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Is the M220 or 23LSV a Better Fit?


BLSousa

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We are considering purchasing a new M220 or 23LSV this spring.  Our 2017 22VLX (now called the 22LSV) served us well.  We have a houseboat so we rarely have more than 6 on the boat at a time nor do we use it for hanging out or eating.  Our primary uses are Marina shuttle (12-mile round trip), Surfing, and tubing, in that order.  We don’t wakeboard and we use our family’s DD for slalom.  The 22VLX did great for all things; including slalom, with the exception of surfing people over 225lbs.  My family is 150-200lbs but some of our extended family is up to 275lbs. 

The configured price delta between the two identically optioned boats is ~7%.  I am curious about thoughts on whether the M220 or 23LSV would be a better fit for our use. 

There are a lot of surf boats running around our lake now so the ride quality is important.  One of my concerns would be if the M220 porpoises more than the 23LSV.  Our 22VLX with the diamond hull didn’t porpoise, but the identical boat w/ a wake hull would porpoise and I recall reports of the 2017-2020 22MXZs having proposing problems.

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Caveat that i've never ridden in either...but from a pure "no replacement for displacement" perspective, the M220 will have nearly 2000 lbs advantage (1000 lbs dry, nearly 1000 lbs ballast), so for Surfing i'd imagine M220 would have a significant advantage.

i think its also got more freeboard? and deeper hull/more weight probably also helps as your Marina shuttle.  They are probably equivalent Tubing machines.

FWIW i'd vote M220.

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I recommend 23LSV. 

Obviously, either boat will work and congrats on your pending new purchase.  In my opinion, the Vee hull of the LSV will handle much better in rough water vs the M-hull of the M220.  If your primary use is marina shuttle, then it may serve you well to have a boat that can handle the rough waves when the wind kicks up and you have whitecaps and wouldn't otherwise plan on being on the water but for the marina shuttle.  The Vee hull will simply cut through the chop better.

Of course, the M220 with the pickled fork bow will give you more seating in the bow, but you rarely have more than 6, so you should be good.  The M220 will have more storage, more ballast, and bigger tank than the 23LSV.  The M220 may put out a slightly bigger surf wave than the LSV, but surfing isn't your primary use.  The passengers may be dryer outside the cockpit in the M220 with its high freeboard and M-hull, but it will be a smoother ride with the 23LSV.  Malibu reduced the porpoising issue associated with the MXZ by adding more freeboard to the M220.  But, if the waves get big enough, the M220 will still porpoise because the hull will not cut through the waves as cleanly as the LSV.

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Don't have a ton to add to what has already been said here, but last year I did make the move from a 2017 22VLX to a 2022 23LSV.   I was amazed at how different the two boats perform.  On paper, similar size.  On water the 23LSV acts like a much bigger boat.  In chop, producing a surf wave, added storage, etc.  The 2022 23LSV with the M6 way exceeded my expectations, even at 7,000ft elevation.  So much smoother and stronger in big wave/white cap situations, much stronger surf wave and with some practice still super maneuverable in tight docking situations.  Full disclosure, I have not been on an M220, so unfortunately I can't make the exact comparison you are looking for but since I went from the 22VLX to a 23LSV I thought I would share my thoughts. 

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4 hours ago, gagordox said:

I recommend 23LSV. 

Obviously, either boat will work and congrats on your pending new purchase.  In my opinion, the Vee hull of the LSV will handle much better in rough water vs the M-hull of the M220.  If your primary use is marina shuttle, then it may serve you well to have a boat that can handle the rough waves when the wind kicks up and you have whitecaps and wouldn't otherwise plan on being on the water but for the marina shuttle.  The Vee hull will simply cut through the chop better.

Of course, the M220 with the pickled fork bow will give you more seating in the bow, but you rarely have more than 6, so you should be good.  The M220 will have more storage, more ballast, and bigger tank than the 23LSV.  The M220 may put out a slightly bigger surf wave than the LSV, but surfing isn't your primary use.  The passengers may be dryer outside the cockpit in the M220 with its high freeboard and M-hull, but it will be a smoother ride with the 23LSV.  Malibu reduced the porpoising issue associated with the MXZ by adding more freeboard to the M220.  But, if the waves get big enough, the M220 will still porpoise because the hull will not cut through the waves as cleanly as the LSV.

Respectfully I have never heard a viewpoint of the LSV riding better than the M series.  If you are talking the MXZ series, then yes.  But the M series is more of a hybrid bow vs a true picklefork and as others are chiming in, the M series is widely thought to handle to rough water very well.  

Edited by hethj7
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I can't comment on the M220.  I've wanted to get in and behind an M series boat, but haven't had an opportunity to do so.  I echo the comments of @Shea with respect comparing the 22VLX to the 23LSV as we made that change in 2021.  The difference between the 22VLX and 23LSV is remarkable.  

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Have you been in both?

when considering the m240 vs the 25lsv I was turned off by the lack of sub floor storage in the M series. This may or may not be an issue based on the usage detailed you outlined above.

I’ll agree with the sentiment above that the rough water handling will be favorable in the M series as well. But the shape of the hull will result in water spray for a wetter ride especially on a day with a breeze

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2 hours ago, Stevo said:

Have you been in both?

when considering the m240 vs the 25lsv I was turned off by the lack of sub floor storage in the M series. This may or may not be an issue based on the usage detailed you outlined above.

I’ll agree with the sentiment above that the rough water handling will be favorable in the M series as well. But the shape of the hull will result in water spray for a wetter ride especially on a day with a breeze

are you saying the wetter ride will be with the m220 vs 23lsv or are you only comparing the 25 to the 240 from when you upgraded?  with the freeboard i would have thought for sure the m220 was the dryer ride. ( very good info if that is not the case, )

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6 minutes ago, smuurph84 said:

are you saying the wetter ride will be with the m220 vs 23lsv or are you only comparing the 25 to the 240 from when you upgraded?  with the freeboard i would have thought for sure the m220 was the dryer ride. ( very good info if that is not the case, )

M series will have a wetter ride than the lsv.

the m series hull shape displaces water similar to the Mxz series hull that results in a wetter ride for passengers. 

this was my experience in the 23/24mxz and the m240 in contrast to 23/25lsv 

this may or may not be of any concern to you, but it’s something I considered I’m my decision 

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1 minute ago, Stevo said:

M series will have a wetter ride than the lsv.

the m series hull shape displaces water similar to the Mxz series hull that results in a wetter ride for passengers. 

this was my experience in the 23/24mxz and the m240 in contrast to 23/25lsv 

this may or may not be of any concern to you, but it’s something I considered I’m my decision 

its for sure a concern and i am on a pretty big lake. just one more reason to test drive ( assuming i finally am in a position to upgrade)  i just would never have thought about it this way. think i assumed the heavier boat would be the better ride ( with less spray) but sounds like that isn't the case.

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It will ride better through the chop, but the spray is a side effect, 

demo for sure , because your lake environment and tolerance for spray will be different than mine and others 

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My initial thoughts on the spray were like @smuurph84  But after @Stevo explained it, I can understand it. I recall that the G23 had the same issue. It seems like it has to do with the vertical sidewalls of the G and M boats instead of the more sloped sidewalls of the LSV boats. 
 

I recall it being mentioned that the inset/angular pockets on the sides of the newer G series being done to address the spray issue. 

Edited by BLSousa
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I have never been in an M series.  I would say the biggest negative that I have on my 23LSv is the overall ride quality in a big rough lake compared to some of the other surf boats that I have been on.  We spend a ton of time in my buddies then X22 and now X24 and the ride quality (and dryness) is far better in those vs our 23 LSV.  

Like others have noted, I would have a hard time thinking that the 23 LSV rides better in the rough stuff than the M220.  

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55 minutes ago, BLSousa said:

When we looked at both boats side by side I had a few observations:

1.  The wake view seating on the M220 is a little short due to its leg section/base cushion being where most, if not all, of the length adjustment in the boat was made.  All other interior seat widths, lengths, engine compartment etc. seemed to be the same as the 23LSV.  This short length of the wake view seat base makes it difficult to get larger items into the cavernous storage under the side/gunwale seats.   If the leg portion of the wake view seats were a little longer you could fit surf boards through the opening for storage under the seat.  You can still use the area for that purpose if you pull up the observers seat base and feed them in from there.

2.  The M220 does have a large underfloor storage compartment under the side/wake view seats.  Apparently it is different than the M240 which has hard tanks under the floor beneath those seats, limiting the depth of the M240's side seat storage area. 

3.  I like the hybrid design of the M220 bow more than I thought I would.  A long legged person can sit straight forward with their legs straight.

4.  I do not care for the look of the M220 on the trailer, it reminds me of my grandparents tri-hull from the 70s.  It is not as bad as the G series boats to me though.  I realize this is a totally subjective statement and others will have the opposite preference.

5.  The interior height of the boat from the seat base cushion to the top of the gunwale is the same between the two boats.  I had read in other threads that the added freeboard of the M made the interior seating deeper.  This was not the case.

6.  The M is about a foot taller on the trailer.  I do like how much height you save from lowering the G5 tower verses our G3.5 tower.

7.  I like and want a swim step but those brackets will probable result in me hitting my head on the relatively sharp edges of the brackets and warning sensor when I wipe down the back of the boat or access the rear plug.

8.  The quality of the LSV's interior looked and felt cheaper to me than my 2017 did.  I do not like spending so much more for an item that feels and looks like a cheaper/poorer quality product.  It leaves me feeling like they are trying to take advantage of my loyalty instead of trying to earn it. 

Overall I like the look, style, and access to the under seat storage of the 23LSV better than the M220.  I like the size of under seat storage better in the M220.  The very different bow configuration is six of one, half dozen of the other.  Most other interior items were either very similar or the same.  The now mandatory option of the "Premium M220 Dash" is almost identical to the LSV and IMO is not worth the $2,135 that they charge your for it.

I am looking forward to a water test to determine which one we prefer.  Out of water, the two are very closely matched in the areas that are important to us.  There is less than a 10% price difference between them.  It was less of a price difference before I found out that you have to pay $2,135 more for the nearly identical, err, I mean "premium" dash on the M220.

Do I sound like I came away feeling a little underwhelmed?  On some of the interior items, yes, but that is not what I like best about Malibus, which is their performance, ease of configuration, this site, and my dealer. 

thx for writing up observations, will be helpful for other shoppers.  can't wait to hear what you think about on-water / behind boat experience (hopefully also done back-to-back for fairest comparison)

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8 hours ago, MountainRider05 said:

I was in the same debate. I was about to pull the trigger end of last summer on a 2022 23lsv ..but the bow(even though i dont use that area much felt so unusable.. we got to jump back and forth between lsv and the m220 and i was sold right away on the M220. It felt bigger which its technically not fit and finish seemed nicer,the amount of storage the m220 has is crazy.. the drivers helm is alot nicer.. i really like the arm rest with the surf/speed control location.. to me there’s a big difference from the premium dash vs the standard u could get in 2022.. I placed a order for a 2023 in September and received it end of November!! And we are so happy with it. Had it out already and it handles awesome and the wave is amazing right out the gate! Just finished my stereo build on it so im ready for summer!! 

you know tmc loves photos.....  lets see it!,  looking at your signature it looks like i will be following a similar path ( hopefully this summer) coming from a T22. 

Edited by smuurph84
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Traded a 2019 23 for a leftover 2022 M220.  The freeboard and weight along with the higher quality cabin materials sold us. I can not comment on the surf wave as I haven’t yet been behind the M220. I will say that I am a bigger guy, 245 lbs, and the wave on the 23 LSV had plenty of push for me, even on a skim style board.  

Won’t get to actually drive and surf the M220 until late May here in the Midwest, so my impressions may be too late to help you. 
 

i

 

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  • 11 months later...
On 3/30/2023 at 5:04 PM, MountainRider05 said:

6859FEB6-1F2A-4805-BE71-A191FFBDB196.thumb.jpeg.db7302bcc511f66edd28bab550560bc0.jpeg0EE841AD-D86F-4431-B45D-927E8321C554.thumb.jpeg.83bc3689e46ff674be921b52aac3cf8e.jpeg03ACFCDA-A85F-4125-BC68-EB6040FE2C83.thumb.jpeg.6526c96015d894dd79e0138662ec6de9.jpeg 

 

Great looking boat! Curious how the graphite is to take care of, water spots, swirl marks etc. Thanks in advance!

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@Tmac34 I love this boat and color combo.. it looks killer on the water. It is pretty easy to take care of coming from a all black boat.. but not as easy as white or a boat with metal flake. 
IMG_3758.thumb.jpeg.645d12c0e22b80600ecbd9af4a55f6ba.jpegIMG_3658.thumb.jpeg.c31e94cb032806d238055fa208ea04d8.jpegIMG_3146.thumb.jpeg.b886fa3f87e443c24755937fff7346c1.jpeg

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On 3/29/2023 at 4:25 PM, BLSousa said:

8.  The quality of the LSV's interior looked and felt cheaper to me than my 2017 did. 

This was a big complaint back in 2018. People either loved the change or hated the change. I know someone that ordered a new boat every year. They held onto their 2017 23 LSV for an extra year and ended up with a 2019 23 LSV. 

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