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2008 VLX Purchase Advice

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I'm in the market for my fist wake boarding boat.  I currently have a GEKKO GTS 20 that we have simply outgrown.  I'm currently looking at a 2008 Malibu VLX with the 4 ballast tank  option, Hammer Head 383 motor, V25 Hull, and Tower Bimini. The boat has a sound system, but the specifics have not been provided.  The hr meter reads 843 hrs.  The boat was traded for a new boat, however none of the mechanical records exist.  The boat is 5 hrs away from me, so it's a challenge to go take a close up look and inspect it myself.  I've been told it has not been in salt.  It is located several hrs away from any salt water, so I believe that may be true.  That being said, I've got a couple questions and am looking for any advice on purchasing a boat online.  I intend on getting a pre-purchase survey, however I don't want to pay for this until I'm very confident that I've found the right boat.

My goal is simple, purchase the most mechanically sound wake boarding boat at the best price.  I like the Malibu line, specifically the VLX.  The size fits my docking, garage, passenger needs and the performance will be a huge step up from what I'm currently using.

1. What are an acceptable number of hrs on a used motor?  i.e. hrs/year.  

     a.  This one is about 100 hrs/year, and seems high to me, however if it has been maintained properly I don't think it should be an issues.

          *.  Do you agree?

     b.  I've requested compression test results.  I intend to have the test performed again in the presence of the pre-purchase survey inspector.

2. Will the HIN provide any information about this boat?  I heard conflicting information on this.  

     a.  Does the HIN work like the VIN on a car?  

     b.  Can I get the original build for this boat based on this number?

3. Are their any common issues that the VLX of this era have?

4. Are there any specific information that I should be requesting from the dealer?

5. Are their any specific photos that I should request from the dealer?

6. Anything I may have missed?

Thanks for your input in advance!





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I can tell you that hardcore boarders will put 150 hrs/ year or more on a boat, we do. I have a 15 23LSV and I will hit 300 hours soon . If maintained properly I would not shy away from a 100hr + per year boat. I sent you a message. 

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On the '08 Bu's they had electrical issues that most likely got fixed by the dealer at some point:

Which tower is on the boat, some people have had problems with one of the Illusion style towers but I cannot remember which one it was and what the issues with the tower were.

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my 2008 has over 700hrs since new, most people can't tell that it isn't a 14 or 15 because it has been taken care of.  Only issue I have had with it was an O2 sensor that was replaced by the dealer the first week I had it.  It has not been back for anything since then.

As long as the boat you are looking at has been taken care of and maintained properly I would not have any problems bringing it home.

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Most people on this site would rather have a "high" hour boat with service records than a low hour boat without service records. 800 hours with no records seems kinda iffy to me. It would have to be a great deal for me to take the gamble. 

1. Compression test is good, but also do a leak down test.

2. I believe you can contact Malibu with the HIN and they can tell you most of what you want to know about the boat build.

3. Tower, as said above

4. Make sure you know exactly what's included in the negotiated price. Trailer, cover, free floating Keychain, etc

5. I would request specific pics of any gel coat bumps and bruises. This would include spider cracks around areas such as bow grab rails, tower mounts, tracking fins, strut, etc

6. Tell us your price range, and we can maybe find a better boat for you that has maintenance records. We're really good at spending other people's money!

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I have an '08 vlx, it has been a great boat. I religiously change oil every 50 hours and follow replacement intervals stated in the manual for wires, plugs etc.

I do not have maintenance records but would welcome a prospective buyer to do whatever type of inspection he/she wanted to do. 

Really, how valuable is a list that i type up myself of the service i myself have completed on the boat?

As with any boat, if you like it, do your do diligence and enjoy it. 

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