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Hello all, Truly a newbie here. I've maybe been on a power boat a dozen times in my life but my wife just told me that she'd like to get a boat. Please forgive my lack of understanding of boats in general as I ask my questions here. Also, I'm about to write a novel here. Thanks to anyone who takes the time to read the whole book. Very much appreciate any help you all have for me. I've gotten some info from a few of my friends who are boat owners. They each have different thoughts but there are a couple things that have been consistent in what they've told me. I wanted to lay out my situation and thoughts here and get some advice and guidance from the community. First, my buddies have all told me to get a surf boat. They've each independently said that it's the best family experience and will be what my kids will most likely enjoy the most. Having said that, they have also said that I also want a boat that we could ski or wakeboard behind as well. My personal expectation is that we'll primarily surf and pull a tube. I dont know for sure but that is what I'm targeting for the boat. I was also told that a better boat that creates a better wake is not just for expert level surfers but that it is maybe even more important for beginners as it is much easier to get up and then to learn on. So I started checking out surf boats... I was shocked (like, go in the other room and check my drawers shocked), at the cost of a good surfing boat!! I'd hoped to get into this at about 30K but wanted to make sure that I was basing my price point on reality rather than just a number I came up with. 3 of my friends own relatively new boats but one of them owns a 2002 so I called him asking how to do this on a budget. He told me that it's doable but there are some big compromises to make it work. He said that his next boat will be different and, because his family is so in to it, he will sacrifice to spend some money for an upgrade in the next few years. I asked each of them then, keeping in mind that I'm not made of money and would like to do this in the most intelligently conservative way possible, what year I should set as maybe the oldest boat I should consider. They each gave me a different, but similar year ranging from 2011 to 2015. All of them consistently said that it can be done with earlier boats but that the current surf technology was developed in one of those years. They also said that buying a good boat from those years would really get me the technology that is being built into today's boats. It keeps getting refined but hasn't really changed since then. We have 3 kids 15 and under. We live in Utah so it will be all lake and reservoir boating. May include both big and small lakes. So, after that big intro.... I'll ask some specific questions and lay out my considerations but I also ask for any general info that anyone may think I need or would be helpful. All of my questions ultimately roll up to one single question, "What boats should I look at to be as budget minded as possible (60k or less for sure) but get the a good experience for my family, and in a boat that I'm not going to want to upgrade from in the next several years".... My thoughts and questions... 1. I had originally been interested in an Avalanche based on online comments that it makes a great wake, but I dont want to have to add weights and ballast manually and would prefer not to have to add any wake creating devices by hand to the boat to get a good wake. I'd like the surfability to be as automated as possible. When I go boating I want to boat, not manage the boat... I assume that this is why my friends told me to go with a newer boat from a minimum years I listed. (Any consensus on an oldest year to consider?) 2. I dont necessarily want high luxury but I do value good build quality and reliability. I dont want popping seams, stitching coming apart, or electronics issues being a big part of my boating experience. I dont know whether to look at the main brands or one of the value focused brands. Specific to centurian I wonder about the difference between Centurian and Supreme. Is the build quality and surf system just as good but the boat just isnt as nice and luxurious? Or is there a better build quality and usability in the upper lines? For example, would I be better served buying a 2012 Enzo or a 2015 Supreme? I know this is a Centurion forum, but similarly, should I consider Moomba, Axxis, even Heyday instead of older Mailbu/Centurian/MC/Nautica/Tige? 3. In reading about wake quality I've developed an personal perception of wake quality in the different brands. I want to validate correct my view. Please correct or comment on the following; Super Nautique - I've been told this is the gold standard. The wake is huge and long but it is also steep so it really is only the gold standard for expert surfers. For other surfers the gold standard is maybe Tige or Centurion??? Centurian/Supreme - hull shape makes a great wake with less ballast than other brands. Wake great quality and is easy to surf. Is there a difference in wake quality between the two? Malibu/Axis - seem like, at least in the older years, they seemed to be more focused on wakeboarding. Are they as good as the centurion lines now for surfing? Value? Tige - Have read that, similar to Centurion, they have a deep hull design that makes a great wake. Have heard that it is a much better wake on the goofy side than the Centurion. Mastercraft - thoughts? Is the X series as good for surfing as others mentioned here? Is the NXT a good option? Moomba - seems like a great value and I've read great things about the surfability. Any other concerns or considerations? Heyday - Great value. Seems to be a newer and not mainstream brand but seems to rate well on wake. The places I've read say that the wake isnt as good as the top boats though.. anyone have any experience? Is the layout od the boat a good place for the family to hang out? One of my friends almost bought one of these. Resale value? Yamaha - my wife likes these but they dont really seem to be made for surfing. Correct? I haven't really been considering these for that reason. Are all of these boats usable for wakeboarding and skiing or do some compromise those aspects more than others? Lastly, Any advice on buying? Best time to buy? How to get the best deal? As I look at listings for boats, it seems that the cost to buy one of the value brands vs the main brands seems to converge on the 2012 to 2015 years.it seems like there may only be a 10 grand and 1 model year difference to buy a centurian vs a supreme for example. Am I seeing that wrong? Thoughts on this? Again, Thanks again for any help. Happy boating all!
Hey guys, I saw the other thread on this subject but didn't want to hijack. I have been to Powell a couple times, years ago, and have sworn to go back as I consider it to be one of those "must see" places. The plan is to go for my 40th birthday which is in August 2013. It doesn't have to be in August, so pretty much anytime pre/post or middle of summer 2013. Where is the best place to start as far as renting a houseboat, when is the best time to go, how far in advance should I start booking, etc, etc. I appreciate any and all information. Long story short, I've been a couple times but have never been the organizer so I merely paid my share and showed up. More than likely I'll be the one organizing, driving the boat, bringing the boat, etc this time around so I want to be prepared. Thanks!