We Say: MasterCraft’s XT23 aims to be a crossover between the brand’s premium X models and the entry-level NXT line while proving itself worthy of surf, wake and ski duty. The latter is a challenge, because the weight that makes for good boarding and surfing isn’t the best for minimizing the wake for skiers. Yet we noted a surprisingly small wake at slalom speeds. Where the XT23 truly excels is at wakeboarding and wakesurfing. Credit the hull and primarily the boat’s 2,600-pound ballast capacity, along with MasterCraft’s optional Gen 2 Surf System ($6,820).
The XT hull also offers a mega cockpit. There’s U-shaped seating, with a doublewide observer seat and a flip-over backrest in front of the sun pad that makes for the perfect spectator seat. The captain enjoys total control of features through an intuitive touchscreen display.
Our test boat featured the optional Ilmor 6000 GDI, a 430 hp direct-injection 6.0-liter engine that planed us in 5.3 seconds and peaked at 44.5 mph. Engage Launch Control and the Gen 2 Surf System plates help achieve plane even with a full load of ballast. Another cool option? MasterCraft’s Dockstar system ($3,160), a pair of pivoting rudders forward of the prop that allow the boat to back up with handling comparable to a sterndrive.
Who’d Want One: Boaters seeking to ski, wake and surf in style.
Another Choice: Nautique‘s 22-foot Super Air Nautique GS22 ($111,896 with 400 hp PCM ZR4 6.0L) follows a similar ski/wake/surf theme and features a comparable interior layout, as well as 2,250 pounds of factory ballast and the optional Nautique Surf System for wake-shaping.
Bottom Line: $121,960 (with test power); mastercraft.com
How We Tested
Engine: Ilmor 6000 GDI
Prop: 15″ x 16″ 4-blade Nibral
Gear Ratio: 1.57:1
Fuel Load: 55 gal.
Crew Weight: 835 lb.