malibu wakesetter 247 LsV
Powerboat Performance Report: Malibu Wakesetter 247 LSV
Summary: The latest addition to Malibu's Wakesetter series of tow boats also could be the greatest. With the 247 LSV, the builder has outdone itself.
Powerboat Test Team, January 2006
Without question, the new-for-2006 Wakesetter 247 LSV from Malibu Boats looks big. Its overall length—more than 26 feet if you include its add-on fiberglass swim platform—is accentuated by its cab-forward design. In brief, the V-drive boat is short on open bow and long, as in very long, on cockpit. You could put a basketball team, including subs, on the cockpit's U-shape lounge and the players wouldn't bump knees.
And yet obvious as it is, interior space isn't necessarily the boat's greatest asset. First, for its intended purpose, that of pulling accomplished wakeboarders and delivering serious wakes, the Wakesetter 247 LSV is an ace. Second, with or without a boarder in tow, it's a pleasure to drive. Third, the boat is loaded with features, many of which, such as the power-activated Wedge hydrofoil for boosting wakes, are refinements of existing features.
Equipped with a 450-hp Vortec 8100 engine, a $3,000 upgrade from the boat's standard 400-hp Hammerhead mill, the 247 delivered instant throttle response. So sensitive to throttle input was the boat that it actually startled our water ski and wakeboard test drivers when they popped their respective riders out of the hole.
"You can breathe on the throttle and adjust the speed," said Mike Mack, our wakeboard driver.
Behind the instant punch was an electronic throttle control, "drive-by-wire" as it is commonly called, which eliminates a throttle cable and the lag associated with it.
Both of our drivers said that once owners got accustomed to it, they will accept nothing else. Maintaining a constant speed, they also noted, was easy thanks to the Precision Pro speed-control system.
The Wakesetter 247 LSV is the first Malibu to be equipped with an electronic throttle control. It also is the first Malibu to be outfitted with the Power Wedge, and that feature drew raves from our ski and wakeboard test team. Though effective in boosting wake height and shape, the Wedge hydrofoil had always been something of a hassle to use. A few years back, Malibu added trapdoors in its swim platforms for better access to the pin that held and released the foil, but deployment still required a bit of blind fumbling.
With the new system, putting down or pulling up the Wedge took only a press of a rocker switch on the dash. A gauge showing the position of the Wedge—most effective when the needle was dead center—also was provided at the dash. Combined with the on-board water-ballast system, which had two sides and one forward tank, as well as level gauges for all three, wake height and shape variability were endless. Monster and mellow wakes and everything in between, all were within control at the helm station.
Board stowage was generous and easily accessible. If you ran out of space on the racks of the carbon-fiber Blade wakeboard tower, you could put boards in the carpeted lockers on each side of the engine compartment, or even behind the rear-facing observer's position in the cockpit.
Its healthy footprint on the water alone ruled out the Wakesetter 247 LSV as a tow boat of choice for a serious slalom skier. However, our ski tester did say the boat was adequate for recreational slalom duty.
The Wakesetter 247 LSV was
outfitted with a "tunable,"
rudder, meaning it could be set up to counteract the pull of a boarder or skier to one side or another. Overall, the 247 proved exceptionally nimble and responsive for a wakeboard boat of its size.
Top speed was 48.3 mph with the engine running at 5,100 rpm. From a standing start it took a little more than 15 seconds for the boat to reach that speed, and running from 20 to 40 mph took 5.5 seconds. Time to plane was 3.2 seconds.
What our performance test teams appreciated most about the 247 was its ride in messy river chop. The ride was as soft and forgiving as that of any similar-sized runabout we tested during the 2006 Performance Trials.
The boat's three-color graphics, accented with vinyl tape, were handled flawlessly in the gelcoat. Tooling of the hull and deck were immaculate. When it came to gelcoat and mold work, the production builder continued to show it can perform at a
The Blade tower, equipped for 2006 with forward- and rear-facing lights, fit the boat perfectly and all hardware was installed with backing plates.
The builder actually through-bolted
the big-block engine to the fiberglass
chassis/full-length stringer system. What few exposed wires and cables we found were generally well supported with cushion clamps.
Loaded—that's the best way to describe the Wakesetter 247 LSV's interior features. There were "old favorites," such as controls for the MP3 stereo system located under a hinged lid on the driver's armrest and a heated driver's bucket with lumbar support. New goodies included LED lighting in the gunwale trays.
Though small, the open bow playpen was decidedly comfortable. Our test boat, as noted, was equipped with the three-tank, water-ballast Malibu Launch System. Having the forward tank meant that
the center cushion for the open bow
There were draining coolers, as well as stowage lockers, under the bottom cushions for the U-shape lounge in the cockpit. There also was a wet locker in the sole of the transom walk-through.
At the helm station, new-for-2006 was a gauge cluster with multiple, simultaneous digital readouts, as well as analog functions. With the digital setup, drivers could monitor a number of functions at once without having to scroll.
Malibu clearly went big—and not just
when it came to length and width—with the Wakesetter 247 LSV. The builder improved on existing features and added a few new goodies in the first-rate wakeboarding machine. And now, thanks to the new model's abundant space, even more people will get to enjoy it.
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