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Need help deciding between new Mastercraft XT20 and Malibu VTX!?!

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  • Need help deciding between new Mastercraft XT20 and Malibu VTX!?!

    Hi!

    I have a 2001 Xstar that I am looking to replace. The lake I use the boat on has size (weight and length) restrictions so these are really the only two new boats I can get.

    I've driven and ridden behind both Mastercraft XT20 and Malibu VTX. We probably ski 20% of the time, wakeboard 30% of the time, and surf 50% of the time.

    They are both pretty sweet boats and there are features of each I like more than the other.

    I had originally thought it was going to be the XT20 for sure but the Malibu really impressed me (driver controls/display, ballast, handling, wakes, power wedge, center pylon option) but the XT20 has some nice features as well (pickle fork bow, teak platform, really solid tower, smoother ride in chop, hard ballast capacity).

    What would you do? Any specific things I should consider? And, any particular thoughts about the Mastercraft Gen2 vs. Malibu Surfgate + Power Wedge?

    Also, any thoughts on 6.0L vs. 6.2L engine for the XT20 AND M5 vs. M6 engine for the Malibu?

    One other consideration is that the local Malibu dealer is super responsive, extremely helpful, and very honest.

    I know this is a Mastercraft forum but what value your feedback regardless!

    Thank you much!

  • #2
    I have the 6.0MPI in a quasi similar X10 at 8100' elevation for our home lake. Doubt you'd need the 6.2L unless you are in similar high altitude and running full ballast and crew for wakeboarding.

    Gen2 is an incredibly impressive surf setup, is more adjustable, and longer than any Malibu or other versions with Surfgate and the Wedge that I've surfed behind. MC fit and finish is a league up and as you note the ZFT4 tower is still the best in the business, and an ease to drop or raise making stowage a snap.

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    • #3
      A great dealer relationship is really important to your long term ownership experience.

      Signed,
      A guy still working on said relationships for lots of years

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      • #4
        Thanks very much. Really appreciate it.

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        • #5
          I have spent a lot of time in both boats over the past couple years. One of my buddies has a 2016 VTX, another buddy has the XT20 and I have an XT20. Are you ordering or buying one off the lot? From a cost stand point the VTX spec'd out the way I wanted it was about $10k less than the XT20 spec'd out similarly. Both dealers in my area are great so that wasn't a deciding factor for me. Both dealers are about 30 minutes from where I have my boat. Overall I thought both boats were very comparable. I didn't see a big difference in fit and finish between the two. I have the 5.3L GDI so it should have about the same power as the 6.0L MPI in my XT20. My buddy has the 5.7 MPI and doesn't have any need for more power. Only thing is it is a little slower on the top end. I barefoot so the extra couple mph with going to the 5.3 GDI helps. Here is how I saw the plus and minuses of each.

          XT20
          Positives
          Love the lines and the styling of the boat
          Bow seating is huge
          Rear flip seat - love it. Use it every time we surf
          Dual screen controls are really nice
          Easy control of the zones on the stereo
          ZFT4 Tower is awesome. Easy to fold and can lock in down position when trailering or on the water. I have several bridges on my lake that I have to fold the tower. Sometimes I just leave it down and locked while out on the water.
          Bimini is easy to put up and take down
          Stereo isn't the loudest but meets my needs
          If you have people in the boat stock surf wave is pretty good.
          Storage Storage Storage
          Cooler under seat
          Board Racks. If you plan to surf a lot definitely get the Surf/Surf so you have a surf slot on both sides. Otherwise wake/surf only has a surf slot on one side.
          Top Speed with 5.3 GDI 43 mph
          Over the tower cover is really nice
          Auto Launch and triple auto launch make a huge difference in getting out of the hole
          Folding platform is a big plus if you have limited garage space.


          Negatives
          Cost more
          Slalom wake sucks. I slalom at 34 mph 22 off and it still sucks
          Surf wake with only a 1 adult and 2 kids isn't very good. I added 400lbs of lead and made a big difference.
          Cannot add bags via plug and play. Possible to add bags but would be a plumbing nightmare due to the shape of the rear tanks.
          Weight is 1000 lbs more than the Malibu VTX


          Malibut VTX
          Positives
          The high end stereo option sounded great, lots of bass.
          Surf wake was ok stock, pretty good with plug and play ballast
          Plug and play ballast bags for rear lockers
          Weight, 1000 lbs lighter than an XT20
          Dash Technology is really easy to understand and use.
          Code to start the engine
          Volume Dial (sounds funny but I really liked being able to not look and quickly spin the volume down)
          Not sure what the stock engine is now but it used to be the 6.2L which had plenty of power.
          Top speed around 42-43


          Negatives
          Hull styling reminded me more of an older boat, very similar to the X1/205/1st gen X-star (personal preference)
          Hate how the tower folds. Sits in the drivers lap.
          Was almost a two person job to raise and lower the tower, maybe they updated it by now.
          Board racks were bungee, but I believe they offer a clamp rack now
          It might be a crossover boat but the slalom wake sucks (compared to 197/Response)
          Barely fits in an 8ft garage door with tower folded
          No Spot for a cooler

          I don't think you can go wrong with either boat based on my experience. This is my 5th MC but with that said I almost went with the VTX. The deciding factor for me was the tower and how it folded. I have my boat in a boat house and the VTX wouldn't fit in my boat house due to the height of the folder tower unless I installed an 8ft garage door. The last boat I had was a 2008 PS197 and this boat is so much better than my old boat it is unbelievable. We absolutely love our XT20, other than the slalom wake that is. If I had to do it all over again I would still get the XT20 but I would order the cool feel interior. My buddy has the cool feel and it makes a difference. Hope this helps.

          Andyg

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          • #6
            Andyg, Thanks so much for this super detailed comparison. I am going to spec exactly how I want and order it instead of buying off the lot. Would you say that the slalom wakes of the XT20 and VTX are equally sucky? Supposedly this new diamond hull on the Malibu has improved the ski wake but the XT20 and VTX wakes at 33 mph look pretty similar to me. I actually did not ski either one since that is the activity we spend the least time doing. Pricing-wise they come out exactly the same when I opt for the M6 430HP motor and Ti tower (folds back but uses screws) in the Malibu and the 6.0L (385 HP) with the ZFT4 tower in the XT20. Tough choice...I do agree that they are both good choices. Also, servicing my current MasterCraft (mainly due to a supply chain Covid-19 issue) has been really disappointing but I can't completely blame the dealer....

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            • #7
              If you surf that much, id seriously consider the XT21. Slalom wake is going to be very similar to the XT20 and VTX, but the XT21 has 2x the surf wake. Its not a little bit better..... Its A LOT better. 6.0 is plenty of motor for the XT20 or XT21.

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              • #8
                My buddy has the diamond hull on his VTX. I might give a slight advantage to the VTX slalom wake but really they are pretty similar.

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                • #9
                  Thanks FourFourty - yep I would prefer that but I can't get the XT21 due to the size limit on the lake

                  Cool, Andyg, thanks for that. That's kind of what I thought from looking at the wakes at speed so you confirmed it!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kleinmaj View Post
                    Thanks FourFourty - yep I would prefer that but I can't get the XT21 due to the size limit on the lake
                    Lake O?
                    2022 XSTARS
                    2020 X22
                    2019 XT22
                    2017 XT20

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                    • #11
                      Yep, MCOR, lake o...

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                      • #12
                        Take this with a grain of salt.

                        I’ve not been on either boat.

                        However I have spent the last two years at a bu dealer.

                        To be completely honest their quality control has been crap this year. Along with the plague of impeller failures in the Malibu engines (a problem they do not have a fix for).

                        I’m not a fan of the wedge, sure it works, it also burns double the fuel.

                        As far as fit and finish, along with interior quality- they are not even in the same book, much less the same page. My girlfriend who knows nothing about fit and finish complains about the bu stuff all the time. She saw a new Mc the other day and was blown away with the interior quality.

                        Yes Malibu software is easy to use, but I’ve yet to take a new bu out for more than two hours and not had a screen glitch/ radio issue I feel the 2020+ software was rushed.

                        My $.02

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                        • #13
                          Hi clrussel, do you mean you work at a bu dealer?

                          I've heard from others about the impeller issue....asked about it yesterday and the dealer was dismissive and claims it is resolved...I don't buy it.

                          Good feedback...thanks...I appreciate it.

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                          • #14
                            Double post
                            Last edited by MCOR; 10-21-2020, 10:06 PM.
                            2022 XSTARS
                            2020 X22
                            2019 XT22
                            2017 XT20

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kleinmaj View Post
                              Yep, MCOR, lake o...
                              MC did make a LO approved XT20 with a 5000GDI motor(lighter than the MPI motor). We had a 2017 one. With some lead, it had a decent surf wake.

                              https://www.mastercraft.com/media/js...egoedition.pdf
                              2022 XSTARS
                              2020 X22
                              2019 XT22
                              2017 XT20

                              Comment

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