Wakeboard Boat Review
This year, the new Malibu Sunsetter 23 XTi is bigger than ever. Malibu took the 2003 version, already one of the largest wakeboard boats in the company lineup, and nudged the beam 3 inches wider and the length 6 inches longer. The result is even more family room and more stability in bigger water.
We’re all for anything that makes the most of the rear wraparound lounge with table and speakers, the midship sun pad and storage compartment, and the open bow. That interior layout was already a test-team favorite before the changes.
The helm received a few changes, too, including a two-tone hand-wrapped vinyl dash, black vinyl and chrome accents to the steering wheel and throttle knob, and new gauge styling with chrome bezels. And except for the bow walk-through, the windshield is elegantly postless. Bigger has proved better.
With the larger size, the wakeboarding wakes are still similar to those on the Malibu Sunsetter 21 XTi, just one size up. Intermediate riders will get a kick out of the fun peak and lip, though the landing zone and double-ups aren’t as big as the rest of the wake.
-This model has been expanded in length and width for 2004.
-The fresh interior layout flips the typical sun pad and wraparound seating configuration to better integrate the engine box.
-The stainless-steel bow rails have been redesigned for a better grip.
-The towing capabilities cross over from skiing to wakeboarding, satisfying the needs of families.
-Sound suppression material in the lamination creates a quieter ride.
Length Overall (Feet)21
Length Overall (Inches)6
Acceleration to 30 MPH (seconds)5.4
Noise at 30 MPH86 (Front) / 91 (Rear)
Noise at Idle60 (Front) / 63 (Rear)
Test EngineIndmar Monsoon 5.7L
Test PropAcme 13 x 11.5 3-blade
Top Speed44.1 mph @ 4,800 rpm