View Full Version : Best Donzi for me?

06-10-2012, 09:29 PM
Hi All,

I am new here and have always loved Donzi boats. I am now in a position where i can afford one, but not sure which would best suit me. I would mainly be using it for lake cruising and fun. The 18 and 22 classic look awesome to me as well as a 22 ZX. I would like to get something that can do at least mid 60's while still being easy to maintain. After doing some quick searching I would like to stay in the $15k to $22k range. Thanks everyone.

Carl C
06-10-2012, 09:35 PM
18 or 22 Classic sound right. I'm partial to 22s but an 18 might be better for a strictly lake boat, unless it's a BIG lake like ours in Michigan.

06-10-2012, 10:00 PM
It would be used on smaller lakes, nothing like lake michigan. I currently have a lady friend and two dogs, so it being a family friendly type boat is not a huge deal.

Donzi Vol
06-10-2012, 10:28 PM
I vote 22 Classic for you and your needs. The ZX's are cool boats, but if you've always loved the looks of the Classics, then that's what you should go with. In addition, 15-22k will get you a really nice 22C. As for lake size...you'll be fine in a 22. Good luck and welcome aboard!


06-10-2012, 10:46 PM
What are the main differences between a classic and a ZX? Also, are the classic pretty easily maintained?

Donzi Vol
06-10-2012, 10:53 PM
Completely different hulls and different creature comforts. The ZX's have a much higher freeboard, so there's a lot more separating you from the water. In addition, you gain a cabin with the ZX that the Classics do not have.

I've never owned a ZX, so I can't speak to the maintenance of one, but I can't imagine that they would be much different from a Classic if all you're referring to is drivetrain. The only boat I'm really familiar with maintaining is a 40 year old 18 Classic...and it's tough.

There are a few guys on here who have or have had both Classics and ZX's. They can be a lot more help to you...let's hope they chime in. In the meantime, do some internet searches for Donzi and see the notable differences.

06-11-2012, 12:16 AM
Seems like the two BIG non-cosmetic differences are the freeboard/beam/layout difference (which has been talked about) and the stepped-hull/smooth hull difference. There are lots of tradeoffs, and I won't even try to go through them, but wanted to say I'd not overlook the stepped vs. smooth hull aspect. Regardless of which ultimately suits you better.

Also, if it matters at all, in the long term I *suspect* the classics will hold more value.

Good luck and have fun with your shopping,


06-11-2012, 09:54 AM
If your in and out from a cottage on short runs and are looking for brief jump in and go, fun trips, the classics are great. If you want to spend all day on ther water with other people on your boat, the ZX might be more what you're looking for.

Incidentally, but not unselfishly...I have an 18 2+3 for sale in the classifieds here. :)

06-11-2012, 11:02 AM
We went through a similar boat search last summer. I really wanted a 22 Classic but realized that it would not be ideal for family use, ie pulling tubes, picnics, and multiple adults and kids on board. We found a 21LXR bowrider (similar size to Z22 but no cabin) that has turned out to be an awesome family boat for our use here on the TN river and Wheeler lake. Plenty of room (seating and storage) and higher freeboard for the kiddos. I did install a Captain's Call exhaust so it at least sounds a little cooler than the average bowrider.

The plan is to run this until our daughter heads off to school and then get a 22C. Sounds like for your use the Classic would work pretty well already. It is a buyer's market for sure, but I think that the overall demand for classics will remain relatively strong compared to a lot of other boats.

roadtrip se
06-11-2012, 01:25 PM
I have owned an 18 and still have a 22 Classic. I have also spent quite a bit of time on the 22ZX.

To start with, none of these boats have a ton of space. If you are looking to bring a lot of stuff with you, then the ZX
wins, hands down for storage, but the idea of utilizing the cabin for anything other than a place to throw things is going to be a bit of a dream. This being said, the Classics have no space, so you find yourself consolidating coolers and leaving stuff on the docks. These things just aren't picnic/day boats.

The other key difference is power options and performance. The 22 ZX, with the exception of a few, came with a 350. Typical speeds are just south of 60. The 18 Classic will run just below 70 with a 350. A 22 will do the same, or a little more, with a big block.

Money is the other factor. 15-22K is the very bottom of the market for a nice post-1996, AMH, 22. It would probably buy a very nice, 18. So this is what I would recommend based on your budget. You an step up to a 22 later, when the Classic bug bites like it will, if you are like most of us.

06-12-2012, 01:38 PM
These 3 boats couldn't really be any more different. The 18 feels tiny to me relative to the the 22 classic. The zx is a different animal all together. The zx is more of a technology based boat with the step bottom. The inside area isn't much bigger than the 22 but the boat is overall bigger (taller) and has the back sunpad.

If you want a boat to drive, either classic. The 18 being the more nimble of the two, the 22 being better suited for a bit longer runs and day trips. The 22zx is not as nimble as either of the classics. plenty of people have spun them because of the step bottom. They will be much more suited to beach somewhere or anchor at a cove though because you have the nice sun pad and swim platform.

For a car comparison, the 18 is probably like a Ford Cobra with a small block. nimble, fun, small. The 22 is more Corvette-like. Still purpose built sports car but not quite as nimble but generally speaking faster top end and easier on the long haul. The 22zx I'd compare to a Mustang convertible. Fun, fast, more room, more versatile but it doesn't necessarily do any one thing best. More of an all around fun ride.

06-13-2012, 11:25 AM
What kind of dogs...footballs or real dogs? The zx would be hard go get real dogs in and out of if you beach the boat...too tall. Football dogs either boat would be fine...

Rule of thumb is to buy bigger than you think you need... If you have a tow vehicle capable of towing a 25 or 26 zx I would strongly consider looking into one. Overnight trips are fun. And you never know when you might want to take it with you for a vacation on big water.

06-13-2012, 03:07 PM
To build on what Todd (roadtrip) said, buy the best boat you can afford.
Like collectable cars, there aren't any bargains.
Many have bought older Classics, installed new upholstery, dash, carpet, and maybe an engine or drive, and think they've "restored" their new prized possesion.
Than to find out the stringers and transom are rotten.........ooops!
There goes another $5K-$10K!
Surveys are always a good idea.

06-13-2012, 04:24 PM
I think a yellow 96 18 would be perfect for you. I even might know where to find one.:yes:

06-13-2012, 04:39 PM
22 or 22ZX, make sure it has a totally stock Mercruiser 7.4L or 454/502 Magnum for most reliability. A 7.4L carb will be turn the key and go for years.

joseph m. hahnl
06-13-2012, 09:37 PM
The 18 was the longest running production boat


18's tend to be a bit more radical http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c111/streb2005/GEO.jpg
22's classic is a larger version of the proven 16 and 18 hull

They are Faster out of the box then an 18

The zx with it's stepped hull is faster out of the box than a 22



06-13-2012, 10:03 PM
One of the most versatile Play/Family boats has been passed over! The MINX:shocking:

06-14-2012, 02:36 PM

06-14-2012, 03:07 PM
I loved my MINX. Just a tad too small for where I boat.


Tim Morris
06-14-2012, 03:42 PM
"One of the most versatile Play/Family boats has been passed over! The MINX"

The cat is out of the bag now!

06-14-2012, 07:50 PM
Tim had I not been so deep into my 22 I would be riding around in Ken's old boat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1