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Old     (cbarguy1)      Join Date: Dec 2012       05-09-2018, 1:21 PM Reply   
This was posted on teamtalk. The poster has owned 2 late model G23s and now has a 2018 Xstar. This is his opinion on how the two boats compare and provides insights for others who may be in the market.
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Alright...... we have finally had a nice stretch of weather, and I have about 15 hours on the Star. I'll do my best on the X vs G comparison. I'll probably miss some things......

Overall- I have to be honest..... I really loved my G23s, and even after a demo, I was having a hard time believing that coming back was going to be a great idea. Those doubts have all melted away, and every time I run the new XStar, I find a reason why I like it better.

Wakeboard wake- I have very limited time behind the new XStar (only 2 sets, and only 1 set behind my boat). I only ever run on full stock ballast. There is no doubt that the G23 is exceptional in this regard, and I'd put them extremely close, however, the XStar has some added benefits. The transition is super long and uniform on the XStar. It is easier for an old guy (like me) to hit. I'm guessing someone in their teens/twenties wouldn't care much, but it's easier for me. This also makes the landing a lot more forgiving. The XStar is also easier to keep clean, especially at lower speeds. I didn't ride at anything below 21.0. I just checked it out at low speed, and tested how slow I could go, and keep both sides clean. I got all the way down to 17.5. Wake size is about the same on stock ballast. I think the star is a little bigger, but not by much.

Surf wave- I easily like the XStar a lot better, but that is entirely because of personal wave shape preference. They both lay down an exceptional stock wave, but they are entirely different wave types. The 2016+ G23 has a very polarizing surf wave. Some absolutely love the shape, and some absolutely hate it. The G wave is extremely steep, and extremely "thick" (meaning very solid feel to the wave), and it is not forgiving. However, it has the best lip to air off of, of any boat I have been behind. Expert surf style riders can really exploit the benefits of that wave. On the flip side, the XStar has a very typical wave shape, and is a more common shape. It is more like the wave shape you'd find behind the rest of the MC lineup, or a Supra, or San 230, or Centurion. Obviously, all of those boats have slight differences between the base shapes of the waves, and I am just talking about the general overall wave type. If you have ridden a 2016+ G23, you know what I mean.

General utility- There isn't a single boat brand/model out there that beats the G series in this regard. There isn't anyone that makes a boat that has that much storage, and that level of ease of use. Nautique is king, when it comes to an elegant design, with very high quality and attention to detail, but also making it simple to use, and very basic. There is a downside to this type of design, and that is covered in the next category.

General Comfort- XStar definitely wins this. The squared off shape in the G, that adds space and storage, makes for a less comfortable feel. The Star does feel a little smaller inside, but the interior is sculpted, and curved, to fit humans more comfortably. The seat bases are bigger, the seat backs are reclined at more comfortable angles, the corners wrap around you, helm seat reclines, the Vinyl is much more comfortable and cool, etc., etc.. There are tons of little things that make the Star a more comfortable boat to ride around in. The downside, is that the Star has a little less storage, and a smaller feeling interior.

Handling- I can't stress how awesome the XStar is when it comes to handling in such a large and heavy boat. Yes, you can still tell that it is a big, heavy boat, but it excels compared to other boats this size. Low speed, heavily ballasted maneuvers, is were it really shines. I'm guessing most of this is due to the huge prop and rudder. The G23 is much slower to react to steering inputs when loaded, and it doesn't cut as nicely as the Star at higher speeds.

Ride- This is a category that the G really needs improvement. Even after the 2016 hull tweaks to reduce spray, it is the worst of any boat I have ever owned. Surfing in any conditions with wind above 10mph, will make for a wet crew inside the boat. Not a big deal in the middle of summer, but early and late season is no fun. The G also doesn't excel in rough water. Cruising on big chop is wet and rough. It is not as rough as the older inboards used to be, or as rough as the average Malibu, but it is considerably rougher ride than a XStar, or X23. I'd say it rides similar to a X30 on big chop.

When we surfed the Star on Saturday, I almost backed out because we had 15mph winds, with 25mph gusts...... I ended up going anyway, and we had a crew of 9 that all took a set. After 4 hours, and surfing in multiple directions, nobody got splashed. It was like surfing an X23 in the same conditions.

When cruising on chop, the Star really jumps up on top of the water and glides. It is similar to what an X23 does, but not quite as smooth.

Visibility while towing- The G23 wins this, but the XStar doesn't fail either. With the offset display, big windshield, and extremely "nose down" attitude of the G, you can just see a lot more in front of you. The XStar has a lower windshield and a display in front of you. It cuts down the amount of viewable area. The XStar rides with the nose higher when surfing and wakeboarding. That said, the sloped bow provides the perfect amount of added visibility to make the viewing portion perfect. I am not tall (5'8"), and I sit with the seat at the middle setting. I can see perfect while driving, and sitting down at that setting. No need to bolster, or adjust. I was a little worried about this, until I had some time behind the wheel. Visibility is no issue whatsoever.

The little things......

Folding/operating Bimini- XStar

Folding/operating tower- XStar (no matter if ZFT4 or ZFT7)

Board racks- XStar

Bimini sleeves- XStar

Heater- XStar (terrible in both boats, but at least MC uses a circ pump, which puts out considerably more heat)

Heated seats- XStar (G seat elements only get to "warmish". The MC elements get really warm!

Hardware quality- XStar (I mean..... it's hard to beat MC hardware)

Compartment finish- G23. Finished gel, and seadeck is definitely higher quality than carpet.

Flooring- G23. MC should offer full SeaDek. I installed it in my boat....

Style- subjective, but it's not hard to say that the XStar is the better looking boat, especially on the water. Somehow, MC has designed a boat that is considerably deeper/taller than a G23, but doesn't look nearly as tall, bulky, or barge looking, on the water.

Stereo- I'm split on this one. The Klipsch system might sound better/clearer/more balanced..... but the available Studio Elite system in the G has much more Bass, and very good sound quality. If I had a choice, I'd probably pick the system in the G. They have more speakers, and better sound distribution, and the 2 JL 12s really pound if you want them to.

Driveline- The new 2:1 in the MCs is awesome. MC finally has a gearbox with a butter smooth engagement like the newer nautiques. They are also finally quiet in reverse. This was something that always bothered me about my past MCs.... but I'm loving this new gearbox.

As for the engine portion of the driveline, I am liking the MC better, only because of the sound balance. Inside the boat while towing, the MC is MUCH quieter..... but behind the boat, it is louder because of the lack of surf pipe. If I spent more time behind the boat, than I do inside it, I'd have the opposite opinion. I was extremely surprised that at 3300 rpm while surfing, everyone was able to just talk to each other inside the boat. It's amazing how much that reduces the drivers stress level. It is due to a combination of two things. 1) the tower speakers are further back, and don't project down inside the boat AT ALL. The G tower speakers are far enough forward to pollute the cockpit a bit with stray sound. Neither boat is nearly as bad as a Malibu, or other boat with a forward swept tower. I got a buddy with a 23LSV, and I absolutely can't stand being blasted with the tower speakers inside the boat. 2) the sound deadening material that MC adds makes a huge difference. Engine noise is probably 50% less than the G.

I'm sure there is stuff I am missing. Overall, I can't really fault a G23 in any way. They are an absolutely awesome boat. However, MC really outshines it in almost every category in the new Star. I am incredibly surprised, and can't really express how much I didn't believe this would be the case. I thought I'd like it well enough, and maybe a little better than the G...... but every time I run the boat, I notice another little detail that makes me love it that much more.

Probably the biggest thing, is just the general ride quality, and general operation. The Gs are perfect in all the wake performance and utility category's, but lack in ride, handling, the little things, and ride comfort. MC has finally achieved that incredible overall wake performance of the G, but also includes all of the great aspects for a boat that also cruises well, handles well, rides well, is easy to use, and still has tons of storage.....
Old     (mlzelenik)      Join Date: Apr 2016       05-10-2018, 6:38 AM Reply   
I crawled around in an Xstar 50th anniversary yesterday. I think if I could pick any boat, at the moment, that would be my choice. Granted that was going off looks and fit and finish because I've never been behind one, but wow it was gorgeous.

It was next to an XT23 and it looked like you could have double stacked two XT23's inside it
Old     (TimesNewRoman)      Join Date: Feb 2018       05-10-2018, 6:45 AM Reply   
very educational
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       05-10-2018, 8:49 AM Reply   
I know this came from a teamtalk member (owner goggles, though somewhat unbiased) but sounds like MC is back.
Old     (simplej)      Join Date: Sep 2011       05-10-2018, 10:32 AM Reply   
I would hope those things are better- they have had plenty of time since G release to improve on those areas.

How long until we start getting banned because our wakes are too big, though.


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