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Pozos

Crossover advice

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Pozos

Many thanks for a wonderful forum. Recently an avid reader and decisions to be made.

Our 15 year old I/O is on its last legs and I am learning about Malibu boats.

My wife and I have 3 children in early 20's. We ski/board 60/40 and usually have 4 or 5 in the boat but occasionally when childrens friends arrive they pack in 8 or 9. Mostly free skiing on a Maine lake and rarely we have access to a course. Children are quite proficient skiers and son barefoots after starting on a kneeboard. The lake is 10mile x 1/2mile in dimension and can get fairly rough and when vacation days are few we may be on the water in less than pristine conditions or the wind may pick up when we are several miles from home. The boat is usually mored but we have been considering a boat lift.

I started considering a 20 or 21 foot LSV. The 20 sounded to have a wonderful ski wake but I had doubts about it's ability in rougher water. Lots of water over the bough would make for unhappy boaters on a cool day. The 21 LSV seemed perhaps a better choice. Then I started reading more posts and started considering the VTX and VLX. I am pretty sure I want the diamond hull for its skiability.

I would appreciate thoughts. I plan to ski behind both boats but don't have a lot of days to travel to the dealer in various water conditions.

Also, we pull up to afloating dock and jump in over the side and the illusion tower seems awkwardly placed. What are the benefits of the Illusion or the Titan tower and for a ski weekend we might prefer to remove the tower-- is this possible and if so is it easy.

Many thanks,

Pozos

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MalibuTime
Many thanks for a wonderful forum. Recently an avid reader and decisions to be made.

Our 15 year old I/O is on its last legs and I am learning about Malibu boats.

My wife and I have 3 children in early 20's. We ski/board 60/40 and usually have 4 or 5 in the boat but occasionally when childrens friends arrive they pack in 8 or 9. Mostly free skiing on a Maine lake and rarely we have access to a course. Children are quite proficient skiers and son barefoots after starting on a kneeboard. The lake is 10mile x 1/2mile in dimension and can get fairly rough and when vacation days are few we may be on the water in less than pristine conditions or the wind may pick up when we are several miles from home. The boat is usually mored but we have been considering a boat lift.

I started considering a 20 or 21 foot LSV. The 20 sounded to have a wonderful ski wake but I had doubts about it's ability in rougher water. Lots of water over the bough would make for unhappy boaters on a cool day. The 21 LSV seemed perhaps a better choice. Then I started reading more posts and started considering the VTX and VLX. I am pretty sure I want the diamond hull for its skiability.

I would appreciate thoughts. I plan to ski behind both boats but don't have a lot of days to travel to the dealer in various water conditions.

Edit- Of course don't just take our opinions, the biggest mistake you can make is not testing, and being 100% comfortable with your choice.

Edit - of course the biggest mistake is not trying them out yourself and deciding what works best for you. We can just give you considerations, but don't go on that alone!

Also, we pull up to afloating dock and jump in over the side and the illusion tower seems awkwardly placed. What are the benefits of the Illusion or the Titan tower and for a ski weekend we might prefer to remove the tower-- is this possible and if so is it easy.

Many thanks,

Pozos

Welcome to TMC. As you know, plenty of free advice and opinions here! Well considering you are looking for an all-around boat that is used more than skiing than for wakeboarding, on possibly rough water, with lots of people, plus barefooting, I'd say a 23' XTI with a diamond hull and a supercharged HH. Thumbup.gif

Seriously though, if I disect what you are saying, you really want a boat to ski with (60%) and be barefoot capable, but also have backup capability for more people and wakeboarding. I'd say that puts you in a VTX w/HH, diamond or wake hull. As for rough water etc., well, your not going to be skiing in it, and if its too rough for wakeboarding you'll probably want to be in anyhow. Add a boat lift for those truly nasty days and you are there. If you are only taking 8 or 9 once in a while, and you are on a lake, no worries, you can always trade out passengers.

As for the tower, leave it on, there is really no reason to take it off. Get the center walk-over and get to the dock by going out the back and off the swim step if the tower is bugging you, or off the bow.

Edited by TheBlackPearl

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99response

VTX w/ a diamond hull and Titan tower....VTX will take the rough stuff pretty well.

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UWSkier

Nothing in the Malibu line will ride really rough water like an I/O. There's no way to trim a Malibu. That said, you can still do slow to moderate cruises and not beat the hell out of your passengers. Your lake sounds similar to ours. On those days, we either rack the boat on the lift or just do some wakesurfing.

I know you said you don't have access to a course, but do you see that being true going forward? I think once your sons get behind a Malibu, their skills will improve rapidly and they'll be wanting to chase buoys sooner or later. The VTX on the diamond hull is the finest-skiing V drive I've ever been behind, followed closely by the older generations of the 21' V drive. It's a bit wide but is very course capable and would more than meet your needs for more passengers on some days. You only really have to pay attention to water over the bow if you're running at wake speeds with people in the bow and you turn to pick up a downed rider. Even then, if you're good with the throttle, you can avoid playing U-boat commander.

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Pozos

Thank you for the thoughts. I may have been a bit misleading. Son's barefoot ability was said to suggest he is quite accomplished even with infrequent access to a course. Footing is not a significant concern. Still a bit confused on weather a 20 VTX or or 21.5 foot VLX is being suggested. VTX is better for skiing but VLX is roomier and probably better in chop. Is the VLX significantly worse for skiing and is the diamond hull available in the VLX as this is not stated on the Malibu site.

As to the tower what leads one to choose one design over the other. Are there significant functional differences. Note we have no interest in stereo speakers etc-- rather like the quiet.

Another thought-- does anyone have the two captains chairs option--my wife likes to face forward most of the time.

Thanks again,

Pozos

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99response

A VTX throws a great ski wake....a VLX you can ski behind but it won't be that great even with the diamond hull (although may be alot better than your IO).

No functional differences in the towers, both are very solid.

I would not get the sport steaing (2 captians chairs) on a VTX, too tight.

-Chris

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VinRLX
does anyone have the two captains chairs option--my wife likes to face forward most of the time.

Let her drive. Biggrin.gif

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srab
Thank you for the thoughts. I may have been a bit misleading. Son's barefoot ability was said to suggest he is quite accomplished even with infrequent access to a course. Footing is not a significant concern. Still a bit confused on weather a 20 VTX or or 21.5 foot VLX is being suggested. VTX is better for skiing but VLX is roomier and probably better in chop. Is the VLX significantly worse for skiing and is the diamond hull available in the VLX as this is not stated on the Malibu site.

As to the tower what leads one to choose one design over the other. Are there significant functional differences. Note we have no interest in stereo speakers etc-- rather like the quiet.

Another thought-- does anyone have the two captains chairs option--my wife likes to face forward most of the time.

Thanks again,

Pozos

The VLX is available on the diamond hull. I'm pretty sure that it will soon be available on the

newer cut diamond hull. FWIW, though, I've got an '06 21 LSV on the diamond hull and the wake

is, at least IMO, very nice for slalom skiing. Certainly not ideal for competitive course skiing,

but, coming from an I/0 and being predominantly free-skiers, I'll bet that you and your kids will

be thrilled with it. My kids and I certainly are.

We also enjoy the wake at wakeboarding speeds with the older manual wedge, even without

ballast. So, add the ballast option and the newer power wedge, or the free-floating manual

wedge, and I think the VLX has got to be an ideal crossover boat.

I haven't had the opportunity to ski behind a 20 LSV or a 20 VTX on the cut diamond hull, but

I'm sure that they are even better for slalom skiing. Certainly an option if you don't need or

want the extra room of the bigger boat.

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UWSkier
does anyone have the two captains chairs option--my wife likes to face forward most of the time.

Let her drive. Biggrin.gif

Or put her in the bow or the back seat. :)

Either boat will ski much better than the I/O, but the VTX will have quite a bit nicer ski wake than the 21 LSV on the diamond hull. The 21 will handle chop better with the extra 2 degrees of V on the entry. I guess the biggest question is, how often do you really think you'll be out on the real choppy days? Regarding the space, the usable space behind the windshield on the 20 vs the 21 is pretty much a wash. Where the 21 has more space is in the bow, where people tend not to sit as often anyways.

Find a dealer that will let you try them both.

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CTSunsetter
does anyone have the two captains chairs option--my wife likes to face forward most of the time.

Let her drive. Biggrin.gif

Regarding the space, the usable space behind the windshield on the 20 vs the 21 is pretty much a wash. Where the 21 has more space is in the bow, where people tend not to sit as often anyways.

You loose a lot (maybe all - just can't recall) of the space behind the windshield if you opt for the sport seating (two captain’s chairs). Try the sport seating before ordering it! I found it to be very cramped and not terribly comfortable on a 20 LSV that had it that I sat in.

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Matt_Alger

Pozos,

I spent a bunch of time looking at boats and demoing before I settled in on the 20 VTX with the Cut Diamond hull. I even test drove and skiied behind a 23 LSV with the Wake Hull to be sure I would notice the difference on the ski wake of the bigger boats so I understand your situation. As you can tell I chose the 20 VTX with the Cut Diamond hull because in my opinion it was the best all around wake with a slant toward slalom skiing. I could tell a difference in slalom performance as I went to the 21 with the Diamond Hull and again to the 23 with the wake hull. However, I was still surprised that I could have a casual open water set behind the 23 LSV with Wake Hull but knew it was affecting my slalom performance where as the 20 VTX with the Cut Diamond Hull didn't much impact my free skiing ability vs my old Response. The 23 LSV handled the rough water like butter. Wow! I was able to cruise across whitecaps like a stern drive and not feel like I wasn't being respectful to the people in the boat (not beating them to death). The 20 VTX with CD is a different story. Unlike my Response, I can at least go across whitecaps while on plane but all the passengers are probably going to want to move to the back seat. You will feel every bump and it isn't something that you will want to do a lot. I have become accustom to inboards and making sure to keep the bow above the water so it is a natural reaction to avoid the chance of water in the bow but if you have 3 people up front and don't pay attention, I could see dipping the bow. I did not test the 21 in rough water. For Malibu will have a new 21' design on the '09 models which should have the cut diamond hull. You may also want to consider waiting for that. Could probably have late in the season yet this year.

By the way, I agree with the issue on the Illusion tower especially for the 20 VTX and getting in and out of the boat. Get the Titan III. It is a great tower and you won't have to worry about removing the tower as you suggested. It isn't in the way at all.

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Pozos

Matt,

Special thanks for a very helpful and on target reply. We have had many of the same thoughts though yours are much better informed-- I'm new to the thought process not having considered a new boat for 15 years. My 21 foot I/O (about 16" of built in swim platform are included in that measurement) has treated the family well over the years. We would love a better ski wake but we board in chop and also tube and airchair in light whitecaps. Though we try not to sometimes we are caught miles downlake in heavy whitecaps. I know that there is no perfect boat for all things but ----.

The VTX at 20' sounds like it has a great ski wake and would also be wonderful for any boarding we are likely to do and with enough ballast perhaps for surfing also. The VTX might be a tad small but most times would be fine. I do worry about being beaten up in rough water. The 23' boats are larger than I want. Perhaps the VLX diamond hull at 21' would be a compromise-- hard to know if wake quality for skiing or rough water ability is more important without actually living with the boat. And waiting for the redesign of the VLX seems reasonable if our aging old boat lasts the season.

Would also be happy to hear from others re the ski wake and rough water ability of the boats in question.

Regards,

Pozos

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mrothwell

I have the VTX on the Cut Diamond hull. It is plenty roomy for 6 - 8, and I have had many more on board. It also handles the chop well for that size boat. I've had it at lake Powell, where things can be real ugly, and never worried about it for a minute.

It is a great cross-over boat - ski's well, boards well, surfs good enough for me.

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