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idahows

I need your boat recommendation help

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idahows

Hi all,

I need your help. I'm looking for a new (new to me anyway) boat to replace an I/O. We have been primarily recreational skiers (15-22 off), hardly ever through the course but would like to get better in that area. 3 kids (12, 10 & 7) who want to board, probably won't ski much. Surfing looks like it would be a kick and I'd love to start that. When starting with a family of 5, space is going to be an issue if each kid brought a buddy along or we invited another family along. Typically, we will beach and then make runs with a portion of the group but I'd like the flexibility of having a full boat without feeling too cramped. I want to stay at the 21 foot range for ski wake, garage storage and fuel consumption. Budget is an issue and can't spend more than $30k.

My first choice would be an 01 Sunsetter VLX, given the diamond hull. I've seen a couple recently that had tower, mls, wedge, etc. listed for less than $30k. But as summer approaches, I'm not sure how many will be available and within driving distance of the Pacific Northwest.

Other choices I see would be earlier SVLXs and SLXI. Questions I have:

How do the 96-00 SVLX ski, board, surf?

Are MLS and Wedges common on this vintage of SVLXs?

I assume adding MLS and the Wedges would be cost prohibitive?

The SLXI seems like it would be a good choice performance wise for skiing, but what about boarding and surfing?

How cramped would it an SLXI be with 6-8 (mix of adults and kids)?

What other models should I consider? 02 Sunscapes are approaching $30k and would be another possibility but scarce. XTIs are also approaching the 30k mark and could work (maybe better than and SLXI?) but seem to lack storage (could be wrong here, not sure).

Bakes Marine near Seattle has a 00 SVLX with a HH and Extreme trailer that looks nice. BridgeCityWaterSports has an over priced 97 SVLX and there are some private parties that have the other models listed as well.

So what would you choose given these needs/wants? Are there others that I need to look at? Are there some here to avoid?

Thanks for your help,

David

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josh_tn

I can't help much since I just bought my first BU but here is my wake with no ballast at 35MPH. Its a 1997 Sunsetter VLX.

skiwake.jpg

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obski

It sounds like you are looking at the right boats that will meet your stated needs. I went through a similar process when I bought mine. I too have a family of 5 and there certainly is plenty of room for everybody plus friends and gear. We've been very happy with the boat.

A Sunsetter Lxi would be another boat to consider as they have plenty of storage space, have a great ski wake and a decent boarding wake when weighted. A 2000 to 2002 should be in your price range.

If you are interested in the '97 at Bridge City, I would give them a call and talk with them. I bought my boat from them and have nothing but good things to say about them. They will work with you. If the boat has been well maintained then it should last a long time. The '97 doesn't have the wrap around seating, but still has plenty of room. Maybe you could work out a deal to have them add PP, wedge, and ballast tanks. Mine came with the wedge, but I had them add the PP WBPro and an auto ballast system.

Good luck.

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mrothwell

I have the Sunsetter Lxi and 4 kids (13, 10, 7, 4). We often have the 6 of us and another family of 4 - 6 people. It has plenty of room for everyone and their stuff. I like this boat because it skis so well and still works OK for boarding.

BTW - based on your name, I'm guessing you are from Idaho, where you located?

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idahows
I can't help much since I just bought my first BU but here is my wake with no ballast at 35MPH. Its a 1997 Sunsetter VLX.

That looks pretty nice, certainly better than my old I/O. Do you have wake pics at other speeds?

How do you like the boat so far?

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Guest J-Ro

Don't forget the 96-99 Sunsetter LX. The LX wake is only marginally bigger then an LXi at ski speeds but the wakeboard wake is much much better. With 6-8, there is plenty of legroom and decent storage. You could have a solid wakeboard wake with just a sack in the ski locker (Easily added to be automatic), the wedge, and 6-8 people. Going with just the guys? add a big sack behind the engine and you will have a VLX wake (Same hull as the pre-05 VLX). Plus these boats can be had in your neck of the woods pretty reasonably. Take the old graphics off and put some new drip molds (Pretty inexpensive) and you have a classy older boat with a twist.

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idahows
I have the Sunsetter Lxi and 4 kids (13, 10, 7, 4).  We often have the 6 of us and another family of 4 - 6 people.  It has plenty of room for everyone and their stuff.  I like this boat because it skis so well and still works OK for boarding.

BTW - based on your name, I'm guessing you are from Idaho, where you located?

Wow, that's a lot of people in the boat...good to hear that it will accomodate that many.

re: my name...it's actually a play on my real name. I'm right across the Columbia River from OBSKI in Camas, WA.

David

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josh_tn

Idahows,

I have a couple more pics that I'll post later. I've only been out once since I bought it but I did snap a couple shots at wakeboarding speeds and one for surfing. So far I love it and I'm really looking forward to a great summer.

J-Ro,

Thanks man. It matches my truck very well too. Thumbup.gif

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josh_tn

Here's the other pics:

This one is 22MPH with no ballast and only me in the boat.

noballastwake.jpg

This one is 22MPH with all ballast and only me in the boat.

allballastwake2.jpg

This one is an attempt at a surf wake. Its at 11MPH but again only me in the boat Mad.gif

surfwake.jpg

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CarveItUp

We went through a similar process and decided on the Sunsetter LXi. We really like the trunk space and comfort it has and also have a thing for direct drives. The wake with the wedge has been fine for us beginning boarders and I can always add some ballast if I decide I need it.

Good luck with your search and definitely keep us posted!

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obski

Hey Josh,

That looks like a pretty darn good wake surf wake. That is some nice looking water. Even though I'm sure it was nice to be out on the water, it must have been killing you to not be able to make more use of it. Does it always look like that?

The wake doesn't look too bad at 35mph. You'll have to ski behind it and give some feedback.

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josh_tn
Hey Josh,

That looks like a pretty darn good wake surf wake.  That is some nice looking water.  Even though I'm sure it was nice to be out on the water, it must have been killing you to not be able to make more use of it.  Does it always look like that?

The wake doesn't look too bad at 35mph.  You'll have to ski behind it and give some feedback.

Thanks obski. It was a beautiful day on the water and I was DYING to get out there. I just moved about 200 miles and haven't met many fellow boaters yet. As for the lake, it is almost always possible to find water like that. It is a very winding and fairly narrow lake so there are long coves everywhere. I haven't done much skiing in several years but I'll definitely let you know when I do.

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Boomer

Josh, how are you taking those very nice pictures with only you in the boat! I can see turning around and snapping the high-speed pics, but the surf shot seems to be from the back! :)

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josh_tn
Josh, how are you taking those very nice pictures with only you in the boat! I can see turning around and snapping the high-speed pics, but the surf shot seems to be from the back! :)

SHHHH, you weren't supposed to notice that. Whistling.gif

Actually I was in some open water and no boats close by so I had to see what adding my weight to that corner would do for the wake. It helped a lot so I decided to grab the camera and live dangerously for a few seconds while I took it.

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WakeGirl

idahows,

Some very good advice on this thread & I only have a couple of things to add. I'd stay away from the Hammerhead in those years, the Callaways had their problems. What J-Ro said about the Sunsetter LX is a good thought, that boat is the Wakesetter/I-Ride now, & you can find newer models like that in your price range as well. Personally I don't think it's cost prohibitive to add a Wedge & MLS, especially since the MLS is a relatively easy DIY project & the cost of adding the Wedge you'll get back in both resale value & sellability.

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Addictedto6

I'll echo the other comments here. LXI has a great slalom wake for it size, plenty of storage and can fit the number of people you are looking for comfortably.

with the wedge, you get a decent beginners wakeboard wake - but the boat needs to be loaded with people. when there's just three of us out (2 in boat, 1 boarder) the wake is not big enough for core boarders without additional ballast.

if garage space is concern, the LXI is a little on the long side (21 8").

here's a recent ebay sale:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAP...4534103820&rd=1

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Lakenut

It sounds like you have two great boats in mind. Test drive test drive test drive. You can look a pictures all day long, but untill you get behind a boat you have no real idea of how the wake is.

I love my SLXi, but if I were more into wakeboarding I would lean twords the V drive. (Don't flame me yet DD guys. Notice I said if) Biggrin.gif

My boat handles like it is on rails and skis really well. It doesn't drive or ski like a boat that is almost 22 feet long.

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Slider

DD vs VD

You can always add ballast to a boat, so if you are not an invert throwing board junkie I say go with the sunsetter or wakesetter DD. I try to train at all the sliding sports that I can find and the WS is great.

Joe

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idahows

Great advice everyone! Thanks for your input.

David

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