Malibu TXI vs Prostar 197

moskimoski Posts: 26 Baller
I currently have a 1997 Prostar 205 with a Corvette LT1 engine. I have had it for a couple of years and its been great. i put about 70-80 hrs on it a summer (my dad's friend has a Mastercraft Maristar vdrive w/ same Corvette LT1 engine, no issues, and has over 3,200 hours on it).
Getting the itch and looking around. Im tossing around Malibu TXI (years 2012 - 2016) OR Prostar 197 (years 2008 - 2013).

Leaving money out of the equation for now. I have 2 buyers willing to purchase my boat whenever i am ready, so thats nice to have. I am just looking for the next boat that will carry me to the grave, lol. given that my dad's friend's boat has over 3,200 hrs on it. he bought it new in 1996 when he was in early 40's and he is now in mid 60's age... no engine issues...

I personally do not care for the new Prostar that came out in 2014 nor the new 2017 Malibu Response TXI. Neither have storage trunks, no rear sunpad for wife to lay out on, not alot of storage on those boats at all. TRYING to keep all parties involved happy. lol... im old school and I like the looks of an inboard with no tower, i will be doing the fly high and use that when i need it. I also use a barefoot boom.

Wife and I are in are late 30s. two kiddos (10 & 8). im sking 30mph at 15 & 22 off. looking to shorten that rope and get past 22 off through the ski course as well as bump up speed to 32 mph. I also enjoy barefooting off the short rope off the boom. Slalom skiing in the open water and ski course, and barefooting are MY favorites. we will see if i ever barefoot long line, but for now its off the short rope & boom.
My wife slaloms open water, just recreational. both of my kids enjoy slaloming, barefooting on the EZ Footer handle, kneeboard, and tube. my kids enjoy watching me go thru ski course so i have pulled them through it and they enjoy just sking by the balls now. I see them getting hooked on the ski course like myself. Im looking to get a trick ski and wakeboard just to play on and same goes for the kids too.... I have always wanted to play on a trick ski. My kids are in gymnastics, be fun to watch them do flips and stuff on a trick ski when they get older or a wakeboard.... I like that the Malibu Response TXI has the wedge....

Looking for pure honest opinions on the slalom wake and overall boat for the information I have provided above between 2012- 2016 Malibu Response TXI and 2008-2013 MC Prostar 197.

I have heard the slalom wake is difficult for kids on the 197 and better on the newer TXIs, please advise me on this too...

I greatly appreciate it.



  • jjackkrashjjackkrash Posts: 376 Solid Baller
    edited June 14
    I'll let others comment on the specific boats you are looking at, but this thread has some good info on differences between '14 and '15 model year TXI.
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,256 Mega Baller
    One of my ski buddies has an 08 197. Its a really well built solid boat. He likes to wake board and puts fatsacs in and it makes a huge wake. But the TXI has a much better slalom wake and I like the way it drives in the coarse too. If you have ski and board holders on a tower it sure helps keep the boat organized. I have a Response LX I like the truck too, use it a lot.
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 1,745 Mega Baller
    You will not like the wake of the 197 at 30 mph and 22 off for slalom.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 2,442 Mega Baller
    edited June 13
    The Malibu has a really nice low speed wake for teaching the kids. Also has the wedge for creating a boarding wake without fat sacks. Skied behind one 2011 or 2012 197 promo a dozen times or so and didn't care for the 30mph wake at 15 off.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • moskimoski Posts: 26 Baller
    Thank you jjaxkkrasy for the TXI link. That was helpful. And thanks gregy & mlskier for replies. My gut was directing me to a 2015-2016 txi and for it to have a PCM engine since they moved it up 3"-4".

    What would be the positives and negatives to have the PCM 6 liter, 409 versus the 5.7, 350??? Slalom wake equal with both engines at my 30-32mph??

    PCM engine and indmar engines equal?
    Am I correct in that indmar is chevy engine?
    Is PCM a Ford engine or Chevy too???
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 2,442 Mega Baller
    edited June 13
    Both the Crusader and Indmar are Chevy engines. The TXI has a crusader engine, not PCM. May just be semantics since they have the same parent company.
    crusaderengines malibu
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • moskimoski Posts: 26 Baller
    Thanks oldjeep. Crusader engine. I like how the oil filter is right at the top to change. Makes it easy versus being under the engine a pain to change like my mine.

    Crusader engine is chevy too??

    What would be the positives and negatives to have the Crusader 6 liter, 409 versus the 5.7, 350??? Slalom wake equal with both engines at my 30-32mph??
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 2,442 Mega Baller
    Yes - crusader is also Chevy. 6.0L shouldn't have any negatives other than cost. If you are a barefooter then more power is definitely better. @OB1 should be able to comment on the wake question as he has posted a bunch of pictures of a 6.0 TXI he has
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • bigskieridahobigskieridaho Posts: 489 Solid Baller
    @moski I looked at both of those boats as well when I was looking to get one. I heard the same thing about the 197 for the wake. I ended up with a 2009 RLXi. I have skied both the TXi and LXi and I personally like the LXi better at 34. I have heard the wake at lower speeds on the TXi are great, but my wife loves our wake at even 26-28mph. Wakes are soft for sure. Also, great wake once you put the wedge down and some bags. 22 off wake does have a bump, not terrible though.
  • moskimoski Posts: 26 Baller
    Thank u bigskieridaho. Very helpful.
  • SethroSethro Posts: 161 Baller
    Barefooting on the boom from that model year TXI isn't the greatest. Lots of spray.
  • LakeOneSkierLakeOneSkier Posts: 211 Baller
    edited June 13
    I purchased a '16 Response TXi (5.7 ltr/350hp) last month and finally got a chance to do some 'footing last week. Off the boom with a 5' handle, tumbled up, no spray issues to complain of. Have not yet tried long line so can't speak to the wake for that.

    As for slalom at slower speeds my son says the wakes at 28mph are much better than our '01 Response LX.
    Baller Index: -31.67
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 4,721 Mega Baller
    The wakes on the TXI are going to be much better for slalom than the 197. A friend had a LXI and replaced it with a newer 197 and preferred the wakes on the LXI and the wakes on the TXI are better.

    Trick wake is better on 197.
    Mark Shaffer
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 2,442 Mega Baller
    I assume you are not allowed to drop the wedge for trick skiing?
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • OB1OB1 Posts: 4,283 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I open at 28' so no comment on 22' wakes in my 6L TXi.

    I've heard comments from skiers saying it's more of s bump at 22' 34mph than a 200.

    I will say my 2012 TXi out accelerates my 2008 196 with a 6L and locks in speed just a hair quicker on my short setup lake. I find that CRAZY as the TXi is s much bigger boat.
  • DWDW Posts: 1,480 Crazy Baller
    @moski : IMO the TXi wakes are smaller and softer compared to a 197, I have been able to ski both hulls. The TXi could be considered a next gen boat to the 197 as it's comparable is the LXi. The focus of the TXi was to soften and lower the slow speed / longer line slalom wake, there are threads on this site discussing that including from the Galactic Leader himself.

    Generally speaking, the Malibu hull is considered one of the better barefoot hulls, basically the inboard choice behind a Sangar. The Malibu hull is less draggy and with same power level will allow boat to reach a higher (and maybe needed) top speed. With that, the barefoot wake of the Gen 1 LXi is the best of the post 2003 'Bu lineup. The 197 does suffer from some side spray off the boom and lone line wakes are not the greatest. As for long line footing, you need to explore it, it elevates the adrenaline buzz another level and opens up more things to try. As a note, your driver is a major key to your success in getting up off the long line. The fly high pylon will be your friend when going long line. Proper barefoot rope is also essential, stretchy slalom rope is not ideal.

    For footing, a 6.0 would be a better option, you want the grunt although a 5.7 can do the job but I would test both for top speed, you don't really want to be WOT at your footing speed. The 197 I have been behind with a 5.7 is pretty marginal on power reserve. Your weight and lake altitude may be the determining factor on which engine is needed. Of course more power can make the boat less forgiving in the slalom course but prop selection can have as much effect. Engine weight can also affect the wake, lighter being better for the slalom wake. For the years you are considering, pretty much every tourney boat is GM powered, no matter which marinizer (Indmar, PCM, Crusader).

    Have fun shopping!
  • mlangemlange Posts: 140 Baller
    I just moved last week from a '12 RTXi w/ the 6L Indmar to a '16 RTXi w/ the 6L PCM.

    Barefooting w/ both 6L's is money. I would definitely add a boom extension. At 38-40 mph I was right at the edge of the chine spray w/out an extension. Adding one cleaned that up. I'm getting 46mph on the GPS w/ the 6L PCM and it rips you out of the hole deep water. Love the 6L in that boat.

    I usually ski at 36/32-off and regularly ski mine, a 2015 Prostar, 2011 MC X15 and a '98 196. I'd rate them as follows: 196, TXi, Prostar, X15. Obviously is isn't really fair to compare the X15 to the others. We do not have a 197 in the mix. One of the women that skis w/ us at 32/15-off would rank them the same.

    Hard to go wrong with either of the boats you're considering. I'd just drive and ski them both and go with what you like most.
  • JoepruncJoeprunc Posts: 217 Baller
    Let the wife ski both and let her decide.

    I'm a Malibu guy, but the Mastercraft 197s are one of the best looking boats on the water, period. With that said and seeing that you have two growing boys I think the TXI will be more family versatile (better slow speed ski wake, wedge for wakeboarding, higher transom for cruising)
  • moskimoski Posts: 26 Baller
    damn, thank you for ALL the great info..... much appreciate it. this is some coin to spend no matter what year the boat is. so i appreciate it. I've always been a MC Prostar 197 lover, beautiful boat so i agree with @Joeprunc and i had my blinders on and only thought of Mastercraft. At the time could not afford the MC 197 and purchased the MC Prostar 205. Couple of years ago, my dad's buddy that has the Malibu Response LX and Wakesetter, i had driven his Malibu Response LX and it feels like a racecar when driving it. build quality is great....
    Since then i have become neutral and really like all the big 3: MC, Malibu, & SN. My dad's buddy who has the response LX for morning and evening and Wakesetter for during the day said the SN 200 OB is awesome, he felt best slalom wake but felt thats all its good for (he barefoots long line and said it sucks for that). The SN 200 ob for me seems to have no storage and things im looking for.

    I live in Missouri and I go a lake that is a large lake with other boats, but its nice and quite with alot of coves to hide out in and play in with no other boats around.

    im a 5'8" guy that is 150 lbs. slim and fit. my corvette LT1 has plenty of grunt and has enough power in reserve. thank you @mlange and @DW for info and my gut is telling me a R TXi w/ either 5.7 or 6L ... Im curions if any big slalom wake change between the 5.7L or 6L at different line lenghts & speeds????? im probably putting too much thought into this.. lol

    using the WEDGE---- can that be used for trick skiing? or better question WHAT can the wedge be used for (surfing, wakeboard, trick skiing, tubing)???????

    Thank you,

  • mlangemlange Posts: 140 Baller
    Can't image there'd be a noticeable difference in the wake on an RTXi w/ the 5.7 vs. 6L. You're right. You're over thinking it. :)
  • moskimoski Posts: 26 Baller
    lol. thanks mlange.

    using the WEDGE---- can that be used for trick skiing? or better question WHAT can the wedge be used for???
    trick skiing, wakeboard, surfing??

    i assume not tubing due to thats usually faster speeds...
  • bigskieridahobigskieridaho Posts: 489 Solid Baller
    @moski A wedge can be used for whatever you want. Tricking to wakeboarding, to surfing.
  • GlockGlock Posts: 188 Baller
    @moski, I had a 2004 197 and now have a 2012 txi. When I was looking for a new boat, the wife had to have an open bow and a padded trunk to lay out on. So that took the ski nautique 196 and 200 out of the equation (my two favorites). In my opinion, the 197 was great, but the txi is even better. I'm a 34mph 22-28 off skier, and didn't have any complaints regarding the wakes on the 197, but the txi wakes are noticeably better. I do love the lines on the 197 though, one of the sexiest boats in my opinion.
  • GarGar Posts: 156 Baller
    15 or 16 TXI get the 6.0 if you can it's a beast.
  • Dacon62Dacon62 Posts: 394 Solid Baller
    The bow will stay drier in the TXi. Also it's almost a foot longer so more (bow) room.
  • DWDW Posts: 1,480 Crazy Baller
    @moski : As far as engine choice v wakes, three criteria will apply: weight, prop and center of gravity location (based on engine actually being moved in the TXi). For best wake performance, pick the lightest engine/trans combination (and I believe w/o checking the two are close), the best prop (probably an Acme 515) and if you have the option, pick the boat with the engine farther forward. If you go to the GM Marine website, you can get a lot of specification details (engine weights as an example & note the 6L has aluminum cylinder heads) and combine that with the marinizer data you should have lots of info. In many cases, particularly with a ZO speed control, the actual pull is more dictated by the speed control calibration rather than the engine configuration.

    You will like the TXi slalom wake better than the LX, but the LX is a better footing wake, actually the LX is pretty much second to a Sangar for long line footing wake. I agree that the 197 is one of the better looking slalom machines & just my opinion, all the newer ones miss the mark.
  • bgturfbgturf Posts: 21 Water Ski Industry Professional
    The 2012 to 2016 TXI are really easy boats to ski behind, The changes in the hull really made a difference to soften and reduce the wake size were some enhancements to make the boat more friendly for skiing of all abilities and speeds. There were several skiers with different abilities the work with the Malibu engineers to come up with the desired changes. Malibu listens to their customers.
    I have stuck with the 5.7 engines, we are at low elevation and have had great success with them. The wedge is great for kids wakeboarding and knee boarding.
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 2,921 MM Trick Skier / Eccentric Person
    @Mark_Matis AWSA does not allow the wedge - at least I have never used one or seen one used in any tournament. Too bad.

    The MC 197 is arguably the best trick boat ever. Almost every high level tricker chose that boat for good reason. The wakes are steep and crisp. Add a fatsack and it's a decent wakeboard wake. Slalom is tough at 30/15 but I've taught so many college kids through this wake that it's not a real roadblock - it's better than any wake I learned on. From 28 off and deeper, it's as good as any boat - maybe better. My boat pulled skiers at the Pro-am within a couple buoys of the world record. It truly was a world class wake. I wish they would field that boat again.

    I like the Indmar engine better than the Ilmor but it's a minor difference.

    Do make sure you get a ZO boat whichever you choose. They are all good.

Sign In or Register to comment.

Not sure how to deal with a long link?