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Buying a used Malibu help


Jaystang83

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I'm looking at buying an 88 Malibu sunsetter 21' direct drive, what should I look into for problems? Besides the usual like floor rot and such. Is there a common problem or issue with late 80s malibu's? Any help would be great.

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Is there a common spot for rot on the 80's malibu's?

All ski boats from the era (not just Malibu's) are subject to dry rot most often near the motor mounts (water can get around the motor mount bolts and into the wood stringers) and in the floor in the back where wet skiers come into the boat.

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beat up gel coat,

Not too hard to bring back to life if your talking oxidation. Deep scratches and gouges would be expensive if there's a lot of them.

vinyl is gone,

Seems like I remember the figure of ~$2000 to have a whole boat interior redone.

carpet is tore up,

Could be a DIY project, depends on your skill set.

$5k not sure it's worth it?

I personally wouldn't pay $5000 for a boat needing that much work. You're looking at probably somewhere around $3000 (or more) worth of repairs to make it "right". For $8000+ you should be able to find a boat that doesn't need all of that work done and the headaches that go along with doing it. A buddy of mine just sold his very clean 92 MC ProStar 190 of $8000.

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Yeah that's what I was thinking, I wasn't expecting a perfect boat being that it's an 88 but this guy made the boat sound a lot cleaner than it was. Left side had lots of scratches from end to end that were through the gel coat, into the fiberglass in a few spots. Rear bench needs to be rebuilt not a big deal I coulda done the woodwork there. The prop had small dings in it which worried me about maybe a bent prop shaft? Thank you for your help. The search continues for my next boat.

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Yeah that's what I was thinking, I wasn't expecting a perfect boat being that it's an 88 but this guy made the boat sound a lot cleaner than it was. Left side had lots of scratches from end to end that were through the gel coat, into the fiberglass in a few spots. Rear bench needs to be rebuilt not a big deal I coulda done the woodwork there. The prop had small dings in it which worried me about maybe a bent prop shaft? Thank you for your help. The search continues for my next boat.

The thing with a boat is that there are so many little things that, because there is the word "Marine" or "Boat" in the description cost more than one would expect. Bilge pump - $50, Blower, $50, Starter, Alternator? $150-250. Trailer tires, $300, Surge Brakes $300-500. Cover $200-700. Bimini 300-500! (Really!) Transmission? Boat's totaled. IMHO, unless you are nostalgic or in love with older boats (They are cool), into restoring vehicles as a hobby, then you need a bigger budget. Just getting up to 7500 opens up better examples. Boats don't make a lot of economic sense, but trying to save money with a 5k or below boat just won't really happen in the long run.

Before you know it, your 5k boat is a 12k boat. I prefer to buy a much better boat for 10-12k. It'll be newer, so you probably can get composite construction. Less hours on the motor. Trailer is probably in working shape. Since it's a boat, there still will be a long list of stuff it needs, but they will be smaller and more maintance stuff instead of the big things that will keep the boat off the lake unless repaired.

When I was shopping earlier this year, most 5k boats could be dropped in a lake and make it out and back, but weren't capable of taking a family out for a day without incident.

Oh, yeah, if you buy a 5k boat, prolly better budget the 100-200 for Seatow...

Just my opinion, feel free to flame away. I'm not trying to be a downer, but have been through this.

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Oh, and make sure to look at the trailer too. I made the mistake of looking to hard at the boat and neglecting to inspect the trailer well enough. Fortunatly trailer parts are cheaper than boat parts because they are used more widely. Lot's of cheap places to buy standard parts.

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