I am looking to purchase my first inboard and am seeking input from the group. I have read many similar posts on boats in this forum and they have been very informational as I work toward making this purchase. I grew up skiing, trick skiing, kneeboarding, discing,... on many older outboard boats and have owned a stern drive as well about 15 years ago. I now have two boys (8 and 5) and am looking to purchase a "deal" inboard boat at the end of the season.
My thoughts were to possibly purchase a boat for under $10,000 now or to save for two more years and increase the price to $15,000. I would like an open bow as it provides family flexibility and I have never been a tournament skier and will not be too picky about the wake. I have been around and skied off of some great inboards in the past and it would be great to own one. That being said I have a couple of options on boats that I would like to get feedback on if anyone is willing to chime in.
Do any of these boats send up any red flags or does one seem to be a "better" deal than the other? I realize that a great deal of the worth of these older boats are how well they were taken care of but all three seem to be in good shape (owners seemed to have pride in the boats and took care of them).
Option 1: (4 hour drive from me)
1993 Mastercraft Prostar 205 $6,700
Single Axle Trailer
Option 2: (4 hour drive from me)
2000 Malibu Sportster $8,500
Playpen style open bow
Option 3: (Local)
2002 Calabria Cal-Air $10,000
Tandem Axel Trailer with surge brakes
I am going to drive each/any of the boats that I seriously consider buying to make sure they are mechanically sound. I have read many people say to ski behind your future boat, but I have skied behind some really crappy boats in the past and honestly didn't care too much about the type of wake, so I don't think that would matter too much. I am just looking for a solid boat that will get the family out on the water that would be as trouble free as possible that would keep options of tubing, wakeboarding, skiing... open. I have also talked a bit to each of the sellers and all are willing to field offers on their boats as it is late in the season for what that is worth.
Any and all input would be appreciated...