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Question for 2017 TXI Owners


OscawanaSkier
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Hey Everyone - first post, so thanks in advance for the answers

 

The wife and I are looking to buy our first new boat, and we are eyeing a 2018 TXI. I've been a Malibu fan since I started skiing (my buddy's Sportster has the flattest wake on our lake). For us this will be a long-term investment - ideally lasting us 10-20 years. But this will be our only boat, so creature comforts (like the walk-through open bow) are super important. But reliability is too - the closest Malibu dealer is over an hour away from our small lake.

 

I've now skied behind the 17 TXI a couple times at ski schools. From a skier's POV - it seems great. Easy up, lots of pull, and the historically flat wake. But while my buddies are skiing, I always climb into the boat and ask the driver what they think - and to be honest, I've been surprised by the gripes. In addition, I've read most of what's been posted on BoS about the 17 TXI, including this epic thread (New 2017 Response) and the complaints that rise to the top are:

 

Slow out of the hole (not been an issue for me, but my buddies complained about this too)

"Issues" with the computer (mentioned by both drivers without a lot of elaboration)

A rattle behind the port and starboard side panels

Long delay (15sec??) when computer turns on

Rear compartment lids and gas cap catching the tow rope

Taking on water (apparently due to loose swim platform from the factory)

Rudder fine-tuning (I understand from another thread that rudder trims are being added for the 18's)

 

My only observed complaint was the noise/vibration I felt in both of the TXI's (this might relate to #3 above) - just seemed louder than I expected.

 

17 TXI Owners - I was looking for input on two things:

- What's been your experience with your 17? What problems have you had, and how did Malibu deal with them?

- Does anyone know if Malibu is dealing with any of these issues in the 18 TXI (maybe @Chad_Scott could chime in here?)

 

Again, I'm a huge Malibu fan, and I like what I see in the 17 TXI over the 17 ProStar, but I want to make sure we're investing in a boat that's going to last.

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I went in one on the weekend. The owner complained of slow hole shot but took off really well after maybe 3 seconds of pulling the skier out. He complained the steering felt flighty but that could be fine tuned. Apart from that all good! Personally I thought the Boat felt cheap... it cost him 120k here in aus... I’d expect a lot more for that kind of money.
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Pretty sure the Aussie spec boats are not the same as the US so possibly not the best basis for comparison. Having said that the dated Monsoon / Indmar combination is your only option here in Australia from what I have heard, no way I would drop 120k on that..
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I have experienced 1, 5, and 7. For #1, it was not our boat that had the hole shot issue, but a promo boat I drove at a couple of tournaments. I believe it is a heat issue, as the boat was very quick when cold off the trailer, but became substantially slower as the day progressed.

 

As a skier, I have liked the wake and the overall pull characteristics a lot.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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I'll add that I liked our 2015 TXi better than the 2017. The wake is slightly better on the 2017, but the 2015 drove great, had tons of power, and had no rope issues or other quirks.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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Nice boat, I'd get the bigger motor (I say that about CC 200's and Prostar's, too). I like being able to have enough power to pull a hole shot any variety of ways and with any variety of loads, and being able to get to speed on short set-ups.
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2015 was a great year. You'll see some of my 17 opinions in that original thread.

 

I'd highly encourage the OP to drive and ski the big three as well as a 15/16 TXi and form your own opinion because you'll get a full spectrum of opinions here, some very guarded or defensive, very touchy subject in a very tiny marketplace.

 

I wouldn't worry about any of these boats from a durability perspective.

 

Ultimately if you are a Malibu guy you're going to want the Malibu, and, if you're dropping this much coin you should get what you really want, but it's a lot of coin so try stuff out as much as reasonably possible.

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We've had our 17 since middle August, turning 200 hours today, boat has run as perfect as it could, and drives very well. We do have the 409, only thing I see is the 10 sec delay on the screen coming up, the rudder has been worked on, but this boat tracks.
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I think most of these issues are unique to early build boats and you will be just fine with a 2018. Maybe your dealer is willing to come to you or do pick-up/delivery if you have issues during the first 6-12 months? I don't have any experience with the dash-screen interface but If you are suspect of the 'computer system' I believe there is a model that has traditional gauges for a bit less. Good Luck
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@OscawanaSkier : have fun shopping, congrats on helping our economy. Curious, what do you like better in the TXi compared to the Prostar. I think both are awesome boats.

 

Malibu has a QC department, so the early model issues should be taken care of (#2,3,4,6)although many items are finished at your local dealer so there may be variations across dealerships as to the quality of the work (#6, 7). The newer boats with greater wetted surface tend to want the more powerful engine combinations (#1), particularly if at altitude or when in hotter conditions (lower air density). As for the computer, it will be interesting to watch how the integration of touch screens in ski boats fare over the long term, electrons tend not to like water. Item #1 was a Prostar issue also, an engine vent was the MC solution, no idea if the TXi has a similar running change.

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@DW - I've also skied and been in the 17 Prostar - like it a lot too (both as a skier and in the boat). Only thing I don't love is the fold-up seat that you have to step over to get into the bow (I've actually haven't seen that in the folded position in person - but just looked at photos online).

 

Regarding the computer - I'm a believer that the more sh*t you have in the boat, the more that's eventually going to break. I've been looking hard at the NON-MO version (without the large touchpanel). I don't really know for certain if the "computer" is any different in the Non-MO version - I just assume less is going on (anyone know details about this?).

 

Related question - how is the ZO different (in terms of ski-related features - not visuals) on the MO vs. non-MO versions?

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@OscawanaSkier

 

I spent a lot of time one week skiing behind a 17 Malibu.

 

They drive extremely well, I thought it was a upgrade from the previous TXI's, which drove pretty good already. Each one is fine tuned before it leaves the factory.

 

As for being slow out of the hole, there's actually a setting called throttle response and you can change it to aggressive.

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The rattle on my 17 is from the glove box lid.

Other than that it is really nice. Dennis Kelly ground rudder at factory (mine is promo) and it drives great.

I did not have issue with the rope catching, except getting it caught on swim deck.

That was rare and really hard to do.

 

 

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I drove and skied behind an 18 recently and was very impressed. Driving it tracked great and felt good pulling short line skiers. If I rate boats for steering, I would say the Nautique has the tightest steering and best driving and my opinion the 18 TXI is a close second, thinking of the top 4. I own a 15 Centurion Carbon Pro that skies and drives great and driven and skied behind all 4 regularly. A good friend has what I think is a 2004 or so Malibu he bought new, uses the boat a lot and from a durability perspective, has been a great boat. Malibu builds a solid product IMO.
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I like all boats. On our private lake there are 2 200s. One 5.7 and one 6L. There is a 2015 and 2013 malibu txi. A few 196s. I picked up a 2017 txi and put 120 hrs on it this summer. The break in on the engine took a little longer than expected, but around 90hrs the hole shot power came around. After some prop testing and grinding rudder a bit, it drives really well. I think it drives as well or better than the other boats on the lake. It is definitely easier to drive and requires less effort when pulling for long periods of time. My largest complaint--- the seat doesn't scoot forward enough for short drivers or ones that like being close to steering wheel. I will be modifying it myself next season so that my most consistent driver(wife), is more comfortable when I am floundering behind her.
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My rear end is planted in one of those bad boys about six to ten hours a day. The boat is super user friendly. Lots of space and drives so easy it’s ridiculous.

As for skiing it’s addicting. I know I'm a six liter junkie to begin with but the interface with zero off is hard to beat. On top of everything else the boat has made it much easier in tournaments to interface with other boats. I had trouble adapting boat to boat but that is getting way better skiing off the Malibu on a regular basis. Great boat, great people and they love and are committed to three event skiing as are we all.

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Not sure if you had a particular boat you're looking at, but this one is still available at our local dealership. It's been there for quite some time, as you can see by the snow in the pics. I bet you could score a great deal, being it's now a non-current model year. (I used the link button, so hopefully I linked it correctly)

 

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We have experienced 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7 with our ‘17. Loose platform and pylon from factory. “Ghost start” on a lift one time with nobody in it, difficulty starting and stopping 4-5 other times. Bilge would run about once every other skier until we caulked the underside of the rub rail. Steering took some fine tuning. Screen glitched out once or twice, easily fixed by flipping battery kill switch. 5.3L DI and 6.2L 200s feel like rocket ships relative to the Crusader 6.0L.

 

All that said, I think (hope) most of these were issues you could forgive on a completely redisigned/new boat. Ours was probably one of the first boats off the line. Factory contact also said they have had a lot of turnover at the factory (that was our explanation for loose pylon/platform). Hope our ‘18 requires less attention.

 

Drives and skis well, but not my favorite in either category. Functionally the interior is excellent, do wish the driver’s seat moved forward one more click.

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None of that is cool...if I spent $70K and had all kinds of glitches I have to admit I'd be hot...even in year one. Same if I spent on a car.

Having said that, many first year cars have at least some issues. Basically tells me to avoid year 1 of a new design.

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Only know of one boat with starter issue. Was an issue with the screen which is made by another company. Same company that makes other screens. Pretty sure it was an isolated incident which was resolved All manufacturers have some issues anyone on here that doesn't thinks so is nuts. I have had a 2017 TXI longer than anyone. I have had no issues with my boat. It has over 160 hrs on it and is currently at the collegiant nationals. Just picked up my 2018 which is also headed to Nats. I don't think anyone can go wrong buying any of the boats on the market today. I am extremely happy with the TXI, it has pulled some great scores including the OW world record and numerous pb's. all a matter of choice. What I can say is that if you have an issue with the TXI Dennis Kelley is quick to address any issues. I personally don't think there is another company with a factory representative that is as helpful as Dennis is when it comes to any issues on these boats. He is all about the boat and 3 event skiing. I can assure you any issue a customer may have will be handled quickly by DK. And that type of customer service you can't put a price on
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I know of at least 2 with ghost start. The one @bbrannan spoke of and DK's boat started while being towed. At least that's what the Paducah promo guy told me. Dennis warned them of the problem when they took delivery, so it was a known problem at least. He advised them to leave it in gear when not in use. If Dennis knew of only one it seems unlikely that he would have issued a warning.
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@LeonL You are incorrect regarding DK''s boat. It has never ghost started as I just spoke with him to confirm. Obviously how rumors get started. DK has been putting boats in gear since I have known him which has been well over 10 years. He has delivered several boats to me even before the touch screen. Always in gear. Having been in the business forever he is always rather safe than sorry. He has seen it al over the years and number of boats he has been in.
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I did somewhat qualify my statement by saying that it was related to me by a guy that's in on the Paducah promo. I stand corrected and apologize for perpetuating an inaccurate account. I should never repeat a "he said that he said" story.
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