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Opinions: GS22 vs 230

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  • Opinions: GS22 vs 230

    Finally looking to trade my 2004 Malibu 23 LSV. Been a great boat but really looking hard at Nautique. I am considering GS22 or 230. (Wife did not like the G21.)
    Expected use: Surf - 40%, Ski - 10%, Wakeboard - 20%, Tube/ride/hang - 30% We demo'd the GS22 and G21 with 4 and 5 people on board repsectively. 230 was not available the day we were out so we still need to demo it.

    GS22
    - great ski wake for such a heavy boat
    - surf wake noticeably smaller than G21 or 230's I have seen running (may not be problem with more ballast/crew)
    - all ballast in floor makes for a lot of storage
    - feels 'small' when riding and driving it (less freeboard)
    - not certain about the styling in general (for us old farts that remember tri-hull runabouts the GS looks eerily like one)

    230
    - I personally like the 'old-school' styling of the 230.
    - cockpit seems for spacious for adults
    - storage seems shallow
    - no pylon and unknown ski wake
    - Older Linc system (is that good or bad?)
    - No NCRS

    So, the big question is:
    Take a very nicely equipped, in stock 230 or order a GS22???

    One other point is that I noticed that both Nautiques had a lot more mechanical noise while under power than my 2004 LSV. Not exhaust, just engine mechanical noise. In fact, the Nautiques sounded almost like I had my engine cover open on the Malibu. Has anyone else experienced this? Has anyone tried using dynomat or other damping material?
    Last edited by vacooley; 05-29-2017, 09:33 AM.

  • #2
    I kinda know what you mean on "noise"...but what i attribute it to is that new surf pipe and engines are so much quiter, you just notice other noises mote than you would in a traditional non surf pipe/fresh air exhaust. Just my opinion...Have a 2015 SAN 230 and noticed this when moving from a 98 air nautique

    Sent from my SM-G935V using PLT Nautique mobile app

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    • #3
      Both boats tube and wakeboard well from what I here.

      Surf and ski is probably where you need to make your decision. It is very difficult to get a boat that does both well. If you surf as much as you say you do then I'd suggest doing some research on the GS22 surf wake and make sure you'd be happy with it. Same with the 230 ski wake.

      Not sure of you setup but I feel if you want to ski and surf a two boat solution may be better than one. an older NWZ Nautique (93 to 96) can be had for under 10k and will ski great.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Guntersville230 View Post
        I kinda know what you mean on "noise"...but what i attribute it to is that new surf pipe and engines are so much quiter, you just notice other noises mote than you would in a traditional non surf pipe/fresh air exhaust. Just my opinion...Have a 2015 SAN 230 and noticed this when moving from a 98 air nautique

        Sent from my SM-G935V using PLT Nautique mobile app
        I just got off the lake in my LSV. Demo'd the GS22 and G21 yesterday. The transmission/engine noise in the Nautiques was a lot louder than the LSV. The sound was almost a grinding type of sound. I wondered if it was the 'everything else is quieter' thing but after running them a day apart I am quite certain that the Nautique is much louder. My LSV has the mufflers so the exhaust noise is very subdued. I can be in the drivers seat and talk to my son sitting in the back of the cockpit. Had to talk very loud in the Nautique.

        I wonder if the walk-thru transoms are just louder because there is less padding and upholstery over the engine.

        Does anyone know if some engine/transmission packages are louder than others? The GS22 had the ZR4, the G21 had the H5.



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        • #5
          I'm really in this same position. I suspect a gs24 may solve my dilemma, but alas no gs24.

          Im 90% sure I'm going 230. I too love the more traditional style. The 230 just feels like a bigger boat. I don't know if it does have more free board, but it sure seems like it.

          The interior design of the dash area is just so sleek in the GS. I love that!

          I'd love to know others opinions on the freeboard and the older Linc system.


          Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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          • #6
            Here is the ski wake. 33 mph 4 adults in the boat.

            https://vimeo.com/138315955?from=outro-local

            I do miss the ski pylon a little.
            I prefer the older linc system. For me it is easier to read and navigate. Plus it has buttons. My fingers don't work well on touchscreens.
            I actually prefer the pre race car drivers seat.

            Save some money and get a 2015 if you go 230.

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            • #7
              seveet, Thanks for the video. It is what I needed to see. It looks like the ski wake is similar to my LSV. I can probably manage that.

              Just curious, are you pulling from the lift ring in the back?

              What engine are you running?

              Trying to arrange a demo this week sometime.

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              • #8
                Seveet

                Is that a gs22? Or 230? I can't see the video


                Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                • #9
                  Have now put close to 20 hours on the GS22 so I now have some knowledge of the boat that I can share with a reasonable amount of accuracy. Might help for those to know what I'm coming from. Most recent family boat that we traded in was a 05 Mastercraft X-star (pickle-fork). I have owned 6 Mastercrafts and 3 Nautiques. I am a slalom skier but I also like to surf, wakeboard, sky-ski. My boys are wake boarders but will surf as well. I am trying get them into slalom skiing. They are starting to get into it at age 21 and 23. My daughter(age 17) is surf first but will slalom when encouraged. I didn't buy the GS22 for slalom because we own a Ski Nautique 196 that we use for slalom. I bought the GS22 because I saw it as the best for our needs. The super deep freeboard and massiveness of the G23 was simply too much and was afraid of not feeling the openness while on the boat. We don't need world record wakeboard or wake surf wakes. However my sons are full into wake boarding- they are doing inverts etc that I hardly know the names of. I was very nervous about getting rid of the x star as it was a proven wakeboard boat that some say has the perfect wakeboard wake. Surfing behind the Xstar was less than perfect but could be done with the wake shaper device I made and some fat sacs. Fac sacs were also needed for wake boarding as the x star only had 800 lbs of internal ballast.

                  So for the GS22. It has taken some time with the NCRS to figure this feature out. The two aspects of its use that it influences right away are the 1. the sensitivity of weight R and L thus making one think this thing sure tips easily from one side to the other which it does if the NCRS is set incorrectly(lower numbers 0-3). 2. Tracking as influenced by #1. One might first think this boat doesn't track well or like my other boat but that too is a result of too much NCRS influence. After realizing that NCRS setting of #5 is the least amount of plate activation and that this setting is best for higher speeds as far as ride quality and tracking(I know that seems opposite of what you'd think) and best for wake surfing and wake boarding. Lower settings are the most plate activation. The lower settings are best for getting bow down and boat on a plane. There is not much need to use these lower settings while underway unless maybe slalom. The auto mode of NCRS is absolutely awesome. This boat planes off like none I've ever seen- wouldn't surprise me if it is as fast as our 196 out of the hole. NO struggles getting up and on plane with 13 in the boat and full ballast. We did empty belly ballast after a while as the ladies up front were a little nervous of water over the front. We even lowered the port and starboard to about 50% each and surf wake was still very very good. We have also logged time with 3 people in the boat, more ballast needed but still very surf able. My conclusions on wake surfing are this-- an inexperienced surfer will struggle no matter what surf wave your boat throws. I think too many inexperienced surfers are becoming the judges for what a good surf wake is based on personal struggles. My reasoning is that we had all levels of riders in the boat this weekend and the ones who could adapt and learned how to work the wave had no trouble staying on the wave no matter what configuration we were running. Others without the experience or abilities struggled. I hate to say experience because often times an inexperienced rider did better than some who had done it before- they were just better at it.

                  NSS was also experimented with and it seems that a setting of 0 is the best for us while surfing. Confusing that a setting of 0 is actually a setting at all. Seems that 0 would mean that it is not activated at all (but it is). Higher setting creates a more vertical wave and a tendency toward wash but the vertical wave is cool but harder for the less experienced riders. The surf select is very cool and works fast but a tricky move for someone to go from one side to the other. Going to be a trick to work on. Rider ability plays a big role in that move. We never tried any speeds other than 11.2 (factory setting).

                  Driving this boat is one of the best features for me. I am the driver maybe 70% of the time. I started by being overwhelmed with the Linc Panoray but am now at home and its incredible. They have thought that thing out and its really really good. My sons took to it in minutes where it took me a few days. Millenials minds! Controls are easy, visibility is incredible. I took note that some say the windshield frame was in their line of sight and that the mirror wasn't right. So here is my take. I'm 6'1" and at idle speed the frame can be in my line of sight some depending on where i'm looking-close to boat I'm looking below the frame, far way horizon, the frame was in my line of sight. While underway on plane the frame is a non-issue for me. My thoughts are this will be different for each person. Never was a concern for me. The mirror is great- right where it needs to be. I am a mirror snob as well. I put the ptm edge mirror on my ski nautique 196 so I expected to be disappointed but I was not. I love the mirror and where its placed. Never needed the booster seat and glad because I don't like having to mess with a booster seat.

                  The wakeboard wake was perfect according to my son. He loved the shape of it being a little more steep or lippy than the x-star. No problems with washiness even with a lot of folks in the boat. He boarded at same speeds as before- just a little longer rope. He had no complaints at all. X-star was always a pretty wide wake so he liked the wakes being a little narrower making wake to wake easier at longer lengths.

                  General rough water ride was remarkable. Once we put NCRS at 5 and kept belly tank less than full spray up front was no longer an issue. You must be careful with belly ballast full and people up front as they will get wet if NCRS is set to auto. Because getting on a plane is straight ahead and rough water will splash you. So my take here is no auto mode in rough water or enjoy the spray if its warm enough. With auto mode to off and NCRS set to 5 its no problem. This had me very concerned at first, until I figured it out. Wife was not happy. "Our other boat didn't get you wet like this" I figured it out, changed the settings and all is well. X-star was a very good rough water boat as well. Not sure who wins this one but both are very good.


                  The GS22 is very good around the dock, easier to manage than the x-star. Good size. Very easy to get on the trailer-- we put in and take out every day. Love the Boatmate trailer- quality piece of equipment that raises the enjoyment factor-- I know that sounds crazy but it does. I've had trailers that are frustrating. First comments from all those who had spent considerable time in the x-Star was "this boat is bigger right?" Actually the GS22 is 3" shorter than the x-star and has 15 person capacity vs 12, has 1500lbs more internal ballast at 2250lbs, has 59 more horsepower, same beam(100"). Almost every single category I favor the GS22 over our x-star. I do miss the clamping board racks on the x-star. I also miss the folding windscreen in the walk through. However the people space, seating, creature comforts, visibility, stereo, and more go to the GS22. I love the interior space in the GS.
                  Bimini top is very different as well. Unlike any other bimini we've had. It offers more shade when fully deployed and an intermediate shade when folded up. There is not an option for no shade unless you remove it which I don't think is very easy to do. I am now a big fan of the bimini as I don't care for the no shade option. It is very well built. Some have complained about the shortness of the tower. I have hit my head on the bimini bracket arm and on the speakers but I did that on my x-star as well. I don't see them being any shorter than what we had. I believe that I hit my head because I don't wear my reader glasses in the boat and I don't see close objects until they hit me. I can walk center aisle without hitting at all, only when I deviated to the side did I hit.

                  These are my first takes off the top of my head. I can give more and will do so if anyone wants.
                  Last edited by whitecaps; 06-01-2017, 08:59 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Whitecaps, nice write up.

                    Sent from my SM-J320V using Tapatalk

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                    • #11
                      Well, I guess a 230 it is. Working with my dealer this week to take one home soon.

                      After all the "analysis paralysis" I just went with the boat that made me feel the best. The 230 will do everything I want it to well enough and I just like it.

                      Thanks for all the input seveet and whitecap. It was very helpful.

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                      • #12
                        I am pulling off the back hand rail ring. 15 off, but I remember going down to 22 off and it being a little better 1 bump, still behind the rooster tail. I skied behind a 23 LSV that was a diamond hull and it was similar. I am running the 343 at sea level with the stock prop. The only time I struggle is trying to get on plane with all 3300 pounds of ballast full, and I would never wakeboard with that much weight in the boat. I agree on the mechanical noise. I think some of it is the decreased exhaust noise with the surf pipe. I seemed to notice it less as time went on. If wake surfing is one of your primary activities, it is worth upgrading the rear ballast bags to 750's.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by vacooley View Post
                          Well, I guess a 230 it is. Working with my dealer this week to take one home soon.

                          After all the "analysis paralysis" I just went with the boat that made me feel the best. The 230 will do everything I want it to well enough and I just like it.

                          Thanks for all the input seveet and whitecap. It was very helpful.
                          I don't know anything about GS. It you can not go wrong with a 230. Congratulations

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SupraFly View Post
                            I'm really in this same position. I suspect a gs24 may solve my dilemma, but alas no gs24.

                            Im 90% sure I'm going 230. I too love the more traditional style. The 230 just feels like a bigger boat. I don't know if it does have more free board, but it sure seems like it.

                            The interior design of the dash area is just so sleek in the GS. I love that!

                            I'd love to know others opinions on the freeboard and the older Linc system.


                            Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                            Suprafly, as far as freeboard on the GS22 it seems pretty deep. Deeper than I thought it would be based on pictures, etc. I know its considerably taller than my 05 X-star. I didn't want the freeboard of the G23- probably the main reason I was reluctant to go that route. Your appeal for more traditional style is exactly where I was before committing to the GS. All I can say is that one needs to see the GS in person to get a feel for appearance. It has grown on me more and more every time I see it. Best judge for me is what it looks like on the water. Some boats look great on a trailer then not so much in the water and vice versa. I know I really didn't care for the pickle fork of the x-star when it first came out but I bought it anyway because of its functionality. It's styling went from hated by most to the most copied design in years. I am at a stage now where its "function first" and there is no denying the bow area of the GS is awesome. My wife would have shot me if I took her front space away with a smaller bow area.
                            Last edited by whitecaps; 06-01-2017, 09:25 AM.

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                            • #15
                              whitecaps Thanks for the write up on your experiences with the GS22. I haven't had as much time in my GS20 as you have had in your 22 and I appreciate your explanation on how and when to use NCRS and NSS. It seems a little counter intuitive to me, but at least I can take your info and start experimenting with my boat with a little less trial and error.
                              2007 Malibu Wakesetter 23 LSV, 1995 Cobalt 200

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