Boat of the Week: Malibu vRide

Overview

The vRide is back after its 2005 debut, continuing to prove its worth as a budget-minded boat. At an MSRP that squeaks in just below $40,000, the vRide is what so many buyers are looking for: a V-drive boat with lots of wakeboarding features and Malibu's reputation for quality.

We've found in our tests of the vRide that what Malibu considers "entry level" others would consider "top of the line." That's why this boat doesn't seem stripped down at all.

Wakes

The hull and the 500-pound center ballast work together to sculpt narrow, mellow wakes that beginners and intermediates will appreciate. When you're ready for more, go for options like rear ballast for meatier wakes worthy of advanced riders.

Handling

For a V-drive, the vRide has incredible handling. Credit goes to the efficient 21-foot length and 93.5-inch beam, as well as the overall balanced design, Gorilla tracking fins and Malibu's Precision Pro Speed Control.

Comfort

Malibu ensures that the Ride boats are just as comfortable as higher-priced models, sticking to the same thick 38-ounce vinyl and tri-ply interior padding that makes a Malibu feel so plush.

SPECS

Base price: $39,995 (trailer included)

Length: 21 ft.

Beam: 93.5 in.

Seating capacity: 10

Fuel capacity: 35 gal.

Test prop: Acme 13.5 x 16 4-blade

Test engine: Indmar Monsoon 5.7L, 340 hp

Top speed: 44.5 mph 5,100 rpm

Accel. to 30 mph: 4.3 sec. 101.9 ft

Accel. to 36 mph: 5.7 sec. 187.2 ft

Noise levels (db): Neutral 58 D 56 R, 36 mph 86 D 90 R