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Is your boat too big?


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Hi crew, it has been a while. I was lurking here for years when we owned an ‘05 VLX. So glad to see that this community is still around and thriving. 

When we sold our boat four years ago, I assumed we would eventually get back into a 23 LSV as it seemed like the optimal size for us, our grown kids and coming grandkids.  We went to the dealership yesterday and learned that it seems there has been a pretty strong shift to larger boats in the past few years. If I had been hanging out here, I’m sure I would have not been surprised by that.

We sat in a 25 LSV and it felt big for the two of us. But, the price differential between the 23 and the 25 makes us go “hmm”.  I’m curious if any of you that have made the leap to a 24’ or 25’, any sense of… wow this thing is just too big for us?

If it helps to understand our situation, I would say that if our former patterns hold, we are on the boat with 4-5 people 50% of the time and then add in another family/friends the other 50% of the time.  And, our goal is to have a house with a dock in the next year or two… so hopefully, eventually, not much trailering.

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I do not think you ever regret having a bigger boat when you are on the water.  I see the problems arise pulling/hauling it around and storage.  These "big" boats are heavy and anymore you need a dually to haul them safely.   Just my 2 cents.

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In the years I’ve been on this forum I honestly cannot remember anyone actually downsizing after getting a bigger boat. 

The general saying is, if you don’t have transportation, storage or lake limitations, get the bigger boat!

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Even when its just my wife and 2 middle-schoolers, i've never regretted the space we have in our A24 - and when you get those groups of 8+, the larger boats make a huge difference.

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We upgraded this year from a 2021 23LSV to a 2022 25 LSV.  No turning back for us.  Even if it's just me, the better half, and one of our 4 kids, it's perfect.  We had a vacation with the boat at the beginning of August and had 10 on board one day.  It was awesome.  10 felt crowded in the 23, but not in the 25.  There was plenty of room to move about.  Also, if you ever use the wakeview bench seat, either in seating or table configuration, you will most certainly appreciate the added cabin space of the larger boats.  In the 23, when that seat was deployed, it made the boat feel much smaller than it is.  We haven't felt that way in the 25.

There's also the added storage capacity on the larger boats that's a welcome feature.  We have so much more functional storage on the 25.  It's particularly notable when traveling with the boat or when we have a large crew.  For us, the 25 is a great fit.  A 26LSV would be awesome but I'm maxed out on lift capacity as it is and not interested in dropping $30k on a new one since I'm on season 4 of the current one.

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Only time a bigger boat isn't better is if you're in one of the small wake disciplines.  If you like slalom skiing or barefooting, these new boats stink.  For everything else, bigger is better for sure...  There's no replacement for no displacement.  :)


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We went from two 23s in a row (MB 23, 2014 23LSV) to a 2016 T22, and this season to a 2021 A24.  Assuming you've got the tow rig covered (or don't really need to tow), there's no downside to the bigger boat that I can think of... other than waxing it.  We are even burning a little less fuel than we did in the T22.

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Ours is a 21', 93" beam and on our 12th season with it, so needless to say we are very used to the smaller size of Malibu's offerings.  On our yearly vacation visiting a friend of ours, we use his 247.  Doesn't really feel much different driving that, even though it is over 24' and a 102" beam.  I drive it quite a bit during that yearly vacation and it is second nature.  My wife has driven it before as well - she is one to get intimidated by operating bigger vehicles and she didn't have an issue with it.

There are a few reasons to go to a smaller boat:

  • Ski/barefoot.  But if that's really a thing for you, you REALLY got to go smaller and probably aren't looking at bigger boats
  • Cost - but as we have all noticed, the price delta is rapidly closing to where smaller makes less and less sense
  • Lake restrictions - that's my issue, as we have a 22' limit

I don't buy into the storage and tow vehicle reasons for not going bigger, as those can typically be worked around.  The extra space is so much nicer.  We did 8 people on our boat this month for 4 days.  3 were 5'2 - 5'4", one smaller dude and 4 big guys...doable but TIGHT.  That same crew in the 247 can do it with ease and not feel the least bit cramped and room to stretch out.



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We have gone from 06 21 VLX, 06 23 LSV, 2015 23 LSV to a 2018 25 LSV and every time the big rollers come through the 25 footer cuts right through them.  That alone is worth getting the larger boat.  All the others would slam pretty hard.

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12 hours ago, FlatheadHoser said:

About the same question as, "is my girlfriend too pretty"?

FYI.....  that is a real thing.  The super hot ones garner to much attention and can become a headache being around them. lol :blowup:

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58 minutes ago, Gene3x said:

FYI.....  that is a real thing.  The super hot ones garner to much attention and can become a headache being around them. lol :blowup:

I have this problem with my wife. It is a burden, but one that I’ve learned to live with.  BTW, I’m planning on showing her this thread…

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