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Old 08-27-2016, 05:10 PM
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JBaker JBaker is offline
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40 Hours On The New XT23

This site was hugely helpful to me over the years, even as a non-MC owner; I want to return the favor on this rainy day since I imagine few have spent much/any time on the new XT23. I'm not winning any awards for brevity here, but hope it helps.

We took delivery of our XT23 in early July and now have just over 40 hours on her. Ours has the new Ilmor 5500 and just about every freshwater option (including the ZFT7 power tower) sans Dockstar (wasnít known/avail at time of order). For those less familiar, the XT23 is the direct replacement for the X30, though the initial marketing messaging admittedly made that somewhat unclear. I would term it an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary upgrade, but a clear upgrade nonetheless.

For context, I came from a direct drive and we still ski (especially my wife), but surfing has taken over our time on the water, hence it was time for a change. I/we had spent a ton of time on a 2014 X-30 and Ď13 Bu VLX 21, and were initially considering an X30, Bu 23 LSV or NXT-22. Demoíd the Axis T23, A24, 23 LSV, and X23 before pulling the trigger on the XT23.

While the lines, gel schemes, and tower are what jump out at you as distinguishing traits, there are a lot of little improvements on the XT23 over the outgoing X30. I realize there are a ton of X30 owners on here, and the X30 is a GREAT boat by any measure (MCís best seller for a reason, and a primary driver behind us seeking an MC), so I donít mean to downplay the X30 by highlighting a few of the noteworthy differences vs. the 2017 XT23:
  • XT23 headunit is integrated above the observer seat back for easy, immediate access. Finally, no more opening a glove box for stereo functionality beyond that of the remote.
  • XT23 bow feels a little roomier with the change in rear-facing seat style. It now contours like the X-10 and is personally my favorite seat when not driving. In the X30 this was a mini-seat with angular sides that I found to be pretty uncomfortable for an adult. The continuous vinyl above the speakers in the XT23 bow is nice when stretching your legs out from either direction, but Iím mixed on the aesthetics. The bow is basically the only area of the XT23 that feels noticeably different than the interior layout of the X30.
  • The 2016 and prior bright billet, while a signature of MC, felt a little dated to me in areas like the glove box and bow door on the outgoing X-30, whereas the 2017 two-tone aluminum trim is very appealing to us. Between the new gauges and this two-tone, the dash is much more attractive.
  • Much improved, reclining helm seat (though 2016 X-30ís have this seat as well).
  • Angular swim platform and transom with dual grab handles is great, and eliminates the center grab handle from the X30 walk path which seemed to painfully catch an occasional passing heal or toe.
  • Trashcan is under its own seat, right behind the driver. In my experience, this is probably the least utilized seat on the boat, which is a smart spot for access to something used as often as the trashcan.
  • Batteries are out of the way in rear of coffin storage.
  • Tower is great. Power tower helps us in a big way since we often take a channel between lakes with a low bridge. Cosmetically, we love it with the black trim picking up the black hull and deck 2 of our boat. It offers unique customization you just canít get elsewhere.
After just 40 hours, weíve had the boat in a ton of different conditions, from big water lakes like Lake Michigan and Lake of the Ozarks, to tiny lakes in Northern Illinois. In terms of use, we are about 50% surf, 30% cruising, 15% ski, 5% wakeboard/wakeskate. 70% of the time we have 7-11 adults in the boat, 30% 2-4. And we float, often anchored, with friends. Functionally, hereís what Iíve noticed:
  • Near the top of my list of improvements for 2017 is the 5500 Ilmor engine. The X30s Iíd been out on had the 5.7L and 6.2L. I was leaning towards either the 6.0L or 6.2L, but then this new 5500 engine replaced the 6.0L and seemed ideal for us (Ilmor/MC may have a marketing problem with it being smaller displacement, but do your homework and the benefits become obvious, much like in autos). I thought the weight reduction would help with skiing (more on this later), but the biggest difference I notice is weíre averaging just 4.1 GPH in the above scenario. This is outstanding considering our use case is primarily surfing. I donít ever wish I had more power, but did feel that way in the 5.7L when weighted.
  • The X30 might be a slightly better crossover boat for free skiers. Obviously neither is a DD comp boat, but perhaps because itís lighter, my wife was able to enjoyably free ski the X30 at 27-28mph. The wake is a little more substantial on the XT23 at that speed. At 32mph+, I notice no difference, as both flatten out reasonably well for 23'.
  • Along those lines, it seems MC may have further prioritized wake sports (esp. surfing) over skiing when redesigning this model. I thought the X30 was an incredible surfboat, but the XT23 is noticeably improved. I recognize this is a strong statement to this crowd, but found this to be undeniably true, particularly on the starboard side. I owe you all videos. I have not listed ours (we have regular and goofy riders), nor have I been on a listed X30, but in terms of Gen2 stock and slammed, apples-to-apples the XT23 is killer. We had 10 in the boat with nothing but stock ballast and 100lbs. of lead in the bow and it was one of the best waves Iíve personally experienced in 8 years of surfing, including a slammed X30, 23 LSV and stock X23, to name a few. To be fair, I have not surfed a G. The XT23 likes weight, but itís not overly sensitive. Weíre still dialing it in, so I expect we can tweak it even better over time, but just havenít felt compelled to spend a lot of our time on the lake experimenting when itís so great out of the box.
  • The autolaunch on the XT23 is a dream. No bow raise, no adverse effects like spray. Iím 6í1Ē and Iíve never used a bolster less in my life.
  • This boat handles chop like you wouldn't believe for a 23' inboard that actually skis decent (on second thought, that qualifier may not be needed). This has shocked every experienced boater we've had out with us.
On balance, there are some things we'd change:
  • Wish the rear bags were slightly larger to utilize closer to 100% of this storage space. Silver lining is a couple jackets or a deflated tube fits nicely on top of the rear bags even when fully inflated.
  • Heated helm seat means you have an exposed cord running out of the seat. Just doesn't look up to snuff with the rest of the fit and finish.
  • I realize itís not their primary purpose, but wish the Gen2 tabs would better double as trim tabs. I donít find them very useful for correcting weight imbalance.
  • Why no power bimini option? For all the other improvements that have made boating life easier, the MC bimini & cover is still a little laborious and dissuades us from using the bimini when we know we might only want it for part of the day.
  • The coffin storage seat has a hard time staying up, so you effectively have to hold it open rather than rely on the hinge. Supposedly this happens on other models as well, though I had not experienced it.
  • No more MC shield carpet (instead says ďMasterCraftĒ going up the walkway), which I loved in the old X30.
  • I don't care for the new position of the transom remote. Itís more protected now, in the wall of the step area, but this makes it difficult to reach or view when floating in the water.
Could author a whole other thread on comparison to the 23 LSV, as it was a tough decision but suffice to say itís been a decision we donít regret for a second. I'll plug MCBOC for those in the Chicago area. A great dealer is a huge part of a pleasant ownership experience, and for me it was a similarly huge factor in choosing the MC over Bu.

Hope this helps you all or someone new looking to make a decision. Iíll follow with photos, and videos if I can ever remember when Iím out there.
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  #2  
Old 08-27-2016, 06:02 PM
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EarlyriserX9 EarlyriserX9 is offline
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Great write-up. Thanks for sharing!
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  #3  
Old 08-27-2016, 06:19 PM
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tkemperdc tkemperdc is offline
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Originally Posted by EarlyriserX9 View Post
Great write-up. Thanks for sharing!
+1

Great to see someone that's had time on the water.
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  #4  
Old 08-27-2016, 07:34 PM
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gt23 gt23 is offline
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Thanks for sharing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  #5  
Old 08-27-2016, 08:23 PM
DocPhil DocPhil is offline
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Great write up. I have a few questions

1)what is the total weight you are running with hard tank and bags? How much are the PNP bags?

2)are the gen2 tabs noticeably different?

3)You don't have to say what you paid but what was the MSRP of your boat?
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  #6  
Old 08-27-2016, 08:30 PM
XC500mod XC500mod is offline
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sweet review, thanks
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  #7  
Old 08-27-2016, 09:45 PM
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atthelake atthelake is offline
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Finally! Great review. One question, what took you so long?
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  #8  
Old 08-27-2016, 09:48 PM
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JBaker JBaker is offline
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Boat: 2017 XT23 5500
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocPhil View Post
Great write up. I have a few questions

1)what is the total weight you are running with hard tank and bags? How much are the PNP bags?

2)are the gen2 tabs noticeably different?

3)You don't have to say what you paid but what was the MSRP of your boat?
Hey Doc,

1) The XT23 has 2,600lbs of ballast when Gen2 equipped. This is comprised of a 540lbs hard center tank, and I am guessing ~580lbs rear hard tanks and ~450lbs. bags by the looks of them. I can't say the division between hard tanks/bags with certainty, but I do know that combined they are 1,030lbs. on each side. I also run 100lbs of lead hidden in the bow.

2) My recollection from the factory is that they are different. Don't know if I would have necessarily noticed without a close eye specifically looking out for them, and have never seen them sitting next to one another.

3) MSRP was $172k, with (I think) every notable option except GoPro and Saltwater Pkg. Pair of 8.8 cans w/ lights, no rear facing lights. I didn't pay that, unless you want to buy it from me...in which case I'll give it to you for the steep discount of $170k
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  #9  
Old 08-27-2016, 09:56 PM
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JBaker JBaker is offline
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Originally Posted by atthelake View Post
Finally! Great review. One question, what took you so long?
You mean to post, or buy an MC?
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  #10  
Old 08-27-2016, 10:00 PM
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Bubbacuse77 Bubbacuse77 is offline
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Pictures or it never happened
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