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Scheif

How does the VTX Handle Choppy Water?

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Scheif

Greetings, Crew (if I may call you that).

I just joined the forum, although I have been lurking here on and off over the past few years.  Now, on to the subject at hand.

Over the past 27 years, I have owned a couple of stern drive, deep-vee runabouts that I use almost exclusively for recreational water skiing (including slalom for me and others that are capable) and (a little) wakeboarding.  It's about time to replace my current boat, and I have decided to get a little more serious.  I have narrowed my search to a (used) VTX, and I am determined to stick to this choice.

As the subject states, my question is: how does the VTX handle choppy water?  My marina is close to the area where we ski, which is calm, but to get there, I must spend about five minutes on the Delaware River, which can be quite choppy.  How bad would we (and the VTX) get pounded during this part of the trip?

Thanks in advance for your sage advice.

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oldjeep

It pounds like you can't believe compared to a standard sterndrive.  My old Bayliner 195 rode like a Cadillac compared to my VTX.  

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ahopkinsVTX

How often do you have to make the trip to the marina? Every outing or once and awhile throughout the year? If you keep it around 18-20 mph it isn't horrible but you can't cruise at 25+ like a run-about.

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Five Cent Worth

My VLX, which is a bit bigger that the VTX, is not good over decent sized chop.  It would be one the main reasons we would look to move up in size if we did in getting a better ride.  In fact, this past weekend, we dipped the nose a bit from a giant cruiser wave.  No real issue as we were only going about 4 - 5, mph.  However, it gives you some perspective.

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Scheif

Thanks, oldjeep, ahopkinsVTX, and Five Cent Worth.  You have confirmed my fear.

Unfortunately, I must make this trip every time.  I keep my boat in the dry stack at the marina.  I think I could live with not horrible at 18-20 mph, though.

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oldjeep
Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Scheif said:

Thanks, oldjeep, ahopkinsVTX, and Five Cent Worth.  You have confirmed my fear.

Unfortunately, I must make this trip every time.  I keep my boat in the dry stack at the marina.  I think I could live with not horrible at 18-20 mph, though.

Just realize that at 18-20 it will be plowing like a mother.  It is not like running 18-20 in a bowrider where you would be planed..

Edited by oldjeep

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ahopkinsVTX

@Scheif, will you be able to water test a boat? I would highly suggest it because really only you can answer your question. I feel it will be fine, other feel like its going to be a disaster. Also, FWIW, 18-20 will not be plowing a mother, inboards don't have near as much bow rise so you still still have full viability and nothing to worry about. Unless you are doing 5-12mph inboards are pretty much always on plane because even at 20, 25, 30+ generally speaking the same amount of the hull is in the water, they don't plane like you are used to in an I/O. Way better to drive IMO.

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oldjeep
3 minutes ago, ahopkinsVTX said:

@Scheif, will you be able to water test a boat? I would highly suggest it because really only you can answer your question. I feel it will be fine, other feel like its going to be a disaster. Also, FWIW, 18-20 will not be plowing a mother, inboards don't have near as much bow rise so you still still have full viability and nothing to worry about. Unless you are doing 5-12mph inboards are pretty much always on plane because even at 20, 25, 30+ generally speaking the same amount of the hull is in the water, they don't plane like you are used to in an I/O. Way better to drive IMO.

Hopkins, you ever run 18-20 in a 2015 and older VTX when it is wavy?  It is pretty close to the same experience you would have had in your TXI

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Scheif

Unfortunately,  a water test is very unlikely.  Another one of my challenges is that I have no local Malibu dealer and no nearby inventory.  I am looking at a remote purchase, and if I go through with it, I will have the boat assessed by a marine surveyor.

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martinarcher

Plowing water at 20mph?  My Sunsetter is fully on plane at 20mph with the nose significantly lower than a stern drive.  It's no rough water queen but it hops up on plane pretty fast.  Inboards are for towing, not rough water cruising.  :thumbup:  That said, I love the way a full inboard drives so much more than a stern drive that I'd rather drop a few mph to handle chop and enjoy the ride.  

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oldjeep
Just now, Scheif said:

Unfortunately,  a water test is very unlikely.  Another one of my challenges is that I have no local Malibu dealer and no nearby inventory.  I am looking at a remote purchase, and if I go through with it, I will have the boat assessed by a marine surveyor.

Even with a remote sale, a water test is really important if you are unfamiliar with the type of boat you are buying.

Marine surveyors are for big boats, the best you might be able to do is to have a local inboard dealer inspect it.  Someone who knows about things like ballast systems and all the electronic gizmos

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martinarcher
1 minute ago, oldjeep said:

Even with a remote sale, a water test is really important if you are unfamiliar with the type of boat you are buying.

Marine surveyors are for big boats, the best you might be able to do is to have a local inboard dealer inspect it.  Someone who knows about things like ballast systems and all the electronic gizmos

We've had guys buy boats at a distance and other crew members stop out and take it for a look/drive.  

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oldjeep
Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, martinarcher said:

We've had guys buy boats at a distance and other crew members stop out and take it for a look/drive.  

Yes, and I've done that for a couple guys here myself.  The bigger issue is that he doesn't seem to have any experience with the type of boat.  Would suck to buy a 40K + boat only to find out that you can't stand it.

I've had mine out on Lake vermillion, lake of the Ozarks and Leech lake.  The rough water handling is a tradeoff I'm willing to make, but it is a whole nother rodeo than driving a bowrider in those conditions.

Edited by oldjeep

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ahopkinsVTX
8 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

Hopkins, you ever run 18-20 in a 2015 and older VTX when it is wavy?  It is pretty close to the same experience you would have had in your TXI

The previous gen VTX, no not in rough water. However I have had our VTX, which is not much different and our TXI on huge lakes up north that you would have to run through 2--3' chop to get to calm water. We just took our time in that speed range and everything was good. It was not plowing and like MA says below, the boat is basically on plane but close enough to not kill everyone on each wave. This is why I said he needs to water test though, everyone has different acceptance criteria.

5 minutes ago, martinarcher said:

Plowing water at 20mph?  My Sunsetter is fully on plane at 20mph with the nose significantly lower than a stern drive.  It's no rough water queen but it hops up on plane pretty fast.  Inboards are for towing, not rough water cruising.  :thumbup:  That said, I love the way a full inboard drives so much more than a stern drive that I'd rather drop a few mph to handle chop and enjoy the ride.  

 

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Suggy

What I have found that helps when in rough water is filling the center ballast 50-100%. This way you aren't running up & down each wave as much and you cut through them (better). None of these boats, even a 25LSV, handle chop well. It's a trade-off for sure for going to a V-drive/ski/wakeboard boat. They don't handle rough water like an I/O. I think that's an important question you need to ask yourself is if the trade-off is worth it. A lot has to do with who is driving as well. I'm sure your first summer will be rough with it, but you'll find what works best for you and learn tips/tricks throughout the process.

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dcarl

I think my VTX handles chop pretty well. You just have to keep the nose up and take your time.  I spend most of my time on a lake that has lots of huge boats so I gets really choppy not only from the wind. 

I think a lot of it depends on whose in the boat with you also, seniors and small child tend to freak out way more in rough conditions.

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smileysteve

For crossing The Delaware, you might consider an attitude plate if you don't have a wedge. or even full out trim tabs (that you wouldn't otherwise use) to help the bow split the waves.

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Chappy
6 hours ago, Five Cent Worth said:

My VLX, which is a bit bigger that the VTX, is not good over decent sized chop.  It would be one the main reasons we would look to move up in size if we did in getting a better ride.  In fact, this past weekend, we dipped the nose a bit from a giant cruiser wave.  No real issue as we were only going about 4 - 5, mph.  However, it gives you some perspective.

This is true, I had an 08 VLX and it was miserable in rough or big water. It wasn't a big deal when I first got it but now we spend a lot of time on a bigger, windier lake and it became a big issue. It is actually one of the main reasons I upgraded to a bigger, deeper boat.

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Gavin17

I'm guessing you ski since you're looking at a vtx.  Any boat that skis well is a smooth water boat.  The 23+ footers for surfing aren't too bad in some chop but they wont ski like a vtx.  If you want a ski boat you have to pick your priorities.  

 

Also, water test it.

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Ryan1776
20 hours ago, UWSkier said:

George Washington did it in a canoe.  You'll be fine.  :)

EDIT:  and yes... I know they technically weren't canoes...

Dammit. Beat me to it. 

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Ingineer66

I guess I am late to the party but I think the ‘12 VTX does decent in chop.  But my perspective is based on how my ‘94 Echelon handled it, which was not well at all. 

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BSUBU_Kris

I have a 23 LSV and it is not a rough water lake boat.  I do have to deal with 3-4 foot white caps from time to time and I just slow down to around 15mph.  At that speed you are basically pushing through the waves vs. pounding into them.  There is a lot of water spray but not pounding the boat.  If I had to do this for 15 minutes each way to enjoy a great boat on smooth water that would be good in my book. 

It won't be anything like a deep V inboard/outboard in that chop but it also won't  be anything like a deep V inboard/outboard once you get to the smooth water where you are spending your day.  At that point you will be so happy you have the VTX. 

Everything is a trade off, just know how you are looking to spend your time on the water.

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Scheif

Thanks everyone for the great feedback.  It sounds like the VTX will be within my tolerance limit regarding choppy water, but I will make every effort to water test one before buying.

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