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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through April 01, 2004 » Malibu vs Mastercraft « Previous Next »
By mark hart (tron) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 9:30 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Newbie here. Sorry for the long post.

Buying a wakeboard boat mostly for the kids and have it down to either the X-10 or VLX. Either boat suits my specific needs. Another manufacturer is not an option for me.

Part of my research included this board. My there are certainly some opinions about both of these manufacturers on this board.

IMHO, both boats are great but I am swaying more towards the Malibu. In trying to make sure I was getting a fair price, I contacted a few dealers in CA, and they responded back by saying, bascialy, "buy from the dealer in your area or you won't get serviced." Then I tried to find some dealers - there weren't many. Like only one from San Diego to Los Angeles, and one more from LA to San Francisco. There may be more but I couldn't find them. This does not give me much comfort. I have a Mastercraft dealer within 20 minutes of me, and a few more within an hours drive.

No doubt both boats will need warranty repairs at some point.

Since there appears to be a huge amount of experiance on this board, does anyone know if in fact I can only take the Malibu back to the selling dealer for warranty work? How big is the Malibu dealer network in Ca compared to the Mastercraft dealer network? I tried going to the Malibu website to see them but it is only "plug in your zip code" type of look up.

As far as pricing, the Mastercraft and the Malibu are within $500 of each other, with fairly similar configurations. Yes, I saw the post about Nada resale values.

thanks in advance for any tips, and again sorry for the long post.

By tige (tigeboatsinc) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 9:37 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Go with the MasterCraft, if for only the dealer. You will find out in time that having the dealer near you, as long as it is a reputable dealer, is a major thing when buying a boat. Boats have problems and thats life. MasterCrafts are good boats too and will last a long time with proper care. The X-10 is a great boat also.
By wilson (3puttwilson) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 11:54 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
First, congratulations on which ever boat you get..You will NOT be unhappy either way. I live in East TN and I ran into similar problems trying to price a VLX. The basic rule for Malibu dealers is they will not step on the toes of other dealerships in other areas...saying you can't get it serviced is a nice way of them saying buy from your local dealer. This really prevents the consumer from putting one dealership against another one to get the best price. I personally think this sucks but..MasterCraft on the other hand will give you a price regardless where you live.. They operate kind of like a car dealership. I got four different prices and luckily my local dealer came through and beat them all by several thousand dollars.
MC dealers will be competitive against other dealers.I tried to buy a VLX and couldn't even get close to a fair price...I got a really great deal on my it cheaper than a VLX with exact same equipment..The VLX is a great boat and I love my X2..The x10 is a great boat as well, just a little more family oriented than the X2..Well, I hope that helped a little...basically your out of luck trying to price around the VLX.

By S Dub (sdub) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 1:03 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Have you driven both boats yet? There were a lot of boats out there I thought I was interested in til I drove them all. The test ride answers alot of questions.

As far as pricing goes, I got mine from the SoCal dealer, and got a very fair price.

IMO the importance of the proximity of your dealer to your house mostly only matters the first year, when you might have some warranty issues. After that, all maintence is very basic and you can do it yourself.

As far as unforseen probs are gonna happen, but driving 20 min. vs. 1 hr. would not be enough of a diff to buy based on dealer locale. Your gonna be in the boat alot, so get what you like. Please test drive'em.

By Jason Lorist (jlorist04) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 1:14 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I know up here in Northern California, there are four Malibu dealers, one in Escalon called Boat Country, Ultimate Watersports in San Jose,Livermore,and Rancho Cordova. We are purchasing a 21XTI from the Rancho Cordova office. We are located here in Tracy. They are giving us a pretty good deal from what Boat Country said. Good Luck!
By e (ian) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 1:20 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I almost sold my Malibu and bought a Mastercraft. Just because the MC dealership is about ten minutes from my house. I would prefer to be closer to my dealership. Fortunately, my Malibu dealership is moving, and they will be only 20 min away instead of an hour. So, I will be keeping my boat.
By J Haines (alteczen) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 3:21 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Wilson...I don't mean to shoot you down but MC operates the same way as Malibu. The dealers are not suppossed to compete with each other and it is not like a car dealership. There are exceptions with shared territories in CA and other parts. However, if the territory is not shared they will push customers to their local dealers.
By John Klein (jklein) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 5:50 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Nobody said you couldn't pick the brand you like, then pit the MC dealer against the MBU dealer or vis-versa to get the best price on the brand you actually want.

If you bought from a dealer far from where you live, I can't imagine another dealer not honoring warranty work. What if you moved right after you bought the boat? The warranty is from Malibu, not the dealer. Check the Heck, I took my BU to an MC dealer and had it serviced because the BU dealer was such an incompetent. In my case the BU dealership and MC dealership were both owned by the same parent company and the parent company took care of me.

By mark hart (tron) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 8:40 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I want to thank everyone for their posts.

I elected to go with MC since the dealership is close, and another one (MC) is within an hours drive. I did not feel comfortable with the response I got from the BU dealers regarding territory, and having only one BU dealer within five hours one way drive just didn't sit well with me.

One BU dealer did contact me through this Board, and I appreciate that effort.

If anyone is from BU is out there listening, may I suggest that warranty work be handled through other boat repair places when an extensive amount of distance is between the owner and the nearest dealer (say 100 or so miles.)

I would also like to point out that from my point of view, I really don't want to be told how bad the other people's boats are, which is exactly what both MC and BU did to each other. :>(

By Jon J. Bauman (jjbauman) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 8:43 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
When comparing differences between Malibu and MC please test drive the two boats. Malibu will use tracking fins on all of their v-drives while I dont think MC does this. This is going to make a big difference in handling. Also pay attention to the interior fit and finish, upholstery, dash, components. Good luck in buying your boat.
By Tracie (mb_girl) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 8:51 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
"Malibu will use tracking fins on all of their v-drives"

Not just tracking fins, Gorrilla Fins!

I just bought a Malibu & you can get some really good info over on It's a great resource even if you don't own a Malibu, but better if you do.

By Scott Verillo (sbvfive) on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 10:45 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Glad to hear that you went with MC. Welcome to the Team!!!!!!!!!!!! Let me know how that X-10 works out....we considered one but ended up going with the X-Star..
By wilson (3puttwilson) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 6:17 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
J Haines- You can't shoot my down because what I said is exactly how it is where I live. Which by the way you live in Knoxville and one of the quotes I got was the Knoxville MC dealer..who knows I have a MC dealer where I live. In fact they told me they had sold 3 boats to people in my city...I have about 3 other MC dealers within about 3 hours and they all were told where I lived and they NEVER told me to buy from my local YES the MC dealers IN MY AREA do operate like a car dealership..I have better things to do than make up fake posts on Wakeworld..I was trying to help the guy out.If you didn't shop around for the best price on your MC, that's your own fault.
By Bill (00prostar205v) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 7:17 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Jon is correct in that MC does not use tracking fins on all of their v drives. They do use them on some. My 205v which is a dressed down x2 has them. I believe the x10 and x30, born of the Maristar 210 and 230, are absent of tracking fins. I like having tracking fins b/c I like to slalom. I do not know important they are for a wakeboard specific boat.
By mark hart (tron) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 7:59 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
One area that was about 25% of my decission, nada price on a 2003 x10 - $40,890, 2003 vlx - $32,750. Both looked up with no options. Big difference for two boats that cost the same out the door.
By Tim Krutz (timmy) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 8:33 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
you need to compare nada with the x2 which is more like $35,960. Also in most other parts of the country the mastercraft is initially priced much, much higher than the vlx. when i was looking ('02) I could have gotten a VLX with all the options I wanted for around 39k, and the x-star (x-2) was more like 48k
By mark hart (tron) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 8:42 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
uh, I'm not buying an X2, I'm buying an X10. Pricing for both the X10 and the VLX, with similar options is like $50k before tax & lic.
By Pat Borowski (bambamski) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 9:36 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Both are very nice boats, your really can't go wrong with either one.

I don't understand the tracking fin thing though. Boats that have the tracking fins have a flat bottom hull so if they turned and didn't have the fins they would just wash out. The X10 and 30 are engineered so they don't need them. They don't wash out when you turn, and they have a deeper hull then pretty much every other tournament boat out there which helps in rough water.

By malibu guy (chucky) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 10:12 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
The x-10 and x-30 dont have tracking fins becuase they are built to compete against runabout boats. Malibu is a more performance hull. Less bow rise and better handling. The mastercraft hull is the same as the maristar hull from 1998 with tanks and a tower.
By Tim Krutz (timmy) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 11:47 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
i know you are buying an X10, but to compare nada prices you really need to compare similar boats. X2 is much more similar to the VLX than the x10 is. i was simply pointing out your apples/oranges comparison.

also, if you are paying $50k for a vlx you are getting jacked.

By Pat Borowski (bambamski) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 12:01 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I think Mark is going for the dollar comparison not boat. He's saying Both boats cost the same new but the MC X-10 is worth more when going to sell it. Has nothing to do with the X-2
By Zedz Dead (ktm250) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 12:57 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
MasterCrafts with tracking fins: X2, X7, X9 & X-Star (ProStar based boats except X-Star)

MasterCrafts without: X10, X30 and X80
(MariStar based boats with deep V hulls not needing tracking fins due to hull design)

By Zedz Dead (ktm250) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 1:08 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
You need to be careful using a 2003 X2 for 2003 ballast was optional as was just about everything else in an effort to make a "build it yourself/suit your needs boat", 2002 was standard with ballast, PerfectPass, amp & sub, CD stereo etc... That is why a 2003 (X2) actually books for less than a 2002 (X-Star), the last difference in the book values is that in 2003 NADA uses a 310 (base) engine and in 2002 they use a 330 (upgrade) LTR.

For a direct comparison to a Wakesetter VLX you can use 2002 and the values speak for themselves.

Enjoy your new boat.

By Zedz Dead (ktm250) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 1:17 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
On the issue of MasterCraft territories…they do exist. We are all assigned an area in which to market and sell. By virtue of fair trade laws MasterCraft Boat Company (or any other for that matter) cannot restrict a dealer from selling outside of their assigned territory; however, they can withhold volume bonuses and incentive programs from dealers who violate these policies.

I have no doubt that a small number of dealers violate this from time to time. We are advised to recommend that a customer buy from his local dealer. As written earlier in this post it will prove to be invaluable in the long run.

By S Dub (sdub) on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 2:42 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
IMO nada is crap. I did not see any real corelation between what nada said and actual listings and selling prices of boats two yrs ago when I bought.

Your are right, I think the negative selling thing suxs.

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