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SurfgateBob

Advice for first time soon to be 'Bu owner?

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SurfgateBob

All - I've been trolling the forums for a while. I love this site. Great info and you all are very passionate. I have never owned an inboard but have owned several I/O boats. I'm attracted to the Malibu line because of its ease of use, looks, and value. I am an intermediate wakeboarder, and my wife is my boat driver. We are looking to get into surfing and own a boat for a long time. I've got a few questions.

We're looking to buy a 2013 VLX or LSV with Surfgate & PnP. By far the most important thing to us is Ease of Use. It's more important than price. My wife is a good driver but we both appreciate minimal hassle. Ideally we'd have a button that said surf or wake or tube or ski and it takes care of everything (including enough bow ballast). It appears the aft ballast can be accomplished with PnP/sacs.

1) Bow ballast - it looks like with surfing, bow ballast is pretty much a must have. I have a few questions.

  • Could I avoid buying factory ballast in the bow and use a PnP system for surfing? Would this be advisable?
    • Is the PnP system present in the bow?
    • I believe I saw a fitted bow sac - any recommendations?

    [*]Would not having bow ballast be annoying for wakeboarding a Bu? I demo'd a 2012 VLX and it was plenty without bow ballast given the wedge & center/rear

    [*]Primary concern is the absence of bow storage when you've got factory ballast. Does anyone have problems stowing away everything (fenders, anchor, boards, sacs, cooler, trash, etc. etc. etc. etc.) with bow ballast?

    • Any best practices for organizing would be "interesting"
    • Is it a big deal to put gear on top of empty soft sacs stored in the lockers? e.g.) can you leave my board sitting on top of it while I trailer it home? Today we have to take everything out as there's no room in our boat...

2) 21 VLX vs 23 LSV

  • Usually it's just the two of us plus a couple more folks. That said, the idea of a 23 is intriguing just to have more space to sit, get ready, store stuff, etc.
  • I've heard that it takes a lot more weight to get the 23 to throw a similar surf wave to the VLX
    • This is an argument for the LSV in a way as if you have to use the bow for bags anyway, the 23 might be better for 4-6 people.

    [*]From the research I've done, it looks like the VLX and LSV wakes for boarding are about the same, maybe a little wider on the LSV - this isn't a huge deal to me.

3) Trailerable cover

  • Any suggestions? I currently have a snapon that's lasted 8 years and moves from Minnesota to Texas, Texas to California and a couple thousand miles on the road each year.

4) Flo-Cam HD

  • Does this exist? Any thoughts on it? I think this would be cool and will probably be standard in a few years.

5) Tower speakers

  • I know this is subjective, but are the set of 4 malibu installed speakers & accompanying amp "loud enough" as in can you clearly hear it while boarding at 70-80'?

6) Heater

  • Dealer says the 2 outlet is fine - any thoughts?

7) Aft sun pad

  • It appears the 2013 models come with a cushioned aft pad without a non-skid walkway down the centerline. This is good. Does the 2013 have padded seats on the stern? I thought I saw this in the Idaho wakesetter video

8) Any other features you wish you'd have purchased or definitely could have lived without?

Thank you guys for your help, I'm sure I'll get awesome replies! Thanks!

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Soon2BV

i will comment on a few of the points.

First, welcome to Malibu. You will love the boat.

1. I transitioned from I/O to V-Drive with my 2008. Take some days to just go out driving. It is different and can be frustrating at times. The boat handles differently at slow speeds, you really cannot back up and turn like an I/O. Once you get used to it, it is easy, but it is different. One key point, if the prop isn't rotating (i.e. transmssion in gear) - turning the wheel does almost nothing. You have to have flow over the rudder.

2. Get an Evolution cover. Best money I ever spent on an accessory. It has covered clips that "hook" under the side rail to hold it down, and then a single draw string. Nothing to chafe the boat. Great fit, great service.

3. Heater. Not sure which version it is called, but get the one that has an outlet in the walk-thru that has a hose (think dryer vent) that can pull out. This is awesome for after a run on a cool day.

Enjoy.

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wakebrdr94

I like the extra storage of no now ballast, and never been an issue without it.

If you only have 4-6 people usually, the vlx is fine

I think the surf wave on the lsv is better than the vlx, but IMO, the bigger boat will normally win that one.

It will have preset you can set for push button and go, I.e wedge up, fill all ballast, surf left, etc.

The padded seats you refer to are not on the vlx, I believe it is MXZ and bigger boats (may be wrong)

Tower speakers are subjective, but I would go with something else, maybe your dealer has different options through them.

The tower camera is a joke, especially for the price. Is that still an option?

I own a vlx and my buddy an lsv. Both are great. There is a noticeable size difference when in the boats, but I'm partial to the vlx as it is my second and I fill it has plenty of room. I hear a lot about the bigger is better and unless you are going out with 10+ people every time, I vote VLX. Plus, with the bigger LSV, it is a little tougher to driver (not much, but it is a bigger boat), do you have room to store, your tow vehicle, etc.

You have a great problem, choosing between two awesome boats. Go sit inside each one and decide. Oh, and we love pics when you get it :)

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SurfgateBob

I like the extra storage of no now ballast, and never been an issue without it.

If you only have 4-6 people usually, the vlx is fine

I think the surf wave on the lsv is better than the vlx, but IMO, the bigger boat will normally win that one.

It will have preset you can set for push button and go, I.e wedge up, fill all ballast, surf left, etc.

The padded seats you refer to are not on the vlx, I believe it is MXZ and bigger boats (may be wrong)

Tower speakers are subjective, but I would go with something else, maybe your dealer has different options through them.

The tower camera is a joke, especially for the price. Is that still an option?

I own a vlx and my buddy an lsv. Both are great. There is a noticeable size difference when in the boats, but I'm partial to the vlx as it is my second and I fill it has plenty of room. I hear a lot about the bigger is better and unless you are going out with 10+ people every time, I vote VLX. Plus, with the bigger LSV, it is a little tougher to driver (not much, but it is a bigger boat), do you have room to store, your tow vehicle, etc.

You have a great problem, choosing between two awesome boats. Go sit inside each one and decide. Oh, and we love pics when you get it :)

Thanks for the advice. No issues on storage or tow vehicle. Looks like my dealer is getting a new vlx in October...

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SurfgateBob

Anybody else have any other opinions? I'd love to hear them!

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