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Edwin asked that I note my thoughts on the difference between the SN 206 and the RLXi. And I'm happy to do so but, let me preface my account with saying that I think what I have to say means very little to most on here. I mean that what I'm looking for in a ride starting at 28 or 32 off and getting though 39.5 off is something that most people aren't going to care about and because of that I'm a terrible test person.

The 206 looks about the same size as the RLXi and indeed the measurements are within an inch I believe. The boat I skied and drove was a promo boat so it probably had some tuning on it. After we adjusted the PP for 30mph and for 34mph we skied. Steve skied first and demonstrated the great progress he's made. The boat sounded and ran just like the 196 that my ski buddy owns. They both have the 330 excalibur engine. There was ample room to walk around the boat and the boat performed all the things we asked it to do without troubles. The bow doesn't look as roomy as the RLXi bow but I did notice that the bow sat a little higher off the water then the RLXi so maybe it's harder to get wet. Both I and my ski buddy noted that the rooster tail at 28' was harder then either the 196 or the RLXi. It wasn't enough to make any difference to me and would the kind of thing that after awhile of skiing behind just that boat I wouldn't think of it anymore. I don't have any idea what the wakes are like longer than 28 off or at slower speeds. It didn't look to me like Steve was having any issues with the wake at 30mph 15 off. My first pass at 28 was slow and the boat felt very soft which was confirmed at the end when we dropped, 17.11 end course time. So I had them add 65rpm and bumped up the KX to ++, there was no switch. 32 through 39.5 was all butter and the boat felt good with the stiffer KX. My first set on this new lake I only got a few at 38 before I quit to let my buddy ski as I Thought we we're going to get more rain. I skied again and ran through [email protected] off the dock and then was able to get [email protected] When I drove my bud the boat tracked well and didn't take much effort to keep straight, it came right up to speed and then settled there and was well balanced. There didn't seem to be as much turbulence right behind the boat as compared to the 196- I really don't like riding right behind a 196 because there is a lot of junk in that wake. It also seemed to me like there was less spray than a 196, but still a lot more spray then the RLXi- but most will never notice the spray with either of these boats.

I like SN. They are good boats to drive and ski behind but they lack flash and luxury. The seats are acceptable but not real comfy, the colors and gel coat designs are plain. One nice thing that this boat had was a heater! Man that was great to have- it was maybe 72 air and 74 water and overcast.

Bottom line is that it is a good boat but there's got to be a reason why CC is promoting that boat to the tournament crowd. If they thought they were going to make more $$ with the sale of that boat they wouldn't be saying they want to keep the closed bow 196 as their front line 3 event boat. I can't imagine why this boat wouldn't be a great all around boat for a family.

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That's a link to a thread discussing this very topic. My comparison is against a 2003 SN206 Signature Edition. As an update, I have now had several opportunities to drive this boat in the course and it definitely tracks better than the RLX and marginally better than the RLXi...

Edited by UWSkier
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Excellent review Skisix. It was a pleasure having you and Walt and your families. I hope we get to do it again soon.

A few observations of my own:

a. The wake at 15 off is very manageable. In skiing behind my buddy's 2003 196, I don't notice any difference. In fact, I prefer the wake behind the 206--perhaps due to pride of ownership issues.

b. The rooster tail/wake at 22off is a bit harder than the 196--probably in the same way as you compare the wake at 28 off--but I'm not sure as I'm not there yet.

c. My 206 is very plain and understated. As you indicated it was a promo boat from Kansas City. It is mostly silver cloud with a small blue secondary stripe. I removed the side "Nautique" decals as they were getting torn sitting next to the carpeted dock. I don't mind the plain look but am thinking that I'll add new decals this winter. I think CC has tried to address the luxury and comfort issues with their new boats. There seems to be alot more bling in the 2006 models. Nonetheless, I'm still struck by how plain my boat looks compared to your's or Maliboo's.

d. I'm not sure what CC's marketing plans are with the 206. There are a few Promo guys that have the 206 (MS on the Nichols board for one) but most still use the 196. There is no doubting that the 196 is CC's premier hardcore ski boat--your observations and my own regarding the 28/22off wake confirm such. Maybe CC built it thinking it would replace the 196 and found that the 196 was still in demand. I know a dealer back in Ohio that sells over 20 196's a year. Or maybe CC never intended to replace the 196 and looks at that boat as a heritage thing. There are alot of hardcore CC owners out there that really turn up their nose at any open bow. But, I don't really know.

e. It is very cool to ride in a boat with the skier just a few feet off the back of the boat. WOW. I hope I get there someday.

Good seeing you.


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That's a link to a thread discussing this very topic.  My comparison is against a 2003 SN206 Signature Edition.  As an update, I have now had several opportunities to drive this boat in the course and it definitely tracks better than the RLX and marginally better than the RLXi...

I don't think that Bu needs to have a gear reduction at all and if they had it, it would just hurt people. I'm 200 lbs and I think both the SN and RLXi can pull me out of the water harder than I care for. That's just me though. In fact, I've been hearing that the promo guys are playing with the props to "soften up" the RLXi. I would like to get down to ski with Galaxy to see what the bigger prop does to the pull- I'll take donations in return for a two page write up.

Tracking- this is a topic to save for the winter months but IMO, they just track differently, the MC, the SN and the Bu- they are all just a little different. Once you get used to driving one all the time and get in a different brand and expect it to respond the same you're going to be disappointed. I think that tarcking has more to do with how a boat is set up and tuned than it does with the brand. If I had a choice of the big three at a tournament I would choose whichever boat had the driver I was most comfortable with.

Steve- you keep after Norm and we'll ski again before the snow flies.

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I recall that when I've skied behind Skisix' RLXi, the pull felt firm but not too firm. When I skied behind Maliboo's boat last year I was struck by how hard the boat pulled me off the ball (the few that I could get around.) I always thought it was just me not being in position but maybe it had something to do with the set up. I enjoyed skiing behind both boats.

As far as tracking is concerned, the 206 even tracks a little different than the 196 I drive frequently. So every time I have to adjust the way I drive even when driving boats from the same manufacturer. When I drove a 2000 Sunsetter LXi I was struck at the differences--similar to what UWskier indicated in his post/link above, the Nautique feels more glued but maybe not quick as quick to respond to driver input. Such can be a good or a bad thing, depending upon what you are used to.

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kstateskier, it is Jeff Gamble. He lives outside KC on a real nice tournament lake. Do you know him?

How are my boys at K-State going to do this year? As long as they smack around the Buffs, I'll be happy.

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