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ewilliams843

Purchasing a boat for the first time.. Help!

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ewilliams843

Hey guys & gals.. My wife and I are looking to purchase our first boat and frankly are in a bit of a conundrum at this point.

First, I want to qualify this by saying that I don't want this to turn into a bashing back & forth on what brand is better than the other, but rather looking for honest feedback and opinions.

We will primarily be surfing and being a bigger guy with a few friends on the larger side I'm looking for a wave with the best push in all configurations.

My brother has a '16 Ri217 and the wave is fantastic, but some of the fit and finish are a little lacking in comparison to the Malibus that we have demoed..

At this point we are stuck between building a '19 23LSV or purchasing a closeout '18 Ri237. Both of these options are at a VERY similar cost.

My first concern: The Malibu seems to have a noticeably less steep wave than the Centurion and much less of an "edge" at the top of the wave.. Is this just a result of the wedge vs stinger or surfgate? Have any of you been able to tune your Malibu wave to have a similar characteristic without chucking tons of lead in the boat or sacks? Anyone have any photos or videos to share?

Secondly: I was just informed that the new Malibu is going to have a 5.3L di engine for 2019 with reduced horsepower, but similar or more torque than the outgoing engine option and the Ri that we are looking at has the H6di. Am I going to be disappointed with the smaller 'Bu option in a 23' boat?

Third: Resale/Trade value on the Ri vs LSV? This is a big question mark for me.. I know Malibu is one of the best selling brands out there today, but would the Ri really suffer that much more than a 'Bu?

I love basically everything about the Malibu when it comes to the boat itself - the fit, finish, technology, looks, etc. ,but in reality, it's what's going on behind the boat that really matters and I don't want to be disappointed with the end result.

Sorry for being long-winded, but any and all help would be hugely appreciated.

*I have used the search functions and frankly can't really find any fair comparisons.. In my mind, someone comparing a '14 Malibu to a 2018 Ri isn't really giving Malibu much of a chance.

 

Thanks!

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racer808

If wave is your priority get the Ri.  

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ahopkinsVTX

Well to be fair I don’t really feel it is apples to apples comparing a 2019 23 LSV to the Ri237 either. The Ri is longer, deeper, heavier and holds a lot more ballast. 

That said I had a good friend upgrade from his 2015 23 LSV to an Ri this year. It is a beautiful boat and he loves it. I’ve surfed it a few times and agree the Ri wake is steeper and has more lip. However is it a OMG BLOW ME AWAY THERE IS NO COMPARISON to a 23 LSV wave? Imo no. It is very very nice and it’s probably better but I honestly can’t say it’s sooooooo much better. Hopefully he doesn’t get mad at me for saying that because he’s on here too ;) I think the 23 wave is much easier to setup, or any malibu wave for that matter. 

Things I’d consider, do you tow each time? How far? Do you have a two vehicle that can handle the Ri? If you don’t and your boat will be on a hoist, is it high enough capacity for either? Which wave style do you prefer because that seems to be the biggest difference imo. 

For your enfine question, that’s going to be a tough question to answer as no one here really has experience with the new M5Di engine. We’ve heard great things but no real experience yet. I’d ask your dealer to demo one for you with the M5&M6 so you could make an enducated decision. Altitude, setup and crew are all going to factor in. 

Third, resale is going to be hard to beat on the 23 LSV. It’s the best selling sale boat for years now and part of that is how it performs and it’s resale. 

Edited by ahopkinsVTX

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granddaddy55
47 minutes ago, ahopkinsVTX said:

Well to be fair I don’t really feel it is apples to apples comparing a 2019 23 LSV to the Ri237 either. The Ri is longer, deeper, heavier and holds a lot more ballast. 

Sorry hop but you must be kidding , what boat in the Malibu lineup would you compare it to? 23 to 23

the problem is we need the extra sacs but they also need the lead 

Edited by granddaddy55

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ahopkinsVTX
Just now, granddaddy55 said:

Sorry hop but you must be kidding , what boat in the Malibu lineup would you compare it to? 23 to 23

In my opinion the M235 would be the best comparison. Similar size, similar weight, similar ballast capacity. And look of the Ri on their site. They even reference it as a 24’ boat. 

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Cole2001

I have spent a ton of time in the new ri237s and they have been over the top impressive inside and out. The new 18s are definitely nicer fit and finish than the 17s and the opti V Hull for 18 also makes things good. 

The 237 in my opinion has one of the best waves out there. It’s by far the most adjustable wave, you can make it like that softer bu wave or you ran really steepen it up if you wish. The 216 being a smaller boat will naturally have a steeper wave. The thing about the Malibu which is great in one way is that the wave is kinda idiot proof, no matter what you can make a decent wave but the bad part is it’s hard to customize that wave without major changes to the settings. 

I don’t know much about the new engines but if I’m not wrong I believe you can upgrade to a bigger one. Is that necessary? I don’t know. 

Resale with the 237 is a wild card right now. From what I’ve seen they don’t seem to be doing too bad but right now they’re the new boat that everyone wants. 5 years from now things could look a lot different. 

Here we go the biggest difference is the interior. The centurion has a really good build quality, the part that is lacking is the luxury element and the technology. The interior in my opinion is extremely durable I’m overly impressed. The Malibu has a better touch screen interface and every just seems a little more fancy. Kinda like comparing a f150 limited to a superfuty HD. So you kinda have to pick, luxury over function or function over luxury. 

I wouldn’t say the 23lsv is a bad comparison to make, the 237 just has a bit of a size advantage. Maybe it would be better off compared with the 24mxz or m235. 

If you’re towing you’re probably going to want a HD truck to handle the weight. 6500 boat, 1500 trailer, 500 lead, 500 miscellaneous outs you at close to 9000lbs. The new boat tandem axle XL trailers seem more than enough for a HD truck. 

Edit: just remembered most dealers get extreme trailers not boatmate. Mines different, I personally like boatmate. 

Edited by Cole2001

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TallRedRider

I recently tested a 23LSV.  I had the same question, since I am currently in a G23, which has a very steep wave.   The way the surfgate creates its wave tends to create a long sloping wave that is less steep and I was worried it might be an issue for me.  I was very pleasantly surprised that with a little extra wedge deployment, the wave was very satisfying if I wanted it steeper.  I was very pleased with the wedge not fully deployed as well, and it carried my 225 pounds very easily, and with the ability to get quite a ways behind the boat.  I was impressed the way the wave was quite adjustable.  

Since it sounds like you are just getting serious about boating, then it is clear to me that having the 'best wave' is really not a serious priority when comparing modern surfboats.  They all make pretty good waves.  Maybe if you are aiming for the pro tour some day, then get the Centurion.   I am sure someone can show a video of a good surfer behind a Malibu doing 10 times the surfing that you or I will ever do.  I guess you can be that guy who has a $10000 mountain bike that can barely make it over the amateur jumps (insert other favorite analogy here).   Remember that the rest of the crew is hanging out in the boat so although the wave is important, the interior comfort says volumes.    

I think you hit the nail on the head about the fit and finish of the Centurion.  The one I was in was a 2016, so cannot say much about the new ones. 

Although I liked the surf wave and the ramfill, I was overwhelmed when he couldn't get the wave right and found recipes online about 63% this tab and 79% that one, with ballast 59% full in this tank...  How about just push the 'surf' button and go?  With all of that customization also comes confusion when the wave is not just right.    

And something else very important is the dealer.  If the Malibu dealer is crap, then go to the Centurion or vice versa.  Having a good dealer can taint your ownership experience even if you love the boat.  I cannot say this enough.  

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Eagleboy99
54 minutes ago, Cole2001 said:

Malibu has a better touch screen interface

Just wait until you have to repair/replace one of those things!  Think Medallion MDC x 10!  (And yes, I know you need adjustability but I am of the school that says water and electronics do not mix)

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IXFE

Couldn’t have said it better than Tall ^^^

The wave on the 23 LSV is more than you will ever be able to take advantage of. The Ri wave is legit but I know a few owners who have had trouble getting it dialed in. 

Centurion is a nice boat, but Malibu 23 LSV is the undisputed king of resale value. I’ve sold four in the last five years, each selling in a matter of days while watching used Ri’s languish for months. 

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RyanB
46 minutes ago, TallRedRider said:

 

And something else very important is the dealer.  If the Malibu dealer is crap, then go to the Centurion or vice versa.  Having a good dealer can taint your ownership experience even if you love the boat.  I cannot say this enough.  

X100

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IXFE
3 minutes ago, Eagleboy99 said:

Just wait until you have to repair/replace one of those things!  Think Medallion MDC x 10!  (And yes, I know you need adjustability but I am of the school that says water and electronics do not mix)

Bro, the Ri has screens too. 

D9891522-7311-48A1-875E-BF5F4924A4E8.jpeg

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Eagleboy99
11 minutes ago, IXFE said:

Bro, the Ri has screens too. 

D9891522-7311-48A1-875E-BF5F4924A4E8.jpeg

WTH designed that???!!!  Obvisously no  vehicular UX knowledge.  Ouch!  and twice the repair cost!  LOL

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D_Turner

Is that a blinker switch on the Centurion?  :thumbup:

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UWSkier

From one big guy to another, for the best experience, focus on the board more than the boat.  My Walker board (RIP) could surf all day with my big behind on it behind a slalom boat every bit as easily as it could behind the massive RI257.  Sure, the RI had a bigger, longer wave but it was no "easier" to ride.  On the flip side, behind even the biggest wakes I've been on, if I tried the wrong board, it was nearly impossible to stay in the pocket.

Buy the boat you like the best and experiment with different boards until you find the one you like best.

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ewilliams843

Thanks for all of the info guys. I've done a lot of surfing over the last 6-7 months and have really grown to love it & want to buy a boat that we can enjoy/continue to improve for the next several years. I've ridden behind everything from the Ri217 to Moomba, Mastercraft and now the Malibu and frankly was somewhat underwhelmed with the wave if I'm honest. They all have their quirks, but the lip of the Malibu was almost non-existent and I wasn't really sure if it was just because of only having two people in the boat (it did have 650 P&P's) and all other ballast was full so that's why I was looking for some kind of confirmation of that feeling.

As much as I absolutely love everything about the Malibu, my gut is telling me that I wouldn't be truly happy with the wave behind it in the long term.

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ewilliams843
4 hours ago, UWSkier said:

From one big guy to another, for the best experience, focus on the board more than the boat.  My Walker board (RIP) could surf all day with my big behind on it behind a slalom boat every bit as easily as it could behind the massive RI257.  Sure, the RI had a bigger, longer wave but it was no "easier" to ride.  On the flip side, behind even the biggest wakes I've been on, if I tried the wrong board, it was nearly impossible to stay in the pocket.

Buy the boat you like the best and experiment with different boards until you find the one you like best.

I'm really comfortable on the Phase 5 Model X. I'm looking forward to getting a true "surf style" board or two as well to just enjoy the ride, but feel like I've progressed pretty significantly in my short time behind other boats this season. I really enjoy that hard lip that the Centurion produces because it allows you to do some fun board slides & get a little air from time to time and has enough height to come back down and easily maintain your momentum.

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ahopkinsVTX

The wedge controls the height/lip of the malibu wave as @TallRedRider stated. I’d go demo the malibu again and play with the wedge settings. If they had it in ramp or wedge 1/2 the wave will be mellow. Is run wedge 3-4 on the new PWIII. 

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Cole2001

Do you ride surf of skim? If you’re wanting to ride surf style you’re definitely gonna want a more defined lip for airs. Not sure if the new power wedge can achieve that. 

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RyanB
49 minutes ago, ewilliams843 said:

Thanks for all of the info guys. I've done a lot of surfing over the last 6-7 months and have really grown to love it & want to buy a boat that we can enjoy/continue to improve for the next several years. I've ridden behind everything from the Ri217 to Moomba, Mastercraft and now the Malibu and frankly was somewhat underwhelmed with the wave if I'm honest. They all have their quirks, but the lip of the Malibu was almost non-existent and I wasn't really sure if it was just because of only having two people in the boat (it did have 650 P&P's) and all other ballast was full so that's why I was looking for some kind of confirmation of that feeling.

As much as I absolutely love everything about the Malibu, my gut is telling me that I wouldn't be truly happy with the wave behind it in the long term.

It really sounds like you are looking for people to affirm your decision to buy the Centurian.  You aren't going to find a lot of people to tell you that here.

 

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Eagleboy99
57 minutes ago, RyanB said:

You aren't going to find a lot of people to tell you that here.

I will - vote with your wallet like Dad used to say,  I have friends with Tiges, MCs etc. and they all love their rides.  Do what makes YOU happy!  

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ewilliams843
5 hours ago, RyanB said:

It really sounds like you are looking for people to affirm your decision to buy the Centurian.  You aren't going to find a lot of people to tell you that here.

 

To be honest, my heart wants the Malibu because we have the ability to make it our own and choose everything that we want and I absolutely love everything about the boat, but my gut tells me that I wouldn't be completely happy with the wave...

I was truthfully hoping that someone would post up a photo or a video of the 'Bu making a nice tall wave with a hard lip. lol

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shawndoggy
1 hour ago, ewilliams843 said:

To be honest, my heart wants the Malibu because we have the ability to make it our own and choose everything that we want and I absolutely love everything about the boat, but my gut tells me that I wouldn't be completely happy with the wave...

I was truthfully hoping that someone would post up a photo or a video of the 'Bu making a nice tall wave with a hard lip. lol

Can you post some video of you riding so we can see the sweet tricks you are able to do on the centurion that you think the malibu won't accomodate?  Would probably give a much better baseline for advice.

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wheelman

Op, do you ride regular or goofy?

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wheelman
1 hour ago, ewilliams843 said:

To be honest, my heart wants the Malibu because we have the ability to make it our own and choose everything that we want and I absolutely love everything about the boat, but my gut tells me that I wouldn't be completely happy with the wave...

I was truthfully hoping that someone would post up a photo or a video of the 'Bu making a nice tall wave with a hard lip. lol

A video or a picture of a wave really means nothing. Proof is on the water, ride them and make your own decision. Remember the wave is just one part of the overall decision to be made. Dealer is gonna be huge part of the decision followed by all the other points that have been mentioned. Really don’t know how anyone is gonna spend 6 figures on a boat and be swayed buy a bunch of guys online they don’t even know. If you’ve only been surfing 6 months by the time you get good enough to really be able to make use of a arguably better wave there will be a better one out anyway. Buy what checks the most boxes!

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NWBU
1 hour ago, ewilliams843 said:

To be honest, my heart wants the Malibu because we have the ability to make it our own and choose everything that we want and I absolutely love everything about the boat, but my gut tells me that I wouldn't be completely happy with the wave...

I was truthfully hoping that someone would post up a photo or a video of the 'Bu making a nice tall wave with a hard lip. lol

You can tweak the Malibu wave quite a bit with some list to the side you ride on and playing with wedge positions 4-5 from lift on the PW3. Not sure what side you ride on but most Malibu demos aren’t run listed at all, while the Centurions are generally running listed.

While it may not top the best Ri wave, a 2019 23 LSV with all stock plus PNP full, except 75% on the non-surf side, PW3 at 4-5 clicks from lift, speed around 11 mph is a really good wave. 

If you want to dial in the wave even more, grab some lead and stash it where it will help whatever you’re trying to achieve, especially if you’re trying to adjust the regular side.

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