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Malibu, which is headquartered in Merced, Californiamarker, is a United Statesmarker manufacturer of recreational boats, founded in 1982. Malibu is notable as a major manufacturer of water sports boats, used in water skiing and wakeboarding tournaments.


Malibu was created when the founder Robert Alkema and a group of five friends decided to start making their own ski boats. In 1982, they built 100 custom ski boats in a small shop in Merced, California.

During the first year of operation, Malibu only built 2 boats per week using a single hull design. Malibu eventually became recognized as a force in the tournament ski boat industry. Since 1982, the company has won more awards than all other competitors combined. The operating facility was moved to the current production factory at 1 Malibu Ct in Merced, Californiamarker and later plants in Loudon, Tennesseemarker and Albury, Australiamarker were built to scale production. As of 2008, Malibu produces and sells over 4,300 boats per year across North America and in many countries through a dealer network, making it the largest seller of watersports focused boats in the world. Malibu's oldest dealership is Tilly's Marinelocated in Ventura California.

Its boats today are divided into four categories based on the intended purpose. The Response series consists of two direct drive ski boats made for waterskiing and slalom skiing, the Ride series consists of two entry-level Wakeboard boats. The Wakesetter series consists of four Wakeboard boats made for wakeboarding and wakesurfing, and the production lineup is rounded out by the Sunscape series which consists of four luxury boats. Many of the boats share hull designs, but come equipped with different features such as ballast tanks, a hydrofoil they call "the wedge" and a wakeboard tower. All Malibu Models use inboard marine engines built by Indmar on the General Motors 5.7, 6.0, and 8.1 litre V8 engine blocks.

Malibu is a privately owned company with approximately 595 employees. Robert Alkema served as President of the company for most of its existence and four of the five members of the original group of founders still work at the company.

June 4, 2009 Robert Alkema stepped down as president. The management team is currently in a transition period.

Current Production Models (2009)

Ride Series Boats
21 vRide

23 vRide

Response Series Boats


Sunscape Series Boats
20 LSV

21 LSV

23 LSV

247 LSV

Wakesetter Series Boats


23 LSV

247 LSV

Industry Awards

Trailer Boats Magazine Excellence in Design Award Winner for 2009 for their Malibu Limited Edition Corvette Sport-V.

Powerboat Magazine Tow Boat of the Year Award for the 2008 Wakesetter 23 LSV

Powerboat Magazine Tow Boat of the Year Award for the 2007 Wakesetter VTX

Powerboat Magazine Tow Boat of the Year Award for the 2006 Wakesetter 247 LSV


1260 Landed

The Malibu VLX is the first and only tow boat to ever pull rider who lands a 1260. Danny Harf landed the world's first ever 1260 behind Chade Sharpe's Wakesetter VLX.

The Wedge
In early 1998 Malibu introduced a patented design called The Wedge, a displacement device mounted on the lower transom of the boat to help increase the wake generated by the boat to help with wakeboarding tricks.The manual wedge was first available for the '98 model year for direct drives, all SV 23 hulls could be retrofitted with it. At that time the wakesetter line was nothing more than a package that consisted of a wedge, tower and stickers.Originally the wedge had a flat foil then later a specific model "Wedge23" was designed for the SV23 "wake hull" that have a slightly "V" to the wedge foil. Originally the '98-'99 wedge utilized pins then in '00 changed them to a clamp style that retracted w/ springs. In 2000 a "trap" door in the teak swim platform came out to provide access to the wedge.


  1. Company History
  2. PeopleReady Report
  4. Microsoft Report
  5. Malibu Case Study

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