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Red_Duck

Poor quality of Malibu racks

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Red_Duck

With two summers (60 hours) use on freshwater Lake Lanier, the board racks on my 23LSV are tarnished beyond belief. The boat is kept lifted & covered. 

I contacted Malibu who told me this is not a warranty matter and its a 'maintenance issue'. I looked on various threads and I'm not alone in having this problem but do we really just shrug and say that's what you expect when you only spend $100k on a boat?  Just as I'm looking to trade the thing up, which you can imagine leaves me feeling great.

Fortunately I have access to a lawyer who is an enthusiast and is interested in taking this up which I will now do.

Just sayin.

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Ronnie

Polished aluminum has to be polished as a part of your maintenance routine. They aren't chrome or plated. I used SemiChrome polish when I had those racks. The new racks are anodized a gray color. You can have yours anodized as some members here have if you don't want to take care of them the way they are supposed to be.

Just Saying.

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Red_Duck

Sorry to not be clear...I had the boat and racks polished professionally twice a year. If the racks are such that they need polishing more often than that then they are made of the wrong material.

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mikeo

Genuine question, I'm not trying to throw gasoline on the fire, but what is your desired result? Are you after a new set of racks? Are you hoping to change the material or method of manufacturing? (Malibu already did that by moving to an anodized finish)

I agree that they shouldn't tarnish if polished regularly and kept covered but dry. Some members of TMC may suggest that a good relationship with your dealer may be able to resolve this by letting them handle the conversations with Malibu directly as your advocate.

My personal internal dialog in a situation like this is to determine what the ultimate desired outcome is and then figure out what steps are necessary to achieve the desired result. Everything is a negotiation, involving the legal system is just a formal system of moderated negotiations.

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RyanB

I have the same boat.  Two season, somewhere around 280 hours, and the only complaint I have is that I didn't know enough to upgrade to the clamping rack instead of the one I have with the bungee cord.

Did you try going through your dealer?  I have a feeling you might get a better response from them than going directly to Malibu.  I feel like my dealer bends over backwards for me.  Maybe I am just lucky.

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Red_Duck
36 minutes ago, mikeo said:

Genuine question, I'm not trying to throw gasoline on the fire, but what is your desired result? Are you after a new set of racks? Are you hoping to change the material or method of manufacturing? (Malibu already did that by moving to an anodized finish)

I agree that they shouldn't tarnish if polished regularly and kept covered but dry. Some members of TMC may suggest that a good relationship with your dealer may be able to resolve this by letting them handle the conversations with Malibu directly as your advocate.

My personal internal dialog in a situation like this is to determine what the ultimate desired outcome is and then figure out what steps are necessary to achieve the desired result. Everything is a negotiation, involving the legal system is just a formal system of moderated negotiations.

Thanks, good advice. I want the racks replaced by Malibu. I started with the dealer (SMG in Buford GA who do a lot of Malibu) and Malibu told them they wouldn't exchange them under warranty. I then went to Malibu directly to complain about that decision and it was their off hand response that has caused me to take this up. Yes I could go and spend the money to get them plated / anodized but I don't think I should have to. This isn't about caring for the boat, the things are defective and Malibu won't even engage. So hence I've taken it up.

If we spent $100k on a car and after two years of low use we had to go and get a body part plated, we'd rightly be mad.

I'll let you know how I get on. It's sure to cost me more plan plating and Malibu more than exchanging, I know.

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isellacuras

I also removed mine after 3 years and ran them under a bench grinder with a polishing rag. Just a few minutes and they are as good as new. To seek legal action is just silly in my opinion. 

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skiredy

Another solution would be to purchase replacement forks for your G3 system.  Skylon makes a two or three fork replacement which comes in brushed aluminum.  These forks allow you to put wakesurf boards in each slot unlike the stock system that came with your Malibu.  It a super easy install...  Just a thought

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wheelman

Post a pic of your racks so we can see what you're dealing with. 

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wdr

I don't mean to rain on your parade, but going the lawyer route IMO is like killing an ant with a sledge hammer. If the racks were painted, plated or anodized, then maybe you have an argument for getting them replated or re-dipped, but that is only if the original coating whatever it is made of hasn't been compromised, which is where you normally see a coating start to degrade. One could make the argument that, should anyone reasonably expect to return a $1M dollar gold and diamond necklace because it has tarnished? That is merely one of the accepted down sides to owning jewelry, it needs maintenance because of the nature of the materials used. The same could be said of the aluminum racks. The best you could posssibly expect to see happen is that your racks get replaced with the exact same racks with the exact same end results in another 2 years and worse yet you become one of "those customers" at your dealership with the associated seen or unseen stigma attached to you when show up for some other reason. I have the polished racks as most others do and you just have to stay on top of them daily or expect polish on them on in the off season. I totally agree with you on the $100K we should expect better craftsmanship, quality... but I think you will lose this battle regardless of how it ends. Good luck, I hope you get it taken care of to your satisfaction.

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formulaben

@mikeo offers some excellent advice.  Bare aluminum corrodes in open air, the higher the humidity, the faster the corrosion.  No matter what the outcome, I suggest you get your bare aluminum powder coated or electroplated if you're unable to keep up with the rate of corrosion.  For me, I've never seen the appeal of polished/chromed/shiny objects reflecting the sun into my eyes when I'm out in the boat...

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oldjeep

just get one of those foam buffing balls that goes in your drill and give them a quick polish if this is really a big thing.  Aluminum gets water spotted and tarnished. It's a boat, not your grandmas silver.

Edited by oldjeep

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isellacuras
42 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

just get one of those foam buffing balls that goes in your drill and give them a quick polish if this is really a big thing.  Aluminum gets water spotted and tarnished. It's a boat, not your grandmas silver.

I started by hand, that sucked!!  I moved to the mothers cone polisher for the drill, that equally sucked. Once I took off the forks from the spinner base and used a bench grinder, that was the ticket. A little more maintainence but the end result made it well worth the effort and the mess. I don't see myself doing that job more than once every other year. Just not that important to me. 

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formulaben
50 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

....

It's a boat, not your grandmas silver.

:thumbup:

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Fman

Spend $100 and get them powder coated and have no more issues and save thousands in legal expenses you are about to take on.

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hethj7

I agree in this case this is likely overkill for the situation - but I also appreciate folks like the OP that keep standards high.  Perhaps not in this case, but in certain areas I think we as a group on here can be a little too accepting for what is acceptable given the price of these boats. 

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23LSVOwner

Gotta love the "sue for everything" mentality in today's world.......

 

If you go the legal route I suggest you take a copy of your warranty policy with you so that the lawyer can research it thoroughly.

If a lawyer takes your case then be prepared to spend 6-8 months or even longer, spending thousands of dollars and likely losing a year or so down the road.

 

Even if you win, you are out a wad of money, time, etc and you get a set of replacement forks.....

 

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bamaboy
On 1/1/2017 at 11:38 AM, shawndoggy said:

I'd totally sue!  See if you can get a lawyer to take it on contingency.  Costs you nothing and if you win you'll get to keep 2/3 of your racks.

Sure you don't have a vested interest in this deal?  He did say his lawyer was an "enthusiast"

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minnmarker
12 minutes ago, 23LSVOwner said:

Gotta love the "sue for everything" mentality in today's world.......

 

If you go the legal route I suggest you take a copy of your warranty policy with you so that the lawyer can research it thoroughly.

If a lawyer takes your case then be prepared to spend 6-8 months or even longer, spending thousands of dollars and likely losing a year or so down the road.

 

Even if you win, you are out a wad of money, time, etc and you get a set of replacement forks.....

 

I suspect (but don't know for sure) Malibu's warranty has a mediation clause like most every consumer warranty does.  If that is the case, getting a lawyer involved will certainly cost $$ and may do you no good at all.  On the other hand, if the mediator (which you'll probably pay half their fee of @$300/hr) agrees with you, OP, then you'll get some type of remedy.

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RyanB

I am not going to comment on the lawsuit comments, but I do think it is perfectly reasonable to think the racks would stay in good shape for more than two years on a $100k boat.

I'd like to see photos of what the racks look like.  I feel like mine take a beating with bugs from thousands of miles of towing, and boating in very hard water.  But the still look good after a little cleaning.

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85 Barefoot
On 12/30/2016 at 2:08 PM, Red_Duck said:

If we spent $100k on a car and after two years of low use we had to go and get a body part plated, we'd rightly be mad.

 

Not necessarily.  If you park under trees and get bird droppings, its not Mercedes's fault that your hood is scarred.  If your boat is kept "lifted and covered", humidity in that enviroment is the equivalent to bird droppings on paint.  

I'm glad they made the change to anodized, but don't see why the racks should be covered by warranty.

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