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1984 Malibu Skier Resto-Mod


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Hello Malibu family!! So happy I found this community of fellow enthusiasts. Let's start at the beginning....

I found myself the owner of my 1984 skier last summer around mid August. The boat is in decent shape for its age and really has a great vintage look. Previous owner mentioned the stringers needed to be looked at before the next season. He also outlined how he had temporarily beefed them up with aluminum angle iron around the engine mounts for a temporary fix. We used the boat almost every weekend with no issues the rest of the summer. Fast forward until a couple weeks ago I decided to get started on the tear down to see what all needed to be addressed. So the results of that tear down are as follows... the stringers are completely rotten all the way down, the transom is about 75% rotten, the closed cell foam forward of the engine was completely saturated with water, the seats and deck all had surface mold and will need to be replaced, the foam around engine area and back towards transom made me literally laugh so hard I almost choked. The good news is I have all the skills necessary to get these issues addressed and back to a nice finished product and I'm ready to get going as soon as possible. 

I have a few questions for you all...

I've looked into nida core and seacast for the stringers replacement please give me your opinions on this option. 

I'm looking at adding some bulkheads to brace stringers ,thoughts?

Should I do closed cell foam under all deck sections ? 

Does anyone know what the factory carpet color was for my color scheme? 

I will update the pics as I go through this project. 

Thankyou in advance for your thoughts and expertise 

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Edited by TheSummoner
Added Pics
  • Like 1
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Welcome to the crew!  Best and most knowledgeable group here for sure...anyway, my 2 cents is please be ready for this project to test your patience and budget.  The good news is that these older boats have lots of room for improvement but still retain basic systems that are easy to fix/improve/replace.  I would definitely add bulkheads in the stringers if you're going to be rebuilding it all, and also I'd replace all foam if feasible with zero wood in the hull as the goal.

As for carpet, I'd instead consider SeaDek/GatorStep or a Deckadence type material instead of carpet.  Can't wait to see your progress!

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@TheSummoner:  here is a resto article on a similar boat:


A super Bu Crew member and a fellow square windshield aficionado @martinarcher owned one and is also an expert on these boats.  He is an excellent resource.

There are a few resto threads on this site with excellent tips on the process you are undertaking, well worth the read.  Good luck and have fun.

  • Like 2
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As far as carpet, I'd love to ditch mine and put in SeaDek or a similar synthetic pad.  I think quick drying and easy cleanup would be fantastic.  There's sereral guys who have done the project themselves and the results are really good if you take your time and do a good job picking a color the compliments your boat.  They have some nice faux teak colors that have my eye.  The grey carpet running up my gunnels is what I'm hung up on....not sure grey and teak would jive.  

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Thanks @Woodskiand @martinarcher, for both the links and the Advice. I will look into seadek product. I am leaning towards the Pourable stringer option to do away with the wood. I am however concerned that it may add to much stiffness to the hull and not allow any flex like wooden stringers apparently do. I definitely dont want to create a hard spot or line in the hull. Thoughts?

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I'm trying to think of a downside to a stiff hull and can't come up with one...conversely, I've never heard anyone wish their hull had more flex in it, especially a slalom towboat.  I guarantee the newer boats have stiffer, stronger stringers and nobody seems pine for the "good old days" of wood in their boats.  The concern about a stiff line along the hull will be alleviated by a generously radiused fillet where the stringers attach.

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