Malibu Sunsetter LXi
Malibu has revised the Sunsetter LXi for 2005 with a new style and a wider hull, but it's still something of a throwback. Amid the super-sized V-drives and evolutionary slalom machines that highlight this issue, the LXi is a classic family inboard — albeit one with a rich feel and a sound multisport performance that favors skiing.
The LXi has a big feel for 12 passengers, with a large rear bench pushed well back from the engine box, an observer's seat big enough for three adults, a high freeboard with handrails reachable from every seat, and a deep, comfortable open bow with standard filler cushion. Family-friendly features extend to the welcome personal-storage nooks found in the observer's dash, helm and walk-through, and under the bow cushions, and the swim platform has a great molded design with rubber traction to prevent slips. The upholstery, carpeting and style accents are first-rate throughout, reminding you this isn't a station wagon, it's a luxury sedan.
Even with the new enlarged hull design for 2005, the Sunsetter LXi is still a legitimate high-end family ski boat. The wakes rate above average in size and softness. The bump is fairly hard at 22 off, as it is with most boats, but 15, 28 and 32 off are very crossable for skiers of all abilities.
The LXi still holds a good line when weighted, so if you want to boost the size of the wakes, consider adding the optional center ballast tank — and tower and Wedge. At slower speeds, say 18 to 21 mph, and shorter line lengths of 55 to 65 feet, the wakes will get beginning riders graduating to the intermediate level in no time.
• An inboard ski boat with enough room and enough wakeboarding potential for the whole family.
• Now on the V25 Diamond hull, it's nearly
5 inches wider than last year's LXi.
• Great direct-drive responsiveness.
• High-quality fiberglass construction and high-end luxury appointments make for a solid, classy ride.
• Split-lid trunk has 16 cubic feet of storage.
Top Speed 46.0 mph 5,040 rpm
Accel. to 30 mph 4.7 sec. 112.1 ft.
Accel. to 36 mph 5.9 sec. 192.9 ft.
Noise Levels (db) Neutral 58 D 59 R, 36 mph 84 D 88 R
Length 21 ft. 6 in. Beam 98 in.
Seating Capacity 12
Fuel Capacity 46 gal.
Test Prop Acme 13 x 12 3-blade
Test Engine Indmar Corvette LS1 5.7L, 375 HP