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Go Back   WakeWorld > >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive > Archive through August 27, 2003 > Archive through September 24, 2004

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Old    HD (hdrew)      Join Date: Sep 2004       09-13-2004, 2:58 PM Reply   
Hello, thanks for looking.

Ok, I know I am going to get the "Don't buy an I/O" from some, so I am prepared for that.

I am looking for feedback on I/Os for wakeboarding. I currently have a Bayliner 185 and looking to upgrade. My wife and I bought it becuase it was cheap. It's been fine, it gets us out on the water. We just started wakeboarding and love it. We want to upgrade primarily to have a larger boat, not just for wakeboarding.

So, my question is what I/Os do you think are good for boarding? 21 - 23 ft, will add tower, fat sacs etc to enhance the wake. We live in Seattle and spend 90% of our time on Lake Washington which can get pretty choppy at times. This is part of me wanting to stay away from a wakeboard specific boat. Price up to 40k, so Cobalts might be out of the question.
Thanks in advance, Hdrew
Old    Salmon Tacos (salmon_tacos)      Join Date: Jan 2003       09-13-2004, 3:40 PM Reply   
I think there are a few problems with I/O's:

1. There are SO many of them that it's hard to really compare the wakes. In fact, I don't think there is anyone really qualified to answer your question. You can't rely on owner reviews because I/O owners suffer from "ownership goggles," just as inboard owners do, and most serious boat moochers tend to ride on "wakeboard boats" (inboards).

In contrast, there are only a few companies making inboards so you can find people who have ridden ALL of them and can really provide you with an educated opinion or you can even demo them all yourself.

2. Wake quality is not a priority. I/O companies will throw a tower on there and call it a wakeboard boat but that's just marketing. Watersports is not their focus so finding a good wake is really hit-or-miss. Modern inboard companies, on the other hand, are either designing their hulls to make good wakes or have selected hulls with wake production as a major criterion.

3. They don't come with standard ballast and they usually aren't configured very well for making a nice hidden ballast system. You can buy some fat sacks but you'll have to throw them all over the boat. This can also be a problem when test driving if the I/O dealer isn't open to sacking down the boat for a test ride.

My 20' Mariah I/O throws a decent wake if I lay about 1500 lbs. of fat sacks in there. It also handles chop pretty well but not much better than a big wakeboard boat. I went and bought an '86 Ski Nautique 2001 though because I wanted an even better wake and I don't care about rough water. Obviously, that's not an option for you.

SO...my only advice is to test drive some boats that look nice. Drive and ride some inboards as well as I/O's just so you are making an educated decision. Buy some sacks ahead of time so you can see how the boats will handle the weight. Will the wakes hold up? Finally, check out the Moomba XLV. That big ass boat throws a great wake, handles chop very well, and is very reasonably priced.
Old    Nick Brown (512boarder)      Join Date: Jul 2004       09-13-2004, 3:54 PM Reply   
you can find some REALLY great deals on older natiques and mastercraft maristars that will get u bigger and better wake for the price of an i/o
i have seen boats all over boattrader.com for 18,000 and up if not less
Old    Luciano Grimblat (luchog)      Join Date: Jun 2002       09-13-2004, 4:38 PM Reply   
I have ridden behind a friend's Celebrity, and the wake in there is huge. It had a V6 Volvo engine and a SX drive. Really nice boat and nice ride. You can get one of those at a really low price since they are no longer made.
Old    tribal            09-13-2004, 4:42 PM Reply   
It never fails.Someone asks a question about an i/o and get's told don't bother buy an inboard.
To answer your question though I think Samon Tacos has the right idea in test drive,test drive,test drive.That's the only way to find the right boat for you.
Old    Ryan Newcomb (jnewcom)      Join Date: Mar 2003       09-13-2004, 4:48 PM Reply   
Not really sure on what the price is on these boats but I have two friends with crownlines that love them. Both came with towers and look awesome on the water. One of the guys even has the side exhaust on his that sounds nice. Like Salmon said though there are lots of inboard boats now that ride just as good as i/o boats. But if your mind is made up I would look into the Crownline's.
Old    paul (wakeme884)      Join Date: Jul 2004       09-13-2004, 4:51 PM Reply   
Most i/o's are pretty much the same as Salmon said. I currently have a 20' Reinell w/tower. I put a 6oo# sack on the floor and it makes a pretty decent wake. My buddy has a Malibu vlx. The ride is actually better in rough water on the vlx. Its quieter than most i/o's also. The bigger the boat the better it will handle the chop (usually). Make sure you get a good strong motor- 5.7 fi at minimum. Ive god a 5.0 and wish Id gone bigger. But most of all....like everyone says....TEST DRIVE,TEST DRIVE. Good luck on your search.
Old    paul (wakeme884)      Join Date: Jul 2004       09-13-2004, 4:53 PM Reply   
Most i/o's are pretty much the same as Salmon said. I currently have a 20' Reinell w/tower. I put a 6oo# sack on the floor and it makes a pretty decent wake. My buddy has a Malibu vlx. The ride is actually better in rough water on the vlx. Its quieter than most i/o's also. The bigger the boat the better it will handle the chop (usually). Make sure you get a good strong motor- 5.7 fi at minimum. Ive got a 5.0 and wish Id gone bigger. But most of all....like everyone says....TEST DRIVE,TEST DRIVE. Good luck on your search.
Old    grampawakerider            09-13-2004, 6:27 PM Reply   
Hank,
Is your current Bayliner an i/o? What year is it? HP? etc.... I have a 2000 Bayliner 1850LX, which is the same length, but I throw I real nice wake. Not huge, but nice. The more weight I put in it, the steeper the wake gets. So run run with just peeps since I prefer a rampy wake. My hull has the APS system, which stands for Advanced Planing System. Really helps when pulling at wakeboard speeds. I have no problem staying on plane. I guess what I'm getting at here, I have a v-6 190hp i/o and get great fuel economy. But it's too small for me and my crew of 9. This boat handles chop well. If upgrading means larger, then if I were you, I wouldn't rule out looking at the new Bayliners considering price and your needs. As for just newer, mine's pretty well loaded and I plan to put it on the market this week. (Tower, custom bimini, racks, Perfect Pass, snap on bow cover, 690lbs in ballast sacs. New stereo as of sometime this week since my stock one quit playing cd's last week.)265hrs on the boat. I mostly typed that shameless plug just to help get me used to doing it. But I really would consider a newer or new Bayliner. For me though, I'm getting a new Mobius LSV or possibly an '04 Supra SSV. All I ever use my boat for is wakeboarding, so a wakeboarding boat I must get.
Old    grampawakerider            09-13-2004, 6:34 PM Reply   
Here's a pic of my wake with my son trying to land a backroll.
Old    HD (hdrew)      Join Date: Sep 2004       09-13-2004, 8:31 PM Reply   
Mine is a 2003 with a 135hp (part of my problem, i should have gotten a larger engine. Another question, I read a post recently on gallons per hour consumption and was blown away at how much gas people go through in an hour. Mine gets great fuel economy. Is that because it is a lower horse power? In other words, will an I/O with a 350hp get the same fuel economy as a vdrive with the same hp?
Old    Mark Anderson (puckinshat)      Join Date: Sep 2003       09-13-2004, 10:15 PM Reply   
It is all a function of hp vs. weight towed. I read on here a week or so back that someone got better fuel consumption when weighting their new x-star out of the 8.1 l than the 5.7 l with less hp. It was because they were running the 8.1 at lower rpms so it was actually using less fuel. Meaning, if you put 1500lbs of water in your i/o with a 135 hp engine, you will probably run WAY higher rpms than if you were runing a 5.7 V8. THink of a towboat more like if you were going to haul a triler full on concrete. Would you tak a jeep wrangler with a 4 banger and run it up to 4000 rpm just to get he thing movin, or take a chevy pick-up with a 350 V8 and let it pull at normal rpms. You will probably use more gas in the end with the jeep not to mention the extra strian in the engine. As a rule of thumb, buy 25% more horsepower that you think you will ever need. You NEED more HP, wake-boat or no wake-boat.
Old    Buzz (buzz_grande)      Join Date: Mar 2004       09-14-2004, 12:51 AM Reply   
I bought my 2001 Cobalt about 3.5 years ago, and love it. Granted, it is not a "wakeboard" boat, but we wakeboard behind it a couple days a week, and have probably taught 25-30 persons how to ride. I had a custom tower made for it a couple years ago. Like everyone else said, it is not the ideal wakeboard boat, but with some weight, and a tower, you can still have a great time. We sure do. As far as handling the rougher water, there is not really much comparison between I/O's and true wakeboard boats. A good I/O like mine is great in rough water. I have been in the ocean many times, and it takes it like a champ. The deep-V hull, and higher freeboard is essential if you do this.

I am in the process of selling my Cobalt, and moving up to a "wakeboard" boat, mainly because we want to get to the next level as far as skill, wake, perfect pass, etc.

Feel free to e-mail me if you need more info. I will not take the time up here on the forum.

Good luck.
Old    Luciano Grimblat (luchog)      Join Date: Jun 2002       09-14-2004, 11:07 AM Reply   
CELEBRITY!!!!!!
Old    scott shoemake (above_the_levee)      Join Date: Aug 2004       09-14-2004, 11:33 AM Reply   
I've got a 2001 Blue Water and when I sack it down and get the trim set it throws a wake similar to an X-30 ( i kid you not). The hulls on Blue Water boats are designed very similar to MC's, I think that they are the most "v-drive like" I/O that I have seen. My boat looks great with a Pro Flight tower and the Volvo 5.0 pulls fat people right out of the water with no prob.
Old    Adel (adelzee)      Join Date: Aug 2004       09-14-2004, 2:45 PM Reply   
Fourwinns gotta a 23' that's sweet and great for wakeboarding too.
Old    Paul (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       09-16-2004, 7:03 AM Reply   
The Cobalt or higher end crownline are both great boats. I have a lot of experience with Cobalts, and let me say that they are the Bentley of the I/O market. If I ever get rid of my MC, that would be the boat I would buy.
Old    Mike Duvall (duvy)      Join Date: May 2002       09-16-2004, 6:16 PM Reply   
I just sold my Cobalt for an '04 WSLSV. The size and shape of the wake is great when you add several fat sacs. I would look at the 240 because Cobalt made it for the watersports minded family. The ride is awesome in choppy water and there is plenty of space for your family and all of your gear. You could find an '00 or '02 in your price range, and I have never seen a used Cobalt that was not taken care of!
Old    drcrow2            09-17-2004, 5:57 AM Reply   
I would just like to bring something up. In my opinion I/Os seem to have lack the control (throttle and steering) that inboard/v-drives have. My pic in my profile is the wake of a 2000 Cobalt 226, with no weight added. Using the trim we do get a nice wake, but it is difficult to hold speed. It does have the volvo duo prop and I think that really helps with the planeing at lowerspeeds (ie 18-20). The 226 is right at 23' long and 100" beam (so the wake is wide). It seems to me that inboards/v-drives have more control and maneuverability than I/Os.

just my 2 cents!

David
Old    Paul (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       09-17-2004, 6:58 AM Reply   
David,
I agree with you totally, but if you must get an I/O, get a nice one.
Old    E.J. (deuce)      Join Date: Mar 2002       09-17-2004, 7:12 AM Reply   
Another guy who sold a Cobalt for a V-Drive. Didn't ready the whole post, but agree with the last few. It should be noted that it is a option to put Perfect Pass on any I/O you may get. That will solve your speed problem. So for me, that is a non-issue.

If I was going to purchase another open bow I/O, it would be a Cobalt 240 or 240SX. In your size range, you cannot go wrong with a 226.

E.J.
Old    E.J. (deuce)      Join Date: Mar 2002       09-17-2004, 7:19 AM Reply   
Sorry, I just re-read your post and see now that you are not really thinking Cobalt.... I personally think Chaparral is the next step down. Of course all this is personal opinion, kind of like the inboard debates.

Then again, I have never heard anyone say their boat is better than a Cobalt. In fact that is how I purchased my Cobalt....kept wondering why I/O dealers were saying their boat was like or almost comparable to a Cobalt. Figured it would be worth my time to look at one. Once I did, I just couldn't see myself getting anything else. As a side note, resale(I know, I know...everyone says this) on a Cobalt is VERY good. I ended up dumping mine through the dealer(who also sells Nautiques), after 3 years use, for around 2 K less than I bought it for. I had added a tower and snap covers, but everything else was just how I bought it.

E.J.
Old    Mike Duvall (duvy)      Join Date: May 2002       09-17-2004, 9:35 PM Reply   
I can second the resale! I purchased my Cobalt in '99 used with 23 hours on it. Over three years and 320 hours and I sold it within 2 days and only lost $500 from my original purchase price! If you ever decide to go to DD or V-Drive you won't have any problems selling a Cobalt!

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