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Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       11-14-2010, 8:01 PM Reply   
My neighbor bought a used 2009 Epic 23V. I invited myself to take the maiden voyage with him.

The boat has 280+ hours on it and had been used by some sort of resort where you pay money and they already have and maintain all sorts of toys for you. They had several types of inboards, but told my neighbor that this one was the most popular.

I will give a few impressions and then ask for some basic advice as far as proper weighting and anything else that might benefit him. Hopefully he will invite me for a few more pulls.

Pros:
4,000 pounds of ballast is pretty awesome. I somehow thought that epic had a ballast system something like MB/Calabria, but this boat has simple pumps. The ballast was pretty quick for how much it is.
The interior was in great shape for aboat with 280 hours and I think if detailed properly, could look showroom condition. It has obviously held up well.
The guages are awesome, and even include a fuel flow meter.
I love the idea of speakers on the transom, but I forgot to have them turned up while I was riding to see if I could really hear them.
The wake was terrific. It was nice and solid, but not too steep. I got nice pop off of it and I am a very mediocre rider. My buddy landed a couple of 7's, so he seemed to like it OK too.

Cons:
For that much ballast, I thought it would be bigger.
The 8.1L could not get the boat on plane unless you put the trim tab down. Messing the trim constantly was a little clumsy, but I think it could be gotten used to.
The engine was running at 5,000 RPM and was loud as heck. The fuel flow meter read 19 GPH while wakeboarding. For $60 per hour, it better be fun.
The ballast tanks are so big that the floor is higher from the hull than most. Being tall, my knees sit way above my hips when I sit in the boat, that is sort of uncomfortable.
When turning a tight double up with a slight breeze coming at you, the water is sprayed into the boat and gets the occupants wet. Not good when it is 55 degrees outside. I would just make a note to myself to not drive a double up if there is not adequate room.
There is no ski pylon, so as far as a family boat, this aint it. You can pull tubes from the tower, but I would not do it. This boat was intended for wakeboarding only.
Old     (imscarlet)      Join Date: Mar 2008       11-14-2010, 8:29 PM Reply   
Hi some basics with the EPIC 23v ....

3 peps on board set the ballast to full front, half port and 1/3 starboard with the trim set between 50 - 70% and it should be pretty reasonable riding at 23 - 24mph. The uneven load in the back counteracts the torque from the prop when the boat gets moving (use less in the rear with more peps). My 09 runs around 3400rpm with this config, BTW have had it fully loaded and it jumps up onto the plane reasonably well but generally speaking the boat is tail heavy so likes weight towards the bow. The spray issue is caused because the hull doesn't have a chime and you should notice this creates a spray on the outside of the wake that breaks the surface tension and makes landing in the flats more comfortable, having said that I have found its not that hard to drive doubles and triples without the spray issue.

BTW just so we are all clear I am a national distributor for EPIC.
Old     (will5150)      Join Date: Oct 2002       11-15-2010, 6:35 AM Reply   
5000 RPMs?? WOW- better watch the oil burn on that boat- that is a LOT of stress on the engine. and 19 GPH??? HMM. Not to knock a good thing, but that is insane- I think i'd look at using less ballast and re-propping the boat. Seriously- keep an eye on the motor- that is a HUGE amount of stress running at 5000 RPM's.
Old     (alans)      Join Date: Aug 2005       11-15-2010, 6:59 AM Reply   
Sounds like he has a bad tach or the tach is set incorrectly. The Volvo 8.1 red lines at 4,600 or 4,800 rpm.
Old     (silverthunder)      Join Date: Sep 2007       11-15-2010, 7:29 AM Reply   
Thanks talltigeguy for your review....

I ordered a 2011 23v sight unseen and I'm still on the fence on this purchase. We will use the boat 90% of the time for wakeboarding and 10% for wakesurfing. My old boat was a Session 22SI with a total of 2500 to 3200lb of ballast and fat sacs. It was a great boat but the little Mercuiser 315hp engine with struggling a bit when fully loader event with a good prop ACME.

I'm a bit worried about a few things:
No space in the bow
Low seat height
Engine and exhaust noise
Gas consumption

Can't wait to ride this wake and see how it compares to my old boat or my friend SANTE 210 09.

ST
Old     (olmoomba)      Join Date: Apr 2010       11-15-2010, 7:44 AM Reply   
A couple of things to tell your buddy. The smart tow system has a take off adjusment to it. It will apply more throttle if need be to get you on plane quicker without having to constantly jack with the trim tab. Check his owners manuel. If he didn't get one he needs to hit up EPIC or Merc for a copy. I don't have the 2009 but have had to dial one in. Unfortunately I cannot recall how to get to that screen to adjust it.

For the exhaust noise what alot of other owners have done is gone with a FAE, check out the Epic Mod thread.

I;m not buying the 5000rpm's as legit. I have the 8.1 in 07 EPIC and I don't see higher than 4200rpms on my hole shot. How fast were you riding? How many people on the boat? How was it weighted and what was the trim tab?

TO be clear, I am NOT a national distributor, lol. just an owner with lots of hrs behind the wheel of EPIC's.
Old     (HighVoltage)      Join Date: Aug 2010       11-15-2010, 7:36 PM Reply   
As far as the ballast settings, I would also recommend the "3 peps on board set the ballast to full front, half port and 1/3 starboard with the trim set between 50 - 70% and it should be pretty reasonable riding at 23 - 24mph" setup. I never run full ballast on either side unless I'm wake surfing. If you really really want to jack the wake up, sand bag the nose then you can add some more ballast to both sides. A little more in the port side than starboard to counter the prop rotation.

The 09's have the Mercruiser 8.1 not Volvo engines. There is a launch control setting thats variable level 1-5, 5 is the fastest hole shot and 1 is the slowest. I would recommend setting the RPM's around 3100-3500 depending on how you like the wake. Unless your boat was propped way down, you shouldn't see 5000rpm. If it was, you would have also launched out of the water like a bat out of hell.

The best seat in the house is next to the head unit. Sit up against that cushion, put your legs up, relax and watch the rider. Plenty of leg room there.

As far as the cornering spray, it only gets you if there is a board on the rack. It hits off there and makes it rain. We usually throw boards up front in the bow. Keeps it out of the way and acts as a wind dam.
Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       11-15-2010, 8:05 PM Reply   
Thanks for all the good thoughts.

First thing we did wrong was fill all the ballast. Sounds like we can't do that unless we get more weight in the nose.

The previous owner forgot to bring the owner's manual and they met half way of a 600 mile distance between them....so it is in the mail.

With full ballast, we had to run 27 MPH according to the cruise control, but it didn't feel that fast. Is it very likely that a GPS based control could be off? It seems way counterintuitive to weight one side more than the other, but glad to hear that more than 1 person says it is good to do it that way.

The engine is a Merc, IIRC.

We had 3 persons in the boat.

The bow space was average for most boats with a pointed (not picklefork) bow...had as much space as expected, I guess. Didn't bother me at all.

I am anxious to get out in this boat again and see how we can fine tune the wake.

Anyone care to explain why the prop torque on the epic would be enough to unevenly weight one side when that is almost heresy to say that about any other boat.
Old     (imscarlet)      Join Date: Mar 2008       11-15-2010, 8:57 PM Reply   
09 EPICs only had the Merc, use the smartow on the speedo as the tach side wont run in speed based mode. Just keep pressing the select button and you will see the screen scroll until you get to it and then you can select the speed, acceleration parameters etc using select and adjusting with + & - keys (not to bad to find your way around) Haven't heard of an issue with the GPS calibration but most cell phones these days can easily check that anyway. Another boat that needed to be weighted the same way as the EPIC was the Nautique 220, and I think you will find that its due to the beam being on the narrower side for the length of the boat but I'm not a boat designer so cannot say if thats the whole story.
Old     (HighVoltage)      Join Date: Aug 2010       11-16-2010, 7:30 AM Reply   
The reason why the boat twists has to do with it being propped like a tug boat, and just the physics of it rotating.

Think of it like this, if the boat was magically floating in the air, and you grabbed onto the prop then tried to run the boat, what would happen? If the prop is kept still the boat would rotate around it. Since your in the water, you have bouyancy pushing back on the hull to keep it from just flipping right over, but you still get some of those forces which will cause the boat to list. If you think that the prop doesn't have enough "traction" because its just spinning in water, think how fast that boat jumps out of the water compared to its weight... Its has some pretty good "traction."

I prefer to use the smart tow based off engine RPM, most of the lakes around here are in a valley and GPS signal isn't as strong.
Old     (fuzzball147)      Join Date: Apr 2010       11-28-2010, 7:15 AM Reply   
I bought my 08 Epic used last year and we love it. I have gladly given up a few inches of floor height for the massive storage you get. I can't believe how uncluttered my boat is compared to when I get in other peoples boats with bags taking up space. I think your Tach must be off because I havn't even been able to get the RPM's close that high without the warning beep from the console. Also as a hint, you have to break yourself from turning the key off when you stop and remember to use the button on the throttle handle. If you turn off the key the GPS goes off and you have to wait for it to reset when you turn it back on. As far as the ballast, you'll figure it out, and you already got the important thing of don't just fill it up all the way and take off! It's a great boat and they just keep getting better every year...and I'm not a dealer either, just a happy owner.
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