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Choices - 2021 23 LSV vs. 23 MXZ vs. m220


LelandBu

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So we currently have a 2019 Malibu 21 VLX which has been well used and has nearly 250 hours. 6.0L engine is great and quiet. We are considering an upgrade but there are considerations so would love some advice. First, we have about 39” of water depth at the end of our dock. New boat requires a new lift and probably another 4’ of dock for a few more inches of depth and bigger boat. VLX gets on and off a 5k lift no problem. Not a deal-breaker but we are in a shared dock within an association so will have to navigate that. 

Second is the tow vehicle and I have a 2019 Ram 1500 4x4 with 8200 lb. towing capacity. I love the truck and don’t want a new one.

Third is obviously choosing the right boat. We mostly surf, with a bit of wakeboarding and some (sorry) tubing interspersed.  We like to cruise and float/swim and trailer the boat 2-3x a year for a change of pace. Drive-ability is important - don’t want a bus. We love the VLX - it does everything we need for sure. If we are being picky it would be for clamping racks, new engine, new mOS, reset of the hours/warranty, more space, a little better rough water performance (we can get pretty wet in the VLX is there is chop), and a little more fit and finish including transom walk through.

My wife and daughter love the bow and prioritize that space above all else, my son and I prioritize performance and the walk through. 

All this to say we are either going to be content with what we have or take the plunge and upgrade. But is the best option a 23 LSV (new design and features are nice), 23 MXZ (bow would be nice but none of us love the look) or the new m220 (blend of the best of all but perhaps too heavy to be practical?) I really wouldn’t consider a MC but might consider a Nautique 230 as an alternative to Bu.

How should I think about the pros and cons here?  Thanks in advance :)
 

 

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1 hour ago, LelandBu said:

So we currently have a 2019 Malibu 21 VLX which has been well used and has nearly 250 hours. 6.0L engine is great and quiet. We are considering an upgrade but there are considerations so would love some advice. First, we have about 39” of water depth at the end of our dock. New boat requires a new lift and probably another 4’ of dock for a few more inches of depth and bigger boat. VLX gets on and off a 5k lift no problem. Not a deal-breaker but we are in a shared dock within an association so will have to navigate that. 

Second is the tow vehicle and I have a 2019 Ram 1500 4x4 with 8200 lb. towing capacity. I love the truck and don’t want a new one.

Third is obviously choosing the right boat. We mostly surf, with a bit of wakeboarding and some (sorry) tubing interspersed.  We like to cruise and float/swim and trailer the boat 2-3x a year for a change of pace. Drive-ability is important - don’t want a bus. We love the VLX - it does everything we need for sure. If we are being picky it would be for clamping racks, new engine, new mOS, reset of the hours/warranty, more space, a little better rough water performance (we can get pretty wet in the VLX is there is chop), and a little more fit and finish including transom walk through.

My wife and daughter love the bow and prioritize that space above all else, my son and I prioritize performance and the walk through. 

All this to say we are either going to be content with what we have or take the plunge and upgrade. But is the best option a 23 LSV (new design and features are nice), 23 MXZ (bow would be nice but none of us love the look) or the new m220 (blend of the best of all but perhaps too heavy to be practical?) I really wouldn’t consider a MC but might consider a Nautique 230 as an alternative to Bu.

How should I think about the pros and cons here?  Thanks in advance :)
 

 

not sure the non G line up is as good as the Malibus listed but the hanging D ring and bow hanging post provide a lot of flexibility on dock depth, with the Nautiques you only need the draft of boat for depth because you dont need a “carriage and bunk” or floating system if you have overhead support.  you can just hang the boat from 3 points by simple hook pulleys

im guessing there must be a patent stopping BU from going in this direction and i guess the design/look of transom stern would also have to change 

if your not towing all the time then i never think truck has to be to perfect spec for boat in question ,  a WDH can fix a lot of issues as well, my simple 2016 f150 is 5000, but nearly doubles with a WDH

Edited by granddaddy55
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Same boat as you so to speak. have a 22vlx and looking to upgrade but with crazy prices might have to wait a year. 
 

we were looking at 23mxz first then a 23lsv. I love the m220 but maxed out on price after the 23mxz. I would definitely go drive both but with how much our crew loves the bow I think we’re leaning towards an mxz. Also, a walk through is a must for us so either need a 2021 lsv or can go a year older on the mxz. 
 

I wouldn’t look at anything other than a G in the Nautique lineup. Only other boat we were considering was the supras. Went out in one and must say I was VERY impressed and the pricing isn’t much different from a Malibu. Only downside of the Supra is it does take some knowledge to dial in the surf wave but it’s not too hard

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Good info on the G. Into a G for more than a m220 thought I think. As far as the lift, I can’t do a floating or permanent lift. We have a 5000 lb ShoreStation and would probably do a 7000 lb hydraulic which are awesome. 
 

I think the m220 and 23 MXZ are not too far apart in price if you don’t go crazy on options and keep m220 at the core edition. We really like the look of the v bow but it almost seems like the new 2021 23 LSV got a smaller bow in favor of more aft area. Also, the rear area seems more compact with the walk through and not as wide as prior models for laying out on the back.  I did test drive a 23 LSV with the m6 and the 2:1 tranny seemed more than enough torque but RPMs were very high at cruising speed. Seemed I was pushing 4500 rpm just to get to a decent cruising speed. I like a nice 3000 rpm cruise on plane - perhaps it was the prop. 

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1 hour ago, LelandBu said:

Seemed I was pushing 4500 rpm just to get to a decent cruising speed. I like a nice 3000 rpm cruise on plane - perhaps it was the prop.

That sounds like a prop issue, where it was running a high torque prop than needed. Most 23 LSV’s at lower elevations are great with the “speed” prop option but dealers tend to order the mid level or torque prop options. Not sure where you’re at though.

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Gotcha. We are in Michigan. Elevation is not an issue - would want to go with a speed prop for that reason I think. So, anyone got a perspective on the MXZ vs LSV or m220 in terms of ride handling and comfort?

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So can anyone compare the wake performance, both surfing and wakeboarding between the m220 and the 23 LSV and MXZ?  We are planning to demo the m220 and already did the LSV. Was a bit taller and longer than a VLX but incrementally so. 
 

A big wave and rough water performance are important but I don’t want to be ‘that guy’ on the lake that wipes out everyone’s’ docks with a massive wake and boat that drives like more like a tank than a sports car.
 

 

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Well, I think it is safe to say that all 3 of those will handle better in rough water than your 21 VLX. M220 will probably win all categories except for maybe handling. The surf wave videos I have seen have looked amazing. In general, the MXZ line has typically had a better wakeboard wake than the LSV or at least that is what people I know who ride say. Even my VTX wake would be WAY more than enough for me if I ever decide to strap on a wakeboard again. Surf wise, I really feel we'd be splitting hairs between the 23MX and LSV. They are both going to be great. I'd try to figure out what layout and features you like the best and then go from there. 

What lake are you on, I assume around Leland per the user name? Most lakes up there are so big I can't imagine surf waves being that bad unless you are right on shore and then I don't know how you'd be surfing because every northern lake I have been on has a fairly significant distance from shore before the drop off. We vacation up new Leland a lot, we absolutely love it up there!

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47 minutes ago, ahopkinsVTX said:

Well, I think it is safe to say that all 3 of those will handle better in rough water than your 21 VLX. M220 will probably win all categories except for maybe handling. The surf wave videos I have seen have looked amazing. In general, the MXZ line has typically had a better wakeboard wake than the LSV or at least that is what people I know who ride say. Even my VTX wake would be WAY more than enough for me if I ever decide to strap on a wakeboard again. Surf wise, I really feel we'd be splitting hairs between the 23MX and LSV. They are both going to be great. I'd try to figure out what layout and features you like the best and then go from there. 

What lake are you on, I assume around Leland per the user name? Most lakes up there are so big I can't imagine surf waves being that bad unless you are right on shore and then I don't know how you'd be surfing because every northern lake I have been on has a fairly significant distance from shore before the drop off. We vacation up new Leland a lot, we absolutely love it up there!

You know, you've just identified yourself as a fudgie.  If @LelandBu lives up there, he'll know what I mean.  If not and he's simply got a vacation home there, he should still know what I mean......

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4 minutes ago, Slayer said:

You know, you've just identified yourself as a fudgie.  If @LelandBu lives up there, he'll know what I mean.  If not and he's simply got a vacation home there, he should still know what I mean......

I know what that means too. Since I've been vacationing up there for 30+ years now, I feel like we can blend in pretty good. And even if we don't I love going there so much, I don't care! ;)

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1 hour ago, Slayer said:

You know, you've just identified yourself as a fudgie.  If @LelandBu lives up there, he'll know what I mean.  If not and he's simply got a vacation home there, he should still know what I mean......

Is that more insulting than a Yooper?

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57 minutes ago, carguy79ta said:

I am from MO. what is a fudgie and what is a Yooper.

 

36 minutes ago, hethj7 said:

^^^What he said

Basically a fudgie is someone who travels to northern MI just for tourism. Mackinaw island fudge is a “big” thing to buy so - fudgie. Yoopers are natives of the upper peninsula of Michigan. You may also hear of natives of the lower peninsula as trolls.

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12 minutes ago, ahopkinsVTX said:

 

Basically a fudgie is someone who travels to northern MI just for tourism. Mackinaw island fudge is a “big” thing to buy so - fudgie. Yoopers are natives of the upper peninsula of Michigan. You may also hear of natives of the lower peninsula as trolls.

I assume that "trolls" is not a complimentary term...I am now educated. Thanks.

Edited by carguy79ta
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This is hilarious.  We are technically "fudgies" to the true locals since we don't live in Leland, but we do have a cottage in Leland.  Typically, I think the term fudgie applies to weekend-only tourists, but can be applied to non-local summer residents on occasion. Too funny you referenced this, as our cottage/boat/lift is actually just south of what's known as "Fudgie beach" - just south of the town of Leland.  It's called that because the only people who hang out there seem to be tourists (or "fudgies").  Leland is great as is the entire Leelanau peninsula in Norther Michigan.  Beautiful clear lakes, and has a national park (Sleeping Bear Dunes) nearby right on Lake Michigan as well...

Edited by LelandBu
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We somewhat answered this question - were able to demo a m220 this week in 39 degree weather with 51 degree water temps - thankfully I have a teenager willing to surf for the full comparison.  The m220 wave was quite tall and not quite as steep - very nice wave IMO but perhaps not quite as long as the 23 LSV.  We didn't really have time to dial it in, and only had 4 of us on the boat, but it was obviously not in the same league as a 21 VLX.  I don't know that I would buy a m220 over a 23 LSV just for the wave, honestly.  It handled like a bigger boat as well - heavy and drove more like a deep V boat.  Handled the waves in turn-arounds perfectly - you aren't going to get wet in an m220, but the 23 LSV felt a little more spritely with handling.

It's a tough call honestly - I feel like a 23 MXZ is the right answer functionally, as the bow in the 23 LSV is just not huge.  My wife and daughter and many of our guests really love to hang out up there.  That's not really an upgrade over a 21 VLX.  But, no one in our family likes the look or design of the pickle fork in the MXZ.  The m220 is a compromise between the two, and I think the pricing on a m220 and a 23 MXZ are not that far off.  I believe an m220 and 23 LSV are 10-15k apart, but obviously you can option the m220 up more than the LSV.  I honestly think we are leaning toward the m220, but I would probably option the speed prop with the M6 (the torque prop felt like it was revving pretty high just to cruise).  Reservations vs. the LSV are just the added weight (1000 lbs.) which puts me right on the edge of my truck's towing capacity with a trailer, gas, and gear, and probably pushes me to a 8000 lb. lift to be safe.  It does drive like a bigger boat than the 23 LSV - like driving a luxury SUV vs. a sport sedan...  Compare it to a Cobalt in terms of interior feel.

We saw the wakeboard wake on the 220 (didn't get behind it), which was pretty lippy even with no ballast and on lift mode.  That boat is not going to be good for skiing or beginner wakeboarders IMO.  If you could get the m220 bow on a 23 LSV we'd probably have the answer we're looking for.  But seriously, how picky can one get :)

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