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24 MXZ Review


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(Disclaimer: I’m coming from a 2010 23 LSV (Stella). Some of my comments may not be new in 2013 or may have been on the 247 previously. I say this because otherwise other posters will point it out. :D Secondly, we surf 99.9% of the time. We almost never even have a wakeboard along. I won’t likely be boarding on this boat at all; sorry I can’t talk about the board wake.)

First of all, I would like to thank Big Jay and SMG Wake Houston for getting me into this sweet boat. They had to jump through a lot of hoops to get me on the water this season and I really appreciate it. They have always taken great care of us over there.

We’ve had the 24 (Lucy) for two weeks now, we’ve been out three times and have put about 10* hours on it. (*After totally doing the full Indmar 20 hour break-in. For reals.) I wanted to write a review after our first session, but to be fair I really wanted to spend time playing with the wake/Surf Gate.

First of all, it’s a gorgeous boat. On top of the pickle fork, they added some curved lines across the top that meet in the middle. It’s very subtle, but lining up with the paint it looks fabulous. With the color matched tower, it’s a great looking boat.

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The pickle fork obviously gives you much more room in the bow. Mrs Tyger was against losing some cabin room, but the very first day we went out she was riding up in the bow for the first time ever, so she’s now a fan. The higher freeboard is awesome, although the rubrail is the same distance from the top, so it might be too high for some uses.

There’s little refinements all over the boat. It’s great to see that Malibu isn’t resting on their laurels. For every one thing that I think should be improved, there’s 3-4 new things that I think are great.

I love the back seats, which were on the 22 MXZ and 247, but they are new to me and a great feature for us since we can ride on the transom on our lake (more on this later). HOLY MESS, huge amounts of storage. HUGE. With tons of gear, an extra cooler and more bags than a woman can carry we would still be able to have massive ballast and store everything out of sight. They moved the batteries back under the cushion so the whole area under the glove box is free (great place for all the bags) and they’ve added flip-ups to open that area from the front. There’s also a flip up in front of the driver, but it’s a very small area and really only good for something you don’t use often, but want quick access to (flares, tools, etc). There’s also a dedicated and nicely equipped area for the anchor with a flip-up in the front center of the bow facing backwards. There’s ton of storage back in there up to the pickle forks. (I put the orange life vests in there – not super accessible, but better than they were on Stella.) I’d like to put solid ballast up there, but I need to make sure they don’t slide down and getting stuck.

Bluetooth is awesome. I don’t think the iPhone app will be useful for anyone, but playing music off my phone (or any other phone in the boat) is amazing. It saves me the hassle of dealing with an iPod and getting new music on the boat. We also streamed Pandora off an Android over Bluetooth, and it worked great.

There’s a full size cooler, which is awesome. The cooler works much better and will be much more durable than the previous soft cooler. Additionally, removing the cooler and just using the enclosure is a lot, lot bigger than the previous one. You could put food and drinks for two days for 6 adults in there, with ice. However, the included drop-in cooler is actually about ¼ smaller inside than the soft cooler and it doesn’t look like the advertised picture on the Malibu website. The picture below highlights one of my biggest gripes – they added a great new feature, but seemingly cheaped out on the cooler and it doesn’t actually fill the space. I will be shopping for a larger cooler that fits in there.

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In August we took a surf clinic and happened to be towed behind an X-24. There were three features I really wished I had on my boat: 1) the steering was much smoother and firmer; the wheel didn’t feel like it was going to rip out of your hands, nor was it hard to steer 2) the driver’s seat sat up a bit higher and the bolster was probably twice as thick 3) the left side storage under the cushions sank down lower, giving you much more room for storage/ballast. I’m happy to say that Malibu added or addressed every single one of these. The steering is much better (tighter but smoother), the driver’s seat sits higher to start and has a larger bolster and the left side storage drops in lower, giving you extra storage.

There’s more cup holders in the cabin (I don’t want them, but they always seem to get used with drinks, sunscreen and phones), but more importantly they put larger speakers in those pockets. The overall sound system sounds better. However, as many have pointed out the control on the transom is crazy sensitive (my dog’s tail set it off repeatedly). Thanks to this forum I know how to lock it and it will spend most of its time locked unless someone is using it. This needs to be addressed.

The throttle is great overall and smoother than my last boat. It is extremely touchy and requires a couple tries to get used to, but works great.

They also added pop-up seats (Wakeview), which is something I’ve wanted for quite a while. They are great and on top of that provide quick access to storage below. They also made them slide a little bit to pop up over the cushion behind – which is nice except on the driver side there’s nothing to hold the cushion in place when it’s down, so it can slide forward easily, but not a big deal. The pop-up with a pull, then you pull them further and they slide back down. However, they sit up too straight, pretty much 90 degrees. I’ll be remounting the hardware over the winter so that they sit back a little bit, probably about 60-70 degrees. I think a 45 degree angle will not provide enough support. Ideally they could have two positions so that you can pop it up 22 degrees or so and lay back, using it to prop your head up and then fully up for sitting. Also, the driver’s side Wakeview seat actually blocks the cooler cushion from popping up. Hopefully when I angle these back a little further this ceases to be a problem.

They added shock openers to both side large cushions (one is for the cooler). I don’t know why they didn’t do this before, but it’s nice now. However, they haven’t seemingly done anything to make the glove box more water resistant – it would be very nice to have a lip around the edge and to seal the front against the boat somehow. We are not going to take nearly as many rollers over the boat with the pickle fork and equal ballast, but rain or water coming through the windshield vents also ends up in the glove box. In my opinion they can get rid of the air vents as they provide precious little cooling, but copious amounts of spray water.

I’ve already mentioned that I love the new design of the swim platform. The SeaDek also seems to be holding up against my dog’s claws. Because it’s narrower in the back I can do swim platform starts with my double finned board and drop the fin off the side.

Even though we’ve only used it once, the new covers are really great. They address almost all of my gripes about the previous cover. It’s easy to use, more durable and stays in place much better. Great job!

Trailer

There was an issue with the new trailer design so I don’t have mine yet. However, I’m on the new trailer company (coming from a Boatmate which I despised) and so far so good. They made little rings under the swim platform mount to hook up the transom straps without going around the Surf Gate. The guide poles are straight, but flex out then back in when you are loading the boat. They sides of the boat stick out further than the guide poles while trailering now, so the overall width of the trailer and boat is actually narrower than with traditional poles. You can kind of see it in the first pic.

Exhaust

We put on a Fresh Air Exhaust system the day I took delivery. It’s eliminated exhaust noise and I love it. Larry made some design changes and it’s a simpler set up and looks great. I’ll review and post pics in another thread. There’s some whine from the engine because of the break-in oil, so I still can’t tell if this has solved my problem of listening to music while riding without deafening the cabin.

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PnP

The PnP is great. They set up the system so that the sac fills first, then drains into the hard tank when full. That way you can set the MaliView to 100% and it fills the bag and then tank before automatically shutting off. After the first couple times and getting all the air out of the bag it fills and drains both sac and tank really well without intervention. You will need to reinforce the sidewalls if you are going bigger than a 750 sac. I have an idea for a new design which will be a winter project – I’ll post pics when it’s done.

However, with the bench on the back and the included storage bins under the seats the layout of the rear locker is very different and will require a heavily customized sac. Additionally with the cooler being set back so far on the driver’s side, there’s precious little room for a very large sac on the goofy side. They should have pushed the cooler forward and somehow made the cooler cover cushion also the pop up Wakeview seat. Suck it goofy riders, less ballast for you. I’ll talk more about this in wake section.

Surf wake/Surf Gate

TL;DR – We need more time with the boat but finally after three sessions I built up a really good wake. Surf Gate seems to be better for smaller boats and is a great feature for casual surfers who spend a lot of time boarding and surfing regular and goofy. I discovered you have to have a rear bias to get a good wake. Also the Surf Gate wake is just different. You might love it, grow to like it or hate it, but it’s not the same wake as a listed boat. It’s wider left to right without a big ramp up the face. It can actually throw a tall wake as well, but seems to do better with a longer wake – slow down too much for a steep wake and it washes out. Slammed with 4000 pounds of ballast it threw out a very long wake with a long, clean lip on the back 2/3rds of the wave.

If I was in charge at Malibu and also had a time machine I would have invested in a pure vert system instead of Surf Gate. Having said that, pure vert and Surf Gate are not mutually exclusive, so Malibu could add a gravity ballast system in the future and keep the Gate.

I was not at all happy with the factory wake on Stella and it took me nearly a year before I thought it was great. Even two years in I was still tweaking the wake and learning new things about how to build the surf wake. So I can’t give an excellent review until we’ve had lots of time for experimenting then tweaking.

More on the wake

The great thing about Surf Gate is not only to be able to switch sides immediately, but also to be able to weight the boat evenly. However, this does mean that you lose rear locker storage on both sides (especially after I have my custom sacs made). There’s plenty of other storage all over the boat, but storing jackets is a bit of a pain.

Our first session out, we didn’t have great success with the regular wake. This was with stock tanks full, roughly 500 pound sac in either locker. (The sacs are 750’s, but won’t fill fully because of the locker shape; even most of the way full they push out the rear drop-in bins, so we have to back off; it’s hard to tell exactly how full a sac is when it’s not completely full, so I’m guessing 500). The goofy side wake seemed to be much better, but we didn’t have a goofy rider, so I couldn’t tell you if it’s great. The wake can look good, but have almost no push, so I’ll have to have a goofy rider to judge. I also had my 400 pounds of solid ballast split evenly on both sides roughly behind the driver’s seat, giving us about 28-3000 pounds total, evenly weighted.

One thing I noticed is that you can weight evenly, but putting slightly more weight on the current surf side makes for a better wake. The boat still stays flat, but the wake improves. Also, average speeds to achieve a certain wake seem to lower with the Surf Gate. This is overall a good thing.

The phenomenon that will henceforth be known as 24spray (may change to MXZ spray but we’ll need a 22 Surf Gate review to know) is real and a real pain. The MXZ body line goes up, angles out, then goes up again. This means that Surf Gate is notched to follow the body line and this notch sprays water across the back of the boat, mainly across the swim platform. This is really bad for us specifically because people are usually hanging out on the transom and it’s not a gentle spray. Even fully sacked out this didn’t go away with surf gate engaged. Hopefully they get this figured out for next year’s model.

On the next trip out I brought my surf sac from Stella which is roughly 1350 pounds. I wanted to see what we could achieve without Surf Gate/equal weighting to see what the 24 MXZ is capable of. I loaded up bow, center and left sac+tank and I put the surf sac under the left seats. The bigger storage under there meant I could put probably 1000 pounds in the surf sac with all the seats left flat. This put us at about 3000 almost entirely on the surf side and no visible ballast. Under that setup the MXZ put out a great wake. It was longer than Stella’s wake and you could comfortably ride much further back. However, the boat does weigh 1000 pounds more, holds 250 pounds more gas and we had ~500 pounds more ballast. While listed like that turning on the surf gate left didn’t seem to make any difference and putting on right with that setup made both sides horrible.

We next pumped out the surf sac and put it in the middle of the boat, filling the right side, using equal weighting and the Surf Gate. It put out the longest wake I’ve ever ridden. This was somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-4200 pounds of ballast. It took a little longer to get up to speed with the high altitude prop and we were running 32-3400 RPMs. Based on the second trip to the gas station I think we used about 7 GPH which gets expensive. However, it will take a few tanks to get a better GPH estimate. Each 100 RPMs past 2800 on Stella really, really drove up the GPH and it will probably be similar with Lucy.

With this setup it was an amazing wake. The surf gate gives you a much wider wake left to right, which I like, especially with our Surf Skate, but Mrs Tyger says she doesn’t like it as much. With this setup I was very easily riding 12 foot back from the boat on our board with the least push; the lip is actually much cleaner back there and you aren’t struggling to keep up at all so it’s a great place to pull tricks. I was very easily riding 20 foot back on the surf style board (yes, I brought a tape measure this time and actually measured). I kept looking at the people in the boat in amazement that I could ride back that far. The unfortunate thing is that the 24spray lands right on the wake and makes it look much, much worse than it actually is. It looks really washy, but the face is actually super clean and usable, it’s just foamy from the 24spray coming over. The lip is a little messier than Stella closer to the boat, but it actually doesn’t affect any tricks because it’s over further than a standard wake.

The best wake fully sac’d was with the power wedge fully up (not deployed). We experimented with the wedge at many ballast levels. Overall it needed to be fully down or fully up. Using it for more ballast seemed to wash out the wake.

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However, this is the bad; almost all of the floor space was the surf sac:

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Again, rear bias seems to be critical to getting a good wake with the 24 and also reduces the 24spray a little bit. Smaller boats seem to get by with less ballast when using Surf Gate, but you need as much or more with Surf Gate on a large boat. I wish I had some time with a 247 prior to Surf Gate to make a better comparison. Stanley, you are welcome to come out with us any time and make your own judgment.

When we have the money to upgrade to the customized locker sacs, I should be able to run pretty close to 4000 without any ballast showing, using PnP and take advantage of Surf Gate. This will require removing the built-in garbage can, but this is a very small price to pay. This will likely happen late spring of next year, so by the middle of the summer with 75-100 hours on Lucy we should be really dialed in.

The good news is that with the much larger storage under the left side cushions and ignoring or not buying the Surf Gate you could easily push 5000+ pounds of regular side ballast without anything showing. The section is open all the way up to and including the storage under the glove box, so you have huge room to put in a massive surf sac. I don’t see a way to do this on the goofy side, as removing the cooler slot on that side would be a large undertaking.

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We love this boat. No really. We’re just super tired from napping all the way to the lake.

If you have more questions or wonder about a feature I didn’t cover, feel free to ask and I will address.

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The platform does seem to be what's causing the lip to be messy close to the boat. Not true. However, the only way to know for sure it run without it, so I'll be doing that at some point in the future, probably early next year. Did that. If it cleans up the wake substantially I'll have to figure out how to weight boat more evenly front to back, or try to talk Malibu into making a shorter platform.

This is a video with traditional surf side ballast and list. I'm running about 3000 pounds here. Although the angle doesn't do the wake justice, you can see at :15 that I drop back quite a ways and still catch the wave easily. On Stella I would have been over the wave at that point.




Here's a pic with the Surf Gate and 4000 pounds. You can kind of see the clean lip starting about 8 feet back from the boat. The nose of the board is about two feet outside the line of the boat because the wake is so wide.

IMG_0479.jpg

They finally gave me the right cooler!

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Edited by Tyger
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Looks like they took a play from the MC xstar with that line. Just not as drastic

That was a great right up, although disappointing that you do not get a great surf wake right out of the box.

Edited by wakebrdr94
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Tyger, great review definately need to hear more about the surf set up if I were to upgrade. If you are looking for a cooler to fill the entire cooler space look into the AO cooler line. Granted you will have to deal with a zipper but they work great, kind of pricey but they will fill the entire space.

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i think you got screwed on the cooler bro.. cause ive seen a few 24 MXZ's that have the cooler that is advertised..

I am thinking the same thing. Somewhere, there is a dealer running around with your cooler. LOL

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Thank you for the incredible review! Which Engine did you end up going with and did you get the new Bimini option?

It's the standard 410 horse. I didn't know there was a new bimini option.

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Tyger, thanks for the review. I think you'll find it to continue to get better and better.

Even coming from a pretty experienced group of wakesurfers, it took me nearly 75hrs before I got mine dialed in and can make it consistent each time.

You have a ton of variables you are playing with. Wedge location, speed, gear placement, people placement, boat ballast, sac ballast and environmental conditions.

It'll be fun to watch you dial yours in.

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Too bad you dont wakeboard. Would love of a review...

Im guessing wakeboard wake must be stellar...how could it not be? Massive, heavy boat with a great hull design. Iam curious about the lower speeds for wakeboarding... 17-18 mph if the wake is as clean as the vlx. I am sure at 22+ the wake is awesome.

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With the boat listed and no surfgate is it a better surf style wave?

When I did a demo on a 24 MXZ with the surfgate on the wave did not have a great lip for getting air. It had lots of push and was big but seemed to be better for skim style. I like surfgate for convenience of even weighting and think it will be a good wave for beginners and a nice mellow ride, but I was not real happy with the shape of the wave for a surf style rider.

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This is the picture I posted above of the Surf Gate with 4000 pounds of ballast. As you can see, the wave is messy and somewhat flat close to the boat. It's wider, but doesn't have as much of a ramp going into the wave. However, I'm riding back 15 feet here, it does have a clean lip and is much steeper.

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This is Mrs Tyger riding the listed wake (3000 pounds). The lip cleans up much closer to the boat and it's steeper left to right. However, the usable section of the wake is much closer to the boat.

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We only got a surf style board this year and aren't catching air yet, so I'm afraid I can't tell you which one is better.

Edited by Tyger
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I am no expert but don't these waves look smaller than the vlx waves? Maybe it is just the picture. I guess I am a little nervous because I am about to throw a ton of money at a 24mxz.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

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Pictures of a wake can be very deceiving both ways. If you hold the camera up high, the wake looks much smaller, if you hold it down low (like right off the swim platform) the wake looks massive. I didn't take these shots and my camera guy didn't necessarily take the shots the same way I would.

In my review I tried to reflect the performance of the boat as accurately as possible. I was disappointed with the wave the first couple sessions, but now I'm happy and confident it will get much better. I don't want to turn anyone off the MXZ as a surf boat, but I don't want to overpromise either. Hopefully I gave the right level of detail to inform your decision.

I can only compare my '10 23 LSV wave to this one and we are getting a much longer wake and able to surf 6-10 feet further back without struggling to keep up. The 24 MXZ takes a lot of weight to put out a great wake, however, from what I've read this has been true of the 247 also.

I jumped on the 24 because I like to be the kid on the block with the new toy and because my dealer worked with me a lot on the deal. However, I was buying it before anyone outside of Malibu had any real experience with the boat, so it was a big unknown.

If you have concerns you should definitely do some homework before buying a boat that retails for well over $100K. If possible, it's always best to do an on the water test. However, getting the kind of weight that's necessary for an MXZ to throw a great wave may not be something your dealer will sign up for. The bad thing is that (from my limited experience and reading posts here) smaller boats have a better wake with the stock ballast. Therefore if you can't demo a slammed 24 you won't be able to do a really fair comparison, unless one of your requirements is for zero or limited extra ballast.

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Funny you mention that. When I denied our lsv, I had 4 extra adults come along for ballast. the surf wave was very tall with great face on it. Added a little speed and lengthened the wave. Raised the wedge all the way up and the wave looked better than with it down.

Morale of story, if you can't get it saced for demo, bring lots of big people.

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For what its worth I was originally planning 24 MXZ and am now looking to finalize order on 23 LSV.

I think the 24 looks badass and has some awesome features but from everything I am seeing and hearing from folks the MXZ boats are great at wakeboard wakes but not as great for surfing.

If you are in the market make sure you talk your dealer and get some real feedback from someone who has ridden all the boats. There is a big dealer meeting going on right now with lots of folks having time behind the different boats so should be good information coming out about what boats are good for what.

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Thats a good point Fman. I have spent a couple days in the LSV, but I have not tried the 24 MXZ yet personally. I should be able to in the next week or so. I suppose if I change my mind then it would be easy enough to change my order as the boats are all on 7 week delay right now.

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How is the low end torque of the 410? I was considering upgrading to the 450, but it is nearly a 6000 dollar option.

Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk 2

I haven't had a problem with the low end at all, even fully loaded. Big Jay really urged me to use prop rather than horse to get the right performance.

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Here's a side-by-side pic of Stella's wake and a video of a 24 MXZ when I saw this video right after our first session, I was very jealous of the wake. Now that I've had a chance to fully slam Lucy I think we are actually getting a longer wake than the video, thanks to rear bias.

wake%20comparison.PNG

The wakes are pretty similar. As I'm coming to understand the wake on the 24 MXZ is not as clean near the boat, but you can surf back a lot further and still get push, if you are willing to sac it out.

The picture of Stella comes from this video.

The picture of the MXZ wake comes from this video.

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