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Noquebay

1998 Malibu Sportster - is this a deal?

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Noquebay

Thursday I'm looking at and likely buying a 1998 Malibu Sportster LX.  It's priced at $8,100 including a 1995 Malibu trailer.  I have few questions I'm hoping to get your opinions on.  Thanks in advance, I just joined the site but have been reading posts on here for a while, there seems to be numerous knowledgable people on here!

1. Does this price seem reasonable? it appears to be in great shape.

2.  I will be using this for tubing, skiing, and likely some wakeboard.  I have young kids that will learn to ski behind this boat.  Is this a good boat to learn behind?

3.  Same question as above, but for wake boarding instead of skiing?

4.  Should I be worried about swamping the boat frequently? Comments in some strings mention low freeboard, do you think it will be an issue for my application?

5. How does the boat handle choppy waters? I'll be on 2,400 acre Lake Noquebay that can get a little choppy, I want to be sure the boat can handle it.

6. Anything in particular I should be looking for when I see the boat Thursday for the first time?

7. Any other general comments / thoughts on the quality of 98 Sportster?

thanks!!!

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toddthelineman

1. Yes. 2. yes 3.Yes. 4. Depends on your driving/awareness and lake conditions. 5. Not a strong point of any true ski boat that I know of. 6. It would be nice if you had someone who really knows boats with you. 7. just buy it, lol

 

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River Monsters

That boat will be terrible in the chop.  You will be home on many days or searching for protected shorelines.  Good price, the water sports you mention will be fine.  It won't really surf and you will probably want to at some point.  Most were not fuel injected, that might be a factor if you are into early ski sessions on cold mornings.  

Tough to beat at that price point.  

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Michigan boarder

That is a great price. 

  • How many hours?
  • Original vinyl?  Does it look good or is it cracking?
  • Stored on a lift or trailered? 

It will be tough in the chop.  I have a slip on Muskegon Lake that is 4,500 acres, when it gets windy it is scary.  Like literally, our Echelon (similar hull) is in danger of swamping and sinking.  So you do have to watch the weather.  At the same time -  we do boat it often, and have a blast.  Chop has only kept us off the lake a handful of times.  Our saving grace is we are also connected to a 450 acre lake, so I can find smooth water pretty much no matter what.

Are you on the lake or will you be traveling to it?

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footndale

Great boat for first time skier/barefooter. Ok to start wake boarding but not going to get a decent big wake if needed 

Terrible in waves.

Sounds like you should look for a 1999-2004 Sunsetter LXI - best all around family boat.

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Noquebay

It's got 680 hours, vinyl in great shape. It looks like original vinyl.  I don't know how it was previously stored (lift/trailer, etc)

i will be storing it on a lift and using it almost exclusively on Lake Noquebay.  The boat is at Skiers Pier in Waterford, mi...    

http://www.skierspier.com/m_vehicledetail.asp?pov=4692660

I should clarify, I usually don't see chop of more than 1-2' worse case, at least in the short time I've been on this lake

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Michigan boarder

Nice boat, go for it!

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footndale

$7500, great deal

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Woodski

@Noquebay:  assuming boat is in good condition, that is a great price.  Will make a great starter boat but do think of it given what you want to use it for as a boat you will probably grow out of due to limited space and low freeboard height.  It is a fantastic barefoot boat, a good ski boat, not a good wakeboard boat for advanced riders and will pull tubes well.  Rough water, chop and rollers will be the Achilles heel for that boat, so yes for question 4 and not the best for question 5 (but any ski or barefoot targeted boat will not handle chop well, Malibu better than most due to SV23 hull).  As for quality and reliability, it should be sound and provide plenty of trouble free operation.

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powbmps

Nice looking boat and great price!  I was looking at a closed bow 99 with triple the hours and a beat interior for about the same amount last fall.  We've been skiing behind a 2001 Sportster lately.  Great boat, just a little tight on space.  The open bow should alleviate that a bit.

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sunvalleylaw

Sounds good to me for your uses.  I just bought a '98 Response LX for a fair bit more, with a good deal more hours on it.  My boat has the same hull, and I ski on open water on high mountain lakes.  You can get a little water scooped over the front into the open bow if you are not careful with wakes during afternoon chop, but if you are reasonably careful you should be fine I would think.  Seems like a great deal to me.  

Assuming good condition, I would hop on it at that price if it were me.  

Edited by sunvalleylaw

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Rednucleus

Our group is 95% slalom, 5% barefoot and absolutely love our Sporty! We don't play in rough water so the free board thing is no concern. With the wedge my wake board friends are happy with the wake, but they certainly are not "pro wake boarders".  For our needs, you would have a hard time getting us to trade this boat for anything else.  I also expect given proper care it will only appreciate in value. Enjoy!

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nickgatchell
5 hours ago, Noquebay said:

It's got 680 hours, vinyl in great shape. It looks like original vinyl.  I don't know how it was previously stored (lift/trailer, etc)

i will be storing it on a lift and using it almost exclusively on Lake Noquebay.  The boat is at Skiers Pier in Waterford, mi...    

http://www.skierspier.com/m_vehicledetail.asp?pov=4692660

I should clarify, I usually don't see chop of more than 1-2' worse case, at least in the short time I've been on this lake

I looked at this boat back in June. It was clean inside but there was a HUGE gouge out of the bow with a large blue streak on it. I mean it looks like they hit a dock at speed. The guy at skiers pier didn't know a single thing about the boat either. I would look elsewhere, there's a reason it's still available!

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Noquebay

@nickgatchell, Do you know where on the bow the gouge was? I'm going to ask the dealer for additional pics and would like to focus on that area if there is an issue...thx for the heads up!

Edited by Noquebay

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Noquebay

If the boat was in some sort of collision that caused a large gouge in the hull/bow what would are the possible implications to life / performance of the boat?

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nickgatchell
1 hour ago, Noquebay said:

@nickgatchell, Do you know where on the bow the gouge was? I'm going to ask the dealer for additional pics and would like to focus on that area if there is an issue...thx for the heads up!

It was down near where the water line is below the mc numbers on the drivers side. I was surprised that it wasn't visible in the pics when I got there 

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