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1984ta

Very confused - please help!!!

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1984ta

I've been reading through as many threads as I can but the more I read, the more confused I become.

My wife and I are looking for a boat this year and we've narrowed it down to a VLX or VTX if we can find one in our price range ($40-$50k).  We are a family of four (2 adults, 13 year old and 10 year old) who all ski.  While I've been skiing since age 5 I'm by no means a good skier - I'd qualify it as recreational at best. My wife and I have surfed and the kids have wake boarded behind a friends Malibu which has now lead us down this road. We've never owned an inboard so I only know what I've been able to read online to this point.  Our last boat was a Larson I/O which was extremely under powered so we were never happy with it.  I don't want to make a mistake this time around so I'm looking for information.

I've been to the resource section of this site and my first question is what is the V25 hull?  I keep reading about the wake/diamond hull but is that only something on the newer boats?  The years we're looking at are probably between 2010-2013 and that's mostly because of the Illusion G3 tower.  From what I've found it's less likely to have cracking problems compared to the Illusion X tower - is that correct?

We live in Western Wisconsin so MN Inboard (huge Malibu dealership in the Twin Cities) is within 40 minutes of home.  I've been watching their used boat inventory and the selection isn't quite what it was last fall which is understandable given the time of year.  While I'd love to buy from them for the convenience factor we've recently started looking everywhere in the Midwest.  If we were to buy out of state what are some things we should watch out for? I know friends who have done it and they say you can usually tell just from the initial phone conversation how the boat was cared for. Is it really as simple as make the phone call and see what kind of vibe you get from the owner?  I don't want to drive 10-12 hours and find the boat I'm ready to buy is not worth buying.

I really appreciate any responses and I'm sorry because I'm sure this has been covered at some point in all the threads on this site.

Thanks

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asnowman

1984 welcome!

You seem to have figured out the right two boats to be looking for. I have a 2011 VTX and it skis well, wakeboards well and surfs. If size isn't a limiting factor, go for the VLX you will appreciate the space. 

Coming out of a Larson, every inboard is going to feel like a Porsche, you won't be sad.

The hull you mentioned, the v25 is the wake hull, given you like skiing and your budget, look for a diamond hull.

As far as buying from a distance. I did it last year, drove 14 hours to test drive and buy an 05 lxi. You can definitely get a feeling for how the boat is taken care of over the phone, but you still need to be prepared to walk away if you get there and it doesn't feel right. Another great tip is ask someone on here to go look at it for you before you drive. Many of us are willing and able to go check out a boat for someone like that.

Good luck on your search. Ask all the questions you think of, someone here always knows the answer

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minnmarker

Welcome 1984!

Big questions.  Agree with @asnowman re the Diamond hull and VLX.  The first thing I would suggest is see how your friend's boat seems to you?  Size, power, wake, layout, etc. - and then decide what you like and don't like and then look for a model that has what you like about your friends plus what you want in addition to that.  After you know what model and year range you want then start shopping.  The surf gates started in 2013 I believe.  You'll want gates - either OEM or add on of some type.  Things like ballast and stereo can be added later to suit your exact requirements so you might not want/need to make those part of your search criteria.  Condition, condition, condition is what's important.

If MN inboard is 40 minutes away you might be in Hudson on the river?  If you'll be using the boat on the river that has it's own set of factors like big waves and cruiser wakes.

  @Fffrank is in Hudson and my cabin is on Balsam Lake and there are many crew members in the metro area, so lots of local advice is available - but be careful what you wish for!

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jstorerj

@1984ta We were in similar spot as you a couple months ago. Wife and kids (13-15) that love to ski and we've been using an underpowered boat (more and more so as they've grown). We started looking for a pure ski boat and then opted to look closer at a crossover that would give us the option to start surfing too. Your price range was right where we were looking, but was suprised to not find more used inventory out there. What we did find had enough hours/wear/tear that we started to consider new. Ultimately we went with a 2017 VTX for peace of mind and the ability to customize it exactly how we want it. We take delivery at the end of May (we're in New England, so there's not much boating before that anyway). 

I'm happy to answer any additional questions about our thought process and experience. It was quite a ride. Good luck! 

Jim 

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minnmarker

Don't forget Craig's List.

Here's a couple clean looking VLXs, unfortunately with a wake hulls

https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/boa/6080056217.html

https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/boa/6032256206.html

And there is another Malibu dealer in Clear Lake WI http://www.nextgen-powersports.com/

Edited by minnmarker
addition

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Koeh0083

Call Matt at MN Inboard. I'm sure they have more that has not made it online yet,or have people that are on the fence on trade in and if they can line up a deal it would work for everyone. They move a lot of boats so the Rolodex is large to find someone that is ready to trade up.

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Fffrank
20 minutes ago, Koeh0083 said:

Call Matt at MN Inboard. I'm sure they have more that has not made it online yet,or have people that are on the fence on trade in and if they can line up a deal it would work for everyone. They move a lot of boats so the Rolodex is large to find someone that is ready to trade up.

Absolutely, this.  They can also use a party-to-party sale as incentive for someone to buy a new boat without taking a huge trade-in hit.  This also saves you the tax obligation (if you're in MN instead of WI -- WI still makes you pay up on a used boat.)

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Koeh0083

Also I would look at the axis lineup. This would could get you a lot of the stuff you would want for a little less money to help hit your price point. Axis and Malibu are the same company.

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goodmatt78

Those boats on cl are ridiculously priced imo.   That isn't far off what they were new 10yrs ago.

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oldjeep
Just now, goodmatt78 said:

Those boats on cl are ridiculously priced imo.   That isn't far off what they were new 10yrs ago.

New boats cost more, used boat prices go up.  

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Cole2001

Those boats do seem expensive. A buddy of mine just bought a 21 vlx for the same price in Canadian dollar

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Steve B.

Best of luck in finding a Malibu !  You are doing the right thing looking kind of all over. But, because it's your first inboard and it is a lot of money and MN inboard is so close, I'd very much try to purchase thru them if possible at all.  

Steve B.

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1984ta

Thanks for all the replies everbody. I might have a lead on a VTX that isn't listed anywhere yet so we'll see what comes of that. I think that's the boat that would be best for is at this point vs the VLX since skiing us our main water sport. My wife already said if we get one and aren't satisfied we can always trade up in a year or two so I have that going for me:)

Will definitely talk to MN Inboard though since they're local and I'd be foolish not to. I'm also ok waiting til fall when prices might be lower than right before the boating season.

Thanks again and any more buying tips/information would be appreciated.

 

Edited by 1984ta

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Badger

Welcome to the site.  I came to The Malibu Crew when I was originally looking to move up from my Larson I/O to an inboard.  Now about 10 years I'm on my 4th Malibu (and last for quite some time.)  We also have a family of 4 with a 13 and 11 yr old.  We all ski, wakeboard, surf and do some tubing.  Our 2015 VTX is perfect for our family.  I'm more ski-centric and love the wake off of the VTX at 34 mph.  I did a ton of research when buying all of my Malibu's and I wouldn't go near the VLX if your family likes to ski and wants to progress.  I haven't looked at used boat prices in a while but if you can, I'd stretch it to get into a '13 VTX with surfgate and you'll have everything you'll need for quite some time.

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Gavin17

Definitely talk to the guys at the dealership and any inboard mechanic you can find.  My mechanic friend knew the pervious owner of my boat and I bought it before it ever got listed. That saved the seller some time and me some money. 

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Steve B.

My only other advice is to absolutely test ski any boat you are interested in.

Steve B.

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TC_2006_VLX

If your buying in MN dont buy from a dealership as all used private party boat sales are tax free...boats are bottom money pits without paying uncle sam too!

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MUM3

We started with a VTX two years ago because we wanted the ability to ski, board and surf. We've decided that we need a bit more room with three daughters and often as many friends. You can't go wrong with a VTX, at least to start. And I know where a good clean one is for sale...  

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sidekicknicholas
Quote

used private party boat sales are tax free...boats are bottom money pits without paying uncle sam too!

I believe he will be regregistering it in WI though, and they'll hit you up for tax.

 

As far as buying from private party away from home, it is pretty clear if the boat was cared for within minutes of seeing it.  The nice thing is in your budget most boats being sold were bought by people who can afford to have the dealer take care of it, so ask for service records, make a checklist of things to look over, and make sure you get time with the boat on the water.

 

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Ronnie

Onlyinboards.com

Wakeboard boats for sale on Facebook

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erervin

We've got a 2009 VTX and love it for our family of four with two friends typically in tow.  Love being able to ski 34-36 mph and carve through the wake, board, and surf with the same boat.  We our previous boat was a 2005 Mastercraft 197.  

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darrink
On 4/20/2017 at 1:13 PM, minnmarker said:

Don't forget Craig's List.

Here's a couple clean looking VLXs, unfortunately with a wake hulls

https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/boa/6080056217.html

https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/boa/6098694592.html

And there is another Malibu dealer in Clear Lake WI http://www.nextgen-powersports.com/

One of the things about craigslist is that you can always talk with the previous owner.

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