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Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       07-05-2014, 1:27 AM Reply   
So this has baffled me lately. I have had a few discussions with people about boats. Both my parents, and one of my friends, who both have I/Os.
They both love to ski and pull wakeboarders, but insist that an I/O is the only way to go and they would never consider an inboard.

First off, my Dad, who used to own a boat repair/service shop and used to work for Brendella building them back in the day has owned our family's boat since the 70s and is the second owner. It has fallen into disrepair and he finally decided to get into the market looking for a new (used) boat. He went out and purchase a 90s Bayliner Capri open bow with a blown engine for cheap. He said he is planning on fixing the engine, cleaning it up some and using it for a few seasons and then flip it and the older I/O so he can buy his "dream boat", a 1996 Chaparral 2130 SS Limited Edition open bow. Another I/O, which he is looking to pay between $10-15k for.
He loves to slalom ski and will pull friends and family on wakeboards often. He has been out with me on Trayson's 1992 Sunsport and observed how well it handled, the wake it can make, and us surfing it, along with the space it has.
He cannot give me any reasons why he would want another I/O over buying an inboard, cost isn't an issue as you can find plenty of decent direct drives in that price range, and maybe even a couple v-drives in the off season.
His reasoning for the Chaparrel is that "It has comfortable seats and the interior closely matches the color and style of his Cadillac"
Obviously a direct drive would produce a better slalom wake than any I/O he could buy, it handles well and maintenance on them is easy since you can access the entire drivetrain without a lot of effort. Not to mention since surfing is my main water sport, he would probably have my family out with them a lot more than we do now.

Secondly, my friend has a 17' seaswirl with a 4 cylinder 2 stroke engine. He wants to wakesurf, but obviously can't in that. He admits that you can pull a skier or wakeboarder up with his boat, but to get it on plane, he has to have everyone get into the front of the bow and then get back to their normal seats after. He wants to buy another boat with more power and that's a few feet longer, but still insists on an I/O because "A boat with adjustable trim on the prop can do anything!" Another reason he gave was because he can just drive his boat up to the beach and raise the prop without worrying about damaging it. I brought up the point about protecting his hull and not doing that. He quickly agreed that he doesn't do that, and sets out a sand spike and anchors it out, but and only would like the ability to do that. Once again his budget is around 10k or so and he is still set on getting another I/O.

None of these reasons either has given seems like a valid reason to get one, given that price isn't the concern. Are these people just nuts, or is there some magical reason they would rather stay in one?
Old     (wakebrdr94)      Join Date: Jul 2010       07-05-2014, 2:22 AM Reply   
Their reasons are valid, you just don't agree with them.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both. For one, I/O's are easier to drive, and it is nice to have reverse in both directions, and not have to plan out your approach in right situations like in an inboard. Some people beach their boat because it is easier for them than dropping anchor and going through the normal inboard routine. There are even those with inboards that beach their boat, visit lake havasu in the channel. I/O's, many of them, can provide an better a better ride in chop than a lot of our inboards.
They can ski just as well when powered properly, and if the boat has the right running gear. Please tell them to stay away from wakesurfing with I/O's, period.

You're looking for something that fits your needs vs what fits theirs. There is a HUGE market for I/Os, not just in the bayliner category. That all said, just because it's an inboard, doesn't make it a wake boat either.
Old     (WheelerWake)      Join Date: Mar 2013       07-05-2014, 5:14 AM Reply   
I totally agree^^.

Also, I've never been able to figure out why inboards, in general, cost more. They are the simpler, more crude drive system. Maybe it's all marketing.
Old     (scottb7)      Join Date: Oct 2012       07-05-2014, 5:24 AM Reply   
Frankly i do think it is all marketing...more or less. I think the only thing the inboard can do better is probably wakeboard. But that is only needed for intermediate riding generally speaking in my opinion. the i/o is great learner boat for wakeboarding, can ski probably damn near as well as a dedicated ski boat, but of course does not have tracking fins, but is up out of the water pretty darn high so the wake is pretty good most of the time. Indeed, is easier to drive in forward and reverse...Of course be reminded that we are talking with both being propped correctly. My 18.5 ft runabout with the 5.0 liter mercruiser was pretty much a jetski once i got the correct 4 blade alumn prop on it. Yeah you can't surf behind it...Yes it is marketing, look how much we are paying for inboards...and ps my 2006 larson fit and finish was every bit as good as the 2008 nautique....
Old     (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       07-05-2014, 5:56 AM Reply   
I've never understood the typical price premium for an inboard either. Logically it seems impossible to build and install a stern drive for less than the cost of a v-drive (not to mention a direct drive which would seem to be even cheaper).

An I/O seems to be a better fit for most recreational boaters and you generally get a lot more for your money (in an apples to apples comparison). Back when I used to typically wakeboard behind outboard boats a pull behind an inboard was the holy grail but an I/O was still a treat.

That said, if your boy is looking to get into surfing he needs to forget the I/O. Also, inboards (whether v-drive or direct drive) are cheaper and easier to maintain vs. an I/O, especially when they get older (once again this only applies to "apples to apples" comparisons).
Old     (Nordicron)      Join Date: Aug 2011       07-05-2014, 8:48 AM Reply   
Scott your insane! Larson isn't wasn't and never will be close quality wise to your Nautique.
Old     (scottb7)      Join Date: Oct 2012       07-05-2014, 9:24 AM Reply   
Actually I have been certified sane. This wasn't my boat, but same make model and year. It was super nice!
Old     (Nordicron)      Join Date: Aug 2011       07-05-2014, 10:07 AM Reply   
Decent boat in I/O world but they are nothing special. Not known as high end or low end. Sea ray, cobalt, Bryant and even four winns are better quality boats than a Larson.

New Kia or new dodge seem really nice to but will either last or age as well as a Acura? No
Old     (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       07-05-2014, 11:12 AM Reply   
I get that a big draw to I/Os is price. In both situations I listed, price wasn't a factor.
I grew up on an I/O and have had plenty of time behind them, driving them, and working on them. Swapping a tranny in a direct drive was a lot less of a headache than rebuilding the billows on an I/O and dealing with repairing the hydraulic system which took us a while to get down right. The work on the I/O being with my dad, who as I said did this for a living and at the time owned and ran an auto repair shop. it's not like we didn't know what to do or have the resources, it was just a big PITA over several long nights to get both figured out. At one point we had to keep a container of hydraulic grease/fluid in the boat for last minute top ups when it wouldn't go up or down when we were out until we finally got it worked out.

Maintenance, especially on a DD is a lot more straight forward, so for those that DIY, it's a lot easier and it has a lot less moving parts.

I know driving an I/O is easier to drive forwards and reverse and you it's a lot harder to dead steer due to the whole jnit being a giant rudder at the back of the boat. IMO, that's just more of an operator learning curve, it's not a huge difference going from driving an I/O to driving an inboard, but it is kind of an acquired skillset.

He knows not to wakesurf behind an I/O, but would rather get one and forego surfing instead, his choice though.

For skiing and wakeboarding, yes tou can do both on either and have a good time. Both driving, skiing, and wakeboarding behind an I/O and an inboard. I definitely notice the I/O being pulled around a lot more noticeably when cutting or jumping than an inboard. I know this has to do with the tracking fins, which not all inboards have, but the wake is also cleaner with less wash on the inboards.
The ski wake on the I/Os I've ridden isn't bad, but still has a good amount of ramp to it. the wakeboard wake on them with it trimmed up a bit isn't anything to brag about height wise and is mushy, but still rideable. I have had better experiences skiing and wakeboarding behind inboards than I/Os. This obviously will vary from boat to boat and person to person, but that's how it has been for me.

My main thing was that the easier to drive and cost weren't any concern for either of them, which I know are the most common reasons people, especially those new to boating (which they aren't) choose to get one. I just couldn't get it otherwise, but I guess it's more of a comfort thing, not wanting to go to something new.
Old     (wakebrdr94)      Join Date: Jul 2010       07-05-2014, 11:12 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by Nordicron View Post
Decent boat in I/O world but they are nothing special. Not known as high end or low end. Sea ray, cobalt, Bryant and even four winns are better quality boats than a Larson.

New Kia or new dodge seem really nice to but will either last or age as well as a Acura? No

Well, to fair, most new cars today, be it Kia or Acura, will last fairly well. New technology in cars is great, but your paying the name and extra luxuries. Toyota and Lexus are very close in manufacturing, but it comes down to ownership, how well one takes care of things.

How many times have you seen a newer boat that looks beat vs an older boat that was well maintained and looked new?

To his point, the fit and finish of a "big three" or newer wakeboat would more than likely be nicer than your Larson, the question would be is it 60-70k nicer? The spike in prices is because there is a demand, and the 20 year loan has put these boats within reach to a bigger pool of people who would have likely gone with the less expensive boat. Take away the financing options of the long term loan and the the sales would decrease dramatically. Even with 20k down on a new wakeboat and payments, there are those who would be happy spending 20k on a '19 bayliner and getting their family on the water. That monthly payment he would have had now goes into boat gas, vacation, whatever, and that is perfect for them. There are a variety of boats out there, it boils down to what the user will use it for the most, what they are comfortable handling, and what they can afford.

I have a VLX, and love it. My buddy has. 28' chaparral deck boat. Honestly, I love the wake of his deck boat, no need for ballast, just naturally puts out a great wake (I was just as surprised as you). There are features of both that are great, and I can see the need for both in the market place. While wakeboats are pricy, in our corner of the internet, it seems like they are a huge industry, but this niche market is a lot smaller than most realize. So while most of us here strive to own a MC, Bu, or whatever, there are many more that would much rather have something else because it fits their needs best.

The goal is to get on the water. People talk about the decline of wakeboarding because there is this stigma that you need to have the best boat to be the best rider, which we all know is not the case. The more people on the water, gives more the access to watersports. The more people given access, the more the sport flourishes. Regardless of the boat pulling them

Last edited by wakebrdr94; 07-05-2014 at 11:15 AM.
Old     (WheelerWake)      Join Date: Mar 2013       07-05-2014, 2:47 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by Nordicron View Post
New Kia or new dodge seem really nice to but will either last or age as well as a Acura? No
This is the exact same mindset applied to cars.


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