We could easily argue that there is no more-competitive boat segment than the inboard watersports group. It isn’t that they sell the most boats or make the most money. When it comes to pride in product, however, this is the pinnacle — with Malibu right at the top rung.
The Sunscape 23 LSV is a good example of how Malibu constantly ups the ante. This model name has been around for several years, but the boat as we see it in 2009 is totally fresh. It’s one thing to say your boat can accommodate 14 people, and quite another when those passengers are kicking it on sculpted seats and digging toes into carpet that’s well beyond the marine standard.
We talk about “boat lines” when referring to appealing exteriors. This boat has sexy lines through the cockpit, even along the coaming panels — which are fully upholstered with no evidence of fiberglass. Contours and recesses make the style of the bow unlike any other we’ve seen, and Malibu also thought to trim the bow’s size just enough to add valuable lounge space to the cockpit, where most of the action takes place.
Malibu has introduced a frameless windshield with cool corner vents to the 23 LSV. You will not find a better standard sound system or instrument panel in a boat this size. It all accentuates a foundation of a chop-cleaving hull not often characteristic of an inboard watersports boat, and one worthy of a boat builder’s — and boat owner’s — pride.
Key Note: The optional wakeboard tower will make the Sunscape more useful for a variety of passengers and will also add resale value.
• The transom has a seat molded into it, above the swim platform, to make it easier to sit and prepare to ski or ride.
• Malibu worked with Rockford Fosgate to create a sound system with two gigs of song memory and an MP3 connection.
• Optional swim ladder folds out from one side of the swim platform.
Vital Stats * Length Overall: 23′ * Beam: 8’6″ * Passenger Capacity: 14 * Fuel Capacity: 55 gal. * Maximum HP: 450 * MSRP (w/ Malibu Monsoon 350): $61,450 (not including trailer, tax, freight or dealer prep) * NMMA Certified: Yes Test Drive * Test Engine: Malibu Monsoon 350, 350 hp * Top Speed: 41 mph @ 4,975 rpm * Time to 30 MPH: 5.0 sec. * Time to 36 MPH: 7.8 sec.
Malibu Boats – Loudon, Tennessee; 865-458-5478; malibuboats.com