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DarkSide

M235 and RI257 compare and contrast

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DAI

Nice write-up.  Wish there was a Centurion dealer closer to me as I would give the RI a serious look.

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ahopkinsTXi

Wait, a Yeti isn't considered a real cooler? There are going to be so many disappointed bro's with yeti hats and stickers!

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spikew919
8 minutes ago, DarkSide said:

@NAW @23LSVOwner @spikew919

As promised in the southern hospitality thread here is a compare and contrast.   I would really love to get Spike's opinion here as well. 

First both have area's where they excel, and both are fantastic.   It is fairly easy to see where the money went in both boats. 

As this is TMC I will start with what I see as M235 advantages.   In no particular order, just advantages. 

1. Power Bay.  M235 is on a different class than ANY boat here. 

2. G4 tower for those that fold thier tower, I don't fold mine, so for me this is not an issue, but for some it could be.  Ri tower is HEAVY and tough to fold by yourself. 

3.  Surfband, side to side switching.   The Malibu has lights, etc to help with timing, the RI does not. 

4. Wakeboard wake.  I can only get 1 side at a time clean at low speeds with the RI, I can clean either side in a couple seconds using CATS, but I can't get both clean at low speed. 

5. Trash can.  The M235 has an exposed trash can lid, biller very nice.   The RI trash can is located behind a seat cushion. 

6. Step Corner seats.   These are fantastic, they function as a step and booster seat for the person on rope duty. 

7. Bimini zipper!  Rope access through the Bimini.   Also rope holder, I never saw a use for it when I had it, but spike educated me rather than detach surf rope coil and store, while leaving attached. 

8. Power seat height adjustment!

9. Flat skim wave, similar to the tower, I have not put much effort into flat wave, we are all  surf style so prefer steep.  I just got settings for skim yesterday but haven't tried them so I will give this one to the M235.

10.  Software the Malibu command center is smooth and clean, and very intuitive.  The RI side by side could be even better, however it is currently handicapped by software.   It works and is fairly easy to use, but it is not quite as clean as the command center. 

RI257 Advantages 

1. Surf style wave.   The RI wave is slightly taller, but significantly longer, the M235 can go into lift mode and create a very long wave, but to do it it sacrifices size/shape.  The firmness of the RI wave and push is not something that can be seen in pictures/video.  The difference is real though, you need to experience it, then you "get it".

2. Bimini coverage, this is huge! Whether you are hiding from sunshine, or trying to get out of the rain.  The Bimini coverage is awesome.    The RI Bimini is also easier to deploy, not by much, because G4 Bimini is REALLY easy, but RI is even better.

3.  Slide seat, rumble seat, whatever you want to call it.  In most boats the rear seat flips/slides forward and leaves a huge step from sunpad/walkway back into the boat.  It also eats a ton of interior room.   With the RI, I added a second slide seat.  This allows full rear seat AND a seat under the Bimini.  It also allows you to slide the 2 together and have a giant "bed".   This works VERY well in RI257 only.  Slide seat in 217/237 would eat too much interior space.

4.  In floor cooler, the RI comes with 42Qt grizzly cooler an M235 comes with yeti.  At 100k+  all boats should get a real cooler.   I normally stick my grizzly in the observer compartment and use the compartment as a drink cooler.

5.  Rear transom locker.  This is great to store boards in transit, and has a 700# ballast bag for surfing

6.  Ballast.  Ri comes with "PNP" complete with each bag on its own reversible pump.  So no piggy back fill and drain.  Ram fill is 30 seconds to fill 45 to drain.  M235 is very slow.   This is not huge deal unless your on limited time, or trying to squeeze a ride in Between breaks in the weather. 

7.  Ride, big heavy, deep V.  This is the perfect recipe for smooth dry ride. 

8. Venting the vents are hidden on the 257, just makes a cleaner look.   Not having a row of 3-5 vents down the side of the boat. 

In summary both are fantastic.  

The M235 is definitely the best Malibu wave I have ever ridden.   There is a bit more bling, power door pockets, etc.  on the M235.  It also has a $20k-30k premium over a Ri257 so a bit more should be there.

The 257 is a lake limo, there is room for everyone, (and thier crap), the extra 2' is evident.  If surf centric there is no better choice.  However if you are a SERIOUS wakeboard person, probably not the best choice.   Clean wake on both sides is only available at 22+.  Additionally with 9000 pounds of displacement with ballast empty, small wakes are not possible. 

Both boats have oversized hardware, and billet everywhere.   There is amazing attention to detail on both.  Both are very easy to use, push a preset and go.   There is a common misconception the RI is difficult to use this is not accurate.  The M235 power bay and pocket door is crazy, the RI caps the rows of stainless cup holders with a single piece of billet, etc.  

These are both top shelf boats and it truly boils down to what you personally want, and how you will use it.  

Again I would love to get Spike's opinion here.

 

You are pretty spot on with your write up for sure. I will for sure say your fill times are definitely head and shoulders above Malibu's, and you did not mention fuel consumption. The direct inject engine In the 257 seems to get significantly better mileage than the 575 raptor. 

As for wave, the 257 definitely has a solid wave, very firm. For comparison, people that have snow boarded, the malibu is like fresh powder, forgiving and with plenty of push, the 257 would be more like snowboarding on hard packed snow or even ice, takes a little getting used to and will let you know if you over correct. And also plenty of push. We loved both waves. 

Definitely got the M beat with that huge Bimini. That thing is crazy. 

We love skim style so will stick with the M, but now that someone, I won't name any names, let my wife ride that soulcraft. We may be more into surfstyle soon ??‍♂️Lol

 both are definitely top shelf boats for sure as joe stated. 

And I will go further to say, I was pretty impressed with the Roswell sound system in the centurion also. And as for as Bluetooth goes, centurions has Malibu's beat hands down. 

I mean the Wetsounds is good but could be so much better if the amps were where I can tune them without software or whatever. 

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DarkSide
15 minutes ago, ahopkinsTXi said:

Wait, a Yeti isn't considered a real cooler? There are going to be so many disappointed bro's with yeti hats and stickers!

No, you misunderstand.  Yeti is ABSOLUTELY 100% top notch cooler.  But other than the Ri257 or M235 which boat gets a real cooler.....  all other Malibu come with $30 igloo, and the remaining centurion don't even get that!

I am saying EVERY boat in this range should get this, not just these 2 

Edited by DarkSide

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ahopkinsTXi
Just now, DarkSide said:

No, you misunderstand.  Yeti is ABSOLUTELY 100% top notch cooler.  But other than the Ri257 or M235 which boat gets a real cooler.....  all other Malibu come with $30 igloo, and the remaining centurion don't even get that!

I am saying EVERY boat in this range should get this, not just these 2 

Oh I gotcha. The bros can stop panicking now. 

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DarkSide
9 minutes ago, spikew919 said:

You are pretty spot on with your write up for sure. I will for sure say your fill times are definitely head and shoulders above Malibu's, and you did not mention fuel consumption. The direct inject engine In the 257 seems to get significantly better mileage than the 575 raptor. 

As for wave, the 257 definitely has a solid wave, very firm. For comparison, people that have snow boarded, the malibu is like fresh powder, forgiving and with plenty of push, the 257 would be more like snowboarding on hard packed snow or even ice, takes a little getting used to and will let you know if you over correct. And also plenty of push. We loved both waves. 

Definitely got the M beat with that huge Bimini. That thing is crazy. 

We love skim style so will stick with the M, but now that someone, I won't name any names, let my wife ride that soulcraft. We may be more into surfstyle soon ??‍♂️Lol

 both are definitely top shelf boats for sure as joe stated. 

And I will go further to say, I was pretty impressed with the Roswell sound system in the centurion also. And as for as Bluetooth goes, centurions has Malibu's beat hands down. 

I mean the Wetsounds is good but could be so much better if the amps were where I can tune them without software or whatever. 

The BT is very good with the RI, it connects everytime and is simple to change devices. 

As for fuel economy, the H6 is great.   I am using significantly less fuel than the LSA in my MXZ.  I am not sure how Raptor 575 does vs. LSA.  The H6 also runs on anything, even 87 octane.   I still use premium, but it only requires 87.  My worst fuel day ever has been 62 gallons.  I have used over 100 gallons in my MXZ before.    The transmission ratio are different for H6 vs. LSA, 1.72 for H6 and 1.5 for LSA, so there is not enough upside to order LSA with the RI.  It really only gets you better top speed and lower RPM's.  As for pulling power low end torque is almost identical due to the tranny difference. 

Hopefully we can do this again next year, it was so much fun.  

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bamabonners

Great write up.

 

What's the price difference between the 2 boats? 

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MaliWop
1 hour ago, DarkSide said:

The BT is very good with the RI, it connects everytime and is simple to change devices. 

As for fuel economy, the H6 is great.   I am using significantly less fuel than the LSA in my MXZ.  I am not sure how Raptor 575 does vs. LSA.  The H6 also runs on anything, even 87 octane.   I still use premium, but it only requires 87.  My worst fuel day ever has been 62 gallons.  I have used over 100 gallons in my MXZ before.    The transmission ratio are different for H6 vs. LSA, 1.72 for H6 and 1.5 for LSA, so there is not enough upside to order LSA with the RI.  It really only gets you better top speed and lower RPM's.  As for pulling power low end torque is almost identical due to the tranny difference. 

Hopefully we can do this again next year, it was so much fun.  

I've been blown away by the fuel economy with the 550 XR7 w/1.48. It is noticeably better than my 22 MXZ w/ L96 was. Considering the extra weight/size/ballast, I find it impressive (and somewhat a relief) to say the least. The Centurion wave has taken some getting used to for sure. The firmness and push is so different that you have to ride it 2 or 3 times before you can really start to take full advantage. Than it's on like Donkey Kong. Joe, seeing as you run 1000# of lead, you should try running with nothing in the transom bag (and even drain some out of the Rear PnP's if running with a larger crew). I've got a killer skim wake dialed in that works excellent and gets me further behind the boat than I've ever been. I surf Skim on the Goofy side and my wife goes Surf Style on the Regular side. The biggest advantage in that regard is to be able to switch between those 2 totally different waves by the push of a button without having to touch any ballasts. So far we are blown away with our Ri in every way. I can't speak to the M as every one I've ever been in was on a trailer and not in the water. I'm dying to get behind one to try it out. I think it would be awesome to spend a full day behind each boat to really get used to each wave. M235 vs. Ri257 Throwdown anyone? The Malibu's are the best looking boat on the water IMO. That's a hard one to beat. I think given the design of the Ri's, it'd be hard to get that sleek sporty look that you get with the Malibu's. I'm a HUGE fan of the G4. This is an interesting thread for sure. Thanks for sharing.

Edited by MaliWop

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MaliWop
33 minutes ago, bamabonners said:

Great write up.

 

What's the price difference between the 2 boats? 

In our neck of the woods it's significant. Keep in mind we're talking CAD, but we would've been $25K to go from the 2017 Ri257 (w/ Every box checked on the options list) with 0 hours to a 2016 M235 (Demo) w/ 25 hours on it. Based on that alone we never priced a new 2017 0 Hour M235.

That pricing was based on a dealer who no longer sells Malibu that wanted to keep our business, and the new Malibu dealer who wanted to keep us in a Malibu. Every area is different. The only way to really be sure on price is to shop your local dealers.

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DarkSide
1 minute ago, MaliWop said:

In our neck of the woods it's significant. Keep in mind we're talking CAD, but we would've been $25K to go from the 2017 Ri257 (w/ Every box checked on the options list) with 0 hours to a 2016 M235 (Demo) w/ 25 hours on it. Based on that alone we never priced a new 2017 0 Hour M235.

That pricing was based on a dealer who no longer sells Malibu that wanted to keep our business, and the new Malibu dealer who wanted to keep us in a Malibu. Every area is different. The only way to really be sure on price is to shop your local dealers.

Locally the 257 with H6 is $30k less than the M235, if you order the XR7(LSA) the gap falls to $20k.  You can make gaps go either way with options. 

 

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mrnate450r

We are going to be ordering a new boat this fall. I am torn. I loved my Malibu, but I have ridden a Ri and can't deny the wave. Granted, we are looking at the Ri217 vs 22 VLX. I'm waiting to put my build sheets together until 2018 info is fully released. Hoping the Ri is going to come in a little cheaper, but according to my research it is likely to be more. Wondering about resale too. I'd like to upgrade every 3-5 years without a huge hit. 

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IXFE

Great write up, Joe. The only thing missing are the pics... shame on you!!

Hey Spike, I could have warned you about surfing with Joe... it almost always ends with a new Soulcraft order. Ask me how I know :blush:

I only have one question for you guys... when and where next year?

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DarkSide

@IXFE we do norris every year.   Planning mid June 2018.   

@mrnate450r you may also want to check new Fi23 full release coming on Wednesday.  

Edited by DarkSide

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mrnate450r
2 minutes ago, DarkSide said:

@IXFE we do norris every year.   Planning mid June 2018.   

@mrnate450r you may also want to check new Fi23 full release coming on Wednesday.  

Watching the Fi VERY closely! Hoping for a Fi21 as well. 

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Stevo
2 hours ago, mrnate450r said:

We are going to be ordering a new boat this fall. I am torn. I loved my Malibu, but I have ridden a Ri and can't deny the wave. Granted, we are looking at the Ri217 vs 22 VLX. I'm waiting to put my build sheets together until 2018 info is fully released. Hoping the Ri is going to come in a little cheaper, but according to my research it is likely to be more. Wondering about resale too. I'd like to upgrade every 3-5 years without a huge hit. 

Looks like they took my advice and fixed the dash 

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DarkSide
5 minutes ago, Stevo said:

Looks like they took my advice and fixed the dash 

Not entirely, Fi is going to be the more budget friendly version.    RI series will still have the side by side.   I have heard the FI23 will be in the 23LSV price point.  

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wheelman

There will be a fi21

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Fffrank

Excuse the noob question but what is a/the Power Bay??

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Bawshogg

Fuse center/ switch buss is what I assume he means. M235 has a real fancy one.

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DarkSide
1 hour ago, BadgerBoater55 said:

386754.jpeg

Yes this....it is easily accessible no reaching into the depths of the observer for battery and breakers.  

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05hammerhead
2 minutes ago, IXFE said:

This thread is really cool... I have lots of opinions, but since I haven't surfed the 257 (yet) I'm not sure they're 100% valid.  I really really liked the 217 and 237.  I have also been pleasantly surprised with my 25 LSV this year (not just the goofy side either).  I like it as much if not more than the M235 I demo'd at the factory last year.   

I guess the best thought I can share is this...

With sooooo many great boats (and boards) now represented on TMC, it's almost a shame that we don't figure out a way to do our own event.  Just in the past month we've seen my 25 LSV together with Phil's G23 on the water at the same time.  Now we've also seen Joe's Ri257 together with Spike's M235.  

Am I the only one who sees these small trips as foreshadowing or potential for something EPIC?  Ragboy (aka Wake9) does his surfing event in October every year.  Can you imagine the event we could throw with just the resources we collectively own?  Imagine waking up every day on a dope house boat and wandering outside to see M235, 25 LSV, new 23 LSV, Ri257, Ri237, G23, GS22/24, T23, etc. all tied up side by side?  Pick a boat for the day, then pick a board (imagine how many we'd have lined up).  

Imagine the pics, the videos (drones!), the good times, and the stories we'd tell... 

Who's gonna plan this?  

I can promise Id like riding every single one of them.  Shoot, bring a TXi and Ill have fun wakeboarding behind that. 

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