I came across a thread on TheMalibuCrew.com this morning. It was initiated by a new site member, which makes it even more powerful in my mind. This new member recently test drove a Mastercraft XStar and a Malibu Waksetter VLX. He detailed his findings in this post
Test drove an 04 xstar last weekend and here is my opinion:
1. Poor visibility from drivers seat and passanger area, mostly due to bow rise.
2. Boat is sluggish out of hole.
3. For a 23 foot boat it did not seem very spacious for seating.
4. Great board racks.
5. Good instrument panel but in way of driver sight.
6. Handling/Performance: Power was good (350 HP), handling was poor in my opinion. Not responsive and had to slow down to make any real sharp turns.
7. Good wake but very wide.
Test drove an 07 VLX with 340 monsoon w/power wedge; here are my thoughts:
1. Great visibility with minimal bow rise.
2. Pretty strong out of hole.
3. Took chop extremely well.
4. Board racks just ok.
5. For a 21' boat the seating was more spacious than the xstar at 23'.
6. Wake: great wake, wedge offered ability to shape to your preference.
7. Handling: This boat is amazing, like comparing my Ford F150 to my Corvette. Cranked a full turn at 35 MPH, turns flat, sharp and smooth. Power was excellent and planed at 20MPH. Unbelievable.
All I can say is that the performance and handling of the Malibu compared to the xstar is far superior. Needless to say, my paperwork for purchase of this Malibu is currently in process.
The rest of the thread posts were submitted by several past Mastercraft owners who have come to the same realization as the post's originator.
At Malibu we always encourage individuals who are contemplating a Malibu boat purchase to test drive our competitors. More often than not, this exercise cements the decision for them and the process is completely objective.
By the way, TheMalibuCrew.com is an independent Malibu boat owner's site. While this site's members are good friends of ours and all of them are members of the Malibu family, the site is not affiliated with Malibu Boats LLC in any other way.