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Old    L W (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-23-2012, 12:38 PM Reply   
As a kid (or in my case a young adult) you dream of the day when you "have" to decide between 2 wolrd class boats. For me, that day has come. After online research, boat shows, dealers etc... I have narrowed down my search to 2 awesome boats. the Malibu 23LSV and the new X-30. Both are so nice. I personally prefer the exterior of the Bu and the interior of the MC. Having never owned either brand (or even ridden behind them much) I am looking for opinions of people who HAVE ridden these boats or brands.

We will:
wakeboard 85%
Surf 10%
Tube 4%
Ski 1%

A clean, BIG wakeboard wake is very important.

We use the boat for wakeboarding and a bit of fishing but we don't surf much or tube. I had a Moomba XLV for 4 years which was excellent, a class act boat for us. we want as much or more storage and lounge space.

i don't want to start a Bu VS MC thread because both are awesome, I mean come on we all dreamed of owning one of these brands at some point or another. just looking for real world experience on either model.

Thanks.
Old    Ian Brown (wakereviews)      Join Date: Sep 2006       02-23-2012, 1:24 PM Reply   
I don't think you are going to find anyone on here with much info on the '12 X30 as it just came out. Wake pics are pretty much non-existent so far. FB showed Zane and the crew out on one today but I didn't see any wake pics or anything. My understanding was that the X30 is being touted as MC's top Surf boat though.
Old    Willy T (willyt)      Join Date: May 2010       02-23-2012, 1:57 PM Reply   
If your going to spend 85% of your time on the wakeboard I think you might be looking more at a X25 from MC. X25 surfs pretty well, and will "probably" throw a better wakeboard wake than the X30.
Old    Brett Yates (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       02-23-2012, 2:26 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakereviews View Post
I don't think you are going to find anyone on here with much info on the '12 X30 as it just came out. Wake pics are pretty much non-existent so far. FB showed Zane and the crew out on one today but I didn't see any wake pics or anything. My understanding was that the X30 is being touted as MC's top Surf boat though.
They are saying it is their top surf boat but didn't Zane also say they flattened out the hull which would most likely make the surf wake harder to create? It might be capable of throwin g a great wave but it might end up like the X45 where you need a full ton of ballast on one side to even start getting a good surf wake. Havent' heard much other then Zane saying it is like a 205v wake?

The X30 is such a new boat there probably aren't any real reviews yet.

I would lean towards the LSV but that is based on it being a proven wake hull, I love the looks and love the simple couch like styling of the interior. I love the 23 LSV and if I was looking for a boat it would be at the top of my list with a couple other boats.
Old    J D (jeff_mn)      Join Date: Jul 2009       02-23-2012, 2:56 PM Reply   
LSV. Proven wake, great boats.
Old    doug rose (dougr)      Join Date: Dec 2009       02-23-2012, 3:04 PM Reply   
the bu, better owner support, I feel better reliability, you can load it up with weight and get a killer wake. better resale. I know in my region, mc is looked at as poor reliability, low resale values and over priced. I like all the companies, but when i comes to paying the bill, i think you have to look long term, also, you know the lsv has a world class wake, cant make a mistake with the bu good luck
Old    Adam Balon (adam_balon)      Join Date: Jul 2003       02-23-2012, 5:53 PM Reply   
hi levi! like you im coming from a skiers choice boat(supra 22ssv). dealer support did play a big role in the purchase of my 2012 23lsv..... the boat was so amazing! i ride a ton and the wake was unreal! rode it stock, with 3000 and approx 400 with people too. i loved it.

the 23 has so much room, the tower works real well and the balast system is a breeze. things i didnt like about my 22ssv.

good luck man. keep us posted!
Old    Troy Deschamps (TroyD)      Join Date: Jan 2012       02-23-2012, 6:00 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by dougr View Post
the bu, better owner support, I feel better reliability, you can load it up with weight and get a killer wake. better resale. I know in my region, mc is looked at as poor reliability, low resale values and over priced. I like all the companies, but when i comes to paying the bill, i think you have to look long term, also, you know the lsv has a world class wake, cant make a mistake with the bu good luck
What region you in?
Old    Travis (fman)      Join Date: Nov 2008       02-23-2012, 6:17 PM Reply   
I really like Mastercraft, but I say go LSV, only because of the proven wake. The quad ballast system, and wedge will deliver a fantastic wakeboard wake without having to sac your boat out. You can also get a nice surf wake out of the LSV. The new Malibu G3 tower, IMO is much better than anything Mastercraft is offering for towers. And you will probably spend less on the Malibu.

What a great problem to have, for the amount you are about to spend I would definitely lake test each one and spend as much time in each as possible.... good luck!
Old    Travis (fman)      Join Date: Nov 2008       02-23-2012, 6:21 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by adam_balon View Post
hi levi! like you im coming from a skiers choice boat(supra 22ssv). dealer support did play a big role in the purchase of my 2012 23lsv..... the boat was so amazing! i ride a ton and the wake was unreal! rode it stock, with 3000 and approx 400 with people too. i loved it.

the 23 has so much room, the tower works real well and the balast system is a breeze. things i didnt like about my 22ssv.

good luck man. keep us posted!
LOL, I am also a SC (22ssv) convert, and I chose the Bu for the same exact reasons you did. Most user friendly ballast system out there, great tower, and a solid, proven wake.... no regrets here.
Old    Troy Deschamps (TroyD)      Join Date: Jan 2012       02-23-2012, 6:46 PM Reply   
LSV is proven, X-30 unproven. Did you look at the X-25? What about SAN 230? Tige RZ2? May as well have fun and take a bunch of test rides.
Old    DC (durty_curt)      Join Date: Apr 2008       02-23-2012, 9:21 PM Reply   
so if your going for the best and biggest wake... how did you narrow it down to the x30 and the lsv?
Old    Johnny (johnny_defacto)      Join Date: Sep 2006       02-23-2012, 9:52 PM Reply   
malibu. awesome wakeboarding wake with full ballast and wedge... gets excellent with another 3000 lbs

surf wave on my buddies 247 is so much fun. i have only surfed an older tige, a new x45 and a new 247 all with a buttload of weight. the malibu was best, but I am not a wakesurfter. the malibu wake was my favorite, but the x30 wake is unknown right now.

both boats look amazing, have fun on your demos.
Old    L W (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-23-2012, 10:34 PM Reply   
That is the bad thing about Canada, No Demo for months.
Having just sold my boat I need to order something very soon to have it for spring.

So after going and looking at both boats AGAIN, I love them both. Here is my Opinion so far.

Malibu Pro's:
I prefer the Exterior look of the Malibu
Tower Looks nicer imo
Maliview seems a little easier to use and doesn't come on the X30 for the same price point
Proven Wake
Wedge
Factory Wetsounds


Mastercraft Pros:
I really do like the new Styling of the X-30
Interior is just a lot nicer imo. Better designed.
Storage. No contest. Way more in the MC. Its a big difference actually.
Hinges/shocks on all the seat cushions.
Foldable Platform
Nicer Vinyl
Seems Deeper/more freeboard

How I got to these two boats is I had an XLV so I want something at least 23 feet long with most of the focus on the Cockpit area in terms of space. I want a good wake but I think any of the 23 ft top brands will produce a pro level wake with weight. At first I was pretty set on an MB, but after looking closer and comparing prices, I decided to get my dream boat and not settle. I don't love the 230, its wake it a bit more finicky and it's even more expensive so I ruled that out and tiges just aren't my thing. I have always dreamed about a Bu or MC. Both of these boats have everythign a person could want so it's a win win situation. I think price will help make the difference. I am going to ask for more info about the X-30 wake before I make a decision. Either way, summer is going to be awesome.

Thanks for all the comments and advice. I will weigh it all.

Last edited by 501s; 02-23-2012 at 10:36 PM. Reason: gramma
Old    Troy Deschamps (TroyD)      Join Date: Jan 2012       02-24-2012, 5:58 AM Reply   
Don't discount the X-25. Is as roomy if not roomier than many 23" boats. It doesn't have the hips like the X-30 which may appeal to your tastes more. It also has a proven wake in both categories. I think in Canada the Bu may be slightly cheaper and does have better looking tower.

Although I agree with you I think you are going to have some MB guys here soon telling you the MB is not a "settling" boat. Good luck with that
Old    Ian Brown (wakereviews)      Join Date: Sep 2006       02-24-2012, 6:08 AM Reply   
If MB isn't your dream boat, then buying an MB would be settling. Have you checked the MC forums, have there been any x30 wake pics posted there by chance? It seems to me you are leaning MC but are just worried about the wake quality since it's so new.
Old    C.I.E. J-Rod (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       02-24-2012, 7:36 AM Reply   
The Malibu LSV is tried and true as stated above. The are quieter and smoother. Less engine noise. The interior is far more plush and cozy than what you'll find in an MC. We ran through two X2s and four Xstars before we ended up in a Malibu. They're nicer to be in, and the wake is makin'!
Old    Brandon Zubke (bzubke1)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-24-2012, 9:17 AM Reply   
I vote for the Malibu LSV if your mostly wakeboarding I think it gives you a lot of versability with the wedge and quad ballast, plus its a proven wake. The room in the cockpit is awesome. If you ever decide to upgrade in the future it may be harder with the x30 because as you see it's about a 50/50 mix of people who like the exterior styling.
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       02-24-2012, 9:28 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by bzubke1 View Post
I vote for the Malibu LSV if your mostly wakeboarding I think it gives you a lot of versability with the wedge and quad ballast, plus its a proven wake. The room in the cockpit is awesome. If you ever decide to upgrade in the future it may be harder with the x30 because as you see it's about a 50/50 mix of people who like the exterior styling.
LOL, "versability." Not many boats with that, for sure.
Old    Brandon Zubke (bzubke1)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-24-2012, 10:42 AM Reply   
Oops, meant versatility. One other thing is I believe malibu uses 800gph aerator pumps so if you want to plumb in extra rear bags you shouldnt have to mess with the pump timers.

Last edited by bzubke1; 02-24-2012 at 10:45 AM.
Old    J D (jeff_mn)      Join Date: Jul 2009       02-24-2012, 11:00 AM Reply   
You've got about 100% of the recommendations so far for Malibu..

It's not coincidence. Don't buy a $90k boat because of the ricey interior..

Bu.
Old    Chris (cjh1669)      Join Date: Apr 2005       02-24-2012, 11:10 AM Reply   
LSV all the way. I actually like the thicker vinyl in the BUs over the MC, the G3 tower is awsome, the wake is great, and they drive like a dream. The 2012 LSV is a sick sick boat
Old    Troy Deschamps (TroyD)      Join Date: Jan 2012       02-24-2012, 12:45 PM Reply   
I like the Bu's too but my vote is for the MC assuming the wake is decent. I'd look at X25 too with better exterior and proven wake.

I'll also address the elephant in the room: this forum is very anti-MC, so take that into account.
Old    Tampa Wake (tampawake)      Join Date: Mar 2008       02-24-2012, 12:45 PM Reply   
I gotta believe the BU is a 90K boat. I have a friend that was just quoted on a MXZ. List price $109 and they would sell it to him for $94. This is from a reputable dealer here in Florida.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff_mn View Post
You've got about 100% of the recommendations so far for Malibu..

It's not coincidence. Don't buy a $90k boat because of the ricey interior..

Bu.
Old    Brandon Zubke (bzubke1)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-24-2012, 12:54 PM Reply   
In my area they are mid to high 70s.
Old    Murphy Smith (murphy_smith)      Join Date: Dec 2005       02-24-2012, 1:11 PM Reply   
Go over to WSA and get that BU!!!!!!!!

We bought a 11VLX from them...best experience ever
Old    Brett Yates (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       02-24-2012, 1:23 PM Reply   
It is a amazing the difference in price from one area to another for boats. In Seattle right now the Malibu dealer would probably sell a nicely equipped 23lsv(tower, swivel racks, 350 monsoon, heater, quad ballast, power wedge, tandem trailer, heater, bimini, cover and maybe tower speakers, sub, amps) for ~90-95k. I didn't pay attention to what the Mastercraft dealer was selling the X30 for but would not at all be surprised if it was ~90k as well. I think X2's moderately equipped are mid 70's to 80ish. Maybe neither of those are true selling prices but I have a feeling they are. Those numbers don't include freight, prep, tax and license either. Then you hear people talk about mid 70's for a 23LSV or X30. I know I live in a fairly expensive place but that is crazy.
Old    Chris (cjh1669)      Join Date: Apr 2005       02-24-2012, 1:54 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by tampawake View Post
I gotta believe the BU is a 90K boat. I have a friend that was just quoted on a MXZ. List price $109 and they would sell it to him for $94. This is from a reputable dealer here in Florida.
I'd say that MXZ was loaded, but the MSRP doesn't equal up to a loaded one they have here that they would have taken 94k at the boat show, he was getting hosed. You can get a base MXZ for under 80k. You can get a fairly loaded LSV for around 80-85k
Old    L W (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-25-2012, 12:10 AM Reply   
One of my concerns is the storage on the LSV. My Moomba had a lot of storage and this isn't something I want to lose We like to keep a lot of stuff on the boat and it was common for all the storage to be used (when ballast was full, bags). The X-30 had awesome storage. That a big plus with the other decision maker.
Old    Chattwake (chattwake)      Join Date: Jan 2010       02-25-2012, 3:03 AM Reply   
I don't know anything about the x30 wake. Sounds like nobody else does either. Dropping 90k on a boat you haven't ridden behind, or doesn't have an established reputation as one of the best wakeboats around, is extremely iffy. You need to demo that x30 first.
Old    jkw (lakesurfer)      Join Date: Jul 2009       02-25-2012, 7:10 AM Reply   
Bu dealer in my area said they wanted $85K for a pretty loaded MXZ and $78K for a LSV 23. Everybody knows new boat prices are crazy, but $85K for a 22ft is insane.
Old    DBC (ixfe)      Join Date: Aug 2008       02-25-2012, 8:26 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by 501s View Post
One of my concerns is the storage on the LSV. My Moomba had a lot of storage and this isn't something I want to lose We like to keep a lot of stuff on the boat and it was common for all the storage to be used (when ballast was full, bags). The X-30 had awesome storage. That a big plus with the other decision maker.
I can't imagine the Malibu 23 LSV has less storage than your Moomba, especially considering the bags on the Moomba.

The only advantage I see storage wise to the MC X-30 is the pass through under the glove box. That's nice, but other than that, where do you see the big advantage??
Old    DBC (ixfe)      Join Date: Aug 2008       02-25-2012, 8:29 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakesurfer View Post
Bu dealer in my area said they wanted $85K for a pretty loaded MXZ and $78K for a LSV 23. Everybody knows new boat prices are crazy, but $85K for a 22ft is insane.
MC has been charging > $85K for the X-Star (22 feet) and the X-25 (21.5 feet) for years! I agree with you... that's insane! But it's not hard to see where Malibu took their pricing cues from on the MXZ.
Old    np3 (ponder86)      Join Date: Mar 2008       02-25-2012, 8:34 AM Reply   
MasterCrafts storage is much deeper than Malibus. Just measure if you can't tell just by looking at it in person. Malibus seats are much shallower.
Old    Jason (jason95gt)      Join Date: May 2006       02-25-2012, 8:57 AM Reply   
The MasterCraft is built better too. Look at the tub and grid design of the deck compared to carpet wrapped plastic.
Old    Alan Slabaugh (alans)      Join Date: Aug 2005       02-25-2012, 9:16 AM Reply   
The LSV does have some cool electronics and makes great wakes. MasterCraft is a decade ahead of Malibu when it comes to how the boat is built. There is not a doubt in my mind that we are going to see a big shift in resale over the next few years. Storage has always been a deal breaker for me with Malibu. Don't forget about the Ilmor engines, they are absolutely stronger than their Indmar counterparts. I guarantee that the Imor engines will be a hot commodity when it come to resale with the new MC's. The X-30 is 500lbs heavier than the 23 LSV; it is pretty obvious where it comes from when you water test the two boats.
Old    Troy Deschamps (TroyD)      Join Date: Jan 2012       02-25-2012, 11:25 AM Reply   
From a quality standpoint the MC is a better boat.
Old    np3 (ponder86)      Join Date: Mar 2008       02-25-2012, 11:43 AM Reply   
MC's are priced where they are for a reason. The quality of the build is hands down the best. I however would never be able to afford one. But, if I did I would get one without all the digital screen bs.

The best boat for the money though I would say MB takes the cake. Good quality for a very reasonable price plus an absolutely amazing wake.
Old    Troy Deschamps (TroyD)      Join Date: Jan 2012       02-25-2012, 12:26 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by ponder86 View Post
MC's are priced where they are for a reason. The quality of the build is hands down the best. I however would never be able to afford one. But, if I did I would get one without all the digital screen bs.

The best boat for the money though I would say MB takes the cake. Good quality for a very reasonable price plus an absolutely amazing wake.
Was wondering when someone would mention MB here.
Old    np3 (ponder86)      Join Date: Mar 2008       02-25-2012, 12:51 PM Reply   
Was waiting to see how long it would be before someone made a comment as such. I'm just saying what I believe in after spending lots of time in all boats.

MC and MB are my two favorites. Talk all the crap you want though. You're entitled to your opinion as I am mine. No need for snide comments though.
Old    David Curtis (davez71)      Join Date: Oct 2007       02-25-2012, 2:13 PM Reply   
Our family was in your same predicament. We sold our VLX to upgrade to a larger boat this summer as our family is growing. I was able to go to the Houston boat show with my dad while we were there for a business trip in January.We were able to talk to both the Malibu and Mastercraft guys and we came to a decision after going to through the ins and out of each boat and seeing what we liked and didnít like. Also we were able to test drive the boats while we were there and our decision came easier so and this is what I noticed.

We have had three Malibuís throughout the years and they have been awesome boats. We have never one problem with our Malibu as they were very reliable. When we were at the show we knew that we were looking for a 23ft boat. We looked through the LSV and there are a few things that i noticed. First was that the bow was about the same size VLX but you picked up the room in the rear. The Malibu storage was not what I expected out of a big boat like that. But they are still a great boat. The problem that we run into is that there is not a good Malibu dealer anywhere close to us so that weighted in on the decision as that was they one thing we hated while we owned our boats. We were quoted on an LSV right at 87k and that was pretty loaded.

We ended up looking at the X45 and the X25 but more at the X45. for some reason mastercraft seem larger on the nice and the picklefork adds alot of room in the front. A lot of people on this site dog Mastercraft for whatever reason and to be honest I donít understand why they hate on them so much. As mentioned earlier you are paying for what you get. These boats are very well made and everything is so easy to get to as far as the engine and ballast pumps as we do most of the service ourselves. We live in a saltwater environment so we decided that for this boat we were going to get a Salt water series with closed cooling. Mastercraft is way ahead of everyone when is comes to saltwater series boats. I wasnít a fan of their towers at first but after seeing them in person my mind changed as they do look really nice. The boats are top notch and in the end we decided to buy a Mastercraft because we have a dealer within an hour and the X45 all suited our needs and drove like a dream.

You really cant go wrong with either boat but the best thing to do is test drive them and get what you like. Good luck with the boat buying process. it took us time to make a decision but we cose what we liked the best.
Old    Dan (hco)      Join Date: Jun 2006       02-25-2012, 3:03 PM Reply   
People on this forum have a lot of negativity towards mastercraft because it is the trendy thing to do. If anyone here has actually worked in the industry, and not as a rider, then you would know that Mastercraft is still manufactured better than malibu. Engine/powertrain wise I would put them both on the same level, but after I have spent years climbing in wakeboats it is still plain and clear that Mastercraft's are built better than Malibu. I am sure people will say I am wrong, but if anyone really wants to have an intelligent conversation about this my case can be made in a few points. EDITa few points does not mean that they can be easily explained on the internet, more easily shown in person).

Last edited by hco; 02-25-2012 at 3:10 PM. Reason: adding details
Old    Troy Deschamps (TroyD)      Join Date: Jan 2012       02-25-2012, 4:06 PM Reply   
I would argue now that MC has gone exclusive to Ilmor, they are industry leading in the engine category.
Old    L W (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-25-2012, 6:19 PM Reply   
All the points people make are very good. In terms of pure build quality, I would hand it to the Mastercraft. They are more expensive for a reason. The storage is twice as deep as the Malibu. Its huge and all on gas shocks. The Maliview is better the the BIG, no question in my eyes. I like the look of the Malibu tower better.

The worst part is up in Canada, test driving can't happen for 3 months which means we couldn't have a boat till mid summer if we waited to order one. Both dealers are working very hard for the business so neither dealer is a clear cut winner either. I guess it's a win/win situation

I think what we really need is more info on the X-30 wake. If the wake is anything like an Xstar/X-15/X-25 it will be awesome. But an LSV is top of the line.
Argg.
Old    Greg Bodor (gti2lo)      Join Date: Nov 2005       02-25-2012, 7:37 PM Reply   
Levi,

Why don't you book a flight to Knoxville and go check out the Malibu and Mastercraft plants? They will allow you tour and see how they are made and test ride the models too.
Old    Johnny (johnny_defacto)      Join Date: Sep 2006       02-25-2012, 8:18 PM Reply   
x2... the money spent on a round trip ticket and a night in a hotel is totally worth it so that you will be getting the best boat for you. Would be a great experience.

hco: I do not doubt what you say is true about MC being built better, I actually HOPE it its true, that would then justify the enormous price tags on the MC's. Although I do not agree that all the negativity towards MC is because of trends... the only trend I see with MC is increasing prices, poor design decisions, and constantly being told that MC is best.

I do not begrudge anyone who wants to spend their money the way they want to, and as a disclaimer, my favorite wake of all time is a loaded up xstar. My problem with MC is that when sitting in it or driving it, I do not feel the "higher build quality" compared to bu, nautique, supra, tige...etc. They are all solid boats with great materials and good looking interiors... and there are tons of 15+ year old bu's, nautiques, supras, tiges....etc that are still in great shape, save the interiors, so the "build quality is better" argument falls flat to most of us.

My problem with MC, although I am not a hater, and the reasons I have not owned one yet, is that 1, they drive terribly, especially in comparison to malibus. And 2, the interior lay out is not functional, its form first. The 2nd point is being addressed in the new xstar and x30, seems that they are doing some good things to the interior designs, and the first point is being addressed as well...hopefully the new xstar and x30 will benefit from the recent R&D this summer, (although I doubt it since both new boats were already in production at the time the R&D was beginning.)

you say that bashing MC is the "trendy" thing to do, but I would offer that it is not because of the bashers that MC gets bashed, but because of the very strong MC goggles the owners on here wear. Look at MB for example, they are in a completely different league than MC, but they share 2 things. 1. they both do not turn well, and 2. they both have some of the most annoying owners/activists... just look at this MC BU thread... MB finds its way in here even though it was not invited.

If you ever have time, I would really like to read about what you have to say about the MC build process/quality with posted pictures. Thanks.

Last edited by johnny_defacto; 02-25-2012 at 8:21 PM. Reason: grammar
Old    Adam Balon (adam_balon)      Join Date: Jul 2003       02-25-2012, 8:34 PM Reply   
my dealer went above the call of duty. brought up a fully loaded 23 to my cottage last summer.... let me weight it to the max, ride w my friends for the day. i have never had a dealer want to help a customer like that. i really appreciated it being in retail myself.

went to a mc dealer and the dude didnt even get up from his desk. just sat there. im young..... maybe he thought i was kicking tires.... i went next door and bought a boat.

for me its not just a certain brand.... it is quality and also style of customer service.

cant wait to see what you pick up. but get on it. mine is being built right now. and i have been in the production line for some time now.

if you like check www.saskatoonwatersports.com ......
Old    Brett Russell (smsbrett)      Join Date: Mar 2008       02-25-2012, 9:58 PM Reply   
Okay, I'll add my 2 cents based on my shopping experience 2008-early 2010 as well as 2 trips to Tennessee.

I ended up buying an X2, in large part from my factory tours, but it wasn't an easy decision. (was also considering X15, VTX, VLX). I concluded, and will try to show why in pictures below, that MC definitely makes a sturdier boat. Now, how much that really matters is up to personal interpretation. MC is probably overbuilt, but for me, I'd rather be on that side than under built.

I absolutely love my boat, but I'm sure I would have been happy with a Bu. If I were looking again today, I would definitely give MB more consideration.

If I had just chosen based on showroom shopping and test drives, I may have ended up with a Bu. I do prefer the look of most MCs, but really enjoyed Maliview and especially how well the Bu handled.

But, as I got closer to making my purchase, every time I thought about buying a Bu, my mind kept coming back to the following pictures, so I'll show you where I think MC definitely surpasses Bu in construction. Most of this stuff you won't see or at least not fully appreciate without seeing the assembly line.

#1- Lamination.

MC literally machine cuts every piece of fiberglass so they know it will fit perfectly on the mold without anything extra. The pieces come out in all shapes and sizes to fit whatever contours exist. They know exactly how much is in every boat because it is computer controlled. Here is the machine in action:

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At Bu, they have that same roll and they just manually pull it out over the mold to a length that seems about right, put it in place and then use scissors to cut away excess. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of that process.

#2- Stringers.

I'll just show you the pictures:

Bu:

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MC:

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#3- Deck construction and mating to hull.

Bu:
This is the floor

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... that gets laid onto the stringers

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... carpet is attached and the deck is brought down and mated with hull:

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MC:
One piece deck with floor

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...being mated with hull:

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Ultimately, I could see a lot of reason for having the single piece deck and how it would provide more strength for my boat. But, like I said, everyone has to make their own conclusions. Does the stringer really need to be that bulky like MC has? I don't know. Again, MC is probably a bit overbuilt, but I think it is beneficial to know all these differences before making a big decision like this.

Good luck and enjoy.
Old    Troy Deschamps (TroyD)      Join Date: Jan 2012       02-25-2012, 10:39 PM Reply   
Great post Brett! As an engineer I can say that nothing is overbuilt!
Old    Johnny (johnny_defacto)      Join Date: Sep 2006       02-25-2012, 11:53 PM Reply   
yeah, thanks brett for taking your time to put this together. It is nice to see the pictures and the process of two different companies, side to side.
Old    L W (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-26-2012, 12:36 AM Reply   
Thanks for that Brett, much appreciated. I really don't know which way I will go, but i want to decide this week. Its very helpful to have people with a lot of real world experience offer their input so thank you for that as well. I think the only thing we can do is go down to the dealers and look one more time and then make a decision. Either way that first 10 hours is going to take a life time to get through.
Old    DBC (ixfe)      Join Date: Aug 2008       02-26-2012, 1:52 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by TroyD View Post
Great post Brett! As an engineer I can say that nothing is overbuilt!
As a finance guy I can say that lots of stuff is overbuilt... usually by engineers!
Old    DBC (ixfe)      Join Date: Aug 2008       02-26-2012, 2:40 AM Reply   
Alan,

I can see they have you shooting that MC kool-aid straight into your veins. Don't get me wrong, I like MC boats a lot. But I have never liked the sales pitch they clearly push on all you dealers... it's the same no matter which MC store you go to and every DVD they produce... "MC doesn't cost more... it's worthmore!" Then they tell you about backing plates and show you plugs that have been drilled out from their hulls vs. other boats which are always mysteriously 1/2 as thick. MC has been bashing other boats for years. Remember those silly us vs. them commercials they did a few years back? It's all part of the same arrogant, in-your-face, scare tactics they push.

MC has a GREAT stable of boats. I wish they had the confidence to just let the boats stand on their own instead of running down the competition. IMHO, it demonstrates a real insecurity.


Quote:
Originally Posted by alans View Post
MasterCraft is a decade ahead of Malibu when it comes to how the boat is built.
Care to elaborate with specifics? At least the other guy had pictures. And MC is not the only company to use a solid topdeck/floor. Are the other guys a decade ahead of Malibu as well, or does only MC get that crown?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alans View Post
There is not a doubt in my mind that we are going to see a big shift in resale over the next few years.
Please explain how the next few years are going to be any different than the last 20. And since you can predict the future, please tell me what gas will cost in the year 2020, and when tribal tatoos will come back into style.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alans View Post
Don't forget about the Ilmor engines, they are absolutely stronger than their Indmar counterparts.
Really? All I can see is Ilmore 5.7 = 320hp vs. Indmar 5.7 = 350hp. Not saying that's proof. But I am saying you need more than your butt dyno to make statements like that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by alans View Post
The X-30 is 500lbs heavier than the 23 LSV; it is pretty obvious where it comes from when you water test the two boats.
It's so obvious that you can't tell us, right?

Let me ask you this Alan... you are saying that the X-30 is a better boat than the LSV because it weighs 500 lbs. more. You won't say why, but you just magically know that the extra 500 lbs. must mean it was built better.

Does that mean that the X-15 (3,575 lbs.) is only 75 lbs. better than a VLX (3,500 lbs.). Does it also mean that the X-15 is completely inferior to a TWB (3,900 lbs.)?

Saying that the listed weight of a boat is an indication of the build quality is just stupid. Does anybody actually believe these are precise measurements anyway? For example, are we supposed to believe that the X-2 is only 75 lbs. less than the X-15 despite the fact that it's 1'8" shorter and 4" narrower? Or are we supposed to believe that the X-14V weighs 500 lbs. more than the X14 (same hull & motor) and 225 lbs. more than the X-15 (despite being smaller in every dimension)?

Sorry to blast your post Alan, but go back and read it, and I think you'll agree that's way below average for you.
Old    Alan Slabaugh (alans)      Join Date: Aug 2005       02-26-2012, 6:30 AM Reply   
ixfe,

No MC is not the only one to carry this crown. MB, MC, Tige and Centurion all use a more advanced construction process than Malibu. It does look like they are changing their ways though, look at the new MXZ. This goes hand in hand with the statement I made about resale. As Malibu goes through their boat model updates, I am sure that they will redesign the boats with the new style one piece deck construction. As an MB owner, you can see this. The TWB & Tomcat generation boats are much more desirable than the older B-52 lines that use the more dated construction process.

Yes. The Imor 5.7 creates more horse power than the MCX/Monsoon. Yes I have seen the real numbers and the MCX is nowhere near 350 hp where the Ilmor numbers are honest. Yes, during the summer, I regularly would drive a MCX powered X2 one day and a Ilmor 5.7 X2 the next. With identical props, the Ilmor would have a better top speed mid-range and better hole shot. This also applies to the 6.0 and 7.4 vs LSA.

You are right, boat weights don't actually mean that much. What matters is what makes up that weight and like a previous poster said, when is the last time you have seen a Malibu fall apart? But as a person who both sells boats and works on them I am always bewildered but that lack of quality I see in Malibu's. My opinion has not changed in more than a decade about this. When I sold Centurion & MB it made be frustrated because Malibu's cost so much more and I felt that the MB & Centurion construction was so much better. As a MC guy now, I am amazed that Malibu is priced anywhere close to MC. As someone who still service at least 1 boat from each manufacturer a week, I see the good bad and the ugly,
Old    Greg Bodor (gti2lo)      Join Date: Nov 2005       02-26-2012, 6:35 AM Reply   
Here is the link to pictures from my visit to the Mastercraft plant
http://s89.photobucket.com/albums/k2...actory%20Tour/
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       02-26-2012, 6:59 AM Reply   
Especially on the 5.7 aren't the mairinzers all using the same GM long block? In other words, aren't all of the engines as "strong" as one another since they are using identical internals?

I've always understood hp differences to be due to intake, exhaust and ECM tune. Is illmor actually building these engines up themselves from parts?
Old    Alan Slabaugh (alans)      Join Date: Aug 2005       02-26-2012, 7:19 AM Reply   
Yes they are using the same blocks. No they do not always use the same internals. I.e. the PCM ZR6 (6.0) used to claim 375 hp and now they have the ZR 450 claiming 450 hp with the same block. ECM, intake, and exhaust can make a big difference.

Last edited by alans; 02-26-2012 at 7:23 AM.
Old    Alan Slabaugh (alans)      Join Date: Aug 2005       02-26-2012, 8:27 AM Reply   
Have fun!

http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/offroad...ts.php?order=0

kW x 1.34 = HP
Attached Images
 
Old    Alan Slabaugh (alans)      Join Date: Aug 2005       02-26-2012, 8:32 AM Reply   
Here is 2012
Attached Images
 
Old    L W (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-26-2012, 9:13 AM Reply   
Ok, so when I went ot the Mastercraft dealer we spent a couple hours going over the boats and he did the "Hull Plug" pitch, the solid top deck pitch, the backing plates pitch and others. I am in sales too so in part I can see through the pitch. But as the same time when you are looking at different boats, and one is more expensive, its good to know WHY and I think all of these reasons at least make sense why their boats cost more. It would be stupid for a company to make a premium product, charge a premium price and then not tell potential customers why. Sales pitches are just that, a pitch to make you buy something. I will never "fall" for a sales pitch but it's also nice to be sold on why the boat you have chosen is the best boat for you.

As I mentioned at the top I was really considering the MB boats but have changed my mind. I found the boats far too shallow which was the deciding factor, but somethign that really made me change my mind was resale. I did very well selling my Moomba after 4 years. people know the brand and want it. MB is so much less known, where will my $70k boat be priced in 4 years? $35-$40k? The dealer currently has all his MB's advertised everywhere possible (Kijiji, craiglits, etc..) and has Matsercraft, Malibu, Moomba in the ad titles to attract buyers because people aren't looking for MB's. To me that says enough. Plus the firrernec between a TWB and 23LSV was a lot smaller then you'd think.
Old    L W (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-26-2012, 9:16 AM Reply   
Is the Ilmor 5.7 in those lists?
Old    Alan Slabaugh (alans)      Join Date: Aug 2005       02-26-2012, 9:29 AM Reply   
Yes, click on the executive order files on the website.
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       02-26-2012, 9:58 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by alans View Post
Yes they are using the same blocks. No they do not always use the same internals. I.e. the PCM ZR6 (6.0) used to claim 375 hp and now they have the ZR 450 claiming 450 hp with the same block. ECM, intake, and exhaust can make a big difference.
Alan, I said "long block." What you are saying, I think, is that PCM is NOT using the same GM marine long block. A long block is the whole motor, other than the intake, exhaust, and accessories. In other words the short block (block, crank, pistons, rods, crank, cam) plus heads and head gaskets with heads installed.

Those CARB links don't have the Illmor 5.7, at least that I can find. I did find this on their site: http://www.ilmor.com/en/marine/recre...l/MV8-57L.aspx which suggests that the Illmor 5.7 is doing about the same as everybody else (320 hp in that config).

That suggests to me that Illmor is probably using the same long block as everybody else, at least on the 5.7, which is the motor I'd mentioned.

As for the PCM motors, I can't find much about the differences between the ZR409 and ZR450, but what I did find suggests that the change is a hot cam and ECM tune. You are saying that the pistons, rods, crank, etc are also upgraded?

My point is not that one marinizer has more powerful or less powerful GM powerplants. Clearly that's true. My point is that the "strength" of the motor from a longevity standpoint is probably pretty similar between them since they all start with the same engine and just tune them differently. One could actually argue that the hotter tune is going to be closer to the bleeding edge and render the more powerful motor less "strong," if strength is related to longevity.
Old    L W (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-26-2012, 10:17 AM Reply   
I still can't find the Ilmor 5.7 on there for either 2011 or 2012 unless I'm blind!
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       02-26-2012, 10:28 AM Reply   
levi go to the link in my post right above yours. It's the Illmor website, not the California Air Resources Board.
Old    Kevin Kimball (Kjkimball)      Join Date: Mar 2011       02-26-2012, 10:38 AM Reply   
One thing you don't see in those tables is where in the RPM range the max KW power is measured. HP is a derived number from the torque and rpm. What would be good to see is published torque values for each of these engines at typical tow speed rpms. So, like 2500rpm, how much power and how much torque. That would go a long way toward showing how for a given engine size like 5.7L, some of these engine builders have to select props with 2 or 3 inches less pitch than others. The torque curves vary a good bit from make to make and having lots of torque in the wrong place for marine use doesn't do much good.
Old    Troy Deschamps (TroyD)      Join Date: Jan 2012       02-26-2012, 12:02 PM Reply   
I'd be curious to know what all that billet costs....
Old    Travis (fman)      Join Date: Nov 2008       02-26-2012, 2:17 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by alans View Post
ixfe,

No MC is not the only one to carry this crown. MB, MC, Tige and Centurion all use a more advanced construction process than Malibu. It does look like they are changing their ways though, look at the new MXZ. This goes hand in hand with the statement I made about resale. As Malibu goes through their boat model updates, I am sure that they will redesign the boats with the new style one piece deck construction. As an MB owner, you can see this. The TWB & Tomcat generation boats are much more desirable than the older B-52 lines that use the more dated construction process.

Yes. The Imor 5.7 creates more horse power than the MCX/Monsoon. Yes I have seen the real numbers and the MCX is nowhere near 350 hp where the Ilmor numbers are honest. Yes, during the summer, I regularly would drive a MCX powered X2 one day and a Ilmor 5.7 X2 the next. With identical props, the Ilmor would have a better top speed mid-range and better hole shot. This also applies to the 6.0 and 7.4 vs LSA.

You are right, boat weights don't actually mean that much. What matters is what makes up that weight and like a previous poster said, when is the last time you have seen a Malibu fall apart? But as a person who both sells boats and works on them I am always bewildered but that lack of quality I see in Malibu's. My opinion has not changed in more than a decade about this. When I sold Centurion & MB it made be frustrated because Malibu's cost so much more and I felt that the MB & Centurion construction was so much better. As a MC guy now, I am amazed that Malibu is priced anywhere close to MC. As someone who still service at least 1 boat from each manufacturer a week, I see the good bad and the ugly,
Alan,

Could you please explain the building process differences between a 2012 Malibu VLX and 2012 Malibu MXZ? I would like to find out how Malibu is changing there poor outdated construction process. Malibu boats have been falling apart for the past 10 years, that is why they keep selling over 1000+ a year, and have a such a great resale value, and repeat customers ordering newer boats.... this makes sense.

Back to Mastercraft, I believe you also forgot to mention how increadibly stout the Mastercraft towers are designed, and how they are recieving rave reviews, especially the Power Tower, nothing but trouble free operation. I know the new Malibu G3 Tower probably does not compare to the Mastercraft tower design. The G3 is way too solid and does not crack in the corners of the tower, but thats okay, Mastercraft will send you out stabilizer bars to install in the corners to avoid any further damage. Of course, this is why you pay the extra $20-25k for excellent customer service from Mastercraft.

I must have not shopped for my boat properly, the 2011 X-15 was $20-25k more than I paid for my 2011 VLX. I guess that is a pretty close price comparison...

And the new 2012 X-star is also recieving incredibly good feedback from everyone who has ordered them, they are popping up all over the place on lakes and rivers across the country as I type. Again, for a $130k boat (compared to a $75-$80k LSV, or MXZ), this is totally expected from Mastercraft, years of engineering research to build the best wakeboard boat ever built with the biggest, most incredible wake.

Man, I am little bummed, I guess I can expect my VLX to start imploding because of the poor, outdated build construction... as you mentioned about the Bu quality, after 142 hours last season I did have a couple of warranty items to take to the dealer. And everyone that was wakeboarding and skiing behind the boat was always commenting on the poor construction, horrible wake, "cheap" feel, and lack of engineering that was put into a proven, decorated wakeboard boat. But again, this is why it is so much less than a Mastercraft X-15.... I guess you get what you pay for

LOL, I have always been a fan of Mastercraft, but I must say, I feel the exact opposite as you, how does Mastercraft demand such a high price for there boats when you can buy a Malibu for so much less.

Cheers!
Old    Dan (hco)      Join Date: Jun 2006       02-26-2012, 2:41 PM Reply   
Travis, I would take a better built boat with a shaky tower than a lesser quality boat with a 'more sturdy' tower. The illusions and their past towers are not without their faults as well. Not to mention that although the wedge is a great design on paper, although I have not owned hundreds of malibus, my family and some of my best friends have had nothing but problems with power and manual wedges, which Malibu has hung us out to dry over (have not used floating wedge though). If you plan on buying a boat and keeping it for 10 years, that extra 10-20k (depending on dealer, options etc...) becomes quickly justified in my mind. My cousins MC made it to 1700 hours with only routine maintenance, while our malibu (650 hours) has been an absolute ****spreader, with obvious design flaws and construction issues.
Old    Alan Slabaugh (alans)      Join Date: Aug 2005       02-26-2012, 3:27 PM Reply   
Never said that Malibus fall apart, read my post again.

I am not a fan of the power tower either.

A comparably equipped x-15 is nowhere near 20-25k more, but if for some reason you are telling the truth, you made the right call with your VLX. 0-7k is more accurate.

The VLX is an awesome boat, but when Malibu and their dealers expect to sell them for $70-$80k without any major improvements over 7 years other than some fancy dash work and a power wedge, I feel like it should be mentioned.
Old    Bruizza (bruizza)      Join Date: May 2009       02-26-2012, 3:40 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by alans View Post

The VLX is an awesome boat, but when Malibu and their dealers expect to sell them for $70-$80k without any major improvements over 7 years other than some fancy dash work and a power wedge, I feel like it should be mentioned.
how much was Mastercraft X-Stars for from 2004-2011??? I must have missed the huge redesign that happened between those years other than a fancier dash and interior.
Old    Alan Slabaugh (alans)      Join Date: Aug 2005       02-26-2012, 3:57 PM Reply   
The X-Star is a modern boat, the first of its kind actually. It was expensive in 2004 and it was expensive in 2011.
Old    Travis (fman)      Join Date: Nov 2008       02-26-2012, 4:06 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by alans View Post
Never said that Malibus fall apart, read my post again.

I am not a fan of the power tower either.

A comparably equipped x-15 is nowhere near 20-25k more, but if for some reason you are telling the truth, you made the right call with your VLX. 0-7k is more accurate.

The VLX is an awesome boat, but when Malibu and their dealers expect to sell them for $70-$80k without any major improvements over 7 years other than some fancy dash work and a power wedge, I feel like it should be mentioned.
Not sure where you are located but out here on the west coast the X-15 is $20-25k more expensive than a VLX. My local MC dealer was selling the X-15 for $85k+ taxes and fees. $20k more than I paid for my VLX. There was no negotiation, this was the price, the X-25 was $95k + taxes and fees.

The VLX in 2009 had a complete hull re-design, and body style change, in 2010 they introduced the G3 Tower. They also offer the VTX/VLX/LSV with two different hull designs (diamond hull), I believe your statement is not correct, the VLX has changed over the past 7 years other than a fancy dash and power wedge.

I have spent quite a bit of time in the X-15, great boat, but definitely has its problems and issues. My point was MC is not a "flawless, bulletproof design", they have design flaws like all the other manufacturers including Malibu.

I just felt your statements were inaccurate regarding the Malibu build quality. Its my opinion, and I can only speak for what experience I personally have with Mastercraft and Malibu on the water.
Old    Travis (fman)      Join Date: Nov 2008       02-26-2012, 4:17 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by hco View Post
Travis, I would take a better built boat with a shaky tower than a lesser quality boat with a 'more sturdy' tower. The illusions and their past towers are not without their faults as well. Not to mention that although the wedge is a great design on paper, although I have not owned hundreds of malibus, my family and some of my best friends have had nothing but problems with power and manual wedges, which Malibu has hung us out to dry over (have not used floating wedge though). If you plan on buying a boat and keeping it for 10 years, that extra 10-20k (depending on dealer, options etc...) becomes quickly justified in my mind. My cousins MC made it to 1700 hours with only routine maintenance, while our malibu (650 hours) has been an absolute ****spreader, with obvious design flaws and construction issues.
Dan, I can only speak for what I have experienced after 142 hours in the 2011 VLX. Boat seems rock solid, but maybe I am in for future problems and surprises. Coming from a different builder, the VLX had obvious engineering improvements from what I had seen on my prior boat.

I am definitely not saying Malibu is a "perfect" design, my point and opinion was it is a quality boat, with a good price point value, and I feel Malibu does not "lack quality" in there build process. I would love for Alan to give some examples of what he is referring to "lack of quality" in there construction and build. I have climbed all through my VLX and dont see any build quality issues.
Old    Travis (fman)      Join Date: Nov 2008       02-26-2012, 4:23 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by alans View Post
ixfe,

No MC is not the only one to carry this crown. MB, MC, Tige and Centurion all use a more advanced construction process than Malibu. It does look like they are changing their ways though, look at the new MXZ.,
Alan, I really am curious about how Malibu is changing there building design from a 2012 Malibu VLX to a 2012 Malibu MXZ? Other than the obvious picklefork, what are the differences with gelcoat, hull, stringer and internal changes?

Could you please explain what they are doing differently?

Thanks...
Old    Alan Slabaugh (alans)      Join Date: Aug 2005       02-26-2012, 4:51 PM Reply   
They went away from the carpet wrapped plastic seat bases that were held up by aluminum L-Brackets that were screwed into the floor. The MXZ has a real deck liner. Look at the pictures above, its a lot more like a MasterCraft.
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       02-26-2012, 7:33 PM Reply   
so basically what im getting from this thread is that you should buy a z3...

i mean it ways 740 lbs more than the bu, therefore must be better built
It has more ballast
it has the advanced monocoque construction
beefier stringers than MC
more factory ballast
better sound system
it surfs better and well find out about the wake soon
costs at least 5k less...

/rant

but in all seriousness, find a wake that you like and stick with it. we can fight about what boat is better until we're all blue in the face. find a wake you like and get that boat because thats what youre buying the boat for. end of story
Old    Johnny (johnny_defacto)      Join Date: Sep 2006       02-26-2012, 8:10 PM Reply   
"find a wake you like and get that boat because thats what youre buying the boat for. end of story" (simplej)

period.
Old    L W (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-26-2012, 10:01 PM Reply   
"find a wake you like and get that boat because thats what youre buying the boat for. end of story" ?

I am guessing you either aren't married or your wife's opinion of which boat she wants to spend the money on doesn't matter. For us, this boat is going to be used by the whole family so the whole boat matters especially the interior/storage/seating/quality, not just the wake.

Also I should be clear, the price difference isn't very big. if I elimiate the Masercraft touchscreen and a blinged out trailer they are pretty close to the same price.


The Malibu will NOT fall apart, it will last 20 years. I won't debate that in anyways. But is the mastercraft built tougher/more heavy duty? I think so. Is it worth spending more money on? That is my struggle.
Old    L W (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-26-2012, 11:36 PM Reply   
Also, the Tige dealer could not touch the prices of the 23LSV for a Z3.

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