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Badger

Perfect V-Drive ski boat for me - Sunscape 21 LSV??

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Badger

Help...I've been searching, reading, and re-reading all the threads I can find regarding V-drives for use for a skier.

My Situation: Been skiing behind a 18' Larson I/O for 5 years and ready for a new boat. I slalom (never been in a course but am convincing my wife we need to move to a lake that has one), my wife two-skis, and we have 2 youngsters (age 3 and 1) that I want to start them skiing soon. I know people hate to hear this, but we spend 50% of our time pulling our non-skiing friends and kids around on tubes and other crazy devices.

I haven't wake-boarded in about 3 years, since I gave myself a concussion from a face plant while learning, but am just about ready to try again. Also, Surfing looks like something I'd love to do, just not behind my I/O.

Conclusion: I want a smaller V drive, family boat. I'd much prefer a great slalom wake over a board wake. From my research on all of your great comments on this site and other brand's sites, it seems that the '05 or '06 Sunscape 21 LSV (with Diamond Hull) would be the way to go.

Would you all agree with that conclusion or have other suggestions?

What about this '07 Sunscape 20 LSV that appears to be coming out? I don't quite understand what the differences between a 20 LSV and a 21 LSV would be, besides 6" on the length and a couple hundred pounds of weight. Is it cost?

Thanks for any help you can give.

Ken

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BlastRlxi

Coming from an I/O, the Sunscape with diamond hull will be a big step up. I used to have a Sunsetter VLX (non-diamond hull) and the wakes were okay over 30 mph. Obviously, they were nowhere near tournament DD level, but they were okay. I later decided that I enjoyed slalom more than wakeboarding and went back to the DD (Response Lxi). The Sunscape 21 LSV on a diamond hull will be a good skiboat for you especially if you are not running the course. Everyone is waiting to see what the 20 LSV will be like for skiing, so that may be another good option.

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Malibudude

The cost probably won't be significant between the 20' vs 21 LSV. One carries one addtional person.

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WakeGirl

Cost may not be significant, but being that the 20' will be on the Cut Diamond hull, while the 21.5' won't, & that there's about 400lbs difference in weight between the 2 boats. That's not insignificant in terms of performance in a slalom arena.

Badger,

I'd look for either an '04 or earlier 21' vdrive on the Diamond hull (Sunscape back to '02, & in '01 it was the Sunsetter VLX), or the new 20' LSV that I mentioned. I'm willing to bet that those 2 boats will perform similarly. The '05-'07 21.5' Sunscape is a bigger, heavier boat so IMO it's not as good as its predecessor when speaking specifically about slalom. JM2C

Oh & welcome to the site Badger. :)

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Badger

Thanks for opinions so far... Cost is definitely a factor for me which would lead towards a used boat as Wakegirl mentions, but I also really like having a warranty on a new boat and am always fearful of buying someone else's lemon.

All these decisions are going to turn my hair gray!! (Even more than it already is!)

Thanks for the welcome!

Ken

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88Skier

My dealer friend tells me there's great demand for the '04 and back Sunscapes. My brother has a 04 LSV and my son tells me the wake is every bit as nice as our Sporty. He says it's a bit larger, but softer.

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WakeGirl

Okay, you've already answered the questions for how you'll use the boat. How about this, how many people will you typically be out with? The 20' boat is very nice, but if you typically take out more than 4-5 people total, the 21' will be a bit more comfortable.

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SacRiverRat

If price is a concer - buy a used boat... very low risk that way, you can always get out of it, close to what you paid for it.

Any of the v-drives you're looking at will be a significant improvment from what you're used to - both in terms of wake, and seating/storage

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Badger
Okay, you've already answered the questions for how you'll use the boat. How about this, how many people will you typically be out with? The 20' boat is very nice, but if you typically take out more than 4-5 people total, the 21' will be a bit more comfortable.

That's definitely a good point, especially with our friends all having kids nowadays. I'm not worried about staying too small because we typically ski/tube directly in front of our cottage, and it's easy to swap out people. Plus, my wife is nervous about going too much bigger because she will be afraid to drive it.

You all really have me thinking about used though, and not having to clean out the kids college fund! Biggrin.gif

Ken

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electricjohn

If you are worried about getting a lemon; 1) there are not to many out there, and 2) you can opt for the transferable warrantee.

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srab

I purchased an '06 Sunscape 21 LSV this past June after skiing behind I/O's since 2000 (18.5 ft

Sea Ray followed by 21.5 ft. Chaparral). Huge difference!!!

It's not a perfect slalom wake, but nice enough for any recreational skiing. At tournament speeds, it flattens out nicely, but it's still a huge improvement over my I/Os skiing as slow as you want to go. Still a wake to contend with, but it's much smaller, with no "froth," and much less intimidating, especially with young skiers. It feels much different, too, making it easier to hold a slalom edge out through the second side.

Drop the wedge and you have a very respectable wakeboard wake. We added an Illusion tower, and

if we decrease the rope length about 5 feet and balance the weight on the boat, both wakes clean up

perfectly at wakeboarding speeds. By the way, the cruise control is awesome for maintaining that 15

to 18 mph that we run for wakeboarding.

Haven't tried surfing yet. Will need a fat sack or other ballast.

The boat handles much differently compared with the I/Os. Very smooth, much quieter, and it turns

on a dime. Truly a joy to drive. Oh, and you can actually sit down! Bow rise is minimal and the boat

planes quickly so you don't need to stand or sit on the back of your chair to see over the bow.

The only thing that's taken some getting used to, coming from I/O boats, is that you have to pay more

attention while driving. If you don't "goose it" through oncoming rollers, you will catch one over the bow.

Also, this boat only wants to back to the right. Not a big problem, but certainly different from an I/O.

I bought new. I looked for several months at used boats, but, up to 5 years old and newer, they all were

priced at $30,000 or more, at least in my area. Even the smaller '03 and '04 21 LSVs, a half-foot shorter with less beam and 500 lbs. lighter, were over $30K. Brand new was well under $40K, so I went that route. Of course, I was looking at peak season, so prices for used may be better now.

You'll love this boat.

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WakeGirl
I bought new. I looked for several months at used boats, but, up to 5 years old and newer, they all were

priced at $30,000 or more, at least in my area. Even the smaller '03 and '04 21 LSVs, a half-foot shorter with less beam and 500 lbs. lighter, were over $30K. Brand new was well under $40K, so I went that route. Of course, I was looking at peak season, so prices for used may be better now.

You'll love this boat.

That boat is holding its resale value so well because of what it is, what you stated. They don't make that boat anymore & many feel that for slalom it is a superior hull to the new V25-hulled Sunscape. If that continues to be the case (Malibu not producing the SV23 Diamond hull on a 21' boat), resale will continue to be high for that boat. In your case (recreational skiing), it sounds like you bought the boat that fits your needs. The OP asked about possible course skiing & that being the case, I would try to steer him toward something that would work better in that arena.

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vette-ski

I have an 01 Sunsetter VLX on a diamond hull. I'm probably overly biased but I love it. I learned to slalom behind an I/O before I had my boat. Now that I've spent time behind mine, I won't go behind my buddies I/O any more. To me, there was that much difference. Probably not as good as a DD, but honestly at my level of skiing I really don't notice that much difference between my wake at 34 and some of the DDs I've been behind. You're in MI right? If the weather hadn't taken a major turn for the worse here the last few weeks I'd offer you a tow. But unfortunately I've been a wimp here lately and am very close to just calling it a season and getting the winterizing overwith.

The other nice benefit of this hull is if you want to board, it's very versatile to do that as well. I put a tower and wedge on mine and with some ballast it's a very respectable boarding boat.

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chadwick02

Funny story Ken,

I was in your exact situation this summer. My family owns a house on a lake, and we spend lots of time there. Lots of skiing, (slalom and combo), some wakeboarding, some tubing, and lots of hanging out. We had a 18' larson bow rider, which we loved for many years, but as I was progressing I wanted a better ski boat. I upgraded this summer to an '02 sunscape 21 LSV on a diamond hull, and I LOVE IT.

- The ski wake is very good, almost (but not quite) as good as a friends sportster. A HUGE improvement over any IO by far. And this is coming from an advanced slolem skier, not a wakeboarder. Very flat wake at slalom speeds.

- A good wakeboard wake also, especially with a wedge, some ballast, and a boat full of friends and family

- good tube-pulling-machine, even when loaded with people.

- an excellent configuration for hanging and chilling out on the water. I wanted a direct drive at first, however that configuration does not do well when you have 6, 8, or more people who all want to go out at the same time. The V-drive accommodates lots of people very comfortably! The boat handles well when loaded too.

I really cant say enough about the LSV's. They are the perfect solution to people in your situation.

- Chad

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Baddog

The V layout does make it easier to move people around, but I dearly love the lack od wake that my DD provides. Most of the time I only have 2-3 other folks in the boat anyway so for me it works quite well.

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BlastRlxi
The V layout does make it easier to move people around, but I dearly love the lack od wake that my DD provides. Most of the time I only have 2-3 other folks in the boat anyway so for me it works quite well.

Same here. Most of the time, it is only the wife and 2 kids with me and we never lack room in the DD configuration. To me, the lack of seating capacity is a small price to pay for the DD performance.

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vette-ski

As for the layout, it all depends on how you use the boat. I would never give up my v-drive layout. But I consider a crew of 4 a small crowd. The DD layout looks like you have plenty of room, but the back half of the boat pretty becomes unusable if you want to ski because the pylon is up front. An open bow DD will help some. All I know is when we go in my buddies closed bow DD, we always end up having someone have to lay down in the back to keep from getting closelined with the rope. And whenever I have guests aboard who are used to a DD, they love the v-drive layout.

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UWSkier

Ken, do you live in Wisconsin? Just a hunch with the name Badger...

I know of a completely cherry 2001 Sunsetter VLX that just might be for sale come springtime... ;)

If slalom is your main passion, but you must have a V drive, the 2001 Sunsetter VLX, 2002-2004 Sunscape 21 LSV, or the 2007 Sunscape 20 LSV is the answer. From what most people have experienced, the 2005 and 2006 21LSV on the V25 Diamond hull versus the SV23 Diamond of the models I mentioned does not ski quite as well, especially at slower speeds.

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vette-ski

Actually he's here in Wolverine country, but I won't compete for the business because mine's not for sale!

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Badger
Actually he's here in Wolverine country, but I won't compete for the business because mine's not for sale!

Yes, I do live in Michigan which originally stemmed from my interest in the auto industry. I grew up in Northern WI, college in Madison, spent my summers working in Door County, and have spent some time in Milwaukee. Ford Motor Company took me to MI, and now my wife and her family is keeping me here.

I take a lot of heat for being a Badger fan over here, but at least the Packer game last week cut down on a bit of the razzing.

Actually, I may have a lead on a 2001 Sunsetter VLX with less than 100 hrs. I don't have any details on options yet but understand it was an older gentleman's cruising boat. So I'd doubt it's optioned out.

Any ideas what would be a fair starting price, assuming it's a base level boat? Doing a search on the web, I've seen asking prices anywhere from $18,400 to 32,000.

Ken

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UWSkier

$18,400 is insanely low for that boat. If it's in good shape on a single axle trailer, no tower or PerfectPass and the Monsoon engine, around $28,000 would be max. We were offered $29,000 for ours last year around this time.

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Badger
$18,400 is insanely low for that boat. If it's in good shape on a single axle trailer, no tower or PerfectPass and the Monsoon engine, around $28,000 would be max. We were offered $29,000 for ours last year around this time.

Thanks. I spoke with the dealer yesterday, and the gentleman with the boat hasn't pulled the trigger on a trade yet. The dealer said it would probably be priced at $26,000 if they get it.

The more I've been thinking about all or your various comments, I've decided "broken-in" (used) may be the way to go for me right now. I have to agree with WakeGirl's comments that these 2001-2004 SunSetter/Sunscape VLX/S models are highly sought after. Looking at all of the various web marketplaces, I seen about a total of 4 boats for sale, and they are all in opposite ends of the country from me. So much for my thought of getting a good deal at the end of the season Cry.gif

Thanks again for everyone's comments. You all are priceless!

Ken

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FijiRob

Slalom wake of my 2005 21LSV. Speed was around 34mph with 15' off rope. The wake is great for open water skiing.

post-113-1159885628_thumb.jpg

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Slurpee

Just a quick note. I have the '01 Sunsetter VLX (later called the Sunscape 21 LSV). If I were to do anything different it would have been to spend a couple grand more for the '02 model. It's got improved construction, new windshield and cockpit improvements. If I were to upgrade again it'd be fore the '04 to get the gorilla tracking fins. I don't think I'd ever go for the new 21.5 models. The VTX on the other hand looks appealing. Can't wait to get behind that next year. Anyone in TX buying one yet?

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vette-ski
'04 to get the gorilla tracking fins

Just curious, is there something different between a "gorilla" fin and a normal fin? My '01 SS has tracking fins.

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