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After 12 Mo Ownership

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This will only be of interest to new or potentially new Malbu owners. (The rest of you know this stuff already.) After 30 years of outboard ownership, I bought my first DD skiboat (1998 RLX) 16 months ago. After the 1st summer, I posted the following on MBO, when a newbie (who owned a Sportster) was asking questions.

I just reread, and almost all still applies. The only 2 exceptions are: First, I would replace "MBO" (Item 3) with "themalibucrew"... because all my Malibu friends have moved over. Second, I never bought the ACME prop... (Item 8) and am just about to order an OJ XMP... just waiting for a fellow "Crew" pal to post tests. I also will NOT be buying through Wakeside, now that they yanked the discount.

General Feelings after 1 summer of ownership:

1/ Yes, tranny moans in reverse. That's normal.

2/ Docking: You get used to it real fast.

3/ MBO is fantastic resource. Imbedded in the fun and jabs is a wealth of information that is like having a dealership at your fingertips. 4000+ folks who love their boats have probably encountered whatever it is you're seeing, and they love to share.

4/ I don't know why I waited so long to buy a DD skiboat!!!

5/ Noise. Many folks (me included) have insulated their motor boxes. REALLY glad I did it. Reduced sound at slow speeds by over 10 dB. (No change to high speed)

6/ Sportsters came WITHOUT mufflers. (Unless the owner paid for that option).

7/ Engine: You probably don't have the 310 carb engine. If you do, this still has to be one of the torquey-est motors Maliby put out. Don't feel bad if you don't have EFI. The Sportster with the 310 is a rocket sled.

8/ Prop: The original prop in 1998 was a 13" X 13" CVP stainless prop. You likely get about 48-50 mph. However, careful about over-revving. The 310 carb is supposed to redline at 4800 (rev limiter set at 5000) With a light load, you may exceed this. Don't. Many folks have said the CVP's are not the greatest. (I still run with mine). In fact, there was a thread a while back where guys were saying there was an instance wher a CVP prop shredded at least 1 of its blades. In any case, if you're looking for a new prop.... I've done my homework. Best deal is through MBO's "partner", WAKESIDE, and you get the ACME Nibral prop. Call the guys at ACME, and they'll give you the info for the right prop for you.

9/ Safety: There's a great thread on here re the dangers of CO. I suggest you dig it out. A lot of good advice.

10/ "Not in My Boat Rules". Another fun but very imformative look at rules the MBO guys have for their boating guests. Lots of good safety stuff. Imbedded in 1 of the threads.

11/ Gas Mileage: My gas mileage over 53 hours this summer (310 carb) was about 3.2 US gal per hour. Caution: Your fuel gauge sucks. Don't trust it.

12/ Use Fantastik to clean your vinyl, buy 303 protectant to protect your vinyl, and Bo-Shield T9 to lubricate stuff (instead of WD40).

13/ Yes, a Minn Kota trolling motor can attach to the swim platform.... and get you home in a pinch... at 2.1 mph.

14/ Your horn sucks. Suggest a handheld air horn in your driver drink holder or close by for all those I/O folks driving too close to your boat!

15/ Bat Turns: Although looks impressive and scares (or thrilss) the heck out of guests.... suggestions are that these are HELL on the undergear!

16/ PVC Boat Cover Support: Neat ideas about how to use PVC pipe and fabricate your own additional support system to stop the rain from pooling in the cover when you don't have the trailer-snaps to count on to pull the tarp tight.

17/ Launch Seat: This the spare seat you can buy from your dealer. Weighs 20 pounds. Matches your interior. Only made by Malibu. Gives you seating for ONE extra person when skiing/boarding. Fits between the gunnel and the motor box. It's a tight fit, but it WILL fit in a Sportster. Doesn't sound like a great addition, but thos who have bought one (including me) are SOOOO glad we did. Especially in a Sportster.... they are a little skinnier than the other boats (86" width ve Response 90" and others are bigger still).

18/ Domed Numbers: Another MBO partner. If you need to replace your registration numbers.... these things look like they were molded in at the factory vs tacked on later.

19/ Pylon stiffness. If you have a stiff knob, T9 works wonders!

20/ Share your own good ideas. t won't take long before your Malibu experience can help others also!

Anybody else?

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If you would have bought a v-drive you wouldn't have to insulate the motor box


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