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Ski Boat purchase help

Old 06-24-2007, 10:22 AM
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Ski Boat purchase help

Fellas first is there a good forum like this one for boats, I can't seem to stumble on a good one?

2nd I hand my wife have skied our whole childhoods and now that we have children at the skiing age we would like to buy a boat, never owned one before parents had them. I would prefer a inboard, in the 150 at least range I am 200lbs and on one double booted ski do not need to be tired by the time I get up... Average wake we can wakeboard but skiing is our preference. Open bow is desired can you guys give me some boat names to work from what kinds of props engines do I look for.Probably am going to look for a used model in the 15-20K range just to get going for the first couple years.

Thanks fellas!
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Old 06-24-2007, 12:48 PM
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My brother bought a boat, kinda like what you are describing last november. Depending on how much work you want to put into is vs. how much you can spend will dictate a LOT.

We spent almost every other weekend over the winter working on the trailer & the boat. It's a 25 year old Ski Supreme. We had to design a fold away tongue, rework the whole front of the trailer (bow stop, winch, etc), add a spare tire and mount, swap out the axle, add brakes, rework the prop guard, add side guides, rework the bunks, rewire the trailer (with LED's) and correct some of our mistakes!
Due to it's age, we had to rewire the entire boat: motor, dash, lights, etc. You'll find that as previous owners add and remove things, they don't necessarily care much about the boat, at least not like you would!

The SINGLE best resource we have found: http://correctcraftfan.com/

Personally, with what we have learned on correctcraftfan, I would have preferred my brother to buy an older CC. But, he was ready for this boat! oh, well.

What really blew my mind was how well ski/tow boats retain their value! Even 10 year old boats were going for $10-15K!

Most of these boats are inboard...either direct or V-drive. VERY simple to work on. Typically small block ford & chevy. Most are Borg-Warner transmissions (F-N-R). From the '70's and up are at least 180hp, usually 240hp-320hp (80-present).

When evaluating a used boat, look for/at:
1) Engine oil - recently changed? chocolate milk? etc
2) Transmission fluid - bright red? milky pink indicates a cooler prob; burnt could indicate multiple prob's
3) Starting - easy & every time?
4) running - water temp 140-~170 is normal; >190 indicates any of raw water pump, cicrculating water pump, or t-stat problems.
5) how is it out of the hole? It should pop out & be on plane in a few seconds. How does the prop look? Smooth or chewed up? Chewed up indicates lack of care & there may be other issues hiding.
6) Sit in the back of the boat & look along the long lines of the gunwales & the floar boards. There should be minimal flexing...too much flex may indicate the stringers are rotting & need attention (or replacement). This can be expensive if you can't do the work yourself.
7) look at the trailer; how does the boat sit on it? How does the boat launch & retreive? How ar the brakes?
8) Beware of someone slapping an automotive engine in a boat. The 2 biggest differences: Marine engines use brass freeze plugs and are cammed to run ~4k rpm max.

I suggest you look at SEVERAL boats. Don't buy the first one you like. And don't be afraid to walk away.

Sorry for any spelling issues...pinkeye is blurry!

HTH

Tony
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Old 06-24-2007, 01:01 PM
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My neighbor just sold his 95 ski nautiqe for 14K US. It was beautiful and in excellent condition. If all you are gonna use it for is skiing get a Nautique or similar boat. You won't be dissapointed. We ski behind an '84 2001 model that is still like brand new. Find an older one that was cared for and you won't be sorry. Kurt
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Old 06-24-2007, 01:31 PM
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I have had a few boats, we used to have an early 90s Malibu skier inboard Chevy 350 I believe, Pros: great boat for skiing nice flat wake and plenty of pulling power. Cons: if you want to wakeboard not much wake behind this boat (kind of the idea) and no fat sat will give you a decent wake behind it, the hull is simply not designed for it. For a short period had a 2000 Glastron ski/fish combo Pros: Great for the family that want to do a bit of everything, ski, fish, our had a tower and fat sacks so boarding wasn't bad either, boat was an I/O so maneuvering in reverse was optimal and easy, beaching no big deal. Cons: Motor was a piece, pain to keep running right, did everything but nothing great all just kind of eh... Current boat is a 2004 Mastercraft X-30 with a 330hp LTR Pros Wakeboarding behind this boat is amazing, beautiful wake with onboard on demand ballast system, great sound system, very smooth shifting trans (I believe 7 forward clutches and 3 reverse), V-Drive trans, Plenty of power, mom used to compete on the slalom course and when the ballast is empty and less than half of the 65gal fuel tank is full she enjoys sking as well although nothing compared to the old Malibu. Cons: Price, takes some getting used to drive (Inboards don't steer in reverse I'm sure you know, can sometimes get them to pull in the direction of prop rotation because of prop wash), any repairs will be fairly pricey as both them engine and trans are $$$.

Natiqes, Malibus, some correct crafts, are all great boats now my decision on the mastercraft basically came down to construction practices on the hull and the refined engine/trans combo. Do your homework and see you on the lake!!
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Old 06-24-2007, 01:36 PM
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We use Tige' boats and I believe you can find a good used one for the price range you're looking at. You can get them in a V-Drive or an inboard. VERY well built boats, I've been to the factory and seen the whole process. VERY IMPRESSIVE!! These are top notch boats and more economical than the Natiques or Mastercrafts, with just as good if not better quality.
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Old 06-24-2007, 02:14 PM
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I have an 87 MasterCraft Prostar 190. This is our 4th summer running it, no problems whatsoever with it.
It is in great shape with under 200 original hours, the interior is SHOT from spending summers on a boat lift uncovered in the sun. It has a 351 with powerslot option velvet drive trans. I think the motor is rated at 240 HP which is far less than what you will be looking at in a newer boat. It has no problem hauling me and my son 200+100 lbs. both on slalom ski's.

My buddy's uncle has a 92 Nautique, trust me, his boat waaaaay exceeds mine in just about every aspect. It has much more power and is much nicer overall finish wise (about $10K more too though).

For 10-15K, you should be able to find a early to (maybe) mid 90's competition ski boat with reasonable hours.

GOOD POST TonyB, If I had the means I would have waited and got a Correct Craft myself, the are a superior boat, no doubt about it.
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Old 06-24-2007, 02:16 PM
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Isn't it a bit cold to ski up there??

I whine about getting in the water before MAY here!

Ummm, here's a good starter boat for ya:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Ski-N...spagenameZWDVW

Here's my boat, just two years newer, same color and all. I paid $4K for mine from a guy that has more money than God and just wanted to get rid of the boat without having to fool with advertising it or anything.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/MASTE...spagenameZWDVW
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Old 06-24-2007, 05:38 PM
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PJ, thanks for the props!

As far as cold...on CCfan, I've heard of guys skiing in DRY suits, in the midwest, into November! At least November in Phoenix, the water is still in the low 60's. The guy my bro bought the boat from was skiing that day, in November! Too cold for me! I suppose if you really like it, you could ski in a dry suit, until the lake ices over.

Tony
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:16 PM
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We had some guy that used to come down the ramp we used to go to, a guy from Delaware. They would ski all the way into late October and start the first of March. (they had NEW Malibu with heat) ($$). Those dry suits are neat, plus 4mm of neoprene, I suppose if you can take the cold on your face and hands you'd be fine.
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Old 06-24-2007, 08:02 PM
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thanks fellas, it is cold I guess but for our tuff canuck skin it isn't to bad ...
We went out today looking at new and used we looked a really nice Larson 180 series it is a entry level boat near our price merq 3.8L engine, haven't spent to much time in the used scene yet other than the internet buy and sell.Thanks for all thinfo keep it coming.

Jason
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Old 06-24-2007, 09:15 PM
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I ski all year with a dry suit December through Feb
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Old 06-25-2007, 05:32 AM
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You really can't go wrong by starting here,http://forums.iboats.com/.
They seem to have all the bases covered.You have to join to post but it is free.Ron G
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Old 06-25-2007, 07:13 AM
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i start going to the lake in late feb/march. the water is only cold for a sec! good luck and ill keep my eyes peeled for a steal of a deal down here.

brett
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Old 06-25-2007, 10:58 AM
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Unless your ski has the surface area of a sheet of plywood, you won't like a little inboard for deep water starts. As others have said look for a used ski boat like a Nautique or MasterCraft. I have a Nautique and the only drawback I can think of is anchoring it all the time when we go ashore, since you can't run it up on the beach like others. Not that I would beach a boat in that price range anyway.
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Old 06-25-2007, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by greenworks View Post
....Larson 180 series it is a entry level boat near our price merq 3.8L engine...Jason
Be careful with the smaller engines. IF you already know how to ski, it's not so much of a problem. Having the horsepower to pull someone out of the water quickly can make the difference between having fun while learning and being frustrated.

I have skied behind a 1967 90hp outboard on a 17' boat. It was work to get up, but doable. A few years later I was behind a 19' boat with a 360 amc and popped right out of the water.

HTH

Tony
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