The Malibu Wakesetter 20 VTX is the quintessential crossover boat, capable of handling any sport you want to try on the water. Thanks to its Diamond hull, it’s versatile enough to handle water skiing, wakeboarding and surfing. The Diamond hull is a smaller-footprint design similar to the one Malibu uses for its pure tournament-level inboard ski boats but with a V-drive that makes it capable of producing a great wake as well. It’s a boat that’s designed to do it all, without compromising quality in any discipline.
We put our test team on the case, armed with surfboards. After surfing behind it, we had to remind ourselves that this 20-footer was a multisport crossover boat. The wave was so nice, it was easy to believe this boat was made solely for surfing. For such a small boat, the 20 VTX throws a powerful wave. There was a ton of push, even as we went really far back. Many 20-foot boats don’t produce a wakesurfing wave with long pockets, but the 20 VTX is different. And we were impressed by the steepness of this wave, which was actually on par with the waves produced from Malibu’s bigger models. Thanks to the Integrated Surf Platform technologies, the waves on this boat can easily be adjusted to accommodate riders of all ages and skill levels. And with Malibu’s Surf Band, you can control the wave right from your board, making it more steep or mellow, faster or slower, and even transferring sides, all at the touch of a button.
Ready to wakeboard? Set the ballast and the boat still rocks in the 18-to-20 mph range. Drain the ballast tanks and deploy the ski pylon, which mounts amidships to keep the pivot point in the center of the boat, and you’re ready to carve. The same GPS technology that holds surf and wakeboard speeds lets the driver set the boat for a slalom run. With no ballast, we got the 20 VTX to hop onto plane in 3.5 seconds. When we hammered the throttle, we achieved a top speed of 41.1 mph, a faster speed than you’ll typically find on boats designed for tow sports. Of course, it performs best at surfing and towing speeds. Since the boat is truly multisport, which one you want to do depends on you.
* Command Center at the helm features intuitive touchscreen technology.
* Integrated Surf Platform package includes the Power Wedge, Surf Gate and Surf Band for a complete ride experience.
* Ski pylon mounts amidships to keep the pivot point in the center of the boat for water skiing.
Price: Unavailable (at press time)
How We Tested
Engine: Indmar Monsoon 410 6.2L
Prop: 15″ x 14 1/4″ 4-blade Acme Nibral
Gear Ratio: 1.76:1
Fuel Load: 32 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
Malibu Boats – Loudon, Tennessee; 865-458-4578; malibuboats.com