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Old     (andyzarkovich)      Join Date: Jul 2009       05-11-2014, 11:46 PM Reply   
Hey guys. Someone basically gave me a 89 supra saltare direct drive 23ft and I also have a 97 us marine (bayliner) wake challenger 22ft v drive with an intragraded swim platform. Trying to decide what to keep. We are mainly wakesurfers and sometimes extreme tubers. Haha.

I've got my wake challenger slammed with about 3500 lbs of ballast with johnson reversables. The surf wake is amazing (waist high) and the wakeboard wake is very good too. I've got fresh air exhaust on it. I have owned several sunsports and love them (it was my first boat too)

I've never came across a virgin saltare and for some reason I am kind of ready for a new project (I think something is wrong with me) and want to go bananas on this thing. The floor is good on this saltare but it needs to be repainted or wrapped (I can do both or maybe I will build a sleeper haha) and the upholstery needs to be redone (I have my sources). I'm thinking of throwing weight in the back ski locker, rebuild the back seat to accept a big bag, put 2 v drive sacs in the front under the playpen and have a couple bricks for when there isn't enough people. I also don't see any reason to put a tower on it cause I rarely use a rope and half the time I start off the swim platform anyway. I could always add one later. I think the saltare will handle rougher water (torch/Burt/mullet/Hamlin lakes in michigan) better than my wake challeger and a couple lakes we go in are shallow and I think the saltare will draft less water. Also the sunspots are way more fun to drive and better for tubing than my wake challenger. I don't think I'm worried about having too many people on board or people tripping over ppl due to the direct drive cause we don't go out with much over 4-5. I love wake boarding but my ankle dosent. So I don't need a wakeboard boat anymore and like the idea of selling the big dollar v drive and putting some money in the bank and building the ultimate budget wake surfing boat that we might use 50-100 hrs per year. I'm pretty savey with these old boats and I don't think I will have much more than a few grand into paint, upholestry, fae and ballast.

Do you think I can get the surf wake to match up?
I'm nervous about going from a recently rebuilt black scorpion 350 with efi to a 1989 454 with 780 hours. I'm not a carb or engine expert but know a lot of people who are and this 454 purrs like a kitten. I'm also nervous about replacing the floor/stringers down the road but like I said no soft spots and this thing is clean.

Let me know if you think I need to go to "wakesurf boat repairers anonymous" or if you think the project would be fun and worth it.

Oh if u have no clue what a wake challenger is look at this link:
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       05-12-2014, 12:27 AM Reply   
As a regular rider of a 92 Sunsport and who also rides V-drives every now and then, I can tell you that the surf wave can be rather enjoyable on these direct drive Supras, but it does take some work. Even when you get it right, you will still have bags on the floor and it will not be as good as a V-drive.
I'd like to address some of the points of it and what you have mentioned planning on doing.

-Bag in the ski locker:
The ski locker insert does not support a lot of weight. It is a plastic insert that will not hold a full sack that can fit in there. I have heard of people doing around 200 back there, but that seems sketchy to me to put so much back there.

-Rebuilding the back seat:
This is something we have kicked around, but have decided it would be too much work to do. It does have an integrated sack, about 250lbs under the rear seat with the dividers cut out. This helps some, but you still need more weight. There have been people who have built it boxes that will hold the sacks back there, but you typically sacrifice all your seating to do it.

-You will also need more than just one big bag in the back anyway. We typically run the 250 under the seat, a 350 on the surf side of the dog house and a 750 on top of the rear seat and the 350. We will also have someone sit in the center back there for more weight. If you're keeping track that is about 1500lbs total in the rear/surf side.

-Surfing on a carb setup has it's flaws. For one hard starting when it is listed as the fuel in the carb is unbalanced. If you have perfect pass, the cable driven modules for the carbed engines can be more finicky than on an EFI.

-Bow weight- You will typically not need the bow weight as it tends to kill the push on these. For many people running these boats, us included, bow weight will hurt more than it will help.

-Tower: with bags on the floor, putting a tower on is a great idea for these as having your boards on the floor with the bags tends to eat up your interior space pretty fast. I would definitely recommend a tower on these, if not for just storage alone.

-Swim platform: The lip and shape on the factory swim platform cuts into the wake and disrupts the push, swapping this out for a flat bottomed, narrower swim platform is highly recommended. It makes a world of difference.

Overall, it can be done, it can be very enjoyable, it does take some work and you will have bags on the floor regardless. I understand wanting to do a project and get into something that is not a bayliner, but you do have the superior surf setup there in your V-Drive. If you are wanting to do it for financial reasons and scale back, but still be able to surf and have a fun D-Drive to play around in, it will definitely work for you. Just be aware that you will not be getting the same surf experience you have now.

If it were me and you were looking at moving to something else, I would look into selling both of them and using the money to get a nicer V-Drive than you already have. Otherwise, I would look at selling the Supra, banking the money, and enjoying what you have.
Old     (andyzarkovich)      Join Date: Jul 2009       05-12-2014, 9:57 AM Reply   
Thanks for the comments.

I am interested in learning more about how the carb is when the boat is totally slammed with fresh air exhaust. I could see how it could start hard. It's been so long since I have had the Sunsport that i don't remember. Does it get messed up when the boat is leaning on its side a little bit?

The boat actually didn't come with a swim platform so I am either going to make one or buy one and I will move it up and notch off the edges so it dosent mess with the wake. My old Sunsports swim platform did interfier with the wake.

The rear seat rebuild is no biggie, I've done it 3 times now. I can't remember how big of bag u can put in but I think it's something like 20x20x50. I think the back ski locker is skinnier but I bet u can for all of 300 lbs in it. On the Sunsports I just build a steel frame around the tank that the plastic locker fits rests on instead of the tank. U could also use wood.

I probably will throw a tower on due to board storage, but if I decide to keep it I probably will try to use it without for a bit. We mainly use just two surfboards and no one ever used to go behind the drivers seat next to the engine doghouse.
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       05-12-2014, 10:06 AM Reply   
I don't know about with FAE, but it doesn't want to start easily when it's listed. You have to hold down the throttle and crank it, when it starts at full throttle you have to pull it back really quickly. Pumping it doesn't really help either.

You don't need to move the platform up, just cut it down. Here's the link to our prototype platform build for the shape and size you will want for the Supras
It works great, I'm resealing the prototype right now so we can get another season out of it before having to build the HDPE one.

I like the idea of building a frame for the ski locker to reinforce it. I supposed while you're at it, you could also look into building a new locker to make it a little bigger.

Do you have pics of the previous rear seat builds? I'd be interested to see how you did yours.


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