For skiers who want to train like a full-time professional but only have part-time cash, a used ski boat might be your best option. Some of the classic hull designs from the last 20 years that were tested in WATERSKI‘s annual Boat Buyers Guide won’t necessarily match the performance of today’s hard-core tournament ski boats, but they’ll get you close. Take a look at these pre-owned ski boats and decide for yourself.
1993 Supra Comp TS6M
Similar model years: 1984-1999
Performance: Low-play, low-effort steering makes for great tracking in the slalom course with sports-car-like tight turns.
Wake: Small, soft wakes are perfect for serious course skiing, especially at deep shortline. It handles well at trick speeds with hardly any change in its planing attitude, even at slower speeds.
What we said: Quality materials and construction methods make this an extremely solid boat that will withstand hard skiing and still look good.
Used price range: Very affordable, starting at about $6,000, depending on the amount of restoration work.
1994 MasterCraft ProStar 190
Similar model years: 1992-1995
Performance: Good tracking qualities produce instant, precise response to directional corrections against a medium steering effort. There is a following of skiers and enthusiasts who love this hull and care for them like they are part of the family.
Wake: Clean, flat wakes and very low hull-side spray. For the slalom purists, there are few boats, if any, better than the ProStar. This hull had very defined trick wakes yet crossed over well.
What we said: The ProStar 190 is the type of boat ski schools love. It isn’t just a boat for world-class shortline skiers; it’s also a driver’s boat with a well-designed helm.
Used price range: $8,000 to $16,000 or more.
1999 Malibu Response LX
Similar model years: 1996-2002
Performance: Power packages were numerous and provided skiers with performance numbers that were off the charts. This ski boat had the ability to pull barefooters and jumpers alike.
Wake: This ski boat has phenomenal low wakes for slalom and no bump at 22 off. Trick skiers find the wakes clean and the table smooth.
What we said: For several years running, the Malibu Response LX has been one of our favorite all-around ski boats. This versatile open-bow tow boat has earned a reputation for delivering all-event versatility, high-end towing performance and high levels of customer satisfaction.
Used price range: $8,000 to $18,000.
1997 Correct Craft Ski Nautique
Similar model years: 1997-2001
Performance: It’s an easy, non-jarring ride that makes the hours in the driver’s seat less tiresome. There is a big following for these ski boats. Many skiers still utilize these hulls for training.
Wake: Some consider the “bubble back” Ski Nautique the best overall tournament ski boat ever designed. Kristi Overton set a world slalom record behind one in the model’s first year that has only recently been matched.
What we said: Competitive skiers will salivate over the wake improvements, while skiers wanting the finest in engineering, quality and craftsmanship should give the boat series serious consideration.
Used price range: Low-hour boats will range from $10,000 to $18,000.
1999 MB Sports Boss 190
Similar model years: 1997-2003
Performance: Power is plentiful. Tight, responsive handling and low-effort tracking offer an incredible world-class tournament drive.
Wake: Low, soft wakes are equally as satisfying to the rookie skier as to the shortline slalom course ripper.
What we said: This ski boat is world-class across the board. Mike Brendel created one of the finest slalom ski boats ever built.
Used price range: $17,000 to $21,000. You’ll find the majority of used MBs on the West Coast.