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Old     (smsbrett)      Join Date: Mar 2008       11-14-2008, 7:31 PM Reply   
I have the great opportunity to go to TN next week to tour the Mastercraft and Malibu factories as I try to narrow my choices down for a hopeful spring purchase.

So, what should I look for to distinguish these brands? Or where will they try to set themselves apart but it doesn't really matter?

Any other advice?
Old     (05mobiuslsv)      Join Date: Apr 2006       11-14-2008, 7:56 PM Reply   
I really don't think you can pick a boat based on a factory tour, every manufacturer will build a boat a bit different. You need to base your decision on a thorough demo of the boats your interested in.
Old     (boarditup)      Join Date: Jan 2004       11-14-2008, 8:00 PM Reply   
Electrical - marine grade connections, routing, chaffing protection.

Hardware - backers on everything. Bolts have at least three threads showing beyond nylock.

Hull/Deck joint - shoebox with backer strip. No rivets.

Towing bits - fully braced and bracketed upper and lower.

Ballast pumps - Jabsco or other flexible impleller pump.

Holes through fiberglass - drilled with the use of jigs so all fit the same.
Old     (jon_a)      Join Date: Feb 2003       11-14-2008, 10:46 PM Reply   
make sure to swing by the skiers choice plant in Maryville while you are there.
Old     (ed_g)      Join Date: Nov 2005       11-15-2008, 5:27 AM Reply   
Exactlly. Make sure to stop in at the Skiers Choice plant!!

In fact, you can get an on-line "pre tour".

Check out this tread:

it shows daily progress photos of a beautiful 2009 Moomba Outback V being built.

If your anywhere near Central Florida, I'd be happy to take you out for a ride in "Moomba Martha".

If you order one you can choose the option of making sure that Reed Hansen stays away from yours

(Message edited by Ed_G on November 15, 2008)
Old     (brit_rider)      Join Date: May 2004       11-15-2008, 9:00 AM Reply   
Remember to take what the boat builders say about others with 'a pinch of salt' until you hear the other side of the argument. a certain builder is very keen on unfairly bagging on others so just be wary of this.

Take a pad of paper and take notes on questions you want to ask others builders, interesting points on the boats etc. You won't look like a geek and it'll give you mental prompts in the future as you go visit other factories to make fair comparison.
Old     (wakeride26)      Join Date: Dec 2006       11-15-2008, 9:47 AM Reply   
look for " Chopper Guns".... LOL I hear that one at every boat show.
Old     (brit_rider)      Join Date: May 2004       11-15-2008, 9:49 AM Reply   
Haha, great point. Those pesky chopper guns that they ALL bash yet ALL use!
Old     (mhunter)      Join Date: Mar 2008       11-15-2008, 10:10 AM Reply   
You may also want to continue down to Fla
to Correct Craft. IMO CC and MC builds the
best engineered with top notch materials
closely followed by BU and SC. You cant go
wrong with any of the top four.
Old     (hamkj)      Join Date: Apr 2002       11-15-2008, 10:20 AM Reply   
Instead of looking... I would be trying to read internal mail... about cutting costs...

Attention all fiberglass staff...
Effective immediately, please use half as much resin and cloth in every boat.
The Management Thanks You!

Attention all hardware Assembly Staff...
Effective immediately, please do not rivet or screw any pieces on any boat, we have secured a deal with WalMart for some white glue and clear silicone.
The Management Thanks You!

Attention All Upholstery Staff...
Effective immediately, in keeping with our "green" initiative, we will only be using recycled materials in our upholstery. Our request is that you look through your home for any unwanted clothes (especially blue jeans) and bring them in. If we do not receive enough clothing for our 2009 orders, we will be doing a clothing drive every Sunday until we have enough. The environment thanks you!
Old     (kko13)      Join Date: Jul 2006       11-15-2008, 1:31 PM Reply   
i have gone to cc and tige so far. i will be at the malibu plant this next week. i must say that tiges new plant was very impressive.the one thing that stood out to me at tige was the amount of time/man hours they spent on prep.of a mold. i had no idea. if you ever get a chance i would recommend visiting tige out in texas. they will give you a great tour and take you anywhere you wanna go an answer any questions you have.yeah the chopper gun thing is funny they all use them so i dont understand what the big fear is.

(Message edited by kko13 on November 15, 2008)
Old     (cbk)      Join Date: Aug 2006       11-15-2008, 4:05 PM Reply   
Brit - You are exactly right about the guns.
Old     (bftskir)      Join Date: Jan 2004       11-15-2008, 4:15 PM Reply   
here is a great tour of the Sanger factory.
it's where? they use the chopper gun...on what?
Sanger shows where and where not to use a chopper gun...and you see it in action!
Old     (brit_rider)      Join Date: May 2004       11-16-2008, 4:35 AM Reply   
All the manufactuers use it, but all claim others use it more etc etc.

its like how Tige still run their marketing on "all other boats have a hook at the back of the transom" - which wakeboard boats have that these days?! haha.

Its hard to find a bad wake boat these days, so just go to the factory with your wits about you and remember the people giving the tour are sold on their brand and haven't necessarily even set foot in a competitor boat for a while. if ever.
Old     (wakereviews)      Join Date: Sep 2006       11-16-2008, 7:14 AM Reply   
Not all of them use the chopper gun. But even if a company uses it for a certain part of the process it's not like the boat will fall apart! I agree with Brit Rider, lots of good boats on the market right now. Hard to go wrong.
Old     (c_boarder)      Join Date: Mar 2006       11-16-2008, 11:58 AM Reply   
Take the time to look at everything.... At the MC plant you can see every stage and take pictures. Last time I was at the Bu plant they did not want me to see everything and would not allow pictures, Wonder why!!!. Seemed like they where hiding some things. The MC and Bu plant are very different. The Bu plant is dirty and unorganized, looks like chaos. The MC plant is very impressive.
Old     (snowboardcorey)      Join Date: Jan 2004       11-16-2008, 1:02 PM Reply   
Have a great time and let us know what you think. I was at MC on Friday and had a blast. The factory was great but driving the boats was even better! Got a chance to get in the 214V and the X-55.
Old     (mofreestyle)      Join Date: Jan 2006       11-16-2008, 5:58 PM Reply   

I think you need to start a new thread telling us all about the x-55.
Old     (snowboardcorey)      Join Date: Jan 2004       11-17-2008, 8:49 AM Reply   
Would do but I work at a dealer so I don't want to get flamed for that. Shoot me an email with any questions, like an idiot I didnt take any picutres so I can't help you on that front. But I was down with 3 customers, all of whom drove the boat so I can get you their take on it as well.

email is
Old     (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       11-17-2008, 8:58 AM Reply   
I saw a picture of the new 214V. That boat is a complete joke. I have been in the X55 in the showroom and it is awesome. The thing is absolutely massive.
Old     (swab791)      Join Date: Mar 2005       11-17-2008, 5:00 PM Reply   
Mr Yates,
Have you driven the 214V...I have. The drivability is AWESOME. The same wake characterics as the 214. THE SAME. You probably did'nt know that the 214 Hull is based of the 197 did you? The 197 HOLDS all records currently. There is SO MUCH room in the 214V. More than an X-1 Almost as much as an X-2.

NUBU...once again you are talking from where the sun does not shine. A factory tour is a definitive closing factor. Why do some boat builders in the waterski community not let you take pictures? It is because they have something to hide or want hidden so you cannot see it. I suggest that you personally take a factory tour yourself of your current brand, what ever it is this week then go see the MC Plant. It might be an eye awakening experience for you and many others. The plant tour at MC is AWESOME and pictures are welcomed and encouraged. Nothing to hide. Try that at BU...go for it then report back. Defending MC...yes I am. But just like so many others you try to through BS out there just to see what sticks to the wall.

Mr. Russell. Go to the factory tour. You won't be disappointed at all. You will learn and see alot at that factory
Old     (ponte_06_x2)      Join Date: Jan 2006       11-17-2008, 6:08 PM Reply   
if you see a chopper gun. run and dont buy the boat.
Old     (ef3529)      Join Date: Nov 2003       11-17-2008, 6:32 PM Reply   
TK, I don't know what you are talking about. I know for a fact that Maliu does not care about pictures. At least in the TN factory. I never understood why MC owners feel like they have to bash all the other brands. MC does build a great boat but they are not for me as well as several others. That is why there are different brands. It is called freedom of choice and I chose a BU because I liked it. BTW I am on my 3rd and could not be happier. I would also be happy with most of the other brands as well. Enjoy the tours Brett and good luck with your decision.
Old     (bamboo)      Join Date: Dec 2005       11-18-2008, 9:51 AM Reply   
MC let me take pictures of the new 300 being built and the mockup at their plant. Obviously with the caveat to not post them on forums but if anyone thinks they have got something to hide they're mistaken.

It's certainly open door.

Oh and All eyez on me - I saw a chopper gun at the MC plant :-) They explained their uses for it as a very small part of their hull production.

(Message edited by bamboo on November 18, 2008)
Old     (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       11-18-2008, 9:56 AM Reply   
TK, yes I do know that it is based off the 197. I sold 2 214's 2 summers ago. The fact is the boat is terrible looking. It looks like a low profile I/O.
Old     (curtisco24)      Join Date: Dec 2005       11-19-2008, 6:32 AM Reply   
I have been to both plants several times and they are alot alike. Malibu seems to be more customer friendly. Mastercraft seemed very arrogant and would not allow any pictures. Malibu would not allow any pictures of the concept models. Pictures could be taken of everything else. Also, at Malibu, workers were constantly asking if I liked my boat, and asking what they could improve upon to make it better. Mastercraft employees seemed annoyed when you questioned any of their processes and couldn't always answer questions about their build process. Both make a good boat, but because of customer service, I chose a malibu.
Old     (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       11-19-2008, 6:44 AM Reply   
"if you see a chopper gun. run and dont buy the boat."

I guess that kinda narrows down your choices

Old     (chqwakeboarder)      Join Date: May 2006       11-19-2008, 8:34 AM Reply   
What is a "chopper gun"?
Old     (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       11-19-2008, 9:09 AM Reply   
Basically chews up glass mat and spays it out with a resin.
Old     (smsbrett)      Join Date: Mar 2008       11-19-2008, 3:18 PM Reply   
Alright, back from the trip and thought I would post some of my thoughts.

My local MC dealer was able to get myself and a friend into Fanfare. Yes, this is mainly a way to get short term (ie that day) sales, and the people at MC knew I wasn't in a position to be able to purchase no matter what that day, but they were still welcoming. The entire day was pretty polished, choreographed and overall very impressive. The plant is pretty clean and bright, and there is no doubt in my mind they make excellent boats. The spend a good deal of time showing off how they do things different than (usually un-named) competitors and trying to convince you it is better. They welcomed questions, encouraged pictures (yes, including of the new 300--sorry can't post those pics) and seemed very open. After that, we got to drive basically whatever we wanted. They even had the new 214V at the dock. I just wish the weather had been a bit warmer, but most of the boats did have heaters and heated seats! The remainder of the day was more geared towards dealing, so I stepped out after a nice lunch with some of the execs, but they were happy to show us the mockup of the 300 and encouraged us to go back to the factory or dock as we so pleased.

Our Malibu experience just had a different tone. It was not anything formal and everything was more laid back. My Bu dealer had arranged for me to drive an 09 VLX for comparison actually the afternoon after our visit to MC, so that was very nice. Since they don't keep any stock on hand, we actually took a boat right off the line and basically gave it the first on water test. (FYI, everything worked great). We came back the following morning to actually go through the factory because it isn't open on Monday. Again, it was a more informal tour, but that afforded us the chance to talk to some of the workers, many of whom were excited to talk to us and show us what they do. Pictures were encouraged and I never got the impression that anything was being hidden... not even the first prototype of the new 22 foot Axis boat. They construct a bit different than MC-- the merits of either has been debated-- but it was apparent those boats are built with quality as well.

Overall, I was impressed with both experiences. There are things I like about each boat and was sort of hoping to see something that would set them extraordinarily apart in terms of build quality--ie one factory using used gum to bind things together-- but I don't think the difference was that huge. I would say the MC is probably built a bit stronger, but perhaps it is overbuilt. And even if you could quantify that MC build is a certain measurable amount better than a Bu, I'm not sure how significant that would be to actual operation of that boat.
Old     (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       11-19-2008, 3:24 PM Reply   
Thanks for sharing. The local dealer told me they were coming out with a 30 foot boat. Is it a cabin cruiser or more of a open bow day boat?

After seeing it up close and hearing their sales pitches is there a technique you prefer when it comes to the floor. Do you prefer the one piece liner of the Mastercraft or the layed in floor and screwed in seat bases of the Malibu?

(Message edited by polarbill on November 19, 2008)
Old     (jaysus)      Join Date: Nov 2006       11-19-2008, 5:18 PM Reply   

The new 300 is actually both believe it or not.

You'll have to see it. Saw the 1st hull being built 2 weeks ago. It's huge.


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