Boat Reviews

Malibu Wakesetter VTX

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Malibu Wakesetter VTX

The Wakesetter VTX is probably Malibu’s best multisport boat and is a truly great crossover. Advanced wake riders will opt for Malibu’s wake hull which is paired with 408 kg of standard, hard-tank ballast – creating crisp and clean wakes for wakeboarding and wakesurfing. The VTX’s compact size also makes it Malibu’s most user-friendly boat to date. The Editor checks out this tricked out ride at Victoria lake, Germiston.

Malibu boats are custom made and designed for the individual buyer. The buyer and sales staff start with a designed hull and customise the rest of the boat based on the individual’s watersports needs. The customer has a choice of interior and exterior colours, multiple towers, engine packages, sound systems and much more. The options and variety available are pretty much unheard of by their competition. Malibu strives to use the best materials available to build the best boat possible. Using highend upholstery, stainless steel, and stereo and engine packages, they endeavour to stay ahead of the pack in the professional watersports arena. In addition, Malibu develops and customises their own elite systems, such as power wedges, pylons and ballast tanks, and shows that they truly do understand what it takes to lead the pack of watersports boats.

Deck layout

The upholstery and seating on the Malibu is designed, manufactured, and installed for each individual buyer. These seats have some eye popping colours that are selected to match the hull to make the package look customised, complete, and built just for you, the buyer…

These seats have some eye popping colours that are selected to match the hull to make the package look customised, complete, and built just for you, the buyer. When it comes to getting your mates on board, the VTX can take up to 12 passengers comfortably – four up front (seated, or lounging with the cushion insert in place), and eight at the stern on the U-shaped wraparound. There’s also a generous sized sundeck aft to chill on when the boat is at rest. It has a walkway through the middle to allow for easier, non-slip access to the cockpit. A swim platform at the transom is padded to protect you, or your board, depending on what your choice of playtime might happen to be.

Around the craft, you will find plenty of storage space, cup holders, and quality Rockford Fosgate speakers for a sound that’s as crisp as the craft’s wake. When it comes to having all the toys, the skipper is certainly spoilt for choice – like push button start, Malibu’s brilliant Touch Command and Precision Pro speed control. These are also optional extras that allow the skipper to make a few taps on the touch screen and have the craft automatically set for each rider profile, including the amount of ballast! Like the rest of the boat, the tower comes in many shapes and sizes. You can pick a polished tube or powder coated, aluminium, colourful tower. You can also have the tower racked forward or aft. To really kick the tower up a notch, you can add multiple speakers and dual board racks – which securely hold an assortment of wakeboards. These racks swivel too, and with a push of a button and a little pull, the board swivels into the boat and allow you to grab your board with minimum effort. These racks are stylish and add a distinctly classy look to the boat, as well as prevent your gear from unnecessary damage.

The engine on the Malibu VTX as reviewed is the hulking great 350HP Monsoon – an Indmar engine on steroids! The power is coupled to a V-drive to produce the VTX’s ultimate ride – and in addition to keeping the boat nicely weighted and level, especially in take-offs, it keeps the prop clear from those swimming around the boat when you’re parked off. When it comes to putting the power down, the Malibu Wakesetter VTX claims 71 km/h and handles it like a competition boat should as she purrs like a cat and runs like a dream! The VTX, like all Malibu boats, have Gorilla Fins which are designed and integrated into the hull and are effective in keeping the boat straight and on course, as well as keeping the craft level in a turn to improve the turning radius.

If it’s bigger wakes you want, few can compete with Malibu, thanks to the Power Wedge. The wedge is mounted to the transom and is activated electronically from the helm (or manually via an access panel in the swim platform). The wedge will raise or lower, changing the wake of the boat. The brilliance of this is that it allows each wakeboarder to sharpen the best wake for their needs. In essence, the bigger, better wake, means greater air for tricks. In addition to the Power Wedge, there’s plenty of ballast. The tanks are strategically placed throughout the boat to improve or change the wake. The boat we tested had four ballast tanks, situated in the stern (two), in the centre (one), and in the bow (one). Each ballast can be filled separately or jointly, according to your needs, and are electronically controlled. The level of each tank is shown on the Malibu’s crystal clear Maliview system that’s built into the dash. Responsive handling, nimble trailering and simple storage all come standard with the VTX.

If you’re serious about skiing, wakeboarding or other watersports, you need to check out Malibu’s crossover boat, the VTX. While you won’t buy it for acres of space, the 20-footer offers the standard you’d expect from the bigger boats, but she’s easier to stow and tow. There aren’t really any faults with the VTX … except maybe price! Malibu builds the choice of tow boat for so many huge, international competitions, and it’s that same heritage that is so natural in the craft. For the full package, you’ll be getting all the luxury and even more exclusivity. However, if you can do without a few toys but keep the wakes Malibu is known for, the standard option is priced at around R800 000 and is more than worth considering.

For more information contact Boating International on (011) 452 8280.


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