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mainelaker

May purchase my first Malibu, lot's of questions

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mainelaker

This is my first post. I am considering purchasing a new 06 VLX but wanted to get the experts opinions on a few things first. I own a 2003 Centurion now & this will be my third wake boat. I know what I want for options & this boat has most of them. The one thing it has that I know may be trouble is the tower, most of my concern is there.

The boat has the CFT Blade, I love the looks of the tower but there are obvious problems with them. The salesman was extremely honest with me & told me it was a one year deal & it was discontinued. I understand the risks but feel the dealer & hopefully Malibu will take care of me if there is a problem down the road. So my first question is, what is the warranty? I have seen older Malibu's that have stress cracks around the Illusion tower mount, should I expect this too? What is the warranty on stress cracks. More importantly what has everyone experienced in the real world. I have read on this site that Malibu has replaced the tower with the Illusion, will it fit in the same exact spot without gel coat work? Looks like it would. I don't plan on having problems but just in case.

How does the tower fold down? Is there a way to replace the allen bolts with knobs or pins like the new Illusion. The main lake I ride on requires the tower to be dropped to get to the other side. My tower now is easy but you can't keep the boards on when you drop it, PITA. Also, can you add more racks to the tower, doesn't look like it. I surf & need a surf rack for my board, don't think it will fit in the stock racks. Will an Inland Surfer fit in the racks? I didn't have my board to check but it doesn't look like it. Also, is the bimini still available, I really want one of those as well. Ok, enough about the tower.

How is the MLS system? What kind of fill & empty times are people getting? I really like the layout of the switches & display. I also love the fact that the ballast is under the floor leaving a huge storage area. Speaking of ballast, how is the surf wake? Pics look good from what I can find so I assume it is good. The wedge, always wanted one. Seems rock soild, I have heard horror stories but I think that is missuse more than anything else. Wish this boat had a power wedge but it doesn't, could I upgrade later?

Overall, I really like this boat. I have a concern with the tower, not enough to NOT purchase the boat but I need to hear feedback from other owners to feel a little better about it. I was impressed with the quality. The dealer is top notch, I have known the salesman for a while. I can trust their service. The price is right & the boat is gorgeous. This could be the boat for us, we just need to get these questions answered.

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WakeGirl

Welcome to the site mainelaker.

So my first question is, what is the warranty? I have seen older Malibu's that have stress cracks around the Illusion tower mount, should I expect this too?

The first year, they will fix the cracks with no problems (they should anyway). You could possibly expect some cracking with that tower, it's not the stiffest or most rigid out there. With that said, I know people that have the Blade on that boat & haven't had any issues whatsoever. I don't know if the mounting spots for an Illusion X would match up, but worst case even if you do have to have gel work done, it will be fine so long as you have it done by a reputable shop. I had a boat that had cracking around the tower mounts & you could only see the repair if you knew exactly where to look & the light was just right.

How does the tower fold down? Is there a way to replace the allen bolts with knobs or pins like the new Illusion. The main lake I ride on requires the tower to be dropped to get to the other side. My tower now is easy but you can't keep the boards on when you drop it, PITA. Also, can you add more racks to the tower, doesn't look like it. I surf & need a surf rack for my board, don't think it will fit in the stock racks. Will an Inland Surfer fit in the racks? I didn't have my board to check but it doesn't look like it. Also, is the bimini still available, I really want one of those as well. Ok, enough about the tower.

I can't speak to how that tower works or its accessories, but one thing to think about is how readily accessories are going to be for it. Not very IMO.

How is the MLS system? What kind of fill & empty times are people getting? I really like the layout of the switches & display. I also love the fact that the ballast is under the floor leaving a huge storage area. Speaking of ballast, how is the surf wake? Pics look good from what I can find so I assume it is good. The wedge, always wanted one. Seems rock soild, I have heard horror stories but I think that is missuse more than anything else. Wish this boat had a power wedge but it doesn't, could I upgrade later?

Unfortunately, upgrading to a power wedge once the boat has left the factory is not an option, so you're stuck with the manual version. The good news is that the surf wave is very good on this boat. Does it have the bow ballast? That's a must on this boat IMO. The fill times are decent, you'll find that the rears fill pretty quick & you'll always end up waiting on the center, but not long. Here's a pic of the surf wave on ours. This is with stock ballast all full (except for the opposite side), a 750 in the rear locker, manual wedge down & 4 normal sized adults, at 9.8mph. We've started augmenting this with a 500 pounder on the seat - it makes the wave longer, but of course if we have a full boat we don't bother.

post-1-0-75055600-1388949937_thumb.jpg

Again, welcome to the site & the very best of luck on the purchase.

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tgaugh

We have the blade...I'll sum it up as best as I can.

#1) It moves side to side when moving, nothing crazy but it takes some getting used to.

#2) Zero stress cracks, we use the hell out of this tower, stressed from [email protected] getting up and regular tower wind/water abuse. It's holding up fine. Less noise/concern now than our titan after a few years.

#3) It weighs incredible amounts, it comes with a stand and one adult can hold it, but you'll earn it.

#4) Accessories and options suck, but that really equates to you not easily adding after market racks, or a 2nd pair. Other than that the air space allows you to add any speakers you want, if you decide to change. Lights and all other add-ons normal on other towers are going to be a b1tch.

#5) The rubber stripping (small piece, 10 inches) will peel and require adhesive to re-attach, pm for pics

#6) The speakers are awesome and far exceeded expecations once tuned and powered correctly, aside from wetsounds/nvs nobody has got me beat, nobody yet.

In short it's grown on me. If you read past blade posts, when we first got it, we missed the titan. The sturdiness and how heavy it is. But it has just gotten better. We had the stereo tuned so it's perfect now, entirely too loud and clean to have your head near them. The only maintenance points were the adhesive on the trim rubber, not the accent, and the occasional tightening of the rack mounts. I think the tightening is required due to the movement of the tower...Which is indeed scary at first.

I like the uniqueness of having it and it performs well in the end. The other reassuring fact is a great company like Malibu I am sure would take care of customers if the blade failed. Additionally, the majority of the rumors were cleared up with a Malibu explanation of issues with the manufacturer and the demand, not the structural concerns ammounted in the rumors - if that was accurate Malibu would pull it as a safety concerns and you'd see a recall.

If you have any questions, want pics, or video in action let me know. Hope that helps. The answers to the 06VLX are all over the place and answered many times... Good luck.

EDIT: SP?

Edited by tgaugh

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krakdaddie
We have the blade...I'll sum it up as best as I can.

Todd's tower ROCKS!! Rockon.gif

...and its loud to0 ;)

-krak

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ilovetrains

I do not have the blade, mostly because I could justify the extra expense. But I did research it closely. I also have fellow Bu owner who boards a lot at my local lake with one. He has an 06 VLX, mine is an 06 LSV with the illusion.

My observations:

The Blade got a bad rep but is a good tower. Te fellow Bu owner typically lets his son (teenager) take 5-7 of his friends out for a day. The boat put 150 hours on this season. The tower looks solid. They ride all day with 2 boarders out, then hook up a tube and go. No cracks, no problems, period.

Also I have seen it stated here and heard it from a dealer that the Blade is not being offered because the company that made it could not keep up with demand.

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mainelaker

I am still wondering how easy it is to fold down with racks loaded & driving under a bridge?

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tgaugh

Entirely too hard to consider. It takes two large allen bolts that you have to have one person unbolt. When loose it falls, and it will knock you out if you're not looking for it, if not kill you. So one person can lower it, weight-wise but two to get it done safely. It's nothing that can be done on-the-fly.

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mainelaker
Entirely too hard to consider. It takes two large allen bolts that you have to have one person unbolt. When loose it falls, and it will knock you out if you're not looking for it, if not kill you. So one person can lower it, weight-wise but two to get it done safely. It's nothing that can be done on-the-fly.

Well doesn't that stink! My tower requires two people b/c of all the weight from the tower speakers & requires pulling all the boards off & resting them on the rear deck but at least you can unscrew the knobs with your bare hands, no tools required.

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Chia
Welcome to the site mainelaker.

So my first question is, what is the warranty? I have seen older Malibu's that have stress cracks around the Illusion tower mount, should I expect this too?

The first year, they will fix the cracks with no problems (they should anyway). You could possibly expect some cracking with that tower, it's not the stiffest or most rigid out there. With that said, I know people that have the Blade on that boat & haven't had any issues whatsoever. I don't know if the mounting spots for an Illusion X would match up, but worst case even if you do have to have gel work done, it will be fine so long as you have it done by a reputable shop. I had a boat that had cracking around the tower mounts & you could only see the repair if you knew exactly where to look & the light was just right.

How does the tower fold down? Is there a way to replace the allen bolts with knobs or pins like the new Illusion. The main lake I ride on requires the tower to be dropped to get to the other side. My tower now is easy but you can't keep the boards on when you drop it, PITA. Also, can you add more racks to the tower, doesn't look like it. I surf & need a surf rack for my board, don't think it will fit in the stock racks. Will an Inland Surfer fit in the racks? I didn't have my board to check but it doesn't look like it. Also, is the bimini still available, I really want one of those as well. Ok, enough about the tower.

I can't speak to how that tower works or its accessories, but one thing to think about is how readily accessories are going to be for it. Not very IMO.

How is the MLS system? What kind of fill & empty times are people getting? I really like the layout of the switches & display. I also love the fact that the ballast is under the floor leaving a huge storage area. Speaking of ballast, how is the surf wake? Pics look good from what I can find so I assume it is good. The wedge, always wanted one. Seems rock soild, I have heard horror stories but I think that is missuse more than anything else. Wish this boat had a power wedge but it doesn't, could I upgrade later?

Unfortunately, upgrading to a power wedge once the boat has left the factory is not an option, so you're stuck with the manual version. The good news is that the surf wave is very good on this boat. Does it have the bow ballast? That's a must on this boat IMO. The fill times are decent, you'll find that the rears fill pretty quick & you'll always end up waiting on the center, but not long. Here's a pic of the surf wave on ours. This is with stock ballast all full (except for the opposite side), a 750 in the rear locker, manual wedge down & 4 normal sized adults, at 9.8mph. We've started augmenting this with a 500 pounder on the seat - it makes the wave longer, but of course if we have a full boat we don't bother.

<snip>

Again, welcome to the site & the very best of luck on the purchase.



small hijack: beauty wake, WG, but with a wake like that you should really upgrade that ocean board for something smaller.

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WakeGirl

Yeah, I did in the spring (pic is from February). I bought a little 4'6" Skimskate & now it's all the boy & I ride - love it! And the wave is even better now, we can surf a long way back.

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