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LSU1990

Help picking Malibu

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LSU1990

I currently own a 2012 Bryant 210, which is a nice 21 foot stern drive run about. I bought the boat not knowing how much my family of six (me/wife + 16 & 12 y/o girls, 7 & 9 y/o boys) would enjoy boating and putting up with the whole trailering/stowing, clean-up routine that goes with the fun part. I'm 44 and both the wife and I grew up slalom skiing & kneeboarding and I was on the cusp of the wakeboard revolution (bought a skurfer in 1988 or so and really quit going to the lake regularly in 1990).

At any rate, my younger kids like kneeboarding, like kneeboarding and wakeboarding, and the older kids like both knee & wakeboarding. The wife an do any, but still likes to ski and wants the kids to learn how out of what I think is mostly nostalgia.

I want to upgrade my boat for several reasons - one we have a large fam and my kids like to bring friends - that's hard on a I/O rated for 9 peeps w/ a 220 HP 4.3L EFI power plant. Also, I think for all the activities mentioned, the inboards I'm considering are a better choice. That brings me to three - my friend has a 2008 Wakeserter 21 VLX (I believe that is the model) that I took on an hour long test drive the other day - just drove, no boarding, etc, and I was blown away at the power, throttle response, general ride, and especially the handling characteristics. Grew up w/ '72 glastron I/O and had never driven a true Inboard. I was floored, amazed, etc. I'm now burned on my new 2012 boat that has 24 hrs on the clock and have to trade for a new boat. Is a V-drive inboard versatile enough to be a food ski tow boat I. Addition to its primary wakeboarding purpose. Is there decent onboard storage for slalom/combo skis (I know kneeboards and wakeboards go on the racks)?

The dealer where I bought my boat has Malibu/Axis and Supra/Moomba. Wife doesn't like look of Supra/Moomba or Axis near as much as Malibu. I honestly don't want to spend 70k or above either. Dealer of course wants to sell something in stock and all they have are wakestetters - no Rides. I didn't talk price, but could I expect to be able to get a 21 Ride somewhere in the 50's - not including TTL, even if that means ordering one? Can a 2012 or 13 Wakeserter come in anywhere in the 60's or would I expect to be paying in the 70's for one of those?

I know generally that talking specifics re pricing is frowned upon in automotive fora, and I'm new to this forum and I hope that I'm speaking in enough generalities to avoid breaking forum rules. Thanks for any help/tips/suggestions and to anyone that wants to take thanks this topic and run with it, I am much obliged. (apologies In advance for grammatical or other typographical errors - I posted this long-winded post in my iPhone)

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dlb

With the number of people you have in your family a 23' Wakesetter LSV, with a diamond hull is a good choice to consider. The size will give you plenty of room for your family and a few guests. The diamond hull will give you a good ski wake at speed with out effecting the

wake for boarding. If you are patient you can find a good clean used one....

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Tyger

(Running with it. :D Incoming wall of text.)

It sounds like you are looking at an inboard for all the right reasons. Unless you guys are really hardcore skiers, I wouldn't take that too much into consideration, although doubtless someone will politely disagree with me has already mentioned the diamond hull as I typed this. :) I'm a huge, huge wakesurf fanboi and it will be the first, third and fifth thing I say, so take it with a grain of salt. :)

Getting into an inboard can be painful from a cost perspective, but they hold their value really well and I've done well moving my way up the ladder. However, jumping out of a brand new boat you are going to lose some good equity, which will be hard to swallow, but it sounds like you're set on biting the bullet. As dlb said from a size perspective a 21 is not ideal in your case and if you think 9 people is tight you might outgrow a 23, also, so make sure you consider both the 23 and 247 (along with the obvious cost).

I know it will be tough to 'downgrade', but unless there's a feature on newer boats you absolutely have to have, I would see what your dealer (or private sellers in the area) have for 1-3 year old WakeSetters. I would also have a long talk with the dealer about what kind of deal he can make you and how to sweeten the pot. Now that 2013's are coming out so soon, he may want to move used inventory or even a 2012 with a deal you can handle. The Rides are great and they have their fans on this forum, but after owning a WS I'd rather have a slightly used one that get a brand new Ride; my personal preference. Also, by buying a boat with 50-100 hours on it you will avoid about 1000.1500 in initial service and it may come with other aftermarket upgrades you like.

I've owned both a Moomba and a Malibu. They are both good boats. Malibu is definitely a tier 1 inboard manufacturer, while Moomba is generally considered tier 2, but you get what you pay for with a Moomba, meaning it's less boat overall for about equally less money. I would evaluate features, quality and cost carefully instead of dismissing the latter, especially on a used Moomba with some of the initial depreciation taken care of. Having said that, if you are looking at a Supra I would recommend just getting a WS. Talk to the service guy at your dealer - it's been mentioned in other posts and my firm belief that he is more important than your sales guy, manager or the owner. Ask him about his perspective on the differences between the two boats and what he would buy.

Even a 21 will have enough room under the seats for skis, unless you go way sac'd out like Stella. Even then you can fudge them in board racks or buy special racks that look like your board racks but are more suitable for skis (mainly they are just shorter forks). With that many people and that many sports you will likely be buying a second set of racks soon.

Make sure you plan to try wakesurfing. With a full boat of people, probably a 500# sac will be enough to get a good surf wake to try the sport, although if you position the people just right, you can probably get a taste of it with that and stock weight. I bought our first surf board new but damaged on eBay and now it's literally all we do. If you have friends with inboards you may even be try it out on their boat or at least borrow a board. There is nothing quite like the feeling and I now understand why ocean surfers can get religious about it.

Best wishes! Take your time, ask questions here and at your dealer and try to figure out what's most important. You'll be happy with your decision even if your wallet isn't. :P

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jkendallmsce

Do you have any friends who have boats...talk to them before plopping $$$ down on a boat that doesn't best work for ya.

ANd any of the dealers should be willing to take you out on the one(s) you narrowed it down to.

Good luck.

ANd LOTS of used boats going cheap...just look around.

Edited by jkendallmsce

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srab

FWIW, I came from a 22 foot Chaparral. I'd had it less than a summer when a friend with a 2001 Malibu 23 footer

invited me skiing. I was never happy with the Chaparral after that.

Two years later, I decided to move up to a Malibu v-drive. I chose a 21 LSV Sunscape because, although I figured my

kids would get hooked on wakeboarding, the Diamond hull would still give me a decent slalom wake, and the price was right.

I added a tower, and with that and the wedge alone, my kids and all of their friends progressed just fine on the wakeboard.

I've toyed around with Fat Sacs as well, but we now only use them for surfing.

My friend eventually upgraded to a 2008 23 LSV Wakesetter on the Diamond hull (he also has a large family). But, the

slalom wake on that heavier, beamier boat has been a disappointment to him. So, if skiing is on the menu, a 23 foot boat

may not be your best bet.

The 21 LSV Sunscape or VLX on a Diamond hull may be the way to go, though the slalom wake on this boat won't be near

as nice as on the smaller VTX or 20 LSV Sunscape (but, the 20 footers are likely too small for your crew). You still may not

get a respectable slalom wake on the Sunscape/VLX unless you leave most of your crew on shore, are running at under a third

of a tank of gas, and are skiing over 30mph. But, thats what we do and it works well for us. We start off the day with slalom

before the sun has risen [while the lake is mostly glass], then we load up the whole crew (kids and friends), drinks, and

boards and let everyone wakeboard until they're ready to quit. Then, we'll position and fill the Fat Sacs and get on to surfing.

The 21 foot Sunscape has ample room for skis, both in the floor ski locker and underneath the port side seats. The VLX,

though, replaces the floor ski locker with built-in ballast. So, if you go that route, you'll have less storage for skis, but you'll

be able to fill ballast tanks with the flip of a switch. It's a trade-off.

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jkendallmsce

FWIW, I came from a 22 foot Chaparral. I'd had it less than a summer when a friend with a 2001 Malibu 23 footer

invited me skiing. I was never happy with the Chaparral after that.

Two years later, I decided to move up to a Malibu v-drive. I chose a 21 LSV Sunscape because, although I figured my

kids would get hooked on wakeboarding, the Diamond hull would still give me a decent slalom wake, and the price was right.

I added a tower, and with that and the wedge alone, my kids and all of their friends progressed just fine on the wakeboard.

I've toyed around with Fat Sacs as well, but we now only use them for surfing.

My friend eventually upgraded to a 2008 23 LSV Wakesetter on the Diamond hull (he also has a large family). But, the

slalom wake on that heavier, beamier boat has been a disappointment to him. So, if skiing is on the menu, a 23 foot boat

may not be your best bet.

The 21 LSV Sunscape or VLX on a Diamond hull may be the way to go, though the slalom wake on this boat won't be near

as nice as on the smaller VTX or 20 LSV Sunscape (but, the 20 footers are likely too small for your crew). You still may not

get a respectable slalom wake on the Sunscape/VLX unless you leave most of your crew on shore, are running at under a third

of a tank of gas, and are skiing over 30mph. But, thats what we do and it works well for us. We start off the day with slalom

before the sun has risen [while the lake is mostly glass], then we load up the whole crew (kids and friends), drinks, and

boards and let everyone wakeboard until they're ready to quit. Then, we'll position and fill the Fat Sacs and get on to surfing.

The 21 foot Sunscape has ample room for skis, both in the floor ski locker and underneath the port side seats. The VLX,

though, replaces the floor ski locker with built-in ballast. So, if you go that route, you'll have less storage for skis, but you'll

be able to fill ballast tanks with the flip of a switch. It's a trade-off.

exactly...before spending a bunch of $$$ on a boat that is not quite right, try em out....it'll save you time and probably lots of money.

AS best as they all try, no one boat does it all...so get the one that most of what you are looking for/interested in doing.

Edited by jkendallmsce

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Bradley Thornton

With the number of people you have in your family a 23' Wakesetter LSV, with a diamond hull is a good choice to consider. The size will give you plenty of room for your family and a few guests. The diamond hull will give you a good ski wake at speed with out effecting the

wake for boarding. If you are patient you can find a good clean used one....

:plus1: But no matter what you get if you are riding 10 people in the boat trying to ski will be a challenge. Key things to look for 23 foot, diamond hull and test drive if you let the crew know where you live you may get some offers on test driving. If you build it they will come LOL.

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skiersareus

I find myself in a similar situation, I am looking for a good crossover boat as I have been a di-hard slalom skier for years, my children ski, however they also like wakeboarding, surfing, etc. I have had a few Response LX's and currently have one. I can tell you from experience that there isn't a wake setter that is any good for slalom skiing, everyone says it has the diamond hull so you can ski no problem, wrong!!!!!

I am trying to figure out the best boat also and I think the only v-drive that would give you a decent ski wake is maybe the smaller Sunscapes, If anyone owns one of these I would like some feed back.

That doesn't help you with the number of people you want to take though.

It has almost become a two boat world, a person needs a Wakesetter and a Response LXI.

best of luck!

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85 Barefoot

I find myself in a similar situation, I am looking for a good crossover boat as I have been a di-hard slalom skier for years, my children ski, however they also like wakeboarding, surfing, etc. I have had a few Response LX's and currently have one. I can tell you from experience that there isn't a wake setter that is any good for slalom skiing, everyone says it has the diamond hull so you can ski no problem, wrong!!!!!

I am trying to figure out the best boat also and I think the only v-drive that would give you a decent ski wake is maybe the smaller Sunscapes, If anyone owns one of these I would like some feed back.

That doesn't help you with the number of people you want to take though.

It has almost become a two boat world, a person needs a Wakesetter and a Response LXI.

best of luck!

Keep in mind that you can get wakesetters on the diamond hull. I skied a 2004 wakesetter in the course through 28 off no problem. VTX is even better. fantastic crossover boat especially with new center pylon. Blows an x-14v out of the water.

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wienrdog

Thought the Bryant is a fantastic performing run-about for watersports, it won't compare to a dedicated tow-boat for watersports.

I bought our current Sunsetter LXi after owning a Bryant 192 for 5 years. The Bryant was a great boat, the Malibu even better. For what we do - the SSLXi is the perfect boat.

Don't be afraid to look at slightly older boats. They will have often had many of the new boat 'kinks' worked out & inboards typically age really well & maintain much of their value when well maintained.

I've had friends who've owned many Supra's and would not hesitate to own one if I felt it offered what I wanted.

The diamond hulled v-drives will through out a decent ski wake. It all depends on your personal preference, so would be good to get behind the boat & see. I've been in some v-drives that have out skied other manufacturer's direct drives. Get out & ski behind your potential boats. We can make recommendation, but it will really be up to you & your wife to make the final decisions. You really can't tell from inside the boat how the wake is going to be when behind the boat - you need to get out there & see. Some wakes that appear small are really hard & will throw you much more than a slightly larger & softer wake. Other wakes will look large, but will be mushy when trying to surf or wakeboard. Only you will be able to determine what works for your family.

Edited by wienrdog

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LSU1990

Thanks for the info. I love the thrill of the chase. I'm going to likely go used and just sell my boat privately (keep my fingers crossed that someone will buy it).

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wakebrdr94

Dude, don't let everyone scare you into bigger is better. I'm on my 2nd VLX and it is plenty big. We had 4 adults and 3 kids on it fine, then had 8 adults and we were good. Obviously you aren't going to fit as many as the bigger boats, but how many do you really plan on bringing? When I was younger and single, I'd get 14 onto my 02 VLX and just party. Crowded, yes, but are going to run with that many? Probably not. Plus you have to take into consideration of storage, is your garage or parking space big enough for a bigger boat? Larger gas tank, bigger engine, can your tow vehicle handle it. Plus your in a 21 now, I bet with the layout of the boat, your buddy's vlx felt bigger as it is maybe a little, but due to layout and design. By all means, try them out judge for yourself, but don't rule out a vlx. An in case you don't know, the ride series is basically the previous versions of wakesetters. Just without some of the extra "bling"

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IXFE

Okay, so you already made one mistake... you bought a boat that doesn't suit your needs. Don't compound that mistake by buying another boat that, while closer to your needs, is still not exactly what you want.

I sort of did the same thing. When I bought our first boat, I successfully avoided the I/O mistake, but I didn't get what I really wanted either... a Malibu. Your wife sounds like my wife... loves to ski and identifies most with Malibu. I loved Malibu too, but didn't want to spend to get one. So I compromised and bought another brand. Used it for two years. Liked it fine, but didn't LOVE it, so I bought a nicer version of that other brand thinking I'd love that one (mistake #2). I finally got it right on boat #3... 2012 Malibu VLX. Did it cost more than the other brand... fo sho!! Did it hurt a little... youbetcha! Do I regret it... no way! The only thing I regret is waiting this long.

As for size... it's a tough call. You really can't get a boat that is optimzed for skiiing and wakeboarding/surfing. The bigger the boat gets the worse it skis. I think the 21.5' VLX is an okay compromise. Because we often take other families out, I could not imagine a 20' boat. On the other hand, I coudln't fit a 23' boat in my garage. So the VLX was my only choice. And it's been a good multipurpose boat for our family. We have 6 in our family and often host other families of 4-6.

As for the ski wake of these boats, it all depends on what kind of skiier you and your wife are. If you just enjoy the rush of getting up on a slalom ski and the thrill of cuttiong out wide, these boats are fine. You can navigate your way across the wake. My VLX ski wake is "okay" at 30+ mph. But I wouldn't recommend it if you are advanced enough to come flying across the middle at high speed.

Edited by IXFE

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