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Opinions on 2004 SN 206


jimmyjamesbrown
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We have a friend that has a 206. It is a little bigger boat than the 196 and therefore a little bigger hump, especially at the slower speeds at 15 off. The open bow and tower does make it nice for the family and all around use, that may be a benefit if it takes some wake-boarding to get the kids out with you. But with just skiing in mind, its not the best, but not the worse either. Probably better than most of the crossover boats, especially anything v drive.
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the SN 206 was on my list when I was shopping! Super nice boat. It has all the room like my Malibu Sunsetter LXI, which is also another family friendly slalom boat. I think you could get them to come down a little more on the price - that's about 26k in USD and i think you could get them to come down 2-3k more (possibly) But maybe I don't understand the Canadian market.

 

I've skied the 210 and it was fine, I'm sure this will be even a little better. One thing I'm seeing is the perfect pass has a single line gauge - they don't make those anymore and they are prone to go out. If it does go out you are forced to upgrade to stargazer and a new display.

 

i always suggest a lake test and have the dealer do a compression test for you

 

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A family at our lake has one, not sure the year, and their son trains 3 event behind it. He skis into -38@36mph. I took lessons behind one back in the day for a while and it was fine at -22@34. Seems it would be a good family boat with the extra room, skis well.
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A SN 206 is likely a good boat for your use, the Malibu Sunsetter LXi is another solid option for a larger boat that skis well.

 

@Ski_Dad is right about the Perfect Pass, maybe a negotiating point with the dealer.

 

I agree the price maybe a little high. I live in Vermont and looked for boats in Quebec and Ontario when I was looking for my 196. They always seemed to be priced a bit higher in Canada(after accounting for currency conversion). The advantage is like boats from northern US they have only been used part of the year so if properly maintained and cared for they can be in excellent condition. Does seem to be to many 206’s for sale currently, but spring is coming.

 

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Excellent boat for you and your family! I'm a Nautique guy myself, but don't rule out the open bow Malibu TXI with a wedge or the Mastercraft Prostar 205. Try and ignore the reviews that discuss wake quality. Any one of these boats will not limit your ability to ski. I've skied behind a bunch of boats, and it's just a matter of getting used to what you have. My 200 wake felt firmer than my 196, until one day I realized it wasn't. Never noticed it again.
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We just upgraded from a '03 206 to a '16 sn 200. The 206 served us well when our family was young. My wife and I could ski the course, everyone could wakeboard and barefoot and there was space for friends. There is a bump at the longer ropes but it is soft. I felt it was less invasive to my skiing that my neighbors MC 197. Mine is also for sale but in storage.
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I used to ski behind one of these a lot. Very solid boat. Everything about it felt firm. Firm pull, firm construction, firm but decent wakes at longer lengths (out at 15 and 22). Definitely a high quality machine. I haven't skied it in years, but I was in it last year and it still looks perfect (my friend's is an '03 I think). It's held up very well to his family of four kids.

 

As others have said, cross shop it. The Sunsetter LXi is bigger with as good or better slalom wakes and the versatility of the wedge if you think your kids might ever want to try wake sports. If you foresee days of your kids bringing a friend or two, the additional space might be nice. Assuming your price range is in line with the listing, you're likely to also find a bunch of Response LXis showing up. Those are fantastic boats too, but they like to dip the bow if you have bodies up there. 206 is better family boat than RLXi IMO.

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A ski buddy had a 2008 with 343hp & zero off. Purchased to be a family friendly boat and sold it this past fall because the family wasn't that interested. My only experience with the boat is in the course with a driver and up to 3 passengers. I skied it at 30-34mph 15&22 off.

 

I feel the boat is very well built and drives the course well. We never used the open bow for anything but gear storage. With 3 passengers and no walk-through seat there was people sitting on the floor (choice we made for how we were using it).

 

Skiing at the speeds and lengths listed above I was always able to ski to the equivalent of other boats we used. Early on I found the wake & zero off disruptive. As I got used to it and my skill progressed I didn't notice these things anymore. The wake did feel a little harder right behind the boat then the others we use. My other experiences are with SN196, Malibu TXI, LXI and VTX. I feel the one benefit Malibu has for an all-around boat is the wedge.

 

If I was in the market for a boat I would definitely consider a SN206

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@jimmyjamesbrown Where are you located? I'm assuming you are in Quebec, during my shopping for boats over the last few years I have found the most selection in Canada to be in QC or ON. I was looking for something very similar to you and found a 01 Sunsetter lxi last year in BC (I am in AB) that I pulled the trigger on. There were lots of older direct drives that were coming up out east for good prices, low to mid 20s Cdn. Be patient and search kijiji/autotrader all the time as spring gets going people will start listing their boats. Even post a "looking for" ad and you might get lucky.
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Here is a vote for the SN 206. I have a 2009 with the PCM343. Great fit/finish, handling, reliability and lots of power. Open bow is great for kids and also lugging the portable course buoys, reel or parts - so it is a great all around big-lake boat. Bump at -15 and -22 is definately larger than the 196, but it is frothy, not crazy stiff. At -28 and after not sure it is much different at all, although to be honest I don't get chances past -28 yet.

Pretty regularly ski a 2008 SN 196, 2007 Malibu LXi, 2009 SN 206 and 2007 MC 197. Of that genre boat, we all love the 196, but if you need the open bow I think the 206 or late model LXi is a great choice.

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