All new for 2015 is the Malibu Wakesetter 22 VLX. This well-appointed boat is designed to be as versatile and as dynamic as any boater could expect her to be. The Wakesetter 22 VLX's mission is to satisfy a family of recreational watersport enthusiasts all the way up to the highest level pro wakeboarder or wake surfer. The Malibu Wakesetter 22 VLX is chock full of the newest in operational technology intended to make the time on the water as enjoyable as possible.
- Command center
- G3.2 tower with easy latching
- Zero Off GPS cruise
- Transom seating
- Drop-in Igloo cooler
- Updated hull graphics
- Three-profile Livorsi throttle
- Service reminders
|Length Overall||21' 10'' / 6.65 m|
Currently no test numbers
A long favorite in the legendary Wakesetter line, the newly redesigned 2015 Wakesetter 22 VLX builds upon a solid platform and takes it up a notch, with interior design improvements which maximizes stowage space and comforts while the Wake Plus hull gives both wakeboarders and wakesurfers a savory experience at the end of the line. Technology is embraced throughout with the application of touch screen controls at the helm with clever, intuitive functions, easy to operate controls for the automated ballast, Surf Gate and Power Wedge II.
Wake surfing is a family-friendly activity, great for parents and kids alike. The Power Wedge II and Surf Gate technologies combine to create solid surfing wakes on either side of the stern, making excellent surf wake shapes for both right foot and left foot forward surfers.
Dynamic Recreational Application
One criticism that has long dogged the V-drive boating market was the single use application of the craft: often times an ambitious young athlete that directed their parents towards the “awesome, start-of-the-art” wakeboarding boat that could generate a world-class (read: huge!) wake.
But the adults would be denied enjoyment of the pleasure craft they paid so handsomely for, as that monstrous wake that is the joy of the teenage riders was too big for the moderately-talented moms and dads who were not ready to take on such a mountainous wake. And thus, the parents became merely chauffeurs in their high-priced boats, turning them off to the whole experience. (In as many as 40% of the cases, parents have actually paid for the inboard wakeboat for their kids.)
But that concern is a thing of the past with both the advent of the multiple automated ballast tanks, the Power Wedge II and the growing popularity of the wake surfing market. With the simple activation of a few switches, ballast can be quickly added or removed, making the wake either massive for the aspiring pros, or smaller and more docile for the folks just looking to do some recreational riding. And then when it’s time to surf (done at slower speeds and much easier physically on the rider and thus, more unilaterally enjoyable), when we activated the Surf Gate a well-shaped wave appeared in just a matter of moments on both the port and starboard sides.
Build a Boat
An immediate joy any prospective Malibu Wakesetter 22 VLX owner gets to engage in is the comprehensive selection of virtually any and every detail that goes into creating their dream boat. It starts with the multiple color selections of the hull design, the coloring of each leather panel for the boat’s interior, the choosing of the number of speakers, the size of the engine, and the type of tower, the list is lengthy. And what the buyer ends up with is a pleasure craft that is uniquely their own.
A Proven Hull
The design team at Malibu took an already proven winner of a hull and made modifications that make a good thing even better, they say. Dubbed the “Wake Plus/Diamond” hull, it is engineered to offer different planing capacities at different speeds. When used for wakeboarding, the Wake Plus hull helps form the heaping wakes that have been the Wakesetters calling card for years.
But slow it down to wake surfing speeds between 10 to 13 mph and the Diamond hull characteristic kicks in, sitting the boat at a waterline profile intended to create the biggest, longest surfing wake to be found.
The fun behind the boat starts with the stern-most point of departure, and that’s where the swim platform comes into play. Whether using it as a jumping point for swimming or strapping into one’s bindings as they prepare to ride, the platform is the usual water access and exit point. While adequately sized, we would prefer a larger surface area, allowing for more move-around room. But it serves its function well and conveniently allows for snug storage of the Wake Gate when it’s not deployed.
Life is good when surrounded by family and good friends for a day out on the water, and the 2015 Wakesetter 22 VLX clearly took this credo into consideration during the redesign process. With a coast guard rating for 14 passengers, the passenger capacity is one of the highest in the 22’ (6.71 m) market.
Tower of Power
Another defining element of a wake specific boat is the adornment of a tower on the craft. Serving multiple purposes from a line attachment point, board and equipment storage to a mounting point for speakers and lights, the tower adds both convenience and functionality that no wakeboarding and wake surfing boat can be without.
Wake Surf Mania
Wake surfing is all the rage in the recreational towed watersports market and the VLX is a leader when it comes to quickly and easily generating generous sized surfing waves on both the port and starboard sides. No longer does one need to go through the time-consuming project of moving people and ballast all around the boat. With the proprietary Surf Gate and Power Wedge II, all the work is done with the press of a button and the turning of a dial, and in under 15 seconds one’s dream wave takes shape.
In simplest terms, the wake gate consists of two rectangular plates attached to the port and starboard side of the boat’s stern. When activated by a hydraulic arm, these plates add length to the overall hull, and by pushing outward and creating a natural listing of the boat, they help a wave form on the opposite side.
Power Wedge II
Another iconic device to the Malibu line has been the Malibu Wedge. This hydrofoil design is meant to create downward force and the stern of the boat, sinking the stern deeper and thus creating a bigger wake. The Power Wedge II is fully automated and depending upon the angle of deflection in the water, can simulate the effects of having anywhere from 300 lbs. to 1,200 lbs. (136 kg to 544 kg) of ballast at the back end of the boat. This is handy not only for a well-shaped wake but for leaving an open valuable storage area at the stern of the boat.
Bring on the Weight
While the Surf Gate and Power Wedge II are mightily effective in creating wakes, the Wakesetter 22 VLX still has room for the standard water-based ballast tanks.
900 lbs. (408 kg) of ballast capacity comes standard and can be increased with various ballast storage compartments that can be added among the optional upgrades.
Looking good is easy to do in the Wakesetter 22 VLX, but the sound starts off good and only gets better depending on what type of accessorizing the boater is willing to undertake. Six interior speakers come standard and can be upgraded to eight. But when one really wants to turn things up, the optional G Force Wet Sounds speakers can be added and configured to the prewired tower, allowing one’s boat to sound like a concert hall out on the water.
Feel the Power
The driving force behind the 2015 Malibu Wakesetter 22 VLX is the Inmar Monsoon 350-hp 5.7L engine, which provides satisfactory power at the entry recreational level. Adding in the drag and weight of the Surf Gate, Power Wedge II, and the standard ballast along with a few family and friends, may also call for more horsepower. Rather than having an underpowered craft, we strongly suggest going with an engine upgrade to avoid the terrible feeling that comes with being permanently underpowered.
The captain should feel right at home when in the navigational seat, and the design gurus at Malibu came up with a cockpit design that melds form with function. The easy to see configuration of the Dual Screen Command Center uses intuitive functionality, making operation of the Zero Off GPS Cruise control simple, the filling and dispensing of the ballast tanks done with a touch, and control of the stereo right at the end of your fingers.
Finding space for essentials and non-necessities is not a problem in this incarnation on the VLX line. Two massive storage areas found on the port and starboard side of the engine compartment at the stern, then there is an additional large storage location underneath the passenger side dashboard area, easily accessed by lifting the piston mounted seat upward. And each of the individual seating cushions in the interior of the cabin cover additional stowage capacity, allowing all that one brought on board to be kept out of sight until needed.