If you could design a new boat, what are the most important things?

DynaSkiPeteDynaSkiPete Posts: 137 Baller
Remember my interest is outboard powered boats. I'm curious how boat owners rank the importance of features and what really matters. With Mercury's new light weight V-6 Four Strokes having Smart Tow which is similar to "Perfect Pass" (I'm told) let's assume it works and not dwell on this area. Dyna-Ski is building a 20' Open Bow boat with a new 200 HP Mercury's V-6 Four Stroke motor for a customer so hopefully I'll get seat of the pants experience with it. It would be nice if respondents listed the most important ones first. Thanks!


  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,142 Mega Baller
    Honestly -
    #1 Engine parts readily available, cheap and engine/drivetrain easy to work on by owner
    #2 Lots of usable seating
    #3 Good sized swim platform

    Yes, 2 out of 3 eliminate an outboard from consideration
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • andjulesandjules Posts: 762 Crazy Baller
    As someone who has spent a lot of time in outboards (admittedly not in recent years) and inboards, the outboard-packaged throttle/control units were always sooo inferior to the morse throttles. I know that way, way back you could put a morse throttle on an outboard rig; don't know if anything has changed.

    As per @oldjeep's comment about swim platforms, I see your 20' open bow has a large sunpad over the storage trunk. I wonder if seadek would be a worthy option there for a waterskier's rig? I need somewhere comfortable/functional to put my ski on.
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,321 Mega Baller
    Convenience of dealer/certified mechanic

    If I buy a boat, it is first a foremost a ski boat, it needs to be able to give me a tournament pull or I'm not interested. That means the wakes and the tracking need to be something I can work with. Not saying current model but within the last decade.

    I'm not a mechanic so having the dealer/mechanic in a convenient location so I'm not off the water for weeks at the time is of significant value.
  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,150 Crazy Baller
    Consistent speed control

    I know you said assume smart tow works- but it’s so important to me I couldn’t leave it off this list. If it holds speed like Zbox or StarGazer it’s not even worth skiing behind to me
  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,329 Mega Baller
    the thing i would most like in a boat is one that would get me through two more rope shortenings. *that* would be worth almost any amount of $ and i bet i'm not the only to think that.
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,321 Mega Baller
    Short of a rule allowing the boat to zig zag around the buoys and all you have to do is stand behind it, I think that may be a pipe dream @mwetskier ;)

    A good driver and some coaching will get you those 2 rope lengths a lot faster than a new boat will
  • h2onhkh2onhk Posts: 246 Baller
    I'm going to assume the top of everyone's list is safety, reliability and quality/build. That aside, I think a lot of it depends on what the buyers primary use is going to be and whether or not they have water front property or trailer it every use. My 2 cents...

    Average "waterski" family who lives on the water:
    1. interior/exterior functionality (seat layout, platform, helm)
    2. wake (combo, slalom, kneeboard, trick, beginner wakeboard, tube :s )
    3. speed control (something that keeps you close, but not worried about world records)

    Average "waterski" family who doesn't live on the water and trailers their boat:
    1. storage
    2. interior/exterior functionality (seat layout, platform, helm)
    3. bimini (sun management)

    I'm just guessing people buying an outboard boat are not slalom course buoy chasers, 5,000+ point trickers, surfers, or extreme wakeboarders.
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,655 MM Trick Skier / Eccentric Person
    @DynaSkiPete is asking the right questions. Maybe something AWSA approved will come out of it!

    As one who only uses my boats on tournament lakes and in tournament simulations, my views are probably not those of a mass market.

    A good wake is #1 for me. But as a tricker, my good wake preference is skewed as well. I need a steep sharp wake without froth. Big is helpful - especially if it's controllable (big for flips smaller for my level of toes). It must have a smooth table. I'm a little prejudiced from the outboards I've skied behind as the wakes have been very bubbly and hard to work. I'm sure that is a characteristic that can be designed around. Note that wakeboarding is pretty popular and they like similar wakes.

    I slalom as well so the tiny soft wake is also desirable. Again, back to the controllable wake. Spray, rooster tails and holes in the wake are part of a good slalom wake. And it has to be friendly to the developing skiers.

    Speeds have to be perfect. ZO or an equivalent (I'm not sure PP is there yet) is critical. The immediate custom response makes a ride feel good.

    Handling is important too. Comfortable quick spins to get back to a skier really matter (as a tricker, dead idle turns ruin a run - especially if the water is chilly).

    Control of the startup is relevant. I pull lots of beginners and old guys. Start needs vary a lot and it needs to be easy to adjust.

    Tracking is overrated. But necessary to sell boats now. My old American Skier requires skill to keep centered but it is capable of a dead center slalom pass. A boat on rails is nice but a sluggish boat that diverges is the worst. It is a difficult balance that will take some engineering.

    A swim step is critical.

    I enjoy my tower. Some of my guests demand it. Don't let it interfere with the slalom or jump rope.

    A good tournament boat needs enough power for top jumpers. They require a lot! it does matter.

    These are a lot of requirements that the big expensive tournament boats have refined. Of course there is opportunity because the boats are big and expensive - certainly not on the list of desirable traits.

    Good luck and I hope we get an opportunity to enjoy your boats.

  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,801 Administrator
    edited May 2018
    Only one requirement. Must provide a pull that is very similar to what I will receive in tournaments.

    Most serious high-end skiers find that PerfectPass is not a sufficient replacement for ZO. All current certified tournament ZO boats comply with a policy that their pulls are as similar as possible.

    (A lot of skiers prefer PP but since that's not what we get in tournaments it's not acceptable training option)

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  • swc5150swc5150 Posts: 2,025 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    1. Wake
    2. Tracking / ease of drive ability (smooth throttle response, light and nimble steering of a DD)
    Scott Calderwood
  • DynaSkiPeteDynaSkiPete Posts: 137 Baller
    Interesting comments. Thanks. Modern outboards don't require any service for 300 hours. Way quieter than any inboards and more fuel efficient too. The electronic shift and throttle are superior to any cabled throttle. A 250 or 300 hp outboard has awesome speed holding. Outboard boats have more space than inboards for similar sized boats. Slalom course skiers will always have to have the boats used in the tournaments as it is how the manufacturers sell new boats. I think the big three and the others are doing a good job for a shrinking market. The wake of an outboard can match an inboard with more weight in the boat you also get better straight line tracking. Bubbles are largely a function of the prop. Many people don't want to buy a vehicle to tow their boat so an outboard is way easier to trailer with the minivan or small SUV.

    Keep the suggestions coming.
  • Keith MenardKeith Menard Posts: 396 Crazy Baller
    I hate to say it... But... Outboard is a flat out disqualifier for me. I came from Jet boats and liked the lack of a prop... Now with direct drive... Well... At least the prop is under the boat... Outboard? Nope. I also don't like the way they pull on deep water starts.

    Otherwise, it is about balance... Fun to drive, more fun to ski behind, ample room for skis people and beverages
  • WayneWayne Posts: 425 Baller
    Driver controls - throttle has been mentioned but to compete with the steering feel on an inboard I think hydraulic steering will be mandatory.

    Swim platform - a full width platform is possible on an outboard, there have been pictures on this site.

    Freeboard - I would like a boat that is deeper than the older outboard barefoot boats.

    Seating - I don’t need an open bow, but I would follow the mastercraft model and have a hard shell cover if the boat is designed as an open bow. However seating configuration and tow point placement should not interfere, I think this is completely possible on an outboard and not compromise tracking. Also a tower as the single tow point isn’t a great way around this.

    Weight sensitivity - Either build in a driver counter balance tank or try to minimize left/right weight balance on the wake or do both.

    Power - 200HP isn’t enough. 250HP minimum, 300 would be better but get the hull rated to handle 325HP.
  • scotchipmanscotchipman Posts: 4,032 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I'm with @Keith Menard with zero interest in a outboard...sorry. What I'm waiting for is an electric inboard ski boat with the batteries below the floor which will open things up nice for a 20' foot boat.
    - President of the Utah Water Ski Club
    - Owner at Still Water Lake Estates
    Keith Menardjcamp
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,655 MM Trick Skier / Eccentric Person
    Electric outboards exist already. See what I did there? Trolling motors!

    KillerKeith Menardjayski
  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 346 Solid Baller
    The answers you get will be completely dependent on user. First, the target buyer needs to be defined. If you are looking to design a boat for a tournament skier then the outboard alone may be a sticking point since it's more practical to train behind what is provided at tournaments. That leaves a few types of buyers that I can think of (I'm sure there are more that I'm not thinking of):

    -The casual buoy chaser who wants an outboard for ease of manuverability and/or use where shallow depths are common. I'm guessing this person wants flat wakes that can be adjusted for other water sports (taking wakeboarders out) with the trim. Decent tracking with easily controled throttle and smooth stearing are also likely up there. Also, somewhere to put on the ski that doesn't scratch things up or put you right next to a prop (my brother-in-law got 4 stitches from taging a stationary prop with his toe) I think this would be a small subset of the skiing community though.

    -The family skier who wants more room and something that can also be used for general water activities, like maybe fishing for a couple hours. This person will want a wake and tracking that let them go through a course but don't need the best to get that next shortest line length or one more buoy. The configurable wake is probably even more important for when kids decide to try wakeboarding or take friends out. Room is important, again for family and friends. The place to put on a ski or wakeboard is again a desire.

    For either, things like freeboard, build quality, and driver interface are likely on the list. Including an open bow is necessary too. I could be totally off base on all of these, it's been known to happen to me on BOS.
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 1,635 Crazy Baller
    edited May 2018

    This is a great outboard ski boat. They pulled all 3 events at Moomba about 20 years ago. I also saw something that Gekko was working on acoupl years ago, a GTR OB. And there are pic's on this forum of OB boats made in Australia with full width platforms. I would love to try out a 17.6 DynaSki w/ 150 hp, center pylon, tracking fins and extra sized platforms, or integrated/molded-in decks like the Gekko and Flighty.

  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,801 Administrator
    @ALPJr I'm tempted to give you a panda for a slalom picture where there's only one ball visible on the whole lake

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  • FSSPCatFSSPCat Posts: 116 Baller
    1. Wake
    2. Storage space
    3. Tracking
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 1,635 Crazy Baller
    edited May 2018
    @Horton Same buoy, different angle. Pond is narrow and lined with tall woods. Seeing them in the early morning and late evening can be a challenge. Good problem to have.
  • DynaSkiPeteDynaSkiPete Posts: 137 Baller
    I would not sell an outboard without hydraulic steering unless it has a 75 or 90 on a 17.6. People that live on horsepower limited lakes love our 17.6 Open Bow. It is a real ski boat!

    Some outboards come with power hydraulic steering as standard equipment. Dyna-Ski Boats have hydraulic steering almost always. See above.

    A Dyna-Ski 20' Open Bow with a single 250 hp outboard will weigh in around 2500 lbs. wet.

    The Dyna-Ski 20' closed bow model can be had with three 350 hp outboard motors.

    I don't know that you'd like the wake shape at slalom speeds. The triples are heavy in the transom area and often weighted in the bow a lot. A single slalom skier will not slow down a triple or pull it in a slalom course. A twin might be a better boat for the slalom course. Never tried a 20' Closed Bow multiple motored boat in a slalom course. Might be interesting. My area lacks slalom courses and skiers obviously. We have been approached about building a 20' Open Bow with twin motors. Never had one ordered yet.

    Crosby and 18' Hydrodyne twin motored boats were used for many years at AWSA tournament events. Hydrodyne had AWSA approved 20' Outboards back in the 1980's and even a 17.6 or two as I recall.

    There is one show ski team driver that does 8 people around the boat with a Dyna-Ski 20' triple so they do handle well. Pulling up only one skier with a triple or even a twin is a bit of a challenge with so much power.

    A new water ready triple or twin will be less money than many new top of the line inboards.

    Dyna-Ski holds many multiple skier towing Guinness World records.

    Making a bigger ski platform on an outboard can be done. We have boarding platforms. Never had a customer seriously ask for one. I'll have to look for some pictures I have somewhere for examples.

    Keep the info coming.

  • BrennanKMNBrennanKMN Posts: 377 Crazy Baller
    If I could design a boat here is what I'd want:
    1. 19-21 feet
    2. Inboard engine that is easy to get parts/service
    3. Wake and tracking
    4. ZeroOff
    5. Easy access to the platform - no trunks or things to climb on/over
    6. Closed bow
    7. No screens, cameras and over the top electronics
    8. Teak platform
    9. Non wrap around windshield - I want to reach the water from the drivers seat easily

    Yes, my list is rather nitpicky, but if I am designing it I am going to build exactly what I want. :D
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 2,904 Mega Baller
    @BrennanKMN - similar to you, I think the pinnacle of slalom boats is a bit of a hybrid between the size/interior of the current generation of boats. Blended with the general helm and controls of a more classic boat. Current speed control is a must wakes and tracking are just what the sport demands so obviously those. But to me the rest of the boat should be water proof, sun proof, damage proof for thousands of hours of skiing use.

    Textured gel coat floor with snap in carpet, vinyl seat cushions that are snapped onto bases and modular/orderable - Hey can i get a new seat base color 003 - sure that will be 150 and arrive friday.

    No rear trunk or vinyl to step over in back, liked the 196 style seat with two corner jump seats and a center step.

    Would like someone to design the passenger seat base such that skis slid up under it with out having to flip up the seat or base - just a hole that goes up under the front into shade with maybe a padded foam roller and a spot for the fin to sit. 2-3 skis wide so you could just shove the ski up there with out worries.

    modular mounts for things like Tower/Bimini so you can just go add it/sell it with out any drilling.

    Dog house doesn't need vinyl on it - just a foam pad.

  • tjs1295tjs1295 Posts: 23 Baller
    Hi Pete, I can give you a perspective from a recreational skier/boater. I've spent all 43 summers of my life in northern WI, so am very familiar with Hydrodyne and Dyna-Ski. I have always loved the boats. Around 2010 or so, I almost bought an older Hydrodyne before I bought our 1994 Ski Nautique in 2013. It was a pretty beat up boat with an older engine. I did test drive it, and the main thing I noticed was how shallow it was, and it didn't like waves much. I'll describe how we use a boat. It spends all summer on a lift, on a public chain of lakes. We pretty much just slalom early in the morning. Later in the day we sometimes go for boat rides. Additional family members use the boat as well for other watersports activities. None of us are very good or ever will be, but we have a ton of fun trying.

    Here are some of the things I like about our inboard. A decent wake. I like the tracking. Even though I don't need it for course skiing, it still feels nice. The boarding platform. I grew up with an inboard/outboard so I know you don't need it to teach, but it sure is convenient. The throttle and steering are so smooth (even on a 1994). I don't have speed control, and honestly don't think I will ever need it. I don't think our boat is great in rough water, but I sure don't want something that would be worse (no idea how the Dyna-Ski compares here). Sometimes we have to go through waves to get to the calm side. Or lots of boat waves when we're out people watching.

    I think outboards provide a lot of benefits. I absolutely would buy a Dyna-Ski, and thought about it a lot. The main reason I didn't is because there doesn't seem to be much of a used market, and I wasn't (and might never be) in the position to buy new. After all, we boat in northern WI where the season is insanely short.
  • tjs1295tjs1295 Posts: 23 Baller
    Also agree with everything BraceMaker said about vinyl, carpet, and materials that resist sun and water. Make those things easy to replace, and affordable!!!
  • h2onhkh2onhk Posts: 246 Baller
    @DynaSkiPete do you have any pictures of wake profile from the Dyna-Ski 20' or 17'6 at slalom speeds? trick speeds? Curious what the wake, troughs, rooster tail, spray look like. I checked your website but didn't see any.

    Also think its really cool what your are doing with your brand. I grew up with these kind of boats. My dad still has a 14' 1955 Crosby with 25hp outboard (learned to ski behind this one) and he just recently sold a 1966 flat top.
  • Orlando76Orlando76 Posts: 779 Crazy Baller
    edited May 2018
    Cost, Cost, and Cost
    176 length
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,655 MM Trick Skier / Eccentric Person
    The days of getting an engine out of a truck and parts from the local auto parts store are long gone. Marinized inboards are full of specialty proprietary parts. As difficult to deal with as an outboard - and possibly just as expensive. Just specifying an inboard is no longer valid. That's kind of the whole point of this thread.

    If the "Smart Tow" speed control can match the ZO options and feel outboards certainly could be a worthy option.

    Of course, if I might think out of the box a bit, I wonder what a mid engined outboard might ski like? A fancy articulating collar for the hull, a short outboard and there might be lots of wake tuning and tracking options.


  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,142 Mega Baller
    @eleeski - Huh? Now granted mine is a 2012, but there is virtually nothing other than the impeller that isn't just a car/truck part (or a generic marine part like a starter/alternator)
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,655 MM Trick Skier / Eccentric Person
    edited May 2018
    When my Mastercraft wouldn't start, it was a special Indmar $ part to fix it.

    The O2 sensors are an Indmar $ part.

    When the American Skier custom engine cover broke the throttle sensor, that was a PCM part (scavenged off the second motor).

    The raw water pumps which failed are $$ specialty marine parts.

    Starters and alternators are $ marine.

    Fuel pumps are $$ proprietary marine.

    The ECM is $$$ marine.

    OK, the block is Chevy. But actually it is a marine block if I want to replace it properly. And honestly, modern car stuff is pretty specific as well. You aren't going to drop a Holley carb and Mallory distributor on anything modern. I haven't been to Autozone for boat parts for a couple generations of boats.

    I will accept that outboards are not that different from the marine conversions for maintenance. @DynaSkiPete 's love of outboards might be quite valid.

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