Malibu says the Sportster provides no-nonsense performance for buyers looking for the quality of Malibu with lower costs. They say this is a perfect introductory water-sports machine that lets “budding enthusiasts” have the satisfaction of owning an expert-level tow boat.
While the Sportster is fairly simple looking compared to some of the feature-laden Malibu’s, this boat still has all the important construction techniques that make a Malibu what it is. The hull and deck are blue-printed to be an exact match, then the hull, stringers and deck are bonded together with Plexus fusion adhesive that makes a bond stronger than the components themselves. The engine is bolted through Malibu’s quality FibECS stringer system, producing a vibration-free ride. The driver gets the benefits of Malibu’s zero-friction throttle cables, rack-and-pinion steering, precision underwater gear and, the driver-friendly dash with big five-inch gauges.
Of course, you can’t talk about this boat without mentioning its lightning-fast acceleration, perfect tracking through the course and razor-sharp handling. The wake is near perfection for a slalom boat, with no bumps at any line length. This is a phenomenal world-class performance boat stuck in an entry-level boat’s price tag. This boat’s performance and wakes make it appealing to the hard-core skier at any level, not just the ones who cannot afford more than this value-packed machine.
High-end tournament-level slalom wakes will please the toughest critics. No bump at 22 off.
One of the best handling boats tested with impeccable tracking and turning capabilities.
If you have the need for speed, then this boat’s for you. Incredible acceleration numbers to 36 mph.
The contoured driver’s seat combined with the sleek-looking and easy-to-read gauge package make the Sportster a pleasure to drive.
Optional gunnel ski lockers and net storage allow more interior space.
For the price, this is a top choice for a hardcore slalom boat.
Rides a little rough in adverse conditions because of its petite size.
Doesn’t have a rear storage trunk, but the front passenger seat will house a quiver of skis.
Length 20 ft. 0 in.
Beam 86 in.
Seating Capacity 6
Fuel Capacity 38 gal.
Test Prop Acme 13 X 12.625 3-blade
Test Engine Indmar Vortec, 310 HP
TOP SPEED 48.6 mph 4,850 rpm
ACCEL. TO 30 3.5 SEC. 81.7 FT.
ACCEL. TO 36 4.5 SEC. 128.3 FT.
NOISE LEVELS (db)
Neutral 57 D 61 R
36 MPH 88 D 93 R