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Ski / Wakeboard Boats

BillyBronco

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2020
Member Number
1138
Messages
109
I am looking for a boat. Yes, I know terrible investment, break out another thousand, etc. :flipoff2: I have made a few good financial choices recently so now time to make a bad one. Looking in the $20K price range. I am interested in a 20-22' bowrider or wakeboard boat. I know my price puts me in the early to mid 2000s.

I see quite a few boats with replaced engines in the 500-700 hours range. Are the V-drive or I/O boat engines really that unreliable? If so what is killing all these? Lack of maintenance, conditions??? Since most of the boats in my price range have around 500 hours and I begging for a new engine shortly after buying?

I don't want a direct drive so are V-Drives that much better than a Bravo 3 I/O?

Any of the major ski/wakeboard brands mostly seem the same to me as far as what people like and recommend. Is that the case for brands like Malibu, Mastercraft, Supra, Moomba, Air Nautique, etc? Again the boats in my price range are early 2000s so a lot less of the fancy gizmos than todays boats.
 
Newest Mastercraft that fits in your budget. /thread

Make sure you get something new enough that it's all fiberglass and no wood (mid 90s depending on make).

Most in the ~20ft, 20yo range will be a inboards with no V-drive.
 
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What are your plans with the boat? You really shouldn't surf behind a I/O or Outboard. I've had I/O, V-Drive, and Outboard. Only reason I would go back to V-drive is for surfing. Everything else I go outboard. I found I/O to be a pain. There really are so many variables that it just boils down to where and how you are going to use the boat.
 
IO is dumb, V-drives and direct drives are all but bulletproof. I'm pulling the outdrive on my Cobalt tomorrow for service and totally dreading it. Tilt trim, power steering, shift bellows, gimble bearings, all BS nonsense that can be handled by a proper propeller and rudder.

We have a 2002 21' Mastercraft with almost 1,000 hours on it and it's been oil changes and spark plugs on the powerplant side of the house. 100% would buy again. Engine replacements had to be a lack of maintenance, failure to winterize or something like that.

Do you want to surf with this boat? If so, you need to be looking bigger than 21'. That market will be tough in a 20k price range because they just didn't build many big wake boats at that time. With the increased popularity of surfing came the bigger boats that make a bigger wake. Surfing behind a smaller wake boat kind of sucks once you have been behind a brand new 100k+ Malibu :laughing:

I would be shopping Mastercraft or Malibu, maybe a Nautique. V-drive gives you more floor space and usually a bigger wake, I'd go v-drive.

The haters on an offroad forum who talk about how boats are high maintenance always make me laugh.
 
What are your plans with the boat? You really shouldn't surf behind a I/O or Outboard. I've had I/O, V-Drive, and Outboard. Only reason I would go back to V-drive is for surfing. Everything else I go outboard. I found I/O to be a pain. There really are so many variables that it just boils down to where and how you are going to use the boat.
No big need to surf from it. Sure it would be nice and something else to do but not a priority and I know with my budget isn’t too likely to find a boat that will be good at wakesurfing. I am mostly interested In general ski/slalom and wakeboarding and tubing for the kids. I am not great at either but I am decent. Really it is for my kids they are just getting to the age to start to enjoy water sports (8&6 years old). I have a friends boat to use and they are super generous with us but I don’t want to be the mooch friend taking their boat out once per week. I never had a boat as a kid but had a friend’s family with one and I really enjoyed the memories.

My job has many days off during the week so we can easily hit the lakes this summer when boat traffic is down.
 
No big need to surf from it. Sure it would be nice and something else to do but not a priority and I know with my budget isn’t too likely to find a boat that will be good at wakesurfing. I am mostly interested In general ski/slalom and wakeboarding and tubing for the kids. I am not great at either but I am decent. Really it is for my kids they are just getting to the age to start to enjoy water sports (8&6 years old). I have a friends boat to use and they are super generous with us but I don’t want to be the mooch friend taking their boat out once per week. I never had a boat as a kid but had a friend’s family with one and I really enjoyed the memories.

My job has many days off during the week so we can easily hit the lakes this summer when boat traffic is down.

Maristar/Tristar /thread
 
I have an older Maristar, great family boat, tons of room, tons of storage. I'm at 1200 hours with no issues, change the oil, impeller and properly winterize it. Checkout Mastercraft Teamtalk:

https://teamtalk.mastercraft.com/
 
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