In 2017, MasterCraft came out with the XT23, a midsized, mid-priced (for MasterCraft) crossover do-it-all watersports boat. One year later its designers have already improved it, giving it features such as new interior color schemes and some killer options. An available Klipsch sound system includes eight-and-a-half-inch cockpit speakers and a pair of 11-inch subs. Also new is a Dual Screen dash setup that includes a 12.1-inch center screen and a 10.1-inch touchscreen. Purchased together, the upgraded stereo and twin-screen setup costs $10,080 and also includes a GoPro dash interface and a rear-facing tower-cam. Our test boat was equipped with the optional ZFT4 Tower ($4,360) and Sunpad Flip Seats ($1,540) that are a great place to relax at the stern between runs.
Boat Test Video
The XT23 has a capacity of 16 people, features the traditional pointy bow and offers owners the versatility of a relatively flat slalom wake, a tremendous surf wake and wakeboard launch ramps. The surf wake is built with 2,600 pounds of ballast in three fill-and-forget hard tanks. Add the Gen 2 Surf System ($6,820), and the wave is taken to the next level. Two outer plates called shaping devices are designed specifically for the XT23 hull and tweak the water flow from the hull to create a wide variety of surf wave shapes and sizes. A center plate deploys in Auto Launch mode, and it reduces bowrise and helps the XT23 get out of the hole quickly. One of the issues with standard direct-drive ski boats is their rudder placement and prop torque make backing up in a straight line impossible. To counter this, MasterCraft created DockStar ($3,160), a system that uses two rudders in front of the prop to aid during docking in tight quarters.
Our test boat was equipped with an Ilmor 6.2L V-8 that produces 433 hp and 479 foot-pounds of torque. With Auto Launch engaged, the XT23 got on plane in 2.9 seconds and powered to 25 mph in 5.8 seconds. At 5600 rpm, it reached a top speed of 42 mph. Three optional tracking fins ($580) helped it tear into a tight corner with zero slippage. Its 23-foot, 4-inch LOA and hefty 5,000 pounds of hull weight gave it surprisingly smooth ride on Lake Lanier in north Georgia.
Time to Plane: 2.9 sec.
0-25 mph: 5.8 sec.
Peak: 42.0 mph/5600 rpm/94 dBA
Cruise: 20.9 mph/3000 rpm/84 dBA