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Timmay

Buying my first boat soon

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Timmay

I've decided to get into boating. I just sold my road race car, as that was a pretty selfish hobby and not very family friendly, not to mention incredibly expensive and potentially dangerous. My parents also just bought a house right next to Lake Oroville that I can use anytime I want from March to October.

I'm looking for an all around boat that's big enough for my family of four and maybe another family of 3 or 4. My main watersport will be slalom and most of my friends are into slalom. We are all average free skiers but we could much better with some time on the water. All of our kids are too small to do anything yet and it will be years before they do anything but tubing. At this point I have one other friend with a boat, it's 1994 Echelon closed bow with a 454 in it. I really like that boat but it's cramped with three adults and two little kids. I think I've narrowed my boat choices down to the Malibu Sunsetter and the Mastercraft Prostar 205. I have $17K to spend so I think I could get a late 90's early 00's version of one of those boats in good condition. What are the holeshots on these boats going to be like compared to my friend's Echelon? I know the exterior dimensions of the boats but how much more space is there compared to the Echelon? Also, is the wake difference between the Sunsetter LX and LXI that noticeable to a free skier? How does the Prostar 205 compare to the Sunsetter?

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Slayer

I was in your position a year ago and passed on a Prostar 205 for my Sunsetter LX. I paid much less than your budget and the boat skis just fine unless you're a pro level skier. I use it in the course, it pulls like crazy, particularly with my new prop, and is plenty large enough for a family of 4. I'm very pleased with the boat. A friend on my lake that I regularly ski with has a prostar 205 and loves skiing my boat. The wake is softer and there's less of a bump at 22 off. I'm partial, but I say grab a Sunsetter. Is a very nice, flexible platform on the same hull design as the Echelon.

Good luck and welcome.

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jkendallmsce

Agree with inland...for 17k, you should be able to easily get into an 00 era/gen boat.

Not sure where you are looking, but Brashers has repos, so you may be able to find a deal there...risk involved as far a not knowing the history. You can sign on and look on-line.

Have the cash ready and good luck hunting.

MC had some QC problems during the fram fram you are looking at....a ski buddy had a 2000 that had vinyl problems. Not sure which years MC did, but they put a fin on the rudder...I would stay away from those.

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Asmodeus2112

I'm on my second LX, love these boats. I don't think there is a boat that has as much value out there. I looked at 205's, but the 205's are smaller, especially the older ones. I really can't say anything about the 205, but after owning two LX's they are really great boats. The Monsoon 320 EFI is a great motor. You can find Sport Nautiques in this range too, but again, they are smaller.

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Slayer

Asmodeus makes a point I totally forgot about. You will most certainly notice the size difference on the 205 versus the SSLX. It's surprising. Oh.....the MC PS 205 has nowhere near the pull as the SSLX and also does not hold the pull as well.

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slap

Bought a 2000 SS LXi last year for under your budget. No regrets. Fits my family of 5 plus some friends no problem (open bow is a must).

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Asmodeus2112

With your ski orientation and family you should try to find an SSLXi. The extra 8" and the locker in back are really nice. They tend to be a bit more expensive, but you are not to far off. IMO the interior upgrades made in 2001 are worth paying more for. Especially on the LX, the three part rear seat is great. It allows you to take the middle seat out and step easily onto the swim deck, while still having two seats. On my '99 it's a bench, so we are always stepping onto it because we can't leave it behind and not have the seating. Also, the jump seats are awesome on a DD. If you can get one or two with the boat you buy it's a good adder. I miss the two jump seats my 2001 had, and will have to buy some for the '99.

Edited by Asmodeus2112

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SeanQ

In comparison with the Echelon, neither of these boats will come close to the same holeshot. I've skied all of those and although the 454 has a great holeshot (and awesome speed for footing), the wake is much softer on the Sunsetter and Prostar, so you'll be happy with that. At speeds <34 the wake is a little big for slalom, but still an overall improvement from an Echelon IMO. As far as the Prostar vs SS, you're asking the Malibu board, we'll all say the SS is the boat to get. To be honest with you though, I think they're pretty similar boats with similar wakes/power, go with the one you can get the better deal on.

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Bill_AirJunky
I'm looking for an all around boat that's big enough for my family of four and maybe another family of 3 or 4. My main watersport will be slalom and most of my friends are into slalom. We are all average free skiers but we could much better with some time on the water. All of our kids are too small to do anything yet and it will be years before they do anything but tubing. ................. How does the Prostar 205 compare to the Sunsetter?

Congrats on the new hobby. It's great for the family. Although I can't imagine 8 people in either of the boats you mentioned if 4 of them are kids running around being kids. Seems like it would be pretty tight & they would drive ya batty.

We always thought the Prostars & Sunsetters were very similar...... although I'm not into slalom & always had a tower & weight in them too. I'd suggest you test drive a few of them as you will find subtle things you like/dislike about the various models, ie; hull width, hull depth, cup holder placement, driver's seat, etc. They seem like stupid things to base the boat purchase on, but believe me, anything to keep the experience pleasant is a good thing.

As for kids, we have a number of them in our circle of friends who are skiing, wakeboarding & even SkySkiing long before their 5 yrs old. So don't short change their abilities. The skilled tow sports are just as much fun & give them a world of confidence that will carry over in other areas of their lives.

Have the cash ready and good luck hunting.

MC had some QC problems during the fram fram you are looking at....a ski buddy had a 2000 that had vinyl problems. Not sure which years MC did, but they put a fin on the rudder...I would stay away from those.

I agree, have cash, be ready to buy. And don't settle on a boat. Look for & test drive some boats so you know what you want. And have a mechanic look it over first.

As for the MC fin, I think they were primarily in 98 & 99 & on the PS 190. The 205 was not effected as the hull didn't change.

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Bradley Thornton

I have a friend with a 01 sunsetter he loves it came with a manual wedge. You can do it all in his boat Slalom, ski, wakeboard and surf. I will say he says all the time he wish he had a v-drive for the room. One thing nice about Malibu is the Diomand hull for people that want best of both worlds. One more bonus to owning a Malibu is the crew we are alway here to help:werule:

Edited by Bradley Thornton

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Tyger

I have a friend with a 01 sunsetter he loves it came with a manual wedge. You can do it all in his boat Slalom, ski, wakeboard and surf.

:werule:

How old are the kids?

5 year old surfing tandem

44622_427032864635_1999621_n.jpg

Same girl at 7 surfing by herself

392530_10150997254379636_502605864_n.jpg

I also have pics of a 9 year old free riding like a champ and me surfing with a 1 year old. I'm just sayin. :D

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JB-FOOT

I think everyone if forgetting the original criteria and the original questions..Well not everyone, but most as they have gotten a little off track... (or is it just me who is off track in my perception of his requirements/goals and recommendations we should really be giving?)

As for Hole-shot and solid pull...NOTHING pulls more like a train than a Big Block 454...there is no account for BIG PISTONS....also, when you load up a big block boat with 6-8 people, it really does not care, it will still pull like a train and still have an awesome hole-shot...a small block on the ohter hand with not be happy that you just added all that extra amount of people and will certainly let you know by lessening the performance of the hole-shot...unless you take other steps as I will note below...

You say you are all into skiing, you say you are going to have between 7-8 people in the boat at a time....

As a GENERAL RULE:

7 to 8 people will significantly change any slalom boats wake for the worse....

7-8 people will tax a small block that has a 1:1 direct drive transmission...

A Mastercraft with a power slot transmission (1:1.5 Ratio) will help lesson the extra people hole-shot loss and still allow you to use a small block (not many Mastercrafts have a Power Slot transmission as most are 1:1 ratio)

A Correct Craft with a PCM Power Plus transmission (1:1.23 Ratio) will help lesson the extra people hole-shot loss and still allow you to use a small block (all direct drive Correct Craft boats from 1989 to at least 2003 have the PCM Power Plus 1:1.23 transmission {except 1993-they made the 1:1 an option that year})

You will want a DIRECT DRIVE mid engine boat if your main goal for all is to be slalom....Are you going to be running the course a lot or hoping to run the course? If so, stick to a narrower boat... and forget about the big roomy 8 1/2' boats....

With that all said....TEST DRIVE EVERY BOAT YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT before buying it....and You had BETTER Ski it yourself with another 6-7 people in that boat....or your 1st boat will not be a great experience when it does not perform up to your expectations... (which in my opinion are LOFTY GOALS if your criteria is really accurate)

What boats are you and your buddies and families currently slalom skiing on now and do you LIKE those....if you let us know this, we can better help you with some boat suggestions for you....

JMHO

Edited by JB-FOOT

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Timmay

I think everyone if forgetting the original criteria and the original questions..Well not everyone, but most as they have gotten a little off track... (or is it just me who is off track in my perception of his requirements/goals and recommendations we should really be giving?)

As for Hole-shot and solid pull...NOTHING pulls more like a train than a Big Block 454...there is no account for BIG PISTONS....also, when you load up a big block boat with 6-8 people, it really does not care, it will still pull like a train and still have an awesome hole-shot...a small block on the ohter hand with not be happy that you just added all that extra amount of people and will certainly let you know by lessening the performance of the hole-shot...unless you take other steps as I will note below...

You say you are all into skiing, you say you are going to have between 7-8 people in the boat at a time....

As a GENERAL RULE:

7 to 8 people will significantly change any slalom boats wake for the worse....

7-8 people will tax a small block that has a 1:1 direct drive transmission...

A Mastercraft with a power slot transmission (1:1.5 Ratio) will help lesson the extra people hole-shot loss and still allow you to use a small block (not many Mastercrafts have a Power Slot transmission as most are 1:1 ratio)

A Correct Craft with a PCM Power Plus transmission (1:1.23 Ratio) will help lesson the extra people hole-shot loss and still allow you to use a small block (all direct drive Correct Craft boats from 1989 to at least 2003 have the PCM Power Plus 1:1.23 transmission {except 1993-they made the 1:1 an option that year})

You will want a DIRECT DRIVE mid engine boat if your main goal for all is to be slalom....Are you going to be running the course a lot or hoping to run the course? If so, stick to a narrower boat... and forget about the big roomy 8 1/2' boats....

With that all said....TEST DRIVE EVERY BOAT YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT before buying it....and You had BETTER Ski it yourself with another 6-7 people in that boat....or your 1st boat will not be a great experience when it does not perform up to your expectations... (which in my opinion are LOFTY GOALS if your criteria is really accurate)

What boats are you and your buddies and families currently slalom skiing on now and do you LIKE those....if you let us know this, we can better help you with some boat suggestions for you....

JMHO

Thanks for the replies everybody. My kids are 2 and 9mos. I guess kids are different because my nephews who are 7 and 9 still won't do anything but tube, which I thought was strange.

I don't expect a SBC to pull like a BBC. I'm just trying to gauge the difference because I know there will be one. I grew up skiing behind my parents 1978 18' SeaRay with a mercruiser inline four cylinder, then in my teenage years I wakeboarded and slalomed behind my friends 20' Cobalt with a SBC. The Cobalt was a big improvement as far as power and we didn't know any better on the wake aspect. We were just happy to be on the water. I started skiing behind my friends Echelon about 7 years ago and obviously that was a huge improvement over the i/o boats that I was used to. So, the Echelon is really the only performance tow boat I've been in, I think everything about is great, except it's too small and I'd like a little more depth for kid safety. Even my friend complains that it's too small now that he has kids. With our crew we generally take the skiers out in the morning for a skiers only trip and then wakeboard and swim off the boat later in the day.

Edited by Timmay

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barefootpaul

FWIW I have the monsoon and I have never put the hammer all the way down to pull out a slalom skier. No matter how many people are in the boat. My only complaint is when drivers hit it too hard and rip my arms off.

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85 Barefoot

I've owned a 454 and several monsoons. Unless you have the need to pull up multiple footers from deep, you'll never be wanting for power from a monsoon if skiing the primary use, even with a boat load.

The reduction trannys use steeper props so in terms of travel per revolution a SBC malibu and powerslot and powerplus are actually all very similar. If you like the way the 454 echelon skis, I'd look for a sunsetter lxi. Sunsetter is fine for most but it won't ski quite as good as that echelon just given difference of footprint, although that 454 is heavier than the 350s.

Edited by 85 Barefoot

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bretski75

SSLXI would be the cat's meow for your needs, then SSLX, then probably 205 because of the 22off kick, then Sunsetter

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kennyo

With your ski orientation and family you should try to find an SSLXi. The extra 8" and the locker in back are really nice. They tend to be a bit more expensive, but you are not to far off. IMO the interior upgrades made in 2001 are worth paying more for. Especially on the LX, the three part rear seat is great. It allows you to take the middle seat out and step easily onto the swim deck, while still having two seats. On my '99 it's a bench, so we are always stepping onto it because we can't leave it behind and not have the seating. Also, the jump seats are awesome on a DD. If you can get one or two with the boat you buy it's a good adder. I miss the two jump seats my 2001 had, and will have to buy some for the '99.

Asmodeus,

Where did you put the jumpseat on your sunsetter, behind driver seat? Also, where can you buy one?

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85 Barefoot

SSLXI would be the cat's meow for your needs, then SSLX, then probably 205 because of the 22off kick, then Sunsetter

? SSLX is the same hull as sunsetter

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Asmodeus2112

Asmodeus,

Where did you put the jumpseat on your sunsetter, behind driver seat? Also, where can you buy one?

We would almost always have one behind the captains chair. To be honest we hardly ever used the second one, but it would go on the other side of the doghouse. You can buy them from Malibu through your local Malibu dealer, or look for them used.

I've heard that Malibu will make you one or two to match you boats interior for around ~$375 each. I've seen other brands and even home made ones too.

Edited by Asmodeus2112

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jojejuca

Bought a Malibu several years ago....had lots of fun pulling our kids & their buds on wakeboards. Heartbreak last year when a storm brought the lift down - totaling it. Now searching for another Malibu all summer but hard to find on a 35k budget. Any ideas other than craigslist (tired of scammers) and boat traders? Guess I am just hoping their is a great resource I don't know about???

Jo

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Slayer

Bought a Malibu several years ago....had lots of fun pulling our kids & their buds on wakeboards. Heartbreak last year when a storm brought the lift down - totaling it. Now searching for another Malibu all summer but hard to find on a 35k budget. Any ideas other than craigslist (tired of scammers) and boat traders? Guess I am just hoping their is a great resource I don't know about???

Jo

Only Inboards dot com.

Good luck. Sorry to hear of your misfortune.

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