Mastercraft and Nautique, two household brands and industry leaders in the world of power boats for towed watersports. Choosing between these two titans isn’t easy. The main criteria are:
- Wake/wave – skiing/wakeboarding/surfing, family or competition
- Budget – boat size, fit and finish, features (surf system, storage, screen etc)
- Driving preferences – bow rise, power, rough water handling
- Ergonomics – seats, helm, sound system, tower, racks…
Let’s look at three popular Mastercraft vs Nautique model comparisons.
What is the best Mastercraft boat for wake/surf?
Nautique vs Malibu – which to choose?
Super Air Nautique GS22 vs Mastercraft X22
When trying to decide between the Super Air Nautique GS22 and the Mastercraft X22, it’s important to keep in mind that the X22 in among Mastercraft’s flaship surf boats, whereas the SAN GS22 is a crossover boat closer to the XT22.
The Mastercraft X22 is a specific surf and wakeboard boat, having a much deeper hull with more ballast capacity. The surf wave and wakeboard wake produced by this boat are excellent.
X22 vs GS22 surf wave
The X22’s surf wave has a longer pocket with a lot more consistent push. The G22 surf wake is much steeper with lots of power, but the push varies a lot more depending on where you ride.
As a result, it’s easier to pump on the steeper wave of the G22, but there’s a lot less room to play compared to the X22 wave. The X22 has a longer, smoother wave with more power in the rear section.
Note that, even though the X22 wins for surf, in 2020 Nautique has improved the GS22 hull and the Nautique Surf System, which contributed to an improved surf wave.
X22 vs GS22 ski wake
For skiing, on the other hand, the X22 also offers a decent wake but it has a hard and big bump for crossing.
The GS22 has a nice surf wave and ski wake for the boat’s size. To achieve a good ski wake behind this crossover however, a decent speed is needed.
X22 vs GS22 wakeboard wake
Many boarders prefer the Nautique G22 to the Mastercraft X22 for wakeboarding. They describe the G22’s wake as firm and poppy with more kick. The G22 is widely considered the king of wake.
The X22 has an OK wake with a easier transition and longer landing zone, but lacks a bit for kick and pop for serious wakeboarders.
X22 vs GS22 driving experience
- The Nautique GS22 has a lot less bow rise, while the X22 rides with a high bow when surfing or wakeboarding. This makes driving the GS22 more relaxed.
- The X22’s deep V handles rough water better – the GS22’s front gets a lot wetter in bigger chop
- The Mastercraft X22 tends to tilt sideways to produce its wake whereas the G22 simply plows through the water
X22 vs GS22 quality & ergonomics
- For build quality, the X22 and GS22 are generally considered equivalent, you can’t go wrong with either. On the other hand, GS22 blows away the XT22 for fit and finish.
- The GS22 has much better interior storage due to the ballast being under the floor.
- Boaters tend to prefer the GS22’s interior access and layout. The GS22’s driver seat and helm ergonomics are also preferred over the X22’s
- The X22’s rear facing transom seats are very comfortable. However, they eliminate the storage space of rear compartments.
- The tower on the X22 folds a lot smaller, but the GS22’s tower offers better shade and is easier to use
- The GS22’s sound system is considered better and more adaptable than Mastercraft’s proprietary Klipsch system (barely customizable, mostly presets).
Nautique GS23 vs MC X23
The Nautique GS23 and the X23 are considered somewhat similar as they are more wakeboard focused.
Similar to the GS22 vs X22, the GS23 surf wave is taller and steeper than the X23’s but a bit shorter. While many riders tend to favor the X23’s wave, bigger riders often prefer the GS23.
People like that the X23 has a more customizable surf wave than the GS23. The X23 also handles rough water better than the GS23.
Another things people love about the X23, often making it win over the GS23, is the rear lounge seats. These seats are awesome to hang out in during a surf session.
The attractiveness of the Mastercraft X23’s external lines is also a winning point for many boat buyers vs the blockier style of the Nautique GS23. Many people also like the interior looks of the MC.
On the other hand, the GS23 rides nice and dry and offers a very quiet drive.
A few other considerations:
- Probably the best wakeboard wave
- JL Elite sound system beats Mastercraft’s Klipsch
- More storage – rear compartments, subfloor ballast
- In-floor cooler
- Great rear-facing sundeck seats
- Nicer tower, fully foldable
- Longer, more adjustable surf wave
- Very good in rough water
Mastercraft ProStar vs Ski Nautique 200
The Mastercraft ProStar and the Ski Nautique 200 are two of the best ski boats on the market. While many skiers feel the ProStar has better pull and better wake, others only swear by the Ski Nautique.
ProStar vs Ski Nautique 200: ski wake
Some feel the Ski Nautique is designed for professional skiers, whereas the Prostar caters more to weekend skiers with their families.
The 2021 ProStar is a pure, much acclaimed ski boat with great slalom wakes and great skier feel at any speed and rope length.
Meanwhile, the Ski Nautique 200 offers the best trick wakes and is the most used boat for international ski competitions.
Skiers often argue about which speeds and rope lengths the Ski Nautique wake is best for. Some skiers complain about the wake at 22 and feel the ProStar is better in these conditions.
When comparing older ProStar and Ski Nautique 200 models, while they are seen as being equally good for their wake, the Nautique is felt to track much better.
That said, the Mastercraft has fewer gadgets but a friendlier wake compared to the 200 Ski Nautique.
ProStar vs Ski Nautique 200: user friendliness
The Ski Nautique is a lot more complex to operate than the Mastercraft ProStar, which is more user friendly. On the other hand, the screen display in the Ski Nautique is superior to the Mastercraft’s.
Users tend to prefer the Mastercraft ProStar’s ski racks over the SN’s saddle bags.
ProStar vs Ski Nautique 200: engine power
The Nautique 200 has more power with a 6.2 engine vs 5.7 for the MC ProStar. However, many boat owners feel the Mastercraft handles better and is quieter.
The ProStar performs fine with a 5.7 engine because it has a low drag hull that requires less power. The Mastercraft has largely enough power for skiing – except perhaps if you ride on a very small lake or at a high altitude.
The smaller engine is also more economical in terms of fuel consumption.
The SN 200 is regarded as an extremely reliable boat. Owners commonly will report zero issues after over 2 years, hundreds of hours of use, and numerous ski tournaments.
ProStar vs Ski Nautique 200: pricing
Price wise, the ProStar and SN 200 are generally comparable if you have a good dealer – though some boat owners feel they found much better prices for the Mastercraft.
Both the ProStar and the SN 200 have availability issues and are often close to sold out, so ordering ahead of time is generally required.