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Nitrousbird

Quick thoughts on the Cinncy boat show

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Nitrousbird

We went to the Cincinnati boat show yesterday.  No Wake Marine had the best spot in the building, with the best display and most boats.  Good selection of Malibu, Axis and Nautique.  We spent half our time there at the No Wake area.

To cover a few of the boats:

Sea Ray's new V-drive.  What a joke.  They call it a 23' boat, but that includes the detachable swim platform, so it is really a 20' boat.  It has a few nice items in it but overall felt like a budget boat for $120,000.  I wasn't impressed at all.

On the Malibu side, I love the new G3.5 tower.  Wife was loving the extra beam width of the 22VLX over our boat...though no new boat this year she is warming up to the idea.  What everyone hated was the brackets for the rear convertible seat...my wife and my buddy both banged their feet on it.  Every other boat we saw with this feature had a better bracket design. 

I was surprised to see that the Malibu hardware was nicer than a lot of the Nautique hardware (hinges and such).  We spent a lot of time in the GS22.  It is a nice boat and initially seems nicer than the 22VLX.  Then after spending some time sitting in it, I didn't like it as much.  Too much of the Sea Dek material everywhere.  The dash is clearly inferior.  The vinyl wasn't as comfortable.  Still a very nice boat.  G23 was also very nice - I love the in-floor cooler and the depth of storage with everything in it. 

Axis...just can't get into the Axis boats.  I didn't spend but 60 seconds in them total.  Just feels like a let down after sitting in a Malibu.  Probably would have liked it more if I had seen it first or separate from the Malibu and Nautique.

Supra - what a disappointment.  I remember the last time I went that they felt very competitive with everyone else.  Now, it felt like a budget boat in comparison to the big 3.  Everything felt just a little cheaper.  We also hated the tower position - felt to far back.  I was actually more impressed with the Moomba lineup, as that seems to have move upscale slightly more. 

Tige had an awful display and just felt cheap in comparison to the big three.  To be honest, I didn't get the time to play around on one like I would have liked.

Mastercraft - we didn't spend much time there.  I was amazed at how small the X26 felt.  Sat on an NXT and I couldn't figure out how there was a market for that boat. 

No Centurion - I wanted to sit in a Ri. :(

Overall, a ton of boats there.  I wish we had more time, but we were on a bit of a time crunch and our 6 year old was getting bored after 3 hours. 

 

 

 

 

 

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BadgerBoater55
1 hour ago, Nitrousbird said:

Mastercraft - we didn't spend much time there.  I was amazed at how small the X26 felt.  Sat on an NXT and I couldn't figure out how there was a market for that boat. . 

 

This is hilarious! I was at the Milwaukee Boat Show friday, and some Mastercraft flat bill bro (yes, he was actually wearing a flat bill" was talking to an interested buyer.  The buyer's son said, "look at that cool boat" (a NXT) and his dad said, "son, that's a crap boat, we don't want that".  I couldn't believe my ears and the rep working the booth had a very uneasy look on his face.

I will say the mastercraft I played around on had very comfy seats, but I wasn't a huge fan of the interior layout/dash.  I spent a lot of time hanging out at the Malibu booth and looking inside the 21VLX. I think it will be a hit!  Especially those on the border of jumping Axis to Malibu. 

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Nitrousbird
Just now, BadgerBoater55 said:

This is hilarious! I was at the Milwaukee Boat Show friday, and some Mastercraft flat bill bro (yes, he was actually wearing a flat bill" was talking to an interested buyer.  The buyer's son said, "look at that cool boat" (a NXT) and his dad said, "son, that's a crap boat, we don't want that".  I couldn't believe my ears and the rep working the booth had a very uneasy look on his face.

I will say the mastercraft I played around on had very comfy seats, but I wasn't a huge fan of the interior layout/dash.  I spent a lot of time hanging out at the Malibu booth and looking inside the 21VLX. I think it will be a hit!  Especially those on the border of jumping Axis to Malibu. 

I probably should have hung around the Mastercraft booth some more.  By the time we hit it everyone was looking to take a look at other stuff at the show.  The NXT felt like a big fiberglass tub inside with some fancy bits here and there...but felt very small and overpriced for what you got.  Same towers I dislike on the Mastercrafts and honestly, nothing felt different on the X26 vs the last time I looked at a Mastercraft, so I didn't bother to look further.

My problem with the 21VLX was the beam.  Beam width makes such a huge difference on the inside size of the boat.  The 22VLX felt way larger in comparison (though it is 1' longer).  22MXZ, which has about the same length behind the dash as the 21VLX also felt a lot bigger.  It is a price point boat and it didn't feel cheap, but it also felt like a let down compared to the others.  For me, the lack of beam is a deal breaker (and that's coming from someone with a narrow beamed boat).

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TenTwentyOne

The thoughts that I had, as I read the post.....

1-Don't all towers feel too far back, if you are a Malibu owner?

2-Cram a head, waste storage tank, potable water storage tank, wet bar, refrigerator, 3 trash cans, 3 cooler locations, and a convertible observer bench seat into a boat, and its going to feel a bit small for its size. The X26 wasn't designed to fit into the wakeboat market. Its a day cruiser, with some watersport capabilities.

3-Curious what is "clearly inferior" about the LINC panoray. It is simple to use. There is zero delay on commands. It doesn't have crazy screen glare. It is huge, and with a programmable switchboard, it requires almost zero menu changes in normal use. Not to mention, the FW Murphy screens probably have the lowest failure rate of any of them......

4- Supra- totally agree. I was impressed with their changes a few years ago. However, they haven't really advanced, or evolved, anything on them since. What was once "wow, supra kicked it up a notch", is now "yawn, I have seen all this for 5 years in a row". However, Moomba has been revamped in more recent years, and feels more like it is still progressing.

5- Excited to see the GS22 this week. Looks like they did a good job designing the boat for the market it is aimed at. I agree at the excessive use of SeaDeck. It should be used for flooring, and lining compartments. Not as a trim.

6- Ill have to check out the Malibu hardware this year. I hadn't ever really noticed a difference from the average, the last time I really looked. Is Malibu finally putting stainless embedded nuts into all of their hinged cushions yet? Just a little curious about that, as it was one of the very minor issues I had on my '10 LSV.

 

Disclaimer- All the thoughts listed above, are those of a admittedly biased individual. :biggrin:

 

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ejj

I spent some time in all the boats at the Mpls Boat show this weekend.  My thoughts:

The Axis boats are no-doubt good performers, but the interiors are a tough sell.  

The NXT boats on their current sale are a decent option.  The NXT22 at 68K is a good option with good wakes.  The tower looks stupid.  All of the other "budget" boats offer a tower that looks better.

Supreme: I jumped in a supreme and the floor flexed.  I weigh 165.  End of visit.

Moomba: Making strides--most improved boat in the last 5 years.  Helix looks goofy, but the others are decent options.

Summary?   Axis can make their interiors a bit nicer and hammer the competition with their performance and rep.

High-line boats?  

The GS series are a sweet package.  Very engineered--makes use of all the space well.  Not the most beautiful, but still, if I was cross-shopping a VTX, VLX22, XT20, etc, I'd have a hard time ignoring them.  

VLX 21: For 85K all in, this boat looked pretty nice.  Really nice, in fact.  

I didn't spend much time in the bigger 22-25 boats, as that's not my market.  The Centurion 25 is insanely big.

 

The new Sea-Ray, Chapparral, Monterey, Regals, etc...  Still don't have a real competitive package for the smaller boats.   No doubt they will soon though--too much money out there.  

The bigger cove-cruisers with Surf abilities should sell OK, as that's a boat that the tow boat crowd doesnt compete well with--i.e. Lets party on a big lake, and I can still take my kids tubing and surfing.  And I have a grill, a fridge, a bathroom, etc.

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geogilbert

@Nitrousbird If you are interested in a 22VLX I will start by saying "It is one of the best boat I have ever ridden behind or in." The only real competitor it has is a G21 and for me any slight advantage you may find is not worth the $.  I love mine, and while you will not be prying mine away from me any time soon, I will toss out an invite to you and your fam to come down river a few miles an join us.  (After the weather turns of course.) 

If I remember we have talked before a time or two. I am in Dublin on Griggs and we would love to have you. If you go with a 22VLX you will not be disappointed. IM me if your interested and we can set something up. 

George

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The Hulk

Bummed I missed Chicago.. probably will be lucky to see a ri217 at most in Ft Wayne IN in a few weeks.. really need to see the ri237/257 and check out the hype.. anyhow Ill let @DarkSide work out all their bugs in the mean time.

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Cole2001

Tige over the last year and a bit have really gone budget and lost the tige finish their owners used to like. It seems as if the fit and finish went down and the price went up. Our current 2014 tige is much, much nicer than the exact same model in a 2016 or 17.    I'm not saying tige was ever comparable to the big 3 but it was definitely up towards the top. 

Another thing I noticed like stated above the towers on the new Malibu's actually allow you to step in without having to duck under the speakers. The mastercraft was absolutely awful,  so was the G23 and surprisingly the 25 wasn't the greatest. 

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The Hulk
13 hours ago, TenTwentyOne said:

The thoughts that I had, as I read the post.....

1-Don't all towers feel too far back, if you are a Malibu owner?

 

Not in the 25 although u need a 5ft surf rope extension..  it's a great location and nobody hits their heads. Just hard to beat the G4 on a 25lsv for function and looks IMO

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Nitrousbird
12 hours ago, geogilbert said:

@Nitrousbird If you are interested in a 22VLX I will start by saying "It is one of the best boat I have ever ridden behind or in." The only real competitor it has is a G21 and for me any slight advantage you may find is not worth the $.  I love mine, and while you will not be prying mine away from me any time soon, I will toss out an invite to you and your fam to come down river a few miles an join us.  (After the weather turns of course.) 

If I remember we have talked before a time or two. I am in Dublin on Griggs and we would love to have you. If you go with a 22VLX you will not be disappointed. IM me if your interested and we can set something up. 

George

George...I appreciate and will take you up on that offer.  I'm not buying a boat this year but next year is a possibility...just have to warm up the wife on the idea.  The 22VLX and 22MXZ were her favorites.  I will IM you later.

 

6 hours ago, Cole2001 said:

 Another thing I noticed like stated above the towers on the new Malibu's actually allow you to step in without having to duck under the speakers. The mastercraft was absolutely awful,  so was the G23 and surprisingly the 25 wasn't the greatest. 

I'm 6'3", so I'm so used to ducking that I didn't even notice.  I did see that some of the towers I could (barely) stand under without bumping my head.  My buddy that rides with us is 6'5" so all the towers were the same to him - he had to duck.  That said, Malibu easily had the best looking/positioned towers of the bunch. 

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TenTwentyOne
8 hours ago, Cole2001 said:

Another thing I noticed like stated above the towers on the new Malibu's actually allow you to step in without having to duck under the speakers. The mastercraft was absolutely awful,  so was the G23 and surprisingly the 25 wasn't the greatest. 

   Upsides, and downsides to both styles. One thing I don't like about forward sweeping towers is getting blasted by the tower speakers in the lounge area. It's a HUGE difference with the Nautique tower, and a complete non-issue on an MC. I also must be getting too old, or have been out of a Bu for too long. I actually like being able to grab the top tower bar as I step in from the back. 

    That said, I miss the tower mounted mirror, and the style of the forward sweep. I'm not sure which I prefer.

   I will definitely say this............ the G series towers are WAY too low. I am not tall (5'9"), and I can still easily hit my head on the tower speakers. I was hoping the new 2017 tower was higher, but it is not. Bottom of speakers hangs at 5'8" above the floor. 

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DarkSide
11 hours ago, The Hulk said:

Bummed I missed Chicago.. probably will be lucky to see a ri217 at most in Ft Wayne IN in a few weeks.. really need to see the ri237/257 and check out the hype.. anyhow Ill let @DarkSide work out all their bugs in the mean time.

I fully expect a few bugs!  I just hope they are bugs and not major design flaws.  Good part is only the HULL is new, the other stuff has been running for a couple years.   

On towers, I really love the look of the G4, but too many towers are too low.  That is my first deal breaker, if I hit my head on the tower/speakers/Bimini.  

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Cole2001
4 hours ago, TenTwentyOne said:

   I will definitely say this............ the G series towers are WAY too low. I am not tall (5'9"), and I can still easily hit my head on the tower speakers. I was hoping the new 2017 tower was higher, but it is not. Bottom of speakers hangs at 5'8" above the floor. 

Totally agree, I'm 6'1" and could stand perfectly between the tower speakers if I turned my head the speakers would be in the way. I don't understand why they don't make towers taller, is there actually a reason?

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Chrisjjbrown

Only thing in can think of is they need to be able to pass under bridges.  And utility wires when towing.

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TenTwentyOne
2 minutes ago, Chrisjjbrown said:

Only thing in can think of is they need to be able to pass under bridges.  And utility wires when towing.

G23 is less than 11'6" with tower up on trailer...... they have 2' to play with for typical clearances of 13'6"+ (for tractor trailers). Adding just 6" would cover it for almost everyone. 

Anyone over 6'3" should just be used to ducking for everything in life IMO :)

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dfarhood

For those of us who are not 6'+ once the tower starts to get too high putting the rope on starts to get annoying... Maybe that's just me though.

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NWBU
45 minutes ago, TenTwentyOne said:

G23 is less than 11'6" with tower up on trailer...... they have 2' to play with for typical clearances of 13'6"+ (for tractor trailers). Adding just 6" would cover it for almost everyone. 

Anyone over 6'3" should just be used to ducking for everything in life IMO :)

11'6" reminds me of this 11'8" gem.

 

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Cole2001

Ok so they make a taller tower that is designed to be towed folded down. Problem solved 

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DarkSide
8 minutes ago, Cole2001 said:

Ok so they make a taller tower that is designed to be towed folded down. Problem solved 

Please also make ALL towers designed to be trailered while  the tower is folded.  

I personally never fold my tower because it has always horribly inconvenient.  Some towers are evolving.  The G3 knobs kinda sucked, the G4 latch was great, but my Bimini created issues, until the "pistol grip" which I did not have.  My next tower will require a Giant Allen key to colapse, and has no locking mechanism for towing in stowed position....ugh .... first world problems gents....

Edited by DarkSide

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Bill_AirJunky
2 hours ago, Cole2001 said:

Totally agree, I'm 6'1" and could stand perfectly between the tower speakers if I turned my head the speakers would be in the way. I don't understand why they don't make towers taller, is there actually a reason?

Because with a taller tower, a rider can pull the boat over easier.

More moveable parts in a tower makes them bounce around too much when the boat is under way. I'd rather have it be sturdy.

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Malibuzer
1 hour ago, NWBU said:

11'6" reminds me of this 11'8" gem.

 

I wonder how many trucks those rental companies like Enterprise and Penske lose on that bridge a year?  That is some crazy footage.

 

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Cole2001

@Bill_AirJunky    Would it really be that bad? Think of it this way, the tower on a response or any other shallow ski boat is basically the same as one on a giant m235. The response will handle it fine, so it just proves bigger tower for a bigger boat. Ecspecially having such a deep boat like a M it would handle the pull of the rider. 

 

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Bill_AirJunky

I guess you'd be surprised. Havent ridden behind the M boats, but I can pull an LSV over a bit, and I'm on a foil. A strong wakeboarder can pull a lot harder. The lean of the boat changes the shape & continuity of the wake. 

Add a Flyhi tower extension & it's even easier.

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Bigstic
7 hours ago, DarkSide said:

On towers, I really love the look of the G4, but too many towers are too low.  That is my first deal breaker, if I hit my head on the tower/speakers/Bimini.  

I'm 6'6" and that was my first request I had to throw out once I started looking at tow boats.  I have a Illusion X tower with a Z5 rack on it.  There are two places I can stand straight up under the Bimini and not hit my head.  I still fail at finding those two places quite often :lol:

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