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1986 Malibu Sportster?? Looking for info.

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Hey guys, I’m new to the forum. Picked this boat up a month or so ago and can’t seem to find much info or many pics of others like it. I’ve googled it 50 different ways and have only found one other like it. Was hoping someone could confirm the model and maybe point me in the direction of some information about it!! Thanks in advance. 



  • Like 2
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Agree, beautiful boat.

The flat-bottom river runner I/O boats have been discussed here and were determined to be made by a different Malibu Boat company that has since gone away. Your dash sticker logo and font is from the current Malibu boat company, but that doesn't mean it was there originally.

The other possibility is--in that era there were a lot of one-off experimentation and custom builds, many more than today. It may not have a model family to match up to. You could call the factory with the hull ID and see if it was one of theirs or not.

If you are hoping for a parts list, any parts you need will be ordered according to the system it belongs to, not the boat itself. Engine parts will be tied to the engine type and s/n (Mercruiser, etc.), gauges were all from suppliers (Airguide, VDO, Beede, Faria, etc.) and so on. 

  • Like 1
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Thanks guys. 

The boat has an ID plate near the drivers seat that has some illegible numbers, but clearly says Malibu Boats - Merced, CA. Don’t have a pic of it on my phone, but will snap one tomorrow while I’m at my shop. 

I was really just hoping to find what it’s called, so I can find pictures of what others have done with them. The thing runs beautifully and everything works as it should, so no parts needed yet.

I’m going to start bringing it back to life this coming winter and hoped to find a perfectly documented restoration thread done in the past 😂... a guy can dream, right?

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  • 9 months later...

Malibu boats started and still has some operations in Merced(I've been there recently) they moved boat manufacturing to Loudon TN. I have an 84 myself and yes it's a Sportster...


Edited by AaronCa
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That looks like a stern drive.  Malibu settled on building only direct drive ski boats sometime in the mid 80s but they built other craft prior to that.  Never heard of the moniker "Sportster" being used prior to the 1998 Sporty, but that's definitely a Malibu.  The gel lines and upholstery definitely give it away as a mid 80s 'bu even if it didn't say Malibu anywhere else on it.  Cool boat!  Wonder what kind of shape the stringers are in.

I'd love to see more pics of the hull to see if it's from a mold they used for a DD with the engine in back or if it's an I/O-specific hull.

There are a number of mid 80s restoration threads on here.  None on that specific boat, but I'd expect the build methods and concepts to be similar and of use for you.

Edited by UWSkier
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