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jdubbya81

MC owner looking at new Malibu

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jdubbya81

New guy here, and currently own a 2016 Mastercraft NXT22 with 5.7 and the ugly tower.   While I do really still like my boat, and it surfs just fine for us, I'm missing some features and comforts that have me consider trading.  I first looked again at Mastercraft the XT22 & XT23.  The 22 was pretty basic, and the 23 was loaded with about any option I could imagine, but jeez the price just seems insane.  I decided to check out Malibu this time and have found a 2018 22 VLX, with more options than any MC I've looked at, with the 410 Raptor.  I mean it is loaded.  And somehow costs the same as the stripped down XT22.  Am I missing something here?  The NXT has been my 1st tow boat, so I've never looked or been in anything else.  How does the 22 VLX compare to MC?   I also found a 23 LSV, but more than what my budget will allow. 

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WhiteWaterWeb

I looked at Nautique, Centurion and MC before going with Malibu and a 21 VLX; we wanted a boat that would wakeboard, ski and surf - and it has fit every bill (we aren't big skiers though). I was looking at an MC X10 (2017) and a MC XT21 against the VLX, and ultimately decided on Malibu for a variety of reasons:

- options (small things even like gas tank fills on both sides of the boat...I could not believe that it was a paid option on the XT21)

- warranty and dealer service

- reputation for engineering and (i.e. there is a reason why companies like MC pay Malibu royalties when their boats are sold...Malibu was the first to engineer technology that works)

In short I can honestly say the fit and finish of MC is a hair better than Malibu...but not by much. I wasn't buying a boat for the amount of chrome/stainless steel it had on it in accents - I was buying a boat that could reliably do all that my family wanted to do...for years. 

Lastly, I liked how the Malibu dealers treated me AND their competitors; Malibu never beat up on Nautique or MC, or Centurion. But I found that MC, especially at the boat shows, aggressively tried to persuade me from going with Malibu - often saying things that just weren't true.

You will be happy with Malibu; their fit and finish are not perfect (who is in the hand made boat space) but their performance is exceptional. MC make a great product but they aren't worth what they charge - this is a reason why they made the NXT models (and the XT 21's which are trimmed/optioned down X10's) in the first place.

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Gavin17

I'll be the first to admit that MC makes beautiful, well built boats. I'm here because you get more boat for your money with Malibu.  Every boat in the universe should have gas fills on both sides.  Oh and every automobile should have it on the drivers side. 

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asnowman

We looked at Malibu, Nautique, Mastercraft, Centurian, and Moomba when we first we looking, and ultimately ended up in a 23 lsv, that was on the lot at the local Tige dealership. Ultimately that one was just too good a deal to pass up, and we have been very happy with them since. Currently we have both a 2011 VTX and an 05 Response LXi.

I looked at all the brands again last year at the boat show, and won't hesitate to go get another Malibu. Big part of that is the value and support we have gotten over the past 14 years.... oh man. Like @WhiteWaterWeb said, our local malibu dealer doesnt bother to bash the other brands. He was a mastercraft guy until he started selling malibu. 

They all make great boats, most important is your style choices, and the ability to get the options you want, at your price point.  Go for a ride in that 22 vlx and then get back in your boat, and see how you feel.

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67King
47 minutes ago, Gavin17 said:

I'll be the first to admit that MC makes beautiful, well built boats. I'm here because you get more boat for your money with Malibu.  Every boat in the universe should have gas fills on both sides.  Oh and every automobile should have it on the drivers side. 

At the risk of derailing the thread, there is a very practical reason for having it on the passenger side on cars.   When one runs out of fuel, it is safer to try to fill from a gas can if you are on the shoulder side of the car than the traffic side.  That is why the Europeans all do it that way.

 

Back on topic, was talking to a friend of mine, also from an automotive background, who works at MC.  They have the same issues Malibu does, but Malibu pays better (they've been losing factory workers to Malibu lately).  From hearing him, I'd say build quality is pretty similar across the industry.  Only mention that as for a while, it was often stated that MC had superior build quality to 'Bu.  Frankly, I like the less blingy look of Malibu, and I really don't like that swoop thing they've got going in the hulls of MC's nowadays. 

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23LSVOwner
9 hours ago, asnowman said:

I looked at all the brands again last year at the boat show, and won't hesitate to go get another Malibu. Big part of that is the value and support we have gotten over the past 14 years.... oh man. Like @WhiteWaterWeb said, our local malibu dealer doesnt bother to bash the other brands. He was a mastercraft guy until he started selling malibu. 

 

That's important.

 

If you have to bash the other brands in an attempt to sell your boats it is a red flag to me. In my experience, the 'bu sells itself.

Surf them side by side, have your wife or kid drive the boat and go through all of the settings. The interface is SOLID and so easy to use. The other brands I have been on are a mess to the 1st time user in my experience.

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WhiteWaterWeb

Also, don't believe any of those 'fuel consumption' studies comparing MC to Malibu; they just aren't true. I know as I regularly go out with MC boats all the time. It was a big concern of mine when the MC dealerships kept going on and on about how bad Malibu is on fuel...they all are pigs on gas (no complaints given the fun) but you actually have a better chance saving on gas with design features in the Bu like the power wedge, surfgate, etc. (i.e. why fill all the tanks when you can temporarily displace water to create a great wave).

Good luck in your search for the perfect boat for your families needs. Have fun on the water...life is short!

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TenTwentyOne

 

1 hour ago, WhiteWaterWeb said:

Also, don't believe any of those 'fuel consumption' studies comparing MC to Malibu; they just aren't true. I know as I regularly go out with MC boats all the time. It was a big concern of mine when the MC dealerships kept going on and on about how bad Malibu is on fuel...they all are pigs on gas (no complaints given the fun) but you actually have a better chance saving on gas with design features in the Bu like the power wedge, surfgate, etc. (i.e. why fill all the tanks when you can temporarily displace water to create a great wave).

Good luck in your search for the perfect boat for your families needs. Have fun on the water...life is short!

 

Ya......... sorry, but that is definitely one huge difference between them, and your "design feature" power wedge is the reason why. It is not saving, that is for sure. The average Bu definitely burns a substantial amount more fuel, and it is mostly due to the fact they are dragging the wedge around. It creates a ton of drag.

I'm not gonna say a wedge is a bad thing. There are certainly huge benefits to it. However, fuel economy is not one of them........

 

To the OP- I am admittedly in the other camp, but not ignorant. 22VLX is an awesome boat, and is just as nice as a XT22. If its a better value in your neighborhood, I'd go for it. I'd demo them both first, and get a feel for the dealer though. I'd say its much more important to feel good about the dealer, and to also weigh your own opinions about the boat.

Like others have said, the dealer attitude made a difference for them.....and it should.  Both brands have their fair share of bad apples.......and exceptional ones.

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WhiteWaterWeb

I have to politely disagree; the 2017 X10 didn't last as long on the water as our VLX does without the need to refuel. The variables were the same (group size, surfing, etc.), but we could spin this all day.

All I am saying is you have the option of just going with stock ballast and no wedge (for smaller riders), wedge and limited ballast combinations, etc. When you move to other sections of the lake (because of other boats, etc.) and can stow the wedge (without travelling around with full tanks) it helps to save fuel. 

MC builds a great boat BUT there is a reason why they (and Nautique, etc.) want what they have patented - performance and wake creation tech:
https://www.tradeonlytoday.com/industry-news/mastercraft-and-malibu-boats-settle-patent-lawsuit

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WhiteWaterWeb

Also, not that I'm trying to leave my job as a web development company owner and turn into a Malibu sales guy but seriously consider the advantages of the the surf band too. At first I thought the wearable tech of the surf band was very gimmicky - but after using it as a rider, and more importantly as a driver, I was very impressed. Dial in your wave to suit your tricks and style at a point in time - without the need as much driver/rider comm. Transfer when you want, ramp up when you want...letting the driver keep their eyes on the water, boat and rider (using the mirror).

Again, try all of the different boats out but if you do try Malibu make sure to experience the band as well.

 

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agarabaghi

they all have their pros and cons. 

If you wakeboard, i dont feel any boat in the mc line up except for the xstar puts out a wake that is really worth of any praise. They put out wakes, but nothing amazing and pretty finicky. (havent seen the x22 and the x24 yet)...

I think the MC all surf great, but the nxt lines def need more weight than stock, while most bus / axis put out totally fine waves with stock weight and only get better 

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hunter77ah
13 minutes ago, agarabaghi said:

they all have their pros and cons. 

If you wakeboard, i dont feel any boat in the mc line up except for the xstar puts out a wake that is really worth of any praise. They put out wakes, but nothing amazing and pretty finicky. (havent seen the x22 and the x24 yet)...

I think the MC all surf great, but the nxt lines def need more weight than stock, while most bus / axis put out totally fine waves with stock weight and only get better 

Well said.  I agree.

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SOcalSurfer

My buddy bought his 18 NXT22 a month before we got our 18 22VLX and we frequently go out together. I will say his boat is nice, and he loves it. But he is already considering trading his MC for a Bu next season after being out and behind our boat. His comments were basically how easy it is to get a better surf wave and wakeboard wave behind the Malibu. Once his MC was dialed in, the wakeboard wakes were very similar but the surf wave was tons better behind the malibu.

I will say i find the fit and finish to be almost even when looking at the 2 side by side.

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agarabaghi

Weird that you think an nxt is similar In fit to a Malibu 

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hunter77ah

NXT uses a foam stringer system.  I think it is miles behind a Malibu.

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granddaddy55

Surfband is very cool in my 2 limited opportunities t use it

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SOcalSurfer
1 hour ago, agarabaghi said:

Weird that you think an nxt is similar In fit to a Malibu 

I haven't been on his boat but one ride so that's why i said looking side by side. I do know he has had tons of little problems with interior issues with his NXT. but i know some guys here have had issues as well.

I will say i prefer the overall layout and interior miles above anything mastercraft. It just seems like its better quality

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IXFE
3 hours ago, SOcalSurfer said:

I haven't been on his boat but one ride so that's why i said looking side by side. I do know he has had tons of little problems with interior issues with his NXT. but i know some guys here have had issues as well.

I will say i prefer the overall layout and interior miles above anything mastercraft. It just seems like its better quality

So your buddy has had “tons of little problems with interior issues” but you still come to the conclusion that it’s “better quality.”

Interesting conclusion...

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Pnwrider
6 hours ago, SOcalSurfer said:

I haven't been on his boat but one ride so that's why i said looking side by side. I do know he has had tons of little problems with interior issues with his NXT. but i know some guys here have had issues as well.

I will say i prefer the overall layout and interior miles above anything mastercraft. It just seems like its better quality

 

2 hours ago, IXFE said:

So your buddy has had “tons of little problems with interior issues” but you still come to the conclusion that it’s “better quality.”

Interesting conclusion...

I read that as though he thought his Malibu was better quality and layout? 🤷‍♂️

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IXFE
1 hour ago, Pnwrider said:

 

I read that as though he thought his Malibu was better quality and layout? 🤷‍♂️

Maybe I misread it. If so, my bad 

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Fman
On 8/8/2018 at 6:09 PM, jdubbya81 said:

New guy here, and currently own a 2016 Mastercraft NXT22 with 5.7 and the ugly tower.   While I do really still like my boat, and it surfs just fine for us, I'm missing some features and comforts that have me consider trading.  I first looked again at Mastercraft the XT22 & XT23.  The 22 was pretty basic, and the 23 was loaded with about any option I could imagine, but jeez the price just seems insane.  I decided to check out Malibu this time and have found a 2018 22 VLX, with more options than any MC I've looked at, with the 410 Raptor.  I mean it is loaded.  And somehow costs the same as the stripped down XT22.  Am I missing something here?  The NXT has been my 1st tow boat, so I've never looked or been in anything else.  How does the 22 VLX compare to MC?   I also found a 23 LSV, but more than what my budget will allow. 

The following response is not to bash on your NXT22 only for a comparison to the 22VLX.

Last season they had the NXT22 at the wakeboard camp my son attends every year.  He rode behind it last year (wakeboard and surf) he said the wake/wave was not a hit at the camp.   Mind you the camp uses MB boats, not Malibu.  That being said I have substantial time in a 2015 22VLX (205 hrs) and so does my son.  He said the VLX wakeboard wake was superior in many different ways to the NXT.  The surf wave was also mediocre at best with the NXT22 in comparison to the 22VLX.  Again, I am not trying to bash your NXT but this experience leads me to believe the 22VLX will be a step up for you.

Mastercraft seems to have lost there identity to me.  Once a powerhouse brand has had many issues over the past few years.  They keep losing market share,  years ago they had such a strong brand name which has quickly been on the decline year after year.

I highly encourage you to go out and demo the 22VLX, I think you will be very impressed with that boat.  It's wakeboard and surf wave are very similar to the LSV (at least the 2017 LSV model).

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The Hulk

I have my opinions in fit and finish and various brands.. but most if those things mean nothing to the functionality.. the best wave for the best price is bu hands down across the board, throw in most features for the price and Wala.. now u know why Malibu is the most popular. Highest volume has economies of scale , innovation and constant push for new tech.. 

I get axis boats, I get moombas , I simply don't understand NXT and now GS.. the prices don't make sense to me in their differential vs flagships.. granted I'm mostly seeing msrp in these but just doesn't make sense unless these offer more than typical standard discounts/% etc. 

An axis/moombas is a gauranteed resale around here.. nxt..and now GS... I'd be worried..

Edited by The Hulk

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TenTwentyOne
19 hours ago, hunter77ah said:

NXT uses a foam stringer system.  I think it is miles behind a Malibu.

 

I could agree all day long on a bunch of reasons why I think a 22VLX is a better pick than a NXT22..... the stringer system is definitely not one of them. I don’t know who told you that the NXT has just foam stringers, but that is not at all accurate.

Every MC, including the NXT line, has a full grid stringer system. It supports the full length of the boat, and includes lateral support as well. I am sorry, but this is one thing that MC definitely does better than Bu...... on every model. Notice how you have never heard of a MC dropping a center windshield in many, many years? You can thank the ridiculously rigid stringer system for that.

I don’t really get the NXT line either, and when my brother in-law decided he wanted to upgrade from his Mondo, it was not the boat i recommended. I must have gone on 10 different demos with him, and he didn’t even hesitate on the decision to go with a NXT22. He loved that it felt more roomy than the others, it was super simple to set up, easy to balance for wake boarding, and surfed well stock. I wasn’t blown away with it, but he added 500lbs if lead in the middle of the boat, and bumped the speed to 11.2, and I was amazed at the difference.  Didn’t hurt that it was well optioned for $68k either.

Either way......... let’s not forget that the OP isn’t looking at a NXT........he is looking at a XT22. That is a completely different animal than the NXT22.

Edited by TenTwentyOne

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