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sledandski

What Malibu To Buy?

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sledandski

So the wife and I have been talking and it looks like towards the end of this coming season I will be ready to pull the trigger on a new-to-me boat. I thought I knew what I was going to look for but after reading dozens of posts I have found I have more questions. So I am looking for some advice. I grew up on the water and right now I have a 1989 American Skier Advance (19' closed bow ski boat) as that is what I could afford after college. The reasons for wanting to upgrade are as follows:

  • very difficult to wakesurf and way to much weight in the boat to be anywhere near safe
  • wakeboarding wake is a little weak, even with 1500lbs of fat sacs
  • 4 people is a good crew, 5 is tight, 6 is very tight, 7 people the goal is not not fall out of the boat when moving around
  • Some of the lakes we ski on are a little bigger (2-10 miles long, 1-2 miles across) and can get rough, boat pounds you to death in rough water if your going faster than 15mph.

I am looking for a boat that will do it all in the $20K range. I am a solid barefooter and can run the course at 15off on a ski, but usually only get a chance to run a course 1-2 times a year, so most of my slalom skiing is free skiing. Working on back flips on a wakeboard. A majority of our time on the water is spent wakeboarding but that is because the water is rough. If we are out early enough on a Saturday will start out barefooting, then slalom, then wakeboard. If we are not out early enough then will just wakeboard. During the week if the water calms down at the end of an evening will get in a slalom run or 2 and maybe a footn run if were lucky. So that is kind of a mix of what we do and how the boat is used.

My original plan was to find a 1999 - 2002 Sunsetter LXI and if I could not find one of those then look for a Sunsetter LX, this seemed like something that would fit the bill well. After reading a lot of posts on this forum though I realized that the lx is on the wake hull and the lxi is on the diamond hull. I also learned that the 2001 Sunsetter VLX is on a diamond hull and so is the 2002-2004 Sunscape LSV. Plus these boats are V-drives which is a nicer setup in my opinion (motor kind of splits people to front and back). I also heard the VLX is a pretty decent slalom boat especially with a few pounds of balast up front.

So what would people recommend?? I am looking for something in the 20K range that can pull a footer well, has a decent slalom wake (does not need to be perfect), does decent on a busy saturday with a churned up lake, can surf behind and will fit 6-7 people comfortably.

Thanks all for the responses and totally awesome forum, its my new addiction especially while waiting for summer up here in Michigan :)

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85 Barefoot

Great post. I spent some time in an Advance growing up. Cool boat! My vote would be for a 01 sunsetter VLX or 02-04 lsv. I'm SURE someone else will speak up with another! Enjoy the search, you'll be happy with whatever you wind up with.

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Steve B.

My advice isnt the boat but the buying approach. Make sure you test drive/ski any boat you are interested in.

Best of luck !

Steve B.

Edited by Steve B.

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Marmonick

I have a IRide...great crossover boat. direct drive, wedge, ballast, illusion tower...its a little pricier, but newer than any of the boats you mentioned. Just a suggestion.

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MalibuNation

S&S,

Looks like you nailed it with Sunsetter LXI or a Sunscape LSV with a diamond hull. Of all the boats I hated to see Malibu drop was the Sunsetter LXI. I'm an hour south of you in the Kalamazoo area and planning on picking up my 03 21' Sunscape LSV the first weekend of May if you want to see how it performs ... and can wait that long. Also we're going to have a WOW on Gull Lake the w/e of May 18th if you want to come.

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grandude

I saw and ad for the boat you are describing last night. skiboatsolutions.com. Go to their inventory tab at the top left side of the page, it's the second boat listed. 2000 VLX 400 hrs, freshwater. Looks really clean. Might be a good place to start.

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Arctic Slalom

welcome to the forum!

I agree, this forum is loaded with great information and SO many people with great, practical and technical insight about these boats.

I just bought an '04 sunscape 21 with diamond hull; coming from an '89 sunsetter. Your thoughts about moving from a DD to a VD sound just like mine (wife + three growing kids).

I haven't skied behind it yet (little frigid in North Dakota), but from all I've read and discussed, it's the "best" crossover I could find short of spending (+)$50K for a newer VTX.

I'm adding a tower and ballast to satisfy the boarding/surfing crowd in my family and friends.

Malibu boats really hold their resale and their dealers are outstanding. I've always been impressed with the dealers for these boats. They REALLY do go the extra mile to make sure you are happy and it shows.

I've dealt with Minnesota Inboard, Skiers Pier and recently Smooth Water Sports, and they've all been great!

I think you can get a very nice Sunscape in the 20's.

The thing with a Malibu is if you take good care of it, you will always get the money back when you sell. If you hold it for 3-5 years, the boat will only drop 10-20%.

Make sure to back-up all the videos/photos of family and friends on the boat, because that's worth a "heck of lot" more than what the boat will drop in value!!!

good luck!

CR

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Michigan boarder

Welcome to the Crew!

Just so you know, there are a lot of people looking to spend no more than $20k and get a v-drive, so you have some serious competition. So if you find one that you think might do the trick, act quickly to check it out. There's a guy on this site that's been in the same position as you over on the east coast, and it seems all of the good ones he's been interested in disappeared fast, even during the winter.

Ditto what MalibuNation said - on May 18th over at Gull Lake near Kalamazoo there is a Malibu get together hosted by Gull Lake Marine (Malibu dealer) and there will be lots of guys from this site bringing their boats. You'll probably see a good variety of DD and VD's, both new and used, and a lot of people would be happy to take you for a ride and/or a puill.

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Levi900RR

I GOT DIBS ON ANY GOOD VDRIVE IN THE NORTH EAST FOR 20K!!!

:lol:

j/k I would think you'd be pretty happy with the SSLXI

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Michigan boarder

Toldja!

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sledandski

Wow!! Thanks everyone for the feedback, just a few replies to some of the responses then a few questions.

S&S,

Looks like you nailed it with Sunsetter LXI or a Sunscape LSV with a diamond hull. Of all the boats I hated to see Malibu drop was the Sunsetter LXI. I'm an hour south of you in the Kalamazoo area and planning on picking up my 03 21' Sunscape LSV the first weekend of May if you want to see how it performs ... and can wait that long. Also we're going to have a WOW on Gull Lake the w/e of May 18th if you want to come.

MalibuNation - I will totally take you up on that offer!! My wife and I just moved up to GR in December from Kalamazoo. Thanks for the offer and I will shoot you a PM with my cell number.

Welcome to the Crew!

Just so you know, there are a lot of people looking to spend no more than $20k and get a v-drive, so you have some serious competition. So if you find one that you think might do the trick, act quickly to check it out. There's a guy on this site that's been in the same position as you over on the east coast, and it seems all of the good ones he's been interested in disappeared fast, even during the winter.

Ditto what MalibuNation said - on May 18th over at Gull Lake near Kalamazoo there is a Malibu get together hosted by Gull Lake Marine (Malibu dealer) and there will be lots of guys from this site bringing their boats. You'll probably see a good variety of DD and VD's, both new and used, and a lot of people would be happy to take you for a ride and/or a puill.

Michigan Boarder, you totally called it!! From looking around, it does seem the $20K mark is going to be on the low side, so I might have to save a little longer, but that is fine. Plus I might have to beat Levi900RR to it :)

Couple questions for everyone.

I have not hear any responses on how the Sunsetter LX would do, from the hull type I am thinking it would be better at wakeboarding, but not so good on the slalom. How about barefooting or rough water, any thoughts on this?

Should I more or less not even look at any V-drive with the wake hull as they wake will be to big for a ride through the course (2000 and earlier VLX, wakesetters, etc)??

Is the 2001 VLX on the diamond hull more or less the same as the 21' Sunscape LSV? Also, any comments on the larger LSV's (23' and 25')

Last question, any rougher water comments or barefooting comments on the SSLXI, 2001 SSVLX, or Sunscape LSV? I have found a fair amount of input about slalom vs wakeboarding / surfing but not many comments on barefooting.

Thanks again all for the input!! You have helped bring my craving for spring to an almost intolerable level :)

Edited by sledandski

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jaciche

With our '04 vlx, we can do it all but it does wakeboarding best when in reality when slalom and barefoot more. I would recommend a 02-04 vlx or a 21' sunscape with a wedge and tower. For you, sounds like you are wakeboarding more and having more people in that boat that 3. Sunscape=the best BF/slalom v-drive and can wakeboard. VLX=good all around boat with a weakness in slalom wake. still manageable but leaves something to be desired

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Bradley Thornton

Wow!! Thanks everyone for the feedback, just a few replies to some of the responses then a few questions.

MalibuNation - I will totally take you up on that offer!! My wife and I just moved up to GR in December from Kalamazoo. Thanks for the offer and I will shoot you a PM with my cell number.

Michigan Boarder, you totally called it!! From looking around, it does seem the $20K mark is going to be on the low side, so I might have to save a little longer, but that is fine. Plus I might have to beat Levi900RR to it :)

Couple questions for everyone.

I have not hear any responses on how the Sunsetter LX would do, from the hull type I am thinking it would be better at wakeboarding, but not so good on the slalom. How about barefooting or rough water, any thoughts on this?

Should I more or less not even look at any V-drive with the wake hull as they wake will be to big for a ride through the course (2000 and earlier VLX, wakesetters, etc)??

Is the 2001 VLX on the diamond hull more or less the same as the 21' Sunsetter LSV? Also, any comments on the larger LSV's (23' and 25')

Last question, any rougher water comments or barefooting comments on the SSLXI, 2001 SSVLX, or Sunscape LSV? I have found a fair amount of input about slalom vs wakeboarding / surfing but not many comments on barefooting.

Thanks again all for the input!! You have helped bring my craving for spring to an almost intolerable level :)

First off :welcome:

Look under resources up top look under specifications pick the year boat you are looking at and you will see the hull SV23 diamond will be a little better for barefooting. The V25 diamond will be better for wakeboarding and surfing V25 gets a A+. Also less draft better barefooting and less weight better barefooting.

Most barefooter have a boat to do just that. Some of the crew have 2 boat one just to barefoot. We do it all on my 06 V-Ride SV23 hull no diamond yes we have a little hump but keep in mind its soft so its not the hard on the knees.

You have to pick the sport you will do the most and pick the boat for that sport. My numbers maybe off but I just want to give you an idea to work with 1 to 10 with a 5 being average. SV23 diamond Barefooting 4 1/2 wakeboarding 8 surfing 8. LSV V25 diamond Barefooting 3 1/2 wakeboarding 9 surfing 9 1/2.

If others think my numbers are way off post some new ones .

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singingskier

Had a Sunsetter LX for 13 years. The slalom wake was pretty good, but not as good as the SSLXI from what I've heard. I've never tried to ski the course on purpose....open water slalom from 30-34 mph at 15 off and just started last season at 22 off at 30-34. Fine with a couple people in the boat, rear seat removed and 1/2 tank or less of gas. Still ski-able with a boat load, but just a much bigger wake. Threw a decent Wakeboard wake with Wedge and weight, was very comfortable and roomy. Rough water rode very well for an inboard.

There is a 2002 SSLX on the Diamond 23 hull at the following link, they are wanting to get out from under their debt load. With just a little upholstery work, it would be a great boat. Has the rear locker like an SSLXI, tower, PP, but not the 320 Monsoon. Still should be a better ski boat with the Diamond SV23 hull (according to the specs in the resources in this website). Just a little above my price range or I would seriously look at it. I know San Antonio is a long way from you, but I sold my boat to a guy from further north than you. If you are interested I would be glad to test drive it for you and you might could get the people to meet you somewhere along the way so the drive isn't so long.

http://sanantonio.craigslist.org/boa/3658031924.html lots more pix at http://www.popyachts.com/View/13628

Singing Skiier

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Nitrousbird

Is the 2001 VLX on the diamond hull more or less the same as the 21' Sunsetter LSV?

No such thing as a Sunsetter LSV, nor is there a 21' LSV in 2001. The 2001 Wakesetter VLX is on the non-diamond SV23. The 2001 Sunsetter VLX is on the Diamond SV23. 2002-2004 Sunscape 21 LSV is on the SV23 diamond as well. 2001 was the only year the Sunsetter VLX was on a diamond hull.

IMO the '01 Sunsetter VLX or '02-'04 Sunscape 21 LSV is the boat you would be the most pleased with.

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l98ycar

I bought my 2000 23 LSV for $20K a couple of years ago but it took some shopping and I bought a dirty (cosmetically neglected but with good service records) boat out of season - so I do not think your price point is un-acheiveable. At 30 mph, the ski wake is reasonable (if you are not too serious), lots of room for friends/family, and we do not wakeboard but based on comments from others here, it should work quite well for that.

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sledandski

No such thing as a Sunsetter LSV, nor is there a 21' LSV in 2001. The 2001 Wakesetter VLX is on the non-diamond SV23. The 2001 Sunsetter VLX is on the Diamond SV23. 2002-2004 Sunscape 21 LSV is on the SV23 diamond as well. 2001 was the only year the Sunsetter VLX was on a diamond hull.

IMO the '01 Sunsetter VLX or '02-'04 Sunscape 21 LSV is the boat you would be the most pleased with.

NitrousBird,

I apologize, I meant to write Sunscape and not Sunsetter. I have corrected it.

First off :welcome:

Look under resources up top look under specifications pick the year boat you are looking at and you will see the hull SV23 diamond will be a little better for barefooting. The V25 diamond will be better for wakeboarding and surfing V25 gets a A+. Also less draft better barefooting and less weight better barefooting.

Most barefooter have a boat to do just that. Some of the crew have 2 boat one just to barefoot. We do it all on my 06 V-Ride SV23 hull no diamond yes we have a little hump but keep in mind its soft so its not the hard on the knees.

You have to pick the sport you will do the most and pick the boat for that sport. My numbers maybe off but I just want to give you an idea to work with 1 to 10 with a 5 being average. SV23 diamond Barefooting 4 1/2 wakeboarding 8 surfing 8. LSV V25 diamond Barefooting 3 1/2 wakeboarding 9 surfing 9 1/2.

If others think my numbers are way off post some new ones .

Bradley,

Thanks for the numbers, that does really help. If I had my way I would ski and foot 60-70% of the time, I would also live on a lake that was all mine and always had flat water :) So while I enjoy slaloming and barefooting the most, it comes down to what the water conditions are like on the lake I am on that day. Barefooting in rough water is do-able and I have done it in tournaments, but I would by no means say it is fun. Same thing on a slalom ski. I find wakeboarding to be more enjoyable in rougher water, and I think surfing would be the best for rougher water. Wakeboarding, surfing, and hanging out is what I do the most, but I need something that can slalom and barefoot, but does not need to be awesome at it.

The resources section is simply awesome, I have gone through the different years to see what is available.

I am thinking that an LSV or VLX on the diamond hull or the Sunsetter LXI are what I am going to be keeping my eye out for. Decent for barefooting and slalom, good at wakeboarding and surfing. Sounds like the wake hull or the larger diamond hull is going to be better at wakeboarding and surfing but going to suffer a bit on the slalom and barefoot side.

This sound like a pretty good summary?

What have people found the top speed to be on something like a LSV or Sunsetter LXI? Just curious from a barefooting standpoint.

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wakesetter8796

Our Sunsetter went 48.2 according to PP.

probably around 45 GPS.

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85 Barefoot

Agree with most of what has been said other than that a diamond hull is preferable for barefooting, its the opposite. Most prefer the non-diamond iterations of all (sunsetter, VLX, LSV, etc). non-diamond barefoot wakes are a little more crisp which is why 97 and prior responses and echelons and sportsters are considered malibu's premier direct drive barefoot boats.

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edgeski1

Ben,

The boat you need to buy is MalibuNations. HE needs to ReUP anyway!

2000-2001 VLX

2002-2004 21LSV (20k will be tough the newer you go)

if you can find a 2004, that'll be the sweet spot, as it has the gorilla tracking fins, which will help keep the boat pointed straight when your laying down those immense ski turns you do!

Unfortunately, although we sold the crap out of those, they tough boats to come by used.

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MalibuNation

Zach,

Every once in awhile I get weak and start looking @ new boats ... then I start thinking about retirement and that's where my $ goes..

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sledandski
Ben,

The boat you need to buy is MalibuNations. HE needs to ReUP anyway!

2000-2001 VLX

2002-2004 21LSV (20k will be tough the newer you go)

if you can find a 2004, that'll be the sweet spot, as it has the gorilla tracking fins, which will help keep the boat pointed straight when your laying down those immense ski turns you do!

Unfortunately, although we sold the crap out of those, they tough boats to come by used.

Thanks for the compliment and for the tip about the fins.

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racer808

What's this thing called retirement?

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Levi900RR

Zach,

Every once in awhile I get weak and start looking @ new boats ... then I start thinking about retirement and that's where my $ goes..

Oh man, I had a sneak peak at our local boat show last night and started running numbers in my head on a new VLX... :drool:

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MalibuNation

What's this thing called retirement?

No kidding.

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