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TOPIC: FIRST LOOK! 2018 VR4

FIRST LOOK! 2018 VR4 25 Jul 2017 19:13 #1

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Found a video walk thru on YouTube of the new VR4. It's from Europe or Russia...But still cool.
Thought some might be interested.

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Eric
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2018 VR4 25 Jul 2017 20:20 #2

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Well, cat's out of the bag now. I have known about this boat's development for nearly a year now, looks like they're at the prototype stage. It does look legit - I think that's Florida in the background, which broadly lines up with where it was developed.

Welcome, everyone, to the replacement for the 160, 170, 175, and 180 OBs.

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2018 VR4 25 Jul 2017 20:47 #3

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Love the rear swim platform. Engine mount is interesting. Mounted a full foot behind the boat. That will definitely have an impact on handling. Hard to know if good or bad? Should turn quickly, but being so far from the hull...Might porpoise. IDK
The bow block off and triple front facing seats in the bow look very cool.
Also love the rear insert that makes a huge bed. Very nice.

Wonder why the foreign press got it first?
Without the rear sun-pad insert, maybe it's just the angle of the camera, but the seat looks really deep and possibly not very comfortable?

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Eric

2018 VR4 25 Jul 2017 22:21 #4

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looks like the Element from the windshield bulkhead forward..has the same odd looking OB mount as the VR5/6. Which leads me to two questions:

1. will there be an I/O option
2. will there be a replacement for the ancient 3.0? I know it's durable but it's crude compared to the 4 stroke 2.1 OB for example. they did the v6 and v8 surely it's time?

OK on #1 I just watched the video again...admit I skipped through last time..looks like there will be an IO option. still like to see something 21st century.

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2018 VR4 26 Jul 2017 00:46 #5

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You could surely put a small I/O in it...but not sure why?
You'd loose all that space and then have a much heavier boat.

But then I'm an outboard guy.

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Eric

FIRST LOOK! 2018 VR4 26 Jul 2017 00:49 #6

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new 4.5 will be going in...

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FIRST LOOK! 2018 VR4 26 Jul 2017 11:21 #7

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Are they going to offer the 10' matching trailer to tow behind that boat to store the cushions that you are not going to use for each trip? And I better run down and check the stern of my pontoon boat.....I think they stole my transom and engine from it. I know it's a price-point boat....but unfortunately from what I see in the video, it looks it too. I think Bayliner did a nice job on the vr5/6 this idea not so much though. Would like to some sort of "high-end" possible double branded (Bayliner/SeaRay) bowrider as I understand that SeaRay is going to be leaving the smaller bowrider segment....if that's true. I am still seeing the SX SeaRay bowriders at boat shows. Still not a fan of the new "wide bow" on all the newer boats...with the new bows, I really would live to see an anchor storage locker at the bow under a cushion....that is probably the biggest headache I have with my 185...The anchor storage and securing...

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Hell, Michigan (yes we really live in a city named "Hell" in Michigan)
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FIRST LOOK! 2018 VR4 26 Jul 2017 12:55 #8

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IF the bow is modeled after the Element and it appears to be...there is a nice anchor storage location under the center forward bow cushion. It's covered by a nice fiberglass door which is finished same as the floor. I leave the center cushion out of mine when I need to load/unload people from the front.

FWIW - I am not a fan of the new Bayliner philosophy of using a common floor plan for both I/O and OB boats. I think this will be negatively received in the market place. The huge wasted potential floor space gain on the OB models with the empty "engine compartments" is a missed opportunity to make an even better boat and is frankly a lazy nod to cut manufacturing / tooling costs. Very transparent.

And the integration or lack thereof of the OB - my gosh looks like a hillbilly added an outboard to a stern drive boat after his IO broke. No offense to actual hillbillies. These boats might look and feel "right" with the IO drive but with the trend in small runabouts being to go OB, they should have done better. Ditto the VR5/6.

This thing would be a rocket with the 4.5 though....am I right?

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FIRST LOOK! 2018 VR4 26 Jul 2017 13:28 #9

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I found this picture on the web of the bow.

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2016 Bayliner 215 Deck Boat
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FIRST LOOK! 2018 VR4 26 Jul 2017 13:39 #10

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Remember one of the reasons they saved so much cost is they share the cushions and seating with the Elements. So that's why the bow looks so similar.

Some answers:

1. The outboard mounting IS the swim platform - the swim platform was designed to be strong enough (and bolt-on) to allow for OB mounts. So, in theory, this VR4 would take a stern drive. But...

2. The 3.0 is dead and they are not replacing it. That place in the market is now filled by Mercury's outboards. So I would not expect a stern drive version, but nothing's been decided on yet (well, when I last talked to Bayliner...lots could have changed since then). The smallest stern drive they have is the 4.5L 200 hp Alpha, and that might be a lot for a 17 foot hull.

3. Look around on the market, and you will see the Bayliner isn't the only one who is taking stern drive hulls and mounting outboards to them. Four Winns does it too.

4. Rumor has it this VR4 is not the last of the VR series. ;) (RobMick, that was a hint)

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FIRST LOOK! 2018 VR4 26 Jul 2017 14:02 #11

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Didn't realize about the bow storage...I like that as I said. Anymore, these boats remind me of the Honda Element....which looks like a group of guys from the Honda parts warehouse, started drinking on a Friday night and started grabbing various parts from the shelves and "slapped" them together. Sunday night rolls around and that hideous looking thing is sitting there when they come out of their drunken engineering stupor.....practical, ergonomic maybe, good looking.... NOT! But I get it...clearly there is a line in the sand being drawn basically ending up with you want good looks, high quality? Don't look at us....look at some of the other guys....crownline, etc. but if you want function and practicality and low price...we are the "go to" guys...Bayliner...which I guess is what they wanted to happen and differentiate themselves from others in the segment...like most things....you will get what you pay for. Personally I don't mind paying a bit more for quality, distinctive looks and reliability.....resale value will also be interesting to see how that holds up over the next few years...get a 3 year old VR boat or a 5-7 year old higher end boat for close to same money? I had no "loyalty" to the Bayliner name when I bought our 185 a couple of years ago. In my research and long shopping adventures for a bowrider that would "work" for us, this boat, looks, cost, hours 32 when bought, all fell into place so we pulled the trigger. Not a bad thing that Brunswick is really drawing the line between their brands so that they "compliment" each other, not fight each other....you want a Ford or you want a Lincoln? Either one you will pay accordingly...

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Hell, Michigan (yes we really live in a city named "Hell" in Michigan)
2012 BR 185 - 3.0 TKS
1999 Chaparral 233 Sunesta Ltd., 5.0 Volvo
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FIRST LOOK! 2018 VR4 26 Jul 2017 14:19 #12

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RobMick wrote: Didn't realize about the bow storage...I like that as I said. Anymore, these boats remind me of the Honda Element....which looks like a group of guys from the Honda parts warehouse, started drinking on a Friday night and started grabbing various parts from the shelves and "slapped" them together. Sunday night rolls around and that hideous looking thing is sitting there when they come out of their drunken engineering stupor.....practical, ergonomic maybe, good looking.... NOT! But I get it...clearly there is a line in the sand being drawn basically ending up with you want good looks, high quality? Don't look at us....look at some of the other guys....crownline, etc. but if you want function and practicality and low price...we are the "go to" guys...Bayliner...which I guess is what they wanted to happen and differentiate themselves from others in the segment...like most things....you will get what you pay for. Personally I don't mind paying a bit more for quality, distinctive looks and reliability.....resale value will also be interesting to see how that holds up over the next few years...get a 3 year old VR boat or a 5-7 year old higher end boat for close to same money? I had no "loyalty" to the Bayliner name when I bought our 185 a couple of years ago. In my research and long shopping adventures for a bowrider that would "work" for us, this boat, looks, cost, hours 32 when bought, all fell into place so we pulled the trigger. Not a bad thing that Brunswick is really drawing the line between their brands so that they "compliment" each other, not fight each other....you want a Ford or you want a Lincoln? Either one you will pay accordingly...


I think you and I would have a very agreeable conversation over beers, because I agree with you. And I think Brunswick is being smart to position Bayliner and Sea Ray as complimentary brands....SR never did inexpensive boats particularly well, and Bayliner was always out of their element when they tried to do higher end (my old 2450 Ciera bowrider, for instance).

I personally don't find the new Bayliner range to be particularly attractive, and as we get closer to reentering boating, despite how positive I am about their model line, my personal requirements are coming into focus. And I am not sure I like what I see being a returning-market boater.

Doesn't make these boats bad at all...they're damn good. But maybe not what I am looking for this time round....

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FIRST LOOK! 2018 VR4 26 Jul 2017 14:38 #13

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Agreed on ALL points.

In the meantime, as a side note there is beginning to have some "push back" concerning the "wake boats, Heyday whatever here in Michigan. The shoreline damage to waterfront owners in our inland lakes from these boats and the sport frankly has reached the ears and raised eyebrows within government bodies here. Being very involved in our state Lakes and Steams Association, there is now a push with our law makers to regulate even make these types of boats illegal to be on various lakes.....this should get very interesting going forward...

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Hell, Michigan (yes we really live in a city named "Hell" in Michigan)
2012 BR 185 - 3.0 TKS
1999 Chaparral 233 Sunesta Ltd., 5.0 Volvo
1985 Harris Flotebote Classic 240
1993 Yamaha Waverunner III VXR
1993 Yamaha Waverunner III
1995 Yamaha Waverunner III GP
1995 Yamaha Waverunner III VXR PRO

FIRST LOOK! 2018 VR4 26 Jul 2017 16:44 #14

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Couple of points:

The engine isn't mounted on the swim platform like the VR5. It clearly shows a completely separate mounting. That may be because this is a prototype and later it might be on the swim platform. Time will tell.

I would disagree with the notion that a separate and dedicated engine mount is somehow "Hillbilly". I actually like it not on the swim platform. The engine doesn't muck up the swim platform, and also allows a strong, clean, and adjustable place for mounting the engine. Very Functional.

Contrary to most others, I really like the large dedicated storage area "Where the inboard used to go". If you are a day boater going out from the campground, I understand this. But we like go out for days and often wilderness camp and I'm looking forward to using this space for tents, sleeping bags, etc...
SeaRay, and others are using the old I/O space this way, not just Bayliner because "They are cheap". All of those extra sun-pads will store in there nicely that someone said would need a "Separate Trailer". Lol

Finally, I don't mind a Price-point boat if it gives me what I want, in fact the "Cheap guy" that I am actually likes it. Also less-is-more in a boat, especially small boats as weight means everything when it comes to performance.
I just hope they offer enough, even as options, to outfit the boat nicely. I'm not going to spend $25 or $30K for a boat that looks cheap. Doesn't need fancy wood grain inserts and tuck-n-roll seats; But can't look cheap.

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Eric

FIRST LOOK! 2018 VR4 26 Jul 2017 22:05 #15

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Valid opinions...the market will tell us what people really like or not. I personally think the VR5/6 engine house is silly. It's there because they wanted to use the same molds, I get that. I also agree that there are probably a few customers who will be delighted at the huge storage locker but most of the buyers of these runabouts are day boaters and space on a smaller boat is critical. I think they could have done some innovative things with the additional deck space - in this case especially so if all the VR4 are outboards. In video, it looked as though they did the same thing with the VR4 as it's bigger brothers. Guess we'll see.

The Element bow is a good design. Very wide and spacious for a small boat. They carried this over to the VR5 as well. It should do well here. I really like the bulkhead plug with the backrest for a center pax.

I have no doubt that the engine mount is well engineered. My hillbilly comment is based on my opinion of the appearance. It just looks odd. Like it was an afterthought. maybe the smaller size and proportions of this boat will have a better appearance. We'll have to see. The OB VR5/6 are just odd looking.

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FIRST LOOK! 2018 VR4 26 Jul 2017 22:32 #16

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Let's be brutally honest: all of Bayliner's current boats are, to my eyes, odd looking at best, ugly ducklings at worst. Time was Bayliner used to put effort into styling, and that has been put on the back burner for other things - room, simplicity, ease of use.

Nothing wrong with it at all, and for an entry level boater, probably a good thing. The VR5 is rather handsome, but take the concept and look at the VR6 and the proportions are off.

Rob - interesting point on the wake boats. I also doubt their longevity, and really they are intended for larger bodies of water like the lakes in Central Tennessee where they were designed. I don't see them being good fits on the small land locked lakes we have up in MI and the upper Midwest. Run a Heyday fully loaded at wake speed down the Fox River here in Chicago and you might get shot.

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FIRST LOOK! 2018 VR4 27 Jul 2017 05:17 #17

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All....the old Bayliners were designed in Arlington WA by Bayliners dedicated design, engineering, tooling and prototyping team. The last new boats from there were designed in 2008.......so all the new models are designed and built by the Sea Ray design and engineering team.........it's a very very different company than it was before.
I'll be honest, I like some of the new designs.....others just look a little different!

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FIRST LOOK! 2018 VR4 27 Jul 2017 11:28 #18

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Ex Bayliner wrote: All....the old Bayliners were designed in Arlington WA by Bayliners dedicated design, engineering, tooling and prototyping team. The last new boats from there were designed in 2008.......so all the new models are designed and built by the Sea Ray design and engineering team.........it's a very very different company than it was before.
I'll be honest, I like some of the new designs.....others just look a little different!


So Bayliner is now the "red headed stepchild?" It sounds like it...

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Hell, Michigan (yes we really live in a city named "Hell" in Michigan)
2012 BR 185 - 3.0 TKS
1999 Chaparral 233 Sunesta Ltd., 5.0 Volvo
1985 Harris Flotebote Classic 240
1993 Yamaha Waverunner III VXR
1993 Yamaha Waverunner III
1995 Yamaha Waverunner III GP
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FIRST LOOK! 2018 VR4 27 Jul 2017 12:17 #19

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Although it's a low end boat, my black E18 get's compliments all the time - at the lake, at the gas pump etc. I personally think the VR5/6 are pretty nice looking with the exception of the weird OB thing, I think where Bayliner is missing the mark compared to competition is in the world of color. The blue and black boats are nice but where are the bright red, yellow, bright green etc. Mostly nowhere to be found. And I don't just mean gelcoat, how about a VR5 with yellow gelcoat and color themed interior bits? Not meaning to be sexist at all but SWMBO is influenced heavily by color schemes - showed her a gray colored VR6 as a possible upgrade and she looked at it and it's drab interior colors and immediately started looking at other manufacturers boats saying - nope for that kind of money I want a great looking boat...and she's right.

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FIRST LOOK! 2018 VR4 27 Jul 2017 13:11 #20

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RobMick wrote:

Ex Bayliner wrote: All....the old Bayliners were designed in Arlington WA by Bayliners dedicated design, engineering, tooling and prototyping team. The last new boats from there were designed in 2008.......so all the new models are designed and built by the Sea Ray design and engineering team.........it's a very very different company than it was before.
I'll be honest, I like some of the new designs.....others just look a little different!


So Bayliner is now the "red headed stepchild?" It sounds like it...


I wouldn't say that at all. I would say more integrated. Bear in mind I talk to quite a few people behind the scenes. They share office space, IT systems, purchasing constructs....but, the Bayliner team and the Sea Ray team operate independently when it comes to product, including styling. Classic case in point: You'd have to be a total fool to buy a Sea Ray SPX after looking at the Bayliner VR boats. They VRs offer so much more, including an enclosed head, and an available B3 drive. The SPXs do not.

Bayliner is far from a red headed step child. If anything, the success of the Elements and VRs have shown Sea Ray they need to up their game.

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FIRST LOOK! 2018 VR4 27 Jul 2017 17:02 #21

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seadoorider wrote: Although it's a low end boat, my black E18 get's compliments all the time - at the lake, at the gas pump etc. I personally think the VR5/6 are pretty nice looking with the exception of the weird OB thing, I think where Bayliner is missing the mark compared to competition is in the world of color. The blue and black boats are nice but where are the bright red, yellow, bright green etc. Mostly nowhere to be found. And I don't just mean gelcoat, how about a VR5 with yellow gelcoat and color themed interior bits? Not meaning to be sexist at all but SWMBO is influenced heavily by color schemes - showed her a gray colored VR6 as a possible upgrade and she looked at it and it's drab interior colors and immediately started looking at other manufacturers boats saying - nope for that kind of money I want a great looking boat...and she's right.


Couldn't agree more....that is a HUGE reason we bought our boat frankly......you don't see many red trimmed boats in my parts, blacks and blues and gray and white guts....kinda "ho hum"....they don't have any "pop". A boat should exude fun in the sun, I love the colors offered by let's Grady White and the offshore center console fishing boats....pastels, bright, different. Someone mentioned to me, I don't know if it's true or not, but our 2012 185 and its red color scheme was offered as an "upgrade" package or special package. I love our boat as it looks fun, fast (3.0 TKS :P :lol:
) and like it belongs in the water all day...truth be told when we looking I really wanted to find something in the yellow or even tastefully done green or aqua colors...being that we live in Hell Michigan, I guess the red fits us to a "T"

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Hell, Michigan (yes we really live in a city named "Hell" in Michigan)
2012 BR 185 - 3.0 TKS
1999 Chaparral 233 Sunesta Ltd., 5.0 Volvo
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1993 Yamaha Waverunner III
1995 Yamaha Waverunner III GP
1995 Yamaha Waverunner III VXR PRO

FIRST LOOK! 2018 VR4 27 Jul 2017 18:19 #22

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Can't agree enough with those making the point about color and matching interiors making a huge difference when buying a boat. For those that have had many boats, You'll know what I mean when I say: Buying a boat is a lot like picking a girlfriend or wife. ;)

Since I decided against the Element...I've been looking at EVERYTHING out there in the 18-19 foot range and I tell you that Bayliner is very weak in the "Style" category. Look at the hull color and striping choices, and interiors from Hurricane on their 187 Deck boat and Four Winns on their 18 foot outboard.

I'd gladly pay an extra grand or two for something with a little more pizzazz. I don't need craziness, but when I bring it home I want to look at it and say NIIIIICE!
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Eric

FIRST LOOK! 2018 VR4 27 Jul 2017 19:35 #23

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Outboards-N-Idaho wrote: Can't agree enough with those making the point about color and matching interiors making a huge difference when buying a boat. For those that have had many boats, You'll know what I mean when I say: Buying a boat is a lot like picking a girlfriend or wife. ;)

Since I decided against the Element...I've been looking at EVERYTHING out there in the 18-19 foot range and I tell you that Bayliner is very weak in the "Style" category. Look at the hull color and striping choices, and interiors from Hurricane on their 187 Deck boat and Four Winns on their 18 foot outboard.

I'd gladly pay an extra grand or two for something with a little more pizzazz. I don't need craziness, but when I bring it home I want to look at it and say NIIIIICE!

The VR4 looks like a pretty neat boat. In my opinion outboards are the only way to go.

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FIRST LOOK! 2018 VR4 27 Jul 2017 22:25 #24

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FISHIN00 wrote:
The VR4 looks like a pretty neat boat. In my opinion outboards are the only way to go.


Yeah...Hopeful regarding this boat and that it will take the 150 Merc. Also...2018 upgrades in colors/graphics/interiors. We've only seen the Prototype, but it surely looks promising for what I want.
Couldn't agree more about outboards.

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Eric

FIRST LOOK! 2018 VR4 28 Jul 2017 15:29 #25

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Looks are purely subjective, but IMO, the 170, 175, 180, 185 of RobMick's vintage (including my now-sold 2007 175) were some of the nicest, cleanest designed runabouts for their size, even today. A nice mix of traditional lines and modern Euro styling.

I like the Element too for it's clean lines, though I prefer traditional V hull lines. Not particularly a fan of the lines of the VR series, especially the OB's.....and the wake boats? I figure that whether you designed one or are buying one, somebody lost a bet.......

But again, purely subjective. I heard that some people liked Pontiac Aztecs, too.
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