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Old    Phil Easterling (PARTSPHIL)      Join Date: Apr 2013       03-18-2014, 2:11 PM Reply   
First a little background. I am a 51 year old that has been around water and boating all my life. Most of it was waterskiing at our local lake. This lake is shallow (1' - 18') and small (1000 ish acres). Not a lot of traffic makes it perfect for me since I live there and can use it when no one else is out there. My boys and myself only recently started wakeboarding. We have a Glastron I/O that works ok, but we are thinking about upgrading to a true inboard boat. All my life I have been told by " the people that know" that an inboard wont last long on this lake. I know this lake like the back of my hand, and every year, at some point, I manage to drag bottom. It is mostly silt on the bottom and doesnt hurt my propeller now. My question is this. What happens to the gear that hangs off an inboard when/if it drags bottom? I understand that this is a vague question, and it it hits something solid, it will rip it out. How much force does it take to do serious damage?
Old    Connor (iShredSAN)      Join Date: Apr 2012       03-18-2014, 2:24 PM Reply   
With all of your running gear on the bottom and added weight (ballast to make a bigger wake) pushes it all that much further down you can see what will happen. Granted these pics are most likely rock and stump collisions but you get the picture...
Attached Images
    
Old     (Froggy)      Join Date: Nov 2013       03-18-2014, 2:54 PM Reply   
There is no give in an inboard boat even if you run it on a sand bar you will probably bend something. With 1'-18'' of water you wont be able to make a big wake no mater what boat you have.
Old    Chase Griggers (Griggs24)      Join Date: Oct 2013       03-18-2014, 3:21 PM Reply   
My warning buzzer goes off at 36 inches and at that depth it scares me evertime! Im not sure an direct or V drive could even lauch safely in 18 inches of water.
Old    Hey, You scratched my anchor! (bftskir)      Join Date: Jan 2004       03-18-2014, 3:24 PM Reply   
Stay in the 3' to 18' part of the lake and no worries.
Old    Phil Easterling (PARTSPHIL)      Join Date: Apr 2013       03-18-2014, 3:48 PM Reply   
I have seen those pictures and they scare the hell out of me! I guess I knew the answer, but I wanted to hear that it could take a little abuse. Not sure if I want to risk it, but I might! And yall are right, 18" isnt much water! lol
Old    Surf Addict (Desi) (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       03-18-2014, 3:59 PM Reply   
Make sure you have a depth finder and map out an area at slower speeds first. We used to ride in an area that went really shallow in some areas. We were able to drive it and find places, more of channels really that were consistently 10 feet or over. You can surf in 10 feet and over. If you map out the area in advance and KNOW where your markers are at of what not to go past and how far out to go, you should be fine.
On one occasion, just cruising the depth finder dropped really quicky and it felt like we hit something. We had ran aground in the direct drive. It was mainy silt/sandbar, but as soon as we heard the alarm go off and what depth it was at, we popped it in neutral and killed the engine. We were barely run aground, but so much that you wouldn't want to drive out. We got out and it was about calf deep (about 18" of water). We had to push it until it was normal depth of at least 3 feet before we started it up to get out of there, very slowly. We thought for sure something got hosed, but nothing did. We got very lucky that day and stay away from that area now. But we did map it out with a land marker to know how far NOT to go.

If it's silt it shouldn't do to much damage if you're quick to respond. Mapping it and paying attention to your depth finder is probably your best option.
Old    J (Jmorlan)      Join Date: May 2013       03-18-2014, 4:04 PM Reply   
Thank you guys for reminding me to call back skisafe and get my policy swapped to the new boat! LOL


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Old    David Langston (rdlangston13)      Join Date: Feb 2011       03-18-2014, 6:06 PM Reply   
Where we ride there is a man made silt cut to get from the cove to the river and at full pool this is about 2.5-3 ft deep and we have crossed it at low as 1.5 feet deep. It churned up the bottom pretty good but did not do any damage, just polished the prop. As long as you KNOW the shallow areas so you do not hit them at speed I think you should be fine. We just take it at idle going through the cut. Sometime I even drag a mushroom anchor through to try and dig it out some.
Old    Delta Force (wakebordr11)      Join Date: May 2001       03-18-2014, 8:11 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdlangston13 View Post
Where we ride there is a man made silt cut to get from the cove to the river and at full pool this is about 2.5-3 ft deep and we have crossed it at low as 1.5 feet deep. It churned up the bottom pretty good but did not do any damage, just polished the prop. As long as you KNOW the shallow areas so you do not hit them at speed I think you should be fine. We just take it at idle going through the cut. Sometime I even drag a mushroom anchor through to try and dig it out some.
I would say if you are going slow and it is silt and not hard sand, you will be fine. Slow is idle, bumping it in and out of idle.

I would keep a close eye on the strut bushings. Running through grit may prematurely wearing these items. They are nylon and replaceable. If you are at speed and run aground, its anybodys guess
Old    Eric B (chillaxin)      Join Date: Jun 2012       03-18-2014, 8:30 PM Reply   
Don't most V drives draw more than 18" of water? I would be super scared to run that lake. Like others have said, map it out and stay out of the shallows. There is no give with an inboard. Most of our reservoirs are 50' to 400' deep. Anything less than 30' and I start sweating.
Old    Art (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       03-18-2014, 11:07 PM Reply   
If you run a pretty flat bottom inboard your draft is about 10" less than a sterndrive with the drive all the way down. Check the specs on what you own and what you are looking at. There is a marina on my lake that I would almost always touch bottom on with my 18' I/O but have zero issues with on my inboard. So if you don't have to trim up your current boat you don't have to worry about an inboard.
The problem is that you can't trim up the inboard. If it's too low, it's just to low and you are on the bottom. Also, remember that a NiBrAl prop is not as tough as a stainless steel prop if that is what you are running on your boat now.
Good luck.
Old    David Langston (rdlangston13)      Join Date: Feb 2011       03-18-2014, 11:28 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by chillaxin View Post
Don't most V drives draw more than 18" of water? I would be super scared to run that lake. Like others have said, map it out and stay out of the shallows. There is no give with an inboard. Most of our reservoirs are 50' to 400' deep. Anything less than 30' and I start sweating.
That's insane, the very very deepest part of our lake is 91' and that is right at the dam. average is like 21 ft and where we ride it ranges from 9 to 20 ft.
Old    Swatguy (xstarrider)      Join Date: Jun 2007       03-19-2014, 7:33 AM Reply   
When you're on plane you are not at your draft length it's less. Lot of slalom courses take this into account. When you are on plane most of your hull is out of the water. Now if you're loaded up with 5k of ballast Maybe it's not a huge difference it you still are running bit less.

You actually run a little shallower with an inboard than you do an I/O. It's going to cost you the same whether you ding something with inboard or I/O. The lower unit on an I/o has so many components and gears to cause issue. The skeg sits way lower as well. You hit either boat on bottom and wake speeds and it gonna cost you. When you punch an I/O before you plane you get ton of bow rise, not the case on the inboard. It gets on plane almost instantly. Also most inboards are fairly flat hulls unlike the deeper v I/O boats another factor why inboards can get just as shallow.
You may ding a few more props on an inboard because there is no skeg on there to hit first, but an inboard can go in just as shallow of a spot if not more shallow than an I/O. It takes about same amount of force to rip out the skegs/prop strut on an inboard as it would the lower unit on an I/o

Last edited by xstarrider; 03-19-2014 at 7:40 AM.
Old    Phil Easterling (PARTSPHIL)      Join Date: Apr 2013       03-19-2014, 12:32 PM Reply   
I know the channels in this lake like the back of my hand and the water at my pier is some of the deepest in the lake. I guess my main concern is that sometimes the people that drive while pulling me, don't know it as well. I have only damaged a lower unit once, and yes a friend drove in a spot that I knew not to go. I was being pulled and when I sank, I went knee deep. It was a baaaaaad feeling. I had seen the pictures above and wondered just what kind of impact caused that much damage. I think I will probably go ahead and go with an inboard when the time comes. I guess worst case, insurance will cover it!

A few pics for your time. And thanks!







Old    Art (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       03-19-2014, 4:26 PM Reply   
Just get a spare prop kit and you should be fine unless the cow cuts in front of you. First damage would usually be the prop. Set your depth finder so it gives you depth under the bottom of the lowest part of the running gear. (usually the prop)
It takes a good hit to rip off struts and rudders but a lot less to bend them, or a skeg.
Looks pretty. If you're hitting the bottom you can have faith the the resale of an inboard is usually good (after its fixed)
Old     (tarheelskier)      Join Date: Mar 2013       03-20-2014, 7:20 AM Reply   
I believe the OP said 1 foot to 18 feet, correct? I have seen the story behind most of these pics and they all hit something hard, either stump or more likely rock. With a soft sandy bottom and knowing you lake well, you should be fine.
Old    Josh M (dvsone79)      Join Date: Dec 2012       03-20-2014, 11:04 AM Reply   
I was in 4' water once and I'm pretty sure I left pucker marks on the driver's seat. I couldn't even imagine the pucker factor of having 18" spots around. I wouldn't risk it. And I wouldn't count on the insurance company either. Stick with your i/o or outboard.
Old    Dave O (wakedaveup)      Join Date: May 2012       03-20-2014, 11:29 AM Reply   
I'm not sure if that was a typo but he did put 18" which in that case I can't even see an I/O working so it must be 18ft. If you know the lake and can direct your drivers to stay in the areas you know are deep (6-18ft), I'd say go for it. I grew up around private man made lakes in CA and most of them were no more than 6-8ft deep. We'd load Xstars and all kinds of inboards with minimal problems (yes they'd perform better in deeper water, but still worked just fine). My biggest concern would not be running over a sand bar, but having a wake big enough to get decent air and then take a head first spill into 1ft of water. That would worry me more than my prop and running gear. Just food for thought and while you may know where to ride, others behind the boat may not.
Old    Dave O (wakedaveup)      Join Date: May 2012       03-20-2014, 11:31 AM Reply   
One last thing in regards to the last post the OP posted. If you intend to make an insurance claim when running the boat over something, do your research on deductibles. A prop recon will usually run $150-200 on an inboard (this will bend the prop back to original shape if it was damaged) and will surely be less than any insurance deductible that I'm aware of. If you damage more than just the prop, definitely claim insurance, it'll be a hefty bill.
Old    Swatguy (xstarrider)      Join Date: Jun 2007       03-22-2014, 5:27 AM Reply   
I believe the 18inch mark and talk came from a different poster who was crossing a small sandbar to get to his riding spot. Not the regular depth the op posted


Anyone think of doing Watersports in 18inch of water needs their head examined or will in a short time after they crack it on the bottom

Last edited by xstarrider; 03-22-2014 at 5:29 AM.
Old     (will5150)      Join Date: Oct 2002       03-22-2014, 9:37 AM Reply   
skiing on 18" of water? You are out of your mind. If you fall hard, you could break your neck. I have gone down on a private lake slalom skiing in 4 feet and hit the bottom. The boat would not be my concern here.
Old    Mike (slowwwflowww)      Join Date: Mar 2011       03-22-2014, 12:12 PM Reply   
^^^^exactly
Old    Phil Easterling (PARTSPHIL)      Join Date: Apr 2013       03-22-2014, 8:52 PM Reply   
Ok, in my original post I said 18' (feet) of water. The 1' would be at the shoreline and the 18' would be in the channels. A subsequent poster accidentally said 18" (inches) and a joke was made about it later. My main concern here was dragging bottom if I happen to get too close to the shore. I didn't know how much force it took to actually damage the rudder, etc. Thanks for all the replies! I think I will give it a shot and hope to be in the market for a used boat this fall winter.
Old    Onthe Creek (onthecreek)      Join Date: Apr 2013       03-22-2014, 9:05 PM Reply   
Are there any other inboards on the water there?
Old    Jason Nichols (03AirNautique)      Join Date: Sep 2011       03-22-2014, 9:47 PM Reply   
We have a ton of really shallow areas on the river here...12-18", but most of those are sand and will just shine your prop. On our last trip to the river I wasn't paying attention to where I was and tried to start the engine in about 18" of water and heard the engine bog down...turned it off before the engine fully fired. I'll have to send my prop off to get fixed shortly as it put a couple small bends on two blades.
Old     (will5150)      Join Date: Oct 2002       03-23-2014, 11:49 AM Reply   
Whew- glad to hear you're not skiing in that shallow water. When my little lake gets low the ramp can be tricky- I have had to walk the boat off the trailer in order to miss a pile of rocks that some I/O bass fisherman(s) created when power loading their boats. I've also dinged a few rocks going really slow over the years, but never whacked the hull. i use a keel offset on the depth finder of 2 feet so when the alarm goes off, I know there's till a little water under the boat.

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