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Help on open bow decision


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I'm making a dreaded transition from my bought new 1990 PS 190 to an open bow or better named open bowel. I'll be on public lakes and my wife's medical condition makes rough boat rides difficult. I'm really only interested in slalom and a little tricking. I ski at 34@ 28 & 32. My wife in open water. She wants a walk thru and our cap is $20K. She likes the sunsetter LXI's and we're also looking at PS 205's. From what I've found the 92 to 95 205's are good for slalom. Newer MC's seem to be out of our price range. I've had a hard time determining if LXI's and Echelons are appropriate and just what years. I'm open to other makes as well. I realize slalom boats aren't designed for rough water but that's where I'm at. I have loved my 190 on private lakes and has served well on the public lakes. Thanks for any input.
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I suggest you go over and read feedback on Malibu Crew, the Sunsetter LXI gets excellent reviews. Particularly if you are headed to less than perfect water given the higher freeboard. As for slalom wake of an open bow, the LXI is excellent and an Echelon is similar or same as a RLX. Your 190 does set a tall bar for slalom.
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PS205 would be a good choice, there is a big difference between the 1990 prostar (which is the 87-90) and the 91-94 prostar. And the 205 is even bigger/better riding.

 

But the 205 really needs the LT1. The base 5.7 is ok in the 190 but it is borderline in terms of power to hull. And people do tend to want$$$ for lt1 205s. I think your money would go further with Malibu than MC 205s. Probably into a year 2000s boat instead of a 90s.

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I'm in Eastern Kansas. would like info on the Mn boat. I've just checked into the SNOBs, they look encouraging. I remember not liking the early 90's SNOBS that had the stepovers. The sports and 206's look great, always liked the GT 40's.
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i can tell you that our Sunsetter LXI is better in rough water than a early 90's PS 205. Both are great to ski behind but the Sunsetter has more room and rides nice in chop - i was actually shocked how good it does. This was a huge factor for my wife too. My friend has a Response LXI and they ride just as nice but a little lower to the water.
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I've never really understood why Nautique and Malibu didn't swallow their pride and copy the Mastercraft open bow with deck lid. It's a close bow when you want to close bow and it's an open bow when you want open now.

 

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I sold my 1990 PS 190 2 years ago for a 2004 Malibu LXI. Thought I would miss my old faithful... nope. Love love love the LXI. More room for the family and have a new PB behind it as well. Rough water is a thing of the past. The wife will love you!
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As others have mentioned the Sunsetter LXI really seems to fit your needs and price range. I had a 2002 Sunsetter and traded it in for a 2009 Response LXI. If it weren’t for zero off I would have stayed in the older boat.

 

Something else that could be enticing since you mentioned a medical condition for your wife. The drivers seat on the Sunsetter has a pivot function, I’m not sure if all years had it. However it can make ingress/egress to the drivers seat much easier.

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Sunsetter LXi is your winner if the length isn't an issue. They're on the long side but have the best wakes of any walk-through in your price and year range. I believe the Echelon was available for one year only with the Diamond hull. I think 1998? @Sethro has one and might know more. That would be another great option and would fit into your budget with money to spare for upgrades/updates, but it may be difficult to find one. The non-diamond hull Echelons were no slouches but the wakes are a little harder for slalom.
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93-97 Echelon LX would be a true walk-through open bow. The 98 Echelon LX has the step over, playpen style open bow. But @UWSkier is right, the 98 Echelon would be the only model year with the diamond hull....but diamond hull or not it wouldn't be a limiting factor in your skiing.
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