Malibu Wakesetter 23 XTi
The new Wakesetter 23XTi brings the best of wakeboard boats, ski boats and family cruisers together in one do-it-all package.
The wakeboarding amenities include a 350-pound ballast tank in the bow, 400-pound dual tanks in the rear, wakeboard-oriented V25 hull and choice of Titan or ECI collapsible tower (though our favorite is the new Illusion X tower upgrade). As for a ski boat, this is a well-handling, excellent-tracking direct-drive, though the wraparound lounge and midship sun pad make it look surprisingly like a V-drive. The family cruiser feel comes from the expansive room along the 23-foot length and 100-inch beam, which creates more space for kids as well as providing a super solid base for tackling double-ups and chop.
Malibu has put all of this on a superior foundation of no-rattle, sound-dampened construction that really stands out as an especially sweet ride. At that point, the new two-tone hand-wrapped vinyl dash, stainless steel-oval bow rails, billet emblems, and chrome touches in the steering wheel, throttle knob and gauges seem like an abundance of riches.
Because the wakes never get too monstrous, it's easy to flatten them out when you push the throttle beyond wakeboarding speeds. As a direct-drive, this boat has great tracking and responsiveness whether you're towing a skier or just cruising on a big lake. Recreational skiers looking for some free skiing soul will be stoked.
This boat can handle a lot of weight, and its wakes are fairly big but the ramps are a little flat. More weight in the back will get you more lip. Going into double-ups, we found it helps to cut aggressively to clear the wide table. If you're a beginning to intermediate boarder, we recommend a shorter line length. The landing zone is great for landing blind.
-Malibu has made this model even bigger for 2004, stretching it to 100 inches wide and a full 23 feet long.
-Three-tank ballast, Wedge, tower and V25 hull provide top-flight wakeboarding amenities for intermediate riders.
-The unusual interior layout carves a wraparound lounge out of a direct-drive configuration.
-Refined styling comes from the two-tone dash, chrome bezels, stainless-steel bow rails and billet emblems.