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Old     (67King)      Join Date: Feb 2011       03-17-2011, 6:36 AM Reply   
Been lurking a while, searching a bit, and have found a lot of good info here. Anyway, a few months ago, my wife told "Go buy a boat! That's one of the big reasons we moved to Knoxville, so go buy me one!" Yes, I have pinched myself, and I am awake. And while she does have a sister, she is happily married.

So, first point is why a ski (wake) boat?
Anyway, she doesn't really care what kind of boat, just wants one. So here's where I'm at. WHen I was a kid in the late 70's and 80's, I spent my Summers on a small lake a bit south of Atlanta, Jackson Lake if anyone knows it. Dad had me skiing when I was 4 behind the family's 64 Chris Craft (18'). On one when I was 7. I got a job in the winter when I was 13, and someone hit the boat that Summer, so I never did much skiing after I was 12. But, to me, boating means skiiing. So when 67Queen said I get to pick out the boat, that's what it means to me. Having said that, I'm aware that wake boarding is the new skiing, so whatever, as long as we're on the water.

Second factor: We have 6 year-old twin girls, one of whom will definately try it, one of whom is a bit more timid. We also have an 18 month old son who will probably be some kind of extreme something or other given his propensity to get into stuff.

Third factor is that we have some very good friends with girls of similar ages to our kids who have a 24' Cobalt. So it seems silly to me to buy a redundant boat to them.


Next question is how old of a boat I'm looking for? 2007 or newer.
First factor - time. I don't want to spend any on fixing the boat. With cars, age is as big or a bigger factor than mileage, and that is ESPECIALLY true if a car isn't driven. I'm just not the type of person to pay someone to do stuff I can do. And I'm a competant wrench (engineer, used to do engine development with Ford). I'm a hard core DIY-er, so I've got projects going on with the house, and I'm really into cars, so I'd rather spend my spare time working on the track car or restoring the GTO.

Second factor - money. Yeah, backwards thinking I know. I hate debt, and would rather just buy the boat outright. But the wife nor I want the kids to grow up while we save to buy a boat, so we are going to finance. I can finance a newer boat for 2.99% for 60 months. Any older, add a point or more.


So, how much will I spend? Depends. Upper limit around $40K-ish.
Like I have said, I'd love to buy a boat outright, but it isn't going to happen. I don't have a hard line at $40K, but I don't want to get much above it. And while I could string out the term of a loan more, interest rates start really increasing with the increase in term.


Layout and size? Mid-size V-drive
Midsize because we'll be spending some time on a big, busy lake, Loudon (I believe that this would be considered the "home" lake of Master Craft, Malibu, and Skier's Choice, as well as Yamaha). I'd love a 23' boat, but some of the 22's are pretty close in size, and the 23's are getting stupid expensive. Having said that, we live 1.04 miles from the marina we'd use, and both my wife and I have work schedules that would allos us to take the boat out during the week when the lake is less crowded. So the ride of a larger boat is important, but not critically so.

V-drive because we'll have a lot of folks on the boat at times - 4 adults, 6 kids. Also, wakeboarding is the new skiing, or so I'm told by younger friends who do it, and older friends with kids that do it.


Options so far?
Option 1, something from Malibu. The local dealer has girls who take gymnastics at the same place and time as my girls, so I have gotten to know him socially over the past year, even before I had any idea my wife was going to throw me in the bryer patch by making me buy a boat. So from there:
- 2000 23' I think it is an LSV? A Sunscape or Escape or something. V-drive. Nice, low hours (under 200) boat that the local dealer has. $25K. Has tanks and a tower. LOT of boat for the money, but I'm afraid of the age. It also has a narrow beam, making it fell less crowded.
- 2007-2008 V-Ride. Nice boats, but narrow. Could have snagged one in Nasville for under $30K, but it sold too quickly. Most seem to be mid to upper $30's by asking price.
- 2009-2010 V-Ride. These are the ones I really like. Nice wide beam, nice fit and finish. Old Wakesetter hull. I had hoped to check out a 2009 last weekend, but it sold just before i was able to. There are a few 2010's out there, but I don't know how anxious the dealers will be to get rid of them.
- New Axis A22. I'll get back to this.

Option 2, Moomba. Honestly, I liked these boats until I checked out the Axis. I can pick up an older one, but there are a few things I don't like about them. I know they are entry-level, but they seem very cheap. I really dislike the bladders for ballast, I much prefer hard ballasts. I'd be looking at a Mobius. May consider an XLV.

Option 3, Nautique. Overall, I'm afraid they just won't fit into my age/price requirements.
- 211. There are a few about. I'm worried they are a bit small, and I really dislike the L-shape layout of the interior. Just seems like a smaller boat than I'd like, as well.
- 210. Seem to be a few. I like the layout better, I am guessing it is a more wake-purpose built boat. Wife likes the seating arrangement, and the ability to have more seats face rearward. Very, very nice boat, but again, will I find one? Again, seems on the small side.

Option 4, Master Craft.
- X15, but I don't really see any fitting into my age/budget. For price points, without having driven either, the 210 seems like a nicer boat.

Now, are there any good solid options I am missing? I know there are other brands out there like Tige', but I don't see very many of them around here. I know very little about them.


Right now, I'm leaning heavily towards the Axis (A22). I'd love to find a good V-Ride, as well. So let me proceed to the questions:
1. Is there a "best time" to buy a boat? Seems buying in the winter would make sense, but there is also the factor of availability. More boats available in the Spring, but that's the season. Do I stand to get a lot more boat if I buy, say, in the Fall?
2. How "willing to deal" for 2010's will dealers be right now? There are two 2010 V-Rides that are out there. The 2009 I just missed was sold for $38K. Can I get a 2010 within 10% of so of that?
3. Where can one find good value info? Is NADA the only source? I'm interested as much to know if I can finance the whole boat or not. Also might help with negotiations.

Final questions - I have taken out an A22, and sat down and spec'd out one. The local dealer is offering me one for what seems to me like a great deal. As I had said earlier, I know him socially, and I am inclined to trust him, but I just want to verify that I'm doing well. Here's what I can get (going off of memory). New A22 with whatever paint scheme I want, base trailer, base stereo, wedge, plug-n-play ballast, flip-up bolster/swivel seat, dual battery, bimini top, boat cover, removable carpet.
- $[quote removed at dealer request] before taxes. That seems like a screamin' good deal to me. I'm almsot inclined to just go for it. Anyone with experience with Axis verify this?
- Any other options I should be getting? I'm thinking I may forego the stereo (and do one myself) and batteries (I can get an Optima for $95 through some racing connections). But I am also thinking I should be adding both cleats and traction pads.

Sorry for the War and Peace post. Thought I should give as much background as possible before any of you put forth an effort to give me a thoughtful reply. And thanks everyone for reading through it, and offering up any opinions you may have.

Last edited by wakeworld; 03-30-2011 at 2:03 PM.
Old    J D (jeff_mn)      Join Date: Jul 2009       03-17-2011, 6:58 AM Reply   
Great deal on an Axis.. You'll love the playpen bow of the Axis having kids.. the V-Ride is another great option because the Malibus have a LOT of space BEHIND the windshield, so it feels even more spacious than it is.. Kids don't care how big the bow is..

I'd go with one of those two.. This coming from a Moomba guy..

And from my PERSONAL experience - I wouldnt' skimp on ANYTHING with the options.. Just mack it out totally - spend the extra couple K up front and then pass that on to the next guy when you sell it. If you don't want to wrench and tinker on the boat - just have it ALL done from the factory.. I bought a base boat and spent two years tinkering and regretted it almost every day.. Just mack it out, spend the extra money and be done with it.. You'll be happy you did.. Make sure it has either perfect pass or some sort of speed control.

Dont' be scared of sacks instead of hard tanks. they are VERY durable and you get more storage when they are empty than hard tanks.. I think you're making the right choice with a newer Axis or V-Ride considering your goals. A 210 is a great boat bu it's smaller inside and is mroe of a "core" wakeboat.

Good luck
Old    Chris Halfmoon (moon)      Join Date: Oct 2008       03-17-2011, 7:16 AM Reply   
I'm not an Axis owner, but that is a screaming deal. I noticed you also asked if there were any other options you may have over looked, and I would have to say that you may want to look at MB Sports also (that's if you've got a dealer near by). The two boats that I would put on your list are the B52 Team Wide Body, or if you're into the pickle fork, the F21 Tomcat. The interior is large, they use pumpless ballast, 1800lbs of hard tanks (no sacks), tons of storage, hold up to 14 people (though the B52 says 16), and it's all packed into a 21' boat.
Old    Tampa Wake (tampawake)      Join Date: Mar 2008       03-17-2011, 7:26 AM Reply   
Wow that Axis price seems pretty freaking incredible. Keep in mind you get a warranty with that boat and if your close socially with the dealer that would be the way I would go.
Old    Ryan Berka (ryansgt)      Join Date: Aug 2006       03-17-2011, 7:45 AM Reply   
If you ride at all, demo riding the wake otherwise, take em out. Bring the whole family and see how they would fit. I am personally a fan of malibu. You will see some fit and finish issues with the axis vs malibu and vride vs VLX but they are all very solid boats and the wakes are very nice for riding. The 335ar is capable and i thought it drove like a much smaller boat. Ultimately i ended up going with an 05 VLX becuase like you i was down to the axis and this VLX but the dealer would not take my trade on the axis. Also ended up saving about 25% by going with the VLX. The vrides are always the last hull shape of the vlx. so the 07 vrides are the VLX 2004 and prior including some sunsetters. realistically you aren't going to necessarily go wrong with the malibu's or the axis. they have the most room out of the big 3 for a family. I would take a look at the option list and decide what you can't live without if you go new. Things i would definitely not skimp on is speed control and ballast. Wake boat without those 2 is a lame duck. My VLX was optioned out at the factory except for a pop up bow light and SS cupholders. Obviously you will find certain things that really don't matter in the overall picture of the boat. Also remember that buying after the 3 year depreciation slope will save you a lot of value loss. Once they get down 6-7 years they level off pretty quickly. Also, with boats as it is with cars, maintnence is worth more than mileage or age. If it was winterized propely, had the fluids changed, all the good stuff, that motor will last a long time. Mine has 361 hrs so it is a baby yet.

Good luck with your search and if you decide on a malibu, head on over to themalibucrew.com. There is a wealth of knowledge over there. I would have to say the best supporting enthusiast site i have ever seen.
Old    Ed (elc)      Join Date: Jan 2008       03-17-2011, 8:01 AM Reply   
Screamin deal on the Axis. That sounds more like A20 pricing rather than A22. You will not find better pricing if that is for a 2011 A22.
Old    Bruizza (bruizza)      Join Date: May 2009       03-17-2011, 8:58 AM Reply   
That is an AWESOME deal on that Axis!!! I would add the cleats and traction pads like you mentioned. Other than that you are good. Also if you want to do the stereo yourself just have them pre-cut the speaker holes. I have been on A22's with the traction pads and without them. You definitely want them.
Old    Chattwake (chattwake)      Join Date: Jan 2010       03-17-2011, 9:13 AM Reply   
That is a gread deal on the A22. I agree on specing one out well and adding some comfort options. Sounds like the dealer is willing to blow one out to you. I'd jump on it! I've got a soon to be 3 year old girl and another girl on the way. One of the reasons I went with an A22 is how kid friendly it is. Huge soft interior and huge swim platform for the kids. Add a z5 and you have ton's of shade. Here's my 2011 and my 3 year old ready to shred!
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Old    Brett B. (Brett_B)      Join Date: Sep 2010       03-17-2011, 9:19 AM Reply   
I would agree that the new Axis or 2009-2010 V-Ride is the way to go, especially based on the background that you gave.

Just have the factory install your stereo and 2nd battery. It's always time or money, you will pay with one or the other. With kids, house projects, and other hobbies I'm sure you are already short on time, so just roll the cost of those items in with the rest of the boat so it's 100% finished at the factory. On the day you receive your brand new boat take it out on the water with the family and enjoy it, instead of parking it in the garage for a weekend to work on it right off the bat. You can always upgrade the stereo later if you choose to.
Old    Chris (cjh1669)      Join Date: Apr 2005       03-17-2011, 9:44 AM Reply   
if you're planning on running that thing sacked out wiht the 750's or 1100's make sure you upgrade to the raptor engine.
Old    jkw (lakesurfer)      Join Date: Jul 2009       03-17-2011, 10:05 AM Reply   
I think you need to also determine if you want a 3 sport boat or not. You mentioned you grew up skiing and it does not sound like you really have ever wakeboarded/surfed. If you are going to really want to ski a lot and think your kids will be more into the wakeboarding/surfing, I would really look at a 3 sport boat. My guess is that Axis will not be that great to ski behind. Also, I would not worry about an upgraded engine. You are a long way away from sacking a boat out with 3,000lbs to wakeboard. The stardard engine with an ugraded prop will be just fine. That Axis with no extra ballast will be more than your kids want (and probably you at 1st)

Note: not knocking Axis, I think it is a great boat. But I would give the same advice to anybody looking at an Avy as well.
Old    Chris (cjh1669)      Join Date: Apr 2005       03-17-2011, 10:10 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakesurfer View Post
I think you need to also determine if you want a 3 sport boat or not. You mentioned you grew up skiing and it does not sound like you really have ever wakeboarded/surfed. If you are going to really want to ski a lot and think your kids will be more into the wakeboarding/surfing, I would really look at a 3 sport boat. My guess is that Axis will not be that great to ski behind. Also, I would not worry about an upgraded engine. You are a long way away from sacking a boat out with 3,000lbs to wakeboard. The stardard engine with an ugraded prop will be just fine. That Axis with no extra ballast will be more than your kids want (and probably you at 1st)

Note: not knocking Axis, I think it is a great boat. But I would give the same advice to anybody looking at an Avy as well.
Those are greeat points. The AXIS is a great wakeboarding boat, but not a very good all around boat. Might want to look at some fot he cross over models if that's what you're looking for.
Old    Scott (chexi)      Join Date: Jul 2009       03-17-2011, 2:35 PM Reply   
I second the prior comment about not being afraid of soft sac ballast. There are reasons why a lot of people rip out hard tanks in favor of the bags. Some of those reasons have gone away with the new systems, but to the extent a hard tank takes up useable space, is it nice to be able to have that space when the bags are empty.
Old     (67King)      Join Date: Feb 2011       03-17-2011, 2:45 PM Reply   
Thanks for the great feedback, y'all! I suspected Brett was really treating me right from everything I had seen, just wanted to confrim. Chattwake - I'd read your post about moving from Nautiques to the Axis a while back, which really had me thinking that it was a good thing. I also really want to end up wiht a place on Chicamauga in the long term, but my wife isn't ready for that, yet.

As for the 3 sport - I should have mentioned that I need to add a pylon to my list of stuff I want. When I took it out, I was shocked at how smooth it was with empty tanks and the wedge up. We played around with wedge and ballast, and I really think it will be good for anything I'd do with it. I'm likely the only one who will ski behind it. I have surfed and wake boarded behind a loaded down X45, and from just observations, the A22 looks to be as sufficient. I really want the boat to be conducive to taking the family out, and I'm expecting it to be a long term boat, and that when the kids get older, it will be capable of handling their needs with them (hence the plug and play right now, though I don't anticipate using it).

About the only down side I can find to it is that it doesn't have the rear facing seating capabilities of the 210 or the Mobius XLV. They sell ChillAx brackets I'll be adding, and teh sliding bench (but no back). My thoughts on the options are that once the season is over, there are many things that I can add to it that will help me get into it now. Lighting is the big thing, I'd like it all of the way around. I may add more stereo to it later, I've done plenty of that. Not even considering a bigger engine. Horsepower is nice, but torque seems more important. And sheesh, there is so much area under a wake board that getting up is a snap compared to a single ski. If it really gets to be a big deal later on, an upgrade may not be so bad, and it sounds like I'm getting such a good deal that it does not sound like there would be much pain to selling it.
Old    Ed (elc)      Join Date: Jan 2008       03-17-2011, 3:04 PM Reply   
The Axis wake board wake is great at all levels. The wake cleans up with no weight at around 16 mph - perfect for young kids. As far as skiing, it sounds like you have already seen how flat (kind of surprising) the wake gets with no weight at skiing speeds. Can't comment on the surf wake because I haven't tried it.
Check out the axis forum axiswakeboats.com
Old     (67King)      Join Date: Feb 2011       03-17-2011, 3:05 PM Reply   
Quick follow-up. I probably sounded dismissive of the 3 sport boat comment. I apologize if I did, it was not intentional. I'm still trying to learn a bit. While I anticipate skiing some, I anticipate that I'll be learning how to wakeboard. In other words, I'd rather deal with skiing behind a wake boat than wake board behind a ski boat, if that makes sense?

Having said that, I have inferred a bit that an X15 is more of a 3-sport boat than an X25, which is a wake boat. A 211 is more of a 3-sport than a 210. Are those the kinds of things that y'all mean when you mention 3-sport boats? Or, are you suggesting I consider an I/O like a generic bow-rider (Sea Ray, Four Winns, Yamaha, etc.)?
Old    Bruizza (bruizza)      Join Date: May 2009       03-17-2011, 3:09 PM Reply   
For the lighting thing the Axis is going to come with interior LED's You can have Axis add them under the seats and underwater but it comes with them in the interior. Honestly with the deal you are being offered I would have him throw in the Ski pylon and the couple other things you mentioned and roll with it. The ski pylon just replaces the middle rear cup holder. If I am not mistaken you just take out the cup holder and screw in the pylon.
Old    jkw (lakesurfer)      Join Date: Jul 2009       03-17-2011, 3:35 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by 67King View Post
Quick follow-up. I probably sounded dismissive of the 3 sport boat comment. I apologize if I did, it was not intentional. I'm still trying to learn a bit. While I anticipate skiing some, I anticipate that I'll be learning how to wakeboard. In other words, I'd rather deal with skiing behind a wake boat than wake board behind a ski boat, if that makes sense?

Having said that, I have inferred a bit that an X15 is more of a 3-sport boat than an X25, which is a wake boat. A 211 is more of a 3-sport than a 210. Are those the kinds of things that y'all mean when you mention 3-sport boats? Or, are you suggesting I consider an I/O like a generic bow-rider (Sea Ray, Four Winns, Yamaha, etc.)?
I am not suggestion an I/O, but Nati 211, X15, Centurion Falcon V, etc. All of these will be good at all 3 (as good as 90% of riders will ever need), but wont be amazing at any. Personally, I dont ski. But I do spend a lot of time surfing/tubing/swimming with my family so a pure wake boat works for us. BTW - if you have any interest in surfing, do not by a I/O because you should not surf an I/O.

Good Luck!
Old     (Thrall)      Join Date: Oct 2010       03-17-2011, 4:14 PM Reply   
You're on the right track with your analysis for sure. I don't know much about the particulars of the boats you're most considering right now, Nauti, Axis, etc except that they're all good boats.
Couple things....
While the X15 is probably a good fit for versatility (ski/wake sports) and room, huge interior for a 21.5' boat, $40k will be tough to find unless it has alot of hrs, is stripped down, or beat up. I looked for almost a year at mostly X15's and X2's and found one deal below $45k that I thought was worth it. A buddy just bought an 06 X15, hard loaded, 300 hrs,immaculate condition, $47k. While I don't think he got the steal of a century, that's about the going price.
I know you're looking at bigger boats than an X2, but for a 20' boat they have alot of room. Not crowded for 4 adults+4kids at all. Skis pretty well at 32mph+ if there's not a bunch of extra weight in the boat and I don't have the wake plate on mine. That's supposed to help a good deal too.
Enough of the MC Koolaid now!
Regarding older used boats vs newer used boats and the amount of maint and repairs to keep them up, I now think that the year doesn't really matter, it's mostly hours and condition. I had a '96 MC, only 500hrs when I sold it, kept in great shape and I expected to have less tinkering to do on the 06 X2 with 50hrs when I bought it. Wrong! Still had to tighten every nut, bolt and screw in the boat when I got it and fully expect to have to do it again as it ages. Only difference is the new boat has a hell of alot more bolts and screws! Still have to do all the same maint too. Also has more options to keep up and winterize, etc.
My '96 was just as reliable as my 06 is, maybe more since I'm awaiting the ensuing fuel pump failure on the new boat, already have a spare pump in the tool kit so I don't have to paddle back to the dock with my ski!
I had a couple particular boats I was interested in and unfortunately they both were models started in 06, otherwise I totally would have been looking to knock $10k off the purchase price for a nice one that was a few years older. WIth that said, being someone who does all of my own work on my vehicles and toys I don't necessarily like the latest technology that hasn't been proven reliable for a couple years at least and shy away from stuff that would be a pain or expensive to fix (like the new touch screen multi function dashboards). Give me a set of stepper motor guages and a few $10 switches and I'm happy. Hell if I could get a newer boat with a pitot speedo I might just go for it!
Another thing to consider is you may be able to get a better loan rate on a new boat vs used that may even the playing field some, but I'm sure you've researched that.
Also, buying a less optioned boat may save you more than it will cost you to add those options, provided you shop for deals and do your own work. For example, I added what would have been at least $5k in dealer or aftermarket installed options to my X2 for just over $2k in parts. Took some wheeling and dealing and shopping for good prices, but I actually built a little more equity into the boat.

Good luck boat shopping.
Old    Eric Silva (getssum)      Join Date: Jul 2005       03-18-2011, 9:11 AM Reply   
That price on the Axis seems VERY good to me for a brand new boat, your connection is doing you right for sure.

Good thing about the Axis is that the interior and vinyl is very basic, without a lot of seams, details, etc. Which is good for kids who will be jumping around the boat like crazy anyway. If a cushion rips, or the dreaded grape juice or red gatorade stain appears, it will be a cheaper fix!

Also, love the snap out carpet in the Axis. Although it's not as plush as the normal boat carpet, it will be easier to pull out of the boat and get the cheeto, ketchup, and melted chocolate out of that will eventually happen with little ones :-).

Another thing I like about the Axis is that there is NO touch screen doodad that will eventually break and cost $$$ to repair, if the part is even still available. Switches work, and when(if) they break they will be an easy fix.

I would get all the options you want, the standard motor should be fine.

I'd skip their factory heater as it's only a 2 outlet, and have a 4 outlet put in later (Heater Hot tubes + kids + Heater blanket = Awesome)

I'd probably skip their stereo unless it was a basic one but that's just personal preference.

Love the chillax seating, love the ability to upgrade to the plug n' play ballast later if you want to.

Also, as most have said before, not having hard tanks is really nice, as they take up the space you want (and there's NEVER enough on a boat)

Plus, it will be nice to have the New boat warranty, and your dealer/friend sounds like he'll take care of you after the sale as well.

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