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Daydreaming of the Perfect Crossover Boat

skisprayskispray Posts: 188 Solid Baller
edited July 2017 in Boat Talk
I'm a hard-core skier so a good ski boat is a must for me. I slalom and trick so I want a great wake, a solid pull, and a boat that drives well. However, I've found myself on the water a couple times this year with friends in wakeboard boats and, my god, it is so nice to have the wrap around interior seating, a tower with racks on it to get gear off the floor, and an engine in the back of the boat. I wouldn't want to compromise skiing performance so I've just been daydreaming of what the perfect crossover boat would be. For me these are the requirements:
  • Excellent ski wakes (slalom & trick)
  • A pull that feels great when skiing
  • A boat that drives great in & out of the course
  • A tower with racks to store skis, wakeboards, wake surfs, etc
  • No engine in the middle of the boat & wrap around seating
  • Open bow
  • Some ballast for wakeboarding & wake surfing
  • A ski pylon that's either in the back of the boat or is retractable
  • A decent price
I'm sure that a single boat with all the features above is nearly impossible but I'm just wondering, from a physics and design standpoint, what is possible? For example, someone posted in the Waketractor thread about the idea of using an inline engine instead of a V-8 so that the engine could go underneath the floor, thereby getting the engine box out of the middle of the seating area. Could this be done while achieving the same performance as current ski boats?

Also, if a ski pylon was put at the back of the boat would it compromise the handling? Is there a way to move the pylon back there and still get a pull that's as good as the current crop of tournament ski boats? Or, could the pylon be retractable so that the boat could be taken out for slalom and then, when the family/friends show up you stow it away and get a nice, roomy interior for everyone to enjoy?

I'd be interested to see comments from all the smart ballers out there that might have some knowledge of how feasible this could be and/or what major technical constraints would arise (e.g. @Than_Bogan et al.). Is this idea possible? What aspects would be detrimental to skiing performance and could engineering resolve these issues? I'm not looking for a large boat; I'm basically looking for a boat with the same size and exterior shape as the current crop of tournament ski boats but with an interior that's totally redesigned to make it look like a wakeboard boat interior.

What do you think?

P.S. This should obviously not be in the 'skis, fins' category but I don't know how to change the category after the fact.


  • Kwoody51Kwoody51 Posts: 58 Baller
    Mastercraft x14 ticks most of your boxes but has the motor in the center however it does have wrap around seats. I find the DD motor nice to spread out the cabin and not loose the space next to the v drive in the back... however you don't get a sun pad.

    Surfing is tough but it's doable with ballast. However still won't be great.

    Supposedly the new XT21 has a decent ski wake and does all the other things you've mentioned including surfing. There is a video on mastercraft's site of someone skiing it.

    We have an x14 and while it likely won't meet a skiing purest wake needs it's pretty damn good and the space/ usability is excellent. I picked up a used one last year and vs our '95 PS205 it is a much better all around boat however at the expense of a slight loss of ski wake.
  • bigskieridahobigskieridaho Posts: 939 Crazy Baller
    Well I guess you could always buy a Malibu xti that has a center engine with the playpen seating which is kind cool. Obviously a 23 foot boat would be more roomy and it is not made anymore, but good for a used boat. My response surfs awesome with a couple bags and the wedge down. A SN sport 200 is probably the ultimate boat for what you are looking for if you want to drop some cash. Great boat, and does ALL you mentioned with wrap around seating. The SN200 hull with the room.
  • skisprayskispray Posts: 188 Solid Baller
    edited July 2017
    You're right that the X14 is probably the best boat out there right now but that's definitely larger than a ski boat. I'm thinking more along the lines of the X7, but with no engine and pylon in the middle. For this post the engine being in the middle of the passenger area is the most important aspect. I think that's the worst thing about a ski boat! I'm sure there are many skiers here who want that ski boat but the spouse and kids want something more practical. I'm just wondering, is it possible, technically, to have my cake and eat it too?
  • FSSPCatFSSPCat Posts: 122 Baller
    Some friends have an X1 and another has an 07 Supra 20SSV and they do everything pretty well. That being said, there is always going to be a sacrifice and it usually ends up affecting the slalom wake the most. An uncle of mine has a 2002 Response LX and a 2015 Malibu VTX and he seems to be extremely impressed with the crossover ability. He said if the Response is a 10/10, the VTX is an 8.5 in his eyes.
  • skisprayskispray Posts: 188 Solid Baller
    @bigskieridaho The Sport Nautique 200 is compelling but I just watched this Nautique Promo Video on Youtube and it looks awesome but the slalom skier was never shown crossing the wake from a very good view. The GoPro view made it look like there might be a bit of a bump and a bit of a trough on each side. If this is the SN200 hull then is the wake bigger simply due to the engine being in the rear? That's why I'm wondering how feasible an inline engine might be.
  • bigskieridahobigskieridaho Posts: 939 Crazy Baller
    @skispray I have never skied behind one but have heard that it is a great wake for a v drive boat. You aren't going to get a perfect ski wake out of a v drive, but the sport 200 is by far one of the best newer boats to get a good wake out of one. SN200 hull just deeper as far as draft. X-14V is an option as well.
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,514 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Sounds like you have described my Malibu vtx.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • JmoskiJmoski Posts: 328 Solid Baller
    edited July 2017
    Once boat manufacturers come out with all electric versions, that will give you the open seating you desire in a ski boat!

    With an electric boat the weight is now in the batteries which can be evenly laid out across the bottom the the boat. The motors are small in comparison yet incredibly powerful. The new Tesla is faster or comparable 0-60 to Porsches & Ferraris.

    Correct Craft had a prototype boat the eNautique, not sure when it will materialize for sale.

    Ski pylon still needs to be behind the drivers seat though as skier will waggle the back from the pull if its in the rear like vdrive boats.

    The 200v wake is okay at shorter line lengths, but it not great at 15 & 22 off. My friend had one I would hands down rather ski the older direct drives on the lake.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,342 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    It's really quite need two boats!

    I'd be thinking sport 200, realizing it won't ski as well as a direct drive none of 'em do and a trade off has to come somewhere if you want the motor in the back.

    For a bigger direct drive, the 2000 or so Sunsetter does a remarkable job at people space plus ski wake.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
    BrennanKMN[Deleted User]
  • skihackerskihacker Posts: 360 Solid Baller
    One of my ski buddy's has an 04 sunsetter xti, I feel like it skis nearly as well as my 04 rlxi. Handles bigger water no problem, plenty of room and storage.
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,436 Mega Baller
    You can get the Sunsetter 21 XTi on a diamond hull which will ski better than any of the V-drives mentioned. They're very rare birds though, and if surfing is something you're very serious about, ballast configuration becomes tricky with the seating setup. I pulled a wakeboard tourney in one of these boats once with the wedge and a 500 lb bag on the aft floor and the riders said it was great (at the time... 2004ish).

    Most of my skiing time is split between an '08 TT and an '01 Sunsetter VLX, which is widely regarded as one of the top slalom v-drives of all time. VLX wakes are larger, but soft at 34 and 36. Don't notice a huge difference if you're skiing well, especially at 28 off or shorter. Slowing the boat down though means physics catches up with you. ANY V-drive will make a big wake at 30 or slower, so if you have kids to teach, I'd suggest staying away from the V-drives.
  • lhooverlhoover Posts: 196 Solid Baller
    @skispray, you forgot to include in your necessary list what Shane started with for his list.....a stripper pole!
  • fu_manfu_man Posts: 445 Crazy Baller
    BTW...this set up also helps the ski boat can stay nice and clean. Get a cheap tooner then you don't have to worry about keeping it pristine. Eat on it, drink on it, swim from it, tie up to other boats on it.....

    I like having both!
  • skisprayskispray Posts: 188 Solid Baller
    @fu_man yeah, a pontoon would be nice for cruising and swimming but you can't wakeboard and wakesurf behind it so that doesn't check the boxes I said I was looking for. I think @Jmoski got it right with electric boats maybe making ski boats better because you wouldn't need the engine in the center of the boat. You could have a main aisleway through the boat where the engine is now and bucket seats on the sides of the aisle, or some sort of wrap-around seating. You could probably have 7-9 people comfortably in an open bow ski boat with no engine box and a tower to get the rope and equipment off the ground.
  • thagerthager Posts: 4,883 Mega Baller
    No such thing!

    Stir vigorously then leave!
    [Deleted User]Hortonsodbuster88
  • ejjejj Posts: 85 Baller
    Surfing and Skiing are on opposite sides or the spectrum, boat-wise. The boat will never ski like a DD. But, if you are willing to give up that point, shop the GS20, the NXT 20, XT20 and XT21, and the Malibu VTX and '17 VLX21. These all have the ability to do what you ask for, aside from the money thing..., and the being really good at anything. Cheapest is probably NXT20 with extra ballast added, or Moomba Mondo.
  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 962 Mega Baller
    Maybe one of the main reasons I have stayed with my bowrider, instead of selling and trying to get into a good older ski boat, is the ability to take it to rougher intracoastal waters, and out into the gulf of mexico. We'll go several times a year out to the tampa coast (sarasota up through tarpin.) In a fantasy world I could get a ski boat that would handle the chop of some of those larger coastal waters, or in passing a 45' boat at cruising speed in a narrow channel without getting swamped. Of course more likely will be that I finally win the lottery and can get a nice ski boat for the lakes, and a 26-28' cruiser with a cabin for the coastal waters.
  • teamproshopteamproshop Posts: 2 Baller
    The best skiing V drive I've ever been behind hands down is the Gekko Revo 7.1. It has the same hull as their DD slalom boats, just scaled up in size, which has tunnels on either side that channel the chine spray under the boat to create lift at higher speeds. We were a Gekko dealer for many years and I own a Gekko GTR22 that skis fantastic. When they first released the Revo 7.1 (originally called the G3) back in the early 2000's, we took one out to ski behind it and the consensus among everyone in the group was that it was amazingly good. We added a hydraulic trim tab to one for a customer one time and the wake looked even better at skiing speed, but I never got behind that one.
    These are prettyy large, high sided boats that are very roomy inside, they displace a lot of water at low speed and have a lot of space in the compartments for some pretty large ballast bags. I've surfed quite a lot behind the 7.1 and it surfs very well, but once you get the speed up around 28mph and higher, the crazy hull takes over and the wake flattens out very nicely.
    I've only been behind the 7.1 (23 footer), but they make a 6.7 (22 footer) as well. Surfing and skiing definitely demand exact opposite characteristics in a boat, but I'd never have believed that this one boat could do both this well if I hadn't experienced it first hand. There aren't a lot of Revos out there but they're generally priced really well if you can find one.
  • sodbuster88sodbuster88 Posts: 136 Baller
    Agree with such thing. I was in pursuit of exactly what you describe. My first attempt was CC sport 216 with the TSC hull and second attempt was CC sport 200. I believe either of these are about as good as you can get in crossover capability. But in my case, I'm just a slalom skier...always have been and so instead of trying to do it all, went back to our roots....the new ProStar. Our family couldn't be happier and we are all skiing better than ever.
  • epnaultepnault Posts: 335 Crazy Baller
    Are you on a lake? If yes then find a used pontoon as a second boat. This did the trick for our family.

    What you are describing doesn't exist. Best compromise would be the MC X14 or the SN sport 200 as others have mentioned.
  • dave2balldave2ball Posts: 688 Crazy Baller
    [email protected] the boat you want really does not exist as stated earlier . If it did EVERY PROMO TEAM would have one in some shape or form. If you take one out for
    A test bring ur slalom ski. As you go bigger 22+ feet the beam maybe too wide and not fit through boat guides in the slalom course
  • HortonHorton Posts: 28,959 Administrator
    edited July 2017
    Sports car <> bus
    Dog <> cat
    Wilma <> Betty
    Chicken <> Dragon
    Burger <> New York Strip

    Must choose.
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  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 962 Mega Baller
    I liked Betty. Never could figure out what she sees in Barney.
  • bigskieridahobigskieridaho Posts: 939 Crazy Baller
    ha ha @Horton exactly.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,342 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @teamproshop that is interesting. Cool post.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • teamproshopteamproshop Posts: 2 Baller
    Thanks @6balls, it really is a special boat that was kind of ahead of its time, I really would've never believed that a 23' long, 4500lb V drive could possibly ski that well if I hadn't witnessed it first hand. Now that ski-able V drives are becoming a thing with the Nautique GS series and Malibu advertising a multi-sport hull on the 2018 LSV, hopefully Gekko will be able to capitalize on the unique versatility of their V drives and get more of them out there. They have new manufacturing for 2018 with some yacht builder who's name I can't remember and the boats look better than they ever have.
    I actually have a really nice used 2001 REVO 7.1 on consignment on my lot right now that we originally sold new back in '01 or '02. It has a 6.2 Scorpion with only 120 hours on it and a nearly flawless interior. If it doesn't sell soon I may have to start crunching some numbers and figure out if I can buy for myself.
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