Jump to content

 

Welcome to TheMalibuCrew!

As a guest, you are welcome to poke around and view the majority of the content that we have to offer, but in order to post, search, contact members, and get full use out of the website you will need to Register for an Account. It's free and it's easy, so don't hesitate to join the TheMalibuCrew Family today!

acrogers123

First Time Malibu Owner

Recommended Posts

acrogers123
Posted (edited)

Hey guys,

I have made arrangements this week to acquire my first Malibu Boat.  The boat I am picking up is a 1999 Malibu Sportster Lx.  I have never owned my own inboard, only outboards, but have logged a good amount of time behind the wheel of various direct drives.  I have the most experience with a 1990 Ski Nautique and a few early 90's MC Prostar's.  This includes driving them, skiing behind them, and the wrenching that comes with keeping these old gems on the water.  I've drove/skied/wrenched the Nautiqe more than any other boat and have likely logged over 60 plus hours driving or skiing it in 3 seasons.  

I wasn't in the market for this Malibu but I saw it on CL and was very satisfied with the price, satisfied enough it put me in the market for one.  I knew I would be purchasing a towboat in the next three years, but I was looking mostly at late 90's Sport Nautiques or Mastercraft Sportstar's , but the Malibu came along. There are not many Malibu's in my area compared to Nautique and MC due to the dealers, but I've never heard anything bad about them and to my knowledge have always been considered part of "the big three". It is a 99 Sportster Lx with the open bow and 310hp Indmar 5.7.  The boat has just under 490 hours on it.  I would rate both the hull and interior 7/10.  The boat does not appear to be abused in anyway, but it's not a mint either.  The boat has been used, just as these boats should be.  The boat ran almost perfect during a test drive and the transmission seemed to operate smoothly.  The boat comes with an Aerial Brand polished tower w/ 2 Aerial speakers and racks.  The boat also has a wake wedge, i believe this was factory.   I have not seen the trailer yet, but the seller has been very straight up with me about everything else and I trust his description.  

When we go out on the water, most of the time we have 6-8 people.  We are all young, between 20-25, so being stacked up on each other is not an issue, even in the smaller 190 Prostar's.  The majority of our time is spent in this order- kneeboarding,  barefooting(my favorite), free water slalom, and occasionally we will break out trick ski's and wakeboards.  I would consider myself avid in the first three events.  

I have a few question's with the first being- 

1)Have I found a good hull for the sports listed above?  We do some of everything and none of us are "good" at any of it, but our skills do show that we ski more than once a week.

2) What kind of maintenance should be done around the 500 hour mark?  I know it does have a few issues that need to be addressed such as a weeping raw water pump, and dirty power going to the instrument cluster.  All gauges would come and go during my test drive like they were losing ground??  If someone knows a well known culprit of this issue, please chime in.

3) Are there any major differences in this boat that I will notice compared to the Nautique and Prostar's that I am most familiar with?  I noticed on test drive that this boat does not ride as well in a chop as the Nautique, but I believe this hull is right much lighter than that SN, so it is to be expected.  We don't even like to get out of the boat if we are not on glass, so rough water is not an issue as we ski on rivers and creeks.

4) Is there anywhere to get graphics/decals for this boat that has an idea of what came on it from the mfg.  For example someone I can call and say I have xyz boat with zyx color scheme, do you have graphics/means of making them.

I am excited to get behind this boat this season and I hope it treats me well.  If you guys have any other input or info, please let me know!  

 

Edited by acrogers123

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
spinxt
3 minutes ago, acrogers123 said:

  1)Have I found a good hull for the sports listed above?  We do some of everything and none of us are "good" at any of it, but our skills do show that we ski more than once a week.

-the sportster is has a nice flat wake for the sports listed above (especially footing)  

2) What kind of maintenance should be done around the 500 hour mark?  I know it does have a few issues that need to be addressed such as a weeping raw water pump, and dirty power going to the instrument cluster.  All gauges would come and go during my test drive like they were losing ground??  If someone knows a well known culprit of this issue, please chime in.

-I would change all plugs, wires, cap, etc (tune up stuff).  Also replace the fuel filters (there are most likely two...one in engine bay and another back by the fuel tank (in-line).   I’d also change all fluids. 

3) Are there any major differences in this boat that I will notice compared to the Nautique and Prostar's that I am most familiar with?  I noticed on test drive that this boat does not ride as well in a chop as the Nautique, but I believe this hull is right much lighter than that SN, so it is to be expected.  We don't even like to get out of the boat if we are not on glass, so rough water is not an issue as we ski on rivers and creeks. 

The wake should be similar to the SN 196.  Mid/late 90s MCs had horrible wakes by comparison  to Malibu/ SN, especially for slalom skiing (they were  hard as a rock).   In terms of rough water, no slalom/footing boat will do well in that category.  It’s just something we deal with.  If it’s an open bow, just watch out for rollers.  

4) Is there anywhere to get graphics/decals for this boat that has an idea of what came on it from the mfg.  For example someone I can call and say I have xyz boat with zyx color scheme, do you have graphics/means of making them.

-bakes marine is a good source for parts including decals. You might also try Domednumbers.com   They have a good selection of more modern decals 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
formulaben
4 hours ago, acrogers123 said:

What kind of maintenance should be done around the 500 hour mark?  I know it does have a few issues that need to be addressed such as a weeping raw water pump, and dirty power going to the instrument cluster.  All gauges would come and go during my test drive like they were losing ground??  If someone knows a well known culprit of this issue, please chime in.

I agree with @spinxt that it would be best (unless you can confirm very recently done) that you change oil, trans fluid, fuel filters, cap, rotor, spark plugs, and wires (one at a time) just to get a clean baseline.  Also change the impeller, as a new gasket may be all that is making it weep.  If that doesn't fix it then go from there.  I would also check items such as shaft packing/stuffing box and rudder assembly for leakage.  I was shocked at how loose both the nuts to the strut hardware and shaft log hose clamps were on my boat when I put a wrench to them.

As for the electrical, get under the dash and learn your boat.  For sure get onto the negative buss bar and make sure everything is clean and screwed in tight; also same for the connections at the battery/batteries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
spinxt

Gauge issues are most likely a failing MDC  (black box under dash).  They are notorious for failing and as they start to fail, really strange things begin to happen with gauges. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Woodski

@acrogers123- Great choice given your desire to barefoot, the Sportster is one of the better / best barefooting DD inboards, probably only second to a Sanger DXII.  Given a tower, use it for barefooting, makes the tumbles much nicer and popping up a bit easier.  The slightly sharper table edge will be great for kneeboard aerials.  Bad grounds are a significant contributor to faulty electrics, make sure you use a vented cover to minimize moisture and as noted, a good check on all grounds and electrical corrosion will be needed.

There are manuals and guides on this site in the resource section, should give you all the details on 500 hour maintenance.  I would also check the prop for good fit and proper tightness, check the rudder for any excessive looseness and give it a shot of marine grease (not too much).  I would also make sure the pylon and tower bolts are correctly torqued (tight).  There is a bearing for the rope attachment on the pylon, it should rotate freely so if not, pop off the top cap disassemble and grease the bearing.  The manuals might have graphics details, and Great Lakes Skipper may have the ones you are looking for.

6-8 young people out footing, skiing and kneeboarding on hot NC summer days, I think your neighbors with daughters are shaking in their boots, LOL.  Have a blast with your new boat... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UWSkier

when you say the gauges would come and go, do you mean they'd freeze in place or all drop to zero?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MakeNWaves

On my 2002 VLX the gauge problem was not from anything "dirty".  Chased the problem for 7 years.  Gauges would come on and off anywhere from 1 to 3 times a minute.  Probably was the main MMDC, but with no guarantee it was difficult to pay $500.  Also looked into replacing the cluster with new digital gauges that were a perfect replacement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...