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AZ Mike

Which model to choose........

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AZ Mike

Brand new on the board; this is great....lots of good information.

I have been threatening to buy a Malibu for the last 7 years, but have not yet pulled the trigger. So, now that gas is well in excess of $4 a gallon, it is the perfect time to enter a gas guzzling sport, no?

First question. Related to used boats, does the fact that the '09 boats will be running out of the plants shortly immediately impact the value of used boats? I.e., do they age a year when the '09s roll out, as would cars?

Second question is really just looking for opinions on model selection to ponder. I have been following the changes in the boats, have bugged the heck out of the dealer in Atlanta (where I just moved from) with lots of visits and questions, have taken several test drives and rides (though admittedly none since '06), and am sold on Malibu. However, I waver a bit on which model. I originally planned on WS VLX, but am not always 100% certain.

At least at present, I am recreational everything. I like to ski and board and surf, but I typically just get out and make cuts on the ski (rarely if ever ski buoys), am not doing anything real technical/advanced on a wakeboard, and am just picking up wakesurfing. I don't know that I will ever be good enough to demand the "best", but certainly appreciate the comforts, bells and whistles as much as the next guy.

Opinions I am looking for:

1. open seating area like WS VLX/LSV vs. direct drive of XTI

I like the open area in a VLX/LSV, but appreciate the handling of a direct drive yet not sure how I feel about cabin layout of XTI. I am of the opinion that XTI will give a better ski wake, but not sure how much is given up with respect to boarding and surfing wake. And, since I just ski recreationally anyhow, should I even worry about it.

2. Which hull

I met a few Bu owners who ordered the ski hull boats equipped like a wakesetter to get a better ski wake yet still be able to board. Same as above......how much is given up in wakeboard and surf wake for better ski wake?

3. Size

For most situations, I would imagine that a 21' like a VLX, or maybe even a 20' like VTX would be sufficient. Yet, it is always nice to have the space, storage and seating capacity when you need it. Plus, I love going to Lake Powell, where a larger boat is going to fare better when it gets choppy. Assuming that parking space is not an issue, what are the benefits/drawbacks to the various sizes? I.e., how much better handling are the shorter boats vs. the larger ones; how much better do the larger boats run in choppy water than the shorter ones; wake characteristics of each (I believe VLX is more peaky and LSV more rampy, correct?); do the shorter boats put up enough wake for wakesurfing; etc.

Thanks for the board, and thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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javamans

you could buy an 07 XTI in smithville, mo brand new. great deal (around 42K is the rumor). when i was at my dealer last week i saw it as i had looked at it last fall when i bought mine (it's come down quite a bit) worth a holler.

as to the size of a boat i love the room of my 247 but a boat that size is a heck of a lot more work than my last 19'

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Bill_AirJunky

What discipline are you into? A Response isn't going to do a wakeboarder much good. And a VLX won't do a skier a lot of good either.

Also, what is your price range? How many people go ride with you on the average day? If money is not an issue & you have a ton of people going with you everyday, then check out the 23' LSV or the 24'7" LSV.

7 years?? Geez, pull the trigger already. Hope you've had another boat around to get your fix.

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chrisallenhogs

Just make it easy....Go VLX!!!!!!

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tomfish

I can't even begin to say how happy we are with our 07 23lsv. It is just fantastic for all we do, the extra space really makes that much better.

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AZ Mike
you could buy an 07 XTI

I haven't made this decision; merely a consideration. I would love feedback from anyone who can speak from experience on difference between XTI and VLX or LSV with respect to handling, positives/negatives of cabin layout, wake performance for ski/board/surf, etc.

i love the room of my 247

I have not been on a 247 yet. Can you ski recreationally behind that, or is the wake too big? I presume it is good for boarding/surfing? As compared to VLX or LSV??

What discipline are you into?

As mentioned in my post, skiing, boarding, and surfing......all at a recreational level. I don't care if it isn't a tournament ski wake, but it would be nice if after making a hard cut that crossing the wake is not life threatening. For boarding, it doesn't have to be a pro wake. More rampy is probably better than more peaky for me.....then again, I may just not know what I am talking about.

7 years?? Geez, pull the trigger already. Hope you've had another boat around to get your fix.

I have had friends with boats. Yahoo.gif

Go VLX!!!!!!

A great boarding/surfing boat with a reasonable ski wake, making it a Go VLX!!!!!!favorite.

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Sandbagger

I have a VLX WS. The seating for a 21' is more spacious than any other boat I found in that size. Handling is excellent (maybe even the best) when compared to boats in the wakeboarding class with v-drives.

The wake is great for wakeboarding, this is my first year wakeboarding. When I was looking at boats I felt like you; did not really think I would need a great wake because I am recreational, and I considered the skiing aspects of the wake as well. Luckily I deceided to go with the VLX w/wake hull (the dealer said at skiing speeds the wake was ok for skiing, I would now disagree w/that).

I am now using full ballasts trying to get the best wakes possible, makes wakeboarding way better. BTW, after wakeboarding I can honestly say I will never ski again, it is funner, has more tricks, always somthing new to try and at the lower speed my bad falls do not hurt as much as my bad skiing falls.

As far as skiing, not good behind my boat. My skier friends saw the wake and never even tried it, they have all started wakeboarding instead. I am glad I did not make the mistake of trying to get a boat that would be OK for wakeboarding and skiing. Plus, if I ever want to try surfing I know the VLX will deliver a decent wake.

Wakeboarding is really fun and the bigger the wake the better.

Edited by Sandbagger

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Malibudude

If slalom skiing is something you want to do I'd recommend taking the VTX on the diamond hull a spin, if you can't find one to demo just try the 20' LSV as it's the same hull just minus the in floor ballast. The VTX will handle better than the larger v-drives and produce a nice surf/wake. The new Fxi may be the ticket but any DD will limit the surfing abilities when compared to a vd. I've got both a ski boat and a VLX, I'll tell ya the VLX wake is horrible for slalomskiing period. My SLXI will ski better than either of those models but the wake and surfing aren't as good.

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Guest J-Ro

Don't but a direct drive. You will regret it in the end. Soon you will want more space, the open seating, and selling a direct drive is not easy anymore. Go VLX. Your a rec skier so the ski wake will be fine. Don't let the hard core skiers tell you otherwise. Ask Barefooth2oskier, he skis behind his WS 23 LSV and he is one of the best skiers I know. You should look for a hold over '08 unless you really want the new stuff and the higher sticker price.

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Matt_Alger

First, I agree that you will want to demo before you buy. You should ask your dealer to have a 20LSV and a 23 LSV Wakesetter for your first demo. That will easily help clarify what you want. Then you can ask for the 21LSV or VLX on a second demo if you are in between.

I think that you have to decide on a few things. Direct Drive or V-Drive. Based on what you have said, I think you will be very pleased with a V-Drive. I never thought that I would give up my Direct Drive but after just a couple of times out, I was reassured that I made the right choice. Assuming that you will go that way, then decide how much skiing you want to do. If you want to ski 50% of the time then the Cut Diamond Hull on either a VTX or 20 LSV will be a great choice if you are good enough to run a course occasionally. However, the Wake Hull on the VTX / 20LSV is also good for open water skiing too. I spent quite a bit of time researching and taking demos of various boats. In the end I chose the VTX with the Cut Diamond Hull because I slant toward slalom and barefoot, but I also wanted to wakeboard and be able to wakesurf as well. I feel like this boat was designed for people just like me! I guess that I am also a person who wants to do it all which I can behind my boat. If you truly just open water ski and don't really care to push your slalom abilities then you may want the 21' or 23' for more room in the boat. Yes, you give up slalom performance but if you just want recreational fun then these boats are obviously friendlier for a bigger crowd. We often have 2 families (8 people) which is comfortable in our boat but all the kids are under 12. I am happy to deal with the tight spaces when I get the very good wake for a dawn slalom or barefooting run but on the bumpy afternoons, I could see where it would be nice to have another 1.5 - 3' length in the boat. I would like to see how the VLX on the Cut Diamond Hull performs. The new "bells and whistles" look very nice!

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2thdoc01

Whatever you do, buy from a dealer who sells ski boats and has done so for a long time. I made the mistake of buying from a new dealer and its been nothing but frustration. They dont know squat about the boats, the maintainence or the accessories. A HUGE waste of time!!!!!!

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2THEL8K
I would like to see how the VLX on the Cut Diamond Hull performs. The new "bells and whistles" look very nice!

Does anyone know if Malibu will offer the Cut Diamond Hull on the '09 VLX? I think it would be great to give people that flexibility on 'Bu's flagship boat. Obviously the VLX caters more towards boarding, etc. However, for those who want a boat that does it all and want to stay in the Wakesetter series, it would certainly be preferable IMHO to opt for the VLX with with the Diamond hull than have to step down to a smaller boat (VTX), or "settle" for the Sunscape series. No knock at all to either of the other boats/series, I just have a strong preference for the VLX and would easily settle for less of a wakeboard wake if it meant better all around performance.

Edited by 2THEL8K

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Bobby Light
I have a VLX WS. The seating for a 21' is more spacious than any other boat I found in that size. Handling is excellent (maybe even the best) when compared to boats in the wakeboarding class with v-drives.

The wake is great for wakeboarding, this is my first year wakeboarding. When I was looking at boats I felt like you; did not really think I would need a great wake because I am recreational, and I considered the skiing aspects of the wake as well. Luckily I deceided to go with the VLX w/wake hull (the dealer said at skiing speeds the wake was ok for skiing, I would now disagree w/that).

I am now using full ballasts trying to get the best wakes possible, makes wakeboarding way better. BTW, after wakeboarding I can honestly say I will never ski again, it is funner, has more tricks, always somthing new to try and at the lower speed my bad falls do not hurt as much as my bad skiing falls.

As far as skiing, not good behind my boat. My skier friends saw the wake and never even tried it, they have all started wakeboarding instead. I am glad I did not make the mistake of trying to get a boat that would be OK for wakeboarding and skiing. Plus, if I ever want to try surfing I know the VLX will deliver a decent wake.

Wakeboarding is really fun and the bigger the wake the better.

I take it you haven't taken a trick out into the flats yet and blown a knee out...

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UWSkier
I would like to see how the VLX on the Cut Diamond Hull performs. The new "bells and whistles" look very nice!

Does anyone know if Malibu will offer the Cut Diamond Hull on the '09 VLX? I think it would be great to give people that flexibility on 'Bu's flagship boat. Obviously the VLX caters more towards boarding, etc. However, for those who want a boat that does it all and want to stay in the Wakesetter series, it would certainly be preferable IMHO to opt for the VLX with with the Diamond hull than have to step down to a smaller boat (VTX), or "settle" for the Sunscape series. No knock at all to either of the other boats/series, I just have a strong preference for the VLX and would easily settle for less of a wakeboard wake if it meant better all around performance.

You can get a VLX for '09 with the Cut Diamond Hull. It's called the Sunscape 21 LSV. No settling required. It's the exact same boat from the waterline up as the VLX if you order it in Fakesetter form. For the past few years, if you've ordered a wakesetter on the diamond hull, you've essentially gotten a 21 LSV Sunscape with the Wakesetter trimmings.

AZ Mike, I would look hard at the 20 or 21 LSV with MLS, Wedge, and Tower. They will be far more versatile than a pure wake boat or a direct drive slalom boat would ever be. We use ours for everything from course skiing to wake surfing and while it doesn't necessarily excel at any disciplines, it's far better for surfing/boarding than any DD would be and dramatically better than any V-drive wakesetter will ever be for skiing.

If you're not a one-trick pony and want a boat that will versatile enough to be able to do whatever you want it to do and do it well, I'd recommend looking the hardest at those two models.

Edited by UWSkier

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2THEL8K
You can get a VLX for '09 with the Cut Diamond Hull. It's called the Sunscape 21 LSV. No settling required. It's the exact same boat from the waterline up as the VLX if you order it in Fakesetter form. For the past few years, if you've ordered a wakesetter on the diamond hull, you've essentially gotten a 21 LSV Sunscape with the Wakesetter trimmings.

Thank you for the info UWSkier. I'll be taking a close look then at both the VLX and the Sunscape 21 LSV. Part of the reason for the question is I was wondering why they only offer the cut diamond hull for the VTX since that is in the WS family. Seems if they can offer it for one of those models, they could offer it for another...

Edited by 2THEL8K

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AZ Mike

Thanks, UWSkier; that is helpful. As I mentioned in my initial entry in this post, I met a few guys in Atlanta who were 2 sport (ski and board) families that had this same setup and really liked it. How would you compare the wake behind this boat to the wake behind a comparable ws vlx, both for boarding and for surfing? How much additional weight do you need to add? I assume the ski wake is great for recreational skiing. I'll throw in the disclaimer that most of my skiing has been done behind jet boats or I/Os, which is why I am nowhere near as picky about ski wake as hardcore DD skiers.

I will also assume that the cut diamond hull will not cut through chop nearly as well as a wake hull; would you agree?

Would anyone care to chime in on the differences of handling, wake and ability to handle chop between the 20-21 foot boats vs. the 23-24 foot boats? I know that a big boat won't handle quite as well, will likely put up a larger wake (but I don't know impact on shape), and should handle the chop better, but if anyone can add any to this, that would be helpful. My primary concern here is ability to handle rough water. I was on an 18' I/O at Lake Powell during a monsoon once, and it felt like being on the SS Minnow in the opening credits of Gilligan's Island.

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UWSkier
Thanks, UWSkier; that is helpful. As I mentioned in my initial entry in this post, I met a few guys in Atlanta who were 2 sport (ski and board) families that had this same setup and really liked it. How would you compare the wake behind this boat to the wake behind a comparable ws vlx, both for boarding and for surfing? How much additional weight do you need to add? I assume the ski wake is great for recreational skiing. I'll throw in the disclaimer that most of my skiing has been done behind jet boats or I/Os, which is why I am nowhere near as picky about ski wake as hardcore DD skiers.

I will also assume that the cut diamond hull will not cut through chop nearly as well as a wake hull; would you agree?

Would anyone care to chime in on the differences of handling, wake and ability to handle chop between the 20-21 foot boats vs. the 23-24 foot boats? I know that a big boat won't handle quite as well, will likely put up a larger wake (but I don't know impact on shape), and should handle the chop better, but if anyone can add any to this, that would be helpful. My primary concern here is ability to handle rough water. I was on an 18' I/O at Lake Powell during a monsoon once, and it felt like being on the SS Minnow in the opening credits of Gilligan's Island.

I'm 235 and I can surf way back on our 2001 with 600 lbs in the surf side locker, 500 lbs under the seats surf side, and 500 in the bow surf side with the wedge down. I can surf that with just a driver and a spotter, but of course, it's better with more people. Since our 2001, the boats have gotten bigger and heavier. For wakeboarding, which we don't do much of, the wedge and 500 lbs in the bow works pretty well. That gives a nice transition and nice pop. J-Ro was doing inverts behind our boat on a borrowed board that was too small for him with no tower with this wake setup so it couldn't have been too rotten. :) Newer boats with the free floating or power wedge are likely a little different. I've never wakeboarded behind a WS VLX so I can't really comment on that.

There's not a lot of difference in terms of ride quality in rough water between the Diamond and Wake hulls. The bigger difference is seen by going to a larger boat. The 21 will handle rough water better than the 20, and the 23 better than the 21, but with each step up there are also drawbacks realized in wake characteristics.

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tomfish

my last boat was a 97 dd sunsetter lx and obviously it handled better than the 23 but, by no means is the 23 a slug. The thing rails turns and cuts thru choppy water nicely. The open space and big wake of the 23 is just awsome, after sitting in a vlx now owning a 23 I am soooooooooooooooooo glad we did not get the smaller boat. I'll admit I have not driven a vlx, but I can't belive it would handle leaps and bounds better than the 23.

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