Big-Time direct-drive rideability.
Click on the link below to view the boat video shot during the WaterSki Magazine 2001 Boat Test.
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WSM: What makes this boat unique from the others in your line?
MasterCraft: The X-9 is a direct-drive boat, one of two in the X-group. The difference between the X-9 and the X-5 is that the X-9 is 20 feet 11 inches versus 19 feet 6 inches for the X-5. It?s almost two feet longer, plus you get six inches more beam.
It?s similar to the X-5 in that it has the package, look and graphic appeal for someone who wants a wakeboard boat. It has the same tower, speakers, and light rack available. The difference is the X-9 has a ski locker ballast and a ballast under the rear seat so it has about 800 pounds of potential ballast you can add with the flick of a switch. It differs from the X-Star in that the X-9 is a direct-drive boat.
People who are buying boats for wakeboarding aren?t necessarily buying boats just to wakeboard. A V-drive, like the X-Star, is primarily a wakeboard boat. It is built for someone who wants to challenge on tour or ride at a tournament. While the X-9 also does an excellent job as a wakeboard boat, you can also do other things because it is a direct-drive. It is a wide boat, so there?s a lot of room for people. It?s better handling in terms of its maneuvering because the direct-drive has its weight in the center of the boat as opposed to the back of the boat.
The buyer of this boat does more than just wakeboard, but they want to have that wakeboard image and wakeboard package. It?s a great-looking boat that is more versatile than even the 209, which shares the same hull. And remember, the 209 passed all the slalom tests at the USA Water Ski boat tests.
What type of wakeboarder is this boat best suited for?
The wake is a little wider than the X-Star. The X-9 wake has more of a rounded lip. It?s probably better fit for an intermediate and advanced wakeboarder rather than the full-on pro. Because of the width you don?t get as big of a wake as you would with an X-Star. The extra width keeps the hull from settling deep into the water. Someone who buys this boat wants a good recreational wakeboard boat without going to something as definitive as the X-Star.
Length: 20 ft. 11.5 in.
Beam: 96 in.
Fuel: capacity 35 gal.
Seating capacity: 12
Test prop: 13 in. OJ 4-blade
Test engine: Indmar TBI 1:1 5.7L EFI Predator
Base price: See Local Dealer
On the Water
Top speed 42.9 mph 4,900 rpm
Accel to 22 5.1 sec.
Accel to 36 8.56 sec.
Accel to 30 to 36 4.2 sec.
Noise levels (db)
Idle 60 D 61 R
22 mph 80 D 85 R
The tracking and stability are outstanding with this new hull design. The wake is significantly wider than the X-Star, so intermediates need to watch their line length. This wake has ideal transitions producing a good, smooth up-and-out wake that lets you really charge at it from out in the flats. Riders and passengers alike can appreciate the big sundeck with storage that will hold a board or fat sac.
Shape/ Transition: Ramp up and out
Ability to hold speed: Perfect
Driving Double-Ups: Super solid
Ballast fill time: 5 min. 2 sec.
Ballast Balancing Qualities: None
| | Wake
| | Unweighted
| | Factory Weight
| | Weighted
| | Wake Size
| | 3.5
| | NA
| | 2
| | Lip
| | 4
| | NA
| | 1.5
| | Tracking/Stability
| | 1
| | NA
| | 1
SCALE: 1 World class, 2 Tournament quality, 3 Suitable for experts, 4 Suitable for advanced recreational use, 5 Suitable for recreational use.
This boat is as clean and functional as you are ever going to get with a direct-drive. The dash is a work of art, ergonomically perfect. You?ve got the booming stock Clarion with 300 watts of power and a 10 inch subwoofer and a ton of room to give it a super-high chill factor.
While living in the considerable shadow of the X-Star, MasterCraft?s much-heralded wakeboard flagship, isn?t easy, the X-9 certainly has a place and a function in the wakeboarding world. If you are against going V-drive but want a killer wake, this is the boat. If you are looking for something with wakeboard style and multi-discipline versatility, this is the boat. There is no better way to combine direct-drive handling with wakeboard size. There?s tons of room under the seats and sundeck, and this wide boat is super solid through rough water. It?s got the right combination of being a perfect weekend cruiser boat and a solid performance machine.