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Electronics gadgets on Boats. Why do folks like them?


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From another current topic about the state of Malibu as a company, a post mentioned the gidgets and gadgets and bling of these boats...especially Malibu and Master Craft. Got me wondering.

One of the reasons I can't see myself ever owning something as deluxe as most of your boats is the electronics. Boats are wet. Electronics hate wet. Sure - electronics have been on bigger boats for a very long time. 2 issues that make this a mute point - bigger boats are drier than our ski boats. And navigational and communication equipment are built to a USCG standard that includes full immersion...a standard which I have a hunch the glorified trip computers on these boats are not built (computron dash is most current example I can think of).

My problem with electronics - they become obsolete and no longer made...and they break down...leading to big replacement bills and/or completely non-functioning equipment (computron) later on. I have to think this will hurt the resale on these boats eventually. If I were spending what you all spend on your boats, I'd be looking for mechanical linkages between throttle and engine, steering and rudder, wheel and speedometer, and direct wiring to the engine sensors for key vitals like temp, oil pressure, revs, trans temp. I'd have a heck of a time buying a new boat now-a-days. My electronics are limited to the stereo - $199 for a decent new one when mine becomes obsolete or broken. I like it like that. Others? Why isn't there more demand for a boat that will age better?

I'm guessing most of you wouldn't consider a 12 - 17 year old boat. But someone has to?

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That’s one of the reasons I bought a used Bu. I’m not going to spend that much cash on a new toy. I don’t have a fancy stereo but it does have a decent sound. There’s no additional lighting or electronic that can break down. For me, this boat is for family fun. I bought what I thought I could reasonably afford without breaking the bank.

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I couldn't agree with the OP more.

There's an old saying in the car repair business... "the more stuff your car has, the more stuff is gonna break".

Heck, my daily driver has crank windows.

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I hear ya but I couldn't live without the convenience of the electronics now. When I can set the cruise control while towing a wakeboarder, tune into sirius or plug in my iphone for music, have the passenger in the very back control the volume or station so I don't have to, fill up the ballast tanks or wedge with a button, etc etc. I understand they are all things that can break but I'm willing to take the chance.

It would be like trying to drive a car without a heater or A/C. It can be done but is it worth it. For me , no.

I honestly think if you bought a new boat with all the bells and whistles you would wonder "how did I do it before".

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I agree that there is more to break but I do like my gadgets. I was just thinking that my retirement project (okay a long time from now) will be an old mahogany boat restored to look nearly original but it will have a modern fuel injected engine and modern electronics. In the automotive world its called a restomod.

Some people like gadgets its as simple as that.

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I hear ya but I couldn't live without the convenience of the electronics now. When I can set the cruise control while towing a wakeboarder, tune into sirius or plug in my iphone for music, have the passenger in the very back control the volume or station so I don't have to, fill up the ballast tanks or wedge with a button, etc etc. I understand they are all things that can break but I'm willing to take the chance.

It would be like trying to drive a car without a heater or A/C. It can be done but is it worth it. For me , no.

I honestly think if you bought a new boat with all the bells and whistles you would wonder "how did I do it before".

Unless you’re like those of us who fall down so much that perfect pass would be more of a pain then it would be worth.

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Agree about falling so much. But Perfect Pass aside - that's a tool that can be installed un-integrated...so that when it fails, a new one can get put in. What mystifies me is the $5,000 - $9,000 chunks of computer controlled instrumentation that plays music, runs the boat, tells you the mileage, opens doors, says hello, fills bags, lights LED's, controls speed, controls shooting stars, deploys wedges, takes your temperature and tells you if you have a sinus infection. Huge money today. And in a decade, it will be a hole in the dash of every single boat where it was installed - obsolete, no longer made, no spare parts, not working or with issues...

Seems the mfr's are short sighted and building a boat today that will be a headache and bad reputation tomorrow?

If you had a choice between a boat that was a Malibu with all analog and direct-wire systems - do you all think it would be more valuable in the long run and age better than one with all these gadgets?

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Agree about falling so much. But Perfect Pass aside - that's a tool that can be installed un-integrated...so that when it fails, a new one can get put in. What mystifies me is the $5,000 - $9,000 chunks of computer controlled instrumentation that plays music, runs the boat, tells you the mileage, opens doors, says hello, fills bags, lights LED's, controls speed, controls shooting stars, deploys wedges, takes your temperature and tells you if you have a sinus infection. Huge money today. And in a decade, it will be a hole in the dash of every single boat where it was installed - obsolete, no longer made, no spare parts, not working or with issues...

Seems the mfr's are short sighted and building a boat today that will be a headache and bad reputation tomorrow?

If you had a choice between a boat that was a Malibu with all analog and direct-wire systems - do you all think it would be more valuable in the long run and age better than one with all these gadgets?

I'm not sure. I do like analog gages, but the trend seems to be towards digital instrumentation. In future upgrades, even if they don't have the same size instruments, someone will make some sort of adapter plate to make it work.

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Agree about falling so much. But Perfect Pass aside - that's a tool that can be installed un-integrated...so that when it fails, a new one can get put in. What mystifies me is the $5,000 - $9,000 chunks of computer controlled instrumentation that plays music, runs the boat, tells you the mileage, opens doors, says hello, fills bags, lights LED's, controls speed, controls shooting stars, deploys wedges, takes your temperature and tells you if you have a sinus infection. Huge money today. And in a decade, it will be a hole in the dash of every single boat where it was installed - obsolete, no longer made, no spare parts, not working or with issues...

Seems the mfr's are short sighted and building a boat today that will be a headache and bad reputation tomorrow?

If you had a choice between a boat that was a Malibu with all analog and direct-wire systems - do you all think it would be more valuable in the long run and age better than one with all these gadgets?

Well that is really a good point considering there are many older malibus out there tearing it up. Unless someone comes up with an aftermarket solution to malivue.....it wouldn't be cheap, but I don't think it is to far fetched either.

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Agree about falling so much. But Perfect Pass aside - that's a tool that can be installed un-integrated...so that when it fails, a new one can get put in. What mystifies me is the $5,000 - $9,000 chunks of computer controlled instrumentation that plays music, runs the boat, tells you the mileage, opens doors, says hello, fills bags, lights LED's, controls speed, controls shooting stars, deploys wedges, takes your temperature and tells you if you have a sinus infection. Huge money today. And in a decade, it will be a hole in the dash of every single boat where it was installed - obsolete, no longer made, no spare parts, not working or with issues...

Seems the mfr's are short sighted and building a boat today that will be a headache and bad reputation tomorrow?

If you had a choice between a boat that was a Malibu with all analog and direct-wire systems - do you all think it would be more valuable in the long run and age better than one with all these gadgets?

Hahaha sounds like gadget envy to me :lol: . I guess you'd have to own a boat with all them "gadgets" to appreciate it. As for the test of time, well we will have to let time do it's test. We'll see if your crystal ball prediction comes true.

Do you realize that this gadgetry you so despise has taken a wakesetter series boat and reduced the wire splices from somewhere around 200 to around 10 (I can't remember the exact number but it's that dramatic) and that's never a bad thing. Sounds like a step in the right direction to me, kinda in line with everything out there from cars to motorcycles. As for the price, well can't argue there.

Edited by 06vlx
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If you had a choice between a boat that was a Malibu with all analog and direct-wire systems

I'd buy that one in a heart beat.

Do you realize that this gadgetry you so despise has taken a wakesetter series boat and reduced the wire splices from somewhere around 200 to around 10

I would never splice a wire in a marine environment. I assume you're talking scotch locks?

If I had to break into a wire, it'd be soldered and heat shrunk for sure.

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I'd buy that one in a heart beat.

I would never splice a wire in a marine environment. I assume you're talking scotch locks?

If I had to break into a wire, it'd be soldered and heat shrunk for sure.

Pete have you seen some of the new butt connectors? Solder, heat shrink and sealant all in one...pretty spendy but the cats meow for sure. Ok sorry for the hijack...but thats what I would use.

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A 200 wire harness vs a 10 wire harness and a computer processor is...to most people's opinion...an improvement. I'm just different. I would rather have a 200 wire harness and no computer. I can fix a harness. Anyone with a wire stripper, a multi-meter and a splice kit can fix a harness. Absolutely no one can fix computer processor. They just get replaced. Until there are no more replacements. And then they are unusable or unreliable silly screens in a dash that "you remember back when this thing would tell you if you had a sinus infection?" "Remember when the wedge would automatically move to rider presets?"

"Remember when those lights in the floor worked?"

"Remember when..." and on and on.

I'm not envious - I'm genuinely amazed that the mfr's are putting things like this in wet boats. It's ludicrous if you ask me. Which you didn't. But if you had - that's what I would have said. :(:unsure::unsure::(

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Many of the new features in boats are nice granted, but all you really need is speed control (PP & ZO) and stereo systems and obviously a balast/wedge management for wake boats.

Everything else is just adding to the wanchor factor.. Maliview? please.. Seriously, can someone tell me the need to have 3 or 4 different interior lighting brightness settings? 'Ill have 58k, B2 and interior light setting 3 please' ... wanch.

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A 200 wire harness vs a 10 wire harness and a computer processor is...to most people's opinion...an improvement. I'm just different. I would rather have a 200 wire harness and no computer. I can fix a harness. Anyone with a wire stripper, a multi-meter and a splice kit can fix a harness. Absolutely no one can fix computer processor. They just get replaced. Until there are no more replacements. And then they are unusable or unreliable silly screens in a dash that "you remember back when this thing would tell you if you had a sinus infection?" "Remember when the wedge would automatically move to rider presets?"

"Remember when those lights in the floor worked?"

"Remember when..." and on and on.

I'm not envious - I'm genuinely amazed that the mfr's are putting things like this in wet boats. It's ludicrous if you ask me. Which you didn't. But if you had - that's what I would have said. :(:unsure::unsure::(

The inboard manufacturers use (and improve) methods already in place in other industries. I've been there, argued against the change, and lost. Newer instrumentation just offers too many options. I found most people will believe a number long before they even concider looking at a needle. When every manufacturer transitions to digital instruments, it'll be harder to fix/replace what's the norm today. Malibu has done a great job in this area imo.

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JeffS...........I get it. I have been there. I have been known to say " Why spend so much money on a sound system that will be left outside?" I started with a modest system and very soon craved something better...... because music is important to me. I don't need smoke and LED's, but if I can't get reasonably accurate reproduction of the original performance, I would rather just turn it off. (seriously) If I could get my groove on and really feel the music through Spark O Matic speakers I would consider myself truly blessed.

I used to say MUX SUX. (2008) Now that the radio functions have been removed from the MUX switches (2010), and they actually respond with just one push, I like them better than rocker switches. MaliView and MUX makes for a stylish and uncluttered dash. As much as I dislike technology, I have to admit MaliView is easy to learn and gives you complete control at your fingertips. I don't NEED it, but I definately WANT it. I never dreamed I would be that guy, but I have learned that MaliView redefines "simple".

Durability..........my 2010 works just like it is supposed to. As bad as this may sound, as long as everything works when I sell the boat in a year or two I really don't care what happens after that. Until then, it is under warranty. Malibu has Axis and the Ride series for people who prefer simplicity. For those who like the extra features and electronics, there is the Wakesetter series. No matter where you fall on the scale, Malibu has a boat for you. Brilliant.

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I have a square winshield, 4 speakers and annalog gauges... I wouldnt trade it for the world. BUT, there is an @SS for every seat. That is why they make so many different boats!

OK, I thought about it, if someone gave me a new Wakesetter I would burn my boat HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHHAHAHHAH

Edited by Levi900RR
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One last post on my own topic. I totally get that it's awesome to have these systems when they work. I just think it is short sighted. In 10 or 12 years, what will people say about 2010 Malibus? Today - buyers can look back at the 1996-1998 boats, and with the exception of some quirks like the stuffing box on the older Response boats...they are sought after and respected. Considered reliable, well built boats that hold value well, are restored at times when necessary - they're not disposable. That helps with the demand for new boats. Folks look back at the old boats to decide if the new boats are worth considering. Honda cars are high demand because the old Hondas age well and are reliable as old cars - so the new cars are in higher demand.

I know Supra and MC are doing the same thing - just seems there's a marksman with a big gun aimed directly at his foot, sitting in the chair that makes decisions on what goes in to new boats. Technology doesn't age well. Period. And boats largely last longer than cars. And they are very wet. Just makes me shake my head and wonder.

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So what you're saying is get rid of the 'modifications and accessories' forum on this site? Just kidding, but technology makes life easier and the dash can be modified when newer, better, faster technology comes out in 10-12 years when the old technology ‘doesn’t work’ or becomes obsolete (which is in the eye of the owner). Replacing technology or worrying about the dash is not a major concern, Malibu is well aware of what it takes to replace technology as things break.

Comparing boats from 10 years ago to today, its easy, today’s boats blow the old boats out of the water and will continue to do so 10 years from now.

I owned a 2000 Sportster and now own a 2005 VLX, it’s not even close and the list is lengthy.

Just my 2 cents.

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thats why i got a vride still has some of the old and has some of the new :thumbup: and about 15k off the wakesetter , i was looking for like a 06 07 but there only 10 or so out there and some had some hard times, underwater gear had been ripped off things like that and then still like 43000 wow with 145 hrs and then there was the interest rate was higher and the lone was shorter and the payment was about the same and i love to sale after 3 to 5 years :crazy:

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Technology?...It is just marketing. Malibu doesn't care about the value of the boats in 5-10-15 years. They are only intersted in the value of NEW boats, because that is where they make their money. There is no money in the Euro F3 for Malibu except for the few parts you may need to buy from them that you cant get at NAPA.

I presonally would opt-out of the Mali-view if I had the choice. Too much computer gear that has not been tested extensively enough...it seems to me.

Having said that...I'll bet the older Malibu owners are the only people on this forum that still know how to rebuild a carburator. It is becoming a lost art.

Stereo? I gotta have my sounds, period...and they don't get wet.

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martinarcher

I work for a Controls and Automation department. Trust me, technology is always evolving....faster than you think. Existing electronics that ship over several years may look identical to the consumer, but chances are the chip and board inside evolve over the life of the product.

The Maliview obsolescence issue is not as big of a deal as you might think. Sure in 10 years people (probably me) will be looking at a 10 year old Wakesetter with a Maliview that has a few problems. The truth is, there will be a company or two that pick up repairing or selling replacement aftermarket Maliviews to keep the used Wakesetter market kicking. I guess I should start a company and start repairing Maliview's! Whistling.gif

As far as the electronics and water, you'd be surprised at the environments that electronics live in today. They are underwater, in explosive hazardous environments, severely vibrated/shocked, and as long as they are designed to handle it it's no big deal. I would hope the Maliview is no exception. I'm working on a GPS speedometer for the Skier and am designing the boards and display to be fully waterproof. Hopefully it will last.....we'll see. I'll post up some pics soon.

There is a lot of money in older boat restoration and modification (trust me I put some there)and guys that saved a bunch of $$ buying a used older boat are not afraid to drop a bit of money on their boat to get it running the way they want. An "outdated" Maliview" will be no exception.

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