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-   -   2011 Malibu VLX review (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=788324)

fman 06-20-2011 1:07 AM

2011 Malibu VLX review
3 Attachment(s)
After 43 hours of use this season I wanted to throw up a write-up/review on my 2011 Wakesetter VLX. I came from a 2008 Supra 22SSV, which I also enjoyed. The Wakesetter has exceeded my expectations.

The purpose of this write-up is for people interested in this boat, there are many other boats available that are also great options. The VLX was "the boat" I always wanted and i could never find any write-ups on pro's and con's of the boat so I decided to give some feedback to people interested in the VLX.

Pro's and items I favor about the VLX:

Exterior - Styling, cut-outs, gel coat options, windshield style, wakeboard transom seat/walk thru plank, large swim platform

Interior - Excellent vinyl, fit and finish, grab handles, color options, textured vinyl patterns, wrap around seating, ice chest location,100" beam, solid ski locker compartment doors, warming tray above engine, stowable table great for eating and hanging out for lunch or dinner on the water

Stereo - 8 inboat speakers, I ordered boat with Soundpack 1. I added Wetsound Pro 80's (Rev 10s coming tuesday), Arc Audio Amps, 12" Wetsounds sub, Ipod docking/charger, Ws-420/HSE, Promariner charger. This system is plenty loud for me, not sure how the stock Malibu Fosgate Soundpack 3 system sounds.

Interior space - For a 21' 6" boat this boat has great use of space, I had 6 adults and 6 kids in the boat last week and everyone had enough room to stay comfortable all day

Ski lockers - Will fit a kneeboard in each locker and lots of gear and NO CARPET! in any ski lockers or storage areas!

Motor - I have the Monsoon 350 with OJ Fusion 529 wakeboard prop, at 30 mph I am turning about 3800 RPMs. I really like this prop, especially with a boat load of people and full ballast, and for surfing.

G3 Tower - Rock solid, no tower feet in drivers site, 4 removeable board racks - holds a ton of gear, we had 5 wakeboards, wakeskate and two surfboards in the racks last week, great bimini I am 6'1" and I dont have to duck down to walk under, bimini has great coverage, gas assisted shocks when folding down, G3 mirror is off windshield and has tri-angle viewing, bimini can be stowed and left on tower which I also really like

MLS - Malibu Launch System (1250 lb hard tanks), fills quickly in under 3 minutes, with 4 seperate 800GPH pumps, easy to drain and fill tanks with independent tanks, good for surfing with 400 lb bow tank, power wedge adds more weight and lets you ramp up the wake (Malibu claims another 1200 lbs of weight with wedge)

Maliview - Great options for wakeboarding, speed control screen viewing options, rider pre-sets, customizeable to rider name settings. I installed a WS-420/HSE so I dont use any of the stereo functions.

MTC - Malibu Touch Command, easy to fill and drain ballast, fun to use, contains all toggle switches for lights, heaters, bilge, blower, etc....

Price - For a $65k boat I believe you are getting good quality build with a great value.

Wake - This is what its all about with any wakeboard boat and the VLX delivers! The 1250 LB quad tank MLS system with the wedge puts an incredibly nice wake out, with 4 tanks it can be dialed in to different rider levels. The wake without any ballast for beginner riders is very clean at lower speeds (17-18 mph) and big enough for beginner/intermediate riders to jump. I had a very advanced rider on my boat all last week who owns a 23' MB and he was complimenting the VLX wake.... his exact words were "it was consistenly great all week, with great pop! I was lauching well into the flats with little effort" , he was riding at 24 MPH, full MLS and wedge deployed one click up.

This boat is great for kids/beginners wakeboarding at lower speeds (16-18 mph), my 8 year old gets a great clean wake at this speed that is huge for him to jump. The boat is weight sensitive at lower speeds but can easily be cleaned up with a little movement. My last boat would never allow a clean wake under 22 mph, always washed out on the port side.

Surf wake - I added 750 lb bags to the ski lockers that fill with Johnson pumps. For surfing I have the 250lb hard tank in ski locker, 750 lb bag, 350 lb midship tank and 400 lb bow tank. The surf wake is very good, not the best on the market, not as good as a Supreme or Tige RZ2 which I have surfed behind. But it does supply a wake that will allow any intermediate surfer to easily stay in the wake, have a great time, and supply good push. Much better than my last boat. If you are looking for solely a surf boat this would not the be the best choice. With my current set-up you will get a nice surf wake with not having to put any extra bags on your seats.... if you added more weight I am sure the wake could be improved even more.

Items I dont care for:

> Drivers seat/bolster is way to low for me, I am going to have to raise the seat up
> Rope will get caught on board racks when picking up skiers in water because of ski pylon location forward in the boat
> MTC - Malibu touch, no keyed ignition for backup incase of MTC failure
> Tower speakers are further forward in the boat, they will blast out people sitting in the back seat
> Tower folded down will not fit in standard track home 6' 11" garage height, I have to remove a few items off it (board racks, mirror bracket) to fit in a 7' 5" garage height opening, also had to lower trailer 1 3/4".
> No bow storage, I went with the quad ballast so you sacrafice space for weight. I think it was worth it, I do believe the extra 400 lbs in the bow definitely helps improve the wakeboard/surf wake.

Have a great season, if you have any questions feel free to ask....


cwb4me 06-20-2011 5:11 AM

Lots of good information there.It should help out anyone shopping for a new boat.Get them thinking about how they will use it at least.Congrats on your new ride,looks SHARP!

bruizza 06-20-2011 12:18 PM

Awesome write up!

malibudude 06-20-2011 12:28 PM


Boat looks sweet on the water. The higher bolster seat would be nice for such as this passed weekend just a tremendous amount of debris on the lake. My beloved OJ 468 didn't get touched...!

Great 80's tunes you were crankn' on Friday...btw

polarbill 06-20-2011 12:42 PM

65k sounds really really cheap for that boat. I bet our Malibu dealer is selling that same exact boat for about 80-90k

UNvisible 06-20-2011 12:49 PM

white is right. sharp looking boat.

fman 06-20-2011 5:54 PM


Originally Posted by malibudude (Post 1687466)

Boat looks sweet on the water. The higher bolster seat would be nice for such as this passed weekend just a tremendous amount of debris on the lake. My beloved OJ 468 didn't get touched...!

Great 80's tunes you were crankn' on Friday...btw


Nice meeting you the other day, looks like you guys were having a great day on the water.... I know we had an Epic week, I put over 25 hours on the boat this week, it was awesome..... great water, we had some great friends visiting from out of state, they were really diggin' the Nor-Cal lakes... my ears are still ringing, we actually put the Pro 80's in protection mode! WOW! not bad for a bunch of old farts! the boat was rockin'!

I agree on the debris, that was crazy, I was happy I made it out of there after three days with no damage.... hopefully it will be clearing up soon.

fman 06-20-2011 5:56 PM


Originally Posted by polarbill (Post 1687472)
65k sounds really really cheap for that boat. I bet our Malibu dealer is selling that same exact boat for about 80-90k

I purchased my boat back in January this year, I am sure prices will vary among different dealers, different areas of the country, and at different times of the year.... someone else mentioned this is the approx. range they also paid for there VLX a few months back. Not sure what they are going for at this time.

shawndoggy 06-20-2011 7:06 PM

which lake were you guys riding re the debris?

(great writeup btw!)

06-20-2011 7:22 PM

Word. We just got a new 2011 VLX. When we had our 2009, I was able to learn many different mobes and 2 different 720s with ONLY the stock ballast. Now I load it down with tons of weight because Im doing way harder tricks. But still, just the stock ballast and wedge is amazing. The wake is definetly the best part about the boat. Also they look super steezy

you_da_man 06-20-2011 9:23 PM

I've never negociated a Malibu but for $65k that seems like a good bit of boat and quality to boot.

1niceharley 06-20-2011 9:24 PM

Great review and Very nice VLX

malibudude 06-21-2011 10:14 AM


Originally Posted by shawndoggy (Post 1687564)
which lake were you guys riding re the debris?

(great writeup btw!)

We were at Bullards. The debris was horrible, no shoreline camping period this year. There was an entire madrone tree in the water, really would suck to hit that.

shawndoggy 06-21-2011 3:05 PM

grrr that's what I was afraid of. We're heading up on Friday @ garden point.

malibudude 06-21-2011 10:14 PM

I had a dedicated spotter plus myself watching out for debris. When the wind died it was worse because it would all congregate in the middle. When the wind came up it'd clear to the edges a bit but made it almost impossible to see with the surface ripples. You'll hit something almost impossible to avoid.....didn't have any damage but man it wasn't much fun having to traverse through it all.

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