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2013 Malibu 23 LSV - Chattwake's boat

 
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Chattwake
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PostPosted: Apr 15, 2013 6:54 am    Post subject: 2013 Malibu 23 LSV - Chattwake's boat Reply with quote

Finally got the new boat in. For this season, I had a hard time deciding between a Malibu LSV with surfgate and a Recon Edition Axis A22. Ultimately, I elected to buy the LSV for two reasons: (1) my dealer had an LSV build slot that was much earlier in the season than her available A22 slots; and (2) my family really wanted a surfgate equipped boat. It was a tough decision, because the A22 I spec'ed had the LS3, Z5, sound pack III, etc. To get in the same realm of price, I had to go with the standard 350 motor on the LSV and no Z5 (sure, I could have just added those options, but my boats are paid for up front, and I didn't want to have to go into savings - I set a budget and wanted to stick to it). My concerns regarding the motor and bimini; however, were calmed after spending a weekend on a friend's LSV in late fall last year. He has the 350 and the Torque prop on his LSV. His boat planes out fine with 750's in the rear, factory ballast, wedge and 700lbs of lead in the nose. The set I took behind his boat was one of the best I had all season. The wake was very similar to my old A22 wake. Admittedly, the A22's wake is a bit thicker and has the potential to get a bit bigger, but, at my age and skill level, I just don't need anything more than I can get out of an LSV with the standard motor and Torque prop. That set convinced me that I'd be happy with an LSV even without the big motor option. (Yes, I'll burn a bit more in gas cruising around with the Torque prop, but I plan to buy another standard prop to swap out on the rare occasion that I have a planned boat cruise of notable distance).

In regard to the bimini, the guys and Malibu and Commercial Sewing have been working together to come up with an easier to open and close, and much sturdier, standard bimini option. What they came up with is known as the "Slider Bimini". I have had z5's for the past 4 years. I love the utility of the z5 and the size of the shade. Plus, I have historically HATED flimsy, hard to fold and open, standard biminis. The slider bimini takes all of 2 minutes MAX to deploy (a bit more to put stow simply because you have to deal with fitting the cover over the canvas. Seriously, you just unzip the cover, flip the rear hoop over the tower, slide the bimini forward in its tracks, and lock the two rear legs in. That's it. I was told (by a bu owner who has a Slider) that you could tow with the bimini up as long as you're not on the interstate. I tested that out this weekend. I towed with the bimini up at 55mph for about 20 minutes. Not a shake. Not a flap. It was just rock solid. When deployed, this is by far the sturdiest, most ridged standard type bimini I have ever seen. I like the fact that it is over the tower, yet it is still big enough to provide a lot of shade. As you can see from the pictures, it was drizzling yesterday on our maiden voyage; yet, we were still able to have lunch on the table and not get wet due to the coverage provided by the bimini. I may ultimately have the wife sew surf pockets on the bimini. No, the Slider is no z5. Man, I love a z5.... But it is a very very very good #2 option. I am looking forward to taking the boat out on a sunny day and at least having the option of not having a huge shade over me so I can get some sun in the driver's seat.

There are two slight drawbacks of the Slider bimini. The first is that, if you are using a Samson mirror arm, and your mirror is not folded to the side, you have to push the bimini forward somewhat when it is in the closed position so it's not tucked tight against the front tower hoop in order to allow room for the mirror arm. Not a big deal, but it's something to consider when option for a tower mirror mount or a windshield mount. I ended up getting both the Samson arm and the PTM windshield mirror mount. I'm going to try both and see which I like best. I'm starting off with the tower mount. The second issue with the Slider is that, due to fact that the bimini rests against the front tower hoop, you can't fold the tower as far down as you can with the other types of biminis. This was a non-concern of mine, because I don't fold my tower. I mean, I NEVER fold my tower. However, a lot of people do, so I thought I'd mention it. It is my understanding that they are coming out with a quick release system, which will allow the bimini to rotate out of the way or slide off quickly so you can still fold your tower all the way if you are storing your boat in a garage or something. Once you install a Slider; however, you will see that, by removing two little set screws, you can side the entire bimini off as it is currently designed, and fold the tower flat. (BTW, I was able to easily mount and remove the bimini by myself from it's brackets - 1 man job). You'd just need to keep the right size allen wrench in your boat bag. Ultimately, I give the Slider Bimini two big thumbs up. It's no Z5, but it's a hell of a lot cheaper.

As you can see, I with with the PTM Edge mirror for this season. I poked fun of this mirror pretty bad last year when it came out. I just didn't see how anyone could justify the price of these things. However, (here's where I pull my foot out of my mouth) after seeing a few in action, and using a few of these high end mirrors while pulling friends, I had to have one. They are just soooooo much clearer and provide such a larger field of vision than a standard mirror. Look, my little girls are starting to want to ride and/or want to ride on a tube or something by themselves. Spending a few extra hundred dollars to be able to see them better is worth it. We all spend a ton on gas and gear and a boat to ride and watch our family/friends ride. It's worth a few extra hundred to see the action a bit better. I have to hand it to PTM. They make a great product. Whether you get a the billet or standard backed PTM mirror, it's still a great option.

The trailer - ooohhhhhh the trailer. Boatmate hooked it up once again. Why did I get a triple, you ask? Well, there's probably not a justifiable reason. I mean, it looks pretty damn cool. There's that. It also tows freaking unbelievable on the interstate and stops like it's got a drag chute on it. I keep my boat at my house. I trailer it several times a week. My commute to the ramp is not all that long right now, but my wife and I are debating moving to a neighborhood that will require us to tow the boat up and down a very very long and steep roadway that goes to the top of a nearby mountain. If we move up there, the trip to the ramp will be 3x as long, and will require me to be on the brakes a lot going down the mountain. I drive a Yukon Denali, not a F-5000 Super Ultra Duty twin screw 18 inch dual smokestack exhaust dump truck brakes equipped diesel. I liked the fact that a triple has an extra set of brakes, and some extra traction to help me keep under control on the descent down the mountain. If I don't move up on the mountain this season, well, at least the trailer will be great for towing to tournaments and events in Knoxville and Nashville this season. Seriously, this trailer tows like a freaking dream. Now, I read up a bunch on triples before buying this one. All I read was "It's sooooo hard to turn." "I thought about turning and one of the wheels fell off my triple." "You have to buy tires once a week." "If you miss your exit, don't even think about turning around, you have to drive around the circumference of the earth to get back to your exit." Mew Mew Mew. Look, let me tell you, when I picked up this boat from the plant, the first thing I did was test out the trailer to see how bad it was going to be. Honestly, I don't know where people get this garbage about a triple not wanting to turn. This thing turns fine. No problems at all. Zero.

Boatmate did exactly what I wanted with the trailer, and gave me great advice as to some options that I went with. Owen Shelton and Mark Gibbs are awesome to deal with. Those guys, time and time again, have gone the extra mile to make sure that everything with my trailers has been perfect. This is trailer number 6 from Boatmate for me, and it's my favorite one yet. My favorite feature? The transom steps. My 4.5 year old can use those steps and get on and off the swim platform from the ground by herself. My wife, who used to always make me put a towel down on the wet swim platform so she could sit down on it and hop onto the ground (so as not to get her butt wet), can now easily get on and off the back of the boat without interrupting me wiping down the boat after a day on the water. Is this somewhat minor? I guess. But for those of us who have kids, parents, etc., it's niiiiiiiice to have those steps. The clear LED's and runway lights are sweet. The Fulton jack is beefy. The new tongue assembly/hitch (I forgot to get a pic of that - I will) is much nicer and user friendly than the old style. All in all, I'm stoked. The boat fits perfect, tows perfect, and looks exactly how I wanted it to. Thanks Boatmate!

The Stereo: Unfortunately, my cost cutting measures affected my stereo (at least at this point - I may upgrade later if I feel the need to and get some private tuition paid first ). I stuck with the factory Fosgate 6.5 interior speakers (8 of them) and 12'' sub, as well as the factory Fosgate amps. I focused on the tower instead. I went with a Sinister SD2 amp and two pair of Rev10's on the tower with the G3 tower mount. I also installed a WS420 (you can see it mounted to the right of the steering wheel in one of the pics below. Let me tell you, installing this stuff was a chore. I had no idea that you had to completely disassemble each of the Rev10's to mount them to the tower, much less take the rear G3 hoop halfway off. If I hadn't been too tired from working for 14 straight hours on the boat, I'd have done a full writeup on the install with pictures and everything. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. For you guys who pay to have this work done, trust me, your stereo guys earn what you pay them. the hardest part was figuring out how to wire the ws420. I crawled under the dash looking for the RCA cables to tap into and couldn't find any. It took me a while to realize that there is no head unit in this boat. I still don't know where the RCA's start. I ultimately had to just take the RCA's out of one of the inputs for the cabin speaker amp, extend it by 25 ft, and run it, along with three more 25 ft cables, power, ground and acc wires, from the OB compartment around the front of the boat, up under where the anchor light is, back around and underneath the dash area. 25 zip ties later, two coathangers, and a bunch of fiberglass in my hands and arms, you can't see any wires and everything was in place. I have yet to really crank the system up, as I don't want to give my neighbors a heart attack and I had the kids/wife on the boat with me this weekend. However, I can tell you that it sounds amazing at 1/3 volume. The Rev10's are just absolute beasts. There is so much bass and mid it's unbelievable. Oh, and I simply LOVE how the speakers are mounted up and to the side so you don't have to worry about banging your head on them.

The ballast system install was fairly straight forward. When you are ordering 750's for your LSV, make sure you get the ones with the 4 ports (two on the bottom of the bag at each end). I did not do this. I got a standard bag with two ports on the top, which are about 6 inches from the sides of the bag, and one on the bottom of the bag that's really build into the side/bottom of the bag. To make these bags work, I had to flip them upside down, because my 13 LSV has the high flow system. This system uses 1 1/8 hose. It has one fill hose that connects to the top of the bag and two (2) dump hoses that attach to the bottom of the bag (this is why you need the bags with 4 ports, because those have fittings on each side of the bottom corners of the bags). I had to attach the dump hoses to the ports that would normally be on the top of the bag and run the fill hose to the port that would normally be on the bottom. Whatever, it works. I love the Fly High bags btw. I went with black this year, because I always get a laywer of scum on my gray ones.

I'm stoked. As I get more familiar with this boat, and its capabilities, I'll post up some more thoughts. For now, I can tell you that I love the heated driver's seat. I love the fact that I can hook up my Iphone and Ipads to the blue tooth wireless interface and play music through the stereo without having to fiddle with any wires. I'll probably like the prefect pull bluetooth app, but I haven't figured it out yet. Most importantly, I know I'll love the wake and the surfgate wave. My wife is usually the dedicated surfing driver (because I'm either riding or coaching from the transom). She hates driving the boat when it is listing heavily to one side. She's a good driver, but with our old boats, she sometimes still had issues turning the boat when listed hard to one side and avoiding those rollers/picking up the rider. With surfgate, that's a problem of the past. The boat is sooooo much easier and safer to drive at idle speeds, because it is sitting flat in the water. Also, it's just safer in general for my kids, because there's a flat floor or seat for them to sit on at all times. With surfgate, my goofy footed friends will not feel like it's so much of a chore to let them surf anymore. No more wasting tons of time pumping in and out ballast and moving bags and people around to to let them get a set.

In the end, I'd like to thank my dealer, Marine Outfitters, in Charleston, Tennessee. We've all seen countless threads started by somone who's debating buying one boat or another. The comment is almost always thrown out there having a good relationship with your dealer is key. This importance of this factor simply should not be underestimated. Joyce at Marine Outfitters has made every transaction I've had with her smooth, easy and problem-free. She knows her boats, knows her vendors, and knows how to treat her customers. When I went to sign the papers and cut a check on Friday, she talked to me for 45 minutes straight about my kids, my work and my wife. I'm not just a number or a sale. To her, I'm a friend. She cares enough to want to know about me and my family. Anyone who has dealt with the folks over at Marine Outfitters will say the same. I hope that each of you can find a dealer, and support a dealer, who does business like Joyce.

Well, I've just wasted 1.5 hours of work, which means I'll be here late tonight. Let me know your thoughts, and I'll answer any questions that you might have. If anyone has a newer malibu, and wants some advice on how to install any of the ballast or stereo stuff that's in my boat, pm me and I'll be glad to give you some pointers that I learned.



















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jtryon
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PostPosted: Apr 15, 2013 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sick boat, as usual. congrats!
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Okie Boarder
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PostPosted: Apr 15, 2013 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like it!
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FlyZone CR
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PostPosted: Apr 15, 2013 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like your taste in color-choices.
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E.J.
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PostPosted: Apr 15, 2013 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks great.... I always like a clean looking boat like that....
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Blindside_137
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PostPosted: Apr 15, 2013 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What an amazing machine, can't go wrong with all white Cool
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BrtnDan
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PostPosted: Apr 15, 2013 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wheres the steering wheel!!
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mcdye
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PostPosted: Apr 16, 2013 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW! Awesome setup...
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slidin_out
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PostPosted: Apr 16, 2013 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the triple axle trailer is over the top but i like it, good color scheme on this one too
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wakeboarderdave1
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PostPosted: Apr 16, 2013 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this seriously the steering wheel they chose to put on these boats?



Kick ass boat once again.

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jjaszkow
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PostPosted: Apr 16, 2013 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice boat! I was wondering about the triple, glad that it's not as bad as everyone seems to make it seem.

I am quite envious of the surfgate and the steps on the trailer. Those would let me ditch the little stepladder that I keep in the back of my truck all summer because people hate (or in some cases can't) jump off the swim deck.
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Chattwake
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PostPosted: Apr 16, 2013 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The steering wheel is in the garage. It's going to take some fabrication to make it work. I'm going to try to get her on there. Don't you worry.
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get_sum
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PostPosted: Apr 16, 2013 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Real nice Chatt. It looks sharp!
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BrtnDan
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PostPosted: Apr 18, 2013 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

looks like your old boat is back on the market?

http://onlyinboards.com/Details.aspx?ID=37567
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PostPosted: May 18, 2013 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow two owners and only 32 hours. Will somebody please buy this boat and actually use it.
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Bambamski
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PostPosted: May 23, 2013 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

always a tough call on interior vrs wake. I think going with the boat that produces a good wake and a far superior interior over the axis is the way to go for sure.

I haven't seen any new bu's on our lakes for a while now, just mc's and tiges really in our neck of the woods. Looks like an awesome boat. sound wise 4 rev 10's are going to crank. not sure how much more you need??? looks like it's shaping up for another good summer on the water!

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Chattwake
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PostPosted: May 24, 2013 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm definitely stoked on the LSV. However, I loved my A22's. The main selling feature for me was surfgate. Bluntly, I never had an issue with the interior on my Axis boats. I loved the simplicity of everything. The LSV is a bit nicer, but it was more $$$.
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PostPosted: May 24, 2013 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chattwake,

I agree 100%, dollars vs function is balancing act. At what point does the extra money not really matter vs what you can get in another boat. From your last couple of years posts on the Axis you obviously really liked the boat so giving up a little bit of bling and curves in the interior is an easy choice for getting the wake you want. I 100% get that, which is why I kept my last boat for as long as I did. I finally found a boat which gives me a similar wake, more seating and adds in a better surf wake. Cost was quite a bit more for sure, but i'm also trading in a 7 year old boat for a new one... I used to trade in my boat every couple of years but now i'm ok with holding on to the boats I really like. HOpefully I'll have this next one for 7 years as well.

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