Tennessee’s Norris Lake is close enough to Knoxville to draw a large fraternity of action-seeking weekend boaters. It’s also close enough to the Appalachian foothills to draw weekday boaters looking for solitude. It was here, during the simplicity of a quiet midweek outing, where the Moomba Outback V seemed to find its mark.
At 22 feet, including swim platform, the newly designed Outback V is made for small-to-midsize lakes, or calm coves on a bigger body of water like Norris. Impressive to us is the heavy application of fiberglass in key structural areas, giving the boat a solid 3,200-pound stance on the run or at rest. This new build allows for a load capacity (people and gear) of 1,700 pounds.
It isn’t unusual to find handrails, cup holders and hardware made of stainless steel in an expensive sport boat. But you’ll go on an endless hunt trying to find this type of construction in a boat built for the rigors of towing water sports, and coming in at less than $35,000 (on a trailer with chrome wheels, no less). Boats in this category routinely retail for at least $10,000 more than that.
While making the Outback V slightly shorter than previous years, Moomba raised the gunwales for more protective freeboard than traditional ski boats. They also introduced a new wakeboard tower that easily folds back to fit under canal bridges or into garages. That’s a good place to keep the boat looking new over the long haul, but out on the lake is where it will shine.
Key Note: To find a watersports boat less than $35,000 that holds its value, buyers would normally be directed to peruse the available used boats on the market.
• The beam was widened and gunwales raised to give the interior a bigger feel for 2009.
• Storage for wakeboards and skis in the transom area or on optional board racks will keep the cockpit uncluttered.
• New driver’s seat can be raised or lowered to fit the size of the helmsman.
Vital Stats * Length Overall (w/ platform): 22′ * Beam: 8′ * Dry Weight: 3,200 lb. * Weight Capacity: 1,700 lb. * Fuel Capacity: 40 gal. * Maximum HP: 340 * MSRP (w/ 325 hp V-8): $33,995 * NMMA Certified: Yes Test Drive * Test Engine: 340 CAT/ETX MPI * Test Prop: 4-blade CNC Top Speed: 40 MPH * Time to 30 MPH: 5.5 sec. * Time to 36 MPH: 8.7 sec.