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whiskeyrunner

Are They Telling Lies or Stretching Truths

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whiskeyrunner

Hi Folks-

Still on the fence with my 22VLX, but I'm getting closer, colors being the hardest part.  I'm trying to avoid buyer's remorse, and did a bit of homework on other 22ft comparisons (mostly the X21 and G20), just to make sure I'm happy with my choice.  I'm hoping the forum can help dispel some rumors, and just give me assurance with all your worldly experience :).   So here's where I'm hearing (from competitive sales reps; keep in mind):

- Malibu's wake is just as good as a G21 when using plug n play (I'd like to think they are close enough to be comparable, because minor differences don't matter for our skill)

- Mastercraft X10 has a crap wave, but has a better warranty and drives better

- Malibu is really hard to drive when surfing starboard, if you let go of the wheel it pulls hard (is this true, and if so, is it really a negative?)

- The big one- that since Malibu was sold to a VC, quality has dropped.  Competitors claim that the skilled labor has left and the little things are starting to rack up maintenance-wise at the cost of profit margins.

- The wedge is not a good technology, it wastes gas and only pulls the boat down in the water rather than shape a better wake.  ( I realize this can digress into a list vs tabs discussion that can't be solved)

There's a whole heck of a lot of things that I really like about the 'Bu, including the active community.  So I'm looking for quality opinions that will help me be an educated consumer.  

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67King

No idea, but aren't the G's tons more expensive?  They are about 2000 pounds heavier.  I don't see this as apples to apples, but that's me.

No idea on the MC.

It pulls to whichever side.  There's a big ole paddle in the water, acting like a fin.  It is hardly "hard to drive."  Yes it pulls if you let go, but not hard.  I would expect Nautiques would likely do the same thing.  MC won't because they still have to list their boats, even though they do it with trim tabs.

Malibu is publicly traded, just like Mastercraft, isn't it?  Sounds like competitors are flat out lying to me.

Do what about the wedge?  That's either ignorance or a lie.  Yeah, it pulls down the boat.....same way a whole bunch of extra weight will.  And yeah, you add ballast, you burn more fuel.  When up, it doesn't do either.  But aside from that, it also helps the boat plane when in lift mode.  TONS more quickly.  That isn't a poor design, that's a freakin' great design.  And oh yeah, that'll SAVE fuel.

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Fman
48 minutes ago, whiskeyrunner said:

Hi Folks-

Still on the fence with my 22VLX, but I'm getting closer, colors being the hardest part.  I'm trying to avoid buyer's remorse, and did a bit of homework on other 22ft comparisons (mostly the X21 and G20), just to make sure I'm happy with my choice.  I'm hoping the forum can help dispel some rumors, and just give me assurance with all your worldly experience :).   So here's where I'm hearing (from competitive sales reps; keep in mind):

- Malibu's wake is just as good as a G21 when using plug n play (I'd like to think they are close enough to be comparable, because minor differences don't matter for our skill)

- Mastercraft X10 has a crap wave, but has a better warranty and drives better

- Malibu is really hard to drive when surfing starboard, if you let go of the wheel it pulls hard (is this true, and if so, is it really a negative?)

- The big one- that since Malibu was sold to a VC, quality has dropped.  Competitors claim that the skilled labor has left and the little things are starting to rack up maintenance-wise at the cost of profit margins.

- The wedge is not a good technology, it wastes gas and only pulls the boat down in the water rather than shape a better wake.  ( I realize this can digress into a list vs tabs discussion that can't be solved)

There's a whole heck of a lot of things that I really like about the 'Bu, including the active community.  So I'm looking for quality opinions that will help me be an educated consumer.  

To answer a few of your questions...just sold my 22VLX with 198 hours on it.

Are you referring to G21 surf or wakeboard wake?  Have not been behing a G21 (or 23), but I will say the 22VLX surf wake for most is considered a very good wave, and the wakeboard wake is also very good, I have towed quite a few advanced riders and they all love the wake.  Is it as BIG as a G21?  I dunno, only 1% of wakeboarders could actually wakeboard at that level.

When surfing starboard you do get more drag/pull on steering wheel but nothing crazy, my wife has not had any issues driving even when I do wake transfers.

The Power Wedge 2 is a great tool to shape the wake, both for surfing and wakeboarding.  You can literally see the wave/wake change as you make adjustments, one of the reasons I always go back to a Malibu, anything without the wedge does not appeal to me.

I look at the VC with Malibu differently.  You have a company now what has stock and employees are now a shareholder, which gives them good reasons to continue building a good product.  Are they perfect? no, but I will say I have ordered a 2011 VLX, 2013 VLX, 2015 VLX and now a 2017 LSV and all these boats have been almost problem free with little issues.  I have not seen any QC issues that are also not found with other manufacturers.  If I were buying boats that had major QC problems I would not be coming back to Malibu.  They build a solid boat that has proven itself time and time again for all water sport disciplines.

Go out and demo one to see for yourself, seeing is believing and "The truth is on the water" :)

Edited by Fman

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DarkSide

I read an article discussing differences earlier today.  Fairly interesting...

 1. IN order to create a wave you must displace water, this requires  ballast or wedge type devices.

2.  The two primary systems are gates, or trim tabs.  Gates (surfgate,nss,swell) extend into the water slowing one side making the boat kind of crab walk thus delaying the convergence of the wake creating a wave.   The other style is trim tabs style, which acts to create a list, creating a wave that way.  

3.  The wedge is a phenomenal tool, for surfing I would say it is much more of a wave shaping tool than ballast device...the PW2 is fantastic!   

4. Demo! Anymore most boats are capable of producing a decent wave. 

5.  As for QC issues, they are built by hand!  I suspect if you are not pushing outer limits you will be fine.  If you plan to push the limits you may have issues.  Every builder can and will have issues and Malibu is no exception.  

Edited by DarkSide

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MalibuNation

whiskeyrunner,

Reading your post it sounds like you just came out of a boat show where others are talking Malibu boats down.  As Ronnie said go out for some test drives.

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semi

i think all boats today are good. Are the mfg's cutting corners? they sure are and that does include malibu. Being a public company doesn't mean quality goes up. You are now adding a group of people that you are beholden too and all they care about is profit/revenue. So i think being public can hurt. I know this first hand being part of a few IPO's. But if you look at Bu, MC etc... cutting corners is just something to get used to. Take a look at the new MC XT20/23, its not the same as you got a few years ago. Corners are cut and i would expect nothing different from any of the mfg's sad to say. 

I too have heard that malibu has degraded in quality. I don't put much into that, but i know some that own malibu and they have said the same thing. But i also hear it from others who own mastercraft (i own a 2006). 

All that being said, i don't still don't think you can go wrong with any of them. I would just look at the boats you want in your price range and determine which fits your needs. They all produce good wakes these days or are able to be tuned to do so. I would not shy away from a Bu, moomba, MC, supra if it met my needs. They are all good. What really matters is dealer support and how they take care of you if something does go wrong. 

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windy1

I would not own a boat without a wedge (maybe a sailboat). Recently went from a fixed wedge to a power wedge and as stated above you can shape the wake differently with the touch of a button. There is nothing else like it. 

 

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h2oratJR

Demo all boats in question . Go with the boat  that you feel is best in your interest. When it comes down to the 3 brands they are all great boats & price / service end up being what sells .  

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DarkSide

The PW2 is an awesome tool, and it works very well.   As @The Hulk has pointed out this is the one and only one adjustment you have on a BU.  Others offer similar shaping through different knobs.   Where the wedge excells is it simultaneously drags the transom down simulating ballast.

Most boats will create a wave that 80% of the population would be happy with.  The enthusiasts like you find on the forums typically do not fall into that category.  

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85 Barefoot

Pretty sure malibu has the same warranty as MC.  And its transferrable.  Not sure about that on MC.  

A Malibu being "really hard to drive"?  That's laughable.  My 7 year old drives it (in my lap of course).  

Whoever said all the wedge does is waste gas and doesn't shape the wake is either an idiot or a liar.  That's literally the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.  

Look there are some valid comparisons to be made between the X10, G21, and VLX, but "being hard to drive" and the "wedge is a waste" are nothing but blasphemous salesspeak.  

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The Hulk

IMO the malibu surf gate will create or "should" in theory create a longer surfable wave/pocket for the fact that its delaying the wave convergence LONGER by 1. sticking out the back of the boat FURTHER, and 2. sticking out horizontally further from the boat than NSS as an example "biggest competitor" against Surf Gate IMO at least both are vertical side of boat devices if that makes sense. NSS is acting more like a brake sticking straight out (but smaller) the Surf Gate is angled further out. that being said having a giant extra rudder sticking out the boat is surely trying to turn the boat: although its not hard at all to drive or hold the wheel straight. Now when doing a transfer it takes the driver a few times to time up the force to keep the boat straight. i have not tried on the NSS. but the more divergence you get with the Surf Gate makes "generally speaking" a longer surf pocket which is probably THE MOST IMPORTANT thing with newbies.. when surfing started and when i first tried it years ago it was difficult...small pockets and small waves. there is NOTHING worse than a small pocket IMO...with a newbie you have to adjust fwd/bkwd weight on the board and predict it in order to stay within the pocket. ON a smaller 20-21ft boat your going to already have a smaller /shorter pocket than guys with 23-25 footers. just the nature of the beast. 

Weight = more weight = bigger displacement, i like the wedge because it requires LESS actual weight in my boat since it creates it when i drive: means a lighter boat can produce similar waves as a heavier boat to some extent...lots of other variables here but just making it simple. Also another reason i DO NOT run lead and will NOT...i'd rather run more water than ever put lead in my boat...Because if i dont want the weight i can dump it overboard... also lead sinks.... anyhow a wedge is adding weight without adding it so to speak.. so now you have a MORE sporty driving lighter boat when your NOT surfing which could be a significant amount of time when you add it up.

not sure what watersports your into but Wakeboard is a thing of the past if your not already a PRO you will probably not do it once you surf on a good wave...so i would NOT consider a boat for a "slightly better wakeboard wave because as mentioned above any boat is good enough for 99.9% of NON PRO level wakeboarders...and its a dying sport....(sorry wakeboarders) ... surfing is driving the industry and the boats PERIOD.

IMO malibu boats drive like sport cars compared to some of the other boats which i LIKE because i do a lot of cruising: probably the majority. heck my 25 lsv drives very sporty for the size once up at cruise...its incredible. and the 23s are crazy sporty as well, i cant imagine what a 20-22 would be like. Malibu's are KNOWN for their sporty drive, G's are known as Pigs, Mastercraft....well i cant tell you but i dont suspect for 1 second that its BETTER than a bu at a min equal or from what i've read worse.. 

are there fit and finish differnce between a Naut. and Bu? YES but you will pay through the nose for some of those small difference (and the majority of those you probably wont notice unless you start pulling your boat apart) there is no question a Nautique is slightly better build quality but again its not justified in the price difference if that makes sense and nor does it matter much to 99.9% of people and i doubt the avg boat owner can tell much of these difference. I also feel with any boat you will have some issues so as mentioned above local GOOD dealer is probably one of the MOST important things.. and for me i dont even have one local i make a few hour drive and i still own a BU instead of a G from the local guys.. Again i could not justify the difference for a G23 vs getting a sweet 25lsv. i feel you get "more for the money" on a Bu than most other brands. 

Mastercraft has had to make a large come back in surf waves...they were all about wakeboarding and have been late to change IMO...and from what i can tell are still playing catch up. Also with how they have changed their premium boats to mid level boats is kind of crap for previous year owners.. Listing the boats the way they do is not the technology i'm after because listing means your LIFTING the other side AKA less displacement in theory. 

Centurion has come a LONG way and have GREAT surf waves and great deep V for handling chop: i would consider one and have but i just feel like they are priced like the big boys but still lack a few things and style: granted with the new Ri series there has been a HUGE leap. and while i have yet to drive one i hear great things: so perhaps they have made it to the top finally... 

the debate between Nautique and Malibu will go on and on and on and on... so the only person that can make the decision is you... but they are not in the same price category so comparing them you need to have realistic idea of the cost differences and justify in your mind if its what you want or not.

And lastly go test drive one: in 2014 i was all about a G23 that was going to be IT for me no matter what...stock wave was it nothing needed etc... went on a demo and couldnt surf stock wave....Yea you want to talk about a HUGE let down....granted things have changed in 2016 but i'm just saying... then i went and surfed a 23 lsv malibu and also i could NOT surf stock wave without PNP... and then took a look at the price difference and said....welp they both need extra weight so lets save a TON of mula and go with the 23lsv. saving that money has also helped me move into a newer 2016 25lsv which totally blows what that 2014 G23 could be doing today out of the water... if i would have purchased the G i would still be stuck in it today financially. So consider that the technology is changing so rapidly for surf waves every few years you may want to consider saving some mula to leave you the ability to upgrade (within warranty periods) vs going all out on a boat that will have out-dated technology within a few years...

anyhow sorry for the long rambling on... good luck....another 1st world problem at least! 

Edited by The Hulk

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bbattiste247

- Malibu is really hard to drive when surfing starboard, if you let go of the wheel it pulls hard (is this true, and if so, is it really a negative?)

 

I have found on a 2016 23 lsv that the port side or regular surfer it is hard to drive. When surfgate is deployed with a regular surfer, it is difficult to turn the boat. My son surfs regular and likes me to get closer to shore, but when we are headed directly towards shore, I sometimes have to drop him and shut off surfgate to turn. 

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TC_2006_VLX

IMO if I had the means to jump into any G series I hands down would. I rode (wakeboarded) behind a 2015 G23 multiple times this summer and it blew my mind every time. That said the boat produced a wave that was beyond my skill set. Thus, I had little disgruntlement going back to the VLX and A22 wakes that I know and love.... or at least thats what I tell myself at night to sleep! The G23s surf wave was SUPER steep which wasnt my favorite compared to the length you get from a nicely weighted and gated VLX. 

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hunter77ah
23 minutes ago, TC_2006_VLX said:

IMO if I had the means to jump into any G series I hands down would. I rode (wakeboarded) behind a 2015 G23 multiple times this summer and it blew my mind every time. That said the boat produced a wave that was beyond my skill set. Thus, I had little disgruntlement going back to the VLX and A22 wakes that I know and love.... or at least thats what I tell myself at night to sleep! The G23s surf wave was SUPER steep which wasnt my favorite compared to the length you get from a nicely weighted and gated VLX. 

I'm not sure why so many people try to compare G's with traditional bow boats.  While they are not exactly a pickle fork, they are set up in a similar way.  I think that a MXZ would be a more accurate rival if you are looking for a great wakeboard wake.

 

No doubt the G wake wakeboard is incredible; however if you are trying to stick with Malibu, I'd throw out that a 22 MXZ throws out a very similar wake to the G series (not better, not worse- just different ***and fantastic***).  If anyone disagrees, come try my wake. Crew members are always invited. 

I've ridden behind unloaded and slammed Gs before and I don't think that the difference is mindblowing.  Before I rode a MXZ I would have said that G wake was in a class of its own, but now, I don't think so.  

 

 

Edited by hunter77ah
added ***

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kerpluxal
53 minutes ago, windy1 said:

Wakeboarding is a thing of the past? I don't believe that for a second Hulk. It is true that surfing is driving the market and is the next big thing and has pushed wakeboarding down a notch or two but as a wakeboarder and surfer there is just no substitute for flying though the air on a wakeboard. the people I ride with (ages 19 to 60+) surf as a secondary activity and for the most part find it boring compared to wakeboarding (yes we have all been on big dialed waves). trust me I am not knocking surfing in any way. it's great that its bringing more people into towed water sports. But I don't think surfing will ever rival the visual impact of watching even a decent (not pro) wakeboarder do a tantrum. Again, my only argument here is that wakeboarding is not going away.  

 

sorry for the jack

I would agree with you about most of your comments.... except that you can make surfing fun and not boring... if you are just standing there and drinking a beer then I get it.. but start shuvits, 360s, 720s, hang 5s, fireman, 180 crosses, superman crosses.. and you are back to not being boring.. just saying..

And while at it.. I throw in a slalom and barefoot set into my day also :)

On my river and my cousins river, there are more wake boarders than others, but I would be inclined to say that there are more slalom skiers then surfers also... 

As far as which boat is superior.. DEMO them all and pick what suits you best.. they are all good boats... I have a 23lsv so I can slalom, then wake board, off to surfing, then off to barefooting. This was the most versatile boat for me in my opinion.   To me the wedge is not ballast but a shaping device for wake boarding you can see a change in the wake and its lip, but I don't see it getting bigger.. In surfing the wedge can be viewed as ballast and I see the wave go from steep and short to long and mellow... 

 

Edited by kerpluxal

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The Hulk

I knew I'd catch h-// from wakeboarders haha

Hey my kids will grow up and say dad..what's a wakeboard? Just like kids now ask what skies are..ok maybe not as bad as what's a knee board or a skurfer!.

Also depends on the area if the country IMO. Wakeboard parks down south make it easier.. but look out I think i saw there is a new surf park now!

Short seasons and throwing tricks make it hard to justify wasting precious time doing anything other than surf! 

Don't get me wrong it's still cool to watch u crazy wakeboard folks fly through the air.. I'm jealous of ya....but not the headaches of a hard landing!

I do miss a water ski slalom run..but since surfing it's been over 2yrs since my last run.. .. but at least I got lift mode if I want to!

Everyone has their opinion so demo demo demo! We are all sales rep for boats that we blew lots of money on.. so make sure u demo and take a board to demo day.. don't just let them show u the wave it's deceiving.. RIDE IT and make a decision..

Edited by The Hulk

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67King
3 hours ago, windy1 said:

Wakeboarding is a thing of the past? I don't believe that for a second Hulk.

 

sorry for the jack

I honestly can see it going either way.  I can't wakeboard for crap.  I grew up skiing (not that I'm good at that, either), and I just can't wakeboard.  But I'm already bored with surfing.  Yeah, I'm trying to learn tricks (and I'm freaiking closer to a 720 than a 360, go figure).  But it is just too slow an activity.  So I could totally see surfing being a short lived trend.  OTOH, the boats are getting so expensive that it is really hard to afford them for anyone young enough to take up anything other than surfing.  And the ikids will generally learn to do what their parents do.

I also have to say that I think skiing is making a bit of a comeback.  Every year, I see a few more folks doing it.  I see more DD boats on the interstate when driving through Kentucky than I do V-Drives.  And the whole reason I got a V-Drive when I got my first boat was because a friend who is about 7-8 years younger than me (I'm 42) convinced me that skiing was dead, and wakeboarding is all anyone does.

......and I now find myself trying to convince my wife to let me buy a second boat (direct drive).

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abattle10
38 minutes ago, 67King said:

I honestly can see it going either way.  I can't wakeboard for crap.  I grew up skiing (not that I'm good at that, either), and I just can't wakeboard.  But I'm already bored with surfing.  Yeah, I'm trying to learn tricks (and I'm freaiking closer to a 720 than a 360, go figure).  But it is just too slow an activity.  So I could totally see surfing being a short lived trend.  OTOH, the boats are getting so expensive that it is really hard to afford them for anyone young enough to take up anything other than surfing.  And the ikids will generally learn to do what their parents do.

I also have to say that I think skiing is making a bit of a comeback.  Every year, I see a few more folks doing it.  I see more DD boats on the interstate when driving through Kentucky than I do V-Drives.  And the whole reason I got a V-Drive when I got my first boat was because a friend who is about 7-8 years younger than me (I'm 42) convinced me that skiing was dead, and wakeboarding is all anyone does.

......and I now find myself trying to convince my wife to let me buy a second boat (direct drive).

I can also see boats towboats being so expensive a good thing for the life of wakeboarding and skiing. I grew up skiing and wakeboarding behind a SeaRay and was fortunate enough to take my wakeboarding to the next level when I father bought a Bu. At that point I was already interested and really progressing in wakeboarding and I didn't want to let it go just to surf. Just because people can't afford a towboat doesn't mean they are going to not buy a boat. They are likely to buy an I/O or older "ski boat" in which you can't surf or it's difficult to surf behind until they save up the coin to buy a Vdrive

I can see skiing coming back. I skied when I was young until my dad brought home a shiny new wakeboard when I was probably 10 y/o and completely dropped skiing. Wakeboarding took over all of my time behind the boat. When I was starting college I decided that I wasn't going to let myself forget how to ski so I vowed to get a couple ski runs in every year.. Now I am probably one of a handful of 90s kids that can slalom, even though I look pretty pathetic doing it :thumbup: but it is becoming so far gone from my generation that it is cool, just how my friends started skiing instead of snowboarding in high school because they thought it was "retro"

Edited by abattle10

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ahopkinsVTX
2 minutes ago, abattle10 said:

I can also see boats towboats being so expensive a good thing for the life of wakeboarding and skiing. I grew up skiing and wakeboarding behind a SeaRay and was fortunate enough to take my wakeboarding to the next level when I father bought a Bu. At that point I was already interested and really progressing in wakeboarding and I didn't want to let it go just to surf. Just because people can't afford a towboat doesn't mean they are going to not buy a boat. They are likely to buy an I/O or older "ski boat" in which you can't surf or it's difficult to surf behind until they save up the coin to buy a Vdrive

I can see skiing coming back. I skied when I was young until my dad brought home a shiny new wakeboard when I was probably 10 y/o and completely dropped skiing. Wakeboarding took over all of my time behind the boat. When I was starting college I decided that I wasn't going to let myself forget how to ski so I vowed to get a couple ski runs in every year.. Now I am probably one of a handful of 90s kids that can ski, even though I look pretty pathetic doing it :thumbup: but it is becoming so far gone from my generation that it is cool, just how my friends started skiing instead of snowboarding in high school because they thought it was "retro"

Drive a few miles east and this 80's kid will pull you skiing whenever you want. Even though you are a state fan :tease2:

I do agree skiing is starting to come back a bit. People are starting to realize the never ending challenge and the speed, acceleration, and instant response that comes with skiing. It needs help though with people bringing it back to public lakes!

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strada1

Cant talk for the surf wave but wakeboarding have had a good (comp) rider who normally rides a G21 come out and ride with our kids behind our 15 22vlx.

With 600's in each rear locker and wedge 2 clicks from lift it wasn't quite as big as the G21 but had a nice lip that he doesn't get, 3 clicks up and the smile increased the same amount as the lip. (He does run lead in the G though)

As far as the wedge goes for shaping it works well for cleaning up the wake at slower speeds, from memory we could get a clean wake at 16.3 with wedge all the way down and front tank full, had to go to 17.5 to get clean with the wedge up.

 

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bbattiste247
10 hours ago, windy1 said:

Wakeboarding is a thing of the past? I don't believe that for a second Hulk. It is true that surfing is driving the market and is the next big thing and has pushed wakeboarding down a notch or two but as a wakeboarder and surfer there is just no substitute for flying though the air on a wakeboard. the people I ride with (ages 19 to 60+) surf as a secondary activity and for the most part find it boring compared to wakeboarding (yes we have all been on big dialed waves). trust me I am not knocking surfing in any way. it's great that its bringing more people into towed water sports. But I don't think surfing will ever rival the visual impact of watching even a decent (not pro) wakeboarder do a tantrum. Again, my only argument here is that wakeboarding is not going away.  

 

sorry for the jack

I am 51 years old, fairly athletic and I have discovered surfing fits my age more than wakeboarding. I own a 2016 23 lsv and we put 150 hours on the boat in the first year and 90% of it was surfing. I love to surf, but the degree of difficulty on tricks seems pretty high. I can do almost anything on my surf board well, as long as I am moving forward, but when it comes to doing tricks or spins, I am not sure if I will ever be able to move to the next level. After surfing 2-3 times a week March through November, I have kind of become bored with surfing and I am starting to wakeboard again.   

Edited by bbattiste247

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