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Drummerboy

Slalom wake on older LSV vs XTI...or neither?

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Drummerboy

Hello all,

Looking to purchase an older model Malibu and could use some help.  After painstaking research I believe my focus is in the right spot but I would love opinions from anyone with experience.  First of all my budget is restricting me to model years that will fall between an 01' and '04 ('04 most likely being a pipe-dream).  I guess I would say I'm a bit above average slalom skier and I've run my share of courses but not in several years. Typically I just aggressively hit the imaginary course as the years fly past but I still like to dig in and pull hard through the wake.  I'm used to both DD's and believe it or not I/O's when I'm desperate although I would never do a course behind an I/O.  I haven't owned a boat but have fueled many friend's DD's on early Sunday mornings (some say it's the best way to own a boat).  Anyway, my kids are starting to wakeboard and surf a bit and I'm certain I will be doing more surfing as I age.  So I'm facing that oh so popular quest of finding a Vdrive (wife demands space) that will produce an above average recreational slalom wake.  So please correct me if I'm looking the wrong direction but from what I've read it seems that an approximately 2002 (ish) Sunscape LSV with a diamond hull may suit my needs nicely.  However, opinions obviously vary and I've read complaints about the slalom wake.  So as an interesting alternative I'm also considering the same era Wakesetter XTI.  Not quite the same seating as the LSV but looks better than a traditional DD and it seems that the Slalom performance may be a notch better do to the DD setup.  But is it a novel approach?  By going that route would the performance suffer to justify simply going to the vdrive. 

Does anyone have slalom experience with either or both of these boats? On that note, would considering stepping up to the 23 just negate the chance of any decent ski wake?  I'm just not looking to spend 25k on a boat that produces an I/O wake for skiing. I will get behind and test whatever I narrow it down to but if the consensus is that a particular boat's slalom wake sucks at any speed or length I will just move on.

One more thing, Malibu owners are a little like Tige' owners in that they both are very, very loyal.  I've read a lot of things one way or another so can an argument be made to consider a Tige' 21V for my needs?  I love Malibu boats, skied behind many and absolutely love them, that's why I'm here so please no hate, just looking for honest and experienced opinions.

Thanks in advance for any insight.      

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minnmarker

I was working with the same criteria 2 years ago and ended up with a 2005 21 LSV Diamond (There is a slight difference between 2004 and 2005 hulls).  Like you I used to ski courses (behind a Prostar 190) and can cut it up.  The 21 LSV wake is good above 32 mph at 15 to 22 off.  Below 32 and at full line there's a bit of a face on the wake.  Shorter than 22 off and you hit the rooster tail.  I'm happy skiing at 34 and 15 off.  My profile photo is at those numbers.

As I said above, I got the best V drive slalom boat I could find and then started to surf more and more.  The 23 will throw a bigger wake.  Also, stuff like number of crew and gas tank level have an effect just like in any boat.  I still put the slalom ski on but I am glad I bought for the future and not for the past. My boat now has integrated ballast pumps with 4 bags and aftermarket surf gates.  It's no heavyweight for surfing but we're able to do tricks and stay in the wave without any problems.

I did not consider the XTi because it separates the driver from the rest of the group.  OK, I guess, if you want separation.  Also setting an XTi up for surfing would require bags in the seating area.  A no-go for me.

Edited by minnmarker
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Nitrousbird

For a V drive, you want a 2001 Sunsetter VLX or a 2002 - 2004 Sunscape 21 LSV. Both are on the SV23 diamond hull and are some of the best V drive boats for skiing ever made.  2001 was the ONLY year the Sunsetter VLX got the diamond hull. Once you go 2005 the hull changes and doesn't ski as well. 

They wake starts getting good at 28MPH but really flattens out at 32, especially with just a little bow weight. 

Will it be a good as a same year LXi?  No, but it is still very good and can do stuff a lot better than the LXi would (surf, wakeboard and interior space).  

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Steve B.

I think if it was me, I'd hedge toward v-drive for the kid's to surf. Get one with a tower, speakers, bimini. Not a bad ski wake is a big bonus.

Steve B.

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Gavin17

I'm a skier and have a 2004 23lsv wake hull.  I'm fortunate enough to have access to 2 slalom boats for skiing so we bought ours with the intention of never skiing it.  That said at 15 off and 32+ mph my boat is pretty fun to ski. It's got a bump but Its not a wall and I can ski it pretty aggressively. Id never run it thru the course but I free ski it all the time and it's plenty of fun.  Since I didn't think it would really be skiable at all I was pleasantly surprised and we love the boat.  

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Drummerboy

Thanks for the response guys.

Mark - "I bought for the future and not for the past" is an excellent point.  I'm going kicking and screaming but just trying to hang on to anything I can.  I know it will become an occasional occurrence as apposed to the 6-8 sets per week of yesteryear, but at the same time seeing my kids get to enjoy something they love on our own boat and on our own time and schedule will be a great trade off. It's good to know you're happy with that model. Again, I plan on skiing behind anything before I buy but opinions of others helps tremendously, thank you. 

Nitrousbird - That's perfect!  Exactly what I'm looking for.  The models and packages can get overwhelming when looking at comparison charts, this helps narrow it down.

Steve - I agree, I'm definitely leaning that way. And more importantly, the wife is pretty much carving it in stone. It's looking like v will be the one we'll be pursuing.  

Gavin - I'm surprised to see that you like the 23 wake. It's good to know if a great deal on one comes up I could keep that size in the running.  

 

BTW.  Has anyone barefooted off a v?  I've done quite a bit in the past but my son got up off the handle on a boom last year and it would be nice to have the option for me on a rare occasion, him, or others that may want to try.  I know that quick wake crosses off a longline would not be happening but curious about the vdrive effect on the power band. 

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jjackkrash

What year did they start making the VTX?  Maybe if you look hard you can find one in or close to budget.  

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Drummerboy
1 hour ago, jjackkrash said:

What year did they start making the VTX?  Maybe if you look hard you can find one in or close to budget.  

I think it was '07.  If I found one in that budget I'd jump all over it.  Unfortunately I think that would be the deal of the century and that type of windfall usually doesn't land on me. But even at that, the newer V boats seem to be basically ignoring  slalom riders.  Which I understand because the attention and money is on the younger people who prefer boarding and surfing, it's just a much more versatile sport.  So finding a gem like that in the price range would be a no-brainer and I'd be glad to have it but I'm not sure it would satisfy any slalom desires.     

Although I just searched out an article and read that people are pretty happy with the wake of the VTX.  See, shows you what I know.  Again, that's why I'm hear.  I consider myself a fairly intelligent person but the confusion and differing of opinions when researching on the internet can make things worse than when it was showroom shopping only. :) 

 

Edited by Drummerboy

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jjackkrash
17 minutes ago, Drummerboy said:

I think it was '07.  If I found one in that budget I'd jump all over it.  Unfortunately I think that would be the deal of the century and that type of windfall usually doesn't land on me. But even at that, the newer V boats seem to be basically ignoring  slalom riders.  Which I understand because the attention and money is on the younger people who prefer boarding and surfing, it's just a much more versatile sport.  So finding a gem like that in the price range would be a no-brainer and I'd be glad to have it but I'm not sure it would satisfy any slalom desires.     

Although I just searched out an article and read that people are pretty happy with the wake of the VTX.  See, shows you what I know.  Again, that's why I'm hear.  I consider myself a fairly intelligent person but the confusion and differing of opinions when researching on the internet can make things worse than when it was showroom shopping only. :) 

 

I am not sure about VTX prices or your budget, but the VTX reputation is that it is one of the best v-drive cross-overs for slalom.  I'd say that and the CC 200v are probably regarded as the two best v-drive slalom crossovers.  

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LarsJensen
2 hours ago, Drummerboy said:

Thanks for the response guys.

Mark - "I bought for the future and not for the past" is an excellent point.  I'm going kicking and screaming but just trying to hang on to anything I can.  I know it will become an occasional occurrence as apposed to the 6-8 sets per week of yesteryear, but at the same time seeing my kids get to enjoy something they love on our own boat and on our own time and schedule will be a great trade off. It's good to know you're happy with that model. Again, I plan on skiing behind anything before I buy but opinions of others helps tremendously, thank you. 

Nitrousbird - That's perfect!  Exactly what I'm looking for.  The models and packages can get overwhelming when looking at comparison charts, this helps narrow it down.

Steve - I agree, I'm definitely leaning that way. And more importantly, the wife is pretty much carving it in stone. It's looking like v will be the one we'll be pursuing.  

Gavin - I'm surprised to see that you like the 23 wake. It's good to know if a great deal on one comes up I could keep that size in the running.  

 

BTW.  Has anyone barefooted off a v?  I've done quite a bit in the past but my son got up off the handle on a boom last year and it would be nice to have the option for me on a rare occasion, him, or others that may want to try.  I know that quick wake crosses off a longline would not be happening but curious about the vdrive effect on the power band. 

I was in the same boat as you looking for that "diamond" in the rough. (yes, I really did just say that...sorry). Joined The BU Crew a couple months ago and everyone on here is awesome! Tremendous resource!!!

i pulled the trigger on a 21' 2006 Sunscape and picked it up about two weeks ago. Will try to figure out how to share the thread. Wake is important as I slalom ski three mornings a week with a great group of people. We have a fleet of two '93 MC pro star 190s and a 2010 Malibu Sunscape (who just moved away taking her boat with her.) honestly, the wake was just as good behind the Sunscape. It had a full tank and six people most of the time. We also do a lot of footin'.

Heres a pic of my wake at about 40 (wide open) and again about 25. the prop was a 751(???) but I've already replaced it with a 381 which I think will yield a top end closer to 50 than 40. Seeing is believing!  Not a wakesurfer yet but the boat will do it when outfitted. IMO best crossover boat out there. Keep up the search. It's out there waiting for you!

IMG_0751.JPG

IMG_0752.JPG

Edited by LarsJensen
Speed order

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Drummerboy

Lars, you could probably sell those pictures because there are so few out there that show higher speed wakes.  Everyone wants to show board or surf wakes.  Same thing goes for video. If i were selling a boat in this market I'd have the most detail I could in a video including showing someone skiing and boarding at different speeds, it's a national demographic/market these days.  I know there's are a few out there but just not many.  Heck, even Malibu cuts away on their promotional videos of their V's right as a skier is getting ready to cross the wake. Makes me laugh because anyone can produce a wall on their strong side behind a 19' Larson I/O, but buyers need to see what to expect. okay, I digress.

 
That wake looks great!  Actually getting jazzed up because of it.  When you're flat out at 40 and footin' does it drag or does it hold the speed pretty well?  Thanks for the pics! 

 

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malibuskier2003

Here's a picture of my 1999 Sunsetter VLX that I sold last year.  It was a pretty nice wake for a V-drive.  It was a diamond hull.


Dave

20150911_181835.jpg

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UWSkier

If you can find a 21' XTi on the Diamond, it will ski better than the '01-04 VLX/LSV Diamond.  It's actually the same hull, just a DD.  The 23 XTi won't ski as well.

If you do plan on using it in the course, get an '03 (I think) or newer.  Pretty sure that was the first year of the Gorilla fins.  It will track a little bit better and turn a little bit harder.  That said, our '01 isn't a complete handful in the course, even with my 250 lbs yanking on it.

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h2o_nhk

I used to own a 1997 Sunsetter VLX.  Very solid all around boat.  Slalom wake was really nice for a V-drive.  Bump at 22off @34mph was typical.  Troughs on each side wake were a little deeper than direct drives but not intimidating at all.  Wake itself was pretty soft and forgiving and spray wasn't too bad at shorter line lengths.  Not like skiing in a hail storm as with some models.  Here is a link to a few i saw on onlyinboards in your price range. Kind of shows you what options are out there for this model and price.  Good luck with the search! 

 

http://www.onlyinboards.com/1999-MALIBU-SUNSETTER-VLX-w-TOWER-SID-4767-for-sale-ELKHART-Indiana-62650.aspx

 

http://www.onlyinboards.com/1996-Malibu-VLX-V-DRIVE-LOW-HOURS-WEDGE-TOWER-for-sale-Portland-Oregon-62156.aspx

 

 

 

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Nitrousbird
1 hour ago, malibuskier2003 said:

Here's a picture of my 1999 Sunsetter VLX that I sold last year.  It was a pretty nice wake for a V-drive.  It was a diamond hull.


Dave

Nope, that's a wake hull.  2001 was the only year for the Sunsetter VLX to get the diamond hull (and was the first SV23 to get the diamond hull).  1996 - 2000 are all wake hulls.  

Besides the fact you can't get a diamond hull for a V-drive 21' before 2001, I'd also get a 2001+ as that is when the major dash update happened.  They dumped the rotary knobs in favor of switches, which is very useful when adding ballast and other goodies (plus looks a lot better).   

 

47 minutes ago, UWSkier said:

If you do plan on using it in the course, get an '03 (I think) or newer.  Pretty sure that was the first year of the Gorilla fins.  It will track a little bit better and turn a little bit harder.  That said, our '01 isn't a complete handful in the course, even with my 250 lbs yanking on it.

2004 was the first year for the Gorilla fins.  

 

Edited by Nitrousbird

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LarsJensen
2 hours ago, Drummerboy said:

Lars, you could probably sell those pictures because there are so few out there that show higher speed wakes.  Everyone wants to show board or surf wakes.  Same thing goes for video. If i were selling a boat in this market I'd have the most detail I could in a video including showing someone skiing and boarding at different speeds, it's a national demographic/market these days.  I know there's are a few out there but just not many.  Heck, even Malibu cuts away on their promotional videos of their V's right as a skier is getting ready to cross the wake. Makes me laugh because anyone can produce a wall on their strong side behind a 19' Larson I/O, but buyers need to see what to expect. okay, I digress.

 
That wake looks great!  Actually getting jazzed up because of it.  When you're flat out at 40 and footin' does it drag or does it hold the speed pretty well?  Thanks for the pics! 

 

When I took delivery of the bot it was rigged for wakeboarding. I'm 100% certain the boat would sustain that speed with a footer behind the boat. With that prop, nothing will slow it down as the rpms are so high. Will be interested to see its performance with the 381. I'm no expert but everyone on the site says the 381 is the best for slalom.

I'm not looking for scorching top end speed either but just looking for an all purpose prop. I'm 230 so the faster the better for footing. 

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Zita

Lars: We had a 2006 Sunscape 23LSV for 11 years.  Just sold it in fall to make room for the 2017 model.  We bought it new as a family boat.  Mostly slalom at first.  The next year we added the tower and began wakeboarding and wakeskating.  Then two years ago we outfitted it with bags and an add-on wedge and are full-fledged surfers.  It worked well as an all around craft for all the watersports.   I have to say that as we age, we like crashing at 11 mph more-so than at 34 mph.  But with the 23LSV, we can still get in our occasional morning slalom runs while having great fun with family and friends on a surfboard later in the day.

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malibuskier2003
43 minutes ago, Nitrousbird said:

Nope, that's a wake hull.  2001 was the only year for the Sunsetter VLX to get the diamond hull (and was the first SV23 to get the diamond hull).  1996 - 2000 are all wake hulls.  

 

 

Not unless the factory paperwork/build sheet I have is wrong.  SV23 diamond hull.

 

Dave

 

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sounddude03
6 hours ago, Drummerboy said:

 BTW.  Has anyone barefooted off a v?  I've done quite a bit in the past but my son got up off the handle on a boom last year and it would be nice to have the option for me on a rare occasion, him, or others that may want to try.  I know that quick wake crosses off a longline would not be happening but curious about the vdrive effect on the power band. 

I frequently foot off a v-drive. These days I'm most often behind my VTX, but I spent years footing behind a 230 MariStar (an X-30 sans tower).  Wake crossing was more challenging, but the starts were never a problem. On the 230 the only change was running 120' lines instead of the normal 100' to get into a flatter section of the wake. As for power band, both boats have 5.7 indmar's and the 230 could actually deep start 3 footers simultaneously (the VTX is propped different and is limited to a slingle footer starting deep). 

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srab
4 hours ago, LarsJensen said:

I was in the same boat as you looking for that "diamond" in the rough. (yes, I really did just say that...sorry). Joined The BU Crew a couple months ago and everyone on here is awesome! Tremendous resource!!!

i pulled the trigger on a 21' 2006 Sunscape and picked it up about two weeks ago. Will try to figure out how to share the thread. Wake is important as I slalom ski three mornings a week with a great group of people. We have a fleet of two '93 MC pro star 190s and a 2010 Malibu Sunscape (who just moved away taking her boat with her.) honestly, the wake was just as good behind the Sunscape. It had a full tank and six people most of the time. We also do a lot of footin'.

Heres a pic of my wake at about 40 (wide open) and again about 25. the prop was a 751(???) but I've already replaced it with a 381 which I think will yield a top end closer to 50 than 40. Seeing is believing!  Not a wakesurfer yet but the boat will do it when outfitted. IMO best crossover boat out there. Keep up the search. It's out there waiting for you!

Lars, what engine do you have in your Sunscape?

Mine has the LCR and came stock with the Acme 381 prop (running on a lake that is just 600 ft above sea level). 

FWIW, I love this boat and use it primarily for recreational slalom (15off @ 32). 

With the 381, my boat tops out at 43-44 mph (not GPS verified, this is just using the boat's speedometer).  Unless you have an engine with a bit more hp than I, I'm afraid that 50 mph is overly optimistic.

With the Acme 537 (purchased as a backup and because my kids were into wakeboarding/surfing), I could get to 41 mph @ WOT.  It has a significantly better "hole shot" (I have to remind my wife to go easy on the throttle with my deep water slalom starts when the 537 is on), but it tachs close to 4000 rpm at slalom speed, vs. 3500 with the 381. 

The 537 is a better surfing prop, at least in my experience.

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LarsJensen
20 minutes ago, srab said:

Lars, what engine do you have in your Sunscape?

Mine has the LCR and came stock with the Acme 381 prop (running on a lake that is just 600 ft above sea level). 

FWIW, I love this boat and use it primarily for recreational slalom (15off @ 32). 

With the 381, my boat tops out at 43-44 mph (not GPS verified, this is just using the boat's speedometer).  Unless you have an engine with a bit more hp than I, I'm afraid that 50 mph is overly optimistic.

With the Acme 537 (purchased as a backup and because my kids were into wakeboarding/surfing), I could get to 41 mph @ WOT.  It has a significantly better "hole shot" (I have to remind my wife to go easy on the throttle with my deep water slalom starts when the 537 is on), but it tachs close to 4000 rpm at slalom speed, vs. 3500 with the 381. 

The 537 is a better surfing prop, at least in my experience.

43-44 is fast enough. Plus, I'm on a diet ;)

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Drummerboy

Great input everyone. I just found a potential opportunity so please let me know your thoughts.  2008 Sunscape 20 Lsv with 280 hours 320hp.  Tower but no tower accessories (yet), one owner, older woman who used it for mostly tooling around it. Indoor stored, on a high rack right now so I didn't physically see it.  Told interior is immaculate.  Said if I wanted it before they have to pull it and prep it with pictures listings etc. they'd do it for 29k.  Also, how much does the 1' difference make between the 21 and 20LSV?  Looking at some images online the 20 looks a little cramped but pictures can be deceiving.  

Edited by Drummerboy

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srab

20 LSV could be just about the best v-drive ever made for slalom!  Tower is a big plus.  Do you know if it has the floating wedge? 

 

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Drummerboy
1 hour ago, srab said:

20 LSV could be just about the best v-drive ever made for slalom!  Tower is a big plus.  Do you know if it has the floating wedge? 

 

I believe it does but I'm not sure about ballast.  I have a list of options I'm asking about tomorrow. They just got it in and the person who knows everything about it wasn't there today.  

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minnmarker
5 hours ago, Drummerboy said:

Great input everyone. I just found a potential opportunity so please let me know your thoughts.  2008 Sunscape 20 Lsv with 280 hours 320hp.  Tower but no tower accessories (yet), one owner, older woman who used it for mostly tooling around it. Indoor stored, on a high rack right now so I didn't physically see it.  Told interior is immaculate.  Said if I wanted it before they have to pull it and prep it with pictures listings etc. they'd do it for 29k.  Also, how much does the 1' difference make between the 21 and 20LSV?  Looking at some images online the 20 looks a little cramped but pictures can be deceiving.  

It's 1.5 feet and it's all in the main cabin area. If you'll have more than 4 including the driver in the main cabin, go with the 21.5.

Would be a good idea to get 3 to 5 people and sit in the boats before making a decision to get an idea of the space. Also whether you're trailering and have to live on the boat for the day vs having a home base dock/cabin makes a big difference.

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