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Dilemma: Waterskiing - Sea Doo vs small outboard boat (15 ft Glastron)

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  • #31
    I'm going to chime in real quick with my thoughts.. Your first priority with looking at fiberglass boats this old is if it's rotten. Unfortunately most old glass boats that are selling for cheap are rotten. As others have said, the condition of the boat is everything. Soft spots ANYWHERE in the floor, and you need to run as fast as you can. Don't let anyone fool you and say, "oh and the floor has just one little soft spot, not a big deal just needs a little patch". I just want you to understand that rotten boats are not safe for you or your friends, look up transom failures. Unfortunately it's going to be hard to find a boat in your price range that won't need structural work. You need to look very closely at the structure of what you're looking at. Are the seats in good condition? If not it has probably been left out in the elements. There are other ways to inspect an old fiberglass boat, I'm sure other members can give their thoughts on this too.

    And have fun skiing! I'm about the same age as you and it's all I do in the summer. There's nothing like it.


    • #32
      Since you have already taken towing out of the decision, before you buy anything figure out some way to ski behind a direct drive boat. If you're as serious about skiing as you say you are then once you've skied behind a direct drive nothing else will ever be "good enough". You can find older Malibu Skiers or Nautiques in your price range and the much simpler drive system will cost you less maintenance $$ in the long run. If there's a ski club in your area the cheapest skiing is going to be a club membership and that way you'll get coaching and ski buddies thrown in.
      Buchanan, SK
      Currently: 2755 Bayliner 5.7 Chev Alpha 1 Gen 1
      In the past: 43 Defever, Malibu Response, Various runabouts


      • #33
        I don’t have any experience with Suzuki motors. That’s not a disapproval, I just can’t provide any insight. I believe the ‘85 Evinrude originally had a VRO oil injection system - maybe it has been disabled for pre-mix. Not the end of world if so and prefixing gas is a small inconvenience.

        All things being equal, I have a preference for boats powered closer to their max rating (85 or 90 for gt150) but propped right, a 70 will perform great too. Structural condition of boat (solid wood floor and transom, good Interior is the prop in good shape, or is it chewed up indicating an uncaring owner) and a smooth running motor is more important than 10-15 hp.

        The gold boat boat has a pylon. It is in the middle of boat (probably better for towing, but I still prefer a $25 bridle for reasons stated above). Check to see if you can use the rear seats or move around the boat with the pylon in that spot.

        MOST IMPORTANT is getting the boat in the water and test driving it. Meet at a lake. Take along a friend who knows boats.

        Good luck.


        • #34
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          Man, I'm going to have to try skiing on a small OB again. Or lose a lot of weight. 185# deepwater start on a double wrap 66" is a 30 second adventure behind my boat. I might try re-propping this year.

          '86 Glastron Conroy X-19, Merc 170
          '04 Carolina Skiff J14, 25 hp Mercury
          Richmond/Montross, VA