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2018 MasterCraft XT22

By now you've heard that the 2018 MasterCraft XT22 is a serious contender in the crossover category, but can it live up to the hype? We decided to take this boat to the water  get a real life look at how it performs in wake, surf, and ski. After putting this thing to the test, this is what we found.

Let’s start with the specs. The XT-22 is 22’4” long, has a wide 102” beam, and weighs in at 4900 lbs before gear and fuel is added. For a boat of its size, it has a surprisingly large 65 gallon gas tank to make sure you can actually enjoy a full day on the water with no interruptions.

Now that we know the specs, let’s break down some of the features of this boat. The XT series is MasterCraft’s line of crossover, do it all boats, so naturally the XT-22 is equipped with a hull that is designed for everything. We’ll talk about that more in a minute. At just over 22’ in length, MasterCraft has decided that this particular XT is capable of floating you and 15 of your closest friends. There are many ways to outfit this boat to your liking, but this one is equipped with the upgraded Dual-Screen dash, the upgraded ZFT4 tower, and the standard Ilmor 5000 motor. The Dual-Screen dash offers everything there is to love about modern technology. The touch screen interface is simple, intuitive, and feels similar to playing with an iPad. Plus, the center screen gives you access to new features like MasterCraft's tower-mounted backup camera. If going under bridges or folding down your tower for storage is something you do often, you’ll appreciate the ease of folding the optional ZFT4 tower. You’ll notice that the tower folds backwards, which would allow the driver the ability to operate the boat normally, which is something you don’t see in most modern wake boats.

Now to the part that everyone really wants to see: the wake. First let’s talk about wakeboarding. With people who wakeboard at a high level, the concern with a lot of modern wake boats is the motor. With stock ballast full, we found that the XT-22 jumped on plane fairly quick with the standard motor. Part of this success is likely due to the Gen 2 surf system that also doubles as a launch system and pushes the nose of the boat down when getting up to speed. Keep in mind that there were only 2 people in the boat when we were out there, so unfortunately we can’t say for sure how it would plane for an advanced wakeboarder if the boat was completely loaded with 16 people. While an advanced rider can certainly enjoy themself on the clean and rampy advanced wake, we found that this boat really shines for beginners and kids just getting into wakeboarding due to how clean the wake is at low speeds. The wake is extremely clean at 17 mph, which will make getting into wake boarding much less intimidating than having to go 20+ miles per hour to get a wake that doesn’t wash out.

Now on to the surf wave. While the wave with factory ballast is more than capable of putting out a wave with plenty of length and push, for this test we wanted to simulate what a real day on the water would look like with 6-7 people on the boat. For this reason we added 400 pounds of lead in the rear and cabin of the boat to simulate a few extra people. The wake is clean all the way through and retains it’s push even towards the very back of the wave, which is great if you make a mistake and need to save yourself. Another important note is how similar the wave looks on both sides. Not everyone stands with their left foot forward, so it’s important that both sides of the wave perform equally well when switching back and forth between goofy and regular riders. This is something we can safely say the XT-22 is great at.

Finally, there’s the slalom wake. We didn’t have anyone in our crew that could do the slalom wake any justice, but the we were impressed with the way the wake looked at 30 miles per hour. For a v-drive boat this size, the wake gets surprisingly flat at ski speeds. We’d never tell you that this is your boat of choice for running a slalom course, but for the free-skier who mostly straps on a ski to have fun, the XT-22 is more than capable of accommodating.

We wish we had the time to tell you every detail of why this is such a great boat all-around, but we would probably be here for days. For now, here are the highlights:

-Simple and intuitive dash.

-Easy folding tower and bimini.

-Clean beginner and advanced wakeboard wakes

-Great surf waves on both sides with plenty of push.

-The quality and attention to detail you would expect from mastercraft.