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Bu loosing Tower Wars?


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After visiting several dealers checking out numerous other boat brands i can't help but see Malibu IMO has fallen way behind on "Tower Wars".. 

Towers are a HUGE, expense, perhaps one of the biggest expenses in these wake boats these days, and dare i say... now for pontoons also. Towers are a major focal & functionality point of these boats. IMO a lot of the brands have put a lot of thought into improvements, designs, functionality.

Malibu is still stuck on G3 towers... yes several minor improvements on G3s and now we have a power G3.(X). The G4 at the time was very modern/different but production capacity issues, minor squeaks and we go back to G3s. , At the time the G4 was quite different and more modern than the G3 series. I said before, i  was sad to see Bu go back to a revised G3 tower with round bar. As mentioned before ppl to this day (non Bu owners) still think boats with a G4 are newer boats than actual newer models... pretty sad when a non bu owner thinks that IMO.. Perhaps the GX had meaning of 10yrs of the G3 design?

driving behind a Bu on the hwy and cant help but notice the tower wiggling side to side.. Granted malibu's have always had the weakest towers for lateral forces in the industry but come on its a 2021! 

i know Bu is swamped with production but they seriously need a new tower soon, and please modernize it a bit! on the other hand maybe its how they have been able to keep the malibu costs so low compared to various competition by maintaining a cheaper tower.

just my .02, sad to see my brand loosing grounds.. 

 

Edited by The Hulk
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Sounds like a bunch of crap that maybe 5 people would want. Vinyl panels on a tower?  How about some shag carpet too

If Malibu would change the design/look of the tower it would be almost sacrilegious IMO.  It's the one boat that all of us can identify immediately on the water from 50 yards or 500 yards.  The silhou

Heard the 29LSV is going to have dual telescoping towers with stairs and a platform option for lounging on the top deck. 

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So which ones do you feel are better? Master craft is stuck in the 1990’s with their towers IMO and nautique has had the same tower for like 20 years now. Malibu has been constantly pushing the envelope when compared to them. 

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17 minutes ago, ahopkinsVTX said:

So which ones do you feel are better? Master craft is stuck in the 1990’s with their towers IMO and nautique has had the same tower for like 20 years now. Malibu has been constantly pushing the envelope when compared to them. 

I agree .. talk about dated, the MC towers are huge and ugly.  Rock solid?  yes, but I'll take a little wiggle.  I like the minimal impact to visibility of my G5.  Also, the new Nautique tower is HUGE.    

Innovation is sometimes just change and not required.  

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seems we should be adding some illumination, some speakers integrated into the sides, as well perhaps more seamless into the tower as well. I think its time for some soft Vinyl or fabric Panels of some sort for a more "interior look & feel". that being said i'll leave it to you to take some of those features that other brands have been integrated. Malibu was the industries tower leader at one point... time for a major revamp. 

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24 minutes ago, ahopkinsVTX said:

So which ones do you feel are better? Master craft is stuck in the 1990’s with their towers IMO and nautique has had the same tower for like 20 years now. Malibu has been constantly pushing the envelope when compared to them. 

After having demoed a 2022 XT24 this week, I have to disagree.  While I still am not the biggest fan of the MC towers, the new Z8 tower is pretty awesome.  The rear camera, when equipped, is mounted on the tower in lieu of the transom.  This is super nice.  The Z8 is not a powered tower, but it does not have any latches to deal with when lowering or raising the tower.  There is a button on the top that you depress to move the tower and it's indexed such that as soon as you release the button, the position is fixed.  Super nice if you're in a situation where you need to lower it just a couple inches to get on a hoist.  That's a huge benefit.  Also, being able to select colors on the tower is a huge improvement.  It is absolutely rock solid.  

I do however prefer the G5 on my 2021 23LSV over the MC tower.  I would like to see Malibu update their towers, though.  There are so many things that could be done, but as far as my G5 goes, I'll take it over the G3 all day, any day. 

 

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agree the G's towers are huge, although crazy strong like pull 6-tubers from your tower all day strong.... the Paragon tower is about the most functional for those with bridges & boat lifts & driving while down....althoug crazy $. 

Harris pontoons articulating tower is also very functional like the Paragon keeping bimini level while raising/lowering. 

Barletta pontoons is also releasing one similar to the Paragon & harris however rather than a hard caged bimini top it will automatically extend the bimini out fwd & backwards. 

I agree MC is terrible but they went all in on CNC milling for about every part on their boats, Pavait is jealous of all their CNC capabilities haha. 

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I'd have to see these other towers in person but I don't have any complaints with malibu's towers. I would agree they are iconic. Toss a z5 rack/bimini, load it up with boards, add wets sounds up and down the sides, and some tower lights front and rear. Bingo one badass tower! Oh and if you can find it the old school rope winder. 

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1 hour ago, Slayer said:

After having demoed a 2022 XT24 this week, I have to disagree.  While I still am not the biggest fan of the MC towers, the new Z8 tower is pretty awesome.  The rear camera, when equipped, is mounted on the tower in lieu of the transom.  This is super nice.  The Z8 is not a powered tower, but it does not have any latches to deal with when lowering or raising the tower.  There is a button on the top that you depress to move the tower and it's indexed such that as soon as you release the button, the position is fixed.  Super nice if you're in a situation where you need to lower it just a couple inches to get on a hoist.  That's a huge benefit.  Also, being able to select colors on the tower is a huge improvement.  It is absolutely rock solid.  

I do however prefer the G5 on my 2021 23LSV over the MC tower.  I would like to see Malibu update their towers, though.  There are so many things that could be done, but as far as my G5 goes, I'll take it over the G3 all day, any day. 

 

The Z8 does sound pretty nice for raising and lowering, but it was literally just debuted for 2022 from what I understand. It’s not like Malibu is years behind on that. But from a design perspective? Like you said the Malibu tower is much nicer. At least MC gives you a bit of an option to throw some color on there other than the polished  bars from 1990 :lol:

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2 minutes ago, ahopkinsVTX said:

The Z8 does sound pretty nice for raising and lowering, but it was literally just debuted for 2022 from what I understand. It’s not like Malibu is years behind on that. But from a design perspective? Like you said the Malibu tower is much nicer. At least MC gives you a bit of an option to throw some color on there other than the polished  bars from 1990 :lol:

Yes, it's a much improved solution to the previous generation.  The operation of the tower is very smooth and very nice.  It's almost like a hybrid of a power & manual tower.  I like the fact that you don't have to unlatch it to move it.  The system will not allow you to do so unless the boat is in neutral.  You're right, the new MC towers are new for 2022.  The Z6 seems to be unchanged and still looks like the previous generation tower.  The wave on that boat was pretty amazing, though.  No question is a solid performer. 

 

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Having a g4 tower in my m235 I haven’t had any issues you all report.  The Gx looks just like an power version of that tower.  Having demo the new 2021 paragon I will Say the telescoping tower is AWESOME.  It’s standard on the paragon but if you want it on the g23 you can get it on the 2022 for $22k.  No joke. I couldn’t believe how much it was.   

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Five Cent Worth
1 hour ago, Slayer said:

Yes, it's a much improved solution to the previous generation.  The operation of the tower is very smooth and very nice.  It's almost like a hybrid of a power & manual tower.  I like the fact that you don't have to unlatch it to move it.  The system will not allow you to do so unless the boat is in neutral.  You're right, the new MC towers are new for 2022.  The Z6 seems to be unchanged and still looks like the previous generation tower.  The wave on that boat was pretty amazing, though.  No question is a solid performer. 

 

Does the Z8 have pockets underneath and the surf sleeves integrated (finally)?

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12 minutes ago, Five Cent Worth said:

Does the Z8 have pockets underneath and the surf sleeves integrated (finally)?

Funny you mention this, it's an option.  The boat we were on had integrated surf sleeves, but no pockets like our Bu biminis have.  We use the hell out of those things and don't understand why they wouldn't be standard fare.  Makes little sense that it's not. 

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I must be the only person that hates those Nautique racks and also doesn't understand why the tower can't hold 2 sets of board racks. I also can't stand that half-mast Bimini on the Nautique. 

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1 hour ago, martinarcher said:

If Malibu would change the design/look of the tower it would be almost sacrilegious IMO.  It's the one boat that all of us can identify immediately on the water from 50 yards or 500 yards.  The silhouette of a Malibu boat is unmistakable.  I think that speaks volumes about what they have done with their tower.  As others have said, its iconic.  

 

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I agree with you.  However, the function of the new MC Z8 tower is hard to beat with respect to lowering and raising it.  I'd love it if Malibu had a similar solution. 

 

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9 minutes ago, Slayer said:

I agree with you.  However, the function of the new MC Z8 tower is hard to beat with respect to lowering and raising it.  I'd love it if Malibu had a similar solution. 

 

Not sure I really understand what's so much easier about it vs Malibu Gx. Gx tower also goes down with the press of a button. Both towers would need to have the Bimini adjusted right?

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36 minutes ago, boardjnky4 said:

Not sure I really understand what's so much easier about it vs Malibu Gx. Gx tower also goes down with the press of a button. Both towers would need to have the Bimini adjusted right?

Not correct.  The z8 is not a power tower.  It is a manual tower that has a button that allows the tower to be indexed to different positions.  You simply depress the button, manually lower it to the desired height while the button is depressed, release the button and the tower remains fixed in the position at which the button is released.  This can be done with the bimini deployed unless the tower is completely lowered.  At that point, the bimini must be stowed.  You can lower it 1", 3" , or whatever is needed for maneuvering into or out of a boat hoist, boat house, under a bridge, etc.  There are no latches to contend with, etc.  I don't have a Gx on my boat, nor do I have any experience with the Gx, but I would suspect that it would do the same thing as the Z8.  The Z10 is the MC power tower.

Sorry if I wasn't clear on how it functions, but it is rather nice and much less expensive than the powered version of the tower.  It's a well executed solution, IMO.

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The G5 is a classic easy to use design, rock solid, and it is iconic in how it looks on the boat.

The Gx is for those who want a few more features (push button to lower (and lower flush with the windshield), integrated cockpit lights, etc.

One thing to think about is that the ability to lower a tower and have low clearance (For a garage door) can make or break a boat sale.  Malibu actually seems to think about this, clearly some of the other OEMs do not.  

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