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WickeR

1995 malibu echelon ?

I went and looked at a 1995 malibu echelon over the weekend, it is a friend of my brothers that owns it. It has less than 200 hours on it serviced every year garage kept and absolute clean, like it just came off the show room floor. IT has the 385 hp 454 in it, the only downside is its a closed bow, but there is a bimini top. Tandom axle trailer with folding toung. There is no tower but it does have an extended pylon. My plan is to install a wedge and around 600 lbs of ballast in the front, and a tower and PP eventually. Now for my question he is asking 16,000 for it I can get it for 15,000 is it worth it? it fits in my price range and I am very confident in the service done to the boat, the owner races flat bottoms and has a total of 8 boats.

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Most of the Echelon with the 454 were the President's Edition. Very nice boats for the time. Closed bow has lots of storage. I like closed bow, but most people buy the open bow these days. The Echelon and Response have such a small open bow that it is useless (my opinion). It is hard to find a cherry boat for 15K. Some will say that is too much for an 11 year old boat, but this one sounds like a nice one.

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Other than this post that I came across recently, that's a great boat. And depending on your location, vapor lock may or may not be an issue.

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If you have kids or a lot of friends it's going to be tight with a closed bow. You probably won't like it after just a few outings. But maybe you don't want a lot of people on the boat, then you'll love it. Everyone will always want to be on your friends v drive, ha ha. At least that's how it is at my dock.

I bought my boat when it was 11 years old for 12,500, and it had 120 hours, pristine condition. I love my boat, I couldn't do without the open bow because we always have a couple kids with us. And nobody likes to ski off the tow hook at the transom, the boats side spray hits the rope on shortlines and creates a drag that can make you fall.

If you ask me you can get a pristine open bow for the same amount. Keep looking or offer less.

Edited by JasonK

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i paid more than 4 grand less for a 94 Echelon, however mine has the 350mag mercruiser engine, no bimini, and 131 hours.

I Loved the test drive but dont have a ton of feedback yet as i have not gotten a run in behind this boat yet, see my post "New 'Bu Owner Here!" for an explanation of that one...lol

How is the Upholstery? any cracks? factory audio? any issues with the fiberglass/gelcoat?

-Mark

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i paid more than 4 grand less for a 94 Echelon, however mine has the 350mag mercruiser engine, no bimini, and 131 hours.

I Loved the test drive but dont have a ton of feedback yet as i have not gotten a run in behind this boat yet, see my post "New 'Bu Owner Here!" for an explanation of that one...lol

How is the Upholstery? any cracks? factory audio? any issues with the fiberglass/gelcoat?

-Mark

The upholstry looks brand new, not wvwn wear lines, he said he uses some sorta vinyl conditionar that they gave him when bought the boat. There were no cracks that I could see, my dad is a bass fisherman/speed demon so he looked it over for cracks and found nothing (unlike way overpowered bass boats), sadly it is the factory stereo w/ tape deck. There isnt one scrach that I could find in the boat, his detail guy cleans it whenever they use it. the carpet is still soft, its like it was kept in a bubble. It would be somthing I would keep for around 3 years and then sell for somthing NEW! Even the trailer is waxed.

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i paid more than 4 grand less for a 94 Echelon, however mine has the 350mag mercruiser engine, no bimini, and 131 hours.

I Loved the test drive but dont have a ton of feedback yet as i have not gotten a run in behind this boat yet, see my post "New 'Bu Owner Here!" for an explanation of that one...lol

How is the Upholstery? any cracks? factory audio? any issues with the fiberglass/gelcoat?

-Mark

The upholstry looks brand new, not wvwn wear lines, he said he uses some sorta vinyl conditionar that they gave him when bought the boat. There were no cracks that I could see, my dad is a bass fisherman/speed demon so he looked it over for cracks and found nothing (unlike way overpowered bass boats), sadly it is the factory stereo w/ tape deck. There isnt one scrach that I could find in the boat, his detail guy cleans it whenever they use it. the carpet is still soft, its like it was kept in a bubble. It would be somthing I would keep for around 3 years and then sell for somthing NEW! Even the trailer is waxed.

It probably is 303 Protectant, if not that what the majority of us all use on the vinyl.

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What would it be worth with a proflight tower, wedge and ballast?

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I think it would without a question.

I have been saving my pennies to get a titan just because they a lot less than a proflight.

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What would it be worth with a proflight tower, wedge and ballast?

It won't add a huge value to the overall boat price.

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I paid about the same 3 years ago for the same boat, but with the 350 mercruiser. I love my boat. however, after adding, the tower, a bimini to fit the tower, racks, PP, etc. the price added up. after about 6 trips, I wished we would have gone with an open bow. the open bow has a TON of room, but it is a PITA to get to anything. we run about 8-900 lbs of ballast, plus people and the wake is decent. you really need to get a lot of weight in there, to make it good to really good. however, you run out of room real quick when you do that. I think with the wedge, that would help, but only if you like the wake with a wedge down. (some ppl prefer not to have the wedge down) we are now on our third summer with the boat, and have definitely outgrown it. we are going to try and survive one more summer with it, but with a kid on the way, dogs, other family and kids, etc we are definitely upgrading to a larger V-drive for 2008.

good luck with your decision. let me know if you have any other questions.

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Thank you for your help I looked up on nada and not counting the zieman trailer this is the price I got

TOTAL PRICE $16,070 $17,810

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I think it would without a question.

I have been saving my pennies to get a titan just because they a lot less than a proflight.

Here is a cheaper alternative.....

post-6-1155765010_thumb.jpg

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LMAO

nice towel rack/fort...

but the biological pylon looks like it will wear-out after a couple minutes ride-time

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Sold 97 RLX with 320HP Fuel Inj. Monsoon, Trailer, Bimini, CD etc.. Lots of hours on engine, Condition about a 7.5 out of 10 $14,250

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Price seems right to me. i dont mind the closed bow - i need the storage for crap. i dont like a crowded floor.

wilma

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Comments from a guy with a 1998 Response LX (Open Bow):

1/ Open vs Closed: I thought my open bow would povide me lots of flexibility. It doesn't. It's small. Yes, the odd time I let the kids sit up there, but for doing any kind of serious towing, I do NOT want any visual distraction up front. My boat is not a touring boat... it's a TOW boat. All that to say, as much as I wanted an open bow, the Echelon/Response/Sportser boat is just too small to provide a useful open bow. (Note: The old Sunsetter and newer LXI is a different story.) So, closed bow is ok by me.

2/ 350 CI vs 454: As much as us sports enthusiasts like to sound like Tim the Toolman and grunt with satisfaction over more power, I really don't know how "useful" the extra power would be. (I recall the ads back in 1995 showig a Presidet's edition pulling 18 skiers. WHo needs to do that anyways? I wouldn't turn away the extra HP, but it would't turn me on either. Ski boats aren't made for speed. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I drove around at full speed. Don't need to. If I wanted speed, I'd go back to my outboards.

3/ Adding Extras: If you're gonna spend gobs of money "upgrading" your Echelon (Tower, sound, wedge, fatsacks, etc etc etc) I'd say you're going to be investing $$$ that you'll never get back. Conversley, if you want a fantastic SKI boat, sounds like a great idea to buy it.... if it's been kept in pristine shape.

NET = If you love the boat and it's in fantastic shape and you are not planning on spending oodles of money on upgrades..... it really is a classic. Don't worry about whether it's $15K or $14K or whatever. It's hard to get great boat for a price less than that. Too many folks worry about what other folks will say about the "deal". I've learned that a "deal" on something that is crap is a lot harder to live with than getting exactly what you want for a slightly higher price.

Edited by doughickey

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Comments from a guy with a 1998 Response LX (Open Bow):

1/ Open vs Closed: I thought my open bow would povide me lots of flexibility. It doesn't. It's small. Yes, the odd time I let the kids sit up there, but for doing any kind of serious towing, I do NOT want any visual distraction up front. My boat is not a touring boat... it's a TOW boat. All that to say, as much as I wanted an open bow, the Echelon/Response/Sportser boat is just too small to provide a useful open bow. (Note: The old Sunsetter and newer LXI is a different story.) So, closed bow is ok by me.

2/ 350 CI vs 454: As much as us sports enthusiasts like to sound like Tim the Toolman and grunt with satisfaction over more power, I really don't know how "useful" the extra power would be. (I recall the ads back in 1995 showig a Presidet's edition pulling 18 skiers. WHo needs to do that anyways? I wouldn't turn away the extra HP, but it would't turn me on either. Ski boats aren't made for speed. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I drove around at full speed. Don't need to. If I wanted speed, I'd go back to my outboards.

3/ Adding Extras: If you're gonna spend gobs of money "upgrading" your Echelon (Tower, sound, wedge, fatsacks, etc etc etc) I'd say you're going to be investing $$$ that you'll never get back. Conversley, if you want a fantastic SKI boat, sounds like a great idea to buy it.... if it's been kept in pristine shape.

NET = If you love the boat and it's in fantastic shape and you are not planning on spending oodles of money on upgrades..... it really is a classic. Don't worry about whether it's $15K or $14K or whatever. It's hard to get great boat for a price less than that. Too many folks worry about what other folks will say about the "deal". I've learned that a "deal" on something that is crap is a lot harder to live with than getting exactly what you want for a slightly higher price.

Very true. Excellent post.

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Comments from a guy with a 1998 Response LX (Open Bow):

1/ Open vs Closed: I thought my open bow would povide me lots of flexibility. It doesn't. It's small. Yes, the odd time I let the kids sit up there, but for doing any kind of serious towing, I do NOT want any visual distraction up front. My boat is not a touring boat... it's a TOW boat. All that to say, as much as I wanted an open bow, the Echelon/Response/Sportser boat is just too small to provide a useful open bow. (Note: The old Sunsetter and newer LXI is a different story.) So, closed bow is ok by me.

2/ 350 CI vs 454: As much as us sports enthusiasts like to sound like Tim the Toolman and grunt with satisfaction over more power, I really don't know how "useful" the extra power would be. (I recall the ads back in 1995 showig a Presidet's edition pulling 18 skiers. WHo needs to do that anyways? I wouldn't turn away the extra HP, but it would't turn me on either. Ski boats aren't made for speed. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I drove around at full speed. Don't need to. If I wanted speed, I'd go back to my outboards.

3/ Adding Extras: If you're gonna spend gobs of money "upgrading" your Echelon (Tower, sound, wedge, fatsacks, etc etc etc) I'd say you're going to be investing $$$ that you'll never get back. Conversley, if you want a fantastic SKI boat, sounds like a great idea to buy it.... if it's been kept in pristine shape.

NET = If you love the boat and it's in fantastic shape and you are not planning on spending oodles of money on upgrades..... it really is a classic. Don't worry about whether it's $15K or $14K or whatever. It's hard to get great boat for a price less than that. Too many folks worry about what other folks will say about the "deal". I've learned that a "deal" on something that is crap is a lot harder to live with than getting exactly what you want for a slightly higher price.

You are so right. Having a 94 Closed Bow Echelon i can definately say the storage is GREAT to have and when im towing a skiier i dont want that many people on the boat. Driver, Observer, Passenger next to the observer and my least favorite friend in the back getting his head chopped off by the rope off the ski pylon. Yahoo.gif I am definately upgrading the factory speakers in the boat but i dont know that adding a wedge, tower, etc to a Echelon is a wonderful idea..... why not buy a Wakeboard boat if you plan to wakeboard.... My Echelon throws a great wake for what i do.... Barefooting. Want a Wakeboard boat find a wakesetter or something... and as for Horses...my 350mag EFI gets up and goes pretty damn well, im going to test it today with a 2 person tube and then maybe if i can coordinate my friends 2 skiiers...and i dont think my boat will even hesitate with that load.

More Feedback as i begin to drive and ski behind this boat, a i have only now driven it 3 times, and the 1st waas 10 minutes when i chopped my prop and driveshaft apart.

Edited by meb885

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Doug hit the nail on the head on this one!

I have a 94 Echelon as well that I have upgraded with a tower, Stereo ,and a semi- automatic ballast system. We wakeboard 70% of the time and ski 30%. This boat actually puts out a really nice wake with a ton of weight in it. I have also put an ACME 525 prop on it for better out of the hole when weighted. But I do not expect to get my money back out of the upgrades I have into it. I also have the 350 EFI tournement ski that I believe has 265HP and it is my opinion that the 454 would just be too much of a gas consumer for my liking. I have never pulled 18 skiers or 3 at the same time for that matter but when I have 8 people and 1200 lbs of ballast in the boat it seems to get going just fine.

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I went and looked at a 1995 malibu echelon over the weekend, it is a friend of my brothers that owns it. It has less than 200 hours on it serviced every year garage kept and absolute clean, like it just came off the show room floor. IT has the 385 hp 454 in it, the only downside is its a closed bow, but there is a bimini top. Tandom axle trailer with folding toung. There is no tower but it does have an extended pylon. My plan is to install a wedge and around 600 lbs of ballast in the front, and a tower and PP eventually. Now for my question he is asking 16,000 for it I can get it for 15,000 is it worth it? it fits in my price range and I am very confident in the service done to the boat, the owner races flat bottoms and has a total of 8 boats.

Price Vs Pleasure?

Sure you can find one for less money, but the fact is if it fits your budget and you use your boat, a few grand won't mean a whole lot over the years of pleasure.

FYI I bought a 1996 Respone closed bow in March with EFI for 12 k. It had 500 hours but was in great shape and hours don't scare me that much. My buddies Malibu has 1200 hours and runs perfect and doesn't burn a drop.

Good luck!

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