Ok, so before the flames start, let me get this out of the way. I am completely aware of all risks associated with wakesurfing, and how those risks increase substantially when not behind an inboard boat. My purpose of this thread is for reasearch purposes to help weigh my decision to proceed or not.
I currently use our family I/O for skiing and wakeboarding. I wakesurf behind friends' Direct drives and V-Drives. The problem is sometimes coordinating times to get out. I would love to be able to wakesurf behind our own boat. Selling it and buying a inboard or straight up buying an inboard is not an option right now due to finances and the fact that we own the boat clean and clear and have for 20+ years. It is the boat all my family has grown up with and has too much sentimental value to simply get rid of for something else. Not to mention it still runs great and is economical to use.
It is a 1973 Marlin sports boat. It seats about 7 with wrap around seating. It is a closed bow and has a 302 in it with an Alpha One outdrive.
We have modified it so far with a custom transom pylon for wakeboarding. Without any ballast whatsoever it throws a fairly decent wakeboard wake, enough to get a few feet of air and do wake to wakes.
I am contemplating making a custom swim platform, currently it has none, just a little boarding ladder off to one side of the transom.
I have made a custom surf platform for my friend's Supra that works well and is about 2 feet long from transom to tip. I am familiar with what would need to be done to make one for the I/O.
My thought is to make a platform that goes from just inside tie down hooks on the transom and extends out in a squished hexagon shape about 3 feet from the transom. This would definitely cover the outdirve. I would need to make a cutout in the middle of it from the transom to allow the outdrive to be raised when trailering.
The platform I made is this one:
It would be similar to this, but wider from transom to the end and have a cutout in the middle for the outdrive. The transom of the I/O is here:
I also would be putting on a prop guard similar to this one
which would eliminate the possibility of any hands, feet, rope, etc. from ever being caught in the prop.
Doing both of these should/would eliminate any of the hazards of surfing behind an I/O. It would not only cover the prop, so if you did fall towards the boat, you would fall into the platform, like on an inboard. Also behind the boat, the prop and outdrive would be covered, so if you fell so close to the boat you were under the platform (not very likely) you would not have the prop to worry about.
My first question is, does this seem logical and feasible? Do you think this would be safe enough?
My second question is, with such a big platform, does it seem like it would mess up the surf wake? I know sometimes a platform can dig into the wake and act as a trim tab, and messes the wake up more if it has a lip. This would be flat and have no lip, allowing the water to flow under it smoothly. I'm thinking this has more of an effect on the wake than the sides of it being in the water.
More than likely there would be at least 1 750lb sack on the rear corner seat and possibly more on te rear seat.
My third question is, if all these modifications were done to make it safe, and it produced a decent surf wake, would you surf behind it?
Once again, no flames, I know surfing behind an I/O is a bad idea, but with these modifications to it, could it be something that would be about as safe and enjoyable as an inboard?
Also I plan on taking the boat out without platform, guard, or any boards for that matter and sacking it up to see if it can make a decent surf wave in the first place before any of this. I guess that will be the factor on if the idea would be scrapped at all. No use in doing all this if it can't be surfed behind anyway.