Zero Off seems to be the rage, but reality suggests that most of us don't have sufficient resources right now to buy a new boat or upgrade to a late model used boat that can support Zero Off. I have a 1999 Nautique 196 with PP (servo motor). single-line display. It seems that my only option (for an upgrade "somewhat" comparable to ZO) is to move to Stargazer. I would be curious to know if any one out there has done sort-of a "blind taste study" of the two systems to see how they stack-up side-by-side. Is the Stargazer system worth it for someone that doesn't want to trade boats right now, but is interested in duplicating (as close as possible) what my daughter and I will likely see (ZO) in tournaments next summer? My daughter is getting into deep 32' off, while I'm thrilled if I can make 4-5 at 28'.
Getting sick, dead tired, but can't sleep. Go figure.
In my experience, Stargazer is a nice upgrade to previous versions of Perfect Pass. I feel that the throttle response is smoother and more predictable, making for a better pull. But it is still Perfect Pass. If you are happy with how your system is working, there really is no need to change. The one big benefit to Stargazer is that you don't have to monkey between passes to get actual times. Although that can also work to the skiers detriment: i.e if the first segment is slow, the final segment will be fast in order to make time. It also has been thoroughly documented that getting Stargazer dialed in can be a bit of a chore, but those brave pioneers are usually willing to help get you dialed in: PP tech support is also outstanding.
The thing is, I don't feel that there is a good way to simulate Zero Off. Some have suggested using kx++. This might be a good idea for yourself. Although to do that, I'm pretty sure you have to use classic, so you'd upgrade the system only to use the old software. I wouldn't bother doing anything different for you daughter: unless her nickname is Stump Puller. With Zero Off, the handle is essentially a gas peddle. The smoother and lighter you are on the line, the smoother and smaller the throttle response will be. She might notice a difference on the first pass or two, but she should be able to get back to skiing like normal fairly quickly.
Last edited by HO410 (Tue, Dec 8, 2009 11:34 PM)
For those of us with older boats, PPSG is outstanding. I have their latest revision and I don't have a SINGLE complaint about it. I love that I only need one magnet on each gate and the GPS figures out the rest, including each ball split. Instead of using 6 mags on the public course, I use two and have 4 spares now. I don't miss screwing with skier weight, wind adjustments, or RPM adjustments. I love that after each pass I can be positive that I was going the actual speed regardless of conditions. In my opinion it's a HUGE upgrade for PP. It also has a GPS-controlled clock which is ultra handy. Again, not a single complaint and I'd do it again in a second.
I have a 99 Mastercraft prostar 190. I upgraded to the stargazer last year. Once I got the settings dialed in, I skied the same behind stargazer and ZO. I would not buy a boat just to have ZO. The instructions say to make small changes to the segment adjustments. I did as instructed and it took alot of passes with a skier to finally get it set to pull actual segment times without the boat running.. On normal my settings are 15/10/8 . Don't be afraid of making big changes .
rumor there is a conversion available, anybody know the scoop?!?just ordered ZO for my 2008 MC 197, unfortunately I had a difficult time getting SG to match ZO for tourneys for me and my boat.
from Schnitz site:
ZERO OFF CONVERSIONS ARE NOW AVAILABLE
I just got off the phone with Jody Seal at Florida Inboards who is now doing Zero Off conversions on 2002 and later, Excalibur powered boats. Save over $50,000.00 (a new Correct Craft is about $57,000.00 I've been told). Jody can do the entire conversion for less than $5,000.00 and in some cases as low as $3,200.00. Get ready for the upcoming season now. Call or e-mail Jody today for more information! http://www.floridainboards.com
Jody has a conversion for 2002+ Nautiques with the Excalibur. Costs $3500 to $5000 depending on the year and whether the ECM is required to be replaced. Over the winter he's working on a conversion for the Mastercrafts. Best case is that boats back to 2002 will have a conversion as this is when PCM and Indmar went to the current style of ECMs.
I have to say the best part about the stargazer system is you can turn off the GPS Setting and run classic mode. I have had alot of experience with working with the Stargazer system and i have had alot of disappointment. I have seen lots of boats have some very extreme surges using the stargazer. This is because stargazer runs of buoy to buoy times as opposed to ZO which runs off GPS speed. What i have found with stargazer is that if it starts a pass off cold it will speed up twice what it needs to so that the next buoy time is right but the issue is that when it gets to the next buoy it is going way to fast and it ends up dumping a ton of rpms. I am not saying that it is bad but just from my experience it has been nothing but headaches...
I would just save the money for now or if you did anything i would find like an 06 PP unit that is used so that you get the most recent software and screen.
Last edited by JP (Fri, Jan 15, 2010 9:06 PM)
My SG does not make up time buoy to buoy, but it does make up time after 3 ball if its slow. You just have to come into the course after it has settled in (using single mag timing). Not hard. If you have a private lake with all ball timing then non-SG PP is probably sufficient. For those of us running multiple public lakes with single mag or zero mag timing SG FTMFW all the way.
Sounds like the problem I had until I adjusted the segment settings. I run a single magnet. Tweek those settings and the boat will not run on you.
Some of the older S/G units are actually filtered through the paddle wheel and are Not completely GPS controlled. This can cause issues with everything if the there are any issues with the paddle wheel. P/P can do a simple upgrade to the unit if you send it to them...