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Best new slalom boat? (2019+)

I’m transitioning from free-skiing on a large lake to course skiing on a private lake. I’m fortunate enough to be able to purchase a new boat, and want the best. I’m not that great in the course yet ([email protected]’off) and my wife and kids are well behind me. I know all of the big 3 have spectacular short line wakes, but what about a boat with wakes that help the beginners progress to the shorter lines and faster speeds? Every pro I ever ask only tells me that they like their sponsors boat. I’m looking for some unbiased opinions! I know that technique trumps wake, but it’s still a factor.
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Comments

  • TELTEL Posts: 306 Crazy Baller
    I am looking at buying a used demo boat spring 2021. With that in mind i have been skiing and driving new boats. All three ski great, driven the Ski Nautique and Mastercraft will have a chance soon to drive the Malibu. You will need to do the same there will be things that you will like and dislike about each one. In my case I like a closed bow and i want room to move around The Ski Nautique is tight around the motor box. The Master craft and Malibu have much more room. My GF liked skiing behind the Malibu at 26mph and 28mph said it had the smallest wakes. Their are changes that make it worth while to buy a 2020 Mastercraft has a 6L base engine, Malibu has it's own engines and the Ski Nautique is in it's second year of production. The Nautique 200 is another alternative with more room inside but for me not on my list as it only comes as an open bow. I know this may not help but all three manufactures make great boats. For me if the Malibu drives as well as the other two that will be what i will be in the market for if not it will be a Mastercraft in the boathouse.
    Drasband
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 3,813 Mega Baller
    Another recommendation for the Prostar. It just has such a wide bench seat, plus the removable front cover means you can have the nice warmth of a closed bow and can open it up to put around with more people in it.

    The 2019 + nautique is a cool boat but the interior does not have the roomy walkways etc.
    Drasband
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,875 Administrator
    It is like comparing Ford vs Chevy or Lexus vs BMW. You can't go wrong with any of the three top brands. A lot of the differences are personal preferences. If you are looking for consistently good wakes at all speeds there has never been a boat better than the ProStar.

    It is no secret that I do business with MasterCraft. I feel like extremely lucky that I do business with the company that makes the boat that I strongly prefer.

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Barts ★ Connelly ★  DBSkis ★ Goode ★ Hobe Lake ★ HO Syndicate 

    MasterCraft ★ Masterline ★ Performance Ski and Surf ★ Reflex ★ Radar ★ Stokes

    DrasbandJordanaupatking
  • mmskiboatmmskiboat Posts: 58 Baller
    In my research most people pointed to the ProStar and this was the main reason we got one. They changed the Hull in 2014 and I believe aside from engine the wakes should be the same from 2014 thru 2020.

    For 2020 MC did up the warranty to 1000hrs on the engine and 5 years bow to stern on the boat.
    Drasband
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,142 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I'd go Prostar with the 6.0, lightly used. Not that you have to have a 6.0...but wow.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
    MISkier
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 2,772 Mega Baller
    edited November 20
    "Choke" cough! Er!! Um! Overall wake? ProStar!! There! I said it!!

    Although the Bryant built 200 is a close second..
    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.


    JordanjayskiSteven_Haines
  • Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 396 Baller
    i also vote for the 2020 Prostar with the 6.0L MPI engine. i would avoid the DI engines as I feel the 6L is a simpler and better design for a ski boat.

    Brewski
  • MichaelWiebeMichaelWiebe Posts: 35 Baller
    Love the ProStar.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,875 Administrator
    FYI the last 2019 5.7 promo boats are going fast and are a deal if you can find one

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Barts ★ Connelly ★  DBSkis ★ Goode ★ Hobe Lake ★ HO Syndicate 

    MasterCraft ★ Masterline ★ Performance Ski and Surf ★ Reflex ★ Radar ★ Stokes

  • KRoundyKRoundy Posts: 318 Crazy Baller
    Any of the three will work well for you. I prefer the Nautique, but have skied the Prostar and it is OK too.
  • skierjpskierjp Posts: 746 Crazy Baller
    Best 3 event boat is the Ski Nautique,
  • DWDW Posts: 2,026 Mega Baller
    @Drasband - as noted try all 3 top brands (Correct Craft, MasterCraft, Malibu) before you buy as all are excellent although each has specific strengths. If you peruse this site, you will uncover various reviews on each brands 3 event model. As hinted in some posts, the 3 event slalom crowd tends to be one, if not the most brand loyal group of customers on the planet. That loyalty can be captured in the responses.
    DrasbandRAWSki
  • KillerKiller Posts: 396 ★★★★Quad Panda Award Recipient ★★★★
    As big, ugly and crazy expensive as the new Ski Nautique is, I think the wakes are best from 22-35 @34, just slightly more so than the prostar. Some feel like a harsh pull, others not at all, could be drivers or earlier models. I've been behind 3 different ones, including a master's boat and a new 2020.

    Overall I still love the 200 both 5.7 and 6.0, but can't beat a prostar, most consistent from boat to boat and I don't care what motor is in it. Never been behind a new Malibu.
    Drasband
  • Not_The_PugNot_The_Pug Posts: 597 Crazy Baller
    @Drasband are you looking at brand new or slightly used Promo? There are a bunch of Nautiques and MC's that are getting turned in after the season for less than new and dialed in. Also really depends how you are going to use the boat. If slalom only, the MC's have a great wake. But if multiple events or other wake activities, the Nautique is a better 3 event boat. It is nice with the trick ballast tanks. My wife skis 30 - 32mph and 15 - 28 off and likes the wake on our 2019 Nautique.
    Drasband
  • Dacon62Dacon62 Posts: 701 Crazy Baller
    Was a Malibu guy but after skiing both versions of the new hulls I went with the Prostar.
    Drasband
  • jpattigrjpattigr Posts: 162 Solid Baller
    edited November 20
    Best Winter thread reading by Far! Love hearing everyone argue / discuss which boat! I almost bought @swc5150 Prostar that he had for sale and I am a Nautique guy. Love the new Prostar but my wife vastly prefers driving Nautique's and she wanted to wait. The wakes are awesome behind both, but the Nautique drives and functions way smoother, tracks better, sounds quieter. The Prostar does not track as well, is MUCH louder (stupid bandaid fan) and the steering, throttle etc are no where near as smooth. Both boats are awesome, Love Prostar screen and layout and perfect wakes!
    Drasband
  • jercranejercrane Posts: 287 Crazy Baller
    I'm just slightly ahead of you in the learning curve @Drasband. Got into 28 off at 34mph for the first time this past summer after getting back into skiing seriously about 4 years ago.

    I wholeheartedly agree that the Prostar is the best slalom wake for slower speeds and longer lines. However, last year when I was buying a new boat I ended up going with the an open bow Ski Nautique 200 for several reasons.

    - Its far far better boat in rough water. We use our boat on a public lake and use it for a lot more than just closed course slalom skiing. It's a family boat. The design aspects that make the SN have a worse wake at slow speeds and longer lines make it light years better for general lake use imo. Hydrogate, heavier, deeper attitude, pushes more water. It also feels more solid in terms of build to me. Thats pretty qualitative though.

    - Unlike a lot of folks we actually really like the saddle bag storage. When we go out on the lake for several hours of skiing (not in the course) with a pile of skis and people the storage is so great for keeping crap out of the way.

    - The coast guard plate says 9 passengers instead of 7. This is silly but our marine patrol on the lake is super annoying about crap like this. They will write you a ticket if you are over the person capacity even if you are under the weight. When we have guests up to the lake we regularly go out with 8 in the boat (4 adults, 4 kids). They gave me a ticket once in my Prostar 197 when I had the 4 adults and 4 super young kids even though we were well under the weight capacity.

    Do I wish I could own a Prostar AND a nice Pontoon boat for cruising? Definitely. That is however not an option for us right now. When the kids go to college I'll probably move to a Prostar or whatever the best of the best is at that time.

    If you are looking for a pure dedicated slalom machine that is the best of the best ... Prostar.

    If you want a fantastic slalom boat with the ability to flex and use for family time then I'd suggest looking at the Nautique 200 (the rebranded version of the same hull). It does lack the saddle bags but maybe you don't care about those.
    Drasband
  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 851 Crazy Baller
    edited November 20
    I'll take the opposite view for general use. The roominess inside the prostar is second to none. We've taken it scalloping with 6 adults, and all their snorkeling gear. The convertible bow gives you the best of both worlds. We keep our bow cover on 99% of the time, but the once or twice a year we take the family out....we have our bow rider. I haven't been in a 200 on a large choppy lake, but I've had my prostar out in the gulf of mexico with 3-4ft swells and it did great. My girlfriend has no issues keeping the boat centered in the course (unless she decides to adjust the mirror 1/2 way through.) She doesn't have experience in a 200, but I've driven down to 35 (maybe 38?) off in both boats and don't see a big difference.
    Drasband
  • markchilcuttmarkchilcutt Posts: 934 Crazy Baller
    Prostar all day long.
    Ski it if you can!!!!
  • NandoNando Posts: 527 Crazy Baller
    I'm a Nautique guy and still think it's the best three-event boat, but if I were buying a brand-new boat, I'd sure consider a Prostar. I don't like open bow boats, but the fiberglass cover for the open bow is genius. Wakes on all three are so good that it's tough to find issue with any. Driving, the Nautique is my preference. And I find the new Nautique ugly. If the 200 were available as a closed bow or with a hard bow cover, that might be my choice, but I really like the new Prostars.
    thagerDrasbandBrennanKMN
  • swc5150swc5150 Posts: 2,265 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I would've said the Prostar has the most interior space until checking out the new 200. No saddle bags really opens it up. Now if they'd either do a closed bow or bow cover. Prostar bow cover is awesome and must have option for me. New SN/200 screen is better than MC. In the end, it really is like trying to decide which super model is the hottest though.
    Scott Calderwood
    DrasbandMISkierjpattigr
  • So appreciative of everyone's input on this thread. I think "which super model is the hottest" might be my favorite comment so far! There have been lots of Prostar votes, not quite as many SN, but almost no Malibu votes. Are there no Response fans on here? The Malibu is hands down the best local dealer (and I have a VTX so there's already a relationship there). I've been offered crazy good deals on the Malibu and SN, but the MC dealer hasn't yet matched them.

    Please, if anyone has direct knowledge/experience with the Response, chime in!
  • mbabiashmbabiash Posts: 516 Crazy Baller
    Problem with Malibu is the engine. Hull and design is fine but crusader engines didn’t work well in the 17 and 18. The new engines are marinized by Malibu but they can’t get engines from GM so they are resorting back to pcm. With all that up in the air it’s hard to pull the trigger on a response. Resale absolutely sucks.
    Andre
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