When it comes to buying a new ski boat, you have to do a lot more than kick the tires. You have to be in the know. An informed buyer is a smart buyer. Here at WATERSKI, we want to help you become that informed buyer, which is why we put together this tutorial of details you should pay attention to while shopping for your new ski boat or wakeboard boat. The areas we focus on are size, test drives, trailering, insurance, financing and a final checklist to complete the search for your ultimate water machine. Keep this boat buyers guide in mind as you navigate through our 2012 ski boat reviews, then use it as a reference guide when you’re hitting the dealerships. Trust us, we’re in this with you.
At the beach during spring break, all the $5 T-shirts claim “one size fits all.” Well, this isn’t the beach, and it sure isn’t chump change you’re laying down for a new ski boat, so understanding how to pick the right size for you is the surest way to get the best bang for your buck.
This means you need to pay attention to the beam, which is the measured width of the boat at its widest point. Wider ski boats and wakeboarding boats can mean more interior space available, which means more friends can hop aboard. The interior space is also influenced by the hull and deck styling, so a larger beam does not necessarily mean more room. The affect on performance is much more difficult to measure as the beam changes.
The prime length for boats designed primarily for water skiing is about 20 feet or so, and a wider boat will often ride higher, thus displacing less water and providing a smaller wake. On the other side of the aisle, though, the ideal size for a wakeboarding boat tends to be in the 21- to 24-foot range, with at least a 100- to 102-inch beam.
The larger the boat’s surface area, the more weight required to displace water. Because of this, larger boats sometimes sacrifice performance and don’t always make a bigger or better wake.