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Metalic

Looking at a 92 echelon lx

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Metalic

Im looking at a echelon lx and was wondering what to expect.

How would the wake boarding wake be?

How do they handle rougher water?

How are they all around?

Thanks

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Woodski

They are a great boat, but were introduced in 1993. The Echelon was a game changer for Malibu and pretty much took them to the top as a serious tournament ski boat manufacturer. The strength of this boat will be the three event disciplines, and it is an excellent ski boat. Not the ultimate wake board boat, but it is an excellent barefoot boat, actually one of the very best DD footing boats available. Verify either the year or model to make sure exactly what the boat in question is.

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Metalic

It's a 94 I'm looking at

I have an I/O currently with tower, etc but I want to get a tow boat and found this one and like it. My kids tube, Kneeboard and I wakeboard but we also take a cruise up the lake during the day when it's to rough to do much other than tube.

Thanks

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Michigan boarder

I stepped into my Echelon after an I/O as well. We wakeboard, barefoot, surf, and occasionally slalom with ours. It's a great boat for our family of 5, small and light, enough power to do what we need. The downsides (esp. coming from an I/O)are:

1. The open bow is small. Really small. Good for kids, tight for 1 adult.

2. The bow sits very low in the water. This produces a great slalom wake, but makes a lot of other things tough. It is VERY easy to take a large wave over the bow if you are not careful, even with nobody in the bow. Put a person up there, and the rub rail is like 2" out of the water, so it's even lower.

3. Rides rough in rough water. The hull is mostly flat in the back and will pounds waves. We were coming across a 3,000 acre lake last weekend and I was at 15 mph for most of the way, just barely on plane (to keep the bow up). Long ride.

But even with those downsides, I absolutely love my boat. Do you have a place on the water or are you trailering? Storage space is an issue with this boat too, but manageable. If you are on the water, no biggie at all. If you are trailering, look at the interior and make sure you will be able to put gear where you need it. Most of our stuff goes behind the driver's seat, it's dead space.

Edit: Does it have a Wedge? That helps with the wake a lot, makes it bigger and steeper. Without the wedge it will likely have a wake similar to your I/O at 20mph.

Edited by Michigan boarder

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Metalic

Thanks for the info Michigan Boarder

How would the ride of this be compared to an older sunsetter?

Would the Sunsetter be pron to water over the bow?

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Michigan boarder

Thanks for the info Michigan Boarder

How would the ride of this be compared to an older sunsetter?

Would the Sunsetter be pron to water over the bow?

I've never been in a Sunsetter, just my Echelon or a 23LSV. From what I've heard though, people have compared the Sunsetter as riding "in" the boat and the Echelon is like riding "on" the boat (lower freeboard). Otherwise I bet they are similar in handling chop and, while less likely to dip the bow, still very possible in the Sunsetter, as is with most Direct Drives. They are just built that way.

Edit: But don't let the water-over-the-bow thing discourage you. You just have to learn to drive it differently. I've had my boat 3 seasons. Dipped it a lot at first, now almost never, usually just for fun.

Edited by Michigan boarder

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JB-FOOT

Metalic,

Where are you located?

you can drive and try our closed and open bow echelons on our dock here in Pgh, PA if you are anywhere near us...

I actually believe there is MORE "useable" room and seats (when comparing an Echelon model) in a closed bow than an open bow....

I have owned both versions of the Echelons....

The Closed bow Echelon has way more storage... IMHO....

As for stuffing the bow on a LOW freeboard boat, get a Bow cover and put it on in rough water and you will have the majority of the water go over it and off it...rather than IN your boat...Just another suggestion and solution...

But remember this when considering coming over to the dark side of inboard-ism from an I/O

To drive an inboard just once is to NEVER EVER WANNA DRIVE AN I/O AGAIN.........EVER!....

JB

Metalic,

As a side note, I have to admit that I own and use two boats every weekend....an Open bow V-Drive with Plenty of Room for 10-11 people and have the Closed bow Echelon for my skiing and barefooting needs....and we also have both boats docked and a place on the water to boot....so I may not be the best judge if you are trying to please the wife and kiddies with your choice of first inboard....But you can not get more bang for your buck with either style Echelon you choose....

Edited by JB-FOOT

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Michigan boarder

As for stuffing the bow on a LOW freeboard boat, get a Bow cover and put it on in rough water and you will have the majority of the water go over it and off it...rather than IN your boat...Just another suggestion and solution...

That's a good point, and is exactly what we did this last Saturday with ours. I had one made for $55, nice red vinyl that matches the boat.

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Steve B.

Yep, once you hit the throttle or ski behind an inboard, it's a done deal. I prefer the open bow's, and stil think there's more EASY accesible storage space. Even though sqaure footage is the closed bow.

I may want to upgrade next summer or so. But, I'm wondering if a big block Echelon may be my choice. So, I may ask you JB for a little test ride next summer if it's okay? I'm only an hour or so away.

These series of boats are all awesome in their own way, you just have to match it to your real needs,

Steve B.

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JB-FOOT

Yep, once you hit the throttle or ski behind an inboard, it's a done deal. I prefer the open bow's, and stil think there's more EASY accesible storage space. Even though sqaure footage is the closed bow.

I may want to upgrade next summer or so. But, I'm wondering if a big block Echelon may be my choice. So, I may ask you JB for a little test ride next summer if it's okay? I'm only an hour or so away.

These series of boats are all awesome in their own way, you just have to match it to your real needs,

Steve B.

Steve

Come on over to the Burgh anytime....you can drive a Big Block Echelon in either a closed bow or open bow Echelon......we have them both....but I warn you...once you go big block, you can't go back.....

Come on over and Foot with us anytime as well.....

JB

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escmanaze

If you don't waterski, I'm not sure why you would buy an echelon. If i didn't ski, I would definitely hold out for a Sunsetter. They are bigger and can often be had at pretty much the same price. After 1995 I think it is, they are all fiberglass as well. But I'm biased, because I do ski, and I'm on the lookout for a good echelon lx, so I'm actually just trolling here to find out where you are located to see if it's close enough for me to buy this 94 instead of you :)

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Metalic

Central Illinois but the boat is located in Chicago area.

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escmanaze

Oh, you're talking about this one then?

http://www.boattrader.com/listing/1994-Malibu-Echelon-Lx-101676147

Yeah, don't worry, no competition from me on that one. Since the back posts of the tower are farther back than the ski pylon, a skier like myself can't buy that one. It's a bummer too, because if that is in decent condition, the price seems pretty reasonable. You'll be hard-pressed to find a DD with no-wood construction and open bow for a lower price than that.

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Metalic

That's the one. It seemed priced decent and the composite stringers is what I liked.

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Michigan boarder

That's the one. It seemed priced decent and the composite stringers is what I liked.

Nice color combo on that boat. A few items I noticed:

1. Does it have a swim platform? That could be around $300 or so.

2. How is the interior? I think there are some split seams (spotters seat, left side of driver's seat, rear top of back seat). A complete interior will cost around $2,000 to $3,500 (depending on how much you do yourself). If you have a few seams tearing, the rest of it will follow suit pretty quickly. Best off to do it all one time instead of a cushion here and there.

3. Is that prop straight or is it dinged a bit? Might just be the pics, but it looks like it has a couple of rough edges. I think it's $100 to have a prop re-worked.

4. You should get a mirror. Not sure on the cost of that, someone on this site probably has an OEM one laying around. I dunno, maybe $75?

Engine looks nice and clean.

So assuming it's in otherwise great shape and just needs the stuff listed above, and you do some work yourself, you'll probably have about $2,500 to put into it. So at $10,500 purchase price that puts you at $13k, and you do not have a wedge (another $700). I would try to get that deal put together for closer to $9,500 to give you room for those additions. Work the angle on the interior, those guys know how much an interior can cost.

Is the gel coat in really good shape?

BTW, I'm picking it apart here from a buyer's standpoint, not telling you it's a bad boat.

Edit: And don't forget about the trailer!! Often neglected, you can sink a lot of money into brakes, tires, bearings, etc. Mine also had drain holes in the cross members, and those holes plugged up. Had to have a portion welded due to corrosion.

Another edit: Not just is the floor composite, but there is zero wood anywhere in that boat, including the seats.

Edited by Michigan boarder

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jk13

^^^^^^ All that.

Plus a boat cover for $500-900.

Spare tire for trailer $150.

Trailer tires themselves are often neglected $150-200.

And the list goes on....

They are asking about the most I'd pay for a top level boat of that age. This one needs some work (as most do, including mine). Being that they are a boat dealer, I'd see what they will fix/replace, otherwise I'd start at 8.5-9k. Much more than that and you can get into a Sunsetter or an Echelon that needs less work.

Edited by jk13

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Metalic

I kinda dropped that one as I want more wake for boarding. But it does have a fiberglass platform, I noticed the interior (my aunt and uncle own a shop and will do work at there cost for me) prop repair is 150 around here, I have a tower mirror, and I had the local Amish make me a bow and cockpit cover for my current boat for $600. But with the wake not going to be much I haven't persued it anymore.

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amarfanhar

That's a good point, and is exactly what we did this last Saturday with ours. I had one made for $55, nice red vinyl that matches the boat.

I want one. It's starting to get cold in the morning and I'd love to get a snap on bow cover. $55 is cheap!!

Edit: I finally bought a bow cover. Great purchase but I paid $225. A lot more than $55.

Edited by amarfanhar

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Michigan boarder

I want one. It's starting to get cold in the morning and I'd love to get a snap on bow cover. $55 is cheap!!

Yeah, had it done with the interior. I got a great deal on the whole thing. It helps a TON with staying warm on cold nights/mornings. You probably already have the snaps too on the boat too, right?

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AdeL

Echelons were fitted with a very unreliable computer system. The LED display in the middle is the Computron display, probably very cool in its day but they all ten dto fail. I took mine out and replaced all the instruments with a new dash, I installed a pefect pass so that is quite a pricey upgrade. Just an FYI in case your like me and things that don't work bug you.

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Sethro

Hey AdeL,

Post some pics of your dash set up if you get a chance. I do not have the computron option in my boat (thankfully) but I was just curious what you've done to yours.

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Steve B.

Wow ! Nice job ! Please dont mind me asking, but can you give a ballpark price on the changeover to that speed control system?

Thanks,

Steve B.

Oh and maybe how difficulty factor in adding the speed control? Thanks again !

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AdeL

Thanks guys. Steve B. Here's the rough cost:

Perfect pass wake edition $1,000

New carbon fiber panel $200

New instruments that includes a depth sounder with water temperature $200

The fitting of the perfect pass was easy if you are remotely technical. The hardest part was feeding the electrical wire from the dash to the engine compartment without damaging it. I bought a 10ft spring snake which worked very well for that job.

I am not 100% pleased with the perfect pass, it is temperamental, sometimes it works very well others it does not. I contacted perfect pass they seem to have lost interest in helping me. Not great when you spend $1,000 on an upgrade.

Regrads

Ade

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