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Old     (meierk)      Join Date: Aug 2007       08-20-2007, 2:52 PM Reply   
I am looking for a new boat to replace my 06' Glastron GX185 which I am very dissatisfied with. I am considering several possibilities, but knowing very little about boats, I am hoping for some insight from people with experience.

My needs are probably similar to most boaters. My 3 children are all 5-8 years old and are just learning to kneeboard, but I expect will be skiing and wakeboarding in a few years and I don't want to upgrade again just because I didn't do the research. I am always out with 20+ people so 10-12+ seating capacity is a must and most of my boating is in shallow lakes in Alberta which has been giving me headaches with my current boat.

I seem to have problems with my current I/O (always fixing props and some bushings keep going in the steering mechanism) and would like to know the advantages and disadvantages of direct drive and Jet (Yamaha).

Manufacturers I have been considering (so far)
- Malibu Wakesetter 23LSV or 23 XTi
- Mastercraft X-Star
- Centurion Enzo SV240
- Tige' RZ4
- Yamaha AR230 High Output

I know this is a big topic and there are other boats worth looking at so even links to reviews and/or comparisons would be appreciated.

Old     (olskooltige)      Join Date: Mar 2007       08-20-2007, 3:10 PM Reply   
Everyone is going to throw out fanboy feedback and opinionated info. Prepare for the can of worms you just opened.

IMO the Mastercraft and Malibu while top notch, are wakeboarding specific boats, and not necessarily beginning wakeboard boats. They are going to kill your kids on a kneeboard. The Enzo and the Tige' are more all arounders. I wouln't consider the will be upgrading later according to what you asked.

Most importantly, you need to do a water test and get a feel for the boats you can. Take your kids and their kneeboard. Then choose a dealer based on the boat you like. Dealers can make or break boat ownership.

This topic is going to be an interesting one to say the least. Where's my popcorn?

(Message edited by olskooltige on August 20, 2007)
Old     (kenteck)      Join Date: Jan 2005       08-20-2007, 3:22 PM Reply   
this is kind of cool, top right corner you can choose different boats.
Old     (lionel)      Join Date: Nov 2005       08-20-2007, 3:38 PM Reply   
Yamaha all the way......
Old     (26lacefield)      Join Date: Aug 2006       08-20-2007, 3:40 PM Reply   
for what your looking for i'd say the mastercraft, malibu and tige would be your best bet to narrow it down. with the yamaha you wont get the wakeboard wake that you will be looking for, and with the centurion i've heard that their fit n finish isn't up to the MC, BU, and Tige. the X-Star is going to be a bit more expensive than the RZ4 and the LSV. so basically you just need to narrow it down to price and to how each dealer treats you. test drive them all. all 3 are top notch wakeboard boats.
Old     (ottog1979)      Join Date: Apr 2007       08-20-2007, 3:58 PM Reply   
If you're having shallow water problems with your IO, it's going to be an even bigger problem with an inboard. I've wrecked a few props on my previous IO and it's at most a $140 problem. Getting stuck in shallow water, just trim it up, push off and go.

Not so with an inboard. No trimming up possible. Props are $300-400. And who knows for struts and rudders.

Bottom line, you don't want to be running aground with an inboard. It's expensive.
Old     (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       08-20-2007, 5:09 PM Reply   
Kevin, my 3 kids are 4-10 and I went from an 18' I/O to a 21.5' inboard. Test drive the boats you like and make your own decisions. I found that what I was told by some was inconsistent with what I found in test drives and that my needs were different than others.
I chose the Sanger D215 although my second choice would have been the Malibu 21xti or maybe the V215. I have NO regrets over my purchase, and find the features of my layout better than I expected. These are my opinions.but perhaps they relate to you.
The layout seats 12 and with no guest we rattle around in a huge space. With 6 guests the kids and adults can still move around while underway and it is convenient having 3 separate conversation areas. I can waterski behind it better than my old boat and it handles rough water better than the old boat.
My son 8, and daughter 10, have started surfing this past week on the stock wake, and I can get a pretty clean wake at 12 mph to pull them on a 50'line when boarding or wake skating. As a result they have no fear of falling and eagerly try new tricks.
The draft is about 8" less than my old boat but you"ll want a depth guage for prairie lakes. I have yet to have a problem when I've been out but I try to learn the lake before I use it much.
It is possible for me to add more weight but with a young family I have no need yet. The low swim deck and lack of propellor are huge benefits for safety when swimming.
Do get a heater.
Old     (dcwillette)      Join Date: Sep 2005       08-20-2007, 5:17 PM Reply   
I'm surprised it took 5 replies to pick up on the fact that he said he is having trouble with his I/O in shallow water.

If you're dinging props now in these lakes with an 18' I/O then I would not recommend anything but the Yamaha or Sea Doo boats. If I've misread this and water depth is not an issue then a wakeboard is a great choice.

A wakesetter will be fine for a beginner by the way even on kneeboards. Just don't run any ballast. I would throw the Correct Craft Nautiques on your list to consider as well.

The Malibu XTI layout speads people out more but has a smaller sunpad and is generaly less popular than the V-drive layout of a VLX or LSV.
Old     (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       08-20-2007, 6:44 PM Reply   
I agree with chad on the shallow water comment and the yamaha. Although I really dislike jet boats but it is better than haveing a prop that you are fixing constantly. If the water depth isn't a factor I would suggest the X-45 over the Xstar. It is going to be in the same price range as the Xstar and you get a way bigger boat. It holds 18 people. Another nice thing is it has the walkthrough and snap-out carpet which keep wear and tear down and makes cleaning very easy. The X-45 also comes standard with a attitude adjustment plate(trim tab). This is nice so you can really mellow out the wake for beginners and or make it steeper and bigger for more advanced riders. Another option to consider is the X-15. Shorter than the Xstar but with more room in it. If you get the wake plate on this it makes it really adjustable as well. It is quite a bit cheaper than the Xstar as well.
Old     (kscales)      Join Date: Oct 2006       08-20-2007, 6:51 PM Reply   
the Tige Dealer in Calgary is very very good go check them out. Our dealer speaks high of them.

We live in BC and absolutely love our Tige for our needs ( basically the same as yours)

We looked at the same boats, and settled on Tige because of the dealer network and the outstanding handling and performance of the boats.

Good luck
Old     (canecorso)      Join Date: Aug 2007       08-20-2007, 7:07 PM Reply   
go with an Xstar, best of the best-grade A+ class boat. As they all say you cant compare the best with 2nd best, nevertheless you'll still be on the water.
Old     (mcwakerider)      Join Date: Dec 2006       08-20-2007, 8:57 PM Reply   
go with the malibu 23 lsv. tons of room! tons of storage! the wake would be just fine for beginners. my lil sister who is 11 rides behind our boat and does just fine. Also it has a great wake when the ballast filled.
Old     (meierk)      Join Date: Aug 2007       08-21-2007, 8:38 AM Reply   
I really appreciate all the replies. I'm not sure what I was expecting other that a large number of varying opinions which makes sense. I guess one guys dream boat isn't necessarily the next guys. I did forget to mention the "tube" word:-) I would say that 75% of my time on the water is pulling tubes. I am hoping that as my children age they will want to wakeboard and ski more.

My trouble with shallow water is mostly my problem because I don't control my boat enough. I have let other family members and friends take it out a time or two and I always regret it, but I am learning from these harse lessons. I just pulled the boat out of Salmon Arm two weeks ago and before I had a chance to raise the leg, my friend started driving away. Needless to say, it bent the fin below the prop. To make matters worse, as I was going for my two hammers to work it back into shape, he put a vise grip on the fin and broke a small piece off completely. This seems to be the norm for me so I'm a bit frustrated right now.

BTW, can anyone point me to a good repair shop in Calgary that can fix the fin?

Old     (lespaul)      Join Date: May 2007       08-21-2007, 8:50 AM Reply   
look at the mastercraft x-45 and the malibu 247 rx
Old     (rbeckei)      Join Date: May 2007       08-21-2007, 9:10 AM Reply   
IMO you should also look at a Calabria Pro V2
Old     (97response)      Join Date: Oct 2004       08-21-2007, 10:01 AM Reply   

While you have come to a very good resource to get information, I think you're going to bite off more than you can chew with this particular topic. Half the people on this board is going to spout off the particular brand boat they own and say it's the best, and of course will then back that up w/ x, y, z brands are good also giving a semi-objective review. The other half have ownership goggles and will only say buy brand 'x' and will offer few reasons why other than they're conviced they're the best.

I think you need to step back and really determine what is important to you? So far I've gathered that seating capactiy and the ability to handle multiple watersports are musts. Thats great, the boats you mentioned will handle that.

You have named some of the most expensive boats in the wakeboard industry right now. Where does price factor in for this purchase? I think these boats average $60-90K (American $).

Finally, you have mentioned that your boat has needed some repairs from mishaps. As one other member has said, these boats will be at least twice as expensive to fix as your Glastron.

Here is my suggestion:
1.) Figure out how much you want to spend.
2.) Go to local dealerships and look at these boats. Sit in them, get information, maybe ask for references.
3.) Based on your first visits to the dealership pick 2 or 3 that you REALLY like.
4.) Setup a test drive with each dealership at your lake. If you can, try to do all these in a single day. Make sure your family is there. Have your kids kneeboard behind the boat, get your families input. You definitely don't want your kids to be scared at how big the 'can' get.
5.) If you still have quesetions during this process come back here and ask specific questions. You're much more likely to get some useful information out of us.

Until then, you're going to have 7 or 8 boat brands being suggested and you'll probably be more confused than when you started.
Old     (meierk)      Join Date: Aug 2007       08-21-2007, 10:07 AM Reply   
That X-45 definitely appeals to me. Seating capacity is very important to me. Not sure about the 450 HP thought, maybe a big gas guzzler.
Old     (meierk)      Join Date: Aug 2007       08-21-2007, 11:31 AM Reply   
Thanks for the candid response Chris. I definitely agree with everything you said and I kinda cringed after sending the initial post anyway.

You are right about seating capacity and multiple watersports being a priority. Other than that, I don't have too many needs other than a wake tower, PP and a swim platform. I suppose I would prefer something that can handle rough water since I'm not the kinda guy who will be out at 6am when the water is calm. I also occasionally like to take long pleasure rides with the family. Sometime we find ourselves a long way from camp and in a hurry to get back so a fast boat would be nice, but not essential.

Although price is not a big concern, I don't really want to spend 90K. I think the 70 - 80K would be a good range. I have been corresponding to someone in this group that suggested going to the US to purchase since exchange rate and prices are good. I will probably take that advice seriously.
Old     (flackpack)      Join Date: Feb 2004       08-21-2007, 11:54 AM Reply   
Kevin - The shallow water issue is something to keep considered, but an inboard boat will have a slightly shallower draft than an I/O style boat of the same size. The drawback will be the difference in draft will be less than 6" of water depth. You will become a master of watching your depth guage and learning the shallow areas in your lake very quickly.

What you are looking for is a nice large boat for a young family, and you have some great choices. I went though the same thing and bought a Tige' due to the amount of freeboard on the boat. My wife felt the kids were safer in a boat with deeper seating than the other boats we were looking to buy.

I have ridden in most of the boats on your list, and they are all quite nice, but you need to look at which boats fit your family and their needs. I like the Malibu and RZ4 for their size and flexibility for multiple water sports. The only boat you listed that I did not like when driving and riding was the Yamaha.
Old     (ottog1979)      Join Date: Apr 2007       08-21-2007, 12:11 PM Reply   

About the kids and waterskiing/wakeboarding, I bought an i.o. 3 years ago when my kids were 8 & 11. After several months they were wakeboarding with ease. After 12 months they didn't want to touch a tube but only wanted to go wakeboarding. Now, at 12 & 14 they say they don't like the lack of control on a tube and say that it is boring. They would prefer to work on their tricks. A year ago we bought our v-drive inboard and I think we pulled a tube behind it only once.
Old     (97response)      Join Date: Oct 2004       08-21-2007, 1:00 PM Reply   

It certainly sounds like any wakeboat on the market will meet your needs/price range. You're very fortunate to have all these options.

I'm not sure how easy it will be to buy a new boat in the U.S. I do know that many of these boat manufacturers do NOT let their dealerships sell outside of their territory. So, for example, if you have a Malibu dealership within 100 miles of you (random number), but you want to drive to Michigan to buy one, the Michigan dealership may refuse (whether he wants to or not) to sell to you. These manufacturers strongly discourage dealers to do this (even though you may get it cheaper elsewhere) as their may be reprocussions. In a worse case scenario, they may pull their boat line from the dealership. Something to at least discuss before you make the trip. I've heard of people getting around this, but usually is because a particular customer is not happy with their local dealer (usually from prior experiences).

My suggestion is to head out to your local dealerships and start looking at what boats you like.

I think everyone person has a very different opinion/taste on what a boats fit/finish is, and what is best. The fact of the matter is whatever YOU perceive is the best, is what really best for you.

If you get it down to 2 or 3 boats and still can't decide, then it's time to start thinking about what your experience will be like after the purchase. Which dealer is going to give you the best customer service? For many, this actually is where the boat buying process begins.
Addressing some of your other points - speed: most of these boats will will do between 42 and 48. A major factor will be 1.) hull design, and 2.) propeller. Propeller can be changed to pick-up 1 or 2 mph. Keep in mind these boats are not designed to go fast. I doubt any of these boats will go over 50. You can easily figure out top speed on the test drive.

All of these boats will have a swim platform, and PP is available on all as well.

I can't answer the rough water question, I just don't know. Obviously the deeper "V" the hull, the better chance of handling rough water. Usually the bigger the boat the better handling as well. These are just generic guidelines, others may be able to help w/ this one.
Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       08-21-2007, 2:00 PM Reply   
Old     (meierk)      Join Date: Aug 2007       08-30-2007, 12:23 PM Reply   
I talked to a guy in the warranty department for Tige about whether or not warranty on a boat purchased in the US would be applicable in Canada. He said that I can't even export a Tige built for the US to Canada because they build boats for Canada using different specs to satisfy Canadian laws.

Does this sound right? Can anyone tell me what would be different about a boat built for the US vs. one build for Canada?

Old     (steedracer)      Join Date: Jul 2007       08-30-2007, 4:19 PM Reply   
Kevin, The boats you originally mention are all excellent for tow sports, except the Yamaha. There was a great post/article on here somewhere that describes the good/bad of all types of boats., As I recall, the "jet" boats' wakes were small, soft and foamy and not very desirable by accomplished wakeboarders. For ride on chop, that Centurion Enzo is hard to beat (yes, I have one). Besides the Malibus (both excellent), don't overlook the Supra 24 Launch SSV. Big boat, great wake (stock!), great storage, and with the deep v keel, should handle chop well. Behind my Enzo, it's my favorite boat. We like a big boat with plenty of room for friends and family. The boats listed above are my favorites, followed by the Tige' 24Ve (very smooth driving/great wake)(not a fan of the RZ's - personal preference). Can't answer the USA-Canada thing. Hope that helps. PS I have two boys, 14 and 11, and our tube collects dust!
Old     (wakedv)      Join Date: May 2007       08-31-2007, 10:27 AM Reply   
Kevin, I would take a hard look at the service departments of the various boat dealers, some dealers in Alberta have terrible service. I know myself and some friends who own boats have had problems with different dealers around Edmonton. Soon as your new boat is out the door, they don't give a s%&*. Service is not an issue for some until their boat is in the shop for a month in the middle of our very short summer


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