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

Skiing behind outboard boats

bowtybowty Posts: 75 Baller
edited December 2014 in Boat Talk
Anyone here ski behind an outboard? Our current boat is a '99 Stratos fish and ski with a 150 hp evinrude on the back. After skiing behind a real ski boat for the first time this year, I can't believe I was able to ski behind our boat. The wake is tall and hard, anyone know the reason for this? Also no ski platform which makes it near impossible to put double boot skis on. Wasn't a problem when I was using the rubber binding recreational ski, but Vapor boots are something else when you're trying to put them on in the boat. I now have tons of respect for anyone that can ski proficiently without a ski boat.

Also, if I get a ski boat the trolling motor and fishfinder from the old boat WILL be getting mounted on the ski boat.


  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,633 Mega Baller
    Trained barefoot Centurions with 225 yamahas for years. Had better long line and slow speed wakes than any inboards of the day. Better in fact thru 28 off 36 mph. Shorter than that wake was small but hard and the inboard won. As a toe loop skier the platforms worked. I still own one, but don't use it for slalom and footing boat. I do free ski it a time or two each spring after ice out breaking in the sea legs and ski muscles. Best pass on the old girl back in the day was a few balls at 35 off 36 mph. The Old Man had his hands full with maintaining center line and hand driving/timing. Great father-son memories.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,190 Crazy Baller
    My dad owned a couple Sea Ray 185 outboard. I skied tournaments for 2 years while we still had an outboard and I skied on a 20 year old Jobe 1600. I dont remember the wakes being tall and hard, they were actually pretty small. I think the issue for me came from no cruise control. My mom will not drive the 'Bu. Says that the 340 hp V8 is too much power for her vs. the 140 hp V6 he we had on the sea ray.
  • GregHindGregHind Posts: 371 Crazy Baller
    @bowty I sure do. Check out my posts from yesterday you can see three different outboard ski boats in it

    If your wake is tall then you possibly have too much weight in the back of the boat. Fuel? Batteries? Oil? Junk?

    It is quite practical to install a "cav plate" (centre trim tab in front of the engine) to tune the wake and make it heaps smaller.

    What does your boat look like? How about a photo of the engine/transom

  • GregHindGregHind Posts: 371 Crazy Baller
  • GregHindGregHind Posts: 371 Crazy Baller
    My boat benefits from a plate because it is fairly big. Similar in size to say a TXI but no engine in the middle. We often have women slaloming at 26mph with 6+ adults in the boat so the plate helps a lot.

    Some of the other outboards like the Stejcraft Pro Skier have a tiny wash. Substantially nicer than even a TXI for recreational skiing or longline course at any speed.
  • I5boiI5boi Posts: 156 Baller
    That trailer fits perfectly.
  • DmaxJC_skiDmaxJC_ski Posts: 346 Solid Baller
    I ski lots behind a campion chase, 175 Yamaha hpdi, wake is super flat and boat pulls good. Grew up skiing behind a 16ft tri hull, as a driver they are a bit tougher to control in the course.
  • xratedxrated Posts: 506 Solid Baller
    Learned and still ski often behind a 18' Starcraft with 115 merc 4 stroke.

    I also ski often behind a mid 80s MC and a mid 90s Bu.

    To be honest for me the wakes are best on the outboard. But it is work to get up on one ski, work to get the ski on and turns, etc of the boat are not as nice. But I am most comfortable behind that boat and find I ski best. Of course the boat is more forgiving and lets me get away with sloppy form.

    Just the observations from a dedicated free skier.

    When I buy a family boat that is bigger than a 15 horse, it will be a dedicated ski boat.
  • bowtybowty Posts: 75 Baller
    @GregHind‌ I would post pictures, but I'm currently in Florida and the boat is in storage for the winter in Nebraska. Tall probably isn't the right word to describe the wakes, it's not the height that's the problem as they are similar in size to an inboard wake, maybe slightly higher. The thing I'd like to find a way around is the hardness of the wake. Does the plate help with that? Also where does the hardness come from? The only thing I could think of is the prop mixing air into the water, but that still doesn't seem likely.
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,977 Infinite Pandas
    In the old days I had some very nice outboard rides. They were a bit harder to drive but skied OK. Things like steering cables and throttle cables were critical. The slalom wakes were tiny and the trick wakes a bit too small - hmmm, sounds familiar to today's situation.

    Are any outboards set up with ZO? Or PP?

  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,633 Mega Baller
    @eleeski @ryno has one.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • Ed_ObermeierEd_Obermeier Posts: 1,345 Crazy Baller
    Best outboard ski boat I've ever seen/skied is a Tahoe 20' deck boat. Had a 150 Yamaha OB with a Mercury High 5 prop on it. Hole shot and wake were as good as the best inboard and it actually tracked well in the course too. Used the front of the boat to put the ski on (textured fiberglass deck surface, had to put a throw rug down to keep it from being slick), bit more of a drop in to the water but doable. For someone looking for a crossover family boat that skied well this IMO would be the setup. Top end speed obviously sucked with the High 5 prop but otherwise a workable tradeoff.
    Ed Obermeier - owner, EZ-Slalom Course Systems
  • SpuddySpuddy Posts: 171 Baller
    I skied behind a Barefoot 200 for a number of years, the last three years we had a course. It's not bad for open water, in the course after 22 off you really start to notice the speed and tracking, both driving and skiing!
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,435 Mega Baller
    Two ski buddies have Flightcraft XLOB's. One is an original Flightcraft from AU, the other is a Malibu Flightcraft. Both have 200hp Mariner power. Both ski and drive very well, and have a nice amount of interior floor space. They have a bit more give at the finish of the turn than the PS190's on our pond, which requires a slight adjustment on the skier's part to keep the line tight.

    Back in the day we skied behind outboards exclusively until I discovered buoys in 1989 - 16' Checkmate CB, 16' Glastron V164(io), 16' Larson OB, 15' Glastron GT150, 14' Glastron GT143, 14ft MFG Corvette II, 13' Boston Whaler... All very good for what we were doing at the time.
  • liquid dliquid d Posts: 1,321 Mega Baller
    Glastron Ski Machine!
  • bowtybowty Posts: 75 Baller
    @liquid d‌ That is one cool boat, looks brand new
  • Dacon62Dacon62 Posts: 816 Crazy Baller
    edited December 2014
    My first boat was a 16' Swiftsure which was a copy of the Glastron.
    It had a 115hp Mercury skinny straight six. It already had a good tripod style pylon but
    I made it more slalom course freindly by turning the observer seat around, adding a large rear view mirror, fabricating a rope guard loop so the rope wouldn't snag on the motor and propping down to a 17" pitch.
    I had a short line skier that was sponsored by an early model year supra join us for some ski lessons and he said my boat yanked him out of the hole faster than his.
    Man we skied our faces off in those years, no family yet, just non stop fun, went out every chance we had.
    While skiing is still a passion nothing can compare to the excitement of those early years.
  • GAJ0004GAJ0004 Posts: 1,095 Baller
    I skied behind a Hydrodyne outboard, I am thinking a mid 90's outboard. It skied nice. The wake was big, but it was really soft and easy to cut through. It was almost a foot high at 15 off, but I did not feel a bump at all. There is a company called Dyna-Ski that makes boats using the same molds.
    Gary Janzig Streetsboro Ohio, skis at Lake Latonka, Mercer Pennsylvania slalom,trick,kneeboard,barefoot
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,633 Mega Baller
    This is a pic of my Centurion Falcon Barefoot--at that time my Dad's. The pic taken from another outboard Ski Centurion Barefoot Warrior that was @razorskier1's

    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • SpuddySpuddy Posts: 171 Baller
    @andjules‌ I ski in Ontario and agree about the J Craft! I skied behind one for the first time in I think 1988, thought it was the greatest boat in the world! Of course I was around 12 so anything with a big outboard was cool! After skiing behind a real tournament boat a few years after that my opinion on the J Craft changed drastically!!
  • bassfooterbassfooter Posts: 159 Baller
    @skibrain‌ The Barefoot 200 came out in 1991. It has a V-hull with a great hole shot and good top-end, but it tracks poorly, so it's not very good for course skiing.

    The Prostar 200 before it is actually pretty decent in the course at slower speeds and longer line lengths. It's basically their Prostar 190 hull -- tracking fins and all -- with a different layout for an outboard. It's wake is almost non-existent. I would recommend this boat to anyone who needs or prefers an outboard rig for serious skiing.

    Both are great rigs, but are no substitute for an inboard when it comes to trick wakes and slalom course performance. Plus you can't beat an inboard's full swim platform for convenience. A recreational club here in San Diego has one of each, and they love those boats to death. They beat the crap out of them pulling skiers year-round on Mission Bay and at the Colorado River, where they can run them up on sandbars without any concerns. You don't want to do that with an inboard. The Yama 200s on those things are thirsty, but bulletproof.

  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,633 Mega Baller
    edited December 2014
    Unless there is a lot of people in them, they often stink for trick/wakeboard as it's hard to keep that particular speed. The boat can't decide if it's going to sink back into the hole or break onto plane and gain 5 mph.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • estromestrom Posts: 512 Baller
    We used an Avenger O/B (similar to Sanger barefooter in looks) for 25 years and LOVED it. Smallest, smoothest wake ever, and fun to drive! Sports car on the water.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,633 Mega Baller
    @ryno sweet boat!
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • JibboJibbo Posts: 144 Water Ski Industry Professional
    edited June 2015
    @ryno We have a friend who has a Flightcraft 18XLT outboard that is looking at adding stargazer or even z-box to the perfect pass system they have used for a number of years. Any additional info on set-up you have used would be appreciated.
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,435 Mega Baller
    We ski behind a Malibu Flightcraft OB about 30% of the time. 200 FI Merc hot rod. Great boat - nice design, roomy for a closed bow, rides nice, handles well, easy to trailer, pull is more forgiving than the 97 MC 190 we ski behind. Surprised no one is making a similar boat these days.
Sign In or Register to comment.