For 2005, Malibu is putting focus on first-time boat buyers and those looking to graduate from the I/O ranks by introducing the new vRide. It still has what makes a Malibu such a high-end boat, yet it's available to more of the masses with its entry-level price.
Most impressive are the hull and the engine. The vRide's SV23 Wake was the company's flagship wakeboarding hull through 2004, featured in the sport's pro events and at the athletes' private docks. Powering it is the 320-horsepower LCR engine, which has multiport fuel injection rather than a carbureted engine. It's well anchored in the hand-laid fiberglass construction and muffled with sound-suppression material.
Little expense is spared in the interior, with a wraparound lounge, fully swiveling driver's seat, open bow with wind block and three-piece rear sun deck. The vRide even comes standard with a Titan III tower and 500-pound center ballast tank.
Sure, the vRide no longer represents the forefront of wakeboarding technology with its last-generation SV23 Wake hull. Fortunately, the wakes will still seem amazing to most riders, from beginners to advanced, with the size and shape remaining legendary. With the vRide's nimble size at 21 feet long, 93 inches wide, its handling resembles a direct-drive's, with excellent maneuverability. Having the ballast tank in the center weights the vRide where you most need it, though it helps further to toss a fat sack in the bow when you're ready for pro-level swells. The Gorilla fins and the impeccable hull-balancing attributes keep the vRide on a line as a rider pulls back and forth.
• The new vRide is Malibu's foray into the entry-level market.
• Still worthy of the Malibu name with solid, vibration-free construction and top-quality materials.
• Built with the SV23 Wake hull, same as much of the 2004 Wakesetter line.
• A multiport fuel injection engine is the standard power plant.
Top Speed 45.7 mph 5,000 rpm
Accel. to 30 mph 4.6 sec. 106.6 ft.
Accel. to 36 mph 6.2 sec. 179.8 ft.
Noise Levels (db) Neutral 60 D 60 R, 36 mph 85 D 90 R
Length 21 ft. Beam 93.5 in.
Seating Capacity 10
Fuel Capacity 35 gal.
Test Prop Acme 13 x 16 4-blade
Test Engine Indmar Monsoon 5.7L, 340 HP