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replacement for old sunsetter Lxi


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Witch boat would you now buy if you owned a pre 2005 Sunsetter Lxi.

And you still want to have your new boat the same advantages:

A family boat with a good slalom wake.

...... Not a Response Lxi: people in the bow = water in the bow

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sure sounds like the RLXi is the way to go.

The RLXi and the SLXi are very similar in size. The RLXi is much more of a performer than the SLXi according to some of our members.

The 05 SLXi is huge and the slalom wakes are not enjoyable. Once again, something previously posted on this forum.

If you are gonna play in the course plus barefoot, the RLXi seems like a hands down winner. Water in the bow can often be prevented just by good driving habits.

There was a previous thread, either here or on MBO about 209, 216 etc etc. You might want to search for that here or there. There was some good information from people who actually drove/skied these boats.

This is also a good thread to get an idea of who may have driven/skied a boat you are looking at purchasing

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I was in this same situation earlier this year, have spent countless hours comparing the boats in this class. I wrote the following review in Nov 03 after test driving / skiing a CC216.

Was fortunate enough to get to test drive and ski behind an 04 Sport 216 this evening. To do a real world comparison, I brought my 01 Malibu Sunsetter LXi along to drop in the water and ski immediately after the 216. Here were my thoughts:

Styling / interior design- It's obvious that the fit and finish of the 216 far exceeds my LXi. The layouts are very similar (makes me wonder what boat CC was modeling the 216 after). My LXi has storage under two of the 3 back jump seats (none on the 216), the observer seat on the LXi opens with the seat back, then the bottom removes. I question if the 216 observer seat will open completely if a bimini top is installed. Might be an issue. The 216 observer seat is a seat and half (maybe), the LXi is a full two seater. Walk thru space from observer to motor box is more open on the 216, but either boat will require observers to move their legs to allow passengers by. Trunk is larger on the LXi, might be easier for smaller people to get things out of as it's not as deep as the 216. 216 trunk looks like it will hold a ton of stuff, but will require piling things on top of one another. Overall - I could go either way here, but the CC fit and finish is outstanding.

Holeshot performance - 2 adults, 1 child on board - holeshot was great behind the 216. Actually, exceeded my expectations (330hp Excalibur motor). This has been a beef with my LXi (325hp Monsoon motor), but has recently been fixed with a bit of prop work tweaking the stock 13x14 OJ 4 blade into a 13x12. Overall - the nod goes to the 216.

Handling - slow speeds such as docking, loading on trailer, picking up a skier, the LXi is hands down better here. The dealer readily admitted that the slow speed manuvering was not as good as smaller CC's.

- skiing speeds - CC was slower to turn, req'd a much more deliberate attempt at making the boat change directions. Not bad at all, just different. LXi on the other hand has the steering wheel feel of a 96 Crown Victoria and changes direction very easily. It turns sharper, faster, and stayed flatter in the turns than the 216.

Overall, no question the LXi is better here.

Wake quality at skiing speeds - skied 30mph, 15 off for the wife, 15, 22, and 28 off at 34mph for me. 216 at 30mph is not it's strong suit. At 30mph, the boat has not lifted out of the water completely resulting in a big hump in the middle. I had no issues zipping across it, but a non-edged ski will launch. On the other hand, the LXi is very nice at this speed. Much smaller, no where as turbulent as the 216.

Bumping the speed at 15 off helped tremendously, much better but still a decent bump. 22 off at 34 has you right in the rooster tails...keep the ski on edge and it's not too big of a problem. Non-edged and the ski took to the air. 28 off was great, no reason to think shorter than 28 would be anything less than ideal. At 34 mph, I'd say the difference between the two was even more noticeable. There's just not that much there behind my LXi, especially at 22 and 28 (where I happen to ski the most)

If I were the only one to ski behind the boat, I'd say the 216 wakes would be fine. However, since we normally ski as a family, the less skilled skiers need every bit of assistance they can get. To compare the two, the LXi wins this part hands down.

Tracking - wife commented that the 216 tracked better than the LXi, rarely even felt a pull even into 28 off. This isn't the case for our LXi as I do have to fight powerful skiers a bit. 216 it is, no questions asked.

This was the best test drive I've ever been on...truly helped me make my decision and won't think twice about it. Being able to drive / ski the two boats back to back is the way to do it, at least for me. The differences between the two are readily apparent. I was hesitant about the 216's slalom wakes after watching the Waterski magazine video - the CC marketing guy basically recognizes that the 216 is targeted toward the wakeboarder who also skis a bit. I have to say I agree with him - this boat is no where as slalom focused as the the 206. Given that we ski 95% of the time, I think I'll stick with my LXi.

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I would have to agree with Martho on this one. The RLXi sounds like the best choice. The new SLXi is more geared to accommodate those that want as much performance out of their wakeboarding as they do their slalom wakes.

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Also wanted to add that I investigated the PS209 at length as well. I love the layout of the 209 except for the back seat...it's feels like it's made from oak planks. My biggest fear was that I'd be taking a step back in slalom wakes compared to my 01 SLXi. After doing a search / poll on the MC owners site, it was nearly impossible to find a positive slalom report from anyone who owns or skis behind the 209 on any level except purely recreational. Even got a report from a former MC promo driver saying the 209 was at or near the bottom of MC's worst all time list. Additionally, the 209 isn't exactly fast on the top end either so it wouldn't be a screaming footing machine either.

I tried out the 05 SLXi and it's not even in the same league as any of the boats you've mentioned. It's a family boat first, boarding boat second, and a slalom boat a distant third.

After checking out all the models I ended up buying an 05 RLXi. As Martho said, it's a much higher performance boat than the SLXi. Wake quality isn't too different, but the way the RLXi comes on plane, handles, responds to driver input (throttle and steering), etc. is night and day different. 25 hours on the RLXi so far and no water over the nose for us.

I'll be spending the upcoming weekend in the SLXi, will pass along any add'l feedback that I think of.

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Second season w/ the RLXi. Only water over the nose on our boat has been operator error. Always remember to load your larger friends/family members/ballast in the observer seat....or leave them back at the dock.

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Water over the nose is probable on any bow rider. I have a CC 206 and have had water over the bow once--about 50 gallons of cold cold Grand Lake water. So, if you are a Malibu fan and want a slalom boat, don't let water over the bow stop you from buying a RLXi. Like any bow rider, you have to watch what you are doing and recognize that sometimes its inevitable that you are going to get wet.

Good luck.

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I thinks martho is correct is saying "Water in the bow can often be prevented just by good driving habits". I have had my RLXI for 3 summers and have yet to take water over the bow. We also boat on a larger body of water often.

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I agree. Taking water over the bow can be completely eliminated with good driving habits and not completely overloading the bow. I love my new Rlxi. The performance is unbelievable!!!

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What are the chances they would go back to the pre-2005 SLXi? My boat serves my purposes perfectly, but it's not going to last forever, and from what I'm hearing I may not be as satisfied with the '05.

Here's hoping they don't sell and bunch of new ones and go back to the pre-05 design before I wear mine out...

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What are the chances they would go back to the pre-2005 SLXi?  My boat serves my purposes perfectly, but it's not going to last forever, and from what I'm hearing I may not be as satisfied with the '05.

Here's hoping they don't sell and bunch of new ones and go back to the pre-05 design before I wear mine out...

I've asked this before and let's say it's not even remotely being planned.

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What are the chances they would go back to the pre-2005 SLXi?  My boat serves my purposes perfectly, but it's not going to last forever, and from what I'm hearing I may not be as satisfied with the '05.

Here's hoping they don't sell and bunch of new ones and go back to the pre-05 design before I wear mine out...

I'll go ahead and vote for that.

I have a 99 that I love for my purposes, but would love to upgrade to the new amenities that are in the 06's. Old hull, new deck, new interior, new gauges - I'd be a happy camper, err boater.

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Guess I'll continue to pamper my '01 in the hopes that I'll still be proud to own it when it truly does reach "classic" vintage.

Not that I really have a choice in the matter: what with a freshman in college, another starting in 3 years, and my wife's never-ending list of home remodeling ideas, I don't see "new boat" moving to the top of the household budget any time soon! :(

Good thing I am very happy with my SLXi! Thumbup.gif

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I am very glad you all gave me an honest response.

Over here the upportionity the drive or ski other boats is very small.

So all your input gives me a lot of help.

I still think that MALIBU should have given the old Sunsetter Lxi a facelift:


It was better and still is than the CC216 or the MAC209..... for classic ski.

If prefer the looks of the 209 and the interior of the 216 is way better....

but I'm talking...ski

I confess: I have a Response Lxi now for a second season, after owning a 99 Rlx.

The Rlxi: The best boat to use, If you talk about about the water behind it: 3-event, barefooting, showski recreational..... kids.

And for the people in Europe: The extra weight of the new sunstetters gives us an extra cost. Bigger cars with bigger diesel engines gives much biggers taxes.

Cars that are difficult to sell, afterwards.

I wish a had bought a Sunsetter Lxi in '99 or in '04.

Life goes on.....

May be I give Malibu another try and buy a 2006 Rlxi.

Don't give up responding!!!!

May be Malibu will build a something special for the guys who still like to ski and have their friends and family to join.

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Malibu sure messed up when they redesigned the new SLXI. I agree. Give it a face lift and leave the hull alone.

Haveing said that, I don't see them going back due to the trend of bigger vdrives dominating sales as they are. It would be interesting to see how many Slxi s they sold last year vs. wakesetters or even how many dd vs. vd boats.

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They should have at least taken the SLXI classic & made it part of the Ride series that they seem to be developing. It seems to me that would have been a natural thing to do, but maybe they didn't want that boat competing with the RLXI or I-Ride as a crossover boat. Who knows.

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The answer to the question "why didn't they just give the old SLXi a face lift?" is very simple. How many boats of a particular model does Malibu need to sell to justify keeping that boat in production? Additionally, given that most of the new buyers wakeboard, why would you retain a boat in your line up that has little to no appeal for most of the potential buyers?

I'm confident that Malibu saw the SLXi sales take a huge drop over the last 3-4 years due to a couple factors:

1) VD sales are the vast majority of the new boat sales. I only saw 5 DD's in production when I went to Merced this past February...that's out of almost 50 in the process at that time. The market for the SLXi is going away.

2) The RLXi is a great dual purpose boat...it skis very well, it has lots of room for a ski boat, and with a tower can funtion very well as a family ski boat. It doesn't board real well but then neither did the old SLXi.

As for keeping it around in the ride series, that's an extra mold that has to be maintained and taxed according to a Malibu resource during my last visit. If I were Malibu, I'd try to be able to leverage the same molds on as many boats as possible...

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