion I will certainly give more respect to this idea.

    At this point we do mostly slalom but with the kids in the picture I invision this boat will need to be much more versatile then a strict slalom boat which is ok in my mind. I feel there is a lot of money to spend so I dont want to be held to one sport.

    I have noticed a lot of discussion about malibu with the wedge and adding weight.

    I have noticed a few Tige around. I have a contact who is considering selling his and moving to the MC VTX. I don't think this boat will fit, evidently it pulled the Wakeboard championship in the past. Probably not a great slalom boat.

    Someone mentioned tubing?? Only if it has cup holders and my wife can float next to the dock catching some sun.
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,106 Mega Baller
    Good suggestions above. However, if you're looking Malibu V in that price range, don't get an '05 or newer 21' Diamond hull. The '01-'04s were better slalom boats for sure than the '05s and later. If looking newer, get the first gen VTX. For 2016 (IIRC) they changed it and it went from being a great crossover to a nice wake boat with a 'meh' slalom wake.

    One question that hasn't been asked though... what are your kids into and what would you LIKE them to be into? If the answer is slalom, don't get a V drive. There's not a V drive made that has a small wake below 30 MPH.

    Case study: my younger sister. She started skiing at 26 and 28 MPH and working on the course with a fantastic V-drive Malibu. For over a year she just couldn't get around more than 2 ball because the wake was so insurmountable. Put her behind a DD and she was running 30 MPH within a couple weeks.
  • andjulesandjules Posts: 800 Crazy Baller
    edited March 2018
    @Seneca If this is mostly about imagining the kids will want to wakeboard (and not about an adult crew of advanced wakeboarders), it's worth remembering that very few kids ever progress to the point of doing inverts (flips), and very few of those kids progress beyond the basic 3-5 inverts on a wakeboard. All those basic tricks can be learned on any inboard ski boat with a tower and a cheap ballast bag. I was in the same place about 10 years ago, and don't regret buying a malibu slalom boat with a wedge and a tower. We did lots of advanced-intermediate boarding (including inverts) quite happily, and wakesurf'd a couple of times, but I'm quite happy I didn't over-invest in something bigger. My 2¢.
  • Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 2,055
    @andjules ... Yes, my boat was a Response LXi Promo Boat. It was at the 2004 Nationals. Later added the Tower, Wedge, and a couple of Fat Sacks, and it worked great for Wakeboarding. No problem doing flips, inverts, etc. My Daughter, who was a National and World Champion had her own Wakeboard boat sponsored by Mastercraft, but still used ours, which was on a small private Lake, to small for the Larger Wake Monsters.
    Loving the new ZO Rev. S Plus Mode C3+
  • eddie_roberts_jreddie_roberts_jr Posts: 450 Water Ski Industry Professional
    I don't think Malibu builds it anymore but they had a great crossover boat they called the FXI. It was 20', had a tower and a standard 400 lb. auto ballast system which could be augmented with more available weight, and was direct drive open bow. We slalomed behind it quite nicely and surfed and my friends son and mine were both able to do all their tricks on their wakeboards as well. Really good crossover.
  • SenecaSeneca Posts: 3 New Baller
    The kids will do fine with what ever. I see them skiing, boarding, surfing and having fun no mater what. If they by chance they start an addiction I can always purchase something different or complimentary. As kids we started behind a 21 Chris Craft Scorpion. We made it work.

    This has helped change my focus from new to used. I have favored the Malibu in the past. It sounds like I have to make a decision about DD vs. VD.

    I did look up the Diamond Hull concept and can totally see where you guys are coming from.

    I have seen some boats with out the towers. It seems these towers are pretty easy after market items? Is there any consideration in regards to what boats can not have a tower or do not do well with the addition of a tower?
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,040 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
  • eddie_roberts_jreddie_roberts_jr Posts: 450 Water Ski Industry Professional
    That's the boat. Little higher on price than I thought but I guess it's only money.
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,106 Mega Baller
    FXi is a unicorn. It's a VTX/20LSV hull with the engine turnt round the right way. WIDE boat but nice to ski behind if you can find one. It was Malibu's attempt to appease the Sunsetter LXi crowd, but by then, the LXi and later TXi had gotten so big, the FXi didn't really serve as big of a need as the old SLXi did when the only other Malibu DD was the little Response LX.
  • h2onhkh2onhk Posts: 264 Solid Baller
    I owned one of those unicorns for 3 years. Great crossover boat. As far as towers, most boats can be retrofitted with a tower. I did it back in my wakeboarding days. Just do your research if you go with an aftermarket tower other than one designed for the boat. It could be the difference between spider cracking the gel or not.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,040 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    So funny thing is a buddy of mine past his ski prime (good buoy skier and great barefooter, not bad on a wakeboard, either) got rid of his MC 197 and bought a MC 20 ft surf boat. It drives ok, you simply can't ski behind it without hitting a brick wall. It has something like 2500 lbs of ballast and a surf system and I have to say I've been in it and am totally unimpressed. I'm talking teen girls behind the boat (not heavy) and we lose the wave push. He's always fiddling with it.
    I don't know if it's the system, the motor, or what but geez if I spent that kind of coin going surf only and then finding out it doesn't surf that well I'd be totally unhappy????
    It seems some of these cross-overs can compete here with at least a ski wake manageable at some lengths/speeds and also a surf wake that is not that complicated to build...especially with the new wake shapers.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • BrennanKMNBrennanKMN Posts: 431 Crazy Baller
    If you or your kids plan on pursuing skier further and starting to ski the course focus on a direct drive. If you and your family have no intentions of getting into course skiing, focus on a crossover V-Drive. That's my opinion.

    Free skiing can easily be accomplished behind a v-drive crossover, advancing into the course is much more difficult behind a v-drive crossover. Figure out your use case and go from there IMO.
  • jpattigrjpattigr Posts: 137 Baller
    Nautique 216 is a DD boat that skis great and can Surf very well! Lots of room and still handles like a DD. DD are so much more fun to drive to!!
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,378 Mega Baller
    @jpattigr - more fun to drive? How so? Aside from my boat being a lot harder to chili dip, I don't notice a difference in handling between my VTX and my inlaws LXI.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • jpattigrjpattigr Posts: 137 Baller
    OldJeep- I have not driven a VTX and I hear it is a bit of a "Unicorn" in the V drive world that it skis quite well, But 90% plus of V-Drives are handle like Pick up trucks and 90% of DD's drive like Sports Cars, Just like cars, Mid engine sports cars are best handing! Again there may be exceptions, but most V-Drives drive sluggishly. I do own a big V-Drive and a SN196, Wife and I are skiers, Kids Surf, 2 boats was our only solution.
  • jpattigrjpattigr Posts: 137 Baller
    edited March 2018
    My friend has a Nautique 216 and I have driven, skied and surf'd it, tons of room and does all sports pretty well. Fun to drive too! I have another friend that had a X-14 DD and I would not say the same, he sold it went to 2 boats also.
  • escmanazeescmanaze Posts: 683 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
  • ScobieScobie Posts: 1 New Baller
    Hey guys. New to the forum. I have a line on a 2005 Tige 22i. I have been researching the crap out of it and can’t find any reviews on the skiing side. Just wondering if anyone has ever skied behind one and what they think. I ski behind a friends sn206. Thanks.
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