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maroon88iroc

1993 Echelon LX open bow - (budget boat) would you buy it?

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maroon88iroc

Alright so I have been on Malibu Crew for a few years now, first boat was an '89 Malibu Euro F3, which was phenomenal, second boat was a '97 Malibu Sunsetter which was a great boat but not quite as nice as I would have liked. I have always been big into the car hobby and the collection grew by 1 this year with the additional of a grand national. Wife and I are also looking to buy or build a house so we are trying to keep are savings account right in the meantime hence looking for a budget boat this year. I guess if I had to put a budget on it I would say $10K is the most I would like to spend, ideally I would like to get a 95-99 Sunsetter again but I am not finding much under 12K. I wouldn't mind a late 80's or early 90's euro or Sunsetter if it was very nice and in the 4-6k range but the wood floor scares me.

I ran across this: http://atlanta.craigslist.org/sat/boa/5570922514.html

93 Malibu Echelon LX open bow - from my understanding this is all fiberglass with no wood?

Positives: No wood, SV23 hull just like the newer sunsetters (based on my research), I like the coloring, Tower already installed is a big plus, engine looks factory and maintained, dual axle trailer, new battery, all gauges work, newer style windshield, local, price $6K seems reasonable but I would like to be more around $5K.

Negatives: Seats need re-upholstered (looks to be just the bottoms which I am fine with), radio does not work, unkown hours, needs to be wetsanded/buffed/polished, did not mention a cover being included, I'm sure there will be many more negatives when I get there.

 

Is this a boat I should consider, can I get feedback from those who have owned one? Plans would be to start enjoying it for the summer and replace/fix items/issues along the way, possibly sell at the end of the summer for what I originally paid. Also for usage - mostly average skill wakeboarding and tubing, very seldom do we ski. mostly will be no more than 4 people in the boat but would like to accommodate 6. We just want to be on the water for CHEAP

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jk13

Correct, no wood at all.

Ad says 7.5k. If you talk them down to 5k you'll have stolen it. 

 

Edit: as far as how we like the boat--we love ours. Be aware that compared to the SSLX it'll be very shallow inside and the seats are nearly on the floor. Great little hot rod tow boat, but rough wet ride in any sort of chop.

Edited by jk13

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maroon88iroc
6 minutes ago, jk13 said:

Correct, no wood at all.

Ad says 7.5k. If you talk them down to 5k you'll have stolen it. 

 

Edit: as far as how we like the boat--we love ours. Be aware that compared to the SSLX it'll be very shallow inside and the seats are nearly on the floor. Great little hot rod tow boat, but rough wet ride in any sort of chop.

Ya I don't think that boat will ever fetch 7.5k  but maybe if the interior was redone and the paint/gelcoat shined like a newer boat - he has told me $6K and if I get there and everything works and repairs aren't as bad as I am thinking I will probably be good with that.

how is the wake for wakeboarding, or how does it compare to a '89 Malibu euro or a newer SSLXI?

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mikeo

I had a '93 Echelon with a wedge on it; properly weighted & with the wedge it gives an awesome "lippy" wakeboard wake. I ran a fat sac under the bow (closed bow) and "jumpseat" style sacs next to the engine to get two more seats + ballast. At 21-23 MPH 80' back a decent cut would put me way out in the flats for landing. The wake was like hitting a quarter pipe, it would throw me straight up and I needed speed to transition across the wake. Be careful with too much ballast, until I learned that I couldn't turn around any faster than just in gear (no throttle at all) and turn inside my own wake (NO POWER TURNS) I would get water over the windshield. With an open bow, you could significantly swamp the boat. Don't use lead or any non-buoyant ballast on that boat!

The stereo fix is an easy one: get a new head unit that you like and run new speaker wire. The Echelon has a dedicated stereo switch on the dash so it's a simple wiring job. If you're going to put amplified tower speakers up you're going to have some issues with space due to the open bow, there isn't much of a place to mount amps.

The upholstery will be one of the larger expenses, but since it is all there a decent upholstery shop will be able to make patterns from what you have. It's much easier to re-cover the seats when the is something to work with. If you don't want to spend a bunch of money on upholstery then consider having terry cloth seat covers made. The terry cloth is more comfortable and can be removed to wash/dry. I'll bet the carpet is shot, but that can easily be replaced.

I would check the Computron to see if it's still functioning, and if the speed display (a bunch of green and red LEDs on the dash) still works. The Airguide analog speedometers are probably shot (and if they still work you're lucky!) but can be replaced with newer gauges and/or a GPS based drop-in unit. The depth gauge integrated with the Computron won't work (I've never seen one work even with a new transducer)

To my knowledge there isn't any wood on a '93 other than the swim platform. The engine is one of the easiest to work on there is. It's a Chevy 350 and it's a direct drive; you can pull it out and put it on a stand if you need to do anything major. The engine issues I had were: carburetor needed to be rebuilt at 1200 hours, the distributor shaft needed new bushings, the head gaskets needed replacement, and my starter was worn out.

If I could get that boat between $5000 to $6000 I would buy it and a cover and leave it in the marina to use as a tender/runabout.

Here's a question: I just noticed that the boat has a TX registration, but is listed for sale in Atlanta, GA. Unless there is a good story, this could be a CL scam...

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jk13

Good info ^^.

We don't have a wedge on ours and it has the traditional Malibu rampy wake shape, only smaller. Because it's a small-footprint hull it responds more to weight than a bigger boat would. I've set tube sacks next to the engine, or you can put the rear seat bottom up on top of the arm rests in sundeck mode and put some weight under it. Some even do tube sacks in an L shape to surf. We haven't tried.

Very similar boat in better shape sold up here last summer with no wedge and no tower for 12.5k. Pricing varies quite a bit across the country, but if you do nationwide searches you'll see decent ones are usually over 10k.

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Michigan boarder

That is a great buy for $6k.  You won't find a cheaper "get-on-the-water" solution, let alone one that has no wood in it and has a tower.  Don't hesitate, that thing will sell for sure.  As long as it runs well, the rest is simple and you can likely live with it while having some fun.

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95echelon

Just buy it, the only downside for me is the grey and blue interior. I am partial to white. I had a 95 with over 1500 hours and brought the gel back (it had a good but redone interior). Mine had a wedge and no tower, just a pole. The only things that worked in mine were the RPM gauge and the engine, and we still had an absolute blast in it. Slalom, wakeboard, tubing, all of it. Great with kids. I hardly see open bow echelon's under 10k. If you get it for 7k or under and put 2k in the interior you are ahead.

 

 

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Michigan boarder
Just now, 95echelon said:

Just buy it, the only downside for me is the grey and blue interior. I am partial to white. I had a 95 with over 1500 hours and brought the gel back (it had a good but redone interior). Mine had a wedge and no tower, just a pole. The only things that worked in mine were the RPM gauge and the engine, and we still had an absolute blast in it. Slalom, wakeboard, tubing, all of it. Great with kids. I hardly see open bow echelon's under 10k. If you get it for 7k or under and put 2k in the interior you are ahead.

 

 

Yep.  $40 in supplies and 40 hours of labor will get the gel coat done too.  Or not - leave it all as is and don't drop a dime except for fuel, decide to fix it or keep it in the fall.

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Woodski

The Echelon is a great boat, I love mine but it is also not stock.  The Echelon excels at skiing and barefooting but as noted, with the correct treatment it is versatile.  The Echelon and the SV23 hull is what put Malibu on the map and in to the same conversation with MC and CC in the tournament slalom boats.  The Echelon is also a well respected boat and can keep good resale when well maintained.  350 Merc small block is easy to work on and get parts.

Correct, no wood and 93 was the intro year for the Echelon which was available through 98.  Same hull as Response, which was introduced at a slightly lower price point to the Echelon.

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95echelon
1 hour ago, Michigan boarder said:

Yep.  $40 in supplies and 40 hours of labor will get the gel coat done too.  Or not - leave it all as is and don't drop a dime except for fuel, decide to fix it or keep it in the fall.

Are you near Atlanta? You might know how to wetsand and polish but if not I travel there monthly. I would be happy to teach you anytime. Private message me if (when) you buy the boat. 

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footndale

Boat isn't on Craigslist anymore.

I would check on this boat, 

 

New interior. Only problem might be a new engine, but might only need new head casket. A little research on it might be very beneficial. I have seen his pictures, but not in person.

 

1997 for 10K

http://greenville.craigslist.org/boa/5545356497.html

 

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maroon88iroc

Boat is sold.. I guess I need to be a little more proactive on going to look at one when it pops up

 

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95echelon
2 hours ago, maroon88iroc said:

Boat is sold.. I guess I need to be a little more proactive on going to look at one when it pops up

 

If it's a good deal you need to call within hours and view it ideally that day. Anything priced well will go almost instantly. We went from 5 wakeboats on the whole lake 10 years ago, to 10 just at the sandbar any given day now. They last forever and are built well. I keep that and a pontoon and probably wont need another boat for 10 years.

 

Not too many options in that range but if you want to drive to pick one up and can live with closed bow:

http://indianapolis.craigslist.org/boa/5545716660.html

http://hickory.craigslist.org/boa/5534864600.html

http://nh.craigslist.org/boa/5580259238.html

Edited by 95echelon

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maroon88iroc

I'm glad this echelon did not work out.. I bought a 1999 Sunsetter LX this weekend for $10.5K. 2 owner boat with only 607 hrs always in docked on a hydrahoist in fresh water, interior in great shape, side upholstery and upper/lower rear seat are newly recovered. Fuel injected Indmar 350 runs smooth and pulls hard, foldable swoop tower with bimini attached. Came with the original trailer; 2 tubes, a wakeboard, skis, 12 life vests, 2 anchors, both keys and all the original paperwork.

 

I ordered a few things for it this week; New spark plugs, spark plug wires, marine grade distributor cap & rotor, new fuel filter, corrosion spray, complete new impeller housing, perko switch, extra battery, (2) battery boxes. Hoping to get everything installed and go enjoy the boat this Saturday.

Couple other things that either need replacing or I plan on adding soon: oil pressure gauge seems inaccurate, speedometer not working, bilge running more than normal (water pump housing leaking but may also need to repack shaft and rudder next winter), rear seat upholstery is plain (want to add the original stripe back), tower speakers, board racks

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