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Old     (lacofdfireman)      Join Date: Aug 2014       08-16-2014, 7:35 PM Reply   
First post here and have been reading like crazy trying to decide what will be my first ever boat purchase. I've never owned a boat but have gone out a few times on a friend boat with the family and am hooked. I want to buy this one mainly for wake surfing so I have a few questions. We would like to get a 24ft boat. More friends and family equals more fun.. I think I have a budget of about $75k as I will be partnering with my brother in law. He is more familiar with boats as he has owned an XStar by Master Craft a few years ago. He is set on buying a used X45 Mastercraft with the the 8.1 motor. We think we can get an 07-08 boat for maybe around $60k. The more I read the more I think the Axis A24 would be sweet with the surf gate. His opinion is the Malibu boats don't hold there value like a Mastercraft and are not as nice as far a fit and finish. We could get a 2015 A24 for our $75k budget or close to I would think. Also he thinks that we need a 450hp motor. I'm a big dude at 6'4 260lbs and have yet to have a boat that can pull me up on a wakeboard. Maybe this is technique maybe not but all the boats I have ever been behind have been I/O boats without wake towers. I definitely want a boat that has enough power to pull me out. The Axis boats I have been looking at have a 409hp motor.

So as far as motors go does more power also equal a lot more cost per hour to operate or is it minimal. Bigger always seems better but is it? I don't know.. Does maintenance and other costs also go up with a bigger HP motor? We will use the boat at around 2500ft above sea level in Southern Utah, Lake Mead and Lake Powell....

I'm not against the Mastercraft X45 but I just want to get the most boat for the Money. Is it better to find a low hour used boat or bite the bullet and buy new. Within our price limits. My brother in law also has a friend that has been pulled behind a lot of different boats and he swears the Mastercraft has a better wake and is the best all around boat you can get for the money. I'm going in blind so I have no idea either way. Like I said this is new to me but something I know my family will love and enjoy. We live 15 minutes from a couple of nice lakes and plan on putting a lot of time in the water this next season. In the meanwhile we are shopping for a boat and hoping to make the right decision the first time. I have a moto that goes "Buy Cheap Buy Twice." I don't want to do that and regret the purchase. Hoping some of you will chime in and give me some ideas of what is the best boat to buy and what motor size we should be looking at..

Hope I don't have blinders on about the Surf Gate but I know both my son and I are difference in our stance on a board. I'm goofy and he is regular. So the surfgate appeals to me to be able to change the surf on the fly. I hear the X45 takes about 15 minutes to change the ballast?

School me in boat buying for a first timer so I can make a more educated decision. Now back to more research and reading for me..
Old     (ixfe)      Join Date: Aug 2008       08-16-2014, 11:25 PM Reply   
A24 will crush the X45 in both wake and surf. And it sounds like you're a good candidate for Surf Gate. But you are stuck because you're attempting to do this with a partner, which usually ends bad.
Old     (dezul)      Join Date: Jul 2012       08-17-2014, 4:49 AM Reply   
I agree. Get the A24 with surfgate. I promise your brother in law will love how surf gate works. The 409 engine will do more than you will ever need for that boat. Go take a look at both and talk to an Axis dealer about the A24. I think the BIL will change his mind quickly when he sees how big the boat is.
Old     (zimme)      Join Date: Feb 2013       08-17-2014, 6:03 AM Reply   
You're comparing MC (which is hated on this forum) to an Axis (which is the holy grail on this forum). You're going to get some very biased responses. Just remember, the Axis is a budget boat. The MC is not. Fit and finish is better on the MC. As for motors, I wouldn't worry about the reliability of any of these inboard motors. They're all incredibly reliable, and maintenance costs are always about the same. Change the oil every 50 hours, and do basic tune up's, and these motors last 1000 hours easy.

Your BIL has probably owned an MC and has experienced how well they're built. The 45 is a big boat... you might even look into an X30 and save some green, while also getting an upgrade in your wakes.
Old     (dezul)      Join Date: Jul 2012       08-17-2014, 6:19 AM Reply   
Yes. There is a lot of MC hate on here. They are very nice boats. It is a no brainer to me. A new A24 with all the bells and whistles or a 7 year old Mastercraft that you don't know the history on how it was treated. Basically insert any of the other top three names in for Mastercraft and I still feel the same way about my opinion.
Old     (chattwake)      Join Date: Jan 2010       08-17-2014, 6:22 AM Reply   
I love my a24. If you want to save more, buy my 14 a24 at the end of the season. I have an ls3 in mine. Mine will be priced in the high 60's.
Old     (rplogue7)      Join Date: Jul 2012       08-17-2014, 3:02 PM Reply   
Yeah I'd say the a24 is better if your on any sort of budget. Master crafts are mainly for people who want a unique style and luxury, which is unnecessary in general and for budgets too haha
Old     (lacofdfireman)      Join Date: Aug 2014       08-18-2014, 3:07 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by chattwake View Post
I love my a24. If you want to save more, buy my 14 a24 at the end of the season. I have an ls3 in mine. Mine will be priced in the high 60's.
We may be interested in your A24. What month do you anticipate selling it? Keep me posted. You can email me at
Old     (trayson)      Join Date: May 2013 Location: Vancouver WA       08-18-2014, 3:44 PM Reply   
You're idea of not being able to be pulled up on a wakeboard is nutty. the wakeboard has SOOO much surface area there's really no reason why you wouldn't get up almost instantly unless you're doing the classic newbie mistake of having the board perpendicular to the surface of the water. I call this the "Bulldozer" effect. what will happen is that you're trying to bulldoze all that water and the rope will get yanked out of your hands. Basically you're functioning as a big anchor. Point your toes and you're no longer a bulldozer.

Sure, I only weigh 170 but if the boat's moving I'm UP no matter what. However, I have taken myself along with my 50 pound son standing on the middle of my board and got the both of us up together. Oh, and did I mention that was on my 285 horsepower 92 Sunsport with a PCM 351?

If you were on a slalom ski, maybe. But no way it's the boat's fault on a wakeboard. I could probably get up behind a rowboat if I gave him a Rockstar first.

There's a ton of options out there. MC and Axis are just two of the players. especially if you're thinking surfing.

Why aren't you considering:
  • Centurion
  • Tige
  • MB Sports
  • Nautique
  • Supra
  • Moomba
  • Malibu
  • Mastercraft NXT
  • Supreme

Many of these have surf systems that will do quick swaps from side to side. But it's almost always a newer option and that will of course affect your budget. Also take into consideration that almost every surf boat you'd get will be something you'll be thinking about upgrading the ballast on. I mean, even something as epic as a G23 will often get a bag here or there to make the wave go from awesome to Epic. So comparing stock ballast wave to stock ballast wave isn't always the best thing to do. You need to think about how your boat modded to your preference will compare to your alternative boat modded to your preference.

What's really important to you? It sounds like you're pretty hung up on the name, fit/finish/reputation...

For what it's worth, I've ridden a nice Malibu VLX with surfgate and it was modded with more piggyback ballast. It was one of the nicest waves I've been on (and that is comparing it to a g23 and g25).

As far as surf systems go, I've been behind nicely outfitted boats with Malibu Surfgate, Nautique Surf System, and Moomba Flow. I've heard fantastic things about the Supra Swell and now MB has come out with a system that is pretty much a carbon copy. I think Mastercraft's gen 2 surf system is along the same lines.

Typically what you'll find is that most of the surf systems will either 1) get you a decent wave that you can switch quickly and run a level boat. AND/OR 2) they'll make your weighted/listed wave even better.

Anyway, good luck in your search and it sounds like you have a lot more research to do...
Old     (trayson)      Join Date: May 2013 Location: Vancouver WA       08-18-2014, 3:47 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by lacofdfireman View Post
We may be interested in your A24. What month do you anticipate selling it? Keep me posted. You can email me at
Chattwake's boat is pretty awesome.


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