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cpuwhiz22

1998 Sunsetter VLX Hull and Other Info

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cpuwhiz22

Hey guys,

 

New member here.  I am looking to buy my first Malibu and would like to use it as a family boat with the ability to wakeboard and wake surf.  I am not looking for anything super new as this is my first boat, and I want to keep the budget around 20K +/- a few thousand.  Anyhow, I was initially looking at a 2000 Sunsetter VLX, and from what I read this has the preferable Wake hull.  Anyhow, the one i was looking at sold and I am not finding too many others that are similar, but I did come across a 1998 Sunsetter VLX.  I am curious, does this have the same hull as the 2000?  More importantly, is the hull on the 98 good for the purposes I described?

 

I'd also be interested in other recommendations.  I am pretty set on something with a V-Drive since I prefer the seating layout with those.  From an age perspective I am considering models from the late 90's to early 2000's just due to cost.  I am also looking for something lower in the hours, and the 98 I am looking at has about 400 which is promising.  I am just not sure how it stacks up for wake surfing and wake boarding since I know these sports were relatively new during this time frame.

 

Let me know what you all think!

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85 Barefoot

98 should be same hull as 2000 but I think has powered hatch and weired integrated table.  Don't be scared of a diamond hulled (2001+) VLX.  You won't notice a difference.  Especially if you're beginning.  All will require you to plumb a ballast system to surf but the bones are there to have plenty of fun.

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Sailvi767

I had a 98 with the wake hull and switched to a 2002 with the diamond. You won't notice the difference unless you ski. The VLX with the diamond hull is the best skiing V drive out there!

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cpuwhiz22

So it sounds like these models don't come with stock ballast systems then?  Is the installation clean and relatively simple, or is it a retrofit?  I know my brother actually already has some fat sacs that he boat for my dad's boat a while back.  I might be able to pick that up.  Also, what years/models have ballast systems as a stock option?  I am also interested in the wedge, since I didn't see it listed on this posting and the 2000 I was looking at had the wedge.  From what I understand that can help with surfing.  I appreciate the patience and info for a noob!  I really look forward to being a Malibu owner one day, just need to figure out what is going to work for me.

 

Thanks!

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95echelon
1 hour ago, cpuwhiz22 said:

So it sounds like these models don't come with stock ballast systems then?  Is the installation clean and relatively simple, or is it a retrofit?  I know my brother actually already has some fat sacs that he boat for my dad's boat a while back.  I might be able to pick that up.  Also, what years/models have ballast systems as a stock option?  I am also interested in the wedge, since I didn't see it listed on this posting and the 2000 I was looking at had the wedge.  From what I understand that can help with surfing.  I appreciate the patience and info for a noob!  I really look forward to being a Malibu owner one day, just need to figure out what is going to work for me.

 

Thanks!

Ooooh! Used cheap(ish) VLX's. I can actually contribute here. 

Hulls will be similar in size up to 04, in 05 the boat got MUCH bigger (5 inches wider and 6 inches longer goes a long way in the cabin). In 05+ the ballasts went below the floor in back  making adding additional bags much easier  

The 04 and older had above floor rear ballast (most people tear it out) and it was optional or nonexistent in older years. You will probably also notice the lack of a full wrap around seating configuration in older models. I think full wrap started in 99 or 2000. 

To truly surf the boat you will want to upgrade the ballasts of any stock Malibu (even 2017s). Plan on an extra grand there at least.

The price range you are looking at is a tough one. That's bare minimum V drive money. Meaning they don't go much lower than that.  Also this doesn't help but your search would have been cheaper 4 months ago. 

So in your range you should be targeting a middle hour 2000-2004 VLX or 23 LSV of similar years. If you can find an 04 LSV they will have a nicer and newer hull (05+ for the VLX). They are out there but they go fast and you should be willing to travel. For me I went with an 05 for the larger everything and still have wave envy from the newer boats and the 23 footers. I got mine in the mid 20's but it has 3x your desired hours. You will be looking at boats In the late 90's to the very early 2000's to stay in your hour range likely.

also don't get me wrong the 98-04 VLX has a great hull and will surf, but an 05+ VLX with higher hours OR a 23 LSV will surf MUCH better. Something to think about. 

 

Edit: just buy this and don't look back (ever): https://denver.craigslist.org/boa/6113092674.html

Second Edit: On the ballast systems for the VLX: You want the Center MLS (Malibu launch system) for sure and most boats came with it. Bow didn't become available until later on and honestly these boats need a ton of forward weight anyway so you will have a sac on the front seats or in the walkway regardless. As for the rears: It is easy to add them if they are not there. the cheapest way is a cigarette lighter pump that you throw over the side. Next would be replacing factory hard tanks (if there) with sacs and that's cheap and a no brainer since the pumps and holes are already there. If the boat has nothing in the rear you wither do the throw over pumps or drill some holes in the boat to hard plumb the sacs (I would do a single reversible pump for each side - so 3 holes per sac). If the thought of drilling scares you there is probably a friendly member in any state that would help you out.

As for the wedge the boat I linked has a power wedge (which is ideal) but you can definitely get away without one.

 

Third Edit: Great description of all the ballasts of the various years: https://www.wakemakers.com/resources/malibu-ballast-history/ (you buy that 06 yet? it will be gone in a day)

Edited by 95echelon

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Slurpee
34 minutes ago, 85 Barefoot said:

98 should be same hull as 2000 but I think has powered hatch and weired integrated table.  Don't be scared of a diamond hulled (2001+) VLX.  You won't notice a difference.  Especially if you're beginning.  All will require you to plumb a ballast system to surf but the bones are there to have plenty of fun.

^^^^ my '01 VLX had a diamond hull and it surfed and boarded great. It's much easier to make a flat wake a big wake than a big wake a flat wake. Just add ballast. 

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85 Barefoot
23 minutes ago, cpuwhiz22 said:

So it sounds like these models don't come with stock ballast systems then?  Is the installation clean and relatively simple, or is it a retrofit?  I know my brother actually already has some fat sacs that he boat for my dad's boat a while back.  I might be able to pick that up.  Also, what years/models have ballast systems as a stock option?  I am also interested in the wedge, since I didn't see it listed on this posting and the 2000 I was looking at had the wedge.  From what I understand that can help with surfing.  I appreciate the patience and info for a noob!  I really look forward to being a Malibu owner one day, just need to figure out what is going to work for me.

 

Thanks!

I'm pretty sure MLS (center bag only) in ski locker came out in 2000 but not sure.  Wedge of that era should not be a deal breaker.  IT can actually hurt the surf wake because during those years it was "fixed".  So, if you are running a bow high attitude to surf its actually lifting and fighting your intended angle.  It is good for wakeboarding.  If no wedge a dealer can put on a floating wedge which is a preferable design anyway.

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cpuwhiz22

What do you guys think about this?

 

https://detroit.craigslist.org/okl/boa/6069660866.html

 

I know it's priced higher than I mentioned, but if I am not able to find what I want in the low 20K range I may try to squeeze some money out of other things that I dont need and raise my budget a bit.  I was curious what everyone though on something like this in regards to the requirements I have mentioned.

 

Thanks!

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95echelon
57 minutes ago, cpuwhiz22 said:

What do you guys think about this?

 

https://detroit.craigslist.org/okl/boa/6069660866.html

 

I know it's priced higher than I mentioned, but if I am not able to find what I want in the low 20K range I may try to squeeze some money out of other things that I dont need and raise my budget a bit.  I was curious what everyone though on something like this in regards to the requirements I have mentioned.

 

Thanks!

I would 100% want to go with this over the 98, but I think this is a 25-26k boat personally. People are setting some crazy starting prices lately with used prices shooting up. You would want to see some pictures ASAP. I am unsure if 2002's have thinner vinyl than the 05's but it is something to consider... Color and tower will be key to getting into a higher 20's here. If it had full ballasts (2000+ pounds) a perfect interior and a slamming stereo (HLCD speakers and subs etc) then maybe the asking price. You also need to know the engine but I would bet it's the monsoon.

42 minutes ago, cpuwhiz22 said:

I am also seeing this similar in price, but I am not too familiar with the V-Ride.  Seems like a Wakesetter VLX?

 

https://detroit.craigslist.org/okl/boa/6103059343.html

I like this MUCH better and for the following reasons:

  • Modern and good looking colors make for a nicer boat to look at and a better resale.
  • The tower is a "malibu look" tower and looks much more modern than a metal tower, increasing utility and resale
  • The vinyl looks the same as in my boat (thick and modern vinyl).
  • Newer boat is newer boat
  • Has an in dash ballast monitoring system (i think)
  • custom cover (costs 800-1500 to buy)

However this boat has a couple of minor detractors

  • Interior is showing some love.
  • Singe axle trailer is a detractor for people who trailer often. If you are on a body of water it's no big deal.

Any V-Ride is essentially the last generation boat and hull with modern electronics, vinyl, and gelcoat (and towers). It will be the same dimensions as an 02 hull like the one above, but everything will be nicer. A VLX in 05 became a larger boat and they used the hull mold from the old boat to make these V-rides.

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95echelon
55 minutes ago, cpuwhiz22 said:

I got some pictures from the seller on the VLX.  I personally think it looks pretty good.  What do you guys think?

 

http://publicfiles.sytechsolutions.net/malibu/

It looks good but all prices equal the v-ride is a much better buy.

 

Prices seem off. Most 02 VLX go at 22-26

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cpuwhiz22

Even with the high hours?  The V ride is around 1000 hours, while the VLX is 300.  The seller said he could go down to $28,500 on the VLX, but that's the best he can do from what I am told.

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John I.
1 hour ago, cpuwhiz22 said:

Even with the high hours?  The V ride is around 1000 hours, while the VLX is 300.  The seller said he could go down to $28,500 on the VLX, but that's the best he can do from what I am told.

Is the VLX a 300 hour boat or does it have a 300 hours since an engine swap?

Quote

Boat has had two owners and the motor has less than 300 hours.

 

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95echelon
1 hour ago, cpuwhiz22 said:

Even with the high hours?  The V ride is around 1000 hours, while the VLX is 300.  The seller said he could go down to $28,500 on the VLX, but that's the best he can do from what I am told.

Please take what I am about to say with a HUGE grain of salt. Mostly because the boat I own has 1200 hours on it, and the Malibu I owned before that (Mercruiser motor, not Indmar) had 1800+ when I sold it.

Both boats have been through the initial period where things break (the first 40-100 hours) and if the boat made it to 1000 hours its probably been well maintained or it would have conked long ago. It is a risk though and will affect resale etc. A bargaining chip for you... Both boats are oddly missing their wedges.

The 2002 is an old boat, and the 2005 still has the old boat hull too. There is an argument that you could hold out for a higher hour 05+ VLX for similar money to get the v25 hull (first hull designed for Wakeboarding), but with it being spring and used prices spiraling again you wont likely find one.

With these two I would buy the v-ride, but both are compromises. Here are the reasons I would choose the vride:

  1. Better colors
  2. Better tower for resale
  3. Better cover and trailer
  4. Gorilla tracking fins
  5. Paddlewheel speedo
  6. Updated front playpen without rail.

I do think this is high price wise though. @Bill_AirJunky

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95echelon
cpuwhiz22

When buying it of state so you typically have it shipped?  If so what's the typical cost on that?  Also, I don't imagine you get to see it first hand since you wouldn't want to drive or there without knowing if you will be buying.  Thanks!

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95echelon
3 minutes ago, cpuwhiz22 said:

When buying it of state so you typically have it shipped?  If so what's the typical cost on that?  Also, I don't imagine you get to see it first hand since you wouldn't want to drive or there without knowing if you will be buying.  Thanks!

I had mine shipped but it was purchased from a trusted dealer. I probably should have just driven and grabbed it but it was over 2 thousand miles and wintertime...

If it was within a thousand miles I might take a cheap flight and look or have a forum member check it out for me in return for a few bucks. Then drive out and grab it. Most of these will have dual axle trailers which make for easy towing.

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