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What's with new boats


WBLskier
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Does anyone else find it really strange that there is so much discussion about new boats and problems with power, defects, custom fixes, etc.? I have a now 20 year old Malibu that I love and I've probably put $300 total into repairs in the 8 years I've owned it. It starts every time and with Z box skis so that I really don't notice a difference between it and brand new boats. How can $100k+ boats from the top 3 (and others) be leaving the plant with problems and ever be built in a way that they have issues getting up to speed with 400+ horsepower standard? I'm not in the market for a new boat, but given all the recent discussion I'd be pretty careful about what I bought. Maybe its just me...
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My only problem with new boats is why are we stuck having to use ZO.

ZO as a company could care less that the pull sucks from boat to boat. Who knows why USAWS has mandated the use of it.

Zero Off (the company) SUCKS.

I am good enough and lucky enough to ski and have access to ski and compete behind all of them. I have pissed lots of money on wasted sets at record events only to find that B1 does not feel the same on my boat vs 5.3 Nautique or whatever. I now know what I need to do when I feel out of sync behind a boat that I have not skied and by my 3rd pass I am good. But next round here comes another boat. Start the process over.

I was at a record event last year that after day 1 there was a vote on which boat to use the next day due to all felling different. That is not good.

Gee, where are all the new tourney skiers?

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@LoopSki it is great that you have had no significant problems with your new Prostar but the fact that you kept a back up boat at your house is a sign of the problems. Can you imagine paying 80K for a new car and keeping your old one in case there were issues with the new one.

 

That said I haven't bought a new boat in years and if I do it will be a promo so that someone else can shake it down. I do ski a lot behind a 16 Prostar and it is better in every way than my 02 Response. I love my boat but I don't see how you can drive or sit in a new Prostar and say it isn't better than my boat. The only complaint I have about the Prostar is it is loud in the boat because of the second fan to keep the engine cool.

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@ms I hear you, but do you think with PP or any other speed control, including hand throttle, all the boats / engine combinations / allowable props that one might encounter would really feel the same? I would think that they might still feel different. I agree that ZO could give a crap about how the pull is, but do they have any incentive? The monopoly afforded ZO by USAWS is unacceptable, but isn't that really due the boat manufacturers?
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@WBLskier I have had a new/ current year boat every year for the last 5 years. Engines by PCM and Illmor. I have had zero mechanical issues.

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@LeonL it should come down to tow boat committee accepting boats. What I did not like about PP was me getting a 16.91 on my hardest pass but the next guy up getting an 17.01. Most of it due to poor driver anticipation.

Since CC has bought up everything else why don’t they scoop these clowns up and put some money behind the issues.

Zero off still sucks.

Like I said. I have it figured out and can ski with ZO. I am not happy that I can’t use B1 on all boats but I can start at 28 and use up another pass to figure it out.

 

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Any new, complex mechanical product will have issues with some percentage of the total number manufactured. That was also true of boats 20 years ago. It's why some, like myself, won't buy a car in the first model year. It will be interesting how these new boats hold up over time. The comparable models from the early 2000's were more mechanical and the electronics were easier cheaper to replace. Now we have fully integrated touch screens that are expected to work through many temperature swings and moisture. Sure cars have them and the temperature swings but I can't help but think a boat is a harsher environment. Maybe I'm way off base and the boats of today will hold up well... maybe.
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@LoopSki I am not sure as I first hit a course in 1998 with a good driver and new boat with PP.

This is 2018 and boats cost over 100k. Figure it out already. I could care less cause it works for me but I know there are people that ski in older stuff that won’t compete for these reasons.

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Part or a lot of it is actually a result of what customers want. Such as more room, added amenities (heated seats), high end sound systems and upgraded electronics. So to get more room the boats displace more water and need a lot more power, added amenities require more electric power and are more items to break/fail, the new and desired electronics and cool system screens are not as reliable as old analog gauges. The manufacturers are building what they think or is what the market asks for. End result is the Prostar, TXI, 200, Nautique '19 and in reality they are incredibly awesome boats. Go ski an 89 SN just to compare...
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@MS I am a B1 skier too. I would like to know what settings you use on different boats? I feel the same about different pulls also. My boat is a 2009 Response. I ski B1 on it, but for example the tourney pulls between the MC and the new Nautique have been totally different. I also have dual puck on mine, but still skis like a New MC on B1. However I skied the new Nautique yesterday and skied ok.
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@LoopSki consistency and feel varied widely before PP. I grew up hand driving and skiing with hand driving. There would be someone hanging over the side of the boat with a stop watch getting times at entrance gates, 3 ball and exit gates. I don't remember timing 1 ball.

 

You would get all kinds of different feels depending on the driver. If a good driver was in synch with the skier it would feel soft and smooth. Some drivers would wait until they felt the skier pull then hammer the throttle those rides were very hard. The times could be the same at the end but have a completely different feel.

 

ZO feels different behind the manufacturers but it is generally consistent with that brand. It is all better than with the different drivers in the old days.

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As the equipment is gotten better higher-level skiers to become more and more addicted to very specific pulls. I skied behind a beautiful 70 or $80,000 boat this week and absolutely hated the pull because it was not what I'm used to. I'm sure that boat is perfectly fine and if I skied behind it everyday I what a just do it and be perfectly happy. Because the power delivery is not exactly what I expected it was uncomfortable.

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I too have older Malibu with zero problems. I listen to everyone with new boats complain about all the different issues. Forget the zero off issue, lack of power, low scores, poor gelciats from factory, etc, I don’t get why people are paying for a new boat these days. If have the same problems with my new car I would lose it on the dealer!!
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PP days I didn't notice much difference boat to boat (other than that ill-fated Rob Shirley toyota powered thingy whose name escapes me at the moment).

 

I also don't remember all the "set up" stuff one had to do to get a great wake, prevent the boat from listing and thus spraying the skier. Until a few years back I'd skied Gekko GTR-22 and later a MC 197 at my brother's with PP, a pair of bubble butt Nautiques w/PP and a Response Lx w/PP. Didn't matter much the weighting, amount of crew etc the pull/spray/wakes were great. One of these guys bought a 2015 Txi...with driver only she lists and creates spray and the 28 off wake is not as good as my bubble butt. I get it you could put weight in the nose, remove the wedge, shot bags passenger side, run light gas etc but really?

 

My brother's MC Prostar needs shot bags on the passenger side if driver only.

 

My bubble butt doesn't care. Driver only, driver and crew, 1/4 tank, 1/2 tank no worries. The Response Lx was similar, too. The new boats seem so finicky. The first 200 I skied after they came out had wake of the god's including the 28 opener. The next one I got at a tourney I was excited and it had a curb at 28 off.

 

Some didn't like it...but I liked Stargazer no z-box a lot--pretty level playing field and not all the whacked up variations. I don't ski enough ZO like @MS does so I have no idea what to do boat to boat/motor to motor today. I pick a setting and hope for the best.

 

Most likely I'm done with tourneys for reasons well beyond this...but feel for you guys dealing with them. No balance sheet crushing new boats for me.

 

 

 

 

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I don't get the purpose of this thread. What I gather from the OP is "I'm not in the market for a newer boat and I don't own one. I have an old, simple boat that is great and based on comments on an Internet forum of a small sample of enthusiast skiers I feel that new boats must be wrought with problems, what gives?"

 

Certainly no complaints about new boats from me or any of my ski buddies, then again we own, drive, and ski them on a regular basis.

 

 

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@bs it depends on your skiing level but saying the pull of the boat doesn't matter is kind of like saying whatever ski you use doesn't matter.

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@6balls that's 100% untrue about the bubble butt being weight-insensitive. I still own one (and also own a 2016 200) and the BB is a canoe hull. If a spotter with any weight on them settles into the far corner of that spotter seat, the wake and spray is dramatically altered to the point of being comical, spray even hitting the rope at times. The beginning of my sets on that boat often start with me pointing left or right for the spotter to move and level things out! Very weight sensitive particularly for trick as well. It's a great hull, one of the best, but the 200 hull is a massive improvement. Don't kid yourself! Again, I have both boats and ski them both along with a new Malibu every year as a club boat.

 

And did everyone forget the fun of changing PP params like crew weight, wind, KX/PX, wind, extra RPMs, magnets, smart timers, etc.? No thanks, I don't miss that stuff. Z-Box is better but nowhere near ZO as far as consistency and tolerance of different drivers/starts.

 

@B_S well put!

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@MS Don't forget E controls owns Murphy and ZO. I Believe just about every manufacturer uses them for their screens and speed control.They are dreadful. I do believe Nautique is the only one who writes their own code for the screens. In regards to the topic of new boats I can only speak on behalf of Nautique, but we sell plenty of new $70- now $120k ski boats and even $220k wake boats. Very, very few boats have issues from the factory. When issues occur, there is usually a trail back to the owner and how its been used or maintained.
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@6balls i have to respectfully disagree on a couple things, my buddy has a 99 lx, it lists pretty good with 2 different size guys in the drivers and observers seats and I can feel it skiing, the heavier guy sits shotgun but nearly at the pylon to keep the wake even. I've got an 04 lxi and at slow speeds it tracks totally different with or without an observer, it's not bad enough that i've bothered with weight bags but it's definitely there. I sort of wonder if I only notice these things more since one of our crew got a 200.
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@Horton you must either be reading WAY too much into my post or replying to someone else. I certainly never said the pull of the boat doesn't matter. Frankly, with the bashing of the big 3 every time they release a new tournament boat, and the relatively small returns they get from them, I'm surprised they even bother! The wake guys have little issue plunking down double the price, and then adding all kinds of aftermarket ballast and wake shapers.

I still can't believe the thread about the new Nautique not being good for slalom, which was started something like 1 week after pulling it's very 1st tournament, by somebody who didn't even ski it! If I was running Correct Craft, I'd be very tempted to be throwing the proverbial middle finger at tournament skiers after investing years and likely millions of $$ pushing the boundry of current state of the art wake and tracking technology! Disagree all you want, but the nitpicking has gotten way out of hand!

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@B_S well you were saying slalom skiers are nitpickers and frankly we are. The culture is what it is. That's what I was replying to. I am picky and skiers at a higher skill level them me are often even pickier.

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MS, don’t really understand the nostalgia for PP. Had to adjust rpm for head/tail and would “run away from you” if you were agressive and early in strong tail winds. Additionally I had to take tides into account for a decent time. For the 1st 3-4 years of ZO, my practice boat was a PP, tournaments were all ZO and did not feel a big difference but did, and still prefer ZO.
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What is the point of this thread? The first statement by @WBLskier is asking why the boat cost 100K and some have problems. Well first off the boats are coming with 400 HP plus so it can pull any jump event. Nautique ‘s promo boats are all 6.2 LTR because there was a whole lots of complaints from tournaments wanting the bigger motor and there promo personal having the 5.3 due to costs. With the added cost of a bigger motor and the new construction materials of the new Nautique it pushed the price to100K.

Second all theses boats are sprayed by humans. The fiberglass is also hand laid. So there may be some weight issues present as far as sensitivity. I was with Nautique for over 40yrs and never had a boat lean by it’s self. Yes it some were weight sensitive more the others.

As to ZO it is going to ski differently between the big three. It is all about finding what works best for you. Take every opportunity to ski behind other boats. Instead of skiing down the rope find what ZO setting works for you.

I have been skiing sense the 70’s. There was no cruse control. It was hand driving and hand timing. Just like ZO every boat was different as so was the driving. Some were great others were hard. When MC came out with the powerslot in 1979 or 80 it was a game changer. The boat was more responsive the anything else. The boat responded quicker then the speedometer could. It was something we all had to get use too. It was good for the sport and we adapted to the change. We didn’t piss and moan. I don’t think Nautique is going to change anything for next year. Is MC or Malibu? If they do change power plans everyone will have to adapt to the new pull and ZO and figure out what works best for you.

 

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@jhughes agree. Put one spotter on the far passenger side in a BB and you would want them to slide more center.

Consistency on ZO is cool to a degree..but 9 settings, 3 boats, and throw a few engines in there and things get pretty messy.

It's easier for me to complain than to have a solution and I get that fact. Given different HP curves, different drags to hulls etc it would be hard to have a single speed control system feel similar across product lines.

My brother had SG no z-box at first on his MC 197. That thing ran 16.96 all day long and twice on Sunday.

 

 

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@ozski I believe the 2019 Nautique thread in question was started right after the Mississippi BigDawg. That was the first time non-pros skied behind the boat. The boats had the wrong GPS pucks and the skiers were almost universally very unhappy with the pull. What is disgusting?

 

For anybody who's not following along Natiuque replaced all the pucks right before Nationals and most people believe the boat skis much much better.

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The closer you get to the pinnacle athletes of any sport, the picker as a population they are. That is one reason they tend to be at the top of the sport, and it does not matter which one it is.

 

Ask any Formula 1 mechanic how much endless fiddling they have to do to meet the demands of the driver, Ayrton Senna was notorious for total perfection in his cockpit setup, Schumacher was as notorious for his relentless testing and wore out the mechanics and we know what Alonso is notorious for, right JTH.

 

So, on this site as an example, critique done respectfully is a communication tool for the manufacturers to collect data and then correct issues with their boats.

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@acmx from what I understand it's not that the actual Hardware was wrong but the firmware had a lower refresh rate and so a lot of those early boats that were shipped across the country felt bad. All those parts have been replaced and the boats definitely feel better.

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I am not a fan of PP today.

It’s twothousand flippen 18 (19 next time I have warm water) and we can’t get a pull that feels good? They have it!! They can do it. We just have to demand that it comes with our new 120k boats. If we demand it by market decisions and not just forking down cash to the big 3. They have the ability to give us a 16.98 if I run into a crunch at 2 ball. If you want to go down the 16.95 every pass route it will not feel good.

The rule books allow for some tollarance, give it to us.

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@MS i very much wonder what PP would have today if even one of the ski boat mfgs had kept going with a non EControls ECU.

 

I'm also sort of astounded that PP has made suh great improvements despite not uaving a fraction of their former oem market.

 

Maybe they have a product in the works for future release.

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An issue with any product development or pre-product R&D is the payback for the investment in time and $. The small market volume simply does not allow a comprehensive development program to ensure the end product hits or once in the market, is at fine tuned level we are anticipating or expecting, even with the significant outlay to buy a new boat. Not saying it as an excuse, simply pointing out a reality of a small market product. Even the comprehensive automotive R&D process misses some key items in their development cycle.
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I am amazed with the work Perfect Pass has done. The new version of their software is way easier to set up and once set up is much easier to drive and give a good pull. I have a 93 prostar with the newest version of stargazer with z-box and find it hard to distinguish between it and zero-off. However the 200 or new prostar have way less spray as the line shortens and way more room for people and gear.
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