Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

______________
12" White Stickers
______________
BallOfSpray $5 Donation
______________
BallOfSpray $10 Donation

Family ski boat for river

vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 611 Crazy Baller
I have done some searching on BOS for different boat options in the $25k and below range. In the other ski boat for a family threads I see the common recommendations like early 2000s Sunsetter LXi, Response LXi, and Nautique 206. I will be using the boat exclusively in a river, where my ski club puts in a course every year. My big concern is with taking water over the bow. There are some large boats and barges on the river to contend with. Which family ski boats are better with respect to taking water over the bow? I only have experience with the Sunsetter, which seems to be good, but if there are other solid options it would be nice to keep an eye out for them as well. Thanks.
«1

Comments

  • WayneWayne Posts: 452 Baller
    edited September 2018
    The two highest freeboard ski boats
    I can think of are the Sunsetter LXI and the Tige 20i.
    Horton
  • DavidNDavidN Posts: 277 Solid Baller
    edited September 2018
    I was using a Response closed bow for nearly 10 years in the exact same conditions you described.
    Commercial barges, yachts, river cruises, Surf- & Wake-barges, you name it - we had it.
    With a bit of practice and a lot of foresight you will be fine.
    Of course we took the occasional wake over the bow, but mainly because of not paying enough attention on traffic. Nonetheless I was always happy to have the closed bow.
    Calisdad57
  • Dacon62Dacon62 Posts: 689 Crazy Baller
    edited September 2018

    The Sunsetter LXi is my pick. Just skied behind one again today and just utterly amazed that the wake was 90-95% as good as my 2001 Response.
    Lots of freeboard, good amount of room inside and has tons of storage room.
    If you step into a 206 you will feel cramped in comparison.
    The response OB in your price range either have a walk over to get to bow or are the low slung version ‘06 or older which can take on water over the bow easier than the ‘07 and newer Responses.
    Get a Sunsetter LXi you will be very happy.
    braindamageUWSkieraspski
  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 611 Crazy Baller
    Looking for just one type of boat, especially one that was only made for a few years, seems like I'm seeing myself up for a long and frustrating search. Guess I was hoping for better news on this. While smaller than the Sunsetter, how is the Nautique 206 with taking water over the bow?
  • Dacon62Dacon62 Posts: 689 Crazy Baller
    edited September 2018


    LXi is the right one. Not LX.
    Got to have the set back notch on the transom.
    ‘99-‘04.
    MISkierbraindamageUWSkier
  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 611 Crazy Baller
    Unless there are other ideas, it sounds like the Sunsetter is it then.
  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 611 Crazy Baller
    edited September 2018
    Something seems fishy about this price

    Edit: Quick internet search shows the pawnauction.us is a scam. Knew it had to be for that price.
  • JetsetrJetsetr Posts: 303 Solid Baller
    @Dacon62 what’s the idea behind the notch???
  • Dacon62Dacon62 Posts: 689 Crazy Baller
    edited September 2018
    There is really no magic in the notch. Does give more storage space. It is an easy way to identify the correct model with the good ski hull.
    Jetsetr
  • WayneWayne Posts: 452 Baller
    Sunsetter came in a few iterations over the years and the notch in the transom is the tell-tale of the LXI. They also offer an LX, which in some iterations looks like the LX but it’s on a different hull (no notch) which was designed more for wake sports. The LX also was missing a rear storage locker in earlier years.

    There was also a Sunsetter (not LX or LXI), I owned one and in 2000 it was offered on the “LXI hull” but it didn’t have that notch making it a little shorter boat. They are a little more rare and could be optioned with the wake hull as well but it gives you a second model to look for.

    Another darn good recreational boat that might get into your price range is the Malibu Sunscape 20 LSV. Yes it’s a v-drive but at 32 MPH and up the slalom wake is quite a surprise. It will have more free board and at lower speeds ride “bow up” which may help on the river. Just have to make sure it’s on the “Diamond hull” which is more slalom friendly.
    vtmecheng
  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 611 Crazy Baller
    @Wayne, thank you for the info. I'm not sure about a V-drive since I ski the course at slower speeds. I love the space of a V-drive but couldn't bring myself to give up that much course performance.
  • WayneWayne Posts: 452 Baller
    @vtmecheng yep understand the v-drive apprehension which is why I always mention it needs to be run 32+ for slalom. If you go slower, forget it as an option for course work.

    I’ve had my Sunsetter on some of the KY and TN lakes (mostly Cumberland and Dale Hollow). If you give the big boats space and pay attention it was ok. After changing to the Reaponse LXI there were a few situations where I turned around and ran from stuff.

    Another Malibu direct drive is the Response FXI, but they are more rare than Sunsetters.
    vtmecheng
  • DavidNDavidN Posts: 277 Solid Baller
    edited September 2018
    I remember having skied the Nautique 206 around 2007/2008 at the Swiss Ski School in Clermont.
    Funny enough, it even was equipped with a Tower!
    Back then, I was just starting to ski the course at 30mph.
    The wake was similar to the 196 that they had running on the other lake, just a little steeper, but not bad at all!
    It is pretty nose high, so even with the open bow you should be fine on a crowded river!
    vtmecheng6balls
  • WishWish Posts: 7,797 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
  • Dacon62Dacon62 Posts: 689 Crazy Baller
    Any luck finding a boat yet @vtmecheng ?
  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 611 Crazy Baller
    Nope. I looked at a couple but I'lI probably need to start taking longer drives to see boats if I'm going to find one.
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,179 Mega Baller
    I had to take a plane ride to get the boat I wanted. Burned credit card miles for it. Was worth the trip as I LOOOVE my new old boat.

    Don't discount the Malibu Sunsetter LX if it's on the diamond hull. It's the same running surface as the LXi without the overhang and bigger trunk. It's also not quite as nice on the inside but for handling and wake avoidance, it'll be every bit as good.

    But really, LXi is where it's at. I have a ski buddy with a 206. That boat always felt like a locomotive to me and it didn't have any speed control. Just an immovable object. The wakes aren't as nice as the Malibu IMO. They're small but firm. Like the non-diamond Malibus actually.
  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 611 Crazy Baller
    Are there years of Sunsetters that were better than others? Also, is there an engine type I should avoid?
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,179 Mega Baller
    '01-04 LXi is where I'd start. The '99-00 is a fine boat also but I don't care for the dash as much as the '01 and later. They were available with the carbed engine. I'd look for a Monsoon or LS1. Avoid the Hammerhead from those years. If you find a rare one with a Black Scorpion, that's a fine engine also.

    Incidentally if looking at regular Sunsetter, I'd also start in '01.
  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 611 Crazy Baller
    Which non-Indmar is this?
  • DWDW Posts: 2,010 Mega Baller
    @vtmecheng : That appears to be the Mercruiser Tournament ski engine package. Mercruiser is considered a high quality engine marinizer by the boat manufacturers. A Merc equipped boat is an attractive option. I have noted the hardware comparison between Merc and Indmar, the Merc stuff tends to have a higher quality and more finished look / appearance / feel but that is just my observation.

    I agree with previous posts that a Sunsetter is an excellent and probably top pick for your application. I suggest you peruse the Malibu Crew website, you will find lots of information on the Sunsetter and what people think of them. It is a very active forum so plenty and current feedback is there. You will be challenged to land a one, the people that have them, love them and tend to keep them.

    Happy hunting and good luck.
    vtmecheng
  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 611 Crazy Baller
    I am really familiar with Mercruser engines, it's what I grew up with. My impressions are the same as yours on quality but since it was all we had I never knew what the competition was making. That one I linked is tempting me to hop in the car.
  • Dacon62Dacon62 Posts: 689 Crazy Baller
    edited September 2018
    I could be wrong but I have never seen a Mercruiser 350 Mag MPI in an Malibu Sunsetter LXi. Isn’t that motor rated at 300HP? A bit underpowered?
    I see some yellow/red flags here. I would ask questions,
    Is this the original motor?
    If not why was it replaced?
    Why is the bottom painted with what looks like anti-foul paint?
    Did this boat spend time in a harsh environment like salt or brackish water?
    It is unusual to see aluminum trailers unless the boat sees salt water.
    MichaelGoodman
  • foxriveratfoxriverat Posts: 521 Crazy Baller
    Motor is rated at 300hp if you look at the back of the malibu brochure it was an option. http://www.themalibucrew.com/_files/malibu/malibu_2000_brochure.pdf
    2000 Malibu Response LX 2016 66 lithium vapor
  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 611 Crazy Baller
    @Dacon62 I think you are on to something there. I found some other pics of this boat on another sale site. The stern, under the platform looks like it may have seen salt. Considering where it's located, I bet it did. Passing.
  • Dacon62Dacon62 Posts: 689 Crazy Baller
    edited September 2018
    Saw more pics of it online. I would definitely pass on that one. Lots of evidence of salt corrosion and damage.
    @foxriverat interesting that is was definitely an option. Sure an option that I’ve never seen before in any Malibu for sale ever. Seen the Scorpions but never the 350 mag mpi.
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,179 Mega Baller
    edited September 2018
    Mercs were an option in Malibu back around the turn of the century. Not sure when they switched from the Merc tournament series to the black scorpion (another Mercruiser model I referenced above). We had a club '03 Response with the Black Scorp and it was a nice mill.
  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 611 Crazy Baller
    edited September 2018
    @UWSkier, flying to look at a boat is a hell of a chance. I have to think you were fairly sure that you would like it. What kind of information and high resolution pictures did you ask for before flying?
Sign In or Register to comment.