View Full Version : Looking for insider opinions

02-20-2006, 02:28 PM
First time buyer here looking for a little insite from those of you who are in the know. I recently moved to Lake Norman, NC and have been in the market for a ski boat. I have never owned one before and my skiing experience has been limited to rental I/O boats during family vacations. Just for fun, I went to the local boat show and walked away having put in an order for an Outback. My main interest is slalom, maybe taking a try at the wake stuff sometime down the road. As far as boat choice, I am happy with the decision; the only other model I would have gone with is the Outback LS, but that bumps the price a little much and I'm not sure about the wake quality. My questions to you:
My boat will be delivered in May. My list of options includes:
325hp MPI upgrade w/ cruise control, depth finder, bow cover, logo cover, NO TOWER, fiberglass platform, pop-up cleats, dealer package of 1 year free service.
With the show incentives, I am walking away at exactly $28,000. This seems like a very good deal to me. Could I trouble a couple of you to validate this price for me as compared to your Outback purchases?

My next question-- I have a couple more weeks to back out of the boat if I wish to do so. As a first time boat buyer, I do not know how much I will use the boat, how comfortable the boat will be on my lake, or other answers to boating lifestyle anomalies. Because of this, I am slightly aprehensive about diving into a brand new boat. My other option is to purchase used to find out my boating preferences. If I were to go that route, I would want to spend about $12,000 - $15,000 on a Mastercraft, Correct Craft, Supra, etc. From what I see, any boat that fits that description is either highly used with many hours or is a good deal but located too far away. I am not crazy about buying a boat that you do not know the history of or how it was used. In reading some of your posts, the 'new Moomba vs. used other' conflict is common. Has anyone else been in this situation and how did it work out for you? I guess I am just looking for some support to justify my soon-to-be purchase -- a purchase that was impulsive yet well researched.


02-21-2006, 12:15 PM
Tim, welcome to the neighborhood. I occasion Lake Norman. Mostly Lake Hickory, though. If you're ever around the Sandbar or the Rusty Hook, I'm the one in the red Outback. Maybe we could meet up someday @ the McCreary Boat Ramp (I think that's the name of it....the one on NC-150 just before you go over the bridge on the left coming from I-77)
With the frills you mentioned, sounds like you got a good deal. Personally, I would have opted for the tower (no place to hang yer speakers if ya ever get them). Chad Deal of Westport Marina was whom I worked with when buying my '04. They did pretty good by me, I think.
The bare Outback is great for skiing. Just add ballast and slow down to 22-24 mph for Boarding. I think you'll be happy with it.

02-21-2006, 06:16 PM
Tim, You sound exactly like I did this time last year. Buy your Moomba- you won't regret it. My family has enjoyed our Outback more than I could have expected. In one year (8 months actually) my wife and I learned to slalom ski, my 11 year old learned to ski on 2, and my 7 year old can kneeboard like no ones business. I was not in the market for a ski boat until I looked at resale value. Ski boats are expensive but they hold their value quite well. Your $28000 Outback is still $5000 cheaper than anything close to it and $15000 less than the big 3.

02-21-2006, 11:05 PM
Get the Outback. It sounds like you are getting a great deal. You can get the exact boat you want with the exact options and colors. With a new boat, you get full warranty, pride of owning a new boat, and you won't inherit other people's problems.

Congrats on your purchase by the way.

02-21-2006, 11:24 PM
You can investigate boat prices, both new/used at www.nada.com.
What I have seen so far is that these boats hold their value like nobody's business.
My 1999 Mobius has only lost $3000 (or less) from when I purchased it used in 2001 with 30 hours on it.
So if you really don't like it, unloading it will be no problem. But you might have better luck if it has a tower (but you can add that aftermarket before you sell it).

Don't expect these boats to ride like the I/O's you are familiar with. Ski boats that are designed as ski boats (not wakeboard boats) tend to be pretty flat bottomed. They are not good rough water boats and their low profile can lead to some wet moments in the bow. But in my opinion - who cares. They pull great. I bet your Outback could pull 10 skiers....

You will love the boat. It's an inboard ski boat. I think they are all great, and I bet they drive pretty similar. But you can enjoy the money you saved for maybe a down payment on a lake home.....


02-22-2006, 11:04 AM
Thank you, thank you for the replies and support. Full speed ahead with the purchase! Just have to decide on color and finalize the options.

I live in Cornelius off of Catawba, and if I trailer, I'll be in and out at Blythe Landing on the south end. Westport is offering me dry storage for $1600 for the first year, but I'm not sure if that's the way I want to go. I'll definitely have to look you up when I get on the lake.

I opted to go tower-less because I prefer the look without it. The price and the use I would get out of it couldn't convince me to put it on. I'll use a pole extension if we hit the desire to fly higher. Besides, tower prices still look to be dropping, so it won't be a big deal to add one later if desired.

Can't wait for spring!


02-22-2006, 03:25 PM
Tim, Congrats on making your decision. You will not regret it. I had a 02 Outback and never had any mechanical problem at all. Put 100 hrs on it last year.

However if you think there is any POSSIBLE future wakeboarder in your family get the tower from the factory. Because if down the road you want to put a tower on it you have to buy one (about 2K) and have someone install it for you.(more money).

doug, t-town

02-22-2006, 06:06 PM
Not sure where Blythe is, but I can be to McCreary in about 45 min or so from my house. I'm about 3 min from Hickory. I've picked up wakeboarding as a pass time, although I'm not very good. My son does inverts and stuff. Lots of fun to watch.
Lake Norman is pretty big water for a ski boat. Gets choppy out in the channel from all the traffic. I've found that north of the 150 bridge, not as much traffic and real fun for tubing, but still a bit rough for skiing and boarding. You'll have to pick your times when the water is not as bad. Lake Hickory is a bit smaller as you know. On the weekends 12p to about 7p you can't ride for all the chop. but it turns to butter right fast when all the tubers and cruiser go home. We're usually on by 8a or 9a or after 6p for the good sessions when we want to ride on the weekends, otherwise we're on through the week after 4p.
Bought my Outback new at the mid summer boat show at the convention center in Charlotte in 04 and never looked back. I had a bowrider b4 that. Got so hooked on the sporty style of the ski boat that I had to have me one.
My wife says I'm going through my second childhood. Funny though, I don't remember the first one ever coming to an end.

02-22-2006, 08:12 PM
Way to go Tim, you wont regret it.

At the time when I bought my Outback, I coming out of O/B bow rider and was in the market for a used V8 I/O in the 20+ range. At the time I was not 100% committed to an inboard but getting into a new boat for what had budgeted was a proposition I could not walk away from.

Fast-forward 4 years: I dont know what the heck I ever did before an inboard! If you like to play in the water be it Boarding, skiing, tubing or whatever it is the only way to go.

Enjoy, E

Ps go for the tower..

NH Moomba
02-24-2006, 08:13 PM
I bought my Outback LS online from Westport Marine on Lake Norman a couple of years ago. They had just picked up the Moomba franchise. The 2000 LS I have is the same hull as the current Outback. On the test drive, we punched a big hole in a wake from a large boat. That lake had a lot of big boats, making some big wakes and it was off season at the time! I think the newer V drive hulls are better at handling the big stuff than the regular Outback. For my little lake in NH, it isn't a problem but expect to get wet with this hull unless you really pay attention the lake. I still like my boat but wish I had the V drive. We don't slalom much anymore and the kids only wakeboard. I would still get the factory tower, even if you mostly ski. I ended up bolting on the Monster Tower almost immediately. There is so much more room in the boat with ski and wakeboard racks and the re-sale is better.


03-03-2006, 05:56 PM
Thanks for the info, everyone. Yesterday, I made the color choice -- going with Reuben / Sandrock. Against everyone's advise here, I'm still going to opt to stay tower-less. I think it will be more unique to have a tower free ski boat, as it is the norm to see one on every boat; plus I love the undisturbed classic lines. I cannot possibly look at adding more options anyway, as I am young with no credit history, which mades it impossible to get financing beyond 10 years. To keep payments under control, I have to keep my cap at $28,000.

My next decision is dry storage, slip, or to trailer it.
Boat slip: $1600 / year
Dry Storage: $1600 / year
Trailer: Investment in a tow vehicle (minimal)

I am leaning toward selling/trading my '93 Thunderbird 5.0 for an F-150 around the same year. I live down the road from two launches, so trailering may be the way to go for now.

Com'on May!

04-03-2006, 10:27 AM
I purchased an '04 outback in '04. I slalom ski and so do my friends. None of us have any interest in wakeboarding. I absolutely cannot be happier in my decision. I did have several concerns coming from outboards and i/o's. The reverse thing scared me a little. The back will pull to the right as you reverse the boat. There is no other option. It took me all of 3 minutes to get used to it and be able to use it to my advantage. When you approach the dock, instead of hitting it parallel like you would with an outboard, leave an angle, as you get to where you want to be, some reverse will both slow the boat to a gentle stop, and pull the back of the boat to the dock. While it is really easy to do it has a high wow factor for people who haven't driven ski boats before. The other thing that's neat, is that with a little finesse, you can turn the boat 360 degrees on its axis with carefull throttle control. And of course the best reason to get the outback is the sweet ski wakes.

04-03-2006, 10:52 AM
Originally posted by TimGT3
Thanks for the info, everyone. Yesterday, I made the color choice -- going with Reuben / Sandrock.

Sweet color choice. I loved the reuben. Not Genx, but a splash of style.
I bought off the lot and got a great deal because the dealer had a grey on white in stock and they didnt think it would move. As it was sitting out front waiting for my wife and I to come up and pick it up, salesguy had 2 inquries on it. I wanted something conservative. Had we ordered a craft from teh factory, it would have been reuben.

Originally posted by TimGT3
Com'on May!
May??? I'm sitting here waiting for the thunderheads to clear off. We use West Point lake on the GA/AL line. Still a wee bit nippy, but a spring suit makes it tolerable.

BTW, congrats on the purchase. I'm coming from an I/O and wonder why it took us this long. No regrets. Enjoy it, use it.

04-29-2006, 09:16 AM
The boat has arrived!!

Got the call on Wednesday that the boat fairy had visited. As of my last inqury, I was told it would be about the second week in May that delivery would take place. Imagine my surprise when it showed up two weeks earlier. It is still at the marina while I am going about getting the down payment togther as well as finding a tow vehicle -- no luck in selling/trading my Tunderbird for a pickup thus far.

The Reuben red is lighter in person that I had thought. I had to ask to make sure that it wasn't Regal by mistake -- I'm sure if you sit it next to one that is Regal red, the difference in color is huge. Nonetheless, it is beautiful. It has already been de-winterized from it's factory condition and lake tested. It's just sitting in one of the storage buildings waiting for me to close the deal! -- It may have to stay there for another week, maybe two, while get everything together on my end.

Current lake temperature: 72 degrees.

04-29-2006, 09:16 PM
Originally posted by TimGT3

The boat has arrived!!
Current lake temperature: 72 degrees.

Congrats man. Get us some pics ASAP.
You will enjoy the new craft.