View Full Version : Alpha vs bravo on 22zx... Pros n cons

03-14-2012, 04:17 PM
Currently looking at 2 22zx's to purchase, one having a 496 HO with bravo 1, the other with a 350 magand Alpha one drive. Can anyone tell me if there is a huge difference in performance? What are some pros and cons of each? I read somewhere here to stay away from Alpha drives, yet that was for a big block...just a little confused. Want to get this right. New to the zx and the Donzi experience!

03-14-2012, 04:47 PM
I think you're going to hear a couple things. Some of the more likely ones:

Alphas don't shift as well and the gears are less durable
If you don't beat it up, for a 350 mag it probably won't matter that the gears are less durable
Might matter if you are airborne a lot and/or if you want to bump up the power
Alphas are littler (less drag) and lighter, so they are a bit faster, other things being equal. Which they aren't, in this case.
Your're talking 420ish HP in the 496 versus 300ish in the smallblock, right? So, I'd think quite a bit of speed difference. (maybe 7-12 mph?) Even with the 300 lbs of weight difference in the BBCBravo versus SBCAlpha setups, that's a significant HP difference.
Personally, I'm a fan of having more power/torque than you need. Boat motors get older and weaker over time.
There is always the question of whether the weight makes a big difference in getting out of the hole. Some of the stepped hulls do have some challenges getting on plane--not sure about the 22. Hopefully someone with specifics on that front will chime in.
I don't believe the smallblock will save you all that much on gas, by comparison. Some may say it will, but I'm not quite buying it.

I think that's most of the usual stuff. Best of luck with the shopping.


03-14-2012, 05:22 PM

check this boat out its for sale.

joseph m. hahnl
03-14-2012, 05:38 PM
Big bock with a Bravo. Think of it as buying a life assurance policy:wink:


03-14-2012, 08:44 PM
Thanks for that info guys! Still unsure, the big block has 300hrs on a new motor, and the 350 has 200 original hours, and the paint scheme I want. Ugh...i hate decisions! Maybe I should get both and just swap parts around!!

03-14-2012, 08:47 PM
A 22zx is allot of boat for an alpha. I would go bravo.

03-14-2012, 11:28 PM
I have driven both . I found the big block with the Bravo 1 a better experience and bought a 99' ZX with the 454 MPI . I hope this helps, they are both great boats imo .

03-15-2012, 05:48 AM
Try getting on plane with both boats. There can be a big difference and this test will make your decision for you, if this performance fact is important to you when you do your boating.

03-15-2012, 08:37 PM
I've got a 98 22Zx with a 496 HO, it rocks. I bought it from the original owner who had the 454 in it and dropped a brand new 496 HO in it, 4 years later. Never have driven one with a small block, but nothing beats cubic inches.

03-15-2012, 08:47 PM
Thanks for the ideas. I have an accepted offer on the 22zx with the Alpha...the price was way to good not to,and with only 210 hours on it I have alot of life left in it. Then down the road I can put the big block in it!!

03-16-2012, 12:28 AM
Congrats on the new boat. YOu will have lots of fun with it, even with that Alpha.

03-16-2012, 02:47 AM
Congrats on the new toy. Time to start the picture parade...

03-16-2012, 02:46 PM
Congrats on the new toy. Time to start the picture parade...

Alphas are fine and that boat should do about 60 with that setup. I had 400hp 454 behind an alpha for 9 years with no problems. Bravo's however are the bomb.

joseph m. hahnl
03-16-2012, 05:39 PM
Geat to here:yes:. A stepped hull should do better than 60:wink:

03-18-2012, 08:17 PM
Owner says 65 gps is the fastest he went. Thats plenty for me for now....

Will post pics when I get it back to Michigan. Going to Connecticut to pick it up this week!

03-19-2012, 06:50 AM
Let me add just a few thoughts to this discussion that have not been mentioned. It looks like this will be your first Donzi and I am not sure what your go fast seat time is.

The 22zx came in 2 versions a deep v non stepped hull and a deep vee stepped hull, I am not sure when they changed the hull. both can be a very capable boat in the right hands. There have been big block and small block stepped boats with super chargers that were run in to the 80's.What I am sure of the factory stopped offering big block power in the stepped hull as the boat was prone to spin out in turns .

I am not sure if it was the added speed or the added weight or where the step was placed in the hull to make them spin. Could be more a thing that a 22 is an entry level go fast and the usual buyers have little to no knowledge of how to drive stepped go fasts. It has happened to board members here and if you do a google search you'll find some more info on how to turn and the spin outs. A member here also did some testing and could make it happen at will. This is true of all stepped hulls though, making turns requires a different mindset and method from a non stepped deep vee boat.

other things to look at the seats were an issue the buckets and hardware were sort of weak and might need to be addressed. One of the boats i mentioned earlier that was supercharge the owner had drop out stand up bolstered added.

A good friend picked up a 50222zx bravo boat a few seasons back very cheap he couldn't pass up, the previous owner had been tossed from the boat and wanted no part of it any more. I warned him about it he had been around fast non stepped boats all his life he was not used to the way to turn the boat , a season or two later he is now comfortable and the ride is very predictable for him. this is my main point to you .

I'm not saying the boat dangerous, well yes I am saying that it is dangerous if not given the attention it demands. This is no different from a 38 foot stepped cig or a 16 classic with a 300 hp motor. they all have their bad maners and procedures to operate them safely at speed, and seat time will help you control and predict those bad manners.

that being said the 350 alpha boat if it is at your price will be a good place to start, if you like the boat you can always use it then repower it. I would do a search on a few members here that have/had them that ran them fast and safely. shangied again and lil grizz or little grizzly not sure what his actual board name is

good luck and enjoy

03-19-2012, 09:20 PM
Thanks for that last post. I read up on the spin outs and the "bad manners". I am new to a step hull, but Im not a speed demon. So I will be sure to take it slow and learn the boat before hopping into it and hauling ass across the lake! As I would with any boat I guess!

Mattyboy I see your from Lake George...this boat was originally owned by a guy on Lake George..maybe you have seen it up there before??


03-19-2012, 09:39 PM
sorry no don't know the boat looks pretty clean good luck :)