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Does a new ZO boat really help?


rodltg2
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I have been on the fence about purchasing a new boat for next season and which one ( as you may know from previous threads) . I have two reasons for wanting one, added room and comfort for family days on public lakes and a ZO boat . However the boat I currently own is in great shape for its age, skiis relatively great for my use and most importantly , paid for! But its to small for the family , low freeboard for kid safety and the pull is Im sure different from what to expect at a tournament.

 

So my question is, does a newer style boat really help for training purposes? I just skied my first two tourneys at my home lake this year and I'm really liking it. In fact I may ski two more . I would have to sell my boat and take out a loan for the balance to purchase a newer one. I have always had a boat loan since 2000 so I am used to it but it sure feels nice not to have one now! Would a new boat help my bouy count at all? My kids are to young to really now the difference and my wife could really care less one way or the other, so thats not a factor.

 

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b265/rodltg2/IMG_0944.jpg

 

 

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Rod,

 

It all depends on your plans for skiing, if it is just to go out and have fun with the family and ski a few tournaments, then it doesn't make sense to upgrade. If the plan is to ski more tournaments and move your focus towards that, then yes it makes a difference to ski/train behind a current boat.

 

Kevin

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Yep. If you can make it work and you care about tournaments, a ZO boat helps. I was considering buying one this year, but I'd really like to wait for the next MC. I get unbelievable service from my dealer (lives 5 houses away from me) and I just can't bring myself to buy a Bu or a CC and lose that service. So I'll ski another year or two with my 2005 197TT with Zbox and see what the boys at MC come up with.
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Helped my count. Spent some time with @MS and finally had a chance to really ski all the ZO settings about mid season. Been struggling a great deal till then. Once I had the setting I needed my scores shot up by six buoys (I was really struggling). Basically got back to and at times bettered my PB. With that said, I still run PP classic. In some ways, the classic makes me ski harder and it's harder to get down the purple line. But when I get to ZO at a tourny, it feels slow and easy. Still have not run it but skiing inside 5 actually makes me feel like I can. I score higher at tournys then practice lately. Not sure I want to get used to a ZO system and get lazy and over confident with it. Id say find someone with a ZO you can spend a day or two behind and test all the settings. Don't trust the "oh...just use B2... It's like PP". That maybe so but I found C1 and man what a difference for me. Maybe you will find that easy feel setting. Then you'll know if that's what you really want.
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To me, it's not just one pull over another, it's consistency. ZO interacts directly with the engine's computer on a DBW engine. Reaction is pretty much instantaneous and I know that the boat is going to be totally settled in and consistent time and time again. That, for me, would be the reason to switch to a DBW boat with ZO. Extreme consistency, especially with a short setup. Just driving my PPSG-equipped boat the other day in the course I was surprised at the inconsistency I had into the gates and through the course- sometimes I'd over-run, sometimes under, and sometimes have dead-on runs. Sometimes I'd engage in the turn, sometimes not. As much as I love my old boat, I can't argue with the dump-it-and-forget-about-it throttle work required for ZO! Especially if water time is limited- I need each pass to be what it should be and be the same as before for the most part. Nothing's worse than running a great pass, then hearing that it was slow or even worse, hand throttled since PP for some reason did not randomly engage.
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I would if I could and I believe it would help, but won't take the loan so "no go" for now. I could cash flow it, but I'm paid off on boats/vehicles right now and liking it...hoping to finally nuke my student loans by year end.

You have a cool boat, I'd ride it one more season, ski some more tourneys, get some more ZO time and then decide. Start pocketing some cash in the meantime.

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@6balls debt free.... that's awesome...there's a lot to be said for that in this day and age. Great job. Don't lose sight of that goal. @rodltg2 that is a stunning boat. And you just got so I like 6balls idea but @Ilivetoski has an excellent point!!
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@ilivetoski You could get a nautique in 2007 with ZO. If you ordered the ZO with it, it came with the right ECM. If you added ZO later, you had to swap the ECM. In 08, all 196s came with the correct ECM for ZO whether you bought ZO or not. Essentially the same with MC. I know of a few late 07 197s that were ordered with ZO and the factory shipped the parts to the dealer to install because they weren't in the normal parts pipeline yet.
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My .02 cents. Doesn't necessarily have to be a new boat with ZO. Just ZO. Until I installed ZO in my 02 SN 196 ZO owned my backside at tournaments ! If you want to ski well in tournaments it's a "must have" for skiers over 190 lbs. As far as Stargazer, rarely did I ski well with it. Razorskier1's 197 is the only SG I have ever skied well behind. In my opinion also the only one ever set up correctly. All the others would take off at 3 ball with max rpms to make the end times.
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Shoot, if you already have Stargazer, get the Z-box, and call it that. The z-box does take some fine tuning to get tweaked. Once you do, its pretty awesome. I cant tell a difference, and I bet 98% of turney skiers couldn't too. No zooming at 3 ball. No bad times, ever... Only thing is, you can't spin with it engaged, and you can't over throttle. If you follow those two things, your good.
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I love my boat and zbox is working well to make it closer to a ZO pull, but I'm sure it isn't exactly like ZO. Because my boat is DBW and I spend a lot of time tweaking SG/zbox, it skis really, really well. I pull up the skier and push the throttle straight through to the bottom. Boat stops on speed even if it is a short setup, runs perfect times and feels more consistent with ZO. If money were no object would I have sold this one and bought a boat with ZO -- yep. But with a college sophomore, a high school senior (soon to be college freshman), and a high school sophomore to pay for, money is an object (not that I see it for very long before it exits my checking account!)
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New boats rock! Debt free rocks too... Save hard for a while then get the new boat? The new boats are worth the money - but the debt??

Eric you say things that make such perfect sense in so many of your posts. Whenever I see your name I get excited and I prepare myself for reading something intelligent. Debt free is the way to ski.

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PP gives a reasonable pull in throttle cable boats. The paddlewheel and Classic mode with the switch working (and set at + or -) will emulate ZO well enough to keep you from MOPing in tournaments. Debt sucks. And sucks worse for toys.

 

ZO is fantastic. New boats are even better. The best toys rock!

 

Angels vs devils. (Baseball vs hockey?)

 

Eric

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