The Wakesetter 23 LSV does a phenomenal job of combining the pro-level wakeboarding wakes of Malibu’s flagship VLX model with the extra interior room of its more family-oriented models. If you have a family of wannabe Darin Shapiros, this is your perfect wakeboard boat.
Actually, this is Shapiro’s boat. The legendary pro trains with a Wakesetter 23 LSV and uses it at his wakeboarding school in Florida. We can’t give a bigger endorsement than that, but our test team had a fantastic time hanging out on and riding behind this wakeboard and ski boat. It comes fully loaded for wakeboarding, expertly designed for driving and immensely fun for just hanging out on a long Saturday at the lake.
Smooth. That’s the key word when it comes to the wakes behind this Wakesetter 23 LSV. The peaks are nicely rounded, the long transition is troughless, and the landing zone offers soft returns from your aerial maneuvers. And all that is with just the factory ballast and adjustments to the optional Power Wedge, which our test boat had and which we highly recommend for fine-tuning the wake shape. A tight turning radius helped us create impressive double-ups that sported excellent form. You feel like a pro on these wakes, even if you aren’t. Of course, you can dial it all down with very mellow ballast and a light touch on the Power Wedge to get beginner-style wakes, especially if you fiddle with your line length to find the sweet spot behind this wide 100-inch beam.
We still think of this as a big boat, even though you’ll find in these pages a few models that are really supersized. Compared to smaller direct-drives, large V-drives do give up some handling characteristics to achieve those huge wakes. Yet the Wakesetter 23 LSV still wants to have nimble control, and in some ways it does. The Gorilla tracking fins help keep it on a straight line and offer a good pivot point in turns. Malibu’s balanced, rattle-free construction — which is always worthy of praise — keeps the ride smooth, even through chop, even with a full load of passengers. And if you really want some pop out of the hole, opt for the top-of-the-line 450-horsepower Vortec 8100 engine.
Malibus are about as flawless as a water-sports boat can be. That’s true of the interior comfort, with expansive seating enveloped in buttery, cushiony upholstery. The new plush carpet was very soft on our bare feet. Malibu packs on standard features like a removable refreshment table, oversized cup holders, flip-up driver bolster and bow walk-through wind block. Best of all, those amenities will be just as good-looking and comfortable years from now as they are the first day. Malibu has a reputation to uphold, and the company lives up to it year after year.
Base price: $52,200
Length: 23 ft.
Beam: 100 in.
Seating capacity: 14
Fuel capacity: 55 gal.
Test Prop: Acme 13.5 x 16 4-blade
Test Engine: Indmar 8100 Vortec 8.1L, 450 hp
Top Speed: 48.7 mph 5,120 rpm
Accel. To 30 mph: 5.1 sec.122.3 ft.
Accel. To 36 mph: 6.8 sec. 198.6 ft.
Noise Levels (db): Neutral 62 D 58 R, 36 mph 82 D 89 R