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Thoughts and demo rides of wake / towsports boats: Moomba Max, Axis A22, MB Sports

haknslash

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I went to the boat show today in Birmingham and crawled over a lot of boats, mainly the surf boats though. I think this may be the next type of boat I end up getting unless there's some kind of real surf advancement in jet boats in the next few years. A lot of the wake boats are way out of my price range and well into six figures but the budget wake boats are something I could see myself getting into one day.

For me the new Moomba Max really is an amazing machine for the money IMHO. I spoke with a very nice and patient gentleman who works at the factory in TN and he was glad to go over all the details about the boat and explained a lot of the things I had wanted to know about v-drives. You can just see there is a lot of thought put into these boats and they certainly have a Supra feel to them at about half the price. The A2 tower is spring assisted and counter balanced so one person can take them down. There are no bolts to screw in to lock the tower ;). Just rotate the tower locking clamps on the inner sides and it will fold down inside the cockpit with the bimini folded up. The bimini unforuntaely doesn't cover a lot behind in the cockpit so this was kind of a bummer compared to the bimini style on our Yamaha boat towers.

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Something I did not realize is Moomba boats have the Supra heritage and share the same lower hull design. The Supra boats have the newer Flow 3.0 surf system where as Moomba has the Flow 2.0 for this year. I compared both the bottom hulls out back and they looked damn near identical. Supras are known for a good, dry ride even in rough water so this was good to see!..

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It felt near every bit as nice as the Supra SE450 that was sitting across from it. The seats were thick, well stitched materials and were super comfy. What I really liked about the Max was the extreme deep storage all throughout the boat, hence it's name. The rear lockers seemed deep enough my 8 year old daughter could have stood straight up in there and I still could have closed the hatch! I wished I took a pic of how deep the rear lockers were it was unbelievable! I'd say about 4' deep storage if not more lol. The engine hatch had a deep plastic tub you can place towels or whatever one to heat them up for cold days. It was equipped with the Raptor 400 engine by Indmar and they also make a 440 version. This one was already equipped with the larger prop for surfing.

The bottoms of the cockpit storage areas are super deep as well with nice touches like a rubber mat material at the bottom so there's no worry of placing something in there wet and getting the carpet soaked. The rest is finished in carpet but also all the edges are finished inside every compartment. The fiberglass has a rolled inner edge so there is no snagging from rough, unfinished edges like in our boats. It's little details like that go a long ways to me when shopping for a next boat. This image does not do justice how deep the side storage was...

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The tech you can put in this boat also carries over from the Supra boats. In addition to the Flow 2.0 surf system you can also get the AutoWake 2.0 with Predictive Wake system which measures every 10th of a second the pitch and roll attitude of the boat and adjust the ballast accordingly. So if anyone moves while you're surfing the system will compensate automatically giving you a more consistent wave every time no matter the load or people placement. Sitting at the helm the display is offset and I really liked that on the Max as it gives you a very clear and straight path looking ahead. All of the controls, toggles and buttons felt of great quality like they would last. The captain's chair was easy to get in and out of unlike my 192 that sits much lower and has some cutouts that make it harder to get in and out of. This seat was taller and had a more traditional L-shape but also had enough boltster to hold you in and it felt very comfy. The flip-up bolster was wide and thick which gave a nice support...

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Over on the other side I really loved how deep the glove box was and also that you can access it from the side access door. I also liked that the sides were padded and stitched nicely which on some wake boat brands its just bare gelcoat like on our boats. I prefer it padded for a nicer look but to also keep the gelcoat from getting scratches from boards or people...

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The spotters seat back hatch is gas assisted and swings up to access the batteries and battery switch. The amps and battery tender were also mounted in this area. I liked that you can access this storage area even from the bow which also had gas assisted seat backs that swing up.. This is looking from the bow area...

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This boat has a beam of 102" so it felt very roomy and wide like our Yamaha boats do. The bow of this boat is not quite traditional bow shape but not quite a pickle fork design either, kind of a mix in between. It had an optional bow filler on this boat, with me at 5'10" sitting in the bow corner I wasn't quite able to fully extend my legs straight out but almost. However the width and wrap around padded seating still felt plenty comfy if I were hanging out up there all day and it still felt plenty huge. The padding of the cushions on this boat really stood out to me compared to some of the other boats.

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I gotta say that for the price of starting out at $60k well equipped with a tandem axle trailer, this really makes the Yamaha "Wake" specific models just seem overpriced if you're buying a boat for watersports. There is enough room on this boat for plenty of hanging out, even at the rear as we all like to enjoy on our Yamaha swim platforms. This really makes upgrading to a 21-24' jetboat for surfing not really an ideal situation for me. One thing I really love about our boats is the lack of maintenance, winterizing, low draft, etc but at the same time I can see myself forgoing those things in favor for a boat that would require a little more maintenance, would need winterizing, has a draft of 27.5" if it has storage for days and will make a hell of a surf wave without a ton of fuss, regardless of people moving around. It just seems like a real winner for the price. I wouldn't be able to get a boat like this until we likely move or I would need to pay for storage or at a marina so there's extra cost involved with a boat like this but man it just seems like a ton of fun can be had without having to stuff bags in all your storage or across the seats on our boats. I hate to say it but I may go to the dark side one day I can swing a boat like this. I thought this was an awesome boat that has no wood, craftsmanship was oozing out of it for not a ton of money compared to say a 212 X or even the more expensive 242 X. I'd likely need to upgrade the rear end ratio in my truck to get me by and to pull a boat this big (boat and trailer are 5,700 lbs) but I plan on upgrading tow rigs in a few years. That new redesigned Dodge Ram sure would be nice to find a one-owner used one in a few years!

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Rod5

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Thanks for the great write up!! I'll be checking it out tomorrow at the Atlanta boat show!
 

haknslash

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Thanks for the great write up!! I'll be checking it out tomorrow at the Atlanta boat show!
Have fun! It's a badass boat!! You're going to flip when you open the rear lockers :D

Here's some video I found on it. There's not a whole lot out there since this is a new model this year.



This guy is annoying as can be with the "dude...x2000" but it does show the boat in detail...


It throws a nice wake and comes with 3,000 lbs ballast standard.

Untitled-2.jpg
 

veedubtek

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Didn't you just post last summer about the V drive boat picking up a tree or something in your lake? lol. I'll never understand one-dimensional boats.
 

haknslash

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Yes I posted pics and story last season of the G23 with a log stuck in it's skeg/fin. It was scary and still haunts me when I think about owning a v-drive :D!! I'll say this though, you can hit a log in anything and our boats are no different. Yea you won't rip off a prop or fin but you may just blow a hole clear through the thin fiberglass so which is worse lol?

But...

For me I use my AR192 for zipping around the lakes and hanging out in coves far more than I do for watersports simply because the jet isn't suited for wake surfing unless you want bags all over the seats or if you hide the bags then you lose the storage. With a wake boat you can do the same except you have far more storage WHILE also hiding the ballast. I'm confused on what you mean by one-dimensional. I don't fish off my boat and never would as I like my interior fish blood and guts-free, same as I wouldn't off a wake boat but that doesn't mean you couldn't fish off either. Or do you mean making trips to Bimini? My 192 isn't really suited for that either and I'll just have to grab a ride with someone on here or local if I want a trip like that one day. If I can lounge off the sun pad on this boat how is that really any less than lounging off the swim platform of a Yamaha? Wake boats are about hanging out in coves, making big wakes and waves, relaxing drives while listening to the V8 rumble. When you think about it they aren't that different from what Yamaha aims for (family lounging and watersports). Sure you'll never take this thing in super skinny water with the prop and fins below but I never boat in water with my Yamaha that I couldn't in a boat like this. I never beach my boat either and always drop anchor in several feet deep so I would do the same in a boat like this. To say you don't understand one-dimensional boats yet you own a fishing boat has me confused with what you mean lol. Is a fishing boat not one-dimensional or are you saying your FSH is not a fishing boat :confused:?

For my needs, a wake boat would do everything I currently do in my boat but with much more wake surfing capability. I don't know when or if I will get a boat like this but I can certainly say I would love to have one if for nothing more than easier surfing no matter the side or size of wave. This boat is priced directly in line with something like a 212X or 240X and if you're wanting to really wake surf I can't see buying a jet again over a wake boat in the same price range unless I cared more about beaching and shallow water capability than surfing. For me that's just not a big deal as I don't beach my boat or drive in skinny water.
 
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veedubtek

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Well, my FSH definitely wasn't a fishing boat, lol. But, it'd do anything I ever asked of it. Now I own a true 1 dimensional boat, a 25' Bennington. Only good for cruising the lake with alot of friends - but it is the absolute best at it. Aint' good for a dam thing else. Sure, I could do some watersports, fish off it, whatever...but it ain't no good at it. With a lakehouse, it just makes sense. I'll buy a SeaHunt Ultra later this year to go along with it and have all my bases covered.
 

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That guy on the video stated you can fit 17 people on the Max. I highly doubt that. 10 if you are lucky. Your lucky to get four people in the bow. Yamaha has big time room and 12 is pushing it. Plus with 17 people I think the top speed would be like 25mph. lol.
 

haknslash

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Top speed for these boats isn't going to be anywhere near what our jet boats can do. My boat could probably outrun most of them. The thing about V8's though is they have big torque and these boats are all about pulling and not really about going fast. You need all that torque and power to pull the thousands of lbs of ballast, gear and people around. I don't think you'll see anyone trying to break speed records in these boats but I also don't think they have much of a performance impact on weight as say we do. Our engines are entirely different and the boats aren't really suited for pulling tons of weight without noticing a big drop in performance and cavitation if you go too far. Just a completely different style of boat, engine and performance characteristics

All boat brands have a crazy persons ratings IMO. I think it's 8 or 9 for my boat. No way I would take 8 people on my 19' boat unless it was mainly small children. Same as trying to take 12 people out in a 240. Doable? Sure but certainly gonna be fun or relaxing rubbing elbows. That being said I think you could fit 4 people in the bow of the Max, depending on their size of course. If you don't want people hot tubbed in the bow you can take out the bow filler cushion and it's a more traditional bow layout. Besides for these kinds of boats the party isn't really in the bow ;)

Heres some pics of the Max tied up next to a Super Nautique G23 for a size reference. If you've been in a G23 you know it's not a small boat...

image.jpeg

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image.jpeg.
 
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jcyamaharider

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My only issue with the inboards is they are so hard to get in and out of, and we are not getting any younger. We are spoiled with our Yamahas and the walk thru transom.
 

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Ya but wakeboard boats have the least amount of room for all run abouts and they always post crazy capacity numbers. Just stupid really. Every wakeboat boat I've been on has way less room than most run abouts. You can barely fit 2 adults in the bows of these boats lol. And to me they are all slow as hell. lol. My friend has a MC x80 and he had 4 people in it while I had 6. Just say it was not even a comparison in speed. He couldn't believe the yammi was that much faster than his. Super antique they all lack in that department. But sure they throw mad wakes tho, something I couldn't justify the price for lol.
 

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Oh the G23 $130k price tag is just out of sense for me for just waking lol. But I do understand. Couple buddies here have those but I'm not that impressed with them. Only thing I like about them is the detailing of the upholstery. ;)
 

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Take a wake boat to bahamas. Or even lake Michigan. Not so fun. Use a Yamaha to surf? Sure! But that's easier done than the wake boat in the rough stuff.
Not saying a g23 or such can't go in rough water, but a Yamaha is more well suited for the comfy cruising. If u are on the water to surf and an occasional cruise around the local lake, that changes the perspective!
 

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I agree. And those low hulls don't help with rough waters either. But Yammies do get thrown around in rough conditions too if you not weighted down. So I guess they all have the pros and cons. Just one con is an overpriced tag.
 

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Being said most of those wake boats do have great attention to detailing for interior and outside graphics.

So I looked at the pics again and saw it stated pop up cleat is included? Damn everyone boat should have that included. Without cleats how you suppose to dock and all? Just dumb in what they state is standard. Cleats shouldn't even be talked about. That should be mandatory. Suction cup mirrors should be stated standard lol.
 

haknslash

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I'd say a Supra, Centurion, Moomba, MB, etc are going to ride much better than a Yamaha jetboat simply because they don't sit on top of the water like a jet boat does. Our hulls are flat at the stern as are some wake boats but again they sit much lower in the water. Some wake boats are a full deep v hull front to back with steep angles which slices through much better than a flatter bottom boat. When I mentioned rough water I'm not talking about taking trips to Bimini and getting caught in a storm. I'm talking about rough chop on the lake which can be rough in our boats because we are lighter and tend to ride more on top of the water than displace as much hull beneath the water as wake boats do. Most of these boats weigh over 1000 lbs more than our boats. All you have to do to test how well your hull is designed is do a figure 8 and drive across your wake perpendicular without dropping the throttle. Our boats will tend to slap more than some wake boats (not all ride good though). I signed up for demos in the spring so this will give me a good chance to compare my boats ride, noise and handling to a few wake boats. I've read on several wake boat forums from previous owners who had a Yamaha or jet boat and I've never seen them say their wake boat rode anything but better. I guess I will find out in a few months.

My guess for the popup cleats is some people simply may not want a cleat but rather the quick release eyelets. I suppose it lets the customer determine if they want those holes in their boat or would rather get something cleaner or custom. After all you can get some pretty slick gelcoat paint jobs so why ruin it with big cleats if you would rather want something that blends in better? I'm all for companies allowing people to fully option out their boat. Yamaha should do that instead of making several trim levels of the same boat. SX, Limited, AR, X are all the same boat just with different trim levels. Just let us spec if we want a digital dash or standard gauges, tower vs folding bimini, pop up cleats vs standard (or none at all), more gelcoat style options than in-yo-face graphics designed for a teenager (I'm looking at you hideous color-matched towers on the 2018's), etc.

Bow space on a wake boat will not be as long as a Yamaha. Yamaha does a really good job of maximizing this area of our boats. If you look at top-down views of our boats you'll notice the cockpit doesn't grow at quite the same rate as the bow does. Meaning the cockpit of a 21' Yamaha isn't going to feel a whole lot smaller than the cockpit of a 24' Yamaha but you can certainly feel the differences in the bow on the two boats. Wake boats seem to grow more in the main cockpit among the boats sizes more than the bow, so it's a bit opposite than our boats. Here is a comparison image I made to illustrate this with lines of reference. Note both boat images were not taken from the same exact perspective but very close. I scaled the boats the same using common shared components like the cup holders and rear grab handle so better get the scale 1:1 between the two boats....
comparison top view.jpg


To say these boats are overpriced I would agree with you if you're talking about the top tier six figure tow boats. For me this boat gives you a lot of bang for the buck, specially when compared to a 212 X or 240 X for water sports use. I mean do you really think a 242 X is worth 70k+ when it's sold and marketed as a Wake boat? For years Yamaha has raised the prices each year on their boats with sometimes nothing new to show for them. The prices of jet boats have sky rocketed over the past 10 years with very little tech or advancement to equate to the rise in cost IMHO.

Edit - I typed a 'Yahama" on the image :D
 
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haknslash

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So you guys got me thinking on size comparisons. I took top view images of the Moomba Helix, Moomba Max, Yamaha 212 Limited and Yamaha SX240 and scaled them all to near 1:1 scale and the results were pretty impressive to say the least. I lined up the nose of the 212 inline with the nose of the Moomba boats. None of the lines taken from the Moomba boats were altered when placed over the Yamaha boats. Obviously this isn't exact science but close enough for spit ballin'. As I explained in my previous post the wake boats traditionally have a large cockpit compared to the bow. What was really interesting was when I took the length from the Moomba and directly compared them to the same areas on the Yamaha's. Take a look and see!

master comparison final2.jpg

Really illustrates what I was saying that Yamaha boats tend to grow more in the bow than they do in the cockpit where it's completely opposite on a wake boat. What this also shows is a 23' Moomba wake boat actually gives you more room per foot than a 24' Yamaha contrary to what it may seem. The majority of space being used in the cockpit and sun pad area where most people would likely hang out. Both boat brands use space to their advantages just in different ways. You get a bigger bow in Yamaha's and an integrated swim platform; you get a bigger cockpit and sun pad lounge in the Moomba's
 
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I'd say a Supra, Centurion, Moomba, MB, etc are going to ride much better than a Yamaha jetboat simply because they don't sit on top of the water like a jet boat does.
I can speak for my own experience. In my case, my MB does pretty much every "boat" thing better than my Yamaha did, except that it doesn't go as fast*. It rides considerably smoother in every condition I've had it in, handles with more precision, tracks through rollers/chop/crosswinds/wakes like it is locked on a track, is quieter, gets better fuel efficiency, holds more stuff, seats more people comfortably, pulls any kind of towed watersport better, has 5000 lbs. of factory ballast, and is built to a completely different standard of workmandship with a different class of materials. Understand that I loved my Yamaha and would (and do) wholeheartedly recommend them for folks looking for a good family runabout and my MB certainly should do all of those things better seeing as how it cost twice as much as my Yamaha did. The Yamaha had a higher top speed and more playful handling, was stone simple to maintain, was immune to prop dings (but not to sucking up crap) and was 100% reliable in the 4 years I owned it.

*top speed of my SX210 in perfect conditions at 400 ASL with two aboard was just shy of 47 mph. Add the family and all of our gear and in 95 - 100 degree air temps and it dropped to about 40. Take it up to Tahoe and it dropped to about 30. Top speed of my MB F22 with the Raptor 400 in perfect conditions at 400 feet ASL is 41 mph. Add the family and all gear in hot temps...and it's 41 mph. Take it up to Tahoe, load it up with two families and all the gear, and it's 41 mph. On this boat, top speed is rev/prop limited and the boat runs out of rpm before it runs out of throttle in almost all conditions (except up on Tahoe where it takes almost all of the throttle to run to top RPM.
 

haknslash

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Good stuff @OrangeTJ !

I want to ask you, when I was going over maintenance with the guy at the show he mentioned sometimes the engine/vdrive will need to be shimmed (or something like that) over its life as they can develop a shudder. I guess similar to how we get a shudder if things get off balance on the impleller or jet pump. Is this a thing with v drives and if so is it a big ordeal and how often? What kind of maintenance do you do now?
 

OrangeTJ

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Engine alignment can get out of spec as motor mount rubber wears, which would first manifest as vibration/shudder and puts strain on things and can result in a broken shaft or transmission damage. Supposed to be checked (just checked with a feeler gauge) each year. I don't think it is something most peop;le ever have to deal with it and frankly the same thing can happen to any boat where vibration damping engine mounts are used. Maintenance on mine has been simple thus far - I change oil every 30 hours, change raw water impeller once a year (although I've done it twice now and the things have looked as good as new both times), change V-drive fluid once a year (again, both times it has looked new). When putting away for the winter, open a few valves to drain water from the heat exchanger and exhaust system. While there are a few more things to do, I'd call it about a wash in terms of total time spent as compared against my twin engine Yamaha, in which I changed oil in both engines at similar intervals and replaced all spark plugs once a year. To be clear, there is more that could wrong with the MB, as there is an accessory drive belt, transmission, v-drive, water pump, etc., as well as ballast gate valves and pumps.

Here's a pic of her the day I brought her home, just for fun.
And a random wave pic. We've actually dialed it in considerably since this pic was taken, but here it's pretty tall. I am finding that I actually like it maybe a bit less tall and longer, so we run more bow weight and go 12 mph (11.2 and all mid/rear weight in this pic).
Here's a pic closer to current surf setup.

 
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