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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    676

    Default Impressions (long) of XLV: options, versus LSV, overall

    Howdy folks. Here are my rather verbose notes on my purchase and first few hours' experience with my 2005 Moomba Mobius XLV. This is in response to some questions from other prospective buyers about various options, and LSV vs XLV. This may be of interest to Moomba management as well. I got most of the options, so I can talk with some limited experience about each of them. It would have been handy if the Moomba Web site had pictures and explanations of the options. Some of them are non-obvious; I had to quiz my dealer for two hours before I knew all that I needed.

    -----------------------------------------------

    My background: I live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. I started boating in 1997 with a 1991 Invader bowrider, a moderately deep-V 18' runabout. It had a 4.3L V6 engine and OMC Cobra I/O drive. We got tons of use out of it. My friends and I started with tubing and some skiing, then started some very amature wakeboarding and kneeboarding. For the last several years, it has been about 50% tubing, 25% wakeboarding and 25% kneeboarding. Tubing is really our forte -- I have been knocked high out of the water many times -- center of gravity about 9 ft above water, with me upside down and relying on witnesses to relay what they saw. Others have come close several. Dammit, but none of the really good vertical tubing wipe-outs have been caught on camera! Wakeboarding experience is still just piddling around. I have never successfully crossed the wake, though I came close. The runabout just couldn't muster enough wake for a beginner, and wasn't really upgradeable. It still runs like new, and is just now in the hands of my father.

    I test-drove a Mobius LSV (in a snowstorm last December) before deciding to go with the XLV. This was mainly for the hull (deeper V, bigger wake with ramp), but the extra room and interior layout were also attractive. I predicted that I would want a full-size wakeboarding boat within 2-3 years, so I might as well save the cost of the extra transaction and start enjoying the full flavour right away.

    -------------------------------------------------

    Here are my impressions of LSV vs. XLV.

    The main differences are the hull and some parts of the interior layout. Mechanicals and controls are the same, or close enough. So are the many options. Their prices aren't even that different -- easily explained by the extra fibreglas alone.

    The LSV is a bit shallow of a boat for its size and purpose. I can see it getting the job done in fairly calm water with a 3-bag weighting system. The XLV has appropriate depth and shape for its size and purpose. You might have expected me to give a glowing opinion of the XLV's handling in rough water here, but I honestly think that it's simply adequate. The XLV is about the same in moderate chop as my 18' runabout -- no better. It is better with larger waves, but not by a wide margin. I guess that the shape and extra weight is balanced out by the larger surface area of waves to absorb. I can see that it must cut through waves like a dream to those who are used to ski boats.

    It is hard to make the XLV NOT make a big wake in the range of 12-28 MPH, even unweighted. Thus, it is harder show mercy to other users of the water when you are doing less wake-hungry towing activities, as kneeboarding or a hydrofoil chair. The smaller LSV is more flexible here.

    The LSV's reversible stadium seat doesn't have a backrest. This seems downright silly. If there isn't enough other seating to sacrifice, a backrest could still be a separate, storable item, or a detachable part of the rear bench backrest.

    For interior seating space (excluding the bow), figure on about seven people in the LSV, 9 or 10 in the XLV in a pinch.

    The LSV's center ski locker is pretty much filled by the fat sac therein. I prefer the extra storage under the XLV's double-up seating and playpen. The LSV's seating is also quite low, so the under-seat storage is shallow. However, both models' storage under the passenger-side dash and beside the engine are generous.

    These are both very good boats. However, I think that the LSV should be made into a smaller version of the XLV, with much the same interior and a deeper hull. It wouldn't lose much of the aforementioned flexibility, and would retain attraction to those who aren't dedicated to more serious wakeboarding with the XLV.

    -------------------------------------------------

    Here are my impressions of the XLV specifically, other than the options, which are discussed separately.

    It's a great boat so far. I haven't quite got it through the break-in period, but that'll happen soon. People keep telling me that I don't show the level of enthusiasm that would be expected. I reply that I'll experience bliss (possibly just before a torn ACL) when I finally get to ride a wakeboard behind it. So there! For the moment, it's just a big consumer product that I have barely used yet. I drove it for several hours at the dealer's lake a couple of weeks ago, and it is being delivered here this week.

    The handling is very good -- it does exactly what I expect at speed. I am still learning to dock an inboard. In reverse, your choices are "turn right hard" and "turn right not quite so hard".

    After having a couple of dealers brag about how quiet Moomba's are compared to the competition, I find that the engine isn't as quiet as I would like at low-to-moderate speed. It is quieter than I expected at high speed -- until that last, loud 400 RPM at the top end. The inboard drive system makes quite a pronounced whirring sound. Mine sounds the same as the LSV that I test-drove last year, so it's not a manufacturing defect. I hope that it quiets down a bit after break-in. My OMC Cobra I/O was virtually silent.

    Storage space is huge. If people ask me what kind of things we bring to ride, I can answer: "Wakeboards, kneeboard, SkySki, 4 tubes -- but no horse -- maybe a pony next year." Given the larger seating capacity (not that I'll fill it very often), I'll need that space for the toys, plus PFD's and the luggage that people insist on bringing. It will be a joy to not be forever working around our various items that had no storage space in my runabout.

    The adjacent storage compartments are connected (open to each other) at floor level. This is kind of good in that you can store some long items. However, I think that I need a closet organiser or something to keep things where they were put: you can sometimes find items more than six feet from where you put them, and in a different compartment.

    The curved windshield glass has a very mottled appearance when viewed through sunlasses. This applies to both sections of curved glass. It's the same brand of glass as on my old runabout, but visibility is notably poorer. I think that I'll try out those new H2Optix glasses that fishermen seem to love.

    Man, I hope that fuel consumption gets better after break-in. Really.

    The fuel guage is terrible. I am going to spell that out again repeatedly in case Moomba managers are skimming this:
    THE FUEL GUAGE IS TERRIBLE!!!
    THE FUEL GUAGE IS TERRIBLE!!!
    THE FUEL GUAGE IS TERRIBLE!!!
    THE FUEL GUAGE IS TERRIBLE!!!
    THE FUEL GUAGE IS TERRIBLE!!!

    Other than a breakdown upstream of some deadly rapids, I foresee that this one item stands out as that which will AVOIDABLY REDUCE MY ENJOYMENT OF THE BOAT over its lifetime.

    At least it errs on the side of caution: It reads full correctly, and goes down fairly continuously, but the tank is still 1/3 full when the guage reads empty. Yes, I am taking boat movement and sloshing into account. I think that the engine hour meter will be a more useful measurement device for fuel remaining than the fuel guage will.

    The sliding driver's seat and tilt steering are handy. I fidgeted in my seat for a couple of hours before thinking of them. Then all was well. The bolster is kind of cool too, but could be thicker to make a bigger difference.

    I REALLY like the abundance of seating that is rear-facing, or at least sideways. In fact, I largely ignored the Moomba brand until I noticed that Tige had stadium seating, and re-examined all brands for this feature. This is even better than the back-to-back jumpseats that have gone out of fashion, but were the most popular seats in my runabout. The observer's seatback is also the door to the huge under-dash compartment.

    I think that the observer's seatback should flip up instead of to the side. I would make it easier to get at the storage under the observer's seat. This is difficult right now, as the cushion is kind of trapped.

    The double-up seating (flip-up back-to-back seats around the centre windshield) is a good idea, though the rear-facing one is only appropriate for short people; it is easy for your head to contact the centre windshield glass when in this seat. The forward-facing one is flush with the other seating in the bow, completing the "playpen". I figure that it's a good place for me to relax with a woman on each arm, while someone else drives.

    The storage under the double-up seating is just as valuable as the seating. In fact, I think that the LSV should have this feature, even if there isn't room for the flip-up seatbacks.

    I haven't had the tower in action yet, so I'll reserve further comment -- finally!!

    That's it for the XLV itself. Overall, I am pretty happy with it so far. If only for that fuel guage...

    ----------------------------------------------

    Here are my comments on the options.

    When it comes to buying a vehicle, I generally believe in getting any option that might be even a moderate challenge to have added later. I ordered my XLV with just about all the power and safety options. I didn't get all the stereo options, as I rarely use the one available on my runabout, and other reasons given below.

    I am going down the Moomba.com MSRP generator to find the full list of options, so that determines the order.

    3-color Spray Pattern: I didn't get this.

    48-quart Cooler w/Upholstered Lid: I got this, as I expected it to fill the void left by using one of the bench seats as a seatback for the reverse stadium seating. However, it is several inches higher than the surrounding seating, and thus is a bit of an oddball item. I am not sure what to think of it yet. It should be designed to integrate with the seating.

    Heater: I got it. The vents are two flexible hoses that can be pulled about 2-2.5 feet from where they emerge in front of the driver. These just barely reach the observer seat. They should be a bit longer. On a positive note, they blow out a ton of heat. This option was worth it.

    CE International Package: my dealer said that this option was a lighting package that only pertained to European customers. I didn't get this option.

    Tonneau Cover: I got it. This is the bow cover. You can use it alone to cut wind when driving (it doesn't flutter around), or with a support post to deflect rain. I believe that you need it under the full cover for rain deflection at the bow. This is definitely a worthwhile option.

    Logo Cover: I didn't get it (see Rad-A-Cage Cover).

    Bimini Top: I didn't get it (see Rad-A-Cage Bimini Top).

    Cockpit Cover: I didn't get it. I got the full Rad-A-Cage cover instead.

    Rad-A-Cage Bimini Top: I got it. As you might guess, this gives an overhead cover that integrates with the tower. It is a bit short -- maybe four feet long. It only offers limited shade, but it is the only factory choice in this regard. I consider it to be a worthwhile option.

    Rad-A-Cage Cover: I got it. This appears to be a very good cover. I saw an Attwood label on it, if that gives you some expectation of quality. It covers the entire boat, except for the tower. It has perfect openings along the edge to get around the tower support posts. It fastens with drawstrings in 3 or 4 places (I think -- it's not here to check). The edge is a has velcro flaps at strategic places to fold inward and keep fabric between the hull and drawstring. The main drawstring tie is at the stern, so you can exit and re-enter at the swim platform (very handy if you use the Anchor Buddy trick to anchor a few feet from shore). The shape of the cover is a very good match to the boat. It comes with a couple of support poles to shape it for rain deflection. This was a worthwhile option.

    Docking Lights: I got them, mainly to save struggling at the dock for the occasional time that we make it back late enough to matter. I do not yet have an opinion of this option.

    Jump Seat: I did not get this option. Between the double-up seating and the stadium seating, this option is superfluous in the XLV.

    Pop-up Cleats: I got them. I expect that they will be worthwhile in terms of having a flush surface, at least at the rear. Regardless of pop-up-edness, the forward cleats are hard to reach, due to the windshield and tower. A boat of this size should have 6 or 8 cleats, but Moombas do not have an option for more. I asked my dealer, and he wasn't confident about drilling into unknown parts of the boat for this.

    Teak Platform: I got it. It was a last-minute decision, based solely on one buddy's comment that the fibreglass/rubber platforms in the showroom looked a bit cheap. I am glad that I took this option, given how much trouble the rubber seems to be for some people in the Moomba forums.

    40 oz Platinum Elite Carpet: I initially wanted this option, mostly because a pattern hides dirt better than a solid. However, one dealer remarked that this thickens the carpet, making it retain more water, and the extra nap actually shows wear faster. I didn't get this option.

    Gravity Games Package: This package consists of: approx 2000 lbs. of ballast, Gravity Games graphics, and stainless steel rubrail. One dealer said that this wasn't legal to sell here in Canada (fat sacs too close to capacity), but that the equivalent ballast could be added later. I don't need the extra ballast or graphics anyway. The only thing of merit here for me would have been the steel rubrail. It is not a separate option, unfortunately. Perhaps I should have asked for it anyway. Oops.

    Color Options -- Accent: I got no colour options.

    Color Options -- Base Coat: White here. I haven't seen the Platinum Grey other than on the Web site, and I don't see what makes it worthwhile to offer.

    Water Strainer: I got it. Actually, my dealer puts this on all boats that he sells. It is about the size of an oil filter. It is a cylindrical steel grill in-line in the main water hose in the drive compartment. The filter case is clear plastic, so you can see its condition at a glance. I'll blindly assume that this is a worthwhile option, as it can prevent anything solid enough to harm your impeller, but small enough to get in the water intake, from getting though. This might happen in a shallow launch, or if you dare to beach your boat.

    CNC Wakeboard Prop Upgrade: I didn't get this option, on the recommendation of my dealer. He said that it is a low-pitch prop and, at normal altitudes, you could over-rev your engine. It is really only appropriate for the few boats that are operated at high altitudes, and shouldn't really be on the option page.

    Flush Kit: I got this. It allows you (or your mechanic) to hook up a water hose directly to the cooling system. I assume that this would also help you quickly flush salt water, if you run it there without the Fresh Water Cooling option. The part is an in-line, spring-loaded one-way valve, just ahead of the water strainer in the drive compartment. Its case is clear plastic, so you can see the valve position. It is also much easier to get at than the water shut-off valve. I consider this a very worthwhile option.

    Fresh Water Cooling: I didn't get this option. I am nowhere near salt water.

    325 HP MPI: Move along...

    340 HP MPI: I got this option, mainly for "doubt removal" for difficult manouvres when weighted or with passengers. I am not a speed freak, so it's not like I worry about whether I need the extra top speed. I would have considered the 425 HP for low-end torque if it was available (Skier's Choice makes it only available for Supra, apparently).

    Tower Patent Royalty: I was obliged to get it. Um, why is this an option? It's just part of the cost of doing business.

    Depth Finder: I got this option. It is a basic digital depth finder, with low and high alarms. It drives me crazy! It is mounted low on the right, near the driver's elbow. Because of the angle (you look down at a guage that is facing straight out), the bezel cuts off the view of the tops of the numbers. A '7' looks like a '1', which leads to repeated panic attacks. The decimal point is floating and tiny, so a glance isn't enough to see the difference between "130" and "13.0". This guage might be much better if it were simply mounted with an upward tilt, but I think that a depth finder's guage should be up on the dash, as easy to read as the speedometer. That said, I think that a simple digital depth finder is most useful for telling you that you just hit something. I think that I shall get a 3rd-party graphical depth finder. I find limited value in this option. Moomba would do well to offer a better finder.

    Tower Mirror: Comparing it to the base mirror (mounted on the top of the windshield frame), this option is much better for positioning. However, it does shake a fair bit. A small brace from the windshield frame, or in a triangle back to the tower, would help immensely. It is mounted below the tower hinge, so this would not be a factor. I consider this a worthwhile option, but it could be better.

    Wakeboard racks (set of 2): I got this option. It is worthwhile. While there is lots of storage space, boards are big enough to block access to the various other crap that you'll inevitably store there. Keep your boards out of the way on the racks, until you leave the boat and want them out of sight.

    Gravity III Ballast 3-bag System (1 Front, 2 Rear): I got this option, and consider it worthwhile. I had only the front one filled for a while; it is well forward on a long boat, and was enough to make the bow dive a fair bit when decelerating with just me in it. The single bag makes the boat unbalanced -- get the 3-bag system. I would say that the 3-bag system is plenty of ballast in this big boat for all but the most demanding wakeboarding kook with not enough friends to weight it down.

    Hydraulic wakeplate: Why is this even optional??? It's great. Bow down == wake with ramp; bow up == wake is a wall. The guage has pictures of the boat with inclination, so it's a snap to use.

    PerfectPass -- Wakeboard Pro: I got this option. I barely tried it out, but it works fine. It compensates well for speed loss in a turn. The water temperature reading was an unexpected bonus. This is a worthwhile option.

    PerfectPass -- Digital Pro: I did not get this option.

    Audio Remote -- Transom Location: I got this option. My boat comes with 4 (four) sets of stereo controls: on the stereo face (removeable face, inside the dashboard compartment), handheld remote, driver's dash remote and transom remote. The driver's remote and transom remote are identical. They have 8 or 10 buttons for the most needed controls. I consider the transom remote to be an obliquely worthwhile option.

    10" subwoofer: I did not get this option.

    Amplifier, 2 channel: I did not get this option.

    AM/FM CD (Sirius ready): See the MP3 option below.

    Sirius Satellite Radio System: I did not get this option. I can confirm that the stereo's connection to Sirius appears to be standard female RCA jacks, so you presumeably you could hook up anything else. I read elsewhere that adapters can be used to plug in iPods, etc.

    10 Disc CD Changer: I did not get this option.

    AM/FM MP3 CD w/Remote (Sirius Ready): I got this option. It is a Kenwood unit that also plays WMA format, if you like that sort of thing. I rarely used the stereo on my previous boat. The only reason for getting it here was so guests could have some music (including their own) while we take a break. This also justified the transom remote (breaks include swimming). That, plus it means that, should I ever have to sell, the more difficult wiring is done.

    Tower Speaker: I did not get this option. I am going to be going on lakes where wakeboarding boats, and their big wakes, are largely unknown. Announcing my presence with tower speakers and a subwoofer would only allow the peace-loving cottagers time to load their weapons before I go by.

    Tower Speaker Bar: I did not get this option.

    No Trailer Credit: I did not get this option (i.e. I got the standard tandem trailer).

    Guide Pole covers: I got this option. My dealer didn't seem to think much of them, but I didn't think much of the standard plastic rollers. It remains to be seen which is better.

    LED lighting: I did not get this option.

    Swingaway Tongue: I got this option in case it is needed. I don't lack space currently, so I can only speculate that it will be critically important sometime later. My previous boat dealer relayed a story about how, when they first got swingaway tongues in their showroom, a customer shows up and burst out laughing -- he had just finished helping a friend cut a hole in his garage door to accommodate a poorly-planned exercise in winter storage.

    Spare Tire with Bracket: I got this option. I never had a bracket for the spare on my previous boat's trailer; what a pain. This must be a worthwhile option.

    2nd Axle Disc Brakes: I initially ordered this option, and then cancelled. It occurred to me that they are not anti-lock brakes, and I want one set of tires to keep tracking in case the brakes lock up. This could easily happen if I get caught in rain, or even just on a bend on an uneven gravel cottage road. I wondered if this was the right choice, as some areas (not here) require that all axles have brakes. Then just today I saw how tractor-trailers with "runaway" security brakes (that police can activate in motion by nudging the rear bumpers) only work on a single axle of the trailers' rear tires for the same reason.

    Paint Over Galvanized: I got this option. It is odd that it is even an option. Anything to cut down the base price, I suppose.

    Stainless Fenders - tandem axle: I did not get this option.

    Galvanized frame: I got this option. Same opinion as "Paint Over Galvanized".

    Alum Wheels Tandem: I did not get this option.

    ----------------------------------------------------

    Ian
    2005 XLV, upgraded ballast, Comptech swivel wakeboard and hydrofoil racks, Monster cargo bimini

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Cinci-Dayton
    Posts
    981

    Default Replying to Topic 'Impressions (long) of XLV: options, versu

    You should write for a boat Magazine. I own an LSV – 10 hours and do not have time to reply to everything but I can hit a few points.

    LSV – sports car
    LXV – Suburban

    Looking at the features in that context explains a lot.

    The LSV is not low compared to my fishing boat experience and I love the way the boat feels when just out yanking and banking.

    Fuel gauge is a little conservative and I am already calculating with hours. Gas on my lake is $1.98 so I really do not mind filling up on the water. The kids like the treat stop.

    I do not need more cleats, I use the tower mounts for the extra bumpers. you can also tie off with the front eye.

    Yep, depth gauge location is marginal. That should be integrated with Perfect pass and part of the PP display options.

    Yep, water strainer and wake plate are mandatory.

    Loved the tower speaker comment – I know the feeling.

    I’m headed out with my cub scout den this weekend. I expect to double my hours.


    It is my opinion that I do not really know 10% of what PP, and the boat can really do.

    SD2
    Naked red and white 2005 Moomba LSV
    Teaching my kids to Ride, Shoot Strait and Tell the Truth

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Cinci-Dayton
    Posts
    981

    Default Replying to Topic 'Impressions (long) of XLV: options, versu

    The flip up front seat access is an excellent idea. I did not follow the back to back seating ideas.


    It may be harder to do and still hide the hindge from view.

    SD2
    Naked red and white 2005 Moomba LSV
    Teaching my kids to Ride, Shoot Strait and Tell the Truth

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Bismarck, NorthDakota
    Posts
    576

    Default Replying to Topic 'Impressions (long) of XLV: options, versu

    I couldn't read it all, after looking at a reply I noticed the depth finder issue.


    I have a 2004 LSV I found it to be a 30 to 45 min job to move the depth finder to the voltmeter spot on the dash. The depth finder wires were long enough to reach without extending them. The volt meter wires needed to be extended. I also moved power for the depth finder to the stereo switch so whenever I have the stereo on I have a depth reading.
    Bruce Fuerstenberg

    Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting...holy shit!...what a ride!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Lake Elmo, MN
    Posts
    81

    Default Replying to Topic 'Impressions (long) of XLV: options, versu

    I agree with the depth finder location and would also add the display for the wake plate. Next to the spedo, those are the two things I refer to the most and they are in a pretty difficult spot to read. Don't know if it bothers me enough to pull a Tim Allen on it though. Granted the MN winters are long and it would be an excuse to sit in the boat but I'm not ready to crack open a new boat yet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Bismarck, NorthDakota
    Posts
    576

    Default Replying to Topic 'Impressions (long) of XLV: options, versu

    Tim Allen would be disappointed,

    I did it and it is worth it at least for the depth finder.
    Bruce Fuerstenberg

    Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting...holy shit!...what a ride!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    s.e. washington state
    Posts
    2,065

    Default Replying to Topic 'Impressions (long) of XLV: options, versu

    I did the voltmeter and depthfinder move right away. No wire mods really needed. I added the dpst switch to switch my depth gauge and radio from power from the ignition switch (systems turned off when the engine is off) or from continuous power.
    1998 Mobius
    310 HP PCM

  8. #8

    Default Replying to Topic 'Impressions (long) of XLV: options, versu

    Thanks for the info, I will pickup my 05 XLV this Friday.

    I asked my dealer about the water strainer and he said he did not think it was worth getting. I am going to ask again and put it on when I do the 15 hour oil change.

    I will let you know how it goes.

    Doug

  9. #9

    Default Replying to Topic 'Impressions (long) of XLV: options, versu

    Ian,
    It's great you purchased a xlv, but the boat is designed for wakeboarding not tubing.if you're going to tube, stick to a runabout not a tourament wakeboard boat.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Cinci-Dayton
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    981

    Default Replying to Topic 'Impressions (long) of XLV: options, versu

    yea, and we don't think much of those kneeboards either!




    Oh, wait there are pictures of me on a kneeboard - nuts here is a picture of me on a tube too

    Next thing you know folks will just be jumping off the back of the boat.

    Hey - I do that too!

    gotta go,

    SD2

    (I wonder how I got through the owner screening process?)
    Naked red and white 2005 Moomba LSV
    Teaching my kids to Ride, Shoot Strait and Tell the Truth

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