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View Full Version : Which Boat to buy?


hannafwj
03-29-2014, 05:17 PM
I am an older guy looking to buy a quality used ski boat to pull the kids (in their 30's) and grandkids (ages 1 - 12). No tournament skiing for us; no wakeboarding, no towers needed, etc. Just recreational skiing (and tubing for the little kids). I'm looking at a 1990 Prostar (saw it today--it's in mint condition for its age) with 855 hours for $9500, a 1999 Sportstar (have yet to see anything but pictures, but it looks very good--has 466 hours) priced at $14900, and a 1999 Ski Nautique with 385 hours (will see that boat on Monday 3/31) for $15,500. It still frozen here in the Midwest so test drives are out for at least a month. Any suggestions would be most appreciated. Thanks!

TN Skier
03-29-2014, 05:26 PM
I certainly prefer a closed bow such as a 190. It sounds as though you might have a need for a little more space and a open bow boat would suite your crew a little better; maybe a 205? If you feel good about a closed bow boat though, I am certainly fond of the 190's!

Retoxtony
03-29-2014, 05:34 PM
I would never own a boat without an open bow after having one for a few years. If you have kids and are going to have more than a few people out, i would go for an open bow. It was the favorite place for everyone to sit in my 205.

east tx skier
03-29-2014, 06:04 PM
If you don't care about the best ski wake, spend the least amount of money for the boat in the best condition. Any of those three boats will be excellent. I have a 1998 Ski Nautique, and have found that it is an excellent ski boat. The Sporstar is a great ski boat as well, but the interior will be a little more bare bones by design. The 1990 Pro Star will be carbureted and more cramped than the other two.

Between those three boats, given your criteria, you really can't go wrong as long as the boat has been well cared for.

19_Skier
03-29-2014, 06:04 PM
are you planning on being on the boat all day or do you have a cottage where the boat will stay? That makes a big difference. We have 10 of us at the cottage and a 190 at the dock, never felt like it wasn't enough room since we were never out in the boat for more than an hour at a time.

I don't think you could go wrong with any of those boats. Being an MC forum you are likely to hear most say the prostar or sportstar but nautiques are damn nice boats as well. Whichever you feel has been better maintained and shows pride of ownership would be my choice.

east tx skier
03-29-2014, 06:18 PM
Which engines do the SportStar and 99 SN come with? I have seen a few SportStars out there with the LT1. But if the SS comes with the 5.0 and the SN has the Multiport PCM GT40, well . . . .

bsloop
03-29-2014, 07:02 PM
Don't discount a tower. by 13+ they will likely want to wakeboard more than ski if given the option. Tower also gives you ski/board storage to make more room for people.

An open bow would be a requirement for family passengers.
ProStar 205 would be the absolute smallest I would consider.
Look for 21' and 23' Mari-stars for general use. They are usually more affordable than the ubiquitous X boats.
The larger the lake, the more I would lean toward the 23. Not much price difference but substantially more capacity and passengers will stay drier/warmer.

hannafwj
03-29-2014, 08:03 PM
are you planning on being on the boat all day or do you have a cottage where the boat will stay? That makes a big difference. We have 10 of us at the cottage and a 190 at the dock, never felt like it wasn't enough room since we were never out in the boat for more than an hour at a time.

We are lucky--we do have a cottage and like you I doubt we would ever use the boat more than an hour at a time, and even then, returning to the dock after every run. Makes me think we would be OK with a closed bow boat. Thanks for your thoughts!

hannafwj
03-29-2014, 08:04 PM
Our lake is 2500 acres and quite narrow. I think a 20' boat is max.

hannafwj
03-29-2014, 08:05 PM
5.7L v8 EFI, 310 HP is all I know at this point. Your thoughts?

Jerseydave
03-29-2014, 09:08 PM
If $15K is within your budget it's always nice to have fuel injection. Nothing wrong with a good Nautique either, just find the best boat in the best condition.

I sent you a PM also if you want to shop for a boat in my area.

jafo9
03-29-2014, 10:15 PM
i agree with bsloop. i wouldn't ignore the value of a tower. my youngest started wake boarding around 5 or 6 (can't remember). as also mentioned, racks are a great way to get boards/skis off the floor and maximize seating/comfort. i currently have 5 racks on our tower. it adds so much more space by keeping the floor of the cabin relatively clear. a huge point to consider on a tower is that you're better off buying it already attached to the boat vs. paying for a new one to add to your used boat. i'll also second the afore mentioned statement about the bow being the "place to be" for kids. for whatever reason, they seem to gravitate there and the "grown ups" usually stay in the rear. good luck with your hunt and welcome.