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Suggestions for Multi Purpose boat?

sb_dc_mbs_13sb_dc_mbs_13 Posts: 32 Baller
So my family is looking into getting a new boat. We've always had an I/O on our public lake. The past four years I have been spoiled skiing collegiate tournaments and getting to ski behind some great boats.
Since we don't have a course on our lake and I am the only one that is into tournament skiing, a pure ski boat is out of the question.
We are definitely looking at inboards now, but a direct drive is also out of the question since my family "doesn't like the engine in the middle of the boat"

So basically what I'm looking for are some suggestions for multi sport boats that I can still ski behind at 34/36 mph without killing myself while coming across the wake when free skiing.



  • skihackerskihacker Posts: 426 Solid Baller
    I'm no expert on all the boats out there but if I wanted the boat you're describing I'd be looking for a Malibu Sunsetter XTI. It's still a center engine boat but has a really cool wrap around seat layout. A ski buddy of mine owns an 04, we've used it on vacation a few times over the years. It skiis really well for it's size, has plenty of room, find one with the wedge and go wakeboarding. Not sure how long they built that model.
  • TheBigHeadTheBigHead Posts: 59 Baller
    I own a '08 211, very good all around boat wake is pretty hefty @ 30mph but once you get above that it gets a lot better.

    My 211 has quite a bit of spray if the boat isn't sitting perfectly level, something to think about if you get a chance to test one.

    If you can get into a 200v it is a much better wake for slalom.

    Our club has a SN200 and obviously those wakes are great, but I haven't really posted better scores behind that boat compared to mine. Skiing behind the 211 is just a lot more work than the SN200.

    My pb is only [email protected] 15off, so take that into account
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,647 Mega Baller
    Do you still have the I/O?

    My choice would be to shop for a lower cost used inboard slalom boat. Something like an early 90's prostar or 196 Nautique. These boats aren't that costly, will run for many years to come, require little upkeep relative to the joys of skiing.

    Plus this means all the other random nonsense that will destroy your boat gets relegated to the family's I/O which you dont' need to use.
  • estromestrom Posts: 512 Baller
    There's no slalom courses around here either, so I am in a similar situation as you with other family wants/needs. They can be difficult to find depending on your location, but I picked up a Sanger TX that is perfect for what you describe. It's basically an I/O in a tournament boat. You give up just a little on wake, but gain on open water ride and interior room/usability. They haven't been made since the mid-90's, but I highly recommend it if you can find one that's been taken care of.
  • RynoRyno Posts: 252 Baller
    Any boat you buy will be a compromise in one area or another.

    I recommend a Malibu Flightcraft outboard...
    * Faster than an inboard (100kph top speed is fairly normal)
    * Quieter than most inboards (if the right outboard is on the back)
    * No pesky engine in the middle of the cockpit
    * It will ride through chop better than most inboards (due to being able to adjust the trim)
    * Boat is lighter (easier to tow etc)
    * Lack of a full ski platform on the back
    * Bow rider not an option for the Flightcraft (though there are other outboard ski boats you could go for if this is a requirement)

    But I'm biased as I have an older Flightcraft 18XL Outboard and love it!
    Ryan McGill - South Coast, New South Wales, Australia
  • estromestrom Posts: 512 Baller
    @Ryno, we had an O/B like you describe for 25 years and loved it. Similar to the Flightcraft/Barefoot Sanger/Centurion Warrior. Awesome boat. Our problem is that out here in California, there is a big movement to outlaw 2 strokes. Tahoe already has a ban, so I can envision others to follow. I figured I would sell it now and be ahead of the curve rather than be stuck with it if I hold on for too long. The TX was the closest thing I could find in an inboard and I love it.
  • XR6HurricaneXR6Hurricane Posts: 328 Baller
    edited December 2012
    I agree with @Ryno. I have a Rapid Craft Hurricane, which is styled very similar to a Centurion Warrior (but lighter and faster design), and it is the closest you can get to a boat that does everything. Seating for five, slalom wake that puts inboards to shame (at least at 22' off and longer), 70 mph top speed with a stock 150, can cruise at 25-30 mph all day. I wouldn't worry too much about a complete two-stroke ban because the Evinrude E-Tecs run cleaner than the four-strokes and to my knowledge are still allowed even at Tahoe. You might also want to look into Dyna-Ski; they are copies of the old Hydrodynes with some mods. The fit and finish leaves a little to be desired but I think the build quality is decent and they are priced reasonable. A Hydrostream Voyager might also be worth a look.

    P.S. I've been behind two Sunsetters, one '94 direct drive and one VLX v-drive that was a few years newer. Maybe the wake would flatten out decent at 36, but at 30 mph I almost died behind both boats. But I'm spoiled with the outboards so take my opinion with a grain of salt.
  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,190 Crazy Baller
    Ignore everything people are saying about the inboards. What you are describing is an Outboard. I have had 2 and if you are not into tournment skiing they are great boats. Because of how light they are they have pretty good wakes, drive well, extremly verstile. We had a 2008 Sea Ray 185 outboard and i learned to ski on it all the way to 36. They are good boats, inexpensive, only drawbacks are 1) they are obviously not as good as the hardcore ski boats. 2) no speed control. Those are the biggest drawbacks for me. That said I will never own another outboard.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,687 Mega Baller
    Tell your family the motor box rocks and buy a relatively roomy, walk thru open bow direct drive with a tower. Anything other than your slalom skiing and the rope attaches on the tower and can use all the seats. Practically...Malibu Lxi.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 4,589 Mega Baller
    this is what you need for family floating, and pulling the tube

    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
  • ToddFToddF Posts: 595 Solid Baller
    Moomba outback V is a great and cheaper than most of the others.
  • TomasTomas Posts: 6 Baller
    I have a malibu sunscape 20. It has a very good wake for being a v-drive. My wife just wouldn't go for the "hump" in the middle so it was the best compromise. It doesn't have ballast but with a tower and power wedge it has a decent wakeboard wake. One day when we have our house on a lake she can have a pontoon and I will have my 98 nautique.
  • BradyBrady Posts: 1,085 Mega Baller
    edited December 2012
    Since no one has suggested it, I would think the Prostar 214 would be a great multipurpose boat. Bigger wake, but it would handle the water better with more people in the boat, and it is still a mid-engine drive that would give you a better wake than on I/O.

    If that doesn't work, i would buy a 21 foot Connelly. Has a lot of horsepower, but I promise it will give you a thrill!

    I ski, therefore I am
  • WaternutWaternut Posts: 1,511 Crazy Baller
    edited December 2012
    A closed bow direct drive is not friendly if you want to go out with family and or friends. However, a direct drive with an open bow has plenty of room. Seriously, is someone planning on doing jumping jacks in the middle of the boat? Perhaps you can convince your wife/family that it will be easier to keep track of the kids if it's harder for them to run around on the boat. Most kids and girls like to sit in the bow anyway so what do they care if the engine is in the middle? I'm not a family man myself but that's been my experience with friends and teaching kids to ski at summer camps.

    Almost all of my friends are wakeboarders and everyone of them prefers my boat with perfect pass over their own I/O boats rigged for wakeboarding, which are 20 years newer, and cost 5x as much.
  • Ed_ObermeierEd_Obermeier Posts: 1,345 Crazy Baller
    edited December 2012
    I'm gonna be the stick in the mud here I guess. I've always maintained, and I believe whole heartedly, that if you want to do anything even approaching serious skiing (even serious open water skiing) V-DRIVES DO NOT MAKE GOOD SLALOM BOATS. PERIOD. Many here will disagree and that's fine. But they don't. Really.

    I've tried skiing behind numerous v-drives (admittedly never skied a 200V though) just for the experience of doing so. If you're wanting to be able to ski hard across the wake at 34 or especially 36 ala course-type skiing, you're not going to be happy with a v-drive wake. Trust me.

    @6balls nailed it. My wife was totally opposed to an inboard with the motor box in the middle. Until we finally got one. As 6balls suggested we have a Malibu LXI. The open bow is surprisingly roomy and with the filler cushion the wife and I can stretch out and lounge very comfortably in the bow no problem, and I'm not a small dude. The motor box makes an excellent picnic table (throw a beach towel over it like a table cloth) or foot rest for the back seaters. When lounging we'll put 6 people and all their coolers, gear etc in it and we're good, plenty of seating and ample room. Not as roomy as a 21" I/O but not too far off.

    It's a matter of priorities. If you want to be able to ski seriously and still have a good family/lounge boat an open bow like the LXI i.e. fits the bill very successfully. Go with a v-drive and you may find yourself with that sinking feeling that you compromised too much and are now unhappily stuck. Just saying.
    Ed Obermeier - owner, EZ-Slalom Course Systems
  • BulldogBulldog Posts: 1,036 Crazy Baller
    I completely agree with @ed!!!! V-drives are for wake boarding only. They are brutal for skiing.
    Mike Loeffler - "Someone somewhere is having a real problem today...My bad skiing is NOT one of them"
  • DWDW Posts: 2,316 Mega Baller
    +1 on EZ Ed's comments, very accurate.

    My wife also was against the engine in the middle but now is a ski and tourney boat addict. What are the key activities the rest of the gang will participate in, how will this boat be used, how large and what is the activity level on the lake in question. Just remember, anything short of a tournament boat will be a compromise for the skier, so if that happens to be a priority, make sure it is understood. Probably very difficult to explain to a non skier how much different the wakes & pull are across different boats.
  • Lieutenant DanLieutenant Dan Posts: 215 Baller
    1999 - 2004 Sunsetter LXI like this one

    It was AWSA approved for tournaments and has a great slalom wake. Put a tower on it with a wedge and it is a pretty good wake-sports boat as well.
  • WaternutWaternut Posts: 1,511 Crazy Baller
    A wakeboarder friend I know who used to be sponsored by Mastercraft as a teenager said it best IMO. He owns a direct drive because he said, "You can do everything a V-drive boat can do with a direct drive but you can't do everything a direct drive can do with a V-drive."

    One other thing to think about... When you have a v-drive or an I/O, all of your gear (lifejackets, wakeboards, ski's, kneeboards, etc.) goes on the back seat or in the middle of the floor between the seats. This makes all of that awesome floor space disappear and the entire boat becomes a giant obstacle course. When you have a direct drive, all of that stuff gets piled up behind the driver. It can take a few seconds longer to get the gear you want when it's your turn but you always have a clear path to the back of the boat.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,647 Mega Baller
    @jfw432 - for us slalomers as well, having the skis safe from people stepping on them is a HUGE deal.

    Wakeboards do towers and racks. Not my ideal way to haul an expensive slalom ski.

    I have a closed bow however, yes we often need more space for people, but the lake we have the boat on has days that the open bow presents a real safety hazard with swamping.

    We have a I/O for more space if needed, not skiing.
  • estromestrom Posts: 512 Baller
    @jfw432, our TX is spacious inside. We have the L-bench seating configuration with lots of storage under the seats, and in the bow behind the observer seat back, plus a floor locker. We can pack tons of stuff and still have an open floor. Truth is, I would gladly take an Lxi, but found a great deal on this from the original owner for a lot less coin. It doesn't hurt that the TX drives like a sports car!
  • crashmancrashman Posts: 722 Crazy Baller
    I realize it's not an option for a lot of people but I've been pleased with the 2 boat system- when I looked at trading in my v-drive for a new DD I discovered I could buy a used closed bow nautique for the price of depreciation on a new boat and have an ideal course boat + a boat I can take on longer trips with the family. I tried to think about the cost of ownership-another BOS member gave me a screaming deal on the Nautique and the DD is easy to maintain and the bubble back Nautiques seem to hold value really well. If I went to sell both my boats today I would still lose a whole lot less than had I purchased a new DD. I tell my friends that some guys are attracted to shiny things with wheels, I'm attracted to shiny things that float.
    slalom addiction triggering irrational behavior
  • sixballsixball Posts: 279 Baller
    Its a DD but the best all around inboard IMHO is 09 to 04 sunsetter LXI. Very good ski boat. Not a bad boarding boat, with wedge add ballast and a roll bar! Now I could never do that but.
  • swc5150swc5150 Posts: 2,512 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    +1 on the SN200v. The drawback however, is that it's fairly small compared to some of the other choices out there, and it's expensive. It will provide great slalom wakes though, and decent surf/boarding swells from what I hear?
    Scott Calderwood
  • Ed_ObermeierEd_Obermeier Posts: 1,345 Crazy Baller
    What @6balls and @Lieutenant Dan said concerning the 99 to 04 Sunsetter LXI. Skied one season with a guy who had one (he moved unfortunately) and I was amazed at what a great slalom boat it was especially for as big a boat as it is. Likely the best bang-for-the-buck suggestion made in this thread IMO.
    Ed Obermeier - owner, EZ-Slalom Course Systems
  • sb_dc_mbs_13sb_dc_mbs_13 Posts: 32 Baller
    Wow, thanks for all the responses so far.
    Unfortunately two boats really doesn't look like an option.
    I definitely want to get an inboard and so far really like the idea of the sport nautique 200 with it being the same hull design as the ski 200.
    I'm going to continue working on them to go for a direct drive.

    We will be heading to the Chicago boat show in early January, so looking forward to seeing some of these boats in person
  • madcityskiermadcityskier Posts: 112 Baller
    @sb_dc_mbs_13 if you get to Madison next summer we'll get you on a vdrive that I think can make a believer out of you. Room for 12, decent in rough water, and if you don't have too many people with you the wake is as good as my brothers ps205 ever was.
  • WaternutWaternut Posts: 1,511 Crazy Baller
    I'd be willing to bet there are some ballers near you that wouldn't mind taking you and your family out in their direct drive ski boat with an open bow. People are prone to dislike things that look inconvenient or don't make perfect sense to them. I'd bet if you could get your family out on a DD boat, they'd be more than happy to sign on to one.
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