Wake/ski/surf boats

colersu22

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Talking with my wife and we want to pick up a boat that we can cruise and hang out in the lakes, wakeboard, ski and possibly surf with. I have never owned a boat but used and been on many friends boats since I was a kid.

So far I have been looking for an older mastercraft or Malibu with a tower, having the sun deck to hang out is a huge positive for when we are just hanging out on the lake plus an open bow layout so there is room for 9-12 people.

Buying used what should I be looking for? Cracks/hull damage? Soft spots in floors? With summer coming to an end I’m more concerned with not being able to test one on the water, is there different things to look for since a test drive might not be possible with weather?

Any info you guys have is appreciated.
 

Justin Crossley

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9-12 people on a ski boat?
Most wake/surf boats have the capacity for 14 or more people.

OP,

My wife and I are planning to look for one early next year as well. Mastercraft and Malibu are my top two choices. I would pay close attention to the condition of the interior in relation to the hours on the boat. It seems that people either take good care of everything or nothing. If the interior is destroyed, I doubt the engine has been properly maintained.
 

def90

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There’s a difference between capacity and reality. I grew up skiing in Mn/Wi and things start getting crowded around 5 people.
 

ResearchinStuff

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There’s a difference between capacity and reality. I grew up skiing in Mn/Wi and things start getting crowded around 5 people.
The newer v drive boats have incredible seating capacity compared to the straight shaft ski boats of the 90s and earlier.

Surfing is a really specialized task that really requires pretty specific features that weren't widely available before 2015. So, if you scratch that from your list, there's lots of wakeboard boats made before then that are typically a lot cheaper.
 

Dust Rider

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Montana
The smallest surf and wake boats are the Malibu wakesetter vtx at 20’. they claim 11 people but they get crowded with 8. For the capacity you mention maybe a 23’. Do you have lake front property or are you going to trailer?
The used market on Malibu right now is harsh. 6 year old boats getting 80-90k.
pre Covid you could find them in the 50k range.
I would also stick with the boats you mentioned as they are the best.
it seems most people who buy a 100k + boat keep them in tip top shape. Never seen a beater Malibu or Mastercraft out on the water. The electronics for the screens and controls can crap out and that can be 4-5k to replace on high end boats..just my 2 cents
 

Timeless61

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Get a survey from a good surveyor. There are various certifications/accreditations that you can look for.

There is a lot of things to look for. Some surveyors may not be a mechanic as well, but hopefully they are. You’d want to check each set of fluids, leak-down, computer scan, water intrusion anywhere is an issue even with non-wood core construction (even on cleats, bezels, etc.), all joint areas, and the wiring/rigging. Boats shake a lot of things loose over time. Non-skid and sea-deck areas should be checked, sometimes there are lamination issues.

I have more experience with high performance boats, but most translates over because the build quality and rigging is generally a bit better in the performance space anyway.
 

sodaksooner

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Just sold my 2003 VLX a few weeks ago, and although the surf wake was not huge it was definitely surfable.(if that is a word) You cannot surf behind an outboard but I am sure you know that. It would comfortably seat 6 or 7 at most. We would run 2000 lbs of ballast at a minimum and depending on size of crew, another 600 lbs in the front. Think of wakeboats as big old tractors.

Dust rider is right on the market. I got more money than I paid for the boat 13 years ago. I never had it on the market and it was a guy at our FBO that was talking to our son (who works there.) Never argued on the price. Just paid it. I priced it fairly based on other local examples. Mine only had 450 hours on it (that's actually kinda embarrassing we didn't use it more)

FWIW there is no wood in any malibu after like 1997 or 1998 I believe. My ski platform was teak but that was it.

Wake boats are crazy expensive.

Malibu Crew is a decent forum for info too. Can't speak to Mastercraft, but have spent a little time behind a Super Air Nautique too.

Guy that bought it loves it. It's his second Malibu.

Feel free to PM if you have any specific questions.
 

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sf jakey

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I have owned several. Do yourself a favor and pony up for a Nautique. They are a better built boat all around And hold their value better. If you want to surf, look for a 230. The 210 won’t have a long enough wave or be able to seat as many as you like. The G series are great for surf, but I don’t like how they look or drive, nor what they cost.
 

Cady Creek

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If you want to do all you mentioned above, get a v-drive. A direct drive will ski well, but not great for wakeboarding and likely not possible to surf. Although, I have a V drive Supra that boards and surfs great but you deal with a little more wake while skiing. I still slalom behind it constantly, so not that big of an issue.
Like stated above, inspect closely. Soft floor, stringers, motor mounts, service records. They are not cheap, especially in this market but you don't need to spend $100K to get into it. I bought an 08 a few years back, meticulously maintained and serviced with about 500 hours on it for under half that. It does everything you mentioned very well.
I'm 15 days out from heading West, so my skiing is over for the summer. Might get one more surf session in this weekend before she's pulled and put to bed. One more tip, be responsible for your wake. Wake boats have lots of friends when on the boat, but none of the property owners on the shore are fans. Trust me, I'm both.
 

Davidson51

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@colersu22 Depending on your price point, you might want to look at MB and Axis boats. I've owned and used many versions of both. You can ski, wakeboard and surf behind both... those brands have a "planing" hull so the wake flattens out for skiing better than Nautique's, which have a "displacement" hull. No boat surfs better than the new Super Air Nautiques, the Mastercraft and Supra are close though. But for the price, you can get an MB or an Axis new for any of those brands used.

Also, if you like doing your own maintenance, MB's offer the most space around the engine, with access to the v drive, rudder and other parts that you cannot access on other brands without moving the gas tank and engine forward.

I have a 2016 MB F22 currently that I love, but my wife and kids want the best surf wave next summer, so I'm springing for the Nautique GS21.

Shoot me a PM if you want to talk, I've done a ton of research and have had wakeboard boats my entire life. I'm happy to share my experiences and knowledge.

Thanks.
 

Bachto

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I have an 07 Centurion Enzo and basically all I do in the summer is surf and boat even though I should probably be scouting lol.

Also the new centurions (2018 +) wake's give every other brand a run for their money, yes even the nautiques. fight me on this I don't care lol.

I would look at a 21 to 23 foot boat. I got mine last January for $36K with 250 hours. I wouldn't count out centurion at all or other brands like MB and Supreme. One thing that is often overlooked when buying a boat is the trailer. Make sure you look at tires, brakes, lights and for rust. As far as the boat goes most boats after 2000 don't have any wood except for Tige and some malibu models had wood floors from what I know. Check things like electronics, sound systems are notorious for being abused and neglected.

NEVER EVER EVER buy a boat without putting it in the water and running it. That will show and clear up and potential problems you may have.
 

kvw4x4

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Lynden, WA
For a second i though I clicked on the mastercraft boat forum link instead of the rokslide link, the 2 forums i frequent,

Im a big mastercraft fan, have owned 3 mastercrafts since 2007, a 2007 x15, a 2013 xstar and now a 2019 xstar,
combined total hours on these 3 boats is 3200 hours, and between all 3 we have had very little issues,

I feel like i can vouche for mastercraft and say they have been great reliable quality boats,

Im also in washington state, i know its been mentioned next spring stuff will be cheap but also in the fall when guys would rather sell then store it you will find good deals,

What is your budget and year range your looking for?

My little man swinging this summer in Oroville, wa
 

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BravoNovember

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If you want to do all you mentioned above, get a v-drive. A direct drive will ski well, but not great for wakeboarding and likely not possible to surf. Although, I have a V drive Supra that boards and surfs great but you deal with a little more wake while skiing. I still slalom behind it constantly, so not that big of an issue.
Like stated above, inspect closely. Soft floor, stringers, motor mounts, service records. They are not cheap, especially in this market but you don't need to spend $100K to get into it. I bought an 08 a few years back, meticulously maintained and serviced with about 500 hours on it for under half that. It does everything you mentioned very well.
I'm 15 days out from heading West, so my skiing is over for the summer. Might get one more surf session in this weekend before she's pulled and put to bed. One more tip, be responsible for your wake. Wake boats have lots of friends when on the boat, but none of the property owners on the shore are fans. Trust me, I'm both.
Or the fisherman who are anchored or spot locked inside of a no wake zone
 

sodaksooner

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Or the fisherman who are anchored or spot locked inside of a no wake zone
We always gave fishermen a lot of leeway. I come from a fishing family.

One more thing, Learn to drive the thing. Nothing more annoying than a Wally driving in circles around the cove stirring up the water. Although once you start surfing it has the advantage of pushing all the tubers out of the area :)

We successfully surfed a Malibu Response (pure ski boat). Wake was not big, but the lighter guys/gals could actually get enough push to surf ropeless. Im over 200 lbs so I struggled to do it for sure. They do not like a ton of weight though.
 

BravoNovember

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We always gave fishermen a lot of leeway. I come from a fishing family.

One more thing, Learn to drive the thing. Nothing more annoying than a Wally driving in circles around the cove stirring up the water. Although once you start surfing it has the advantage of pushing all the tubers out of the area :)

We successfully surfed a Malibu Response (pure ski boat). Wake was not big, but the lighter guys/gals could actually get enough push to surf ropeless. Im over 200 lbs so I struggled to do it for sure. They do not like a ton of weight though.
here in SE Wisconsin there seems to be no such effort. They skirt the no wake zone buoys even when the middle of the lake is free of other boats. That being said, its public land/water so I support their use of it, and not let it ruin my day.

I do wonder if the increase in wake from the new wave boats will change the distance from shore the buoys are. or if there has been an increase in shoreline erosion
 

sodaksooner

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here in SE Wisconsin there seems to be no such effort. They skirt the no wake zone buoys even when the middle of the lake is free of other boats. That being said, its public land/water so I support their use of it, and not let it ruin my day.

I do wonder if the increase in wake from the new wave boats will change the distance from shore the buoys are. or if there has been an increase in shoreline erosion
It's not as big a problem at our lake with the no wake zones. Lots of traffic in and out so not prime water anyway. Most of our lakes in the area are flood control so the lake levels vary a lot. I do believe in some places there is a lot of shoreline erosion. We never had to deal with it much. I know if I had a lake house with a dock, I'd want the wakeboats to keep their distance for sure.
 

schmalzy

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Just sold my 2003 VLX a few weeks ago, and although the surf wake was not huge it was definitely surfable.(if that is a word) You cannot surf behind an outboard but I am sure you know that. It would comfortably seat 6 or 7 at most. We would run 2000 lbs of ballast at a minimum and depending on size of crew, another 600 lbs in the front. Think of wakeboats as big old tractors.

Dust rider is right on the market. I got more money than I paid for the boat 13 years ago. I never had it on the market and it was a guy at our FBO that was talking to our son (who works there.) Never argued on the price. Just paid it. I priced it fairly based on other local examples. Mine only had 450 hours on it (that's actually kinda embarrassing we didn't use it more)

FWIW there is no wood in any malibu after like 1997 or 1998 I believe. My ski platform was teak but that was it.

Wake boats are crazy expensive.

Malibu Crew is a decent forum for info too. Can't speak to Mastercraft, but have spent a little time behind a Super Air Nautique too.

Guy that bought it loves it. It's his second Malibu.

Feel free to PM if you have any specific questions.

I worked at a Malibu dealership in the early 2000s and have surfed quite a bit behind one just like that! Great memories.


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