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Toronto Boater

Help with New Boat selection

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Toronto Boater

I currently have a 1991 Sunbird Corsair, 19ft cuddy with a 4.3 I/O OMC Cobra. I am an avid slalom skiier and am looking to upgrade to a more specialized ski boat, which is also newer and more reliable. I am considering a direct drive ski boat, in the $20,000 to $25,000 (Canadian) range and wanted suggestions. To buy a Mastercraft, Malibu or Correct Craft (ski nautique) in that price range, I would have to go as far back as a 1999 to 2002 model. If I am prepared to buy a Moomba, I can go closer to a 2005 model or so. I know that the Moomba is a downgrade from the others, but at my skill level and needs, I would be prepared to do it, provided that the boat is RELIABLE.

So my question is, because I am very concerned about reliability, should I opt for the Moomba (which is newer) or am I better off with an older model from the "big three".

And how far back should I go, if I want to minimize any reliabilty issues? Ideally, I would stay in the 5 years or less range, but this will be very expensive for a ski boat.

One more question re: direct drives - this is my first one, and I like the fact that I can currently trim up my I/O in shallow water. There is one area of the lake which is shallow (my sister's dock) and I would need to go there periodically - what is the minimum depth I would be able to go (very slowly) with a direct drive that cannot be trimmed up?

Thanks for your thoughts.

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bamabonners

I would look for an older nautique first. Hard to beat those older nautques.

as for depth, I get real nervous below 4 feet because you don't know if something is sticking up under the water. Under 3 feet - I don't go in under power.

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barefootpaul

I have a 99 response with the monsoon. The engine has been perfect for the four years I have had it. Not even one tiny issue. These things Last :rockon:

You should be able to find an early to mid 2000s response (maybe not lxi) in your price range. They would have many many years of life left in them if they have been well maintained.

As far as draft. I am in under 3 feet often. My boat drafts under 2 feet (16" or 22" depending on what you read). Most I/Os cant go that shallow even with their out drive trimmed up.

good luck and welcome to the crew :rockon:

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85 Barefoot

I would look for an older nautique first. Hard to beat those older nautques.

as for depth, I get real nervous below 4 feet because you don't know if something is sticking up under the water. Under 3 feet - I don't go in under power.

I would say look for a malibu and that's because the hull/wakeshape is still essentially the same. The correct craft and mastercraft hulls have changed substantially since then, sometimes not for the better. One year in particular for Mastercraft and I have a 98 repsonse (first year of the diamond hull) and i'd put its wake up against the tsc nautiques any day. Not to mention in 2000 they went to digital gauges many of which had issues, and unnecessarily complicate the longevity of an old boat.

Any 99 and up response is the precise same boat still made. in 98 they had diamond hull but no trunk. Even though moomba cheaper, it's rate of decline will continue as compared to the big 3.

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windy1

I could not be happier with my sunsetter. For slolom only an LXI may be a better choice but you should be able to find a nice one in your range. no reliability issues at all.

One thing I do miss on my old 4.3 I/O how little fuel a v6 uses compaired to a v8. but I will never go back.

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Michigan boarder

If you are going to do all the maintenance yourself, then pick any 1 of the the big 3. Find the model(s) that you like the most out of all 3, then start hunting. As said earlier, depreciation will be slower, assuming you get a good deal.

If you are going to be taking it to a local dealer for work, then go with whatever manufacturer they support, so you have a place that can help you maintain or repair it and stay on the water.

You'll be able to find some very nice boats in that price range.

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CumminsBu

I bought my 05 RLX in that price range keep looking they are out there. I wouldn't trade my boat for anything else. The wake are just awesome for skiing.

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Indyxc

Newer moomba boats are going to be just as reliable as the big "3" 4. They all use the same powertrain (basically), and the ski wakes are going to be comparable on any newer ski boat. Making a flat wake isn't difficult.

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85 Barefoot

Newer moomba boats are going to be just as reliable as the big "3" 4. They all use the same powertrain (basically), and the ski wakes are going to be comparable on any newer ski boat. Making a flat wake isn't difficult.

It is actually pretty difficult to have a flat wake. It took correct craft 30 years, literally. If you're looking at an outback, just make sure you go ski it first. If you find a deal on one of the big 3, do your homework as to which hull it is. A prostar 190 is not always a prostar 190. If you have some examples of the spcific years of boats you're looking at perhaps more feedback can be givne.

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Sixball

Newer moomba boats are going to be just as reliable as the big "3" 4. They all use the same powertrain (basically), and the ski wakes are going to be comparable on any newer ski boat. Making a flat wake isn't difficult.

I have not skied a Moomba in the last three years but have skied some DD before and all had small but very crisp wakes. Not as good as the big three.

JMHO

Edited by Sixball

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Slayer

Given your price range, you should have no problem finding a really good wake in a used Malibu. If space is not a concern, a RLX is the way to go. If you want more space, look into a sunsetter or sunsetter lxi. I was in your position last year, got the green light this year and bought a sunsetter lx and it's a great boat. Well maintained, clean, runs great, skis pretty well, and is just a great all around boat. Coming from your IO, nearly any DD will be a serious improvement.

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Soon2BV

All good advise - stay with the big 3 and you won't regret it.

Make sure you ski behind whichevr one you are going to buy.

One difference I/O to DD. In my old I/O, I could trim out the outdirive and almost make my wake disappear.

I had a 19' Sea Sprite with a 140 4 cylinder, so almost no weight in the back of the boat.

The hull was a great design and at 36 MPH the wake was very flat.

With a DD or VD you don't have that option. You can move some weight around, but that is not the same.

So, be sure you ski behind the boat and like the wake at the line lengths where you ski.

I don't now how far youwant to travel for a boat, but I saw some nice Malibus in the Louisville and Knoxville KY Craigslist ads a few weeks ago that sound ike what you are looking for.

This one looks nice -

My link

This one looks nice but is a little pricey -

My link

Here is a 1992 F3 -

My link

Edited by Soon2BV

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MARiley
as for depth, I get real nervous below 4 feet because you don't know if something is sticking up under the water. Under 3 feet - I don't go in under power.

same here. the boats don't draft much on plane, so sometimes it's better just to stay on it---as scary as that may be.

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nyryan2001

One more question re: direct drives - this is my first one, and I like the fact that I can currently trim up my I/O in shallow water. There is one area of the lake which is shallow (my sister's dock) and I would need to go there periodically - what is the minimum depth I would be able to go (very slowly) with a direct drive that cannot be trimmed up?

Thanks for your thoughts.

If you know the bottom well, and you know its just sand, you can idle thru 2 - 2.5ft or so.... when I back in at party cove, my swim platform is waist high, approx 2.5 ft,,,, and there is about 3-4 inches between the sand bottom and the lowest point of the boat, the rudder. I would only reccomend doing that in area you know there are no rocks or obstructions and you know it is a sand bottom. Even gently snagging your rudder on a rock at idle speeds puts major torque on the thru hull portion of the rudder...ie 3000lbs going 2-3mph and stopping on dime... gotta be carefull in these boats in skinny water, much different than an I/O.

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davemac

In your price range, you should have some pretty good options. I'd start by determining if you want/need an open bow.... which will help narrow down your choices. If walk thru open bow is your desire, you may find a Response LXI (introduced in 2003-2006, before initial redesign). I love mine. Also, late 90's, early 2000s Sunsetters are highly touted as great all around, roomy boats. Closed bow Responses and walk over Response LXs also worth looking at.

Aside from Malibus, my favorite ski boat is the Ski Nautique 1997-1999 w/ the Ford GT-40 engine. I have three friends that own them. Great pure ski boat, and wakes. Avoid the Correct Crafts with the digital gauges (either 2000 or 2001) as was a short lived failure. I'm REALLY not a fan of any of the open bow Nautiques (prior the latest model year 2010).

As always, do your homework and make sure the boat was well cared for. Good luck, coming from an i/o, skiing and driving will be another world of enjoyment.

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DONTW8

From my experience.

Condition of a used boat and proximity to your location matter more than model, within limits.

Particular boat model prices vary widely from region to region.

Example: In Oregon it is really hard to find a reasonable priced Response LXI .

Ski Nautique prices are higher, with a rare boat priced reasonable.

However, Response LX models are readily available , often cheap.

If you need a roomy boat you should consider a 1999 or newer Sunsetter DD first.

If you don't need a tower you can get a much better boat for the same money.

Look for a 2003 and newer Response LXI, Mastercraft Prostar 197, Sunsetter DD, or if you can go small a Response LX.

Buy the Best Boat in good condition.

Edited by DONTW8

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Toronto Boater

To all - thanks for your very helpful responses!

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Sliderfiii

I'm in Toronto as well and the best deals are in the USA....I bought my 99 Sportster from a friend in July who picked it up in 2008 used in Michigan from the original owner. The original owner bought it from Skiers Pier I think in Michigan who apparently have a good rep..here is their link

www.skierspier.com

This is my first inboard as well...it needs 16 inches of water min but I would suggest closer to 30 inches when docking.

If you own a cottage consider a lift....I did

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Steve B.

As some posters said above, I think your main issue is the current condition of the boat. You are going used, so hopefully a nice, one owner, meticulously maintained boat.

Next question is open or closed bow. I looked at a couple Sport Nautiques, but to me, the open bow didn't hold a candle to the Sunsetter I chose. In the two years I looked in my area, no open bow Mastercrafts in my price range appeared.

I have seen some nice open bow Echelons for sale. To me that would be possibly the ultimate slalom wake roominess, quality for the money purchase. ha, but the Sunsetter, slightly larger wake, but huge roominess may be the ticket !

Have fun in your boat quest !

Steve B.

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Nitrousbird

People keep mentioning his "price range" but even though the Canadian dollar is now ~equal to the American dollar, boats, cars, RV's, etc. are all more expensive in Canada. If he is willing to ship across a border that's one thing (my father-in-law just did that with his RV - but he lives in Newfoundland where things are more expensive than most of Canada). If not crossing the border, just because you can buy it here for x dollars means nothing to him.

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WoodyBC

In July I did the same thing you are doing now. I had a 97 Rinker Captiva 182, I/O 4.3 that my family skied, tubed, and wake boarded off of for 6 years. It did everything we needed ok, but did nothing well except sipping fuel. My neighbor had a buddy that brought over a 2001 Malibu Sunsetter LXI 325 hp (injected) boat. I was invited to ski behind her and what a difference. The power was awesome, snatched you out of the water so fast you dont even get wet. The wake was very nice. The bump that you had to cross in the middle was crisp, and wider than I was used to but nothing crazy. In retrospect, I have found out that this was due to only going 30mph, a full tank of fuel (35 gal) and 5 other people in the boat. Owner said he wanted to sell it, he was done skiing and ready to let her go (with a small tear in his eye).

Fast forward one month, I ended up buying the Sunsetter LXI and I absolutely love it. It does everything my family wants and more. It does use a little more fuel, but the sound, power, and smiles-per-gallon are way up there. Also the CDI factor is off the chart. (Chicks-Dig-It).

The boat was maintained in like-new condition by a very picky owner, and I will continue this tradition. It only had 345 hrs on it and looked like new. I was able to negotiate several extras with it, cover, ski's, ropes, vests, etc,. and got her less than $20k.

I would not consider the closed bow boat for my family. What never thought of in my early search for a "ski" boat is when you are skiing the rope is on the pylon in the center of the boat. You have the driver and the spotter, and with a closed bow boats that I was looking at, that left a few people sitting on the dock. I have friends and family that like to go in the boat when I ski so open bow was a must. You cant have anyone sit behind the pylon when you are skiing due to the rope going back and forth would catch on them. Good luck with your search. There are some awesome boats out there. In your price range, you will get a like-new boat for half the price. Enjoy! :yahoo:

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