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2002 Sportster LX or 1996 Response CB?


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I'm at a crossroads. We have a 2002 Malibu Sportster LX and can possibly buy a 1996 Response for $13,000-$14,000.  We bought the Sportster for $15,000 three years ago, it has less than 500 hours I would estimate, as it has 166 hours since the Perfect Pass was installed.  It's not perfect, as we had to do extensive fiberglass work on it after I found a hidden rock pile and there are some scratches from docks etc, but has been good for us.The fiberglass was done by the best of the best, so no issues with that. Long story short, a friend of a friend has this closed bow Response all tweaked up for slaloming and the wake seemed nicer than mine when I skiied behind it. It has 765 hours on it, 320 monsoon engine, Perfect Pass Stargazer with Z box, and is in excellent condition (wiped down and trailered up after each use, engine ran like a top and was clean).  I want to start progressing and skiing the course and I really liked the boat. Will it be worth it to sell the Sportster to buy the Response?  I will be backtracking in years (6) and hours (200+).  Can I get $13,000-$14,000 for the Sportster?  Please advise.

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I ski the course regularly behind a 98 Sportster, great wake. IMO you should not feel much if any difference between the two. Would not back track that many years for the Response. 

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On 9/15/2020 at 12:38 AM, UWSkier said:

They have the same hull. Surprised his is much better than yours. 

Hulls are actually different. The Sportster is a narrower version of the SV23 "wake" hull. The Response has the SV23 diamond and is wider. Based on my very limited experience behind a Response, my Sportster has a narrower but slightly harder wake than the Response. I think line length and speed have a lot to do with the differences in wake. What do you normally ski at?

I would say $13-$14k wouldn't be unreasonable depending on the features (does it have a tower?, wedge?, stereo? etc almost everything was optional on these) and condition (interior, carpet) of the Sportster .

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1 hour ago, drh said:

Hulls are actually different. The Sportster is a narrower version of the SV23 "wake" hull. The Response has the SV23 diamond and is wider. Based on my very limited experience behind a Response, my Sportster has a narrower but slightly harder wake than the Response. I think line length and speed have a lot to do with the differences in wake. What do you normally ski at?

I would say $13-$14k wouldn't be unreasonable depending on the features (does it have a tower?, wedge?, stereo? etc almost everything was optional on these) and condition (interior, carpet) of the Sportster .

Response wasn't a diamond hull until 1998 but you're right that the Sporty was 4 in narrower.

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I ski at 30 mph and 22 off.  I’ll do 28 off sometimes too.  I skied behind that response on Sunday. Then behind mine last night. That Response wake just felt so effortless compared to mine. Definitely softer.  It’s either I figure out how to get mine like that or make the change.  Different prop? Sandbags for weight distribution?  I barefoot too, so want it to be good for slalom and barefoot.

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Also, our Sportster does have a wedge, stereo, and perfect pass. Figured out exact hours is 392.  Vinyl is in good shape.  Two scratches in paint. Carpet is decent except an oil spill from when they took the engine out to fix the fiberglass. I worry about the fiberglass situation scaring off buyers if we feel like making the switch to the response is the right move.

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18 hours ago, UWSkier said:

Response wasn't a diamond hull until 1998 but you're right that the Sporty was 4 in narrower.

@JVSKI In that case maybe the difference in the wake is the boat riding lower in the water than the Response because of the narrower hull. Sounds like you may be able to play around with weight distribution like you mentioned to help that. I'm no expert on that subject by any means but from what I've seen on this forum more weight up front helps. What prop do you have now? If it's the stock stainless steel prop I think upgrading to an ACME 515 would probably help a bit too.

Did you ski the same line length and speed on the Response? 22 off is the worst length behind any boat and especially at 30 MPH. I ski 22 as well but closer to 34-35 MPH. Speed makes a big difference.

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@JVSKI - The Response due to being wider will have a better slalom wake, softer and slightly flatter.  If your Sporty has a trunk, that does not help the slalom wake along with anything you store there, getting transom or rear weight out of the SV23 hull helps the slalom wake (rear seat, low fuel level, etc.).  Another advantage on the 96 Response, it does not have a trunk, all that hardware adds weight.

To your comment on hull repair work, any chance the incident or the repair allowed water to get to the flotation foam, you might check boat wight to confirm, also look for any listing as a clue.

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