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09-04-2009, 03:34 AM #1Junior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2008
Ski/wakeboard boats - best and worst brands?
I am in the market for a slightly used ski or wakeboard boat in the $25k - $35k range.
For $35k you can buy a used E55 or a nearly new G37. I am the kind of buyer who would prefer the slightly older Benz over the newer car. Does that analogy makes sense?
I have heard many names (Malibu, Mastercraft, Supra, Ski Natique, etc) but I have no idea which companies make the best quality products.
My main concern is high quality, durability and ease of maintenance and I would prefer the boat to be a little more low-key than some of the super flashy stuff I see out on the water. Think white GT2 rather than orange Gallardo
09-04-2009, 03:42 AM #2
The four you listed are the four best, although there are many great boats out there.
MasterCraft is the most expensive (my new MC wakeboard boat I just bought stickered at over $110k), and I think the best, but they are all four excellent. Mastercraft and Nautique have long been the big two. But in recent years, Malibu has moved right up there, and Supra is gaining fast as well.
I have toured the MasterCraft and Nautique factories, and have pro wakeboard friends who are sponsored by each. But I firmly believe it most comes down to the dealership. Who is nearest you, who will take the best care of you, who has a great reputation for service, etc. Mastercraft and Nautique are the Mercedes, and Malibu and Supra are the G37, but there's not a bad boat among them.
As far as low key rather than flashy, that is more a function of the age of the boat, as with each passing year they have gotten louder. As I told my father, who was meeting us at the marina to go for a ride, and wanted to know which boat was ours, I said "just start walking along the dock, and when you come to a boat that looks like it's owned by a 16-year-old who won the Texas State Lottery, that's our boat . . .".
Feel free to PM me with any questions, as we have been riding (wakeboarding) for a lot of years, and are on our fourth MasterCraft wakeboard boat. There are other riders on here as well, and I'm sure they will chime in. Great sport, and great fun!Russ
09-04-2009, 12:45 PM #3Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2008
- New Orleans LA.
Where are you Red Racer. My buddy has an 08 Sea Ray 21 select with wb setup. Wants what he owes, around 38-39. He paid 58 with ttl. Boat has 10 hrs.
09-04-2009, 03:59 PM #4Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2009
depends on what purpose you want the boat to serve. If you want to slalom then you're going to want to look for a flat hull boat, if you want to wake board you're gonna want to look for a v-hull boat with ballast tanks. The other thing you need to consider is how many people you're going to want in the boat. A closed bow 19 ft ski boat holds 6 people while a bowrider 23 ft wakeboard boat can hold up to 15. Both nautique and malibu as far as i know make a crossover between the 2, I dont know what the most recent ones are but nautique made a supersport in 2002 that was a best of both worlds boat. You need to look at what your main purpose for the boat is and then decide on the model, but between those 4 you really can't go wrong
09-04-2009, 04:20 PM #5
The big 3 wakeboard boats are Mastercraft, Correct Craft and Malibu. No exceptions.....any other wakeboard company is second tier.
Within the three I would categorize them as this
1. Mastercraft - Flashiest and most expensive (I own an X Star)
2. Correct Craft - Lots of prestige and can be built to throw a sick wake....a little on the small side compared to the other 2
3. Malibu - best overall value for a top tier boat company. Your money goes a lot farther in terms of options and such without sacrificing build quality
Wake preference is just that...preference. I prefer the wake of a loaded Super Air over my X Star. How serious are you about wakeboarding vs just cruising?
Last edited by donblackie; 09-04-2009 at 04:22 PM.
09-04-2009, 04:31 PM #6
I've wakeboarded on a few including Mastercrafts and Malibus and I still prefer the wake on the Sanger to all of them. The Mastercraft is more fancy and has better looks, more room, can put a table up in the middle of the boat and its the best for a family cruiser IMO but if you want a better wakeboard boat I vote for the Sanger.
09-04-2009, 05:53 PM #7
Ive been in and wakeboarded behind a Mastercraft, a Nautique, a Moomba, an MB, a Supra, and a Gekko.
The difference is all fit/finish/accessories/hull construction. Most name brand newer boats use basically the same engines (Chevy based v8) and drivetrains. Most name brand newer boats use the same perfect pass system. Most name brand newer boats use decent bladders and pumps for ballast.
The difference is in the material quality, the finish, and the details.
For example, MexicoBlue's Mastercraft has more quality craftsmanship in its contruction than the average Mercedes-Benz. The details really are amazing. His boat is perfect for either a hard day of riding, or a nice relaxing cruise in almost any weather (thanks to central heat and a/c)
As far as what it is like as a rider behind these boats. I cannot tell an appreciable difference between the cheaper boats (Moomba, Gekko, MB) and the top-of-the line boats (Mastercraft, Nautique). Wake shapes have all gotten pretty good and ballast can make it is big as you want it to be.
Cliffs Notes: If you have the means, and comfort/details are important, and you plan on doing more than just watersports (like entertaining folks on your boat), then ante up for a Nautique or a MC.
If you are like me, and you are only on the water to wakeboard, pick up a nice used Moomba, or Gekko, or MB, or Centurion, or Supra.
09-04-2009, 06:25 PM #8
Good advice but if you are really into just wakeboarding, I would be pressed to agree that the wake a moomba can throw vs a correct craft are the same. They are worlds apart and the ability to shape the wake is drastically different between top tier boat makers and the others. It also depends on how hardcore of a rider you are and if you would notice these differences.
I will agree with Brian H that the Sanger throws a SICK wake. It seems to me like there is a large Cali following for Sanger but resale would be tough outside of Cali.
09-04-2009, 06:31 PM #9Senior Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2009
- Atlanta GA.
Its been pretty well covered above not much to add. You really should ride behind them and see what wake works best for you. After all the my boat has heat and is huge etc... but if you want a wakeboard boat and don't like the wake its kind of a wast.
I love the MC X-star and think its the best bet, the wake is huge and very rampy some people like me love that some don't. I would say get the Xstar but I am biased so its really what you like and any good dealer would be happy to wet demo a boat. Also all boats have issues in time as MexicoBlue said the dealer is very important as well, You will get to know him well over the years. I do have a lot of friends with supras that have been having a lot of tranny problems with the bigger series boats the last few years. I know of three guys that have flex plates vibrating lose every season for what its worth.
I also like stuff flash! You need to set yourself apart!
09-04-2009, 07:06 PM #10
All this boat talk is getting me excited for tomorrow, 3 days of partying/wakeboarding and 2 nights of shore camping. Can't wait!!
Last edited by Brian H; 04-02-2010 at 03:52 PM.