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JPF182

Entry Level Question

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JPF182

Looking for a good all-around lake boat to intrrduce our tween kids to wakesurfing and boarding.  Perhaps some skiing but not primary purpose of the boat.  We are on a good sized lake that has both a Nautique dealer and a Malibu dealer.  We are being shown a 22 mxz (2018) and a 23 lsv (2018) from the Malibu dealer and a GS20 and a GS22 from the Nautique dealer.  We are really at the beginner level now but the kids are into it and would like to have the best all around boat that we can grow into.

Any recommendations and/or pros and cons would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

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Eagleboy99

Whatever you buy as a first boat is going to change.  BUT, any of the boats you listed will do just fine.  The only way to know for sure is to drive and ride them.

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JPF182

Thanks much.  We aren’t experienced drivers of this type of boat, so not sure driving it would give us a lot of info via-a-vis what it’s like behind but obviously we could figure out what we like to drive.

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oldjeep

Might want to start used befote jumping headfirst into a 100k plus new boat. 

As for the boats listed, that is a really wide range.  The gs20 is more like a malibu vtx

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ORMailbuboater

Your list of boats are all good choices.   I take it this is your 1st boat?  Or are you upgrading to a Wakeboard\Surf boat?   Other questions that come to mind are how many will be in your crew routinely?  Do you have the tow rig and storage space for a larger boat?  Cost a consideration?  There are lots of reasons we pick the boats that we do for our needs.  Any of the boats on your list I think can be grown into for a beginner.    Some will have "better" waves than others for wakeboarding\surfing.  How much better do you need is subjective.  Bigger is better in my opinion to a price\size point.  

There are also varied opinions on which manufacturer to choose.  Both make excellent boats.   I personally have an affinity for the Malibu boat.  It just feels right to me.  Though I like many things that Nautique does as well.    I maybe biased as I have a 2016 23 LSV.  To me at the time it was a perfect choice.  Fit my budget, fits in my garage, love the traditional bow styling.  As Eagleboy 99 mentioned.  You really need to ride, drive and if possible take a turn behind the boat.  Each will be different.  No right or wrong.  You may get a better feeling in one vs another.  In the end there is no wrong answer.  You do not need to be an expert driver to appreciate the differences.  

I also suggest if this is your 1st boat to possibly look at a newer 1-2 year old previously owned boat.  If you have never owned a inboard boat before you are going to make mistakes.  We all did with our first boats.  Docking, Trailering, maneuvering, shallow water situations is different with an inboard boat.  It may take a while to get the feel for it.  Personally I chose my 1st boat as a slightly used boat for that reason.  Never liked the idea of making mistakes with +$100k brand new boat.  Not that I like hitting a dock or missing the trailer, etc...  it was easier on my nerves with less worry.  Deprecation on boats is steep.  Scaring them only adds to devaluing.  

Good luck.  You can also find many online reviews.  Below are a couple of links.  

https://www.boats.com/boats/malibu/wakesetter-23-lsv-6843348/?refSource=brand showcase listing

https://www.wakeboardingmag.com/2018-super-air-nautique-gs22?video=x6dmmrb

 

Edited by ORMailbuboater

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ID AX

Welcome and what a great problem to have.  I will repeat what most have said already.  Test, test and test some more.  The more you sit in the different boats, the more you will get a feel for what’s comfortable to you.  Are both dealers close?  Are you comfortable with both dealers?  Have you had a chance to visit with the shop mechs at each dealership?  You will talk to them more than you think and a good relationship is worth it’s weight in gold.  If you are new to inboards, does either dealer offer to teach you the ins and outs of these boats?  Test driving will also give you a lot good info.  

The good news is there really isn’t a wrong decision with the boats you are looking at.  The more you look the more you will find what you like or dislike.  

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TallRedRider
4 hours ago, ID AX said:

Welcome and what a great problem to have.  I will repeat what most have said already.  Test, test and test some more.  The more you sit in the different boats, the more you will get a feel for what’s comfortable to you.  Are both dealers close?  Are you comfortable with both dealers?  Have you had a chance to visit with the shop mechs at each dealership?  You will talk to them more than you think and a good relationship is worth it’s weight in gold.  If you are new to inboards, does either dealer offer to teach you the ins and outs of these boats?  Test driving will also give you a lot good info.  

The good news is there really isn’t a wrong decision with the boats you are looking at.  The more you look the more you will find what you like or dislike.  

Excellent advice.  You are also buying a dealer when you buy a boat.  When you test drive the boat, you are also testing the dealer.  I would go with the superior dealer if one of the boats do not stand out.  So test drive, even if you feel a little like a newbie, not sure what to even look for.  

From what I hear on Planet Nautique, The GS series just doesn't get the love.  Maybe that is my impression because it is hard to find a G23 owner who does not think the exhaust smells like roses.  If G23 is way out of the budget, the 23 LSV seems like it would be a superior all around performer than any GS boat.  You can still ski behind it, and for most recreational guys, it is fine to do a little carving and be done with it.  

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tccombs

you are  smart to come here to ask!!!!    Most the folks on here really know their stuff.    here is my 2 cents.   Slow down the idea of buying a boat right away.. 

1.  Dont buy new.

2. Dont buy just Yet.  Wait. ( new boaters that go all in without really knowing what they want tend to cost themselves a lot of money and may not  be happy in the end with their purchases! And this is a really expensive sport.)  

3  there is a lot to learn  and some  mistakes can get really expensive,  really embarrasing, and really dangerous  really fast.    So take the time to learn from someone who knows.  just because someone owns a boat does not mean they know their stuff    look for someone who puts over 50 hour a summer on their boat every year for the past 10 years or so... 

3.    Find someone who really knows their stuff and Get some time behind the wheel  with  just them...  no family  friends etc   no more than 3-4 people...       Just get a day or two of driving time  for a good traiing ride...        If you are in NOR-Cal  look no further... Because i'll help you out myself even in the winter..  I teach folks in my ski club.. and  i live on the water...  But If not,   you can ask on here  for someone willing to show you the ropes..    you can also reach out to a waterski/wakeboard club.....     Then see if you can arrange to go out with some of them to   and  try it out for a while.  

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Gavin17

I can't imagine learning everything about boating w/ a new 100k boat but if you've got the clams good on you.  Bumping the dock and boat ramp mishaps are normal for noobs.  Where are you located? Surely there's a crew member near that can help show you the ropes.  I don't think you can go wrong w/ a mxz or lsv for a family, do a bit of everything boat.  The 22vlx may also be a good choice.  If you're truly new I'd spend a lot of time working on driving and docking by yourself or w/ an experienced inboard operator and not your family.  This could be done in early spring when it's too cold for most people to get in the water anyway and the ramps aren't busy.   I've been trying to train a couple of new drivers who regularly ride with us and it's been slow going.  

To train a driver I need plenty of free time with good weather and a not very busy lake or ramp.  

Lots of times we're rushing after work to get sets in before sunset and it's not a good environment to train new people.  On weekends the ramp and lake are busy enough that it's also not a good time to train.  There are only a handful of people I trust to drive and my boat didn't cost anywhere near 100k.  

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carguy79ta
On 11/27/2018 at 8:39 AM, JeffC said:

IMHO, this is excellent advice - I will also add that deciding to buy a boat is a lifestyle decision, especially if you are shelling out the money for a factory new boat.  I know multiple people (and know "OF" LOTS of people) who jumped in with both feet, and then found that life presented other priorities, and the boat sits without use.   For whatever it is worth, my wife and I decided we wanted a boat, but started with a very nice (but old) small Crownline runabout.   I took my school of hard knocks mostly with that boat, and most importantly learned that we were really boaters... for three full seasons, it is how we WANTED to spend almost every weekend, and many weeknight evenings --- we didn't get bored with it.   The entire family loved it... 

Fast forward to 2017 - we knew we wanted a boat we could surf with (as I am getting old enough that slalom crashes really DID hurt).   We went to the boat show in January with the intent of just seeing what features we would want (no intent to buy at the time).   We crawled around all of the major brands.    I recruited a group of people to get in the malibu 21 VLX, the 22 VLX, and the 20 VTX to compare comfort with the anticipated size of my crew.  (21' with 98" beam, 22 with 102" beam, and 20 feet with 98" beam).   *off topic, but important - the difference with the additional 4" of beam was SHOCKING, and ultimately the driver of our decision.

We wound up buying a new 22VLX.   I can say without hesitation that:

  • Im glad we bought the Crownline first, and knew how addicted to boating we were for sure.   Learning about trailering, launching, recovering, maintenance, etc etc etc etc etc etc with an older boat probably kept me in boating as my stress levels never got too far out of line. 
  • Im glad we bought new when moving up - I know how it has been treated, and manage the service religiously.  It is not, and will never be a ragged out boat
  • Im glad we bought the wider beam boat,  it is easy to get around in even with large crews

I do kind of wish I had bought an inboard as the first boat, it would have got me into surfing earlier, which has become my first watersports love.   But on the other hand, the small I/O was an easier boat to learn to drive on - lessons about wind, gear, anchoring, etc etc etc etc are not specific to the inboard... but switching was a bit of a challenge as low speed maneuvering is VERY different in the inboard.

Sorry for the dissertation... but whatever you do, ENJOY!   It is SOOO fun.

We also started with a 20' Crownline...(Crownie)...tell me you didnt call yours that...

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SCMike

The 4 boats you mentioned are all great boats.  The only one that seems a little out of place is the GS20.  That’s a pretty small boat, and I wouldn’t recommend it for someone with a family and tween kids. I imagine you will have your kids friends with you pretty often.  Maybe even additional family’s too.  If you plan to keep the boat for a few years, I’d opt for the larger of the 4 (23lsv). That will likely get you the best resale, will do everything you need on the water.  The 23 LSV will handle the larger water in your big lake.  As your are learning to drive, the traditional bow will also help not take water over the bow.  The 22mxz’s bow sits a little lower and is heaverier, making it easier to take water over.  Both Malibu’s will give you a world class wakeboard and wakesurf wake, which for me puts the two Malibu’s ahead of the GS22.  I have not been behind one, but from what I hear, the GS22 has a weak Wakesurf wake, and the wakeboard wake is just ok.  Its probably the best ski boat though. 

 

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JeffC
13 hours ago, tccombs said:

you are  smart to come here to ask!!!!    Most the folks on here really know their stuff.    here is my 2 cents.   Slow down the idea of buying a boat right away.. 

1.  Dont buy new.

2. Dont buy just Yet.  Wait. ( new boaters that go all in without really knowing what they want tend to cost themselves a lot of money and may not  be happy in the end with their purchases! And this is a really expensive sport.)  

3  there is a lot to learn  and some  mistakes can get really expensive,  really embarrasing, and really dangerous  really fast.    So take the time to learn from someone who knows.  just because someone owns a boat does not mean they know their stuff    look for someone who puts over 50 hour a summer on their boat every year for the past 10 years or so... 

3.    Find someone who really knows their stuff and Get some time behind the wheel  with  just them...  no family  friends etc   no more than 3-4 people...       Just get a day or two of driving time  for a good traiing ride...        If you are in NOR-Cal  look no further... Because i'll help you out myself even in the winter..  I teach folks in my ski club.. and  i live on the water...  But If not,   you can ask on here  for someone willing to show you the ropes..    you can also reach out to a waterski/wakeboard club.....     Then see if you can arrange to go out with some of them to   and  try it out for a while.  

Great points... and to expand on the last one as well, I would suggest figuring out who your primary crew will be (the core group of people that you can dependon,  that at least one will be with you on a given trip).  Not only do you need to train yourself to launch/drive/recover, it is wise to train that crew.   I have about 5 trusted crew members that know what needs to be done, how do do it, and when it needs to be done.   It is a luxury of wonderful proportions to have at least one person on board that can drive for your watersports activities (otherwise you spend the whole day driving, and NO time having fun yourself), that knows when and how to get and anchor ready, that knows where the fenders are, and when/how to put them out... and so on and so on.   On the few times you DONT have one of them along, you will find yourself trying to explain things at inopportune times, and under time pressure... which is how I wound up with an ugly scratch on the side of my 14 month old 22VLX.  I said goodbye to a nice chunk of change to get that fixed. 

 

2 hours ago, carguy79ta said:

We also started with a 20' Crownline...(Crownie)...tell me you didnt call yours that...

Yup... I did.   I hung out on the CrownieHQ forum as well (and still do actually - very good group over there).   

I did name that boat too... it was "Change N Attitude" - my first boat, and the first step towards living life for me instead of 70-80 work weeks.  Im also a Jimmy Buffett fan, so it is an obvious tip of the hat to the song, and it was written in the same font that is the cover of the "Songs You Know by Heart" album - Buffettscript.   I was pretty attached to that 1997 182... with a 5.7L.   It would get it too... fast, smooth, and very pretty for a nearly 20 year old boat.   It was well kept before I bought it, and I improved it every year I owned it.

 SOMEONE in the Denver area has a nice boat... 

 3qBZr2dl.jpg

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05hammerhead

Drive them, try to dock them, etc. A 22MXZ is a big boat and pretty unwieldy, a GS20 is going to be a Miata compared to an F150.  Everything about these boats is going to be different and hard to compare, including price.  I suggest that you sit in the boat with your whole family and figure out if you want to invite friends will you have room.  Then realize you have to soon enough hand those keys to one of those tweens so they can take their friends out in it, all who have depreciating concern for what you spent on it.  If it were me(I own a 19 22MXZ) and I was buying a first boat and had kids, Id look at something thats seen some sh*t first so I wasnt so pissed off every time my kid brought it back with an empty gas tank and beer cans on the floor.  Axis t23? 

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SCMike
26 minutes ago, 05hammerhead said:

Drive them, try to dock them, etc. A 22MXZ is a big boat and pretty unwieldy, a GS20 is going to be a Miata compared to an F150.  Everything about these boats is going to be different and hard to compare, including price.  I suggest that you sit in the boat with your whole family and figure out if you want to invite friends will you have room.  Then realize you have to soon enough hand those keys to one of those tweens so they can take their friends out in it, all who have depreciating concern for what you spent on it.  If it were me(I own a 19 22MXZ) and I was buying a first boat and had kids, Id look at something thats seen some sh*t first so I wasnt so pissed off every time my kid brought it back with an empty gas tank and beer cans on the floor.  Axis t23? 

He’s got tweens.  I think he’s more then a few years away from beer cans and empty gas tanks.  If he bought new now, then by the time he was in that phase, the boat would be 5-7 years old.  

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05hammerhead
2 hours ago, SCMike said:

He’s got tweens.  I think he’s more then a few years away from beer cans and empty gas tanks.  If he bought new now, then by the time he was in that phase, the boat would be 5-7 years old.  

Over 12 in MN can drive a boat with a permit. 

 

1 hour ago, shawndoggy said:

good grief you guys are making this sound like rocket science.  23 lsv will be a great "buy it once" boat.

Will there be some mishaps?  Of course!  That's just part of the process of making family memories.  It's only a boat.  Nothing better than having a boat full of your tweens/teens and their friends on your wakeboat. 

Valid

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Ryan1776
2 hours ago, shawndoggy said:

good grief you guys are making this sound like rocket science.  23 lsv will be a great "buy it once" boat.

Will there be some mishaps?  Of course!  That's just part of the process of making family memories.  It's only a boat.  Nothing better than having a boat full of your tweens/teens and their friends on your wakeboat. 

X2.

Been in boating, driving, being pulled, pulling, riding for almost 30 years. Outboard, I/O's DD inboards, now my new to me 2010 23LSV. Bought this year and put over 60 hours on it the first year. Living in Michigan. Not a record by any means.
100% the 23 is a buy it once boat. I've had 11 people in my boat over the summer.  Certification is for 13 and nobody was cramped or feeling invaded by each other. 

Plenty of room. Pretty damn maneuverable for this size a boat. 

I don't care what you buy, respect it for what it is capable of, and it will respect you back. Anyone can go buy a HellCat Challenger...damn thing WILL run 11's out the door. But guess what? Only if you WANT it to. 

You said you're on a big lake. Great. Go out and learn the boat. How long does it take to come to a stop from WOT. From 10mph 20 mph. How tight of a turn can you make. Left and right, because it does matter. Back it up into a "make believe" spot. Calm day, throw a couple life jackets in the water and back into that spot. Get creative. 

x2 again,  will there be scratches? Yeah. Probably.  Real race cars have scratches. 
"It's only a boat" I love it.(took me a great long time to 'get' that).

Edited by Ryan1776

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SCMike
3 hours ago, shawndoggy said:

good grief you guys are making this sound like rocket science.  23 lsv will be a great "buy it once" boat.

Will there be some mishaps?  Of course!  That's just part of the process of making family memories.  It's only a boat.  Nothing better than having a boat full of your tweens/teens and their friends on your wakeboat. 

+1

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kerpluxal
5 hours ago, shawndoggy said:

good grief you guys are making this sound like rocket science.  23 lsv will be a great "buy it once" boat.

Will there be some mishaps?  Of course!  That's just part of the process of making family memories.  It's only a boat.  Nothing better than having a boat full of your tweens/teens and their friends on your wakeboat. 

I am king of mishaps lol with plenty of experience.. Been in boats since I was 4 and probably co-captiain driver since 5... Never had any incidents until my last boat and 1.5 claims per year..ugh... It is boat.. you can go years without mishaps and then rake them all up.. I have never sunk one.. but know of 3 in the past 2 years that went down with people who owned boats for years.. It will not make a difference whether you start off in a inboard, outboard, I/O, etc.. There are minor differences but nothing major that it is better to start in one or another.

It is a BOAT... It does consume money (especially on here where others can direct you where to spend extra for add-ons lol)... IMHO... cheaper than therapy for a family and better satisfaction... You will get to hang out with your kids and their friends and they get to hang out with you.. instead of locked in room playing video games... 

The best advise is to Demo them all... figure out your likes and dislikes between them and get the one with the highest pros vs cons...  I understand that you think you won't be able to tell because your new... but you will still figure out what you like and don't like between them as you drive them. All boats listed will perform behind it (water sport activities) it is going to your preference of which one fits your creature comforts.

IMO the 23 lsv makes a great boat for begineers and experts in either wakeboarding or surfing.. Many others including myself slalom behind it as well... I have even barefooted with it (not the best for footing.. but will do it). 

Some state you will take a HUGE depreciation hit when you drive it off... This will depend on what you paid... Honestly.. my boat has lost ~16,000 in 8 years.. 2,000 per year depreciation on average... 

I have friends that buy new every year and break even on old boat...

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