12 Aug 2013 Update
This boat has been great fun this summer. I'm fortunate to have found it and was able to get it in the water to use it. The primary issues I have are, I don't always have a driver when I can use it, and when it's really nice out, I'm at work.
We've had some pretty sweet days though.
Still tinkering every time I go out on it, I don't have my ballast system working as it should. I've also found this boat doesn't really need ballast for my level of wake boarding. The wake is as big as the 197 with 650lbs of ballast.
I also need to replace the paddlewheel pickup, but the perfect pass works in RPM mode and the gps on the mirror is sufficient for now.
Now that I think of it I have alot to work on, but I'd rather work on my wake 2 wake switch jumps, and the goal of a a w2w 360 this summer.
I installed a Tower Bimini top last weekend, It went pretty well, other than I left the instructions at home and it took forever to do a 45 min job.
I wish I could shift the whole thing forward about 6 inches to facilitate putting the rope on, and getting to the board racks.
I like the clamps it came with, and it installed fairly easy. I will adjust the brackets again to see if I can get the front a little lower without changing the rear height. It's nice to be able to walk under and stand up without ducking.
I'm not sure why the top looks wrinkled in the photos. It's tight as a drum and looks fabulous.
Overall fit, finish, quality and usability is pretty darn good. I think the price is too high. but I wanted this to mount to the tower with clamps, and not have straps and other hardware to get in the way and rust. I also shopped around and tried getting quotes from other others. In the end I decided to spend the extra dough because they made the ordering process easy and I had confidence they would ship me a top notch bimini.
The boat is parked on Cheat Lake which is a pretty sweet place to be, but the weekends are ridiculous as far as traffic. We have the Monongahela River that runs through Morgantown and is under utilized by skiers. My buddy got permission to use a boat ramp with access to a 6 mile stretch between two locks so we dropped his 197 in Sat morning.
The primary purpose of the river is commerce and navigation by barge, hauling coal and aggregate. So it's a bit industrial, and not the cleanest of water.
Who cares about that crap any way we're here to ski.
We had the place to ourselves from 9am til 2:00pm, got a crazy amount of riding in and never hit another boat wake. I would have to say the best day I've had this year so far.
I love the 197, It's such a smooth driving, versatile boat. If I had access to a private ski course and or a jump I'd have to figure out how to get one.
Last edited by 46Chief; 08-13-2013 at 08:10 AM.