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Old     (SeedlessOne)      Join Date: Sep 2010       09-03-2010, 10:44 AM Reply   
Okay ive been wake boarding for since 2003 behind a johnson 80 outboard. Since then ive purchased a 2001 18" Trophy with a 125 outboard. Well now we are ready to sell the Trophy. I want to take wake boarding more seriously and get back into riding several times a week. My budget is 20k. I would love to just go out and buy a used wakeboard boat but I don't think that is the right choice. i live on the coast with no lakes. We have brackish rivers and then the ocean. I spend most of my days on the river but do go slightly off shore to go island hoping. Am I stuck with a i/o? If so does anyone have any suggestions for an I.O that puts out a good wake?
Old     (samhanna)      Join Date: Sep 2009       09-03-2010, 11:15 AM Reply   
A lot of boat manufacturers make an inclosed cooling system. Mastercraft and Epic do for sure... I would head that direction
Old     (SeedlessOne)      Join Date: Sep 2010       09-03-2010, 11:20 AM Reply   
suggestions for any in my price range?
Old     (bruizza)      Join Date: May 2009       09-03-2010, 1:33 PM Reply   
Might be easier to find a boat you like in your price range and then add something like this.
Old     (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       09-03-2010, 1:44 PM Reply   
I would think that an inboard would generally do better in salt water than an I/O. On an inboard there's only bronze and stainless below the waterline compared to the large mass of aluminum and moving parts below the water on an I/O.

Throw an aftermarket closed loop cooling system on there and it would be even better.

Is there a launch you could put in on that's fresh water leading to the brackish? If so launch there and you'll save your trailer and get a really good flush when riding back to the launch at the end of the day.
Old     (SeedlessOne)      Join Date: Sep 2010       09-03-2010, 1:50 PM Reply   
Hey thanks for the help! There is no fresh water to launch in. Its either the ocean or brackish rivers. I have been focused a lot on an i.o but am now leaning back to a inboard. Is there anything in my price range that is inboard with an open bow? The wifey wants space. Most of the inboard that look to be in my price range are all closed bow. Is a closed system necessary if you flush and wipe down everything every time?
Old     (bruizza)      Join Date: May 2009       09-03-2010, 1:54 PM Reply   
Go to and enter 20k as your price to and check the results. No idea where you live but you might have to travel for a good deal. plenty of open bow boats in your price range.
Old     (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       09-03-2010, 2:06 PM Reply   
It depends on your definition of necessary. Short answer is no. I would definitely setup a quick and easy way to flush the engine though so you can be sure to do it thoroughly every time.

I think most manufacturers recommend closed loop cooling if the boat is used in salt water more than 20% of the time though.

Another problem you'll have is the trailer. Most used inboard trailers will be painted rather than galvanized. A painted trailer will go downhill quickly in salt water but may last a few seasons in brackish. You could approach this two ways: 1) plan on a new trailer in 1-3 seasons and hose down the trailer after every trip 2) Immediately buy a suitable galvanized trailer and sell the painted trailer if it's in good shape and still has value.

If the trailer is in rougher shape I'd just use it. If it's really nice I'd sell it and get a galvanized one. A new galvanized inboard trailer will probably be in the $4-6k range though so factor that into the budget. In areas that have lakes with slips you tend to find a lot of boats for sale with no trailers which might be a better route to go unless you happen to find exactly the boat you want on a galvanized trailer.
Old     (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       09-03-2010, 2:08 PM Reply   
Oh, and one more thing: I personally would specifically look for a boat that already has salt water use (And obviously in good shape) in order to let the current owner take the hit on depreciation rather than you. If you buy a fresh water boat and then use it in salt water for years you will have to take that hit on resale.
Old     (pcolajosh)      Join Date: May 2007       09-03-2010, 2:24 PM Reply   
I've got just what you're looking for. I've been riding in brackish water for 3 years and have learned what works and what doesn't.
Old     (nautiquesonly)      Join Date: Sep 2007       09-03-2010, 5:51 PM Reply   
Josh that's a nice trailer!
Old     (SeedlessOne)      Join Date: Sep 2010       09-04-2010, 10:14 AM Reply   
Are there anymore open style boats like the CSX? Im not looking for a center console just something with more room. All the inboard in my price range look very small with no space what so ever. My wife fell in love with the CSX...until I told her the price. I just know Im going to end up having the purchase an IO. I mean a boat is better than no boat......but I still wont be 100% satisfied with an io.
Old     (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009       09-04-2010, 10:54 AM Reply   
I'd look for a Sport Nautique and Prostar 205. Both are open bow nd can be had in that price range. If you do the salt thing all the time buy a closed cooling kit and you'll be golden. Just plan on replacing the heat exchanger every so often but beats replacing the engine.
Old     (pcolajosh)      Join Date: May 2007       09-04-2010, 11:06 AM Reply   
No offense to the IO crowd, but you'll hate yourself for settling with an IO over a true inboard. It's so much better for your progression if you're really wanting to improve your riding. From speed control, wake characteristics, and happy wife factor, you can't beat a good V drive. I know that it's gonna break your heart to put a wakeboat into brackish water, but it's really not too bad if you keep up with the maintenance. The only time I'd recommend an IO is if you were looking to do offshore stuff like fishing or diving. Then you could get a bigger hull for the swells and chop.
Old     (kko13)      Join Date: Jul 2006       09-04-2010, 11:58 AM Reply   
I have a question for you guys. Why does everybody jump to put a closed cooling system on it? I understand what a closed cooling sys. is and does. But do you realize the majority of I/O dont run a closed cooling sys. Take mercrusier the mercruiser engines that are in ski boats are the same engines the I/O boats use and the majority dont use a closed cooling system. I am not saying closed cooling isnt a nice feature but its not a " Must Have" either. Its all about taking care of it and flushing it properly. Yes a saltwater boat is going to cost you more in repairs. Wether it has a closed cooling system or not.wether its an inboard or a I/O does not really matter either.
Seed I would look for a V-Drive with a depper V in your price range, If you truly into wakeboarding its what your going to want. I run my boat in tampa bay from time to time and in the gulf. I dont have closed cooling sys.. I always flush my engine and have had zero issues with my engine. I will also match any I/o of the same size in ride quality in the ruff stuff. You just have to have the right wakeboat for this type of water. Tige and Supra are two of the better ones for this IMPO. I would save until your budget is about 25k and them you could get a really nice 22fter with a nice V not to old and that will make killer wakes. Good luck in your search.
Old     (SeedlessOne)      Join Date: Sep 2010       09-04-2010, 6:39 PM Reply   
Good question.... ^^^^^ I just think some fresh guys could not even imagine putting their boat in salt, but around here that is all we know. Washing and flushing... a lot.

Kevin which boat do you own? Im down in Tampa quite often. Great lakes out there.

The wifey and I went to bass pro today. Looked at a Tahoe 7qi. She loved it.... Not a huge fan. Big improvement over what I am riding behind now. I never see anyone around here in inboards, but then again Im not eye balling every boat I see either. I from Savannah,. Ga so its pretty much all center consoles with fishing poles.

Even the prostars seem cramped. Yeah you have the front but the back just looks uncomfortable for a group of people on the boat. When we take the boat out we go out all day long. I want something where people can move around on the boat.

Last edited by SeedlessOne; 09-04-2010 at 6:46 PM.
Old     (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       09-04-2010, 8:16 PM Reply   
If you look above I said that a closed loop cooling system wasn't necessary but I know Mastercraft recommends them if you spend more than 20-30% of your hours in salt. I'd agree that it's not much different, engine block wise, than running an I/O without one.

I think the reason most are so anti-salt water is that inboards used in fresh water seem to last forever and at some point stop depreciating completely. The same can't be said for your typical I/O whether used in salt water or fresh. A lot of that has to do with the long term maintenance costs of the outdrive with all of its moving parts and hydraulic systems. I'd be willing to bet that, relative to the number of inboard boats produced 15,20,25 years ago there's a larger percentage of those inboards on the water today then comparable I/Os relative to their production numbers.

The other thing is that most salt water is in large open bodies with storms and swells and what not which most competition style inboards don't tend to handle as well as a deep vee I/O. So, in most geographic locations I guess there's not a whole lot of incentive to take an inboard wakeboard boat into salt water and the hulls you typically find on an I/O boat lend themselves more to the rougher water.

I would agree that comparing something like a ProStar 205 (Direct Drive) and a 20' Tahoe the ProStar will be a compromise exchanging ski/wakeboard capabilities for less people hauling/comfort. You need to get in a V drive to get a more accurate comparison though.

Also, consider what this boat is going to cost you to own for 3-5 years. Buy a new $30k Tahoe and go to sell it in 3-5 years and prepare to be bent over and take a $10k+ hit on resale. Spend that same amount on a used MasterCraft or Nautique, care for it, and the loss should be significantly less.

Also, let's say you buy a used '08 Tahoe for $20k and let the initial buyer take that big hit. That boat still isn't anywhere near bottoming out on depreciation and you will still be eating $1k+ per year in depreciation. Spend that same $20k on an older inboard boat and its depreciation curve will be much less steep and the cost of ownership each year attributed to depreciation will be less.

All things held equal there's less maintenance on an inboard. Change the oil in the engine and transmission regularly and the drivetrain should last hundreds and hundreds of hours without major failure. With the I/O you have a hydraulic system for steering and trim and tons of small, aluminum moving parts below the water line.

All that said I've wakeboarded since '93 behind all kinds of suboptimal boats and it's still fun. Lots of people are wake snobs. I can go big and have plenty of fun behind an I/O.
Old     (SeedlessOne)      Join Date: Sep 2010       09-04-2010, 9:20 PM Reply   
Hey another great post^^^. I totally agree on the resale factor. If I do decide on an io ill probably just go cheap. i.e used bayliner etc. So its going to be an io or increase my budget. What boat is closet to my 20k budget that you may suggest?
Old     (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       09-05-2010, 7:08 AM Reply   
There are plenty of inboard boats under $20k especially in the off season. You'll see the occasional Super Air Nautique circa '00-02 as well as 4-8 year old Moombas, Centurions, Supras, Sangers, etc. The MasterCrafts below $20k exist but most are only 17-19', closed bow, or really old. Most 21'+, less than 10 year old MasterCraft sellers seem to be really proud of their boats and will talk to you like you're stupid if you mention NADA but there are the occasional deals like the '00 23' 230 VRS w/ 270 hrs that I got for $13,300.
Old     (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       09-05-2010, 7:24 AM Reply   
I forgot to mention Malibu. You should see some 21-23' boats circa '99-02 in your price range too. At that price I wouldn't get hung up on a particular brand or model just keep looking until you find the best value.

Also, all other things held equal the only place I can think of where it's more expensive to own an inboard vs I/O is prop repair. On an I/O you can pretty much throw an SS prop on there and forget about it for hundreds of hours unless you have an encounter with a stump while reversing or something. The outdrive protects the prop from floating debris and what not and the stainless ones are less easily damaged by the small stuff. On the inboard the prop doesn't get much protection from oncoming debris and the nibral (Nickel, Brass, Aluminum alloy) props are intentionally soft to absorb impact reducing the likelihood of damage further up the driveline. So, you will likely have more frequent repairs (About $80-125 per incident) with an inboard and be more inclined to buy a spare prop ($500-600 for new or $200-300 for used).

Last edited by Jeff; 09-05-2010 at 7:27 AM.
Old     (tampawake)      Join Date: Mar 2008       09-05-2010, 4:21 PM Reply   
Didnt Tige run marine power and those were salt engines. They have always had big spacious boats. Might be able to find a 22ve or 22v or bigger. KKO if he is around will know he is a boat mechanic for Tige as well as a bunch of others.


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