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Malibu over Mastercraft?

Malibu? or the Dark Side!  

316 members have voted

  1. 1. If you could own either one without the conflict of money, which one would you own

    • Malibu
    • Mastercraft
    • Other
  2. 2. Would you ever rent one to see how they actually perform?

    • Yeah, I have been pretty interested
    • No, I'm gewd
    • I did and I like Malibu
    • I did but they cost too much

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So I wanted to kind of understand why you guys own Malibu's.

Right now my father and I started a company called Sportys Toy Club.com. Since I started boating I have been in Malibu's, and finally got a LSV wakesetter in 06 (dream come true). Anyways.. In starting this business, we acquired two other boats, both Mastercrafts.. And man it has been an adventure. We picked up these two boats because Mastercraft tends to be more friendly in the community than Malibu (at least out here in Vegas) and they came to us with a pretty cool deal.

Just a real short story on our adventures. In the 3 years we have had our Malibu, the only problem I had to get fixed was a seal in the power wedge broke so water got in the motor. Not once has the bilge ever been put to use or any other defects. After getting the Mastercrafts (X-Star PWT Edition and X-80), we have had to use the bilge pretty much every time we go out, speakers don't work, and the list goes on. I don't want to put Mastercraft down because I LOVE the X-Star we have, but just want more opinions.

The wake: Malibu is awsome because it can go from a very narrow rampy wake to a wide steep wake, and anywhere in-between. Mastercraft is very limited to a super steep wake (which is fun, but not for beginners).

Has anybody owned or had a good amount of experience in both boats? You guys really seem to know all about the Malibu's and so I figured I would ask a group of people who actually take time to know what they are doing and talking about :)

Just a side note: As much as I like the Mastercrafts, the price is WAY out of proportion. The interior isn't even comparable to the quality of our Malibu, but it is still very nice. But for how much these boats cost, there have been way too many problems and lacking way too much quality to be sold for that much. They do look very cool though. I'm not bashing either boat, as I love them all, but again I just want some opinions! :D

I got the day off work so I'm just being bored Whistling.gif Sorry if I offend anybody. Again, this isn't to bash either company (but we all know where our hearts lie <3)

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Top Posters In This Topic

  • Sandbagger


  • Ndawg12


  • Boat Rocks


  • Travis


Before I bought my MB my Friends had both, I have toured both plants in TN, and skied and footed behind both. I guess the biggest thing I have against the MC is the attitude and mindset of the MC owners and sales people, that better than thou attitude, I blame that on the dealers and the factory, I guess thats the only way to sell them, "your better than a Malibu boat" you couldn't pay me to own a MC! I just can't get by all the Attitude!

Edited by Boat Rocks
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Easy........Can't stand the way a MC looks. Way to Gawdy, Bling etc etc. I love clean lines, even my 67 mustang is built on this idea.

That's funny cause a friend of mine was comparing boats and wakeboarding and all that. Mike Schwenne is a pro boarder up at Lake McClure (if you don't know about him, look him up. He is an awsome guy and the best coach I've had) but his style is super smooth, grabbing everything, etc. And we were watching a bunch of good boarders from the East and it seems like the east people have more guts, doing bigger flips and spinning crazy, but west coast people like to be smooth and grab all their stuff, making it their own style.

Mastercraft seems like the east coast boat

(don't get offended, it's a joke!! kinda)

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I almost got an 04 xstar but after test driving the 07 VLX I went with Malibu.

My frien has an 07 xStar and I have been boarding on that several time since.

I like Malibu as it handles way better and I think it looks better too. The wake is really good as well but, the xstar has a great wake and honestly I think I got more air behind the xstar. The wake is less abrupt compared to the Malibu and it really send you flying. I have found I need a little better technique behind my Malibu.

I like the tower on the xstar because it is tall and I never hit my head like I do on my boat with the illusion. However the illusion feels more stable and doesn't rattle like the xstar.

My friend's bilge runs a lot and mine has never run so have to agree there.

So, a tough question, but since you said money was no object I would have to go with Mastercraft, mainly because I felt the wake was better. However, when money is factored in, Malibu would still be my 1st choice, becasue the wake is still solid and I really like Malibu's handling, its like a sports car compared to the xstar.

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Man there's a bunch of talk about the mindset of MC people.

But it's all true!!! that's sad. haha Sales, Management, Marketing, etc out here in Vegas are full of themselves and their company. Nice guys when your not comparing Malibu and Mastercraft though

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Its funny this comparison comes up when i ordered my boat I want a x star the local dealer was such a a**. Well in hind sight it all worked out for the best i love the malibu. Master craft cant compare to the functionality, usability,ergonomics and quietness all found in malibu. The xstar throws a mean wake but drives like a semi is very loud and rattles all the time my friend has a 06 xstar and i have a friend with a 07 x80 both are switching to malibu tired of dealing with unresolved warranty issues. Mastercraft were the leaders in years past now theyre just a overpriced sled that wont fill our pump out ballast half the time they go to the lake!! :) JMO!! Thumbup.gif

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I am a skier and the wake or lack of was a very big factor. I ski behind a CC 196 And a SSLXI very often two or More time a week. I also ski behind two MC 190s. All are very good and I am not going to say one is much better than another. I will say all are different but very good. I looked very open minded at all the big three and will say I had a small lean toward the CC. I also looked at MB190. and gave thought to a Centurion.

One of my big factors was the dealer. I had two Malibu dealers both top Noach and a very good CC dealer. Didn't think the MC dealer was in the same ballpark.

MC cost dealer was out first.

MB 190 price and size out

I wanted to ski a CC 210 and could not get a ride. also price of the 210 out. He gave me rides on 196

One of the Bu dealers could give a nice deal on a RLXI on the floor . Maybe.

The other Bu dealer gave me as good a deal and I could order what ever I wanted. He also treated me very nice over the years and I was from the dark side. He got the deal. He also gave me another $500.00 options when I sat down and did my order for FREE. Yahoo.gif

I love my Bu!!!!!!!!

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I owned a MC 209 for several years before I bought my RLXI. Probably comparing apples to oranges because the 209 was not designed to be a tournament boat which is what we wanted. Deciding factor for me between a 197 and RLXI was the dealer. I love my dealer.

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Previously owned a PS190 for 7 years, ski frequently behind a PS205, but currently own a RLxi. IMHO the real deal lies in the value you get with Malibu for your money. The big 3 are all excellent ski machines. But dollar-for-dollar Malibu has the edge. Fit n Finish, comfort, construction quality, reliability, style, and innovation all led me to spend my money with Malibu. Rockon.gif

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I actually entertained the thought of trying out mc earlier this year after an offer from the mc dealer to demo. Took out the X-15 (closest competition to the vlx) Nice boat and the wakeboard wake looked macking with just stock ballast. Surfing didn't really do it for me on that boat. I felt the vibration of the motor throughout the whole boat. I absolutely love the pass through storage in the front of MC boats, one thing I wish BU would adopt somehow. I also liked the overall height of the tower, nice for taller people. Overall great boat but didn't feel as luxurious as the BU and didn't have enough room in the rear lockers for any bags. In fact I couldn't even fit 1 entirely full 400# bag in the lockers. I had to stuff 2 almost half full bags in there so they would fit. The seat bases are taller which makes fitting sacs under the seats much easier. Boat felt solid and drove great and you definitely felt like you were sitting up way higher in the boat.

At the end of the day I didn't like it as much as the VLX and I gave it one hell of a chance, 2 chances in fact. The dealer offered up another demo when he saw how dissapointed I was in the surf wake with the weight we had in it. I finally stuffed 5 400# sacs in the boat to make it even near as close to the size and shape of the VLX surf wake with only 2 400# sacs. One place the wedge really shines in my opinion. Dealer was top notch to by the way, didn't have one word good or bad to say about Malibu. Pretty sure he knew I wasn't going to listen to it.

Edited by 06vlx
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Need an option for won't rent because able to drive/use friends boats.

I've been in quite a few Bus & MCs - from pure ski boats to 23' Maristars. They are nice, but I much prefer the creature comforts & performance of the 'bu.

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I owned a 205 for several years before wake boats were commonplace. We installed a tower & ballast & it was a great boat that we enjoyed to the fullest. But things have changed & the 'bu fit the bill. Good quality, great features, & the strongest tower under the sun were the things that sold it for me.

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I'm a Malibu guy through and through. I do have plenty of time in Mastercrafts, 196's & 197's, to base my opinion off. My deal is, I'm a barefooter and slalom skier, so the big boats I don't give two cents about which leaves me with Response & LXi, and the 196 & 197. Like I said, I'm all Malibu when push comes to shove, but I must admit that the 196 & 197 are sexier hulls than the Response and especially the LXi. The low-slung, sleek, sharp lines, they look incredible. I wouldn't have a problem owning one if it weren't for the hook in the hull, sucks for footing! Great for slalom skiers though, I primarily foot so it doesn't help. The LXi is awful for footing and I really don't think it is all that good looking. That pretty much leaves the Response, perfect slalom machine, reasonable barefoot machine, still not the most appealing styled boat to me. When I buy a boat, I buy also based on my attraction to the styling, as well as the performance. Unless Malibu comes out with something more suitable for footin, that I'm also drawn too, when I move back to the states I may be getting a Sanger. That's assuming of course that I buy a new boat. That's a sexy little boat too!

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I owned a MC 209 for several years before I bought my RLXI. Probably comparing apples to oranges because the 209 was not designed to be a tournament boat which is what we wanted. Deciding factor for me between a 197 and RLXI was the dealer. I love my dealer.

Same for me. I do think the pickle fork wakeboats from MC are ugly. However, I love the look of the 197 and it is tempting to consider one. However, I always come back to dealer support for the best reason to avoid the competition.

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I have to agree. MC really has some cool boats w/ great wake. I have a buddy w/ a 2007 X-2. Its a nice boat, but I will never like the looks of the pickle fork bow, no matter how functional it may be.

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I am not a brand loyalty kind of guy. It took six months and two boat shows for me to decide to replace my 2004 Malibu with a new 2008 Malibu. I gave each competitor a fair shake. Malibu has earned the sale two times in a row.

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I owned 2 MC's before buying my '07 VLX. They were an '89 Tristar that I had no trouble with other than regular Maintence and I sold it with 750 hours on it, and a '96 PS205. The 205 I blew the motor at 2 years and 1 month on a 2 year warranty. The motor issue, according to my dealer's MC certified mechanic, was a failed rear main seal that allowed all the oil to drain into the bilge with no dash warnings or anything (I had gone with the upgrade LT1 motor too because MC was touting the Northstar system that would allow you to limp home if there was a problem, it did not work for me unless you count pulling the boat with a rope as limping). The dealer really went to bat for me to try and get it fixed under warranty, and I even spoke to someone high up with MC and an Indmar rep on a conference call and complained that in '97 the same motor came with a 3 year warranty.... And their stance was "it's 1 month out of warranty, its out of warranty end of story... We can' just give motors away, maybe you should get a 2nd opinion...." I would have been happy if they had offered to pro-rate the motor or something, but they did not. This really ended my love affair with MC. I did on a whim call my insurance company and they looked at it and said it was a catastrophic failure and covered it!!! I was amazed and the dealer knocked off the $500.00 deductable so I ended up with a new LT1 motor with a 3 year warranty for free ( I did lose 2-3 months of skiing that summer though)

My MC dealer was good for service and was not allof like people are saying about other dealers, but their main business was fishing boats followed by run-abouts, and they had no one that was a skiier or boarder to push MC's and they never really tried to sell them in my opinion. In the end they dropped MC or MC dropped them I am not sure, but they do not sell them anymore.

When I went to buy a new boat I gave everyone a fair shot, but the closest MC dealer was at least 1 1/2 hours away and not easy to get to. And the only 2 real dealers in town were Supra and Malibu. I like the exterior look of the Supra's and I guess that they have good wakes too (I did not ride behind one). But, the Malibu had a better interior fit and finish and I really liked the interior layout better inthe Malibu. The same size boats in MC and Supra seem small and cramped because their windshields are further back giving more room in the bow but less in the main boat in my opinion. And the real kicker was the tower and how easy the Malibu tower breaks down to get it in the garage. The Supra and MC would be much more work and I doubt that it would be nearly as easy to do with 1 person. ( I can raise or lower my tower by myself and this is handy when you have to)

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This opinion is in regards to 3 event boats:

Ask me between the years of 94 and 2007 and I would have said hands down Malibu. For me the LXI has gotten bigger than I would like for my little lake and the PS 197 is one nice looking and performing boat.

But I don't plan on getting rid of my 97 anytime soon.

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Mastercraft Prostar 197 (without tower) is a great boat. I am one of a 3 man crew . We all have boats and one of these is an MC PS 197. We're seniors ages 60, 62 and 63 and spend our time chasing buoys at Lake Billy Chinook. We are frequently joined by skiers both of better and lessor abilities there. I'm basically a 30 mph and 15 off skier and I'm the worst of our nucleus three. I regularly drive and ski behind an 2003 Prostar 197. Frankly it's a great boat.

I often get to bum a tow behind other boats out there. So far I don't find a wake I like better. I find the wake on Rick's older DD Sunsetter acceptable as well.

The 197 fits between the Response LX and LXI, both in price and usability. The walk through of the 197 is easier for docking at the course dock than the Response LX. The LXI resolves this issue but an LXI is more money than a 197.

Minor details: The 197 on a single axle trailer tows nice even at 80 mph behind my 6900# Duramax. The usability of storage space is good. The boat cover really works well with the straps that attach to the MC trailer. It is relatively quiet and makes tight turns at the end of the course. Dislikes: the rocker switches on the dash are not readily apparent whether they are off or on, critical when you put this baby away with the cover on.

Frankly I prefer the lines and color schemes of the Malibu lineup in the 2000 to 2004 to the latest 2008-09 models but looks are not the determining factor for me.

But the looks of the Response LX in the water is my favorite. But the dang bulkhead has kept me from buying one. The trick is to find an LXI at the price of a Prostar 197. I'm on my 8th boat since 1972. Still looking.......

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it seems that the core nucleus of folks at malibu have been together for a long time. i think this is critical to design development, innovation and overall company integrity.

it seems mastercraft has shuffled their deck and been (forced) to make changes over the years (management, design ownership).

malibu has a certain responsiveness to their owners (and dealers), which is tough to beat. Thumbup.gif

FWIW, i think both our local dealers, (MC and Malibu) are great.

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It's like the Chevy vs Ford question.

Both are geat boats and each as its' own merits, so it can be debated all day. Personally, I like the comforts and styling of the BU. Don't really care for the MC dealer either. And the true final decision maker........ my wife hates how the MCs look, feel, and drive. And apparently I can't seem to disagree with her on this point.

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For me its all about fit and finish. Everytime I get in a MC I can't get past the interior finish. Switches,vinyl,lines,stitching the list goes on. I have friends who love them but sometimes I think they have played into the hype and haven't spent the time in a Malibu to really see the difference. Sure MC boats have some flash but at the end of the day Malibu has class. I believe Malibu is far superior in quality.JMO

W.L. :werule:

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