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Gone Boatin'

Good used v-drive advice

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Gone Boatin'

Good day all,

We have a 97 Sunsetter lxi that has been a great boat for the last six years, used mostly for wakeboarding - as is with only a tower installed.

I would like to upgrade to something a few years newer, perhaps 2000- early 2000's in a v-drive to provide a little more useful space inside -and possible a little better wake. An improved ride would be a bonus.

So a couple of questions, does the engine being in the rear make a better wake for wakeboarding - apples to apples weightwise.

The two v-drives I have narrowed it down to are another sunsetter in a VLX, or seeing some deals around on Maristar VRS's, a couple which have been the 23ft version, which would be lots of room and a whole lot cheaper than a Malibu in that size, they also have a 21 ft.

that looks nicely laid out.

I know the sunsetter hull of course, the only difference is how the engine in the back is going to change the wake. Sounds like the Maristars have a little more deadrise, which would be great for the ride, but dont know how that would affect wakeboarding. The sunsetters ride is pretty punishing in the chop.

So anyway, thoughts or comments? Anyone have direct experience with either.

Thanks, hope yall are getting in some boating.

Edited by Gone Boatin'

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MadMan

I was in the same boat as you a couple years ago (pun intended). Had a 90's Sunsetter, bought a '00 23LSV. Far and away the biggest advantage is interior room, usable space.

One thing you have to remember about going from DD to v-drive is you are basically just swapping the placement of the engine and fuel tank. So while there is more weight towards the back with the v-drive, it's not as much as it seems.

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dlb

The VLX is the wake machine from that time period not the Maristar. What year are you looking at? Check the resource section at the top of the page. You can get all the specs and look at the brochure for each boat and year.

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Levi900RR

My buddy has a 99 maristar 23 VRS and although the fit and finish and interior is not as nice as my Sunscape the wake / wave is awesome.

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henrik

We went from an older sunsetter to an 03 VLX Wakesetter. Night and day difference. VLX is built for wakeboarding and was the boat in that day. We can get a decent surf wake as well. Impeller service is tougher and you're adding the v-drive unit that needs servicing as well. So far we are very happy with the upgrade.

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Gone Boatin'

Cool, good info, nice to hear the maristar vrs 230 puts up a decent wake, it sure would be nice to have the space of a 23 footer. We've really enjoyed our sunsetter though, love the quality of Malibu,its been rock solid and dead reliable, a sunsetter/early wakesetter vlx would be great, might come down to right deal at the right time.

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dlb

I choose between a Maristar vrs 230 and my Wakesetter23 LSV. The Wakesetter is a much more versital boat for lots of reasons, wake included. Having the wedge is an advantage in that respect. Fit and finish have been fine and 12 years of reliable use (the crew helps out here) makes the decision one of the best we have made.

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Gone Boatin'

I guess i've been overlooking the lsv

Sounds like every thing we need.

And its a bu'

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brycejb328

I used the have the exact boat that you have now, 1997 Sunsetter DD. I went to a 2001 tige 21v after that boat (they get a bad rap, but its a pretty good boat if you ask me), and now a 2006 Wakesetter VLX.

Ride - honestly that 2001 Tige I had rode better in rough water (I am talking big boat traffic on the st. croix river), I credit the trim tab, which you won't get with a malibu. I have to "work the throttle" more on my current VLX in rough water and over-taking big boats rollers. Never taken water over the bow though, plowing at 16-18 MPH will bust through most any water you come across with ease and keeps the jarring slams to a minimium.

I used to ride behind a LOADED sunsetter VLX and it had a great wake, from a ride standpoint, I would be inclined to go newer than the SV23 hull sunsetter vlx. From my experience, you won't get a great improvement in ride going from your 1997 DD to a early 2000 V-drive

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Gone Boatin'

So, as I read more about hulls the plot thickens, sounds like the deeper the v, the better the ride but the more abrupt the wake becomes for wake boarding with not as smooth and rampy of a transition. It is starting to making sense to me as I think about riding in and behind a friends I/O with a deep V - cadillac ride but a horribly steep and curling wake for wakeboarding.

I would definitely like a 23 foot boat for the room but unfortunately, according to the specs in the resources tab, all the 23ft. and bigger Malibus up until 2004 had the diamond hull when they came out with the V25 wake hull. From what I'm reading around the forum, some people notice a huge difference between the diamond and wake hulls and some do not.

I'd sure hate to buy a pre 04 LSV just for the space and ride and end up hating the wake, especially since We've gotten used to the sv23 hull on the sunsetter, which morphed into the 21ft Wakesetter through 03 and I guess ultimately the V25 Wake hull on the larger Wakesetter in 04.

The 04 23ft. Wakesetter with the V25 Wake hull sounds like what I need I but wasnt planning on spending that much. So I guess the choices are to either bite the bullet and outlay the cash, or stick with an earlier Wakesetter or Sunsetter with v-drive and forgo the space and or ride for a better wake if we have to compromise.

Any thoughts? Also, still interested in hearing more peoples experience wakeboarding behind the 23ft diamond hull.

Edited by Gone Boatin'

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Levi900RR

Two comments... I ONLY wakeboard and surf. I have a diamond hull and I think the wake is great. Unless you are a really high level wakeboarder I would not cut that hull out of your search. Just my 2 cents. Second, if I could do it over again I would have tried to find a 23 footer. At the time I was sticking to a 21 due to lift capacity which was stupid. I ended up buying a new lift anyway and now I really wish I had that extra space. It makes a big difference when you have the table up and 5+ people on board.

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shawndoggy

calling the pre-04 23' hull "diamond" is really a misnomer... there was only one hull on the 23s, so it really should just be called the "23 hull" or better yet the 22.5 hull, since the pre-04 "23" boats were really 22'6".

Either of those hulls (21' pre-05 or 23' pre-04) are going to beat you up in chop. They are flat bottomed hulls. They are also going to produce a good low-speed wake for beginners and a decent ski wake for skiers (the pre-04 23 is a pretty decent skiing "big boat"). Both hulls have relatively low freeboard by modern standards and aren't going to take as much weight for surfing as the new stuff.

The little 21 is a great boat for a small crew and the wake can get really nice without too much weight and they are also great on gas. Sure, newer boats surf better, but they are harder to tow, take more weight to get a good wakeboarding wake, and burn more fuel doing it. It's a trade-off.

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daylorb

I owned a Maristar 230 VRS. I now own a 23 LSV so obviously I decided to sell it, but I've always told people it was one of my favorite boats ever. Here is a wakesurfing video from it - circa 2006.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNwFQ4WedMc. Pretty decent wakesurfing wave even, this is with a 750 in the rear locker, 200 lb center, and 120lb in the bow one person in the boat.

It was light (3,000 lbs), reliable, had great power, tons of room, and for the time decent finish out. Fantastic family boat and great value - it was also only $21K when I bought it in 2006 with 200 hours on it - total steal. So I would say - great boat if you can find one with reasonably low hours and a good price.

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racer808

So, as I read more about hulls the plot thickens, sounds like the deeper the v, the better the ride but the more abrupt the wake becomes for wake boarding with not as smooth and rampy of a transition. It is starting to making sense to me as I think about riding in and behind a friends I/O with a deep V - cadillac ride but a horribly steep and curling wake for wakeboarding.

I would definitely like a 23 foot boat for the room but unfortunately, according to the specs in the resources tab, all the 23ft. and bigger Malibus up until 2004 had the diamond hull when they came out with the V25 wake hull. From what I'm reading around the forum, some people notice a huge difference between the diamond and wake hulls and some do not.

I'd sure hate to buy a pre 04 LSV just for the space and ride and end up hating the wake, especially since We've gotten used to the sv23 hull on the sunsetter, which morphed into the 21ft Wakesetter through 03 and I guess ultimately the V25 Wake hull on the larger Wakesetter in 04.

The 04 23ft. Wakesetter with the V25 Wake hull sounds like what I need I but wasnt planning on spending that much. So I guess the choices are to either bite the bullet and outlay the cash, or stick with an earlier Wakesetter or Sunsetter with v-drive and forgo the space and or ride for a better wake if we have to compromise.

Any thoughts? Also, still interested in hearing more peoples experience wakeboarding behind the 23ft diamond hull.

I have an 02 wakesetter & it's a great boat, you really can't go wrong. However, I am pretty sure my next boat will be a Centurion just for the deep V. My boat hates chop! It can handle it, I have never taken a roller but it sucks if its really choppy, we either go cove it or leave. This year we have mostly only went out very early & left around 9-10 when the people started showing up, our lakes are just too busy.

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Nitrousbird

calling the pre-04 23' hull "diamond" is really a misnomer... there was only one hull on the 23s, so it really should just be called the "23 hull" or better yet the 22.5 hull, since the pre-04 "23" boats were really 22'6".

Either of those hulls (21' pre-05 or 23' pre-04) are going to beat you up in chop. They are flat bottomed hulls. They are also going to produce a good low-speed wake for beginners and a decent ski wake for skiers (the pre-04 23 is a pretty decent skiing "big boat"). Both hulls have relatively low freeboard by modern standards and aren't going to take as much weight for surfing as the new stuff.

The little 21 is a great boat for a small crew and the wake can get really nice without too much weight and they are also great on gas. Sure, newer boats surf better, but they are harder to tow, take more weight to get a good wakeboarding wake, and burn more fuel doing it. It's a trade-off.

I'm going to go ahead and trade you boats to help you with that gas money problem. Glad to help out.

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mlundquist

My first boat was 2000 21 Maristar. I added the tower and factory ballast. I surfed, wakeboarded and slalomed. I loved that boat. 21' was plenty big. I now have a 2013 vlx and love that just as much but for totally different reasons. I surf 90% of the time.

With the proper weighting on the MC, the surf wake was decent. PM if you have more questions.

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Gone Boatin'

Great input everyone thanks, I will probably stick with a wakesetter because we want to wakeboard first and foremost and, uh, the name pretty much says it all. :)

I'm thinking the hull we're used to on the sunsetter with a few extra things like v-drive, some ballast and cruise control would be enough of an upgrade for what we need,

so early 2000's wakesetter it is, - or maybe if we're feeling especially sassy, an 05 23 footer.

Ya know maybe its just time to sell all that other useless stuff anyway - spare car, snowmobiles, etc, - cuz a mans gots to have his priorities. :surprised:

Edited by Gone Boatin'

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