Jump to content

Old Walk-thru open bow


escmanaze
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Baller

Hi Everybody,

New to the forum here. Here is my situation. I just want an old 80's ski boat, but the wife insists on a walk-thru open bow. The oldest options seem to be Tristar 190, Prostar 205, Sunsetter, and Echelon LX. My first thought is that the Echelon LX would have the best slalom wakes. What do you think? Why was the echelon only built for 4 years?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller_
Stay away from the TriStar unless youre just interested in wakeboarding. The Boo is a great choice. Hydrodyne, Supra also make a decent OB boat for slalom. The Dyne probably has the best OB in seating arrangement and won't take as much water over the nose as its much higher then the others. SNOB would be ok too. Unless its an all day outing with kids in tow, closed bows have enough room and there's up front storage. The OB generally becomes the place where water sports gear gets tossed leaving no room for people. Lots of boates with wood floors and stringer so be very diligent in making sure they are all solid. Espesially motor mounts and pylon mounts. If you can up your $$ amount to get into 90s boat's your options open up more and wood structures starts to disapear. My 2 cents
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
Don't remember how it skied but I had a ski brendella walk thru open bow . Very roomy and I'm sure can be had on the cheap. It is wood floors, seat bases and stringers so must be checked as with most 80's boats. Mine was a 1990.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
Mastercraft Prostar 205 from 1993-5. Great slalom wakes. Had my 1994 since new, 1200+ hours. I'll be skiing behind it this weekend. Forget the TriStar. A failed experiment that gave birth to the 205.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

Echelon is a pretty nice boat. Good friend has one...drives/slaloms/barefoots well. I've footed it and been into 38 behind it at 34 mph. California gel can be really cool or awful depending on color. Another friend had the 205...bigger boat, not as nimble, higher freeboard, pretty decent wake. Skied that one at 36 mph from 22 to into 35 and barefooted it some. Slow speed tight corner handling can get dodgy with people in the bow.

If you need size/freeboard 205, if not IMO the Echelon is the better driving/skiing boat. Would argue that MC build quality in those years is better but not a big enough difference to sweat if you find a well kept boat. If you don't need ZO, these boats well kept are a lot of family ski boat for the money given depreciation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
As noted by @baja, the Mastercraft 205 from '92-94 (95?) is much different than the 96 and newer 205. The older one is still a very nice slalom boat (the newer one is a great wakeboarding value). My guess is the wakes aren't quite as nice as an echelon (it's been a while since I skied an echelon, but I ski a '94 MC 205 a lot), although as a tradeoff, my sense is the 205 interior feels a touch larger.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

I have limited experience behind a bunch of boats so my experience with wakes may not be as good as others. My experience has been at 15 off and 28-30mph.

 

I actually have an 86 Dixie Super Skier 299. It's an open bow and since no one thinks to look at them, they are usually priced really cheap. It has a decent wake normally and a really nice wake with the $500 addition of a hydraulic wakeplate. My Dixie's wake with the wakeplate is about the same as a friends 98 closed bow Ski Nautique. As for mastercrafts, I've also ridden behind a 93-ish prostar, a stars and stripes edition, and a 2011 prostar 197. I felt like all of those wakes were massive at my speed and line length.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

I owned a '95 Prostar 205, and thought the wakes were good, although that was many years ago when I was first getting into the course and didn't have much perspective. One thing I do remember clearly, however, is the flex of the hull when crossing wakes or while in rough water. I'm not sure if that is the case with other walk through open bows of that era, but I would think it would eventually have a negative effect on the integrity of the hull. You could watch the closed door of the windshield seperate by 3/4" or more while boucing across the wakes.

 

My neighbor has a walk through SN200, and that boat has no flex at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

Thanks everybody for the input. That's good to know that the 92-95 ps205 is better than 96+ because my buddy has a 96 PS205 and after riding his 84 S&S that he used to have, that 205 is kind of disappointing for slalom. His does have a flexi-hull as well. We've gotten that window to fall through and be jammed the wrong way before :(

 

Plenty of comments against the slalom wake of a TS190, but no comments good or bad on the sunsetter. I'll take that to mean that none of you have even bothered trying behind a sunsetter so I probably shouldn't either. It sounds like it's either the echelon lx or a 92-95 PS205. I think I would probably prefer the LX, but I think the 205 will be much easier to find for sale as there seems to be a lot more of them.

 

thanks again everybody.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

The Sunsetter (95 and newer) is a great crossover boat - it's hopefully my next boat, as my son is an avid wakeboarder. I think from 99 on, the Sunsetter LXi has the 'diamond hull' and apparently makes a difference for slalom wakes. However, if it's 'all slalom', the ps205 and echelon are better choices if you're looking for an older model.

 

Personally, the biggest thing to think about is the speeds you're going to be slaloming at. If you're always at 32mph and faster, I don't think any of these choices are bad. If you're pulling kids at 28 or lower, the differences start to become more obvious (Echelon would be best).

 

Lastly, when looking at a mid-90s boat or earlier, all-fiberglass construction is important too. But all the boats you mentioned are all-glass (the old, late 80s/early 90s sunsetters have wood stringers though).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The first generation 205s are head and shoulders better than the second generation (original xstar hull) variant. The tagline "fanatics with families" was earned by that hull. I had no trouble pulling a skier into 35 off at 34 mph.

 

My father in law has a 98 205 and compared to my old 93 205 or my 98 SN, it is like skiing over a curb at 15 off. Still a decent open bow, but not in the same league as the first generation 205s.

 

2007%2520MC%2520Water%2520Shot.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

I have been looking at the same type of purchase. Seems narrowed down to the Malibu LX or Echelon, the early 90's 205, or a SNOB. I am not picky about climb over or walk through. The wake is more important to me. My thread from a few weeks ago on the topic might have some good info for you: http://ballofspray.com/forum#/discussion/5561/best-open-bow-boat-for-skiing

 

The other concern about these boats for my family's typical use is the fact that we are mostly on mountain lakes that can get some pretty big waves that come up with afternoon winds. Our open bow outboard can handle it but a comp boat concerns me a little. The SNOB seems to get the nod given that consideration. Any of you owners out there with experience let me know if I am wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
Another vote for a 205, pre 96 if you're wanting exceptional slalom and aren't on a large public lake, 96-98 if you're going to be on larger public lakes with chop. I believe it was 98 when they had the stars and stripes edition 190 that had larger wakes than the 205.... the one that "ran on shore" in testing.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
I used to regularly ski behind a friend’s 99 Sunsetter Lxi(until he got an 07 LXI), it skis great for a larger boat. It would be on my short list for an open bow ski boat if I desired such a thing.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
If 1990's might work for you, consider a 1998-1999 Supra Legacy. Lots of room and ski's very good in a course. For 1980's, Supra had the Sunsport which is a fun all around inboard open bow with lots of room, and higher gunwale which can be good if you have small kids.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@sunvalleylaw I can't speak for the other boats and I don't run on big water a lot, but between my SNOB and my neighbor's 205 you shouldn't have any problems with driving an open bow in rough conditions. PROVIDING you pay attention. You can swamp any open bow, just like you can swamp a closed bow if you drive like a nimrod.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller_

Another option would be an open bow Infinity, they have a pretty good wake other than the 22 off rooster tail (there is a fix for that). Some reports of poor quality and of course your on your own as Infinity is out of business, resurrected as Svara (sp) and I think they are also history.

 

You might want to find an old Waterski mag boat review and go through it, they were excellent back then. The Malibu Echelon was the top of the line slalom boat from Malibu, put them on the map as a contender with the other two and that boat compared to the MC 190 and SN 196 for the three event skier, so skiability, etc is comparable among those three models. The Malibu Sunsetter is the competitor to the MC 205 which is the "family" friendly slalom ski boat or the next size bigger/heavier than the tournament level ski boats so I would factor that in your choice matrix.

 

The Echelon was built from '93 - '97 off the SV23 hull, replaced by the Response which is on the same hull but offered fewer amenities so the price point dropped down some. So that basic boat is still available although the hull has been tweaked some over the years. So, if you find a good deal on a Response, you are basically getting the same boat but the open bow is a step over not a walk through. The LXi was brought out to basically replace that boat a decade later as a walk through.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller_

Another option would be an open bow Infinity, they have a pretty good wake other than the 22 off rooster tail (there is a fix for that). Some reports of poor quality and of course your on your own as Infinity is out of business, resurrected as Svara (sp) and I think they are also history.

 

You might want to find an old Waterski mag boat review and go through it, they were excellent back then. The Malibu Echelon was the top of the line slalom boat from Malibu, put them on the map as a contender with the other two and that boat compared to the MC 190 and SN 196 for the three event skier, so skiability, etc is comparable among those three models. The Malibu Sunsetter is the competitor to the MC 205 which is the "family" friendly slalom ski boat or the next size bigger/heavier than the tournament level ski boats so I would factor that in your choice matrix.

 

The Echelon was built from '93 - '97 off the SV23 hull, replaced by the Response which is on the same hull but offered fewer amenities so the price point dropped down some. So that basic boat is still available although the hull has been tweaked some over the years. So, if you find a good deal on a Response, you are basically getting the same boat but the open bow is a step over not a walk through. The LXi was brought out to basically replace that boat a decade later as a walk through.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller_
Supra did build The bigger sunspot but also built an open bow off their proven ts6m hull. Sence they were the first builder to drop the nose of their boats (which everyone copied) they swamp easy. I will second the Legacy. 1997-98 they were getting back in the game and loaded these boats with tons of extras and the interiors were crazy plush for back then. Very very roomy with big open bow. Not such a dropped nose so a good big water boat. All glass. Skied very well.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

@Wish, I was at the midwest regionals. What division are you in? Closed bow has more storage, but there is always a trade off. I still prefer to drive a closed bow in the course. I would try to go 1990's or newer. If you are on a big lake I would go for a Nautique. I have been behind a Malibu Echelon(1993). It slalomed nice.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

Thanks again everybody for your input. I actually have a bunch of open bow centurions for sale in my area right now. Finding any marketing material or anything for these Centurions seems next to impossible, so I'll hope somebody here knows something. My understanding is that the build quality would not generally be as high, that's why I see the prices lower, and that's fine, but of course, back to my biggest concern is the slalom performance. What models do I want to look for for best slalom performance? When did they quit building with wood? When did they go to EFI? Any info is helpful as I have now searched the information superhighway forever on these things and I'm still coming up short. Here are a few samples of the ones for sale. If none of these are at least as good as a pre 96 205 then I'll just stay patient and wait for the right 205 or echelon lx.

 

http://www.sunsetmotorsid.com/newandusedcars.aspx

 

http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=218&ad=21513146&cat=147&lpid=0&search=centurion

 

http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=218&ad=21626320&cat=147&lpid=0&search=centurion

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

I highly recommend against the infinity. I dont know much about the open bow but I doubt it could have performed better than the closed bow version . I had the Svfara (same hull as infinity but upgraded fit and finish) and it sucked in more ways than one. Wake was hard as a rock 15-28. The 22 wake could kill a man. If your lake has right hand turn islands which I believe most do, the boat would lean so bad that water would spray all over the windshield and the rub rail would constantly fall off. Also, the boat had a vdrive configuration which put the prop way under the boat. This posed a few problems. One, the boat tracked kind of funny, it almost felt like it would pivot around . Second, if you wanted to change the prop (which you will have to trying to find one to soften the wake!) you had to crawl way under to reach it. It hurt laying across the prop guard rails ! And third, the prop was so close to those rails that if you were not carefull while loading, the prop would actually hit. I munched two props and I'm very experienced at loading. The boat also had these weird wings that came off the side. Supposedly added on later versions to reduce side spray. These stupid things would always get caught up the wheel wells.

 

I think this boat is better suited to barefooting open water use. I ended up taking bath on it. Bought it new in 08 factory direct for about 42K. Sold it with under 100 hours in 2010 for 16K. Good ridence!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller_
@GAJ0004 I met you on the starting dock about 3-4 skiers before your turn. I was the guy in the white big brimmed hat. You mentioned to me it was your first Regionals and I tried to convince you that it was just a ride behind a great boat with a great driver and to not think of it as the "Regionals". Did that work? How did you do?. I know the wind kicked up a lot in the middle of the pack in M3. Tell your cousin that the guy from FL had an absolute blast and thought the tournament ran better than smooth. Will be back next year.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

@Wish, I ran 1@32off which is slightly below my average of 4@32off, not bad considering I did not practice slalom for 10 days. The trip to MN was a last minute plan. The weekend before I did two tournaments in 3 days. The wind was not bad 15 through 28 off. If I qualify I will return to Minnesota.

I think I did okay since I was not fully prepared.. I was getting 3@35 off in practice about two weeks ago which is my PB in practice. One more tournament Saturday Labor Day weekend if I can get the day off.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

I have a 99 Malibu Response LX. I like the step over to the open bow. It gives you an observer seat for two people plus theres a lot of storage under the dash and observers seat. I wasn't sure I would like it when I bought it, but I really think its better than a walk through now. There was a Sunsetter with the diamond hull around 99 that had a walk through. I also heard good things about hydrodyne grand sports.

 

I ski once a week behind a 94 MC prostar 205 with a tbi Chevy 5.7 and stargazer perfect pass. Very nice boat. It's held up well and skis great.

 

I really wanted fuel inject when I bought my Response. Tired of fight carbs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...