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D Drive vs V Drive


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I ski a course at 15 or 22 off, but mostly free ski. I want the ability to free ski, yet need space for family. Any suggestions on best boats? Is any V-Drive with a soft enough wake to ski courses? How about the older sunsetters with the wrapped "U" shaped seating behind the direct drive? Any insight would be much appreciated.

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How big of a family? If you are looking at used boats check out the 99 - I believe through 05 sun setter LXI. It has a world class wake 21.6' !

I have not skied any of Bu's V drive but if you end up with a V drive you can find some very good wakes if you are willing to go short rope. My old V drive was very good at 41 off. It may be just a bit challenging in the course. :lol:

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I drive and ski behind my two crew buds' 1992 Malibu Sunsetter and 2003 Mastercraft Prostar 197 in the course frequently. Both are non tower boats. The 197 wake is better than the Sunsetter but its fine for the course. I ski around your level also. Nine days at the course and 12 days free ski other locations last year. Both Direct Drives are considerably better than my other friends' V Drive Malibu even with ballast tanks empty. The vdrive is much smoother riding to go for a cruise on a busy Billy Chinook day.

There are tons of used direct drive sunsetters right now. One day last summer we had 10 aboard the Sunsetter for a cruise around Lake Billy Chinook and it worked fine although every seat was occupied. Six or 7 max out the PS 197.

Prostar 209 is also a great roomy ski boat but there are way less of those than sunsetters. Nine or 10 max.

Edited by DONTW8
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I've been told that the Wakesetters with a ski hull are OK for open and course skiing. I know the Wakesetter at our lake (Wake hull) would be very different to try and ski the couse behind and I know I need all the help I can get. They are great Wakeboard boats though.

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The Sunsetter LXI is a great boat for offering course performance and yet plenty of storage (18 Cu. Ft.) rear trunk. The beam is 93.5”wide and 21’8” long. Malibu just started a new model called the FXI a direct drive boat that has a rear trunk and the beam is much wider at 98”. At this point any boat going through the course imho should be a DD. The one VD option that has received good reviews is the 20’ LSV or the cousin the VTX on the diamond hull.

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How big of a family? If you are looking at used boats check out the 99 - I believe through 05 sun setter LXI. It has a world class wake 21.6' !

I have not skied any of Bu's V drive but if you end up with a V drive you can find some very good wakes if you are willing to go short rope. My old V drive was very good at 41 off. It may be just a bit challenging in the course. :lol:

Family meaning siblings now and kids in the future. I have 3 married bros and one married sis that all ski (and spouses). I understand that I need to limit my onboard to 4-5 while skiing, but looking for a good 8 or so capacity for non skiing times.

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There are a very few v drive options that I would consider running a course with, which are listed above.

I think the best place to start is are you looking new or used, and how much $$ are you thinking.

For a crossover / course boat under $30K my favorite is the older Sunsetter LXI that sixball mentioned. the Sunscape LSV and 03 era 21 XTI would also be worthy of a look. Just make sure its the SV23 diamond hulls your looking at.

The newer VTX, LSV, and FXI all have nice wakes, but that's a wide boat to be pushing through a course. If it were my course I wouldn't appreciate that.

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The Sunsetter LXI is a great boat for offering course performance and yet plenty of storage (18 Cu. Ft.) rear trunk. The beam is 93.5”wide and 21’8” long. Malibu just started a new model called the FXI a direct drive boat that has a rear trunk and the beam is much wider at 98”. At this point any boat going through the course imho should be a DD. The one VD option that has received good reviews is the 20’ LSV or the cousin the VTX on the diamond hull.

I'd love to get something new, but looking in the used area. What's your opinion on the Sunsetter XTI? That seems to give the room for people and still provide the DD. Yet Malibu doesn't make it anymore, so I wonder if users didn't/don't like them.

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I drive and ski behind my two crew buds' 1992 Malibu Sunsetter and 2003 Mastercraft Prostar 197 in the course frequently. Both are non tower boats. The 197 wake is better than the Sunsetter but its fine for the course. I ski around your level also. Nine days at the course and 12 days free ski other locations last year. Both Direct Drives are considerably better than my other friends' V Drive Malibu even with ballast tanks empty. The vdrive is much smoother riding to go for a cruise on a busy Billy Chinook day.

There are tons of used direct drive sunsetters right now. One day last summer we had 10 aboard the Sunsetter for a cruise around Lake Billy Chinook and it worked fine although every seat was occupied. Six or 7 max out the PS 197.

Prostar 209 is also a great roomy ski boat but there are way less of those than sunsetters. Nine or 10 max.

I mostly free ski, but would probably ski more course if it were my boat and I were controlling the schedule (besides boat driver, of course). Why are there less ProStars than sunsetters? Are people hanging onto their prostars more bc they like them? Or just fewer out there period?

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There are a very few v drive options that I would consider running a course with, which are listed above.

I think the best place to start is are you looking new or used, and how much $$ are you thinking.

For a crossover / course boat under $30K my favorite is the older Sunsetter LXI that sixball mentioned. the Sunscape LSV and 03 era 21 XTI would also be worthy of a look. Just make sure its the SV23 diamond hulls your looking at.

The newer VTX, LSV, and FXI all have nice wakes, but that's a wide boat to be pushing through a course. If it were my course I wouldn't appreciate that.

I think everyone here has talked me out of a VD. Not sure I could get myself to buy anything that isn't DD. I'm definitely looking used, but haven't settled on a price. Still researching I guess. I guess I've kind of zeroed in on liking the proposed versatility of the Sunsetter XTI but haven't ever gotten much feedback on it. Anyone know why they stopped making that wrapped seating? I've never ridden one, so I don't have any first hand experience with it.

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There are way more DD Sunsetters built. The first year was 1986 and of course the origin was Merced so there are plenty here on the left coast. Mastercraft built narrower boats PS 190, 195 and 205 until 2001 when they introduced the current evolution style hull with a wider beam. The PS 197 and 209 open bow boats are in higher demand because there is no competition from older Mastercrafts. I imagine that Wakegirl has the stats in her head but I think the largest selling single model Malibu is the DD Sunsetter over the sum of 23 years sales and most of those are here in the west.

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The Sunsetter LXI is a great boat for offering course performance and yet plenty of storage (18 Cu. Ft.) rear trunk. The beam is 93.5"wide and 21'8" long. Malibu just started a new model called the FXI a direct drive boat that has a rear trunk and the beam is much wider at 98". At this point any boat going through the course imho should be a DD. The one VD option that has received good reviews is the 20' LSV or the cousin the VTX on the diamond hull.

I'd love to get something new, but looking in the used area. What's your opinion on the Sunsetter XTI? That seems to give the room for people and still provide the DD. Yet Malibu doesn't make it anymore, so I wonder if users didn't/don't like them.

The XTI series made compromises yet at the end of the day really didn't satisfy the hardcore crowd. The 21' XTI is basically the SLX and really lacks the equivalent amount of storage of the SLXI. Slalomwise the XTI unless it was ordered on the diamond hull will have a hard bump at 15' and 22' off, but very doable and will track well in the course. Those that purchased the XTI model have commented on the board they love it. Keep mind the rear seating of the XTI is useless when you want to ski, imho doesn't make the XTI anymore appealing. Another boat to consider is the 2002 Sunsetter which came on the diamond hull, though for space issues I'd still recommend the SSLXI as the top crossover as it skis very well, offers plenty of storage, large and spacious for a DD, and used prices are well suited. You should be able to find them in the high teens to low 20's for the '99-'02 model years.

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The 99 and newer sun setter LXI are on the diamond hulls. If you can afford going into 99 or newer you can't get much better wake. The boat is not weight sensitive like some of the smaller boats. You will end up with a full load with 8 people DD or V drive. A boat with jump seats my be a +. Also you may like an injector motor if possible 99 the base SSLXI had a carb motor still not bad I just like EFI better.

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I would put my 2000 Sunsetter LXI up against the same year prostar 197 any day. Depending on were you are sking I think the 22 off wake is actually a little better than the 197. When I bought mine I looked at the XTI with Diamond Hull but didnt like the storage options...beautiful boat but not for me. I would recommend the 99- 2003 sunsetter LXI. Waterski mag has some good videos and the review is ok for just about all those years. It is a great crossover boat and if I ever get rid of mine I'm really not sure what I would get. Even the FXI looks like a big boat and I don't see how the wake would compare I was suprised of it's size when I looked at it at the boat show. The only change I made to mine was an ACME 525 prop.The original is a little sluggish with the 13x13 prop and the 525 increase whole shot /cleaned up the wake. GREAT FAMILY BOAT!!.

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I would put my 2000 Sunsetter LXI up against the same year prostar 197 any day. Depending on were you are sking I think the 22 off wake is actually a little better than the 197. When I bought mine I looked at the XTI with Diamond Hull but didnt like the storage options...beautiful boat but not for me. I would recommend the 99- 2003 sunsetter LXI. Waterski mag has some good videos and the review is ok for just about all those years. It is a great crossover boat and if I ever get rid of mine I'm really not sure what I would get. Even the FXI looks like a big boat and I don't see how the wake would compare I was suprised of it's size when I looked at it at the boat show. The only change I made to mine was an ACME 525 prop.The original is a little sluggish with the 13x13 prop and the 525 increase whole shot /cleaned up the wake. GREAT FAMILY BOAT!!.

Okay, You Win !

There is no such boat as an 2000 Mastercraft Prostar 197. Yahoo.gif

We get to ski these boats back to back and as I said previously the Sunsetter has a fine wake. The model you have is the best of the Sunsetters in my opinion.

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I'm biased, but think that the 99-04 Sunsetter LXis are the best course skier family boat made.

With a smaller crew, they will put out a tournament approved (in 99) slalom wake. They are also good for a group of 6 - 9 for a full day on the lake. The wake will get firmer when you have 6 adults in it, but is still very skiable.

The 2005,2006 SLXi's are on a different hull & not nearly as skier friendly.

There are some DD wakesetters/XTIs out there too, but you need to look closely to make sure they are on the diamond hull.

Other options for a VDrive are (in order of ski wake)

2007+ 20 LSV/VTX - many say it is as good as the 99-04 SLXi. I haven't skied behind one yet, so can't comment.

2001 Sunsetter VLX (only year on a diamond hull) - It won't be as good as the DD version, but is still pretty good.

2002+ Sunscape 21 LSV - Same as the 2001 Sunsetter VLX.

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The Sunsetter LXI is a great boat for offering course performance and yet plenty of storage (18 Cu. Ft.) rear trunk. The beam is 93.5"wide and 21'8" long. Malibu just started a new model called the FXI a direct drive boat that has a rear trunk and the beam is much wider at 98". At this point any boat going through the course imho should be a DD. The one VD option that has received good reviews is the 20' LSV or the cousin the VTX on the diamond hull.

I'd love to get something new, but looking in the used area. What's your opinion on the Sunsetter XTI? That seems to give the room for people and still provide the DD. Yet Malibu doesn't make it anymore, so I wonder if users didn't/don't like them.

The XTI series made compromises yet at the end of the day really didn't satisfy the hardcore crowd. The 21' XTI is basically the SLX and really lacks the equivalent amount of storage of the SLXI. Slalomwise the XTI unless it was ordered on the diamond hull will have a hard bump at 15' and 22' off, but very doable and will track well in the course. Those that purchased the XTI model have commented on the board they love it. Keep mind the rear seating of the XTI is useless when you want to ski, imho doesn't make the XTI anymore appealing. Another boat to consider is the 2002 Sunsetter which came on the diamond hull, though for space issues I'd still recommend the SSLXI as the top crossover as it skis very well, offers plenty of storage, large and spacious for a DD, and used prices are well suited. You should be able to find them in the high teens to low 20's for the '99-'02 model years.

Plus1.gif

BTW the Sunsetter LXI will easily hold 8 people.

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The Sunsetter LXI is a great boat for offering course performance and yet plenty of storage (18 Cu. Ft.) rear trunk. The beam is 93.5"wide and 21'8" long. Malibu just started a new model called the FXI a direct drive boat that has a rear trunk and the beam is much wider at 98". At this point any boat going through the course imho should be a DD. The one VD option that has received good reviews is the 20' LSV or the cousin the VTX on the diamond hull.

I'd love to get something new, but looking in the used area. What's your opinion on the Sunsetter XTI? That seems to give the room for people and still provide the DD. Yet Malibu doesn't make it anymore, so I wonder if users didn't/don't like them.

The XTI series made compromises yet at the end of the day really didn't satisfy the hardcore crowd. The 21' XTI is basically the SLX and really lacks the equivalent amount of storage of the SLXI. Slalomwise the XTI unless it was ordered on the diamond hull will have a hard bump at 15' and 22' off, but very doable and will track well in the course. Those that purchased the XTI model have commented on the board they love it. Keep mind the rear seating of the XTI is useless when you want to ski, imho doesn't make the XTI anymore appealing. Another boat to consider is the 2002 Sunsetter which came on the diamond hull, though for space issues I'd still recommend the SSLXI as the top crossover as it skis very well, offers plenty of storage, large and spacious for a DD, and used prices are well suited. You should be able to find them in the high teens to low 20's for the '99-'02 model years.

Plus1.gif

BTW the Sunsetter LXI will easily hold 8 people.

Thanks! And thanks to everyone for their input. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions as I get more into things. I'm hoping to make this the year that I take the purchase plunge.

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The Sunsetter LXI is a great boat for offering course performance and yet plenty of storage (18 Cu. Ft.) rear trunk. The beam is 93.5"wide and 21'8" long. Malibu just started a new model called the FXI a direct drive boat that has a rear trunk and the beam is much wider at 98". At this point any boat going through the course imho should be a DD. The one VD option that has received good reviews is the 20' LSV or the cousin the VTX on the diamond hull.

I'd love to get something new, but looking in the used area. What's your opinion on the Sunsetter XTI? That seems to give the room for people and still provide the DD. Yet Malibu doesn't make it anymore, so I wonder if users didn't/don't like them.

The XTI series made compromises yet at the end of the day really didn't satisfy the hardcore crowd. The 21' XTI is basically the SLX and really lacks the equivalent amount of storage of the SLXI. Slalomwise the XTI unless it was ordered on the diamond hull will have a hard bump at 15' and 22' off, but very doable and will track well in the course. Those that purchased the XTI model have commented on the board they love it. Keep mind the rear seating of the XTI is useless when you want to ski, imho doesn't make the XTI anymore appealing. Another boat to consider is the 2002 Sunsetter which came on the diamond hull, though for space issues I'd still recommend the SSLXI as the top crossover as it skis very well, offers plenty of storage, large and spacious for a DD, and used prices are well suited. You should be able to find them in the high teens to low 20's for the '99-'02 model years.

Great info. Thanks!

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I would put my 2000 Sunsetter LXI up against the same year prostar 197 any day. Depending on were you are sking I think the 22 off wake is actually a little better than the 197... I would recommend the 99- 2003 sunsetter LXI. Waterski mag has some good videos and the review is ok for just about all those years. It is a great crossover boat... GREAT FAMILY BOAT!!.

Plus1.gif I was absolutely blown away the first time I skied behind hp's SS at what a great slalom wake it had DESPITE its large size. For that large a boat hands down it has the best slalom wake I've skied, and I've skied a LOT of different boats over the years including (gag) a few v-drives. If you need a roomy family boat that is still capable of top notch slalom course skiing, IMO this is the one to get.

V-drives do not make good slalom course boats. Period.

Ed

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I would put my 2000 Sunsetter LXI up against the same year prostar 197 any day. Depending on were you are sking I think the 22 off wake is actually a little better than the 197... I would recommend the 99- 2003 sunsetter LXI. Waterski mag has some good videos and the review is ok for just about all those years. It is a great crossover boat... GREAT FAMILY BOAT!!.

Plus1.gif I was absolutely blown away the first time I skied behind hp's SS at what a great slalom wake it had DESPITE its large size. For that large a boat hands down it has the best slalom wake I've skied, and I've skied a LOT of different boats over the years including (gag) a few v-drives. If you need a roomy family boat that is still capable of top notch slalom course skiing, IMO this is the one to get.

V-drives do not make good slalom course boats. Period.

Ed

Good input. Thanks Ed.

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The Sunsetter LXI is a great boat for offering course performance and yet plenty of storage (18 Cu. Ft.) rear trunk. The beam is 93.5"wide and 21'8" long. Malibu just started a new model called the FXI a direct drive boat that has a rear trunk and the beam is much wider at 98". At this point any boat going through the course imho should be a DD. The one VD option that has received good reviews is the 20' LSV or the cousin the VTX on the diamond hull.

I'd love to get something new, but looking in the used area. What's your opinion on the Sunsetter XTI? That seems to give the room for people and still provide the DD. Yet Malibu doesn't make it anymore, so I wonder if users didn't/don't like them.

The XTI series made compromises yet at the end of the day really didn't satisfy the hardcore crowd. The 21' XTI is basically the SLX and really lacks the equivalent amount of storage of the SLXI. Slalomwise the XTI unless it was ordered on the diamond hull will have a hard bump at 15' and 22' off, but very doable and will track well in the course. Those that purchased the XTI model have commented on the board they love it. Keep mind the rear seating of the XTI is useless when you want to ski, imho doesn't make the XTI anymore appealing. Another boat to consider is the 2002 Sunsetter which came on the diamond hull, though for space issues I'd still recommend the SSLXI as the top crossover as it skis very well, offers plenty of storage, large and spacious for a DD, and used prices are well suited. You should be able to find them in the high teens to low 20's for the '99-'02 model years.

I think this is a fair statement regarding the xti's. I love mine, but it is not a boat that a group of course skiers would choose to run the course with if they had a choice. It is great for a family boat, with a very skiable wake, but the ski wake wouldn't be the #1 criteria for buying it. I guess I bought mine because I wanted it all. I wanted a roomy boat first, then a good ski wake second. Unfortunately those two don't go hand in hand, but I'm happy with my boat! If you want a ride, just drive about 10 hours north and I'll take you for a spin.

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The Sunsetter LXI is a great boat for offering course performance and yet plenty of storage (18 Cu. Ft.) rear trunk. The beam is 93.5"wide and 21'8" long. Malibu just started a new model called the FXI a direct drive boat that has a rear trunk and the beam is much wider at 98". At this point any boat going through the course imho should be a DD. The one VD option that has received good reviews is the 20' LSV or the cousin the VTX on the diamond hull.

I'd love to get something new, but looking in the used area. What's your opinion on the Sunsetter XTI? That seems to give the room for people and still provide the DD. Yet Malibu doesn't make it anymore, so I wonder if users didn't/don't like them.

The XTI series made compromises yet at the end of the day really didn't satisfy the hardcore crowd. The 21' XTI is basically the SLX and really lacks the equivalent amount of storage of the SLXI. Slalomwise the XTI unless it was ordered on the diamond hull will have a hard bump at 15' and 22' off, but very doable and will track well in the course. Those that purchased the XTI model have commented on the board they love it. Keep mind the rear seating of the XTI is useless when you want to ski, imho doesn't make the XTI anymore appealing. Another boat to consider is the 2002 Sunsetter which came on the diamond hull, though for space issues I'd still recommend the SSLXI as the top crossover as it skis very well, offers plenty of storage, large and spacious for a DD, and used prices are well suited. You should be able to find them in the high teens to low 20's for the '99-'02 model years.

I think this is a fair statement regarding the xti's. I love mine, but it is not a boat that a group of course skiers would choose to run the course with if they had a choice. It is great for a family boat, with a very skiable wake, but the ski wake wouldn't be the #1 criteria for buying it. I guess I bought mine because I wanted it all. I wanted a roomy boat first, then a good ski wake second. Unfortunately those two don't go hand in hand, but I'm happy with my boat! If you want a ride, just drive about 10 hours north and I'll take you for a spin.

Thanks. That's good feedback. I may take you up on that offer as the weather gets warmer. I appreciate it!

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