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Old     (fman)      Join Date: Nov 2008       04-07-2015, 12:56 AM Reply   
Thought I would post up some quick thoughts on the new 2015 Malibu 22 VLX for anyone who might in the market for this boat....

First I would like to thank my dealer LARSON MARINE in Rancho Cordova for always treating me right, Craig and his crew are always great to deal with. Also would like to thank EXILE Audio for going above and beyond in customer service and producing a great product. And lastly, WAKEMAKERS for helping me pull together my ballast system.

My boat is running the 410 Indmar with the 1235 high altitude prop. I have had two prior VLXs (2011/13), the 2015 is a completely different boat. Malibu pretty much changed everything, wake plus hull, more freeboard, longer, wider (102" beam), wake view seating, rear transom seats, G3.2/G4 tower, touch screen dash, sport knob, power wedge 2, zero off GPS standard... quite a few changes.

Starting at the helm, the new dash is a huge improvement from the prior maliview. Its super easy to use, easy on the eyes and has been well thought out. It took me about 10 minutes and was catching on quite easily. It has all the rider presets, ballast fill and drains, zero off, maintenance reminders, night mode, etc... just a nice setup that is super easy to use with good visibility when driving. Very comparable to an Ipad and the functionality and ease of use. The new sport knob is also very cool, controls wedge, surfgate, speed up and down, and stereo volume.

The new Power Wedge 2 has a larger foil (I think 18% larger) and a hydraulic actuator. Malibu got rid of the dual lenco actuators, this setup is much better. Less prone to failures and a super reliable setup. Also has a quick release incase of a failure you can at least stow the wedge and continue your day on the water. The new LIFT feature is the highlight for me, it helps plane out the boat much quicker. This is legit, I was a little sceptical about it but its no joke, it will push down the bow and get a heavily weighted boat on plane so much faster than the old wedge. A great upgrade from Malibu.

Wakeview seating is really nice, two pop us seats that retract when not being used. Would be nice to have the center flip around seat but this was a good move for Malibu to at least have the rear view seating available.

I ordered with the G3.2 tower, which now has quick release clamps which are a nice improvement from the screw in knobs on prior years. The new G4 looks amazing, just could not justify the huge upcharge, so I ended up going with the G3.2 again. The G3.2 is very solid and accommodates extra board racks, its always been a great tower.

Wakeboard wake on this boat is quite impressive stock out of the box, the factory hard tanks are 1350 lbs with four tanks. Combined with PW2 its a very respectable factory wake, start throwing more weigh at it and it gets even better. Super clean and easy to dial in. This boat will throw a clean wakeboard wake from 16 mph and up...

Surf wake is also nice with surfgate, We have been surfing with hard tanks full, wedge 1-2 clicks up, 800 lb wakemaker ski locker bags and a 650 lb bow bag. This is a fun wake to surf on, lots of push. I am sure with more weight it can get even better, this seems to be about the sweet spot for us to have fun with and not have a ridiculous amount of weight in the boat.

EXILE Stereo - I did a complete stereo delete, my system is totally seperated from the malibu touch screen. This was also my first stereo install and Brian was great in helping when needed. I had two prior Wetsounds systems in my last two boats and wanted to try something new. I got a hold of Brian at EXILE Audio and he helped me put together a really nice system. Running two XM30.2 amps for the 4 XM9 HLCD tower speakers (4 ohms/300 watts each), a Javelin amp powering XI12" sub and 4 6.5" and 4 8" Exile cabin and bow speakers with a ZLD Eq. Very pleased with this system and the performance, it rocks.... is plenty for us and it just sounds amazingly clean. Would highly recommend EXILE for anyone in the market for any stereo components.

Ballast system - I did not go with factory PnP. Wakemakers helped me pull together three Johnson pumps, 800 lb wakemaker custom ski locker bags and a 650 lb bow bag on a quick fill line mounted under bow gunnel. System works great, I have always been a huge fan of Johnson pumps.

My thoughts? The new VLX is a fantastic boat, really have nothing but great things to say about it. Malibu did a fantastic job on this boat. Would highly recommend a demo if you are in the market for a 22' boat. After my 15 hour service I had two warranty claims, it has been rock solid and performing great.

Here are some pics of the boat, along with stereo and ballast system I installed...
Attached Images

Last edited by fman; 04-07-2015 at 12:59 AM.
Old     (Bit)      Join Date: Aug 2014       04-07-2015, 8:29 AM Reply   
Nice Boat... end of 2014, i was just a "click" away to buy a 22VLX ;-)
Old     (tyler97217)      Join Date: Aug 2004       04-07-2015, 8:46 AM Reply   
Very sexy. Love the colors. Congrats!!!
Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       04-07-2015, 9:09 AM Reply   
What a beautiful boat.

Doesn't need saying, but ENJOY!
Old     (migs)      Join Date: Aug 2006 Location: SF Bay Area       04-07-2015, 9:22 AM Reply   
Old     (trayson)      Join Date: May 2013       04-07-2015, 10:11 AM Reply   

I know it's nit-picky, but if I had that amazing boat, it'd kid of bug me to have the two different styles of switch covers. I'd try to source a new switch cover that matches the style of the wakemakers one.

Like this:

Old     (hp_inc)      Join Date: Jul 2007       04-07-2015, 11:19 AM Reply   

Boat turned out nice my friend. Of course its the wrong brand, but it looks great. ;-) Have fun out there.
Old     (augie_09)      Join Date: Mar 2011       04-07-2015, 11:30 AM Reply   
as a '14 'bu owner, I can say the two features I am most jealous of are the lift feature/quick release feature on the wedge and the clamps on the g3.2 tower. First day owning my 'bu I had to warranty the tower due to the knobs and the angle the holes were drilled..
Old     (xstarrider)      Join Date: Jun 2007       04-07-2015, 11:39 AM Reply   
That boat looks sick. Lover the color combo. I am pretty excited to hear the reviews on this boat. I think it may be one of the best Model upgrades of 2015
Old     (fman)      Join Date: Nov 2008       04-07-2015, 1:21 PM Reply   
Thanks guys... So many awesome boats being produced these days. It's nice to see all manufacturers stepping up there game. We have always migrated back to Malibu, have a great dealer relationship and Malibu always seems to fit our requirements and offers a good value to the customer. Trayson, good call on the rocker switch, just when I thought I was done :-). Maybe I will save that for this winter.

Hope everyone has a great boating season, trying to get out as much as we can now, the California drought is making it look like a short season for us again :-(
Old     (jmvotto)      Join Date: Apr 2008       04-07-2015, 1:38 PM Reply   
Did you pasti dip the xm9 black or sem coat them?. Nice looking ride and system upgrades!

Last edited by jmvotto; 04-07-2015 at 1:40 PM. Reason: spelling
Old     (fman)      Join Date: Nov 2008       04-07-2015, 1:49 PM Reply   
Xm9 cans come black, I did spray the grills gunmetal grey from the factory chrome finish.
Old     (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       04-07-2015, 1:56 PM Reply   
Fman, you don't actually even need to switch out the whole rocker switch, just the face plate. Would take about 12 seconds. If you call the seller in this e-bay ad they have the black version of this switch cover:

Last edited by shawndoggy; 04-07-2015 at 1:58 PM.
Old     (Midnightv10)      Join Date: Feb 2012       04-07-2015, 2:06 PM Reply   
Great looking boat man!
Love everything about it!

Where did you get the rack covers? come with the boat or aftermarket? I need some of those.

Good luck with the 12 second winter project LOL
Old     (fman)      Join Date: Nov 2008       04-07-2015, 2:42 PM Reply   
Shawn, LOL, nothing is ever that easy for me.... that 12 second project will turn into something else...switch will probably end up breaking...guaranteed. Great idea tho, I will check into that.

Board rack, mirror and steering wheel cover I got from Jim at Speaker Sox. Going on my third season with them.
Old     (jmvotto)      Join Date: Apr 2008       04-07-2015, 8:07 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by fman View Post
Xm9 cans come black, I did spray the grills gunmetal grey from the factory chrome finish.

Yeah , I meant the chrome grills, gunmetal looks great. !
Old     (tampawake)      Join Date: Mar 2008       04-08-2015, 8:38 AM Reply   
Love to hear how good the 8inch cabin speakers sound. I love a good solid Mid Base and you just dont get that out of a 6". I am very excited about these.
Old     (fman)      Join Date: Nov 2008       04-08-2015, 9:15 AM Reply   
Quick comment on Exile cabin speakers and Javelin amp, I muted down my towers and sub to see what these could do and they sound incredibly good! Delivering bass in the cabin with sub totally muted down, add the sub and of course it only gets better. These 8" speakers are legit, I was a little concerned the Javelin amp would not push these but there is more than enough power to crank the cabins and send 800watts to the sub.... thumbs up on the Javelin :-)

Last edited by fman; 04-08-2015 at 9:17 AM.
Old     (brianinpdx)      Join Date: Aug 2009       04-08-2015, 9:33 AM Reply   
Travis - boat looks beautiful and so does your stereo system. For a DIY guy, you really did a top notch job. To me the real excitement is when guys call us asking questions, we see them through the project, and presto they are stoked! Enjoy your summer, you've put a lot of hard work into the boat.

I got down to the Sac boat show and went out on the Sac river a month back - is that river always as chaotic as I saw? I can only imagine how much more crowded its gonna be if the lakes dry out.


ps: I forwarded your 8" comments over to my engineer for feedback. You made his morning!
Old     (fman)      Join Date: Nov 2008       04-08-2015, 1:37 PM Reply   
Brian, definitely would recommend everyone install there own system at least once, it has been a great learning experience. Thanks for all your feedback, and helping me along the way... I don't go out on the river much, but its probably even worse on the lakes around here. Typically why we only go out on weekdays, weekends tend to get pretty chaotic and unsafe on the Cali water ways.
Old     (ixfe)      Join Date: Aug 2008       04-08-2015, 3:14 PM Reply   
Travis... the boat looks GREAT! But that doesn't surprise me... you have an eye for this. I really like the way you used white as an accent as opposed to a main color; it really pops. And of course the tint is a great touch.

Congrats on the Exile install... and thumbs up to Brian and his team... great product, but more importantly greau people.
Old     (Truekaotik)      Join Date: Jun 2012       04-08-2015, 5:21 PM Reply   
For a wake setter that is a eye turner!!
Old     (mark197)      Join Date: Dec 2009       04-08-2015, 5:29 PM Reply   
I love the windshield on that boat! Such a nice ride!
Old     (wakesetter672010)      Join Date: Oct 2012       04-08-2015, 7:28 PM Reply   
Travis Love your boat! That is a classic look, I'm excited to hear your loving the Exile system, I may have been the first to hold the new 8's but you my friend got to experience the install and sound, Mine should be finished this month, Brian went above and beyond to help us out! Cant say enough of the personal customer service! Enjoy maybe see you down south at the end of May!
Old     (jeff_mn)      Join Date: Jul 2009       04-10-2015, 11:42 AM Reply   
Logged into WW for the first time in months to tell you how sexy this boat is and tell someone else to stop being a dick in another thread..

Absolutely gorgeous.. I'm envious! Enjoy it.
Old     (fman)      Join Date: Nov 2008       04-10-2015, 11:57 AM Reply   
Props to Malibu for making a really nice looking boat on the water...

If anyone is interested in the Power Wedge 2 planing capabilities, yesterday for wakeboarding we ran 3600 lbs of water weight (bags and hard tanks - 800's in lockers and a 650 lb bow bag, hard tanks full), plus the wedge at two clicks up, with the 410 at sea level, 4 passengers in boat, full tank of fuel, OJ 945 (15x13) prop and I was able to get planed out to 23 mph and speed locked in 12.4 seconds. I don't really have much to compare to, but I believe these are pretty good results, much better than my previous 2013 would have been.
Old     (OneCent)      Join Date: Jul 2010       04-11-2015, 4:33 AM Reply   
yes, the PW2 works in this situation like a trim plate. A useful new feature for the wedge.
Old     (BrettLee3232)      Join Date: Feb 2015       04-11-2015, 12:05 PM Reply   
WOW, boat is beautiful! Great job on the stereo too, looks super clean!


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