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shiftman

Opinions on a 2004 Wakesetter VLX?

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shiftman

Hello again. I'm the "non wakeboarding" guy that posted a month or so who was looking for a boat to use as a "water taxi". The boat in question then was a 06 Vride (which I passed on). The new possibility is an 04 VLX with about 640 hours on it. Essentially, I want to find a decent older Wakesetter (04-08) that is in good shape and that has earned a nice retirement as a "lounge boat". Similar to retiring a great racehorse - minus the stud service component.)

The last time that I posted I received many comments advising me to buy an I/O for better value (since I wont be wakeboarding) and I have looked at many I/O's and still gravitate back to a Malibu. I guess, sometimes you simply "want what you want".

The above being said, what are your opinions on this particular boat with regard to build quality? I hear lots of good comments on the older Wakesetters, but wanted to ask what you guys think. I am coming from an 18 foot Stingray that rattles your teeth in choppy water, so most any boat will be a ride improvement.

Thanks in advance for the replies. 

 

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Ndawg12

The hull changed in 05 and would provide a better ride than an 04 being 6" longer and 5" wider.  But damper plate issues plagued 05's so I'd suggest looking at 06+ vlx's, but then you're in the price range of an 04 LSV which would be an even better ride being 18" longer and 2" wider.  Do you have a size restriction?  What's the budget?  

Edited by Ndawg12

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shiftman

No size restrictions where I boat, and my budget is pretty flexible. The only budget restriction that I have is that the boat will be outside during the winter and I don't' want a huge investment getting snowed on.

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shiftman
4 hours ago, Ndawg12 said:

The hull changed in 05 and would provide a better ride than an 04 being 6" longer and 5" wider.  But damper plate issues plagued 05's so I'd suggest looking at 06+ vlx's, but then you're in the price range of an 04 LSV which would be an even better ride being 18" longer and 2" wider.  Do you have a size restriction?  What's the budget?  

Would the hull change be that significant for somebody not wakeboarding? My main concern is the quality of the build.

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jaciche
Just now, shiftman said:

Would the hull change be that significant for somebody not wakeboarding? My main concern is the quality of the build.

No, the hull difference wouldn't matter for what you'd buy the boat for. The 23' wakesetter will take the rough water better. If you're just lounging around, i would think that you'd like as much room as possible.

Sounds like the right boat for you is a Sunscape 23 LSV. https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/boa/d/malibu-sunscape-lsv/6641549180.html

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malibu2004

I have a 04 VLX with about 480 hours on it. Other than the blisters from sitting in the water during the summer it has have been a fantastic boat. 

 

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AJwakedevil

Answering the '04 question... Everything has held up good. Being an older boat, some electronics need to be replaced over time. Other than that, the structure and hull have been great. Sunscape does sound like what youre looking for as @jaciche mentioned.

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shiftman
1 hour ago, jaciche said:

No, the hull difference wouldn't matter for what you'd buy the boat for. The 23' wakesetter will take the rough water better. If you're just lounging around, i would think that you'd like as much room as possible.

Sounds like the right boat for you is a Sunscape 23 LSV. https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/boa/d/malibu-sunscape-lsv/6641549180.html

We like the walkabout layout for roominess, but it is just typically me and the wife. We live in East Tn most of the time.

That would be a great boat if it were geographically closer.

Edited by shiftman

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Dwake

I just traded my 04vlx.  Was/is great boat.  If you looking for a cruiser to have a smooth ride I would stay out of the wake sport boat market entirely and get a deck style boat with a nice yahmaha 4 stroke on it. Way smoother, quieter, higher profile for rough water.

The wake sport boats go from flat bottom, early ski boats.  To more displacement hull and now even more displacement hull.  In 2004 you are in the middle.  On a relatively small body of water, 1800 acre chain of lakes, it will be ok ride.  On a river with other boats it sucks.  Get you fillings knocked out of your teeth.  Large body water you be banging around.

 

now all that said if you still happy with a sport boat then the things to watch out for on an 04vlx are:

1.  Oil pan leaking.  It’s close to rot through time.  Mine had to be replaced at 12 years 750hrs Engine pull required.  2k

(disclaimer- water sat in the bottom of hull often since it was on a lift but dealer said it was common issue for age)

2.  Drive plate failure.  Known issue.  Happened at 550 hrs 9 yrs.  engine pull 2.8k

Other than those 2 things it was a rock.  The other issues are easy to see, like how the vinyl is, gas shocks on panels and other small stuff.

 

fyi traded mine in for 21, it’s listed for 27.

had 2 year new vinyl (factory, had skins made 5 yrs ago I think from  Chee) and it only needed a real good buff.  780 ish hours

 

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Gavin17
13 hours ago, shiftman said:

No size restrictions where I boat, and my budget is pretty flexible. The only budget restriction that I have is that the boat will be outside during the winter and I don't' want a huge investment getting snowed on.

I couldnt stand for my boat to be snowed on. I pay 550 per winter for indoor storage.  If it had to be outside I'd wrap it but that cost 2 or 300 alone.  

Get what makes you happy. There are tons of things I love about my Malibu that aren't wakeboard related.  

I much prefer driving it and wrenching on it that our previous io. But the malibu is a much larger nicer boat. Admittidaly I dont have much experience in 22+ ft cobalts.  Vlx is plenty big enough for you and the wife. If you find an lsv it may ride a little better but when I was shopping older boats I was more concerned with condition and price vs make and model. It sounds like for your usage you'd be happy with almost any v drive malibu ever made. I'd shop the condition and previous owner more than the model. I enjoy wrenching and was ok getting a project boat but I wanted the price to reflect the condition.  

I bought a 2004 from the original owner that was stored inside and well maintained.  Some 2004s are beat up and have rusty trailers.  I've posted a used inboard buying guide before. It helped me alot. 

If you tow alot dont forget to inspect the trailer. 

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shiftman

We are currently riding in an 18 foot Stingray I/O that will beat you to death in most anything other than glassy water. I have a big Waverunner FX/HO that rides much better.

I found the perfect boat yesterday. 09 VLX, 150 hours, bought new by the current female owner. Sadly, the wife also found a mint condition 04 bright yellow/red/purple Baja 20 Outlaw in her search. Looks like I may loose this one. Mine is 42.5K, her find is 15.5K...……:(

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1HELLUVALIFE

if you are just riding around the lake i would look for something with a deeper V hull. 

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shiftman

Looks like she is in charge now...….lol

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williemon

Make sure you test drive all boats. The outlaw may ride better or it may not be setup well engine and drive wise. My old 17 ft i/o rode more comfortable on my lake with the often wind or boat induced light chop than my current 01 vlx. Smooth water is great. With an 04 or any older boat, there could be fuel issues. Electric fuel pump, injector issues and such. Newer malabu, maybe after 07 had in tank fuel pumps and may work better with age. After having the bu, if i did stop water sports, id have to search for something with a similer layout and smooth drive system.  You have a tow vehicle that will tow the bu?

Edited by williemon

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Garry

I have a 2001 VLX Sunsetter (the predecessor to the Wakesetter) which I purchased new and now has ~900hrs, and added a Titan2 tower .  Its a good all-around boat for entertaining on smaller lakes and has been very reliable (once I ditched the MDC gauges and went back to analogue gauges).    My lake is smaller (~500acres) so its perfect for all-around activities, ski, wakeboard, entertainment.  The Tracking fins do present a issue if you want to pull your boat onto a beach - not recommended. 

Ive taken it on the bigger lakes here in the NE (Sunapee, Sebago, Winni) and its ok, but the hull does not give a smooth ride in chop or waves over 1-2 ft., compared to my previous boats which had a better hull design for general cursing in all-water conditions, but the wake was worse for skiing & boarding.

Its all about what you usage is.   Im not sure its the most optimal design for a "water-taxi" (E.G. if you had an island and were bring people & gear back-forth) but its been a reliable workhorse and held up extremely well for my needs!

 

       Good luck!

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racer808

How big of chop are you riding around in?  My 2002 VLX (Same as the 04) was down right scray if the swells were 3' or more, got caught in 6' swells & thought we were dying that day.  If you got big chop, very large boats going by, I would get a deep V like a Tige, MB, Centurion, Supreme or just avoid wake boats all together. 

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shiftman

Small lake and small chop. The 21's will be fine where I boat.

In a nutshell, I am just hoping to find a solid older boat that has not been worn out and deserving of a nice retirement as a leisure boat.

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henrik

We have an 03 VLX that we use for cruising, hanging out, wakeboarding, tubing and a little surfing. Does everything well enough, not like the new boats of course. It’s been solid for us, no repairs, just maintenance like you will with any boat. I replaced some stereo components and  added a 2nd battery when we got the boat 5 years ago, replaced the steering cable this year, that’s it. I would recommend it as it’s fairly “inexpensive” and you want a malibu v-drive.  

If the boat looks good chances are prior owner(s) has taking care of the mechanical end of it as well. 

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Nitrousbird
13 hours ago, Garry said:

I have a 2001 VLX Sunsetter (the predecessor to the Wakesetter)

Sort of.  Wakesetter was just a package on the Sunsetter when it came out in 1999.  2000 the Wakesetter became its own model.  2001 is the SV23 diamond hull, which is different than the SV23 wake hull on the Wakesetter and 96-00 Vdrive Sunsetters.  Only year this was the case, but technically the Wakesetter would be the predecessor to your exact hull.  Sunsetter VLX then became the Sunscape 21LSV for 02-04.  

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shiftman

Thanks as usual for the insight. Still trying to better the Baja..:)

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BlackBluMalibu

I will have a 2013 23LSV coming on the market next month. Just having some vinyl redone.  Well kept and ready for leisure or work as a great wake surfer and wakeboarding boat.  High hours, but new transmission last year and engine still solid... bullet proof monsoon SS 350.  Lots of extras such as 6 heater tubes for cooler evenings and 3 reversible pumps for extra ballast, 4 spinner racks, slider Bimini, wetsounds rev10 tower speakers and sin2 amp and RF amps and cabin speakers.  Over 4k invested in the stereo. An all aluminum and galvanized Phoenix trailer with 1 new spring axle with matching spare.  I hate to let her go, but daughter in law is sponsored by Phase 5, Centurion boats and Overby Marine and so the Bu has been retired as we do not need 2 boats.  Onc3 we get the v8nyl redone I will take pictures and post, but the vinyl has not come in yet. 

Edited by BlackBluMalibu

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Michigan boarder
13 hours ago, shiftman said:

Thanks as usual for the insight. Still trying to better the Baja..:)

Pics of the Baja?

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Garry
On 7/23/2018 at 9:49 PM, shiftman said:

Thanks as usual for the insight. Still trying to better the Baja..:)

Wow, your mention of "Baja"  conjured up great memories from days-gone-by....! 

 I had a 19' 1982 Baja (red with silver metal flake) with a 225hp Merc BlackMax outboard on a Land&Sea jackplate.   That boat was a fantastic 'driver' (at all speeds)!   I had no problems on the bigger lakes in N.E. and fared better that one would think (mainly due to the hull design) up to 4-5' chop, at which time she had a way of saying: "time for shore leave boys".  Very forgiving boat at high speeds, and still nimble at all speeds.  when polished and in the sunlight, she was a head-turner!

Nothing like having the breeze blowing in your hair at 50+mph, and knowing you still have another 30+mph of USABLE throttle left  (most passengers were not nervous until speedo crested 70... :-).      LOL!    

Edited by Garry
spelling

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Garry
19 hours ago, Nitrousbird said:

Sort of.  Wakesetter was just a package on the Sunsetter when it came out in 1999.  2000 the Wakesetter became its own model.  2001 is the SV23 diamond hull, which is different than the SV23 wake hull on the Wakesetter and 96-00 Vdrive Sunsetters.  Only year this was the case, but technically the Wakesetter would be the predecessor to your exact hull.  Sunsetter VLX then became the Sunscape 21LSV for 02-04.  

@Nitrousbird - agreed

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shiftman
1 hour ago, Garry said:

Wow, your mention of "Baja"  conjured up great memories from days-gone-by....! 

 I had a 19' 1982 Baja (red with silver metal flake) with a 225hp Merc outboard ona Land&Sea jackplate.   That boat was a fantastic 'driver' (at all speeds)!   I had no problems on the bigger lakes in N.E. and fared better that one would think (mainly due to the hull design) up to 4-5' chop, at which time she had a way of saying: "time for shore leave boys".  Very forgiving boat at high speeds, and still nimble at all speeds.  when polished and in the sunlight, she was a head-turner!

Nothing like having the breeze blowing in your hair at 50+mph, and knowing you still have another 30+mph of USABLE throttle left  (most passengers were not nervous until speedo crested 70... :-).      LOL!    

It is a sharp boat to say the least. The pics don't come close to showing how nice the boat is.

https://clarksville.craigslist.org/boa/d/baja-outlaw-2004-like-new/6637873900.html

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