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Upgrade? Time


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All right crew, having a dilemma in my head.  Have the opportunity to "upgrade" our 98 Sunsetter LX to a 99 Sunsetter VLX.

VLX Pros:  Wife likes the V Drive layout, boat has ~250 less hours, perfect pass recently installed, Titan II Tower. New snap cover. 2 outlet Heater, priced very competitively.

LX Pros:  Been in the family 22 years, so we know all of its history, ~600 hours, 2 seat cushions replaced last year, new trailer brake axle last summer. new cover 2020.

VLX Cons: No integrated ballast, no wedge, upholstery is a toss up, but slightly worse than what we have, hatch would likely be in the next year.  Needs trailer brakes replaced, needs new prop, needs new storage cover

LX Cons: going to need a few seat backs soon. Carpet thinning. Needs prop repaired. aftermarket tower. No speed control. gel coat a toss up, but the VLX is probably slightly better. Hassle of selling a boat.

I know the ownership history of the VLX, but not much else in terms of use. 

It seems that many of the things that I'd need to upgrade or repair cosmetically on the VLX I'm not far behind on our current boat, but I know the history of ours.  New fuel pump, sensors, injector cleanings etc... But it's got perfect pass, and heater, lower hours...  Some of the things I've done, I'd have to do again, trailer bunk carpet, some stereo tweaks, ballast....

Typical Lake Day is 2-3 families with small, but growing kids. A few of us still ski in the morning, surf mid day, tube the kids, then surf again in the afternoon.  

Is the V-Drive really all it's cracked up to be with storage, if you add locker bags, don't you end up losing much of that.  Do I want/need the Wedge added to the VLX?

Or do I just keep our LX, keep repairing and upgrading things until the time is right for a newer one? Financially, I'd probably make out about even as the VLX owner is ready to move on.  

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I had an lx and we liked it but moved on pretty quickly as it was never really gonna surf without losing all the floor space. The vlx will have rear lockers which if you use them for ballasts will be useless unless the ballasts are empty. It almost sounds like its a wash to me. If you were jumping up to a much newer boat then maybe it would be worth it. Unless your wife is just sold on having a v drive I probably wouldnt do it. Wedge is nice if you wakeboard a lot, does help with the wave. But it could be added to your current boat as well. 

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From your description, sounds like a lateral move more than a significant upgrade. 2 scenarios come to mind where its worth upgrading:  (1) if it no longer fits your need (i.e. layout, size, activity ability), or (2) it requires more work than you want to invest. 

Both are >20 yrs old and will be needing some TLC. Maybe you can justify the "fit your need" angle if wife really wants a v-drive layout, but i kinda doubt that's gonna be a big change to your experience.  if families are growing and you really want to surf more and bring lots of people, i'd consider shopping/saving for a bigger/newer boat thats a more significant/distinct upgrade and save the hassle/$$ (also sounds like you are a DIYer, so a couple upgrades to your known commodity could help it work even better for you).  Good luck.

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I don't have any dog in this hunt, but here are a few observations:

  • If you use your wedge now, I expect that you will miss it on the VLX.
    • If the VLX has the transom support, you could move your wedge to the VLX or find a second transom bracket and leave yours on the LX.
  • If you trade your boat, you could keep your trailer and put the VLX on it.
  • You can always add PP and a heater to your LX.

How do you fit 2-3 families on your LX?  We slalom and barefoot, and the most I want is 2-3 people.  I have taken more aboard, but mostly for a cruise.  I can see how the open center could be attractive with that many people, but you still have fairly low freeboard to manage.

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2-3 families with small kiddos, us included. That DD back bench really fills up nicely with a bunch of 6-8 year olds. 
 

On paper in 2-3 years the VLX is worth more, that’s the biggest angle I’m working with right now.   The lack of wedge, upholstery concerns and the fact the trailer brakes are out of sorts are the biggest concerns that could wipe away that $$& real quick. 
 

I’ve spent thousands of hours in DD ski boats about 10 in a V drive, just have never had the experience to figure out the hype. 

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