View Full Version : How to compare Moomba models?

02-20-2004, 10:21 PM
I am looking to purchase an economic ski boat, and as a result, have wound up looking mainly at Moomba boats :-).

The only problem that I have, is despite my research (including browsing this website), I can't determine the significant differences between the Outback v. Outback LS v. Mobius? I am not looking for a V-Drive, so I am only comparing the stern drives; however, between those, I haven't noticed significant differences.

I did see one matrix of specifications, but it didn't really point out significant differences as far as included features and such.

Does anyone have a link, or additional comparitive information?

Also, I was wondering how much has changed (and approximately what year) so that I could determine whether I could get away with a pre-owned Moomba. I am presently looking at a 1999 Outback.

I was wondering whether Balast tanks are included on most models, and if this isn't included on all boats, whether there is a factory addition that can be done to enable the feature - possibly on older Moomba's as well?

One last item - I've read a few messages where people have mentioned PerfectPass. Is this an option on Moomba boats? Is it standard on any of the models?

Thank you all, in advance, for any suggestions!

02-21-2004, 06:16 AM
Are you looking at a boat for skiing and wakeboarding, or mostly wakeboarding? The Outback is geared more towards being an all around boat (the LS is a higher end model), while the Mobius is geared more towards wakeboarding.

You could get a lot of questions answered by your local dealer....have you tried them yet? There's a dealer search feature here in case you don't know of one close by.

Good luck with your search and let us know what you end up with.


02-21-2004, 08:08 AM
Hi Brian,
Thanks for the reply. I was able to discern that the "LS" was the upper-end model, and that the Mobius was better for wakeboarding, but this doesn't provide any specific idea of what is different, which could help me determine the payoff between switching to one or another. I had expected that a company information website, such as this one, could provide this type of information. I hoped I could learn what the "LS" model includes that makes it worth the upgrade, what the down side of going with the Outback v. Mobius is (btw - although I primarily ski, if there isn't any significant drawback to going with the wakeboard oriented boat while providing a great wake when needed, then maybe that is the way to go).

The reason I prefer not to speak with the salesperson, is that I am primarily searching on the pre-owned market. I don't want to waste a salesperson's time, mislead them, or be pressured to purchase something that isn't in my price range. Also, because I've become accustomed to being able to get this very specific, objective (non-pressured-sales-speak) information directly from the web.

With that said, any ideas where to get a little more in the way of specifics without speaking to a dealer? Possibly an article between Moomba models, a contact within Moomba, etc?

Thanks again!

02-22-2004, 05:26 AM
Try going to Waterski Magazine's website.....they recently did a Buyer's Guide and had brief descriptions and impressions of the different Moomba models.

Also, you might be suprised how helpful a dealer would be even if you aren't buying a new boat. A smart dealer will realize you might be a future costumer and would be glad to answer any questions you might have, or they might have a trade in on the lot that's just what you're looking for. From my limited experience, these guys are not sleazy like car dealers.....and Skier's Choice holds them accountable.


02-22-2004, 06:46 AM
Here, let me give you a bit more. Specifically for 99, the Mobius, Outback, Kanga, and Outback LS were available. I've used all except the Kanga, and I have an Outback. They were basically identical, from hull, engine, and controls perspectives. If you do some searching on this board, assuming they haven't lost the archives, you will find descriptions of hull differences year to year between various models. I have the 99 sales brochure in front of my right now. Bang for the buck was unmatched by other manufacturers that year, nor since. Quality was adequate. Problems, in general, include substandard fasteners for the trim parts, a little bit of hull-flex that might cause the center windshield to fit poorly...all pretty much cursory and asthetic in nature. There is no better value. These boats sit really, really low in the water though. Lower than competitors by several inches. Great for normal lakes and rivers, not for Barnegat Bay or Lake Erie...

The LS had a ski locker across the back with flip-up cushions as well as a seat. Same for the Mobius. The base Outback had a larger rear seat and didn't have the rear locker. There is significantly more open cockpit in the Outback than the other two for that reason.

The Kanga is a base Outback with a closed bow. Graphics say "Kanga". Nice boat.

The Mobius had metalflake paint, different graphics that said "Mobius", a four blade prop, a Bertha ballast system of some sort and a tower which was technically optional but I think pratically most had em. It was about $4 or 5000 more than my base Outback, which I bought in 99 at list price of about 21,995 on a single axle trailer and that included skis, vests and a dealer-provided Skylon instead of tower.

GM 350 V8 via Indmar Marine was the exclusive power, and it is a hoss. Carb version was rated at 310 HP at flywheel; optional injected version gave 320 HP. Carb is great, but injected is even better. Less vapor lock on hot restart, but let me emphasize, carb is not bad. Transmission and running gear are high quality components used elsewhere in the marine industry.

Hull specs: L 20'6" without platform ( adds about 18 inches ). W 92". Capacity 8 adults. Weight 2600 lbs ( exc. Kanga @ 2500 ). Gas tank 26 gal ( exc. base Outback which has 30 gal ).

Trailer can be single or tandem. Hope that helps.

02-22-2004, 07:13 AM
Regarding utility, all of these 99 boats performed about the same. They are direct-drives with same hull, weight and balance. They wakeboard, they ski.

We generally wakeboard with 6 adults, (three on the back seat, one in the passenger seat facing back, one driving, and one on the board.) This gives a solid wake at 18 to 21 mph that you can access with a shortened ski rope ( about 15 off ). Remember, wake boarding was just emerging into the mainstream then, so the bigger, wider, higher-weight capacity inboards and V drives were not yet available. The wake on newer boats might develop further back.

8 adults is really pushing it for capacity. You trip over each other and the boat sits too low. Easy to take a wave over the bow. 6 is more practical.

On the mobius, with 8 adults and the ballast you will be in danger of swamping in chop.

Practically speaking, these boats are the way to get into the sport. The newer you buy from Moomba, the better you might be from the viewpoint of wake development. But 99's are good enough for us.

02-22-2004, 07:25 AM
Oops, The Kanga is like the LS ( not the base Outback ) with a closed bow. It has the ski locker. Good luck! Check out the various mags like waterboy suggests, also.

02-22-2004, 10:54 AM
Wow, Catdog1, thanks so much for the thorough information!

That is exactly the type of thing I was looking for. I read the Waterski Buyer's Guide review as well, which mentions some specifics such as 2" difference in Hull size from the LS to standard Outback. It seems the Kanga was even a bit longer that both of those.

I have been a slalom skier for 16 years, I've just always owned older tow boats where the decision was easier as a result of wake size being a concern for only one sport! Now that we've moved to a lake, I am going to buy a newer boat and get into wakeboarding a little bit - it's just so difficult to understand whether the tradeoff between a Mobius (stern model) and Outback is over-committing to one sport or another. That is to say, can one serve both better than the other (e.g. if I buy the Mobius, will I get a 100% better wake, and only lose 10% on the slalom side - or alternatively, if I buy the Outback, will I get 50% better wake on the slalom side, but 100% worse wakeboard wake). That trade-off is difficult for me to understand, because I'm having a difficult time determining what is marketing hype regarding the differences between wakeboard boats (stren driven) and boats that are marketed for slalom skiing. Certainly I can put the tower on either, and I assume I can put ballasts on either, but I'm wondering if instead of trying to make a slalom boat into a semi-decent wake boat, whether it would just be easier to *start* with a wake boat and use it for slalom.

I'm not a particularly exeptional skiier, which usually puts me at 15-22 off in the course, and I often read this range is where boats intended for wakeboarding have particularly difficult wakes for course runs.

There is also a Tige boat I noticed for sale for about the same price as the Outbacks - which uses some sort of trim-plate style system, that sounds like it might provide a good blend. Like everything else, it's just difficult to determine good marketing from truly good/worthwhile engineering. That is one of the main reasons I am asking owners.

Thanks again for the exceptional information you've provided!

02-22-2004, 11:31 AM
Glad to help. I think the hulls started changing in 00 or 01, differentiation of one boat to another, and according to everything I can find, the 99's were actually identical. I remember studying the mobius and base outback side by side at the dealer. Maybe the mobius also had a third fin that year....maybe it was the Boomerang ... maybe both, I can't remember. But that's about it for the differences.

Anyway, others here have newer experience and more brand-to-brand experience. My experience is the 99's are a decent blend, better for ski than wakeboard by todays standards, but a decent blend. At 35 mph, there is bumpiness in the center. If you want an idea of the wake, look-up the video on the board by BensonWdby, some of the slalom was shot behind a mobius or outback. Don't forget to turn on the sound. Its hysterical, especially when his wife says 'he's dowwwwwnnn".

Speaking used, one key thing I like is there is supposed to be no wood in the construction ( although the dash panel is made over plywood base). So, you have no problem with rot. Not sure about the tige.

A used Supra Launch would be another choice. They have a bit more hull than the moombas.

02-22-2004, 11:45 AM
Overtons new catalog is showing a wake plate retrofit for about $500. Some of the guys on here, and on the Supra board, have explored different options on adding wakeplates.

02-22-2004, 12:40 PM
Web site Catdog mentions:

The Full Pass video was shot behind a 99 Mobius with no ballast, 300 lbs of passengers (one driver, one spotter), at 30 MPH in rough water.

I have had the opportunity to ski behind a lot of older boats, but nothing newer than our 99. I have free skied behind our boat with five passengers and maybe one fat

My experience over the years suggsts that if you are on your edge correctly the wake is not a big deal. At least I don't notice mentally, but it might be effecting my skiing. I don't ski with people who can really tell me what might be influencing my skiing.

I did have a chance to free ski at 40 MPH once this last year as my daughter was learning why we have two speedometers. No wake problem there....


02-25-2004, 11:32 AM
Thanks to everyone. I just visited a local Moomba dealer and had a look at the boats. The gel coats and interiors look great - the boats just appear a tad bit lower than others, as cat mentioned.

At this point, I'm having a difficult time determining whether there is really much difference between the Outback LS and Mobius LS.

It sounds as if they essentially have the same hulls, although the Mobius offers the ballast and cage standard. In other words, although the Mobius LS is marketed as more of a wakeboarding boat, its ski wake is just as efficient as the Outback, since a ballast can be deflated and a cage certainly won't affect skiing. Is this a fair statement?

At this point, I guess what I'm getting down to, is what a person gets for the extra cost of a Mobius LS vs. Outback LS - which appears to be the ballast and cage alone. Second, what the trade-off would be from a slalom perspective, which appears to be none.

One other item -- are Moomba's powered by the paddle speedo, and/or easy to upgrade to a Perfect Pass system?

Thanks again for all of the great input!

02-26-2004, 05:17 AM
I might have to go back and re-read the Waterski Magazine article, but I thought they rated the slalom wakes better on the Outback.


02-26-2004, 10:23 AM
Brian is correct the slalom wake on the regular Outback is a touch better than that on the Outback LS. If you intend to ski the course primarily then look at the standard outback. If your search is for a great family boat then the Outback LS or the Mobius LS are great choices. We purchased an '03 Outback LS last year and the boat is great, no problems at all. As for model selection in 2001 and newer models the wake for skiing is identical when you compare the Outback LS and The Mobius direct drive, now called the Mobius LS. You're correct the only difference is tower, ballast, and hydraulic wake plate. All are options on the Outback LS. Perfect Pass is available for all the Moomba models and can be installed by a fairly knowledgable DIYer. The hydraulic wake plate is a must have in my opinion if you intend to try to change between slalom and wakeboarding. The hydraulic plate is contolled by a small stalk on the steering colum and it really does change the shape and attitude of the wake. I do wish that we would have purchased a Modius with the two bag ballast system and tower now. I say that just because I never thought we would get into wakeboarding as much as we have. Now I'm purchasing all that stuff and adding it. Other items I would get if I could go back (still need to convince the wife too) and do it over again are: EFI engine, perfect pass, pop-up cleats, heater, and tandem axle trailer. If you have any other questions send me an e-mail and I'll try to help. Moomba boats are great and I really do love ours. Good luck!


02-26-2004, 08:22 PM
ditto everything as wishlist items in the last line.

add, depthfinder and spare prop kit.

(Latter might not be needed if you invest in the former.)

02-27-2004, 03:25 AM
This is such excellent information - thank you so much. This topic of add-ons raise a couple new questions:

* Because I am looking at used boats, is there a method to easily determine whether an engine is the "EFI" model you recommend? For example, the Moomba Outbacks that I've found have "310HP Indmar Assault Engine" or "Indmar 350, 310HP Engine" - is one of these two models the EFI version, or would this be stated separate from the name?

* Based on your very helpful advice, I am interested in the potential of the Wake Plate. I now understand that the plate can increase the potential of wakeboarding wakes; however, I am more interested in whether it can substantially reduce the stock Outback to a more slalom-friendly wake? In other words, an Outback without the plate VS. Outback with the plate; without consideration for the wakeboard wake, will the Outback with the plate (positioned properly) have a smaller slalom wake?

* At the top of my list is a 1999 Mobius vs. 2000 Outback (Mobius is about $400 more). If I were to go with the 2000 Outback, can the "real" factory ballasts be added inexpensively, or does something have t be retro-fitted with a third party system?

* Based on what was written, it sounds like the Moombas do use the paddle wheel speedo sensors, so the Perfect Pass installation doesn't require any new sensor installation?

Thanks to Catman, JBurnside and others, I think I'll probably buy a Moomba this weekend. You guys should get some sort of referral bonus! :-). Thanks again to everyone.

02-27-2004, 09:58 AM
The standard carb Indmar motors that Moomba uses appear to all be the 310hp model. All the EFI upgrades are higher hp models ie. 320 and 330. We have the standard 310hp carb motor and it works fine, no problem pulling skiers or boarders. My issue is when we launch our boat in spring or fall we have to sit at the dock and wait for the engine to warm up. If you are on a lake then that shouldn't be much of a concern. The other things that make me want to upgrade the motor are long term dependability, resale value, and lastly a slight performance increase.

Hydraulic wake plate will flatten out the wake on any model that you get. I've ridden in several Moomba models including the Outback LSV (V-Drive boat) and it does make a difference. But the question really is Outback vs. Mobius. It's my opinion that the standard Outback with the fixed plate will still produce a slightly flatter slalom wake than the Mobius with a hydraulic plate. The hulls are different.

You can add the factory ballast to the Outback and it will improve the wakeboarding wake but you should consider looking at aftermarket bags and pumps if you go with the Outback. I believe to throw a good size wake for boarding you will need to sac the boat out a good bit more than the factory items will allow. Also, if the Outback does not have a tower on it you will need to look at those to improve your boarding experiance. To add the factory tower on my Outback LS at my dealer it will cost around $2000.00 installed (no board racks). To add factory ballast (1 bag in the ski locker and utilize the hard tank under the rear seat) I was quoted just under $900.00. I'm doing neither, I just received my "Monster Tower" yesterday in the mail (tower and 2 board racks) for $1295.00. Appears to be easy enough to install and the company gets rave reviews all over the web. For ballast this summer I have ordered a 300lb bag to put in my ski locker and I'm gonna try to use the factory tank under the rear seat. I'm gonna do it with two hand held pumps rather than installing the automatic fill & drain system. Total cost, less than $500.00.

Sorry for the long post everyone, it's still 35 degrees in Michigan and I won't see the water for another 4 weeks (spelled ICE) and it will probably be 6 - 8 weeks before we get in the water to have fun. Oh well, at least discussing it here keeps me going.