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jwp

Need Some Advice!

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jwp

Hi everyone,

I am new to the site and was wondering if anybody could help me out. I know there are probably similar discussions on the question I am about to ask but i am going to ask it again. I am graduating college in december an will start a new job in next month. My faminly has had boats my whole life (an outboard and recently an i/o), but i think it is time to get my own. I like to slalom but i mainly wakeboard and all of my friends wakeboard. I have looked at all kinds of inboards and after deciding i don't want to spend half (or all) of my first years pay on my first boat i decided to look at some older boats. I have found a 1990 Malibu Sunsetter close to home and i was wondering if anyone had thoughts on this boat. It looks like it is good shape and has a mercruiser that was put in '03. If i am primarily going to wakeboard would this boat be a disappointment for me? It seems like with the proper weighting and a tower I couild be happy with this boat, but i have nothing real to base this off of. I guess i am just looking for some advice on what to look at on the boat (going to look at it this weekend), and what i should expect to pay for a boat like this. Any thoughts would help.

Thanks,

jwp

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Bake's Marine

I spent a lot of time behind a 90 Euro Sunsetter.

Titan tower and two 540 fat sacs on each side of the motor box and it thru out a great wakeboard wake, we surfed it too and it was half way decent.

It would make a great first boat.

Good luck!

-Paul

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Ndawg12

I am now just recently realizing the importance of not financing toys, things can change in a instant so whatever/whenever you buy, flop cash on the table, it will probably get you a better deal anyways Thumbup.gif As for the boat you're looking at, there are many variables. What's the condition of the interior, being almost 20 years old, probably not good unless it was re-upholstered. How many hours were put on the new engine? I personally shy away from anything that has a rebuilt or replaced motor especially if you don't know who did the work. But if you want a number, if it's in average condition and the motor has 4-600 hours on it and runs well, I would say 7-10k, but have it checked by a 3rd party marine mechanic prior. That would be including a functional trailer as well.

As for if it's the boat for you, we'll be glad to help but need more info, what's your current skill level and how good do want to get?

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Wakes

I don't think you'll be disappointed with that boat at all. Look to get a couple fat sacs and a tower(or pylon extension) like Paul mentioned and I think it will have a nice wake.

www.nadaguids.com will give you an idea of price. With an older boat it's condition will have a lot to do with the price. Any idea how many hours are on the boat and on the new engines? Looks like without any options/extra around 5-6k. for a really high estimate I don't think I would pay more than 10k for the boat. Some of the newer (late 90's) direct drive boats are going around that range. It all of course depends on its condition and how you like it when you get there.

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jwp

The boat has around 470 hours if i remember right and 163 on the new motor. The owner admitted operator error as to why he had to put in the new motor. He said the thermostat didn't open when he was winterizing it so the antifreeze didn't get run through the block. The interior looks like it is in pretty good shape other than a nick here or there. It has a custom snap on cover that keeps the inside of the boat dry, and he said it is kept either on a lift at a summer house or in a shed at his home. i have only seen photos so far, but i will update on the condition when i see it in person. As far as i can tell from photos and talking with the guy, the boat is well taken care of and dealer serviced. It also comes with a trailer. Its an ugly color but looks to be in good shape too, with fairly new tires. I am glad you mentioned surfing becasue that was a question one of my friends had. Is there any wood in these boats that i should be worried about rotting out other than the floor?

Thanks

Edited by jwp

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Ndawg12

The boat has around 470 hours if i remember right and 163 on the new motor. The owner admitted operator error as to why he had to put in the new motor. He said the thermostat didn't open when he was winterizing it so the antifreeze didn't get run through the block. The interior looks like it is in pretty good shape other than a nick here or there. It has a custom snap on cover that keeps the inside of the boat dry, and he said it is kept either on a lift at a summer house or in a shed at his home. i have only seen photos so far, but i will update on the condition when i see it in person. As far as i can tell from photos and talking with the guy, the boat is well taken care of and dealer serviced. It also comes with a trailer. Its an ugly color but looks to be in good shape too, with fairly new tires. I am glad you mentioned surfing becasue that was a question one of my friends had. Is there any wood in these boats that i should be worried about rotting out other than the floor?

Thanks

Good question, I think you will find wood in the floor, stringers and seat bases. I believe it wasn't till 93-94 that they went to all FG. Bounce around and check for softspots, a new floor is expensive!!

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chadwick02

That wake should be just fine for boarding, especially if your coming from an outboard or IO. Enough buddies, beer, and a fat sack or two and you'll be golden. Great ski wake too!!

Rotting floor is bad news quick, check that out.

Where you located?

oh, and welcome!

- Chad

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WakingMeHappy

My only advice would be to pay cash or don’t buy it. Just coming out of college, having a new job and a loan don’t mix well.

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Malibudude

It's a great boat, but the main issues are the engine and wood stringers. Last but lease don't forget about the trailer.

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Baddog

Let me qualify this with the fact that I am extremely biased: but this boat may be just the thing to get you focused much more on skiing than boarding and that is a good thing. It will be a tremedous ski boat with no weight. Remeber that and learn, oh grasshopper.

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jwp

Thanks to everyone for the advice. I am located in Central Illinois. There aren't a lot of great public ski lakes around here so boats like these are kinda rare.

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jwp

I went and looked the boat on Saturday, and it was in better shape than even the pictures showed. I checked all of the aspects mentioned in the replies and a lot of extras that my friend that is a boat mechanic told me to check out. It is very hard to tell that it is a 20 year old boat, and I can't wait until spring to get it out on the lake. Hopefully i can get some pics posted after i pull it home on Sunday. Now i just need the right tower and maybe some ballast. Thanks for the advice.

Edited by jwp

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medicdiver

If your in the bloomington area have you spoken to Doug/Dustin at the liquid Edge?? He can probably give you an idea of lakes in the area and take a look at the boat. They have been good to a number of us on the crew. He is a Mastercraft dealer, but is very knowledgeable. They might even have some boats people are trying to get rid of.

J

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travlnmannn

I went and looked the boat on Saturday, and it was in better shape than even the pictures showed. I checked all of the aspects mentioned in the replies and a lot of extras that my friend that is a boat mechanic told me to check out. It is very hard to tell that it is a 20 year old boat, and I can't wait until spring to get it out on the lake. Hopefully i can get some pics posted after i pull it home on Sunday. Now i just need the right tower and maybe some ballast. Thanks for the advice.

Congrats on your buy !!!! Once a Bu owner always a Bu owner !!! I wakeboarded for 9 years off a 98 Sunsetter LX. I had a 3rd Floor Tower 500lbs in the back and 400 in the ski locker with a wedge. I had no issues with it at all. Little rough in the rougher waters but just slow it up and all is good. Plus you save on fuel not riding across the lake at 40mph. The one thing that I found necessary was a wedge. Without the wedge you tend to lose that lip at the transition. Good luck and if we end up doing a Midwest WOW you should come up. Check out BuEvents.

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WakeGirl

Congrats on your buy !!!! Once a Bu owner always a Bu owner !!! I wakeboarded for 9 years off a 98 Sunsetter LX. I had a 3rd Floor Tower 500lbs in the back and 400 in the ski locker with a wedge. I had no issues with it at all. Little rough in the rougher waters but just slow it up and all is good. Plus you save on fuel not riding across the lake at 40mph. The one thing that I found necessary was a wedge. Without the wedge you tend to lose that lip at the transition. Good luck and if we end up doing a Midwest WOW you should come up. Check out BuEvents.

That's a completely different boat than the OP just bought. The only thing that they have in common is the model name & that fact that they're both built by Malibu.

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Malibudude

Just to add what WG mentioned you can't add the wedge either.

Congrats on the new ride!

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85 Barefoot

It's a great boat, but the main issues are the engine and wood stringers. Last but lease don't forget about the trailer.

Engine sounds pretty new, so, hopefully no issues. If stringers are rotten, you'll have to look for how water got in to the wood and severity of integrity of surrounding fiberglass. If fiberglass casing is pretty good, then wood floor will be a pain every now and then but it's not that big of a deal. Given low(er) rpices on CNC's plastic, you may even be able to have a custom floor made so you don't have to keep replacing wood.

Old boats are great. Work on her yourself and enjoy the labor of love. Then when you can afford a new boat you'll appreciate that much more.

Good luck.

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CedarLakeSkier

Thanks to everyone for the advice. I am located in Central Illinois. There aren't a lot of great public ski lakes around here so boats like these are kinda rare.

My Dad's family grew up in Gibson City. I know there is a lake there that has waterski / wakeboard tournaments. It may be private, but it's worth a shot to check it out

Gibson City Lake

Edited by CedarLakeSkier

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Woodski

There is a ski club over in Peoria, the Peoria Ski Cats. They have a private lake but I think it is SW of Peoria, so probably a little far. I spent time skiing on the Illinois river and there are numerous access points. The Liquid Edge suggestion is a good one and they would know of ski sites.

As mentioned, the wood will be the big item on this boat. 1993 was the first year for all glass construction. Check for condition, but it sounds like the boat was well maintained. The thermostat should actually not be an issue when winterizing unless it was changed. There should be 2 small holes drilled in it to allow some water to flow at all times. There should also be a bypass circuit that allows water to flow out the exhaust before the stat opens. Check the plumbing for accuracy, there are several pdf's and details on the water circuit available either on the Malibu website or on the web in general. Your first note on these boats should be how to winterize, it can be an expensive mistake that is pretty common. Lots of help on this site and others.

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Lance B. Johnson

I went and looked the boat on Saturday, and it was in better shape than even the pictures showed. I checked all of the aspects mentioned in the replies and a lot of extras that my friend that is a boat mechanic told me to check out. It is very hard to tell that it is a 20 year old boat, and I can't wait until spring to get it out on the lake. Hopefully i can get some pics posted after i pull it home on Sunday. Now i just need the right tower and maybe some ballast. Thanks for the advice.

Congrats! I think you got a good one. A lot of people here are questioning buying a boat straight out of college....let me give you a different viewpoint........

One of my biggest regrets is getting a late start in boating/ wakeboarding. I really wish I had discovered it earlier. I have my wife to thank for finally buying a boat. We came across some extra money and decided to have fun with it. My wife quickly said, "we are going to get a boat", and I said no way don't want a money pit like that. She put her foot down and I caved grudgingly. I new I would have to take care of the dang thing so I was upset about it. Well two years later we went from a $6000 dollar four winns to a 30k malibu and I can't get enough. So there you go.

I am glad you got the boat, you can be more financially responsible in the other areas of your life Thumbup.gif

Edited by ruffdawg

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