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What's The Best Way To Try Out Different Boats?


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I'd really like to ski and ride behind a VTX and a VLX. I'd like to try a diamond hull and wake hull.

What is the best way to go about test riding behind these boats? Unless I found a rocket deal this fall, I'll probably buy used.

- Having a boat shop take me out when I doubt I'm willing to buy a new boat seems shady.

- For an individual seller, are you likely to be willing to take me out, let me ski and ride without immediate intent to buy? Seems a bit jerk-ish to me.

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Dealer should take you out, they sell used boats all the time. Even if they don't have exactly what you want when you demo that doesn't mean they won't take something in on trade that could meet your specs.

If you're a serious buyer then you are not wasting anyone's time.

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Most people don't lock their boats up. A small set of jumpers should get you going. As long as you don't mind test driving at 3:00 am I don't see a problem with this strategy.

Oh, you could also look up ski clubs and message boards if you're into the whole boating with daylight thing.


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I test drove 3 new boats and 1 used. All from different dealers, and the used one was from an individual. My wife and I skied behind all of them. I would not buy a boat without taking it out first.

Also, you might start a thread to see if any one in your area is willing to take you out on their boat for a bit so you can try the different hulls, etc. Where are you located?

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I am currently selling a boat and I would be happy to take any prospective buyer out for a spin, but I would expect that to be the last thing before the deal closes. On the other hand if a crew member contacted me and said up front that he or she would like to get behind my boat just to compare for a future purchase I might be up for that too as long as I know up front.

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Another great way is to find out what crew members are close to you and what their boats are. Also a great way to make some awesome friends. That, or attend one of the WOW's that are close to you. Thumbup.gif I probably rode behind 4 different Malibu hulls last year. Rockon.gif

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I would have to agree with Martinarcher. I joined the malibucrew before I had a boat and asked around for a test ride in the boat that I wanted (gas money and beer was my lure!)

I was lucky enough to meet some of my best boating friends by using this method, and ended up buying the same boat that I test rode behind!

As around on here, I'm sure there's some folks close to you that would be willing to get you out.

Where do you live anyways?

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I just sold my Response and took all 3 serious buyers out on the lake, the last one that actually purchased I spent nearly 2 hours with, and the whole family had a run behind the boat plus I spent time time explaining bits and pieces. I was happy to do this, I want the buyer to be confident they have bought the right boat and happy with the purchase too, especially if they are local and we are likely to meet up on the water occasionally. Sad to see it go though, had it since 1998

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Many Malibu dealers have an open house/demo day once a year http://malibuboats.blogspot.com/2011/03/2011-malibu-boats-demo-days.html

Some of these have been mentioned, but find a third on any sites (wakeworld), other crew members, wakeboard or waterski camps, clinics, competitions (INT league). Dealers. Or don't even be afraid to walk up to someone at a ramp and ask if you could get a pull sometime and explain you're considering purchase of that boat (always offer Gas $ in this situation) - if it sounds weird and they don't offer, they're a snobby tool, most would give you a pull.

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When I was boat shopping I must have test drove a dozen boats before I finally bought one. I didn't ride behind them all, but more than enough to get a feel for the wake & know what I wanted when it came time to buy.

Even now, 5 yrs later, our dealer still offers to bring us out. Last fall he had a demo day & invited about a dozen of us to join them on a 2011 247 with the 550 hp supercharged engine. The wake behind that thing is SICK. All of us we're goin HUGE behind it. :rockon:

We just went to a movie release party our dealer had last night..... the new Danny Harf flick, Defy. Good movie, great time, free beer & pizza. And besides, it's not very often you see a bu in a bar. :rockon:


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