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Texasguy

Boat Advice Please

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Texasguy

Good Afternoon,

I have always owned the kind of boat that rhymes with "Sea Antique" and I am now selling it and I am thinking about buying a mm... mmmaa... mmaal... Malibu. There, I said it. I have heard it said that the first step to recovery is to face it, head on.

I am thinking about a Sunsetter Direct drive from about 1996-2000. Those years seem to be in the money that I want to spend.

My family and I are about an eight event family, everything from barefoot to wakesurf. Everything but air chair and that is only because I have not had a chance to try it yet, but I hope to soon.

I would like a boat with an open bow for lots of people and stuff but I'm not sure I'm ready for a V-Drive because I still like to barefoot and teach people to barefoot. Also many V-Drives I have been in no matter what the brand, are, well, how should I say this... less than nimble.

Are there any years that are better than others, worse than others, wood stringer issues?

Any problematic items to be concerned about?

What motors would be the minimum to go about 44 or 45 for foot'n?

Whats the real diff between Response and Sunsetter?

Does anyone surf behind a Response?

Is one type of wedge better than another?

If you guys could help out my research a little I sure would appreciate it. Who knows I may very well end up with a Malibu.

Thank you in advance,

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YJim

I have a '97, 320 Monsoon thats good for 43 MPH with a 13x13 4 blade OJ. Thats GPS speed with no skier. It is a great all around boat with an emphasis on slalom over wakeboarding (needs ballast and/ or wedge for decent wake). No wood in '95 on up with the SV23 hull. I think in '98 they went to rack and pinion steering and better gauges, so you might want to go back as far as '98. Good luck.

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Guest J-Ro

I have the same boat....97 Sunsetter LX. I would love a new VLX but my boat is soo versatile. I am going to put an autoballast in the ski locker and behind the engine. With the Pro wedge and 5 people (along with 2 sacks), it has the same wake as a normal ballast pre-05 VLX. They are getting tough to find and here in Ca. they are pricey. I can sell mine for what I paid, or maybe more, 3 years ago.

Make sure it has a tower if for nothing else, the board storage. Make sure it has a wedge for the versatility.

Edited by J-Ro

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chathamsolutions

What is your price range?

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WakeGirl

Welcome to the site.

Are there any years that are better than others, worse than others, wood stringer issues?

All boats from the Echelon forward are fully composite, so you have no worries there.

Any problematic items to be concerned about?

Nothing across the board, with the possible exception of HDS & even that doesn't have large numbers of failures. These boats are hand built & as such each will its own individual idiosyncracies. I'm sure that CC is the same way.

What motors would be the minimum to go about 44 or 45 for foot'n?

Monsoon, minimum. In the later years you could look at the LS1 or Hammerhead, but there are definite tradeoffs no matter which way you go.

Whats the real diff between Response and Sunsetter?

Size, which directly translates to the wake. On a SV23 Wake hull Sunsetter, the slalom wake is a larger version of the 96-97 Response wake (non-Diamond hull). The '98 & forward Responses built on the Diamond hull are a whole different animal, the Diamond hull providing softer, flatter, smoother slalom wakes (of course the tradeoff is less wake for boarding & surfing). For a breakdown by year of the technical differences between the 2, visit this link: Tech/DIY section

Does anyone surf behind a Response?

There are plenty here that do, but in this case size does matter. The bigger the wave, the easier it is & the larger the sweet spot will be = easier to stay up without the rope.

Is one type of wedge better than another?

The flat Wedge is for Diamond hull boats, the one with the "v" is for non-Diamond hull boats. Don't think of it in terms of "better" but one works better with one hull design, etc.

Even if you don't buy a Malibu, stick around anyway. We have plenty of members with other brands & while they do take a little ribbing, it's all in good fun. :)

Edited by WakeGirl

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jetskipro550

Welcome to the site!

We have a 1999 Sunsetter LXi with the 325 monson engine and 510 hours on it! It still runs and performs great. The boat throws out a great skiing wake and you can also surf behind it. It goes about 48 mph which should be fast enough for footing. For wakeboarding and surfing we use the wedge and we run about 1000lbs of ballast. One sac is plumbed into the ski locker and the other we just put behind the engine. Here is a picture of what kind of surfing wake a sunsetter is capable of.gallery_189_36_19518.jpg

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jetskipro550

Here is another pic of the surf wake with only 3 people in the boat, wedge, and 500lbs behind the engine.

gallery_189_36_40966.jpg

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jetskipro550

And here is a picture of the wakeboarding wake. Its not a great pic and it is zoomed in a little for the wake but gives you a general idea. I don't have any of the slalom wake but its really good around 33 where my dad skis.

gallery_189_36_58245.jpg

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Texasguy

Wow, Thanks for all the info. Great stuff.

I have looked thru all the model and hull info on the tech page. One question, what is the difference in the SV23 Wake and SV23 Diamond. Are there any advantages to one over the other and are there any brochure type photos of the hulls.

I would like to stay under 20K and well below if it needs tower and or wedge.

What does a wedge cost if I buy a boat without one?

Also, Wakegirl, what is a HDS failure?

Lots of boats for sale with less than Monsoon Horse Power, are lesser ones adequate or is there no substitute for Horse Power?

Thanks

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WakeGirl

The SV23 Diamond hull is geared specifically to make the wake smaller & softer. It's often called a "lifting hull" for that reason. The only difference between the 2 is in the chines, but it makes a difference in the slalom wake. Whether or not that's an advantage is solely up to you. I don't have any pictures at the moment of the differences on that, but we may have someone here that can post some for you.

What does a wedge cost if I buy a boat without one?

Probably in the neighborhood of $1k if it needs the mounting plate, if not then closer to the $500 mark I would think (I could be off on that, basically you're just talking the cost of the foil if the bracket is there).

Also, Wakegirl, what is a HDS failure?

HDS is a box that the driveshaft comes up through that is part of the hull. The box is full of water & is supposed to help dampen noise & vibration. What happens on some boats is that the box doesn't get completely sealed & you end up with a leak that can be hard to track down. But, it's not terribly common & most often is taken care of under warranty. What's more is that dealers have become much more educated & informed on this issue & know better how to track it down & fix it if it does happen to be HDS. The only reason that I brought it up is that people coming from other makes often don't know what HDS is & they should IMO, but it's not a huge problem for Malibu. Just one more thing in the boat to keep an eye on.

Lots of boats for sale with less than Monsoon Horse Power, are lesser ones adequate or is there no substitute for Horse Power?

There's nothing wrong with the lesser motors, but they are lesser. The Monsoon is just so good that I wouldn't look at anything with less than that. One thing to point out is that the boats in your price & year range can come with either Indmar (Monsoon) or Mercruiser engines (lesser, IMO). The Mercruiser products tend to be a little more problematic across the board - if you read other sites like Wakeworld you'll see this in other brands that use Mercruiser. I look at the fact that Indmar offers a 3 year warranty while Mercruiser only offers 1 year. That says something about the product IMO.

My guess is that with your budget you'll probably end up with a Sunsetter LX. The Diamond hull boats hold their value a bit better, especially the Sunsetter LXI (pre-'05). But you should be able to get a nicely appointed boat for the upper end of your budget that has been well maintained.

EDIT: One other boat that you should look at would be the Echelon LX. Same hull as the '97 & earlier Response & Sunsetter LX. Great boat for the money.

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Brad B

Diamond has a sort of lifting effect with the angled corners where the sides of the hull meet the bottom at the stern.

Wake hull is more flat in that area that allows the hull to stay deeper in the water thus improved wake.

I prefered the Diamond to allow for a better slalom wake - well best as could be expected from an LSV

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Guest J-Ro

Where are you located? That will make a big difference.

I wouldn't touch anything under the Monsoon since you will be dealing with TBI or carbs. No fun.

The wedge can be had for $200-$300 for the foil (Used) and the plate maybe $300-400. You can do it yourself but $1k is a good estimate for a dealer to do it.

I honestly think the Diamond hull is not THAT much better of a ski wake. I know all the skiers are going wail from the heavens about this but the SV23 has a fantastic ski wake unless you are a really good skier, really good! However the diamond hull is no where near as good at wakeboard speed. The SV23 non-diamond is a fantastic wake hull. Good transition and shape. The diamond hull makes a marginal wakeboard wake even weighted way down. I doubt you want to do that seeing as you have a lot of interests. You don't want to constantly be filling and draining 4 fat sacs.

For example...I have a Sunsetter LX. BarefootH2Oskier has an Echelon. Same hull but I can make a huge wakeboard wake with 2 fat sacs and he is a great skier behind his boat. However I know a couple guys that have LXi's....great ski wake but their wakeboard wakes are too small and steep without a lot of weight.

LXi owners will disagree but the wakes are very different with weight.

YMMV

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WakeGirl
I honestly think the Diamond hull is not THAT much better of a ski wake. I know all the skiers are going wail from the heavens about this but the SV23 has a fantastic ski wake unless you are a really good skier, really good!

I definitely agree with that, at least at the faster speeds (above 30-32 mph), but where it really shows is below 30 mph. On the Wake hull, the wake really starts to build & the slower you go the bigger it gets. The Diamond hull boats don't tend to do it that bad. So if you have skiers that ski at those slower speeds, it should be a consideration. Other than that, yeah, I think that you've got to be a pretty good skier before you really see the big differences in the 2 wakes.

Edited by WakeGirl

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Lakenut

Welcome to the site!!!

I know all the skiers are going wail from the heavens about this but the SV23 has a fantastic ski wake unless you are a really good skier, really good!

I am not theat great of a skier (15 off @36 if the universe is aligned just perfectly) and there is a noticeable difference. Having said that, if you don't ski the course a lot then I wouldn't let it be the only deciding factor.

The SLXi is a great family boat. Mine has the 325 monsoon II. Top end around 46mph. It foots nicely. Handles the course quite well with small soft wakes. Wakeboarding w/ wedge, tower and ballast is ok but you will notice a huge difference between this boat and a Vdrive. Wakeboarding does get better with 4+people in the boat vs. just 1 or 2. If boarding or surfing will be your focus I would seriously consider a Vdrive OR a Sunsetter LX or DD wakesetter with the wake hull.

You might want to try a Sunsetter VLX from 2000 0r 2001. I think one of those years had the diamond hull which would be a good ballance between boarding and skiing for a Vdrive.

As for engines, I love my monsoon. After the last two seasons it has performed flawlesslly for me and has started the first time every time. Nothing is wrong with the carbie. A lot of people on this site have them and love them. I just like the comfort of knowing the ECM does all of the adjusting for itself. No carb to fiddle with.

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WakeGirl
Welcome to the site!!!
I know all the skiers are going wail from the heavens about this but the SV23 has a fantastic ski wake unless you are a really good skier, really good!

I am not theat great of a skier (15 off @36 if the universe is aligned just perfectly) and there is a noticeable difference. Having said that, if you don't ski the course a lot then I wouldn't let it be the only deciding factor.

The SLXi is a great family boat. Mine has the 325 monsoon II. Top end around 46mph. It foots nicely. Handles the course quite well with small soft wakes. Wakeboarding w/ wedge, tower and ballast is ok but you will notice a huge difference between this boat and a Vdrive. Wakeboarding does get better with 4+people in the boat vs. just 1 or 2. If boarding or surfing will be your focus I would seriously consider a Vdrive OR a Sunsetter LX or DD wakesetter with the wake hull.

You might want to try a Sunsetter VLX from 2000 0r 2001. I think one of those years had the diamond hull which would be a good ballance between boarding and skiing for a Vdrive.

As for engines, I love my monsoon. After the last two seasons it has performed flawlesslly for me and has started the first time every time. Nothing is wrong with the carbie. A lot of people on this site have them and love them. I just like the comfort of knowing the ECM does all of the adjusting for itself. No carb to fiddle with.

'01 It would be, but it's way out of his budget. Those hold their resale very, very well & I'd be surprised if you could touch one for less than $30k, probably more like $35k. Even the Wake hull v-drives hold their value well - I believe there's a '97 VLX in our Classified forums for $24k.

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