Malibu Wakesetter VLX 2005

Malibu Wakesetter VLX

OVERVIEW

Like football, boat buying is often a game of inches. With the revamped 2005 Wakesetter VLX, Malibu has unveiled a winning design for its best wakeboarding boat.

Now built on the V25 Wake hull, the VLX is 6 inches longer and 5 inches wider for a more spacious feel, from the open bow through the wraparound lounge to the sun deck. There's also enough space for two ballast tanks, each with a 200-pound capacity, to be hidden under the rear storage compartments rather than in them. That opens up 30 cubic feet of trunk storage. The design prompted other changes, too, like a deeper glove box and the arm of the driver's chair swinging clear of the stereo.

With a Malibu, some things thankfully never change, such as the rattle-free construction and the all-vinyl dash with a refined automotive look. Even the little things matter, like a rubber coating on the swim platform that doesn't stick to boards, and sunken cockpit rails that you don't bump into. But just when we thought the VLX couldn't get any better, it did.

WAKEBOARDING

After our test run behind this 2005 model, we can confidently say the Wakesetter VLX is one of the top boats for wakeboarding. The wakes are at the legitimate pro level, which is why star riders like Chad Sharpe and Dallas Friday train with a VLX. The long, smooth transition is easy to edge hard at and complete all of your toughest moves. Big double-ups have hefty meat that the VLX blasts through. We were able to generate them no problem because the VLX makes perfectly sharp turns for a V-drive. As the boat tracked on a straight line, we didn't really feel the rider. Even with our full test load, the Hammerhead 383 was up to speed in no time. After such a stellar test run, we can't wait for our next day with the VLX.

LOWDOWN

• For 2005, the pro-worthy VLX is built on Malibu's V25 Wake hull for enhanced wake size and performance.

• The new Indmar Hammerhead 400 hp engine's performance is nothing short of spectacular.

• Storage space is remarkable, especially in the trunk with the rear tanks of the ballast system below the floor.

• New in-dash Ballast Monitoring System assesses status of four tanks, including optional bow ballast for up to 1,250 pounds.

• Gelcoat colors come in 20 varieties.

PERFORMANCE

Top Speed 46.3 mph 5,250 rpm

Accel. to 30 mph 4.8 sec. 114.0 ft.

Accel. to 36 mph 6.2 sec. 181.3 ft.

Noise Levels (db) Neutral 60 D 60 R, 36 mph 81 D 85 R

SPECS

Length 21 ft. 6 in. Beam 98 in.

Seating Capacity 11

Fuel Capacity 46 gal.

Test Prop Acme 13 x 16 4-blade

Test Engine Indmar Hammerhead 383 6.2L, 400 HP